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So I bit the bullet on a pair of GTX 670's...

post #1 of 3
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For Folding@Home, of course! thumb.gif



They are Gigabyte GTX 670 OC 2GB cards.

Basically, not long after I had broken into the top 100 on the team, Core 17 hit the streets. Suddenly my two 2600K's and one GTX 580 were barely enough to keep up, especially since I could only fold 24/7 on the 2600K in my home server. For the past several months I had been stuck in the low 90's on the team. Oh, I was still passing people, but as soon as I did that, someone else ran me over from behind. My current hardware just wasn't cutting it anymore.

I started looking for used GPU bargains. I finally found a deal for the two cards shown here for $465 w/shipping. Considering I had just won $75 from the May drawing, that brought it under $400 for both!

After a quick Valley test of each card, I tried folding on one in my main PC (SilentScreamer II). It picked up a 7810 unit, and ran a TPF of 2:24 for 80.3k PPD. That PPD is about double what my 580 gets @829 MHz. Here's the card next to my watercooled 580 in my main PC:



While that card was folding away, I put the other one in my home server (SilentScreamer III):



Although the hardware is similar to my main PC, the server runs Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS x64 with no GUI. I wasn't sure If I was going to be able to get it folding without an x-server installed. I installed the Nvidia proprietary driver (319.6) with a few minor hiccups due to missing dependencies. I then attempted to add a GPU slot from within FAHControl on my main PC. It disappeared as soon as I saved the configuration. Well, no real surprise here since my server was still running the 7.1.52 client. Hey, it was old, but it never failed me before so why upgrade it?

So, I upgraded the server client to 7.3.6 and tried again to add the slot. Once again it disappeared. I tried deleting the SMP slot and re-adding both the SMP and GPU slots. Now both were missing! I looked in the config file on the server, and the slots were there, but they weren't showing up in FAHControl on the main PC. Oh wait, that FAHControl was still 7.2.9. doh.gif

So I had to wait until the main PC's 670 was finished folding its 7810 unit. Once that was done I upgraded the main PC to 7.3.6. Bam! It worked.

So here's everything running at once:


Oh my poor, crippled 2600K's. C'mon Nvidia, fix your OpenCL driver! sozo.gif

219K PPD is more than double what I was getting previously! I can't fold all of that 24/7, but it's certainly a nice boost. Here are the slots as listed in HFM:

SilentScreamer II v7 Slot 00 - 2600K @4.5 GHz SMP 6
SilentScreamer II v7 Slot 01 - GTX 580 @829 MHz
SilentScreamer II v7 Slot 02 - GTX 670 @980 MHZ (stock)
SilentScreamer III v7 Slot 00 - 2600K @4.2 GHz SMP 7
SilentScreamer III v7 Slot 01 - GTX 670 @980 MHZ (stock)

As far as noise and temps are concerned, the fans on these cards are very quiet below 40%. If I left it on manual, the temp gets up to the lower 60's C while folding a 7810. 8900's seem to run a little cooler (the opposite of my 580). Noise is not a problem in my home server, and the Linux client seems to be significantly more efficient than in Windows.

Noise and heat would be a problem in my main PC since I often use it for audio production. If I had one card folding away while using another for the displays, I would have to make sure that there is absolutely no performance hit while folding.

At the moment, both PCs are running with the side panels off since both cards dump their heat back into the PC case. I would much prefer to watercool them. This would be much more of an issue once I get into overclocking the cards. It's starting to cool off here now that it's fall, so I can probably hold off on waterblocks for a while.

So where do I go from here? I'm not sure yet. I'd like to fold 24/7 on at least one of the 670's, ideally on both. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to keep my 580 or try to recover some of the money I just spent on the 670's. I may even be tempted to trade the 580 up for another 670!



Well, I know this little post isn't as exciting as a 2P or 4P build, but it was the first time I blew money on hardware specifically for folding purposes. I hope you found it interesting.
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Neurosis
(7 items)
 
Monochrome
(28 items)
 
Patchouli
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 5820K Gigabyte GA-X99 Gaming G1 EVGA GTX-980ti EVGA GTX-980ti 
RAMHard DriveOS
Corsair DDR4 Samsung 950 Pro NVME Windows 10 Pro 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 2600K @4.5GHz Gigabyte P67A-UD7 B3 EVGA GTX 780 Ti SC 3GB EVGA GTX 780 Ti SC 3GB 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
2x4GB Super Talent DDR3-1600 CL9 Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS LiteON iHBS212 EK Supreme HF Copper/Acetal 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
4x Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PLPS 120mm PW... Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 150 Aquacomputer Flow Rate Sensor "High Flow USB" G1/4 Bitspower black compression fittings 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Tygon silver tubing 0.5" ID 0.75" OD 2x Watercool HEATKILLER® GPU-X³ GTX TITAN/780/7... Alphacool HF D5 acetal pump top Aquacomputer D5 pump (USB/Aquabus) 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
EK CoolStream XTC 420 6x Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PK-PS 140mm P... Windows 7 x64 Pro Arch Linux x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Hewlett Packard LP2475W Ducky Shine II Seasonic X750 Lian Li PC-A77A Silver 
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Corsair Vengeance Western Digital Caviar Black WD1600JD Western Digital WD20EARS (2), WD20EARX (1), WD2... Thermalright HR-02 
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post #2 of 3

Very nice.  I picked up a 670 last month relatively cheap, I think they are nice PPD / Watt GPUs. 

 

I agree with you on the OpenCL comment, haha.

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by valvehead View Post

Well, I know this little post isn't as exciting as a 2P or 4P build, but it was the first time I blew money on hardware specifically for folding purposes. I hope you found it interesting.

Thank you for your post, especially on the no-GUI Linux folding. I've been thinking about that but really haven't had a spare card or PC to test it out since GPU folding in Linux was available.

I too totally agree with you on the OpenCL implementation which takes a CPU-core for itself. One can hope it gets better and AMD GPU folding will be available in Linux too.
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Frigg d.y.
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Corsair Force F60 2.5" SSD OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5" SSD EK-Supremacy CSQ Full Nickel EK-FC Titan Nickel CSQ 
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Alphacool VPP655 w/ EK D5 X-Top Rev.2 EK-Coolstream Rad XTX 360 & XSPC RS240 Phobya Balancer 150 Reservoir 3xScythe GT AP-15@7V, 2xNexus Real Silent 120mm... 
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Linux Mint 16 64-bit Windows 7 64-bit Qix Qx2710LED Evolution II 2560x1440 Dell U2311H 1920x1080 
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Keycool 84 w/ Cherry MX Clear  Enermax Platimax 1500W NZXT H630 Func MS3 
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