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Posts by borandi

1) Message boards : Number crunching : 4x HD4870X2, has anyone tried it yet ? (Message 30468)
Posted 11 Sep 2009 by Profileborandi
I assume you've seen this thread: http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=789

The guy here uses 8 nVidia GPUs (4x295) for folding.

In terms of ATI card related fun-ness, there shouldn't be a barrier when it comes to 4 X2 cards going full pelt (as long as the conditions, air, power etc are good).
2) Message boards : Number crunching : Probability of burning a 4870x2 ? (Message 30467)
Posted 11 Sep 2009 by Profileborandi
3) Message boards : Number crunching : Gee guys, what's happening? (Message 29136)
Posted 10 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
The 74 cred WUs are 3-stream, but double wedge thickness, hence double computation and double credit.
4) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 28887)
Posted 4 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
Returned it and ordered a 4850 (hmmm better check front porch, s/b here today). Really too bad because this card is arguably the price/power/output combo winner. Sure would like to hear from someone who actually has THIS card working.

I run a 4850 on this rig, together with FreeHAL and Einstein. Only 3 cores are allowed to crunch Einstein to give FreeHAl and MW some core support.

I do think the 4850 should give more than the 61K to 66K RAC I have seen, but this may be due to the BOINC version (6.4.7), OS (32 bit XP Pro), etc, that I run it on/with. I think my 4850 should give me more RAC (70K to 75|K).

I believe you misunderstood his post. The 4770 is the best card in terms of price/power/output to which he was referring if anyone had got it working. As his didnt, he returned it and got a 4850.

5) Message boards : Application Code Discussion : CUDA for Milkyway@Home (Message 28863)
Posted 4 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
I realized that after I wrote the above paragraph that I neglected to include the actual file in the release, since the paragraph still sort of applies I chose not to delete it. Here is the Cuda.Rules file http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/code_release/

Thanks Anthony :)
6) Message boards : Application Code Discussion : CUDA for Milkyway@Home (Message 28809)
Posted 3 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
It'll only launch when the application has been fully integrated into BOINC.

This will be the final release version that goes on BOINC pending any bugs and the new likelihood fixes. Also this release is more of a "does this work on other people's machines besides mine" so don't expect it to run with BOINC

Emanuel, you seem to be contradicting Anthony?

I realize this is testing ..but these directions suck. I hope you guys aren't going to make it this hard for when it launches.

Yes this is testing - to see if it works on other CUDA developers machines. Of course it'll be more straight forward than this - BOINC has the CUDA infrastructure to cope for it just to be added. Then it's a case of making sure you have the right driver.

As for the windows zip file, just loaded it on my work machine where I do most of my CUDA coding. Opened the .sln in VS08 and it's complaining it can't find the file Cuda.Rules:

Custom build rules file 'mw_gpu_v0.08\milkyway\bin\Cuda.Rules' was not found or failed to load.

App doesn't work here on a case of it's not a CUDA machine - was hoping to load it in VS then run in emu mode.

I'll try on my CUDA machine at home in due course.
7) Message boards : Application Code Discussion : CUDA for Milkyway@Home (Message 28774)
Posted 3 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
Looks like you haven't installed the CUDA 2.2 Toolkit? Windows should automatically reference in the files like cudart.dll.

Toolkit != drivers. You need both.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 28771)
Posted 3 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
Because the BOINC client simply doesn't know anything of your ATI card and also not what this n1 parameter means. It is just used for the coordination of several instances of the ATI application launched by the BOINC client. That parameter has no influence whatsoever how many instances are launched. You have to control that with the resource share and the ncpu settings.

Thank you. Thank you, very much. :-) I have a only a basic concept of how all this works and clearly misunderstand the discussion of the "n" parameter at the beginning of this thread and the readme file that comes with the 19f app.

I'll try tweaking some of the other parameters to get something that works and makes it worthwile. What I'd like to do is have one WU in progress all the time, with some in the queue.

Thanks, again!

There is a way around it, but it does mean that your CPU won't get any work.

Change to <avg_ncpus>1</avg_ncpus> or however many threads your system thinks it has (so if it's a P4 with hyperthreading, 2). That means only one WU will say it is working at a time.

The AGP cards are a bit flaky - there's nothing we can do.

To CP: Hi CP, any plans to rebuild the ATi code on the latest version of catalyst? Or is the Stream/CAL SDK technically still not compatible with it? I've been put on the CUDA side with work - getting a 1000x increase (in floats rather than doubles) in my finite difference algorithms thanks to rigorous abuse of texture memory and millions of threads :)
9) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 28718)
Posted 1 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
GPU-Z (google it) is a tool which will tell you what driver you have.

