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Question Who is the Rasberry PI expert ? And a recommended system.

Markfw

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I want to try to play with these. The Thor challenge got me thinking. I could get 10 of these, and it would be 40 cores ! What do you need to start ? I saw some ads on newegg, and it looks like you need more than just the board. The best star kit ? and for more, what else do you need for every one ?

What do you think of this ?


@biodoc , @VirtualLarry , @lane42 Don't one of you have one of these ? Or know who does ? I am dying to buy one....
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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I want to try to play with these. The Thor challenge got me thinking. I could get 10 of these, and it would be 40 cores ! What do you need to start ? I saw some ads on newegg, and it looks like you need more than just the board. The best star kit ? and for more, what else do you need for every one ?

What do you think of this ?


@biodoc , @VirtualLarry , @lane42 Don't one of you have one of these ? Or know who does ? I am dying to buy one....
I picked up a 4gb cannot for like $100 on amazon. It's more than enough to a stock pihole server. Would handle additional filter lists no problem. Kit came with a little case, power adapter, micro hdmi to hdmi cable (which is only hooked up for initial config)

I followed the instructions and loaded ubuntu 20 on a micro SD, booted it up and away I went. I gave it a static IP and started pointing one network at a time at it for DNS. I use quad 9 for the upstream dns queries.

Before you buy one, you can run a pihole server on any spare pc or in a VM to see if you like it. I run my secondary pinhole on a 10 year old laptop with 8gb ram.
 
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I picked up a 4gb cannot for like $100 on amazon. It's more than enough to a stock pihole server. Would handle additional filter lists no problem. Kit came with a little case, power adapter, micro hdmi to hdmi cable (which is only hooked up for initial config)

I followed the instructions and loaded ubuntu 20 on a micro SD, booted it up and away I went. I gave it a static IP and started pointing one network at a time at it for DNS. I use quad 9 for the upstream dns queries.

Before you buy one, you can run a pihole server on any spare pc or in a VM to see if you like it. I run my secondary pinhole on a 10 year old laptop with 8gb ram.
I should have gave you more info. Mark does distributed computing to cure cancer.
I assume the Thor Challenge is something that relates to his goal.
How would a bunch of pi’s work for distributed computing?
 

Fardringle

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Oct 23, 2000
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I should have gave you more info. Mark does distributed computing to cure cancer.
I assume the Thor Challenge is something that relates to his goal.
How would a bunch of pi’s work for distributed computing?
The specific challenge that Mark is talking about gives credits ONLY based on the number of CPU hours spent working on the project. Every CPU gets the same amount of credit no matter how powerful they are, so PIs would get just as much credit as a top end i9 or Ryzen 9...


To specifically answer the question, Endgame124 has several Raspberry PIs running the Rosetta@home project. Discussion is in this thread: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/the-raspberry-pi-thread.2581547/
 

Icecold

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Nov 15, 2004
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My main takeaway has always been that it's just too much management for the performance. They're really efficient, but outside of this one specific challenge I just don't know that it makes a ton of sense. I would rather have one 12+ core Ryzen than a cluster of 10 Pi's that are separately managed, and the price comes out pretty similar. I also think I might be more inclined to just buy a stack of $20 crappy prepaid android phones for a runtime challenge, but maybe I'm missing something on why that wouldn't work.
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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I should have gave you more info. Mark does distributed computing to cure cancer.
I assume the Thor Challenge is something that relates to his goal.
How would a bunch of pi’s work for distributed computing?
Ok I c, so in his case, just buy the pi's with power adapters, a single micro hdmi to hdmi cable to setup, and that's it. I wouldn't waste money on cases or extras, not necessary for a folding farm
 

Markfw

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Ok I c, so in his case, just buy the pi's with power adapters, a single micro hdmi to hdmi cable to setup, and that's it. I wouldn't waste money on cases or extras, not necessary for a folding farm
Actually, Rosetta or WCG farm. Video cards is the way to go for folding.
 

Icecold

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Nov 15, 2004
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I copied him on a post in the PI thread. I want to see what he thinks of my guess on a PI system, like this: https://www.newegg.com/p/1HD-005N-00085?Description=rasberry pie 4 4gb&cm_re=rasberry_pie 4 4gb-_-9SIAHUBA2T8163-_-Product&quicklink=true
Endgame124 is definitely the expert.. while we wait for Endgame124 to chime in though I think I would suggest a few things:

If you're going to have a bunch you will probably want cases intended for stacking / clustering . Something like this.

I would get the Raspberry pi with 8GB of RAM. If you plan on ever running Rosetta on it at some point after the Thor challenge you won't have enough RAM for a lot of the tasks with the 4GB model and then need to use something like zram. 8GB RAM is probably more forward thinking, though it does cost more money.

The performance will not be what most people would expect when they think of 40 cores(assuming a cluster of 10) due to how low power they are. In addition it's ARM, so software is less compatible. Your linux distro needs to be Raspberry Pi specific, etc.

For what its worth I just threw Boinc on a several year old cell phone maybe 20 minutes ago and it seems to be running fine. My main concern was that it would charge slower than the battery depletes, but that hasn't been the case so far. I was also concerned it would get super hot, which also hasn't been the case. Inexpensive new Android Tracfones or whatever can be purchased for $20ish dollars each and don't need extra micro sd cards, they come with power supplies, etc.
 
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ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
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Endgame124 is definitely the expert.. while we wait for Endgame124 to chime in though I think I would suggest a few things:

If you're going to have a bunch you will probably want cases intended for stacking / clustering . Something like this.

I would get the Raspberry pi with 8GB of RAM. If you plan on ever running Rosetta on it at some point after the Thor challenge you won't have enough RAM for a lot of the tasks with the 4GB model and then need to use something like zram. 8GB RAM is probably more forward thinking, though it does cost more money.

The performance will not be what most people would expect when they think of 40 cores(assuming a cluster of 10) due to how low power they are. In addition it's ARM, so software is less compatible. Your linux distro needs to be Raspberry Pi specific, etc.

For what its worth I just threw Boinc on a several year old cell phone maybe 20 minutes ago and it seems to be running fine. My main concern was that it would charge slower than the battery depletes, but that hasn't been the case so far. I was also concerned it would get super hot, which also hasn't been the case. Inexpensive new Android Tracfones or whatever can be purchased for $20ish dollars each and don't need extra micro sd cards, they come with power supplies, etc.
That's pretty cool tho, a stackable case could be handy
 

Markfw

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@Markfw I need to hear how many cores you have again please.
Well, real, 438, and threads on SMT looks like 876 cores, and 16 video cards., 5 2080TI, 6 2060, one 2060 super, 2 1080TI, a 1070TI and one on-board something.

For this thor copetition, for no more than an a 3900x for power(if that), I could have like 12 (x4) or 48 cores more.

Now I need to know if there is like a 4, 8 or 12 USB power adapter. All this stuff I can't seem to find !!!!
 
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Markfw

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Just saw this. Will read through everything after the kids are in bed.
BTW, I think I am settled on 8 PI's, maybe 12. I would like to know 4 gb or 8 gb ? Probably 8
I need a PSU with 8-12 USB adapters (thats how the little motherboards are powered, right ?)
I need a case with 8-12 places for those motherboards.

What do I need for OS ? And I saw 16 or 32 gig micro SD cards. For OS, just for boot ????

Oh, and wifi ? I know I could get an 8 port hub, but I am kind of short on hub cords now, so wifi would work for me. They come with wifi, right ?
 

Endgame124

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Feb 11, 2008
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Super fast response, more detail later.

I’m currently running 16 pis, mixed between pi3s and pi 4s.

For open pandemics, 2GB pi 4s are fine.

For Rosetta, 4gb is the min, and requires some setup for ZRam. I have scripts I can share.

8gb pis have less need for zram, but I’ve seen them into swap before as well.

In Rosetta, a 8gb pi gets 2-5% more ppd than the 4gb if they are getting high ram usage tasks, 75% of the time, total ram usage is less than 4gb and they they are identical performance.

Yes, they have WiFi. My PoS Verizon Router doesn’t like more than 15(ish) WiFi devices, so I ended up going Wired. YMMV.

For power, these are my favorite


These are my preferred power cables
 

Endgame124

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Feb 11, 2008
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For SD card, I prefer these


Power loss to a pi while it’s using the card can cause damage. I’ve lost 3 of the super cheap microcenter cards. Have had no problems with these Samsung cards. That said, I’m now running them on UPS, which has resolved all the power issues.
 

Markfw

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OK, good so far. Now I need a 6-12 card motherboard housing, and the units themselves. And where to get the OS ?

And cooling ????
 
Feb 4, 2009
27,875
8,356
136
Well, real, 438, and threads on SMT looks like 876 cores, and 16 video cards., 5 2080TI, 6 2060, one 2060 super, 2 1080TI, a 1070TI and one on-board something.

For this thor copetition, for no more than an a 3900x for power(if that), I could have like 12 (x4) or 48 cores more.

Now I need to know if there is like a 4, 8 or 12 USB power adapter. All this stuff I can't seem to find !!!!
During the crypto craze I remember seeing a pi charger that looked like a typical power brick but it was all chargers for pi’s.
Couldn’t use it for anything but pi’s and multiple pi’s.
Pretty sure it was at Microcenter.
 

Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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OK, good so far. Now I need a 6-12 card motherboard housing, and the units themselves. And where to get the OS ?
Case is complicated. I’m using individual FLIRC cases, but I’ll share some ideas later.

Best place to buy multiple pis (cheaper than amazon)

Note, microcenter is cheapest for individual pi purchases, as they have a permanent $5 off MSRP In store option. However, you can only get one of each ram size per purchase with the discount (ex, buy a 2GB, 4gb, and 8gb in one purchase and get $15 off total).

OS: use raspbian lite. There are complications with this with Rosetta that are covered in my guide. I have shell scripts that will do all the config.

You’ll need a SD card reader / writer to flash the cards with the OS. Use the official software to do the flashing, it’s vastly simplified over any other process
 
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