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Decisions about my slowly evolving computer devoted to BOINC

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi there!

I'm new to this forum, but I've been actively contributing to BOINC since 2012. Short history: I used to be involved in SFX and 3D modeling and so I built a behemoth of a computer so that it could handle the work smoothly and without shutting down. At the time I didn't really know what I was doing as it was my first build so I just threw the best of everything into the computer that I could find. About a year after the computer was built, I moved on from SFX and 3D work and the computer became a glorified internet machine. I was not content with all that computing power going to waste, and that was when someone suggested that I look into BOINC. I did, and I instantly became addicted. BOINC made use of all my computer's resources. I'm a science enthusiast so I was very pleased about this.

Well, in the process of building that computer over time I acquired a stash of spare parts. I realized about six months ago that I almost had enough to build a separate computer. SO I decided to buy the missing pieces and make it a second computer that would be devoted to BOINC completely. It's running now and it's amazing!

Sidenote: I've named this computer Ustinov after Sir Peter Ustinov who was Chancellor of the University of Durham while I was a postgraduate student there. I have a tradition of naming all my computers.

You can see my contribution thus far here: http://stats.free-dc.org/stats.php?page=userbycpid&cpid=45852f26f3f1093b402b911f821400f4

(I spent some time doing Folding @ Home, so there's a time gap in there)

Now I want this makeshift computer to evolve into something truly great. It will take time because I have to save money for each component. But this truly has become a passion.

Here are the specs for Ustinov at present (don't judge this setup! Remember it's a makeshift assembly!)

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield Quad-Core 3.07GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium X58 LGA1366 Motherboard
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
PSU: Corsair AX860i Modular 80 Plus Platinum Power Supply
Memory: 12 GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 (12800)
Hard Drive: Intel 80GB X25M Mainstream SATA II Solid State Drive
Network Adaptor: Amped Wireless UA600 High Power Wireless 300N Adaptor
GPU 1: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB
GPU 2: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB
GPU 3: Open
Case: Custom ATX/SWTX Tray
System operates headlessly and is controlled from my Desktop

Some parts were purchased with an eye to the future, such as the power supply and the ATX/SWTX tray.

What I'm debating is the direction I should now take this system. There is an open slot for a GPU. I've saved up the funds to purchase an nVidia GTX 780Ti. I've read amazing things about it both here and elsewhere. It seems like the ideal addition to this system.

But I find myself hesitating. Not that many projects seem to take advantage of the GPU. Right now Einstein@Home dominates my GPU's with POEM@Home appearing occasionally. I guess I want to expand the system so that it supports a diversity of projects.

The alternate idea that I had was to build a 4p system with four Opteron CPUs and 64 cores. Nothing would make me happier than to look at the BOINC Manager and see 64 projects running simultaneously! But of course this system would have GPUs too.

So I'm just not sure what to do and I'd love to get some opinions from people who are smarter than I am! Up to this point I've been doing this all on my own.

I want to contribute more! What is the best way that I can do that starting from this point?
Edited by MattLP - 3/30/14 at 7:13am
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Here are the specs to my Desktop which also contributes:

• Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Formula x58 BIOS v. 0903
• CPU: Intel Core i7-990X Hexacore 3.47GHz Gulftown
• Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 v. 6.1.7601
• Memory: 12 GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 (PC12800)
• GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB (Two additional slots available)
• Audio: ASUS Xonar Essence STX 192Khz Audio Interface
• Display: Two Viewsonic VG2427wm 23” Widescreen HD LCD Monitors; One SNY01F8 48” Brevia Television
• Keyboard: Logitech K120 Black USB Wired Standard Keyboard
• Mouse: Logitech Optical USB Black 3 Button / 1 Wheel B100 Mouse
• Network Adapter: Amped Wireless UA600 High Power Wireless 300N Adapter
• System Drive: Samsung 830 Series 256GB MLC Internal Solid State Drive
• Secondary Drive: Western Digital Black 2TB 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
• CPU Cooler: Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler with two Noctua NF-F12 Fans
• Power Supply: Corsair TX Series 750 Watts
• Case: Cooler Master ATCS 840 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Case
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just love seeing this!



I want to see more!
post #4 of 17
Quote:
CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield Quad-Core 3.07GHz
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium X58 LGA1366 Motherboard

Nothing wrong with that setup! I have the exact same Mobo/CPU and it's been running almost 3 years now flawlessly in my DD box at 4+GHz....

biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 17
Your CPU won't be holding you back much (unless you're trying to save on electricity!).

You have better options for GPU though. I wouldn't say that a GTX 780 Ti is good value when the GTX 780 is about 25% cheaper (and has 2304 of 2880 CUDA cores & also uses the GK110 die , for £360 vs £480) and doesn't have the "early adopter tax". Maxwell GPUs are supposed to launch in the second half of 2014 so you'll be kicking yourself for buying an expensive GPU.

As far as projects:

Einstein@Home isn't a high credit reward project, keep that in mind.

Crytography/number theory oriented DistrRTgen/Collatz Conjecture/PrimeGrid are the projects you want for credit-mongering on AMD ; PrimeGrid for Nvidia. The nvidia-only GPUGrid is supposed to reward more also.

World Community Grid had Help Conquer Cancer GPU application.

If you do opt for an Nvidia GPU, you can check into GPUGrid which is a Nvidia-only GPU project (I don't see that on your Free-DC profile). SETI is known to run better on Nvidia GPUs as well , but it's a fairly low credit project.

Asteroids@Home recently obtained a CUDA GPU application, but all reports suggest it isn't very effective (i.e. not massively faster) when comparing to Intel CPUs.

POEM@Home's POEM++ is having issues right now but it used to run on AMD GPUs very well (OpenCL).

The R9 280/ R9 280X and R9 290 should all be better for Milkyway@Home (due to double precision performance not being as gimped) however the power consumption is higher. If you shell out for a GTX TITAN or GTX TITAN Black then you will have higher double precision, but they don't do as well in OpenCL.
Edited by AlphaC - 3/30/14 at 1:22pm
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post #6 of 17
As I run an i7-960 in an Asus P6T7 WS with 12Gb of memory.... R9 280X + HD 5870 + GTX 480 + TBA !

I'd advise upgrading to an R9 280/290 series card.

If you can justify the cost add a GTX 780 - older spec. = lower price ?

So long as there are projects that utilise them fully, that you want to run !

dunx

P.S. Currently running Asteroids, TheSKYNET-POGS, Milkyway, E@H, and added Primegrid and Collatz to keep the WU's coming when other projects go quiet...


LoL - delayed posting due to 0x490 errors... mad.gif
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
This is great information everyone! I'm digesting it and researching it all now! biggrin.gif
post #8 of 17
Why do I want a GTX 780 now?
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by magic8192 View Post

Why do I want a GTX 780 now?

Same reason I want a Super-Titan 10-GHz Quad GPU edition...

LOL!

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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex1954 View Post

Same reason I want a Super-Titan 10-GHz Quad GPU edition...

LOL!

biggrin.gif

Where do I get one?
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