Using the MW ATi application, Q & A
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Message 27637 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 0:25:59 UTC
Last modified: 13 Jul 2009, 0:30:19 UTC

Guide to using the ATI MW app

Preface: I wrote this given the number of questions and different configurations around for the MilkyWay ATI optimised app. I accept no liability if you use any of this information, I merely wrote it as a suggested guide. I've trawled through most of the forum looking for problems, so here we go...

Q) What is the benefit of the optimised application?

A) On the stock CPU app, a workunit may take an hour. On the ATi app, it can take a minute. 60x increase is quite good!

Q) What cards can I use with the MW ATI app?

A) So far, the following cards work:

3850
3870
3850X2
3870X2
4730
4770
4830
4850
4870
4890
4850X2
4870X2
Firestream 9200 series

Q) What is the most common configuration in terms of OS/ATi Catalyst/BOINC/ATI app used?

A common trend is the two configurations listed below:

XP / Cat 8.12 / BOINC 6.4.7 / 0.19f
XP / Cat 8.12 / BOINC 6.6.20 / 0.19f

Q) Where can I get the MW ATI App?

http://zslip.com

Windows 32/64 bit -> GPU (ATI) -> 0.19f

Select Win32_SSE2 for 32-bit Operating Systems
Select Win64 for 64-bit Operating Systems

Q) So I downloaded it, what do I do now?

The MW App comes as a zip file. You need to unzip the contents into your MW directory. On BOINC 6.4.7 on XP, this is usually found in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\BOINC\projects\milkyway.cs.rpi.edu_milkyway - however, it may differ depending on your OS or BOINC version. Try doing a system search for 'milkyway' and use common sense.

Unzip the contents in this directory.

For Catalyst 8.12: restart BOINC completely (Close tray icon, wait 30 seconds, reload) or restart your system to make sure.
For Catalyst 9.1+: read the readme file in the zip file you just extracted, and follow the renaming procedure listed at the bottom. Then restart BOINC completely or your system to make sure.

Q) I keep getting computation errors!

Try using one of the most common configurations with respect to BOINC version and Catalyst version. 8.12 is the best version to use at this time. If you insist on Catalyst 9.1 to 9.5, then you have to rename the files as per the bottom of the readme located in the downloaded file from http://zslip.com

I suggest XP / BOINC 6.4.7 / Cat 8.12 personally.

Q) I've noticed references to changing the number of WUs I can process?

Read the readme file. It gives clear directions on how to edit the app_info.txt file to get what you want. Personally I use the <cmdline>n1 w1.1</cmdline> tag in my app_info.xml, as this makes the card process 1 WU at a time, and gives the CPU a little waiting time so your system doesn't lag all the time.

Q) Why n1 and not n3 or n4 as others do?

Well, n1 means my work unit cache is always the most it can be. Work units take the same amount of time either way. I personally see no speed difference using various n numbers, though I do see the concept to optimisation if all the cores aren't being used. Even if it doesn't fully utilise my card, it means my card runs that little bit cooler and the card should last longer. So with n1, my GPU usage may be 70% to 100%, whereas if it was n3, it may be 100% all the time, making it run nice and hot.

Q) What if I want to use multiple GPUs in one system?

This is a gray area, though possible. The way it seems to work is:

Disable Crossfire in Catalyst
Use a dummy plug or extend your desktop for the 2nd GPU
Should be no need to change app_info.xml
Restart BOINC
Check using GPU-Z in the sensors tab that both cards are being used.

Q) What problems are associated with multiple GPUs?

The Sapphire 4850X2, for example, does not work with the ATi Catalyst own 8.12 drivers. However, on Sapphire's website, they do have 8.12 drivers that work. So you may need to install something similar, or what came with your graphics card, to get the card to be seen properly.

The Gainward 4870X2 GS GLH doesn't seem to have an option to turn off Crossfire.

With multiple X2 systems, the same as the question above applies with regards dummy plugs, but the extend desktop method does not work.

Q) I see each card using only 50% in GPU-Z. What's wrong?

You probably have crossfire enabled.

Q) What are the power useages for the different cards?
Q) What cards are the best to get?

I wrote a table here:



Rate is the amount of work it would do relative to a 3850 (about 27000 credits a day)
Prices are just my reference for the UK market, as of 13/7/09
Power ratings are taken from ATi or review sites (Hexus, Tom's Hardware)

Q) My 4890 isn't working...

Larry256 found something that might help fix your problem here.

Q) I'm getting VPU recoveries...

Use GPU-Z and make sure your graphics card isn't overheating. If so, then it's a case of getting better cooling (new VGA cooler, reorganise air flow in case).
Check drivers are working and Cat 8.12 if possible
Are you doing anything GPU related at the time? (Watching video, image editing, gaming...)

Q) Is there a difference using PCI 16x/8x/4x?

None noticeable. The speed is for data transfer between CPU/RAM/GPU, and memory speed isn't really a factor in MW ATi.

Q) I'm experiencing lag on my machine while the app is working...

