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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:01 pm 
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You gave a basic outline of the system you use for SETI@HOME; 16-core Ryzen and three graphics cards. I would be interested in specifics if you don't mind posting. You know me and hardware... :mrgreen:

Here is what I have on my main system...
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8-core/16 threads / 3.6GHz. normal run with a 4.0GHz. turbo mode
AMD Sapphire Radeon R9 380 Series Nitro 4GB video.
32GB 3200MHz RAM
500GB M.2 SSD as system with burst read rates of 3GB/sec
240GB normal SSD used mostly for video encoding with a read rate of 550MB/sec
6TB Hitachi Deskstar hard drive as main media storage
4TB Hitachi Deskstar hard drive waiting for the 6TB to fill to be used as further media storage. Also holds my virtual machine drives along with SETI data storage
2TB hard drive partitioned in half for data and internal system images
2TB Hitachi Deskstar connected via USB to my router for external images
Dual displays; 42 inch HDTV and 32 inch HDTV
Yamaha sound system with 8 beamed speakers, 2 woofers and 2 sub-woofers connected via digital optical
Haupauge USB TV tuner connected to my router and available to all three of my systems

You may notice that I have two USB devices connected to my router; external drive for images and TV tuner. This is done through a 4-port self powered USB hub. My Belkin router allows for multiple USB devices if a USB hub is used.

<edit>
Made a few, unimportant, edits and corrected a miss-typed system spec.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:19 pm 
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Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.
Here is my primary SETI system. It does nothing except run SETI.

3.40 gigahertz AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X 16-Core
1536 kilobyte primary memory cache
8192 kilobyte secondary memory cache
32768 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (16 total)
Hyper-threaded (32 total)
Water cooled
Main Circuit Board b
Board: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. PRIME X399-A Rev 1.xx
Serial Number: 170808025800372
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
UEFI: American Megatrends Inc. 0407 12/01/2017
Drives
1013.41 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
861.87 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

ATAPI iHAS324 F [Optical drive]

pny USB 2.0 FD USB Device [Hard drive] (16.04 GB) -- drive 2, s/n 0060E04DEF39AC5152CF11DA
Samsung SSD 960 PRO 512GB [Hard drive] (512.11 GB) -- drive 1, s/n 0025_3858_71B0_F0D6.
ST1000DM003-1ER162 [Hard drive] (1000.20 GB) -- drive 0, s/n Z4Y9S6C8, rev CC46, SMART Status: Healthy
Memory Modules c,d
32644 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory


Three nVidia 1050 ti's. These are really at the low end but with drawing their power from the PCI buss I do not have to add additional electrical circuits. Dedicated SETI buffs generaly run multiple 2080's or 1080's. With multiple 2080's they do not even run calculations on the CPU and just use it to feed the GPU's/

I run the M.2 SSD as system and the second SSD has a mirror image.
Nothing else fancy added.
I can run on turbo but eventually the cpu voltage needs to be tweeked as the system goes out to lunch and it is just easier to run on 3.4. Basically the system is unresponsive but if I wait long enough I can finally get access. I run a BOINC additional program called BOINC Tasks which allowes me to monitor the workings of the BOINC program from my laptop.
If I were totally dedicated to SETI I would run the system on Linux as that runs the programs about twice as fast.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:45 pm 
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Looks like a nice MOBO! The motherboard is one thing I forgot to mention in my specs. I'm using an ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 AMD Promontory X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX AMD. Plenty of drive connections as there are ten SATA ports.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6813157757
I have always liked ASRock since way back when they were a sub-division of ASUS.

I don't use the Purity sound system as I use HDMI to connect from the system to my main display. I use the optical audio out on the HDTV to my Yamaha sound system. It works well but leaves the second HDTV monitor to rely on its own audio. One thing that I find sort of unusual about this motherboard is that it has built in Wi-Fi via Intel® 802.11ac+ BT 4.2.

The sort of cool thing with the audio is that, if I launch a movie or streamed video from the computer, it will still channel the audio through the Yamaha sound system regardless of which monitor is being used.

There are more powerful versions of this board but it does well. ;)

If I read right we are both running 32GB RAM. How things have changed! I'm sure that you remember the days when a 32GB hard drive was big. ;) Sigh and I'm running ~12.74TB of drive storage...

