Question best PCIe x16 GPU for purposes of DC

Turbonium

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Fairly straightforward question: what's the best PCIe x16 GPU for purposes of distributed computing (ignoring cost)?
 

Skillz

Senior member
Feb 14, 2014
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Loaded question. Depends on the project.

For an all around GPU that's good on all projects then Radeon VIII or NVIDIA 3090.
 

Turbonium

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If you think that's a loaded question, how about this:

Best PCIe x16 GPU for brute-force attacks (again, ignoring cost)?

(As I understand it, brute-force attacks, and DC projects, are similar in their nature; that is, they're both highly parallelized, computationally).

By the way, this is all ignoring cost, because I'm considering using a couple old Q9650 systems for projects on the side, which is probably very inefficient in terms of power/cost to performance ratio. On that note: what GPU would pair well (or won't be bottlenecked too much) with a Q9650?

(Yes, I realize getting a modern budget system will likely yield much better results. But for purposes of this thread, just stick to the question as asked. For now, at least.)
 

VirtualLarry

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Cheapest decent one, beside 30-series and that rare unicorn, the Radeon VII, is something like a GTX 1660 Super or Ti. (Super has faster RAM, Ti has more cores, slightly.)
 

Turbonium

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Let me rephrase the question: what's the best PCIe x16 GPU for purposes of distributed computing, that would pair well with an old Q9650, without being bottlenecked?
 

Icecold

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If you can elaborate on what you're trying to do exactly I would imagine better advice could be given? Given that DC is cumulative(and by its nature distributed) you'd be better off with multiple high end GPU's vs 1 ultra high end GPU. I would imagine running something like Hashcat would be similar. Your platform costs for motherboard/cpu/ram are such a small portion of the total cost including a high end GPU that using something that will bottleneck it like a Core2Quad is a bad move.

Trying to get in an old Bitcoin wallet?
 

Turbonium

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If you can elaborate on what you're trying to do exactly I would imagine better advice could be given? Given that DC is cumulative(and by its nature distributed) you'd be better off with multiple high end GPU's vs 1 ultra high end GPU. I would imagine running something like Hashcat would be similar. Your platform costs for motherboard/cpu/ram are such a small portion of the total cost including a high end GPU that using something that will bottleneck it like a Core2Quad is a bad move.
I already have the Q9650 systems lying around, and I'm not really wanting to build new systems from scratch; I figured I'd throw in a GPU into each to make them as good as possible.

Really though, I'm out of the loop with respect to GPUs (and system components in general) these days, so I figured I'd ask the initial question as a starting point. I wasn't expecting GPU prices to be quite so extreme these days, however, which is why I rephrased the question in my post above.

I usually do FAH.

I also have some old ZIP files that I can't fully remember the passwords to, so being able to put one of the machines to work away at some of those would be a bonus. That's why I asked about brute-forcing (I think I remember part of the password for at least some of the ZIP files, so I figure I could plausibly do a mask-attack with the right hardware, even though they're all AES-256).

Trying to get in an old Bitcoin wallet?
I don't know what this means. If it's an accusation of trying to break into someone else's Bitcoin wallet: absolutely not.
 

Icecold

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@VirtualLarry is probably on the right track. Something like a 1660ti may not be super heavily bottlenecked by a Q9550 at Folding@home, but probably will be somewhat. Anything higher end than that will probably be bottlenecked quite a bit. I remember when I moved an RTX 2070 from a Core2Duo to a 4770k the PPD improved by quite a bit.

For other projects(BOINC) it can be less of an issue. I was running a pretty high end card in an Athlon X4 and it ran relatively okay on some projects.
 

Turbonium

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@VirtualLarry is probably on the right track. Something like a 1660ti may not be super heavily bottlenecked by a Q9550 at Folding@home, but probably will be somewhat. Anything higher end than that will probably be bottlenecked quite a bit. I remember when I moved an RTX 2070 from a Core2Duo to a 4770k the PPD improved by quite a bit.

For other projects(BOINC) it can be less of an issue. I was running a pretty high end card in an Athlon X4 and it ran relatively okay on some projects.
Q9650

Not that it makes a difference at this point. I don't think I can get back anywhere on the leaderboard for our team. The rigs are too slow.
 

Icecold

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Q9650

Not that it makes a difference at this point. I don't think I can get back anywhere on the leaderboard for our team. The rigs are too slow.
We do stats every Sunday that shows everybody's contribution. Everybody's contribution is appreciated :)

If it were me I would just throw one or two of the Q9650 machines on Rosetta@home or World Community Grid and see where it goes from there. Do you have any GPU's currently? Even older ones are still good at some projects.

A Q9650 is still okay enough on some projects that do not use AVX or other more modern instruction sets.