You may have to go to your vendors website (Sapphire, Gigabyte, Asus or w/e) to get 8.12 drivers for your card.

There's also an ATi AGP hotfix you have to apply - I did see a link to it once. I think it's in the forums somewhere.

Actually, if you go to the ATI website under legacy versions and scroll to 8.12 (at least for win 32-bit), the hotfix should be there if I remember correctly.
10) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 28712)
Posted 1 Aug 2009 by Profileborandi
GPU-Z (google it) is a tool which will tell you what driver you have.

You may have to go to your vendors website (Sapphire, Gigabyte, Asus or w/e) to get 8.12 drivers for your card.

There's also an ATi AGP hotfix you have to apply - I did see a link to it once. I think it's in the forums somewhere.
11) Message boards : Number crunching : Updating Server Daemons Tonight (Message 28195)
Posted 22 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
With a fixed credit system like at MW, the amount of credit you receive is entirely based on the initial vanilla MW app, and the optimisations therein of future apps.

Ultimately when the vanilla app is optimised further, the credit/WU will drop but the credit/time should stay the same for that app. For other apps left untouched, their credit/time will decrease.

If the vanilla app is left untouched and other apps are further optimised, then credit/time on those apps increases.

It's all a balancing act, deciding where to distribute resources, and so on and so forth. At the end of the day it's all up to the developers, but imo no credit change should happen if the vanilla CPU app stays the same unless the whole system is shafted.
12) Message boards : Number crunching : Running CPU and GPU simultaneously (Message 28150)
Posted 21 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
Can you run CPUs and GPUs simultaneously? If so, I assume you need to modify (merge) the 2 different app_info.xml files together. How is this done?

I want to run both the .19f optimized GPU and SSE4.1 optimized CPU app.


The only way you could merge them is if they sent out ATI specific WUs. Much in the same way at Seti you have Normal/Normal(cuda)/Astropulse/Astropulse(cuda), because you can distinguish between these apps you can merge and much around with app_info.xml files. As in MW there is no distinction, you cant.

As Ice says, you have to VM or wait.

Incidentally Ice, my VMs only show 1 proc per VM, meaning to use 7 cores I need 7 VMs. You found a way around this? I'm using the VM manager thing that BOINC suggests when setting up your own project (which I failed at doing....)
13) Message boards : Number crunching : VPU recoveries with HD4770/XP32/Catalyst 9.x (Message 28148)
Posted 21 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
There's an AGP hotfix somewhere for AGP 3850s.
14) Message boards : Number crunching : Which ATI cards? (Message 28147)
Posted 21 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
My 4850s, which normally run at 620 GPU Mhz core, 1000 Mhz mem. Currently overclocked GPU to 800 Mhz, downclocked the Mem to 750Mhz. No noticeable increase in throughput noticed, however my cards do use less of a % of the cores, thus run cooler.

Warning over/underclocking your hardware voids the warranty.
15) Message boards : Number crunching : GPU RAM and RAC. (Message 28146)
Posted 21 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
In short, no under normal conditions.

In long, only if you run a stupid amount of WUs at a time to the threads are bottlenecked.
16) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 27814)
Posted 15 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
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.
17) Message boards : Number crunching : Setting up s GPU's (Message 27676)
Posted 13 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
My 4850X2, or 2x 4850 setup, uses Cat 8.12 no probs (the 4850X2 requires Cat 8.12 from Sapphire itself, as ATIs 8.12 on its own doesn't work).

As for a dummy plug:


You need the resistors. Just a DVI <-> VGA plug on its own doesn't do it.
18) Message boards : Number crunching : Setting up s GPU's (Message 27667)
Posted 13 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
"Picky Picky Picky"

See it too often (I visit too many PC forums) and it's basic English at the end of the day.

Thanks, borandi. It needed to be said.
I too am an apostrophe nazi.

I currently admin a one-month old facebook group of 38500 fans on this, spelling and grammar. Maybe I take it too far, maybe I just get annoyed easily, maybe I want people to 'lern the write way 2 spel'! =D Unfortunately, as many of us as there are out there wanting to correct, there's ten others who really couldn't care less.
19) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 27666)
Posted 13 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
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.
20) Message boards : Number crunching : Using the MW ATi application, Q & A (Message 27637)
Posted 13 Jul 2009 by Profileborandi
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:

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?


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
Catalyst version
BOINC version
Your <cmdline> tags
What you've tried so far

Please feel free to criticise and correct where necessary!

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