I see that you are water cooled. I've been tempted but have not gone that route. I use pretty massive tube coolers. The main system uses the following.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6835846001
It is an MSI Core Frozr L. At the time MSI was new to the cooler field but they did this well. One thing that I liked was that it had fan mounts for both sides of the heat sink. This means that two fans can be mounted for 'push/pull' air flow. Yes the ASRock motherboard supports this with two CPU fan power ports.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:23 am 
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I have no sound on the system at all. I really need the water cooling as every core is running 100% all the time. Lately the computer room has been in the low 40's, even with all the heat this and the other two systems put out. I am also running a AMD FX 8350 8 core and a AMD 8150 8 core. The 8350 has 2 GTX 1050 ti's and the 8150 has 2 GTX 750 ti's.
I also run SETI on my laptop but only on the CPU as trying to use the GPU only slows everything down so much that it is counter productive.
I just replaced the CPU in the 8350, first CPU I have ever had fail except on laptops. It is of course possible that I should have replaced/changed the paste on the cooler.
The 8150 is my daily driver where I have all my email stored and work from there. It also is water cooled.
I used to run a number of different RAID systems but do not need that anymore as everything I do is not critical. As for storage, just not storing that much anymore, except some pics.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:21 am 
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I don't recall ever having a CPU fail but then I tend to under-clock instead of over-clock. For instance my RAM is rated at 3200MHz. but I have it under-clocked to ~3000MHz.

Second desktop and laptop are nothing special but were when I bought.

The second desktop is also home built but 6+ years old. It is also AMD based and also uses a large tube cooler. It has 8GB RAM and 12TB drive storage. The reason for the large storage capacity is that I use GoodSync in backup mode to back up my main system media and data drives

The laptop is a 15.6 inch Asus that is about 7 years old but still adequate. When new it was ~$1000.00 but I got it reconditioned through Tiger Direct for under $500.00. The only real downside is that it is Intel I5 based. Wish I had paid more and gotten an I7. Still I can't complain when it is 7 years old and still running well. It has a couple of cool features such as being able to connect to 3G and 4G networks along with Wi-Fi. It has Intel graphics. I usually like Radeon but this Intel has the cool feature of being able to generate wireless HDMI although you have to get a reciever for the monitor/TV. I used to have it connected wireless to the TV in my bedroom for watching movies and such but don't anymore since my second desktop lives in there so the wireless HDMI is no longer needed. Came with 4GB RAM and a 640GB drive but I upped to 8GB RAM and 1TB drive. I use the original 640GB drive in a dock to do external system images of the laptop.

Both desktops are running Windows 10 Pro. The laptop is running a dual boot with Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 10 Pro.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:59 am 
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jaylach wrote:
I don't recall ever having a CPU fail but then I tend to under-clock instead of over-clock. For instance my RAM is rated at 3200MHz. but I have it under-clocked to ~3000MHz.


I do not overclock, although I do use Turbo mode when the system will handle it. I personally do not think overclocking causes failures, it is the incorrect voltages that "auto" will often give you. Heat is the major problem, and as you know the Ryzen will throttle down automatically. (not a pretty sight, wrecks SETI calculations)
As for OS's, all are WIN 10, with only the laptop running Home. I run Insider builds on one desktop and the laptop so I am running one Home and one Pro on the insider builds (lot of fun there sometimes)
The laptop is a real cheapeee, AMD FX 9800P. I decided to go cheap and have regretted it ever since, but I had to make a quick decision as I had dropped my I7 laptop(great system), and I was afraid that the MB might crack when I picked it up as part of the case was missing. I still do not understand what "12 computer cores 4C+8G actually buys me, just a 4 core as far as I can tell).

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:40 pm 
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'12 computer cores 4C+8G' indicates an AMD APU with 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores totaling 12 cores on the APU.

For any that don't know an APU is a chip that combines the system CPU and GPU on one chip. They are pretty much just used in laptops, possibly tablets and phones.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:54 pm 
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jaylach wrote:
'12 computer cores 4C+8G' indicates an AMD APU with 4 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores totaling 12 cores on the APU.

I am so used to seeing GPUs with core counts in the thousands and hundreds that I could not relate the 8G to that. Told you it was a wimp.

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:32 pm 
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I know what you mean Bill. If I read right the AMD Sapphire R9 380 series Nitro in my main system has 1792 processing cores.

To any that are curious I have no Idea why I started this discussion with Bill in public rather than in a PM but no harm done. Actually, who knows, someone may even gain a little knowledge...

To be honest, with some of the stuff Bill and I are saying, I'm tempted to move to advanced but it IS all about hardware...

Still it might be worth while to, at least, define what a GPU and CPU happens to be. As CPU stands for Central Processing Unit GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit.

Decent definition of GPU:
https://techterms.com/definition/gpu

Decent definition of CPU:
https://techterms.com/definition/cpu

It may seem odd that I state that my GPU has 1792 cores when most people think of cores related to a CPU. Bill and I both have a high end CPU with mine being 8 cores and his 16 cores. A GPU just is built different than a CPU. A CPU is designed for running apps and general computing. A GPU is designed to crunch numbers in a major way. In the 'old days' a graphics card did not have a GPU. They pretty much just had a low level CPU to process graphics info such as 2D display. When things such as games went to a 3D format more processing ability was needed which caused the development of the GPU. To properly display 3D graphics pretty extreme number crunching is needed. This is the forte of a GPU.

There is also another advantage to a GPU that many software packages take advantage. Say that you use a high level image editor or manipulate video files. Most likely this software accesses the GPU to do a lot of the raw number crunching.

In MOST cases a GPU is better at crunching number than a CPU.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:42 pm 
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I just noticed that I gave links to definitions of a CPU and GPU but not for an APU so here it is. :mrgreen:
https://techterms.com/definition/apu

@BillG: If you understand the difference between a system running a separate CPU and GPU and one running an APU you may find that your laptop, with only 8 GPU cores, may not be as much of a wimp as you think.The thing is that a system with a separate CPU and a video card such as most desktop systems is restricted as to performance as a parallel BUSS must be used to connect the CPU and GPU. With an APU no BUSS is involved as both the CPU and GPU are directly connected. A parallel BUSS, as I know you are aware, is slow causing a bottleneck as to performance. The difference can be extreme. I don't know the actual ratios as to the speed difference but consider the difference between an HDD and an M.2 SSD as to storage drive performance. Your APC with only 8 GPU cores could potentially be the equivalent of an 800 GPU core video card since the bottleneck of the parallel BUSS has been removed.

Intel has a form of an APU but is well behind AMD on this. AMD released the first APU in 2011.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:57 am 
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This system is slow, and I only run 4 threads in SETI, one on each core. On my last laptop I ran 8 threads, of course it was an 8 core CPU. Because of the nature of SETI, unless you have a separate GPU (video card) you are hamstrung if you try to use the IGPU.
Just as a rough figure, all SETI work units considered the same, on the GPU I run one WU to completion in less that 10 minutes, while on CPU that same WU takes 2 hours.
Some prople with Linux are running a WU on their GPU in 90 seconds.
(My laptop runs a WU in the range of 30-40,000 seconds each)

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:54 pm 
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After reading this thread my computer feels very inadequate. :lol: With 8 and 16 core CPUs and dual and triple VGA cards isn't the power consumption pretty high?

My main question through all this is what are the advantages of multiple VGA cards. This is something I have never tried. Do you always use the same model card?

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:56 pm 
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On my system power consumption is not bad. I use a 900 watt supply. LOL! When I first built the system I did blow up a 550 watt supply that I thought was a 650 watt... :mrgreen:

I've never used multiple video cards in the way Bill does but I believe that it increases the throughput, sort of like doubling or tripling the bandwidth. Also the processor on a video card (GPU) can be used to crunch numbers in many applications. A GPU is better at crunching numbers than the main system's CPU. In other words Bills three video cards will allow him to process data sent from SETI@Home much faster than my single video card system.

I THINK that you can use different models of the same manufacturer's cards as long as they are in the same series to link them like Bill does but the recommendation would be to the exact same cards. The only time I used multiple cards they were not linked so it didn't matter. I used an AGP (predecessor to PCEe) and a PCI card to drive three monitors.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:22 pm 
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Yes there is a good deal of power used. Each video card is rated at 75W. The cards I use are very cost to work produced effective. I have to have AC in summer to run the systems because of the heat generated. During the winter I use the heat to help the heating along in this 200 year old house I live in.
As Jay said, each card is used as a seperate processor. Eash one only doing one calculation at a time. Having multiple cards on a normally used computer would not really help you at all.
It is the fact that GPUs can work so much faster/eficiently than a CPU.
As I menitoned, the Work Units that I process are normally completed in @10 minutes, while on the CPU they take about 2 hours. Yes I donate quite a bit of electricity to SETI, in addition to the equipment, but then you have to have some hobbies.
Aslo, you can mix the cards, It does not really make a difference, but you can get yourself into a bucket of worms tring to insure proper divers are loaded for different cards.
As a point of interest, there are enough lanes on the MB to run 63 video cards (with extenters and splitters)

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:59 pm 
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As another note dealing with the superior power of a current graphics card over a motherboard and CPU is the speed of the memory (RAM) on each. Lately RAM is rated as to speed by a designation of DDR#. Arggg, actually that is hard to explain as a slower family of RAM such as DDR3 could, possibly be faster in operation than RAM designated as DDR4 but, in general, the higher the DDR# the faster the RAM.

Anyway, the point is that the RAM on a video card is probably going to be faster than the RAM on the system's motherboard. For instance the RAM on my motherboard is DDR4 while that on my video card is DDR5 and there are video cards out there that actually use DDR6. Add the faster RAM to a processor that is far superior at crunching numbers and you just may find that your video card is the strongest part of your system. The thing is that a motherboard and CPU is designed for general purpose operation. The combination is designed to run applications. A video card is designed to display 2D and 3D graphics. To display such graphics is all about crunching numbers. This superior ability to crunch numbers is why Bill, with three video cards, can process SETI date MUCH faster than can I. Actually the fact that his main CPU is 16 cores while mine is 8 cores is a minor factor in the SETI processing in relation to the graphic card(s) difference.

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