If you're in the US and will consistently use it for crunching projects for the TeAm I have a low end video card I can send you for no cost that may work well in a Q9650.
 
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Turbonium

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If you're in the US and will consistently use it for crunching projects for the TeAm I have a low end video card I can send you for no cost that may work well in a Q9650.
What card?

And yes, I'd only use it for DC projects (I already have a main, much newer, rig).

Feel free to send me a PM.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
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I would work on making some cheap systems. a Ryzen 3600 is pretty good to support video cards of the current generation, and the CPU is only $250. You can get a motherboard for a little over $50, and 16 gig of 3200 for $70. So add some decent video cards, and you can have some nice upgraded machines.
 

Skillz

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I would work on making some cheap systems. a Ryzen 3600 is pretty good to support video cards of the current generation, and the CPU is only $250. You can get a motherboard for a little over $50, and 16 gig of 3200 for $70. So add some decent video cards, and you can have some nice upgraded machines.
For GPU only you'd really only need something like a sub $100 CPU such as the AMD A10-9700 CPU and cut the RAM down to 8GB and you'll have a much more modern system capable of handling a much better GPU or two.
 

Markfw

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For GPU only you'd really only need something like a sub $100 CPU such as the AMD A10-9700 CPU and cut the RAM down to 8GB and you'll have a much more modern system capable of handling a much better GPU or two.
What I was suggesting would do CPU and GPU work, and even a 3090 would not be handicapped (if they ever got affordable)
 

Skillz

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What I was suggesting would do CPU and GPU work, and even a 3090 would not be handicapped (if they ever got affordable)
Without knowing exactly what project he intends to run or what his actual purpose is we can only speculate that a good CPU will be used for something other than feeding data to the GPU.

For what he's talking about with brute-force password cracking .ZIP files then a CPU will be basically useless since a GPU can do it so much faster.

With his current system though and current needs (brute-force password cracking) then something like 970 or 980 Nvidia would be fine. Assuming the software he is using can utilize CUDA to do the cracking.
 

Turbonium

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I would work on making some cheap systems. a Ryzen 3600 is pretty good to support video cards of the current generation, and the CPU is only $250. You can get a motherboard for a little over $50, and 16 gig of 3200 for $70. So add some decent video cards, and you can have some nice upgraded machines.
I'm assuming that's all USD.

In any case, my budget is fairly limited (despite the original question); I can't really build a new system right now. Really, I just want a cheap GPU I can get today that will give me a good DC performance boost for the money.

For anyone who didn't see my post above: I used to do a lot of FAH, but I don't know for sure what DC project I'll be working on in the future. I also want to try cracking some encrypted ZIP files (using a brute-force mask-attack, which seems possible). The GPU doesn't have to be optimal. It just has to be considerably better than using only the CPUs I already have.

My budget is, say, 125 USD (give or take) per GPU. I know that's not much.
 

Shmee

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Possibly used Hawaii cards could be had for about $125. I recall they can be good for compute due to large amount of compute cores and wide memory bus, though IDK how well they would do for your application.
 

Turbonium

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Not sure what GPU is avail at that price-point, besides a GT 1030. Maybe a GTX 750 ti or GTX 1050 2GB.
I literally don't know which of those three suggestions is the best card, short of doing research. As mentioned, I'm very much out of the loop these days.

Possibly used Hawaii cards could be had for about $125. I recall they can be good for compute due to large amount of compute cores and wide memory bus, though IDK how well they would do for your application.
I'll try doing some research.
 

Icecold

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I don't know what this means. If it's an accusation of trying to break into someone else's Bitcoin wallet: absolutely not.
I missed this part of the post until just now. It's pretty frequent that people have an old bitcoin wallet(of their own) that they do not remember the password to and go looking for ways to get into it to retrieve their own bitcoin contained in it. It wasn't an accusation of any wrongdoing, I was just thinking that was a likely reason when you first posted.
 

Endgame124

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Feb 11, 2008
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I have a Q9650 of my own - I basically retired it as DC box since a $35 raspberry pi generates about 50% the WCG points per day at roughly 150 watts less.

For using it with FAH, a NVidia 980 works alright - i ran that config for a while back when the 980 was new. I had a 1660ti on it for a little while, but got more ppd switching the 1660ti to a Ryzen 2700X.
 

Skillz

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You're not gonna find a good GPU for $125. Just not going to happen.

You can find some old, very old, GPUs that'll questionably work well if at all on most DC projects.

As for cracking the ZIP files I'd recommend an Nvidia GPU with cuda cores which won't be easy with a $125 budget. Most software that can crack passwords ZIPs utilize CUDA.

$125 budget won't get far, per GPU. You'll need to increase thaylt budge 5x to get a decent GPU these days.

You'd be better off renting AWS or GCP GPUs to do the cracking with your budget than buying a GPU with that budget.
 
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