• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

F@H client for PS3 and ATI GPU's

SoulAssassin

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2001
6,140
2
0
Haven't posted in here or run any projects in a while but thought you guys would be interested in this:

http://science.slashdot.org/science/06/08/24/129244.shtml

"Stanford's Folding@Home project is reporting that Sony debuted a Folding@Home client for the PlayStation 3 today in Germany. Researchers hope to use the power of the PS3's Cell processor to greatly expand the number of FLOPS of which their network is capable. F@H also announced today that they will release a client capable of running on ATI graphics processors. With these two new developments, F@H hopes to raise the total power of their distributed computing network to 1-10 petaflops. At the upper end of that target, the network would be faster than any current supercomputer, at least in terms of FLOPS."
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,650
5,659
136
That is pretty amazing. It'd be nice to know more about how the f@h client for ATI GPUs works.
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
15,188
2,168
55
Here's the Folding@Home page with the info. Particularly interesting was the graphics card requirements:
Which GPUs will be supported? We have not made any final decisions on this issue. However, our software will likely require the very latest GPUs from ATI (especially now that the newest ATI GPUs support 32 bit floating point operations). Previous work of ours used NVIDIA GPUs as well, but we have now concentrated on ATI GPU's as they allow for significant performance increases for FAH over NVIDIA's GPU's (at least at the current generation). Our GPU cluster has 25 1900XT's and 25 1900 XTX's. We find a considerable performance increase of 1900XT's even over 1800XT's, due to the architectural differences between the R580 and R520 GPU's. Our code will run on R520's, but considerably more slowly than R580. We're very much looking forward to trying out R600's.
I did a search for such graphics cards, and besides being insanely expensive, none of them will work with my current machine. They're all PCIx16, and I have maybe AGP2x at best.
 

CupCak3

Golden Member
Nov 11, 2005
1,318
1
81
Originally posted by: Ken_g6
Here's the Folding@Home page with the info. Particularly interesting was the graphics card requirements:
Which GPUs will be supported? We have not made any final decisions on this issue. However, our software will likely require the very latest GPUs from ATI (especially now that the newest ATI GPUs support 32 bit floating point operations). Previous work of ours used NVIDIA GPUs as well, but we have now concentrated on ATI GPU's as they allow for significant performance increases for FAH over NVIDIA's GPU's (at least at the current generation). Our GPU cluster has 25 1900XT's and 25 1900 XTX's. We find a considerable performance increase of 1900XT's even over 1800XT's, due to the architectural differences between the R580 and R520 GPU's. Our code will run on R520's, but considerably more slowly than R580. We're very much looking forward to trying out R600's.
I did a search for such graphics cards, and besides being insanely expensive, none of them will work with my current machine. They're all PCIx16, and I have maybe AGP2x at best.


not to mention they are energy hogs and mini-heaters... interesting concept though. its something which probably won't be for me for another 5-7 years
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,650
5,659
136
Actually, from what I can tell, the 1900XT should be good for f@h since it has as many pixel pipes as the others and only 25 mhz less GPU speed. Somehow I doubt that the memory clock would influence it's ability to fold, though maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, the 256 meg versions of the card list at $280 according to Anandtech's article on the subject:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2821

However, we can see from the power consumption chart:

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2821&p=13

Both the X1900XT 256mb and X1950 XTX have much-reduced power consumption. It would be nice of Anandtech would show us the individual power consumption numbers for the cards themselves instead of giving a system-wide consumption number, but you take what you can get.

http://xtreview.com/review134.htm

This shows isolated power consumption numbers per card on cards released before the X1950XTX, so from this, I suppose that we can infer that the X1900XT 256 mb uses 90.7W at load while the X1900XTX uses 98.7W. That's not too terribly bad.

 

Gravity

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2003
5,685
0
0
I have mostly Nvidia cards in my farm. If this comes out of beta I'll be selling them all on ebay.
 

trevinom

Golden Member
Sep 19, 2003
1,061
0
0
I wonder how cell compares to current PC's, i.e. duos and latest AMD multi-core CPU's in their crunching power.
 

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106
Originally posted by: trevinom
I wonder how cell compares to current PC's, i.e. duos and latest AMD multi-core CPU's in their crunching power.
The following quote is from HERE. You can read more there. Sounds like they are expecting great things from cell and GPU processing!
By combining merely 10,000 computers (each with some sort of streaming processor), we could perform calculations on the Petaflop scale
 

TurtleBlue

Senior member
Feb 10, 2004
351
0
0
This is great news, Soul Assasin & GLeeM! Thanks for the updates! By the time the beta tests are up and running in September the Core 2 Duo CPU chips prices should be stabilized. ATI has announced new GPU cards so the prices on the ATI cards that will run the beta should be a bit lower in cost. Hmm...time to make some upgrade plans for the comming months!
 

BlackMountainCow

Diamond Member
May 28, 2003
5,759
0
0
Awesome news!

I really hope that they'll support NnVidia in the future as well, I mean, why throw away over half of the available work force, even if slower?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
16,650
5,659
136
Whether or not they'll support Nvidia cards is entirely related to how much performance they can squeeze out of their GPUs. The Pande Group has limited resources to commit to support of multiple architectures, so they'll support what they can when they can.

For some perspective of what Cell will be able to do for f@h, a PS3 is rumored to provide about 100 gigaflops of computational power (rumored). In contrast, a 3 ghz Woodcrest processor has a maximum theoretical peak fpu performance of 48 gigaflops. The most interesting thing, in my opinion, are the r580 and r600's potential. The r580 has a theoretical maximum fpu performanceof 1.1 teraflops (presumably this is the 650 mhz part you find in high-end r580 cards) though it is doubtful that all of this performance could be harnessed by f@h. R600's performance is unknown to me, though it should be higher.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY