Which CPU is best for SETI? And what is the deciding factor?

Message boards : Number crunching : Which CPU is best for SETI? And what is the deciding factor?
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Optical Serenity

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Message 86685 - Posted: 16 Mar 2005, 21:10:40 UTC

So, so.. I'm going through and looking at people's computers, and what is the best CPU out there to crank out work units? And what determines your work unit size?

I currently have a Pentium M, a G5, and some Pentium 4's on my boinc account, and as you can see, the Pentium M 1.4 does better than the G5 1.6 does.

So, what processor out there gets the highest integer and the highest floating point measurements?
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Message 86697 - Posted: 16 Mar 2005, 21:37:58 UTC - in response to Message 86685.  
Last modified: 16 Mar 2005, 21:42:14 UTC

> So, so.. I'm going through and looking at people's computers, and what is the
> best CPU out there to crank out work units? And what determines your work unit
> size?
> I currently have a Pentium M, a G5, and some Pentium 4's on my boinc account,
> and as you can see, the Pentium M 1.4 does better than the G5 1.6 does.
>
> So, what processor out there gets the highest integer and the highest floating
> point measurements?

Boy have you opened the door for some arguements... So I guess I'll get the fire started..

If you're just gonna build a cruncher at minimal cost...

It's hard to beat a Via 400 or 600 based mobo ($45~$55) and a $75 xp2500 DTR (mobile) athlon cpu with one stick of 256Mb DDR 400 memory (doesn't have to premium), a HDD and powersupply from the Goodwill computer store or used computer shop and a bigger than stock air cpu cooler. Wire-tie it all into a plastic basket, plug it in to one end of a KVM switch (or use VPN) and you're crunchin' for a couple hundered bucks. I plug in an old CD-ROM drive just to load the OS and then put that back on the shelf. Set the FSB up to 190~200 and these things will run 24/7 clocked as a XP3000 or XP3200 w/o errors and lay down some good numbers.

Oh, you wanna build a "real" computer... Then the AMD 64 bit chips or a HT enabled P4.

Have fun, Skip
- da shu @ HeliOS,
"A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on an ability to afford it."
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Message 86712 - Posted: 16 Mar 2005, 22:06:04 UTC - in response to Message 86685.  

> So, so.. I'm going through and looking at people's computers, and what is the
> best CPU out there to crank out work units? And what determines your work unit
> size?
>
> I currently have a Pentium M, a G5, and some Pentium 4's on my boinc account,
> and as you can see, the Pentium M 1.4 does better than the G5 1.6 does.
>
> So, what processor out there gets the highest integer and the highest floating
> point measurements?
>
For available off the shelf desktop CPU's:

If you prefer Amd, then use this.... FX-55

If you prefer INTEL, then use this..... Pentium 4EE 3.73GHz 1066MHz FSB, 2M L2 Cache

Both are 64 bit useable processors too. P4's with HT enabled seem to do well in Seti and CPDN, don't do as well in Einstein and Predictor as AMDs.

I'd be highly interested to see which came out on top in total credits after 3 months of non-stop crunching between the P4 with HT on and the FX-55.

I know who would come out on top in Predictor and Einstein, the FX-55. All other things being as equal as you can make them within reason. DDR2 versus DDR, etc.

<br>
Mars <br>
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Message 86817 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 2:58:01 UTC

I noticed AMD crunchers on average have higher claimed credit per WU than intel crunchers. this slightly increases the chance at higher awarded credit per WU vs an intel cruncher.
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Message 86831 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 3:30:32 UTC
Last modified: 17 Mar 2005, 3:34:11 UTC

An AMD64 3400 socket 939 with dual channel memory will do a S@H in about 1:53, a ProteinPredictor in about 0:38 minutes and E@H in about 5.6hrs and is not to expensive.

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Message 86840 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 3:57:55 UTC - in response to Message 86712.  

> If you prefer INTEL, then use this..... <a> href="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=19-117-030&depa=0">Pentium
> 4EE 3.73GHz 1066MHz FSB, 2M L2 Cache[/url]

Right now, this is a hella expensive price to pay, not only upfront but in the heat loss and the accessories you would need in order to keep it cool and not overheat. The newer boards are coming out to compensate but running a standard 3.6 Prescott will suffice.

