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

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Profile Clyde C. Phillips, III

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Message 87564 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 20:54:16 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?
>

I thought that, for the buck, a hyperthreaded Pentium 4E Prescott was the best, probably a 600-series with 2MB of L2 cache. Set up right they should do more than one workunit per hour, as I understand. I don't think Toms Hardware likes the DDR2-533 memory very well, but it has better hopes with the 667-speed DDR2. There are a lot of other factors that make a fast numbercruncher besides just the fast processor. I see some stuff over at Dell that might look like cutting-edge but one has to worry about the quality and setup of the memory, etc. Is Crucial better that an unknown brand? How about the CAS setup? Are the heatsinks there adequate for enabling a hot Prescott to crunch Seti?
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Profile rattelschneck
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Message 87565 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 20:55:34 UTC - in response to Message 87133.  

> Thats a nice setup youve got there! well done!
>
> Do you have any links about doing this?
>
Thanks Paul,
if brain serves correctly it all started with this:

SETI Stack and farm systems

You will find lots of inspiration over there.
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Profile Benher
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Message 87590 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 21:43:50 UTC

Well there is the classic M$ way of thinking...which is "throw hardware at it, and the problem will go away".

My philosphy is throw brains at it...its not only more gross, not to mention messy, but you improve it as well.
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Grant (SSSF)
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Message 87625 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 22:51:16 UTC - in response to Message 87319.  

> I really like the VIA C3 processor and I use them wherever possible.
>
> Trouble is, the floating point performance is quite bad.

Quite bad?
Closer to non existant.
Grant
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Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
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Message 87632 - Posted: 18 Mar 2005, 23:10:45 UTC
Last modified: 18 Mar 2005, 23:11:01 UTC

Has anybody ever run an 800Mhz FSB processor on a 533Mhz system board?

It seems that the P4 3.06Ghz with hyperthreading was discontinued for the 533Mhz FSB, so it is now cheaper to buy a 800Mhz FSB processor than a 533Mhz FSB processor.

----- Rom
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Hans Dorn
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Message 87652 - Posted: 19 Mar 2005, 0:33:32 UTC - in response to Message 87632.  
Last modified: 19 Mar 2005, 0:41:55 UTC

> Has anybody ever run an 800Mhz FSB processor on a 533Mhz system board?
>
> It seems that the P4 3.06Ghz with hyperthreading was discontinued for the
> 533Mhz FSB, so it is now cheaper to buy a 800Mhz FSB processor than a 533Mhz
> FSB processor.
>
>

Running a 800Mhz CPU at 533 on a 800Mhz board works OK. I did this while
debugging a flakey pc.

If your old board will be able to recognize the new CPU is another question.
Check for BIOS updates.

You'll be running outside specs for the CPU power supply too, since the newer
CPUs require different VRM specs. (At least for 800Mhz, might work OK at 533, though...)


I guess your best bet would be to borrow a CPU and see if it works.

Edit:
The chances of getting a "Northwood" P4 to work will be higher than
for a "Prescott", I guess.


Regards Hans
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Profile Venus & Mars
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Message 87653 - Posted: 19 Mar 2005, 0:35:37 UTC - in response to Message 87632.  

> Has anybody ever run an 800Mhz FSB processor on a 533Mhz system board?
>
> It seems that the P4 3.06Ghz with hyperthreading was discontinued for the
> 533Mhz FSB, so it is now cheaper to buy a 800Mhz FSB processor than a 533Mhz
> FSB processor.
>
>
I think the core voltages are different and it won't even post and might go up in smoke or that might just be with a Prescott in your Northwood 533mhz motherboard. I dono for certain what would happen if you tried to plug a 800mhz Northwood P4 into that motherboard.

My opinion is don't try it! I'd upgrade the Mobo and get some pc3200 ddr memory and some cooling and try a Prescott 478 socket P4 3.0 ghz OEM if you want to hyperthread crunch some SETI. The extra L2 cache would be nice. 478 Prescott capable Motherboards aren't that expensive, otherwise if you like to overclock a bit and are using PC2700ish memory in the current system, there are several AMD CPU/Motherboard bundles available here and there that are fairly inexpensive and can easily overclock to XP 2900+ like numbers.