Modify app_info.xml so your <cmdline>w1</cmdline> value is 1.25. If it still lags, increase it higher.

Q) I have ATI WUs that keep hanging until I restart the system.

Check BOINC version/Catalyst version and all is well. Knock back the n number on your app_info.xml.

Q) I have another problem not listed here...

Post details and we'll try to help. Please list:

Card(s) used
OS
Catalyst version
BOINC version
Your <cmdline> tags
What you've tried so far


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Please feel free to criticise and correct where necessary!
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Message 27638 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 1:04:37 UTC

Very nice instructions.

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Message 27660 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 9:42:19 UTC
Last modified: 13 Jul 2009, 9:44:59 UTC

Very good borandi. I've added a link to this thread in zslip.
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Message 27665 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 9:52:08 UTC

Where do I get the 8.2 drivers from? The ATI site offers me 9.6 only for my OS Windows 7 64bit.
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Message 27666 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 10:06:47 UTC - in response to Message 27665.
Last modified: 13 Jul 2009, 10:07:07 UTC

Where do I get the 8.2 drivers from? The ATI site offers me 9.6 only for my OS Windows 7 64bit.


Not used W7 personally, though I usually use http://guru3d.com for legacy driver downloads. Not sure if they released 8.12 for W7, you may have to use 9.5 and the workaround.


Very good borandi. I've added a link to this thread in zslip.


Thanks Ice. It would be good if I could edit the first post of this thread as and when info needed updating, but BOINC forum code locks it out after a little while.
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Message 27677 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 12:05:58 UTC - in response to Message 27666.


Very good borandi. I've added a link to this thread in zslip.


Thanks Ice. It would be good if I could edit the first post of this thread as and when info needed updating, but BOINC forum code locks it out after a little while.


Maybe Blurf or another Mod could add the changes for you. Looks good.

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Message 27684 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 14:52:54 UTC - in response to Message 27637.
Last modified: 13 Jul 2009, 14:53:48 UTC

That first post is gold, cheers..

Had to install driver from c:/ATI unpack dir but all is working fine now on W7x64 using vista driver install.

4870/ W7_64 / Vista_64 Catalyst 8.12 / BOINC_64 6.6.20 / 0.19f + 'n1 w1.1' parameters inserted to app_info.xml.

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Message 27730 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 6:16:21 UTC
Last modified: 14 Jul 2009, 6:17:04 UTC

Quick question a teammate ask me if he could run the ATI app on his Win2K machine with a 4800 series card??

I gave him my usual informed answer of "Hmmm, I dunno"... but figured this might be an easy one here.

Thanx, Skip

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Message 27732 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 7:28:01 UTC - in response to Message 27666.

That site does have the 8.12 drivers for Vista 64 bit -- I would guess they would work. Might be worth a shot.



Not used W7 personally, though I usually use http://guru3d.com for legacy driver downloads. Not sure if they released 8.12 for W7, you may have to use 9.5 and the workaround.




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Message 27734 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 7:32:08 UTC - in response to Message 27637.

Nice work -- by the way, do you (or anyone else here) know what the power consumption numbers comparison would be between say the 4830 and a 9800GT?

One thing I've noticed is that the 9800GT cards use a modest amount of power (though a decent 450W or 500W PS seems to work well enough with them) and quite a lot of heat.
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Message 27735 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 7:38:52 UTC - in response to Message 27734.
Last modified: 14 Jul 2009, 7:43:00 UTC

Nice work -- by the way, do you (or anyone else here) know what the power consumption numbers comparison would be between say the 4830 and a 9800GT?

One thing I've noticed is that the 9800GT cards use a modest amount of power (though a decent 450W or 500W PS seems to work well enough with them) and quite a lot of heat.


http://mark.zoomcities.com/images/gfx/GFXpowerchartby3d.png

The HD4770 has to be about the lowest draw of the newer ATI cards. On the Nvid side I'd think the 9600GT at around 60w but that's a definite step down in card. Never the less I'm gonna give a 9600GT a try in one of my crunchers along with a used 8800GT I just picked up with one of the nice Artic Cooling coolers on it.
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Message 27752 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 15:44:08 UTC - in response to Message 27732.

That site does have the 8.12 drivers for Vista 64 bit -- I would guess they would work. Might be worth a shot.


Try the official website from amd

I've installed the 8.12 for Vista64 and it works fine (with Boinc 6.4.7)

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Message 27753 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 16:08:33 UTC - in response to Message 27735.

For what its worth, the 9600GT takes about 26 hours to process a typical GPUGrid WU, the 9800GT about half of that. The 9800GT runs much hotter than the 9600GT as well. I'm trying to get a sense of on the ATI cards comparing the two -- say a 4770 to a 9600 and a 4830 to a 9800GT.




http://mark.zoomcities.com/images/gfx/GFXpowerchartby3d.png

The HD4770 has to be about the lowest draw of the newer ATI cards. On the Nvid side I'd think the 9600GT at around 60w but that's a definite step down in card. Never the less I'm gonna give a 9600GT a try in one of my crunchers along with a used 8800GT I just picked up with one of the nice Artic Cooling coolers on it.