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Message 86874 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 5:23:10 UTC - in response to Message 86831.  

> An AMD64 3400 socket 939 with dual channel memory will do a S@H in about 1:53,
> a ProteinPredictor in about 0:38 minutes and E@H in about 5.6hrs and is not to
> expensive.

I'm with Skip on this one.

My Athlon XP 3400 does Einstein in under 6 hours (I don't pay that much attention) and SETI a couple hours -- not that far from the AMD64 3400.

But if I wanted to crunch the maximum number of WUs, I'd be looking at something like a 1.8 GHz Duron ($50 on NewEgg) and a decent "budget" motherboard (about $50) plus a little RAM (about $22).

... and then I'd build several.
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Message 86881 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 5:53:21 UTC

Ah a fun topic.


I still favor AMD XP 2500-M or 2600-M O/C to about 2.4G tested for max stability Seti=2:10 Einstein=5:15

Low cost on the chip, MB decent price $60 NF2 or newer, money saved on CPU & MB can go into good HS, Memory, and PSU. Average cost was about $550 per system a year ago.



Dusty


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Message 86884 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 6:06:24 UTC

The pentium M's would be my current favourite . I have a 1.6 running at 2.6 that seems to average a boinc seti wu in approx 1hr 20mins , whilst only using 70 watts and running cool and quiet into the bargain. When Asus release their socket 478 adapter board ,these chips could make some reasonably priced crunchers.

The bulk of my current farm is based around amd xp's and durons , which whilst cheap to build does create a lot of heat and noise and uses a lot of electricity.

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Message 86887 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 6:13:29 UTC - in response to Message 86884.  

> The pentium M's would be my current favourite . I have a 1.6 running at 2.6
> that seems to average a boinc seti wu in approx 1hr 20mins , whilst only using
> 70 watts and running cool and quiet into the bargain. When Asus release their
> socket 478 adapter board ,these chips could make some reasonably priced
> crunchers.
>
> The bulk of my current farm is based around amd xp's and durons , which whilst
> cheap to build does create a lot of heat and noise and uses a lot of
> electricity.
>
> Shady
>

Build multi-cpu systems. Twice the work with the same amount of heat + electricity.


You will be assimilated...bunghole!

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Message 86993 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 14:22:25 UTC - in response to Message 86887.  

> Build multi-cpu systems. Twice the work with the same amount of heat +
electricity.

As another dual CPU system.
But compared to single CPU system they do use more power & generate more heat; but not as much as 2 single CPU system units.
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Message 86995 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 14:24:06 UTC - in response to Message 86840.  

> Right now, this is a hella expensive price to pay, not only upfront but in the
> heat loss and the accessories you would need in order to keep it cool and not
> overheat.

Not to mention an Athlon FX55 walks all over it for performance, lower price & lower heat output.
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Message 87006 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 15:59:35 UTC - in response to Message 86884.  

> The pentium M's would be my current favourite . I have a 1.6 running at 2.6
> that seems to average a boinc seti wu in approx 1hr 20mins , whilst only using
> 70 watts and running cool and quiet into the bargain. When Asus release their
> socket 478 adapter board ,these chips could make some reasonably priced
> crunchers.
>
> The bulk of my current farm is based around amd xp's and durons , which whilst
> cheap to build does create a lot of heat and noise and uses a lot of
> electricity.
>
> Shady
>

I have a 1.8 Mobile P4 running at 2.5ghz, currently taking 3 to 3 1/2 hours per seti boinc WU.
What OS you running????
I have XPee Pro, with all the bubble gummy graphics turned off, and only absolutly nessasery services running, beside my TRADEWARS server.
My AMD's do a WU in about 2-2 1/2 hours, the AMD's are the main PC's my kids and myself use, so theres always something being done on them, also running XPee.
AMD's use NF7-s mobo's and the P4 uses a BH7 v1.11.
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Message 87023 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 17:09:36 UTC - in response to Message 86993.  