I upgraded my 533 mhz P4 up to that 3.06 Ghz a year ago and it works well and was my first taste of hyperthreading, but the system is getting to be a bit of a dinosaur, with several no longer widely available parts, like the CPU and the Rambus RAM.
<br>
Mars <br>
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Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
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Message 87678 - Posted: 19 Mar 2005, 1:56:57 UTC - in response to Message 87653.  

> I think the core voltages are different and it won't even post and might go up
> in smoke or that might just be with a Prescott in your Northwood 533mhz
> motherboard. I dono for certain what would happen if you tried to plug a
> 800mhz Northwood P4 into that motherboard.
>
> My opinion is don't try it! I'd upgrade the Mobo and get some pc3200 ddr
> memory and some cooling and try a Prescott 478 socket P4 3.0 ghz OEM if you
> want to hyperthread crunch some SETI. The extra L2 cache would be nice. 478
> Prescott capable Motherboards aren't that expensive, otherwise if you like to
> overclock a bit and are using PC2700ish memory in the current system, there
> are several AMD CPU/Motherboard bundles available here and there that are
> fairly inexpensive and can easily overclock to XP 2900+ like numbers.
>
> I upgraded my 533 mhz P4 up to that 3.06 Ghz a year ago and it works well and
> was my first taste of hyperthreading, but the system is getting to be a bit of
> a dinosaur, with several no longer widely available parts, like the CPU and
> the Rambus RAM.

Okay I chickened out, I purchased a cheap P4 2.26Ghz processor. It is supposed to be a proof of concept system anyways, so I really shouldn't be buying top of the line, for that system board anyway, processors for it.

So we'll see how hot this mini-computer gets, 12" x 11" x 2.1", thats a pretty small computer. If it really doesn't produce too much heat, it should be easily stackable.

Guess I better get busy and build out my management solution.

----- Rom
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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 87765 - Posted: 19 Mar 2005, 4:10:35 UTC
Last modified: 19 Mar 2005, 4:38:37 UTC

<A><B> while suffering the Internet these look like interesting web pages about:

SETI Stack and farm systems

For more information please visit the SETI web page at: </B>[/url]

http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/view_profile.php?userid=15

http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/show_user.php?userid=15

http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/staff/seti/farms.htm

[url=http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/staff/seti/]http://bhs.broo.k12.wv.us/homepage/staff/seti/

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nemesis
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Message 88278 - Posted: 20 Mar 2005, 5:28:53 UTC

wow these are my favorite threads...
so many great ideas

i hear that most think the Itanium is the fastest seti cruncher..
after looking at our late friend Roelof's Seti-Timer
http://cox-internet.com/setispy/setitimer.htm
the latest model Itanium is the fastest indeed.

but how many of us can afford an Itanium, not too darn many, i bet!
so i've decided to build "Itanium mimic clusters"
i looked for the most efficient yet lowest cost processor to use..
i settled on a Duron 1.8 ghz and this is why:

it takes an Itanium 1.6ghz .92 hours to complete a seti wu
the weekly output is 182.60 wu's

a Duron 1.8 ghz will take 3.27 hours to complete a seti wu
the weekly output is 51.37 wu's

it will take 3.55 Durons to do the work of the Itanium
so for about $600 you have a cluster that does the work of a
machine that cost significantly more.

my current farm:
Pentium M 715
pentium 2 400mhz
pentium 3 1000mhz
pentium 4 1600mhz
amd k6-2+ 550mhz
athlon 700mhz
duron 1800mhz
duron 1800mhz
duron 1800mhz
athlon xp 2400 @2000mhz (thorton core)
athlon xp-m 2400 @1800mhz (barton core)
athlon xp 2800 @2085 (barton core)

i'm currently running seti classic...and will do so til the bittersweet end.
recently passed the 10k mark. last year about this time i only had 2400 wu's.
so i have had a busy year building.



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Timothy Maness
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Message 88341 - Posted: 20 Mar 2005, 8:23:14 UTC

I've wanted to build one of these:
http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/cluster/

for a while, though I never knew what I'd do with one until I started crunching for SETI..... now I just have to scrounge up enough money to build my farm and keep it running.

as far as those Cray supercomputers, I think the rule of thumb is "if you have to ask about price, you can't afford it."

Right now I don't have a farm so much as I have a bunch of computers eating up my KWh.
<img border="0" src="http://boinc.mundayweb.com/one/stats.php?userID=567" />
<a href="http://boinc-doc.net/boinc-wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page">BOINC Wiki</a>
<a href="http://www.tamaness.hostrocket.com/BOINC_team.html">Gideontech BOINC team!</a>
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Message 88380 - Posted: 20 Mar 2005, 10:15:21 UTC

Tom's Hardware has a good page on CPU comparisons.