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Message 27763 - Posted: 14 Jul 2009, 21:14:56 UTC - in response to Message 27753.

For what its worth, the 9600GT takes about 26 hours to process a typical GPUGrid WU, the 9800GT about half of that. The 9800GT runs much hotter than the 9600GT as well. I'm trying to get a sense of on the ATI cards comparing the two -- say a 4770 to a 9600 and a 4830 to a 9800GT.




http://mark.zoomcities.com/images/gfx/GFXpowerchartby3d.png

The HD4770 has to be about the lowest draw of the newer ATI cards. On the Nvid side I'd think the 9600GT at around 60w but that's a definite step down in card. Never the less I'm gonna give a 9600GT a try in one of my crunchers along with a used 8800GT I just picked up with one of the nice Artic Cooling coolers on it.



Might be able to give you some info soon... UPS is at the door as I type with my HD4770 :-)

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Message 27808 - Posted: 15 Jul 2009, 16:53:49 UTC - in response to Message 27763.

For what its worth, the 9600GT takes about 26 hours to process a typical GPUGrid WU, the 9800GT about half of that. The 9800GT runs much hotter than the 9600GT as well. I'm trying to get a sense of on the ATI cards comparing the two -- say a 4770 to a 9600 and a 4830 to a 9800GT.




http://mark.zoomcities.com/images/gfx/GFXpowerchartby3d.png

The HD4770 has to be about the lowest draw of the newer ATI cards. On the Nvid side I'd think the 9600GT at around 60w but that's a definite step down in card. Never the less I'm gonna give a 9600GT a try in one of my crunchers along with a used 8800GT I just picked up with one of the nice Artic Cooling coolers on it.



Might be able to give you some info soon... UPS is at the door as I type with my HD4770 :-)


Well looks like not... I'm having issues getting my 4770 to crunch due to catalyst versions.

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Message 27812 - Posted: 15 Jul 2009, 17:39:41 UTC - in response to Message 27808.
Last modified: 15 Jul 2009, 17:40:26 UTC

OK -- watching for success here. My understanding is that the 8.12 Catalyst version would be best as far as MilkyWay is concerned.



Might be able to give you some info soon... UPS is at the door as I type with my HD4770 :-)


Well looks like not... I'm having issues getting my 4770 to crunch due to catalyst versions.

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Message 27814 - Posted: 15 Jul 2009, 18:02:31 UTC

Try installing the version that came with the card. If that fails, go to the card manufacturer (Palit, Sapphire, Gainward, etc) and see if they provide an 8.12 version.

If they don't work, then you'll have to try Cat 9.5, with the rename fix.
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Message 27829 - Posted: 16 Jul 2009, 3:51:07 UTC - in response to Message 27814.
Last modified: 16 Jul 2009, 3:54:54 UTC

Well last week I had managed to uninstall ATI-MCC and the decoder for my ATI HDTV card. Last night I lost all sound and got Avira stuck in half-done upgrade. I rebooted it to Ubuntu and let BOINC crunch on the CPU over there last night. This morning I decided it was time to abandon all and restore the C: drive from a bit over a week ago when I'd screwed up the ATI MCC stuff. Well Acronis will not restore the C: drive... either from it's normal 'set it up, reboot and do it, then boot back to Windows' mode OR from the bootable CD. In the bootable CD Disk Director can see the drives, True Image says there are no hard drives on the machine. Makes restoring them tough. I have to assume I never re-tested a restore after I changed mobos on this thing. Anyway.. spent today getting HDTV & the sound drivers working again. I still can't get Avira reinstalled as but I can work on that some more tonight.

I also installed the ATI CCC and the driver from v9.5 (on XFX site I only saw v9.6). All appears OK, CCC works, GPU-Z works. Gool ol' BF2 plays fine.

Copied the 3 .dll files over (ati to amd) and have all 6 in system32. Started the BOINC service back up. Took NNW off of MW and it downloaded about 6 WUs and started 3 of them. About 1 second later the screen went black and the only way out was the reset button. I tried this a couple times and with both the 4770 and the CPU down-clocked a bit... same result.

Any other ideas... I still have a couple days in which to return the card if I need to. Too bad it's really nice, stays cool, exhausts out the back and doesn't draw much juice (it's the newer XFX variant). Meanwhile I put my 3870 in my wife's desktop and it's crunching MW on it with the v8.12 package (CCC, WDM and drivers).

Thanx, Skip

PS: [wimper, wimper] I miss my Ubuntu.

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Message 27830 - Posted: 16 Jul 2009, 4:15:58 UTC

Perhaps you could try the method used by Larry256 to get his HD 4890 to work with Windows XP.
Here

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Message 27834 - Posted: 16 Jul 2009, 4:54:07 UTC - in response to Message 27830.

Perhaps you could try the method used by Larry256 to get his HD 4890 to work with Windows XP.
Here


Yes, thank you VERY much... looks like to me like it would work for my 4770 also. That'll be tomorrow's project.

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