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A closer look at Folding@home on the GPU

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Not certain whether to put this here or in news, but this is a good performance and power comparison of folding on an Opteron 180 versus a X1900XTX.

Quote:
A closer look at Folding@home on the GPU
Points and power consumption explored
by Geoff Gasior — October 16, 2006

MUCH HAS BEEN MADE of ATI's recently announced stream computing initiative, which aims to exploit graphics hardware for more general purpose computing tasks. On paper, stream computing has incredible potential. ATI claims the 48 pixel shaders in its top-of-the-line Radeon offer roughly 375 gigaflops of processing power with 64 GB/s of memory bandwidth. But gobs of horsepower isn't the only thing that matters—you need to be able to apply that power to the road if you want to go anywhere.

Stanford's Folding@home project is already putting the Radeon's pixel processing horsepower to use with a beta GPU client that performs protein folding calculations on the graphics processor. According to Stanford, the GPU client runs between 20 and 40 times faster on newer Radeons than it does on a CPU, a claim that no doubt sends folding enthusiasts' hearts aflutter.
http://techreport.com/etc/2006q4/gpu...g/index.x?pg=1
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post #2 of 4
Well... it's hard to compare, since Stanford has separate WU's for the X1900's which are benchmarked differently.

Folding on a single X1900 produces about 400 - 450 points per day, which is pretty good, but given those special WUs, it's impossible to compare with CPU performance...
    
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post #3 of 4
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Looks as if although the GPU's can fold 40-50 times faster than a CPU, we won't be getting 40-50 times the points because the points have been throttled back. Still 400 to 500 a day is impressive. I also thought it interesting that since GPU's are not designed to run all day the need to bulk up your cooling is critical if you want to fold all day.
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post #4 of 4
yeah.. also, I can only fold on one GPU.... currently, I am not folding on it yet... Beta client was buggy on my rig.. probably need to get back to Cat 6.5.

If I plan to fold on the GPU, I probably will do so at 75% and not 100%
    
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