> > Build multi-cpu systems. Twice the work with the same amount of heat +
> electricity.
>
> As another dual CPU system.
> But compared to single CPU system they do use more power & generate more
> heat; but not as much as 2 single CPU system units.

If I was really serious about maximizing the number of work units and minimizing cost, most of the current motherboards support PXE and will boot off of a network.

I'd think seriously about building a server, setting up PXE, and not putting hard drives on the other machines. That'd save heat and power.
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Message 87034 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 17:32:04 UTC - in response to Message 86993.  

> > Build multi-cpu systems. Twice the work with the same amount of heat +
> electricity.
>
> As another dual CPU system.
> But compared to single CPU system they do use more power & generate more
> heat; but not as much as 2 single CPU system units.
>

Yeah that's what I mean. The heat produced by a second processor is less than the heat produced by a second processor + power supply + chipset + hard drive + video card. :)


You will be assimilated...bunghole!

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Message 87058 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 18:42:15 UTC

Opteron...
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Message 87091 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 20:58:10 UTC - in response to Message 87023.  
Last modified: 17 Mar 2005, 21:03:09 UTC

> If I was really serious about maximizing the number of work units and
> minimizing cost, most of the current motherboards support PXE and will boot
> off of a network.
>
> I'd think seriously about building a server, setting up PXE, and not putting
> hard drives on the other machines. That'd save heat and power.
>

As Ned already stated earlier, this is an interesting approach. I gave it some thoughts a few weeks ago. I will add some details about the result of it later on.

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Message 87129 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 22:29:34 UTC - in response to Message 87023.  


> If I was really serious about maximizing the number of work units and
> minimizing cost, most of the current motherboards support PXE and will boot
> off of a network.
>
> I'd think seriously about building a server, setting up PXE, and not putting
> hard drives on the other machines. That'd save heat and power.
>
OK, here we go.
I 've been looking around for an effective way of crunching work units. Inspired by some websites dealing with crunchin' farms and such stuff I decided a stack system would be my way to go. The whole system is reduced to the absolutely necessary. There is a stackmaster running linux, this box is providing all resources to the stacknodes via PXE, DHCP, tftp and NFS and it is the only box with a harddisk. The stacknodes consists of motherboard, cpu & cooler, memory, PXE network card and a power supply. All stacknodes are remote controlled using ssh. Cause the whole system is merely a proof of concept, most of the stacknodes are pretty old hardware (P2, P3, K6-2). I'll replace the old hardware step by step with actual hardware as needed.

For everyone who is curious how such a beast looks like, i've attached a picture of the stack system.



The advantages are pretty clear:
It doesn't take too much room
It doesn't consume too much power (no harddisks, no graphics cards)
It doesn't cause heating problems (this could change somewhat)
It isn't pretty much expensive
It does a fairly good job
It runs linux, hence i don't have to spend a huge amount of money for licenses ;)

Just my 2 cents

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Message 87133 - Posted: 17 Mar 2005, 22:48:30 UTC - in response to Message 87129.  
Last modified: 17 Mar 2005, 23:06:19 UTC

Thats a nice setup youve got there! well done!

Do you have any links about doing this?
<BR>AMD XP3200+
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<a href="http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paulandrew.odell/">MY SITE!</a>
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Message 87168 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 0:29:20 UTC - in response to Message 87129.  

> I 've been looking around for an effective way of crunching work units.
> Inspired by some websites dealing with crunchin' farms and such stuff I
> decided a stack system would be my way to go. The whole system is reduced to
> the absolutely necessary. There is a stackmaster running linux, this box is
> providing all resources to the stacknodes via PXE, DHCP, tftp and NFS and it
> is the only box with a harddisk. The stacknodes consists of motherboard, cpu
> & cooler, memory, PXE network card and a power supply. All stacknodes are
> remote controlled using ssh. Cause the whole system is merely a proof of
> concept, most of the stacknodes are pretty old hardware (P2, P3, K6-2). I'll
> replace the old hardware step by step with actual hardware as needed.

Now, if you used a motherboard that had ethernet, PXE and video on-board, you could probably cut the spacing down quite a bit, but that's definitely the idea.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Which CPU is best for SETI? And what is the deciding factor?


 
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