How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

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KFIB
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How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by KFIB » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:01 pm

What hardware/software components would be required to build the fastest BarsWF machine possible?

With my little and dangerous google.com knowledge I would go for a 8 GPUs build with 4 x NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 to get estimated 3 500 000 000 hash/sec.

Spec has been developed by "researchers at the University of Antwerp in Belgium" to "perform their tomography work very efficiently" (http://www.dvhardware.net/article27538.html).

"The main reason why they configured an AMD system is because they couldn't find a motherboard for the Intel platform that could fit four GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards. Another interesting note is that this system doesn't need SLI, their application uses the NVIDIA CUDA programming model which makes all eight GPUs work in parallel. The researchers say they don't need SLI during a reconstruction as every graphics card communicates directly with the CPU, no inter-GPU communication is needed."

Here's a look at the specifications
  • AMD Phenom 9850 processor + Scythe Infinity CPU cooler
  • 4x MSI 9800GX2 graphics card
  • 4x 2GB Corsair Twinx DDR2 PC6400 memory
  • MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard
  • Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB HDD
  • ThermalTake Toughpower 1500W Modular PSU
  • Lian-Li PC-P80 Armorsuit case
  • Windows XP 64-bit
What would you build get even more than 3.5 billion hash/sec on a single computer?

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BarsMonster
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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by BarsMonster » Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:19 pm

Too early to decide... Most likely 4x 4870x2 would be way faster :-)

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Igor » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:07 am

budden wrote:is it just the topic about your dream machine?

there've been a lot of topics about that. but they have nothing to do with real life mostly.
In real life it seems more cost effective to put four cards in two computers and save quite a few bucks - and cooling problems.

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Irythros » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:30 pm

The best would likely be this:

Skulltrail
2x quad core Xeon Harpertown 3.2ghz overclocked
4x GTX 280's in SLI watercooled and overclocked
2x raptors in raid 0

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Bitweasil » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:29 pm

Igor wrote:In real life it seems more cost effective to put four cards in two computers and save quite a few bucks - and cooling problems.
Or three cards per machine.

I haven't worked out the exact numbers, but I believe the "sweet spot" in performance per unit cost (given reasonably unlimited funding) is 3 cards per machine. Reasons:

- Three cards can be powered easily on a 1000W PSU - beyond this, they start getting really expensive, and PCI-E connectors become a bigger issue.
- Most standard cases can take 3 double height cards without a problem.
- There are far more 3x PCI-Ex16 mainboards than 4x, and many of the 4x boards drop to x8 when filled.
- If you have a quad core CPU, you have one full core to feed each card, plus one core for other OS tasks.

It's not the fastest machine singular, but for best performance per unit cost, I'm fairly sure this is the optimum spot.

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BarsMonster
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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by BarsMonster » Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:38 pm

Well, if we are talking about bruteforcing, then x8 is not an issue, we can go even cheaper for $/performance

Take simple P35 MB with 2xPCI-E16x (working actually at 8x), with 2 cards and 80-100$ PSU 600W (probably with Molex->PCI-E adaptors), and dual core processor (not much benefit on that system to have quad)

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by mrb » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:37 am

Irythros wrote:The best would likely be this:

Skulltrail
2x quad core Xeon Harpertown 3.2ghz overclocked
4x GTX 280's in SLI watercooled and overclocked
2x raptors in raid 0
Dude you are out-of-date. Have you been living under a rock or what ;) The current best-performing 2-socket 4-gpu 2-drive config is:
* 2x quad-core Harpertown 3.4 GHz (Xeon X5492)
* 4x HD4870x2 (more FLOPS than the GTX280)
* 2x SSD drives (Raptors are soooo 2003)

But in all seriousness, buying any of these 2 configs is utterly stupid. The perf/$ is so low. Yes low. For GPU cracking all you need is the best perf/$ GPUs (HD4850), and just buy the cheapest hardware for the rest: CPU, drives, etc. Ultimately, go diskless and build a cluster of bare mobos with just a CPU, some RAM and the GPUs. No cases. Velcro everything. Netboot the nodes. Google-style cluster man ! :ugeek:

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Sc00bz » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:40 pm

mrb wrote:
Irythros wrote:The best would likely be this:

Skulltrail
2x quad core Xeon Harpertown 3.2ghz overclocked
4x GTX 280's in SLI watercooled and overclocked
2x raptors in raid 0
Dude you are out-of-date. Have you been living under a rock or what ;) The current best-performing 2-socket 4-gpu 2-drive config is:
* 2x quad-core Harpertown 3.4 GHz (Xeon X5492)
* 4x HD4870x2 (more FLOPS than the GTX280)
* 2x SSD drives (Raptors are soooo 2003)

But in all seriousness, buying any of these 2 configs is utterly stupid. The perf/$ is so low. Yes low. For GPU cracking all you need is the best perf/$ GPUs (HD4850), and just buy the cheapest hardware for the rest: CPU, drives, etc. Ultimately, go diskless and build a cluster of bare mobos with just a CPU, some RAM and the GPUs. No cases. Velcro everything. Netboot the nodes. Google-style cluster man ! :ugeek:
I find that each core in a Core2 is about 2.5 times faster than similarly clocked Xeon and P4 cores. So just one Core2 Quad will be better than a system with 2 quad core Xeons :D. This may have changed with newer Xeons so I might be wrong. Can some one run BarsWF on a new Xeon.

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Bitweasil » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:31 pm

The new Xeons are Core 2 based.

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by BarsMonster » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:23 am

Yep, I confirm that BarsWF on new Xeon's runs just like on Core2Duo's & Quads with the same clock.

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by xprog » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:13 pm

Has anyone messed with a tesla or quadro line GPU card? i just found out about it today, nvidia gpu lines specifically for CUDA application. tigerdirect sell some of them, search quadro or tesla
http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla_comp ... tions.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_quadro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_tesla


Their geared more business use, but just wondering how overpriced they are for flops/$. The fx 5800 is the newest one, priced at $3k+, its based off the gx280 chip, can it really be that powerfull?

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by BarsMonster » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:42 pm

xprog wrote:Has anyone messed with a tesla or quadro line GPU card? i just found out about it today, nvidia gpu lines specifically for CUDA application. tigerdirect sell some of them, search quadro or tesla
http://www.nvidia.com/object/tesla_comp ... tions.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_quadro
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_tesla


Their geared more business use, but just wondering how overpriced they are for flops/$. The fx 5800 is the newest one, priced at $3k+, its based off the gx280 chip, can it really be that powerfull?
It depends :-)
They have ALOT of SLOW memory. Like 4Gb. For some applications it does matter. They also have some nice things for video editing(like frame-lock), which worth nothing for CUDA apps.
Bruteforcing does not need much ram, so usual cards with minimum of RAM are fastest & cheapest.

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Re: How would you build the fastest BarsWF computer?

Post by Bitweasil » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:58 pm

The Tesla cards are not pushed nearly as hard as a standard gaming card. Their memory is clocked slower, as mentioned they typically have a LOT more of it (4GB is standard), and the cores have some of the graphics bits disabled to reduce power consumption. They also have no display output.

They're nice, but for most uses, a standard video card is fine.

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