Tom's Hardware (pops)
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Message 88475 - Posted: 20 Mar 2005, 15:59:02 UTC - in response to Message 88341.  

> I've wanted to build one of these:
> http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/cluster/

Power consumption is very low, but the Via C3 and Eden processors don't do floating point well.
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Brian Oliver

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Message 89692 - Posted: 23 Mar 2005, 9:09:49 UTC

I would rather have one of these

http://www.sun.com/servers/computegrid/


When i win the Lottery :)

Wiki de BOINC

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Profile Rom Walton (BOINC)
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Message 91077 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 2:03:49 UTC
Last modified: 26 Mar 2005, 2:04:55 UTC

Well I put together my first BOINC farm machine:



I used it as a platform to test our mass network install mechanism, which I had a few bugs to fix, but all in all I'm pretty impressed with this little box.

My next project might be to build a media center pc out of that case.

To setup another node just requires a boot floppy and a network connection, RIS then installs XP w/ SP2, after Windows is on the box and joined to my home domain the Active Directory deploys BOINC into it with all of my account files and remote_host.cfg file.

Reimaging the box and reinstalling everything from start to finish is about 45 minutes without any prompting.

It is a Intel P4 2.26Ghz, 512KB L2, 256MB RAM, 40GB HD machine. It currently runs at about 56C when BOINC is running full out.

I still need to go buy a powerstrip and UPS.

I am thinking about building 6 of them in the long run.

----- Rom
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Profile Geek@Play
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Message 91083 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 2:25:41 UTC - in response to Message 91077.  

> Well I put together my first BOINC farm machine:
>
>
>
> I used it as a platform to test our mass network install mechanism, which I
> had a few bugs to fix, but all in all I'm pretty impressed with this little
> box.
>
> My next project might be to build a media center pc out of that case.
>
> To setup another node just requires a boot floppy and a network connection,
> RIS then installs XP w/ SP2, after Windows is on the box and joined to my home
> domain the Active Directory deploys BOINC into it with all of my account files
> and remote_host.cfg file.
>
> Reimaging the box and reinstalling everything from start to finish is about 45
> minutes without any prompting.
>
> It is a Intel P4 2.26Ghz, 512KB L2, 256MB RAM, 40GB HD machine. It currently
> runs at about 56C when BOINC is running full out.
>
> I still need to go buy a powerstrip and UPS.
>
> I am thinking about building 6 of them in the long run.
>
>

Looks like a hot setup....pun intended, no really that is one slick system!


Boinc....Boinc....Boinc....Boinc....
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Profile Byron Leigh Hatch @ team Carl Sagan
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Message 91108 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 3:51:27 UTC - in response to Message 91077.  
Last modified: 26 Mar 2005, 4:17:40 UTC

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Grant (SSSF)
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Message 91169 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 10:55:54 UTC - in response to Message 91077.  


> It is a Intel P4 2.26Ghz, 512KB L2, 256MB RAM, 40GB HD machine. It currently
> runs at about 56C when BOINC is running full out.

Be interesting to see what times it crunches in, then up the RAM to 512MB & see what effect that has.
I've always found Win2k/XP with only 256MB to be sluggish even for general use; 512MB of RAM makes it much happier.

If it's a dual channel memory motherboard, the effects of the extra RAM should be even more significant.
Grant
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Profile Paul D. Buck
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Message 91211 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 15:36:07 UTC

This is one of the places I have been stuck at too ...

According to some, the AMD chips beat the Intel chips. Yet, when *I* look at the numbers, my take is that the AMD chips beat them in a time sense, but not in the total throughput.

Prices seem to be "stable" at least ...though I am not sure that the AMD chips still have that cost advantage.
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Profile NOVALOGIC DF3 CQB*****GOA*****
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Message 91240 - Posted: 26 Mar 2005, 17:01:45 UTC

L2 size has more influence than CPU's speed....So My IBM T42's P-M 1.7G cpu is as fast as P4-2.8G.
<img src='http://www.boincsynergy.com/images/stats/993sah.png'><img src='http://www.boincsynergy.com/images/stats/993eah.png'>
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Message boards : Number crunching : Which CPU is best for SETI? And what is the deciding factor?


 
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