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Old 11th January 2009, 07:45   #1
phil
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CUDA Clients...

Well, how things have changed recently with the harnessing of the massively parrallel processing power of the modern GPU. Things are starting to get interesting now that more and more real world software taps into this potential.

How has this changed Distributed Computing? Well, many of the major projects have CUDA clients available, even if it only in the form of beta's. I've been playing with a few on both Linux x64 and Vista 64 with mixed results. All of the clients have shown huge performance in comparison to their regular counterparts but most have been a little unstable.

I am currently playing with the Distributed.net RC5-72 beta CUDA client. I used to run this project on a lot of my machines simply because it is a great, versatile client, runs multi-proc/ core and is easy to administer as a service. I started crunching in Dec 2002 and ran it pretty much straight til Dec 2007. As a testament to just how much I have contributed, I am still in the top 350 crunchers after having a year off! I was also crunching RC5-64 long before that so you could say we have a good working relationship .

Back at the peak of my crunching power, I had a number of machines running RC5-72 pretty much 24x7. I had 4x dual AMD XP2500's and a few Intel machines of various power. When they were all attached to RC5-72, I was peaking at around 680 blocks per day or an average of 50Mkeys/s. This was considered significant in 2003-4!

I am now running this beta client on my 9600GT (which is far from the best nVidia produce) and it is chomping through the work units at amazing speed. It is averaging 171Mkeys/s and has just completed 180 blocks in 1 hour (1 block every 20 secs) which eqautes to over 4,000 blocks per day!

When I look back to 2003 and all those machines and think of the cost involved, not only in hardware but electricity, I am simply amazed. My 90 graphics card is over 3x faster than a farm of dual AMD's that cost god knows what....I daren't add it up!

Interesting times indeed.
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Old 11th January 2009, 14:52   #2
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Damn! GTX-280 gets 545Mkeys/s That's 1 block every 7 seconds - 13 seconds a block faster than my 9600GT
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Old 12th January 2009, 03:24   #3
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Running two Folding@Home CUDA clients on 8800GT and 9600GT. The 8800GT out-scores my 3.2GHz quad and the 9600GT comes close.
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Old 12th January 2009, 05:11   #4
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Yep, I'm beginning to kick myself for not getting the 8800GT instead of the 9600GT. Bigger model numbers are better right? Not in the gfx card world argh!
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Old 12th January 2009, 19:10   #5
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The best one for the Folding@Home client actually appears to be the 8800GS. Its 96 cores seem to produce the best bang-for-buck and they can be had still for relatively little money. I paid something like 130 for my 9600GT and the 8800GT was only 70 on eBay.
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