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Old 26th Apr 2011, 07:53   #1
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What is the Best Graphics Card for Folding 2011?

We benchmark 23 graphics cards, ranging from the GeForce GTX 260 to the GeForce GTX 590.

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/gra...-for-folding/1
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 08:12   #2
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No surprises there then. Well, apart from the fact that a 560Ti can turn out roughly the same PPD as my GTX 295.

Still, it was a worthwhile update.

I wonder, what ever happened to the update that was supposed to improve performance on AMD cards?
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 09:20   #3
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Delayed as per usual..

Oh well - seems my GTS450 purchase tommorow is justified, shame I'm defecting to a smaller team..sorry guys!
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 10:00   #4
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Quote:
You'll really help the project (and therefore medical science) if you leave the folding client running 24\7
This project is not the whole of medical science. In fact, it barely hits the scanner. The randomisation implementation of the protein chains means it's a very brute force way of solving protein folding issues. If they actually delved deeper into the mathematics, they could find general results/equation-esque type expressions to solve a range of problems overnight, rather than several years plugging away using millions of Watts of power and energy.

People with ATI cards can help dramatically with other Distributed Computing projects, such as stellar dynamics (MilkyWay@Home, part of the BOINC network).
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 10:23   #5
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Please don't take this the wrong way anyone, I'm genuinely curious. What motivates people to spend the time, money on parts and electricity, to fold 24/7? Is it the warm feeling of helping the possible progression of mankind, or it it just a kudos thing? (such as Bit-Tech being proud of their top ten status). It does seem like a pretty cool collective project in all, and I'm impressed with how seriously some people take it. Just seems like such a selfless act I wondered what drove people into it.

I would expect, at the very least, Steam achievements for such an endeavor
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 10:24   #6
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@borandi: how much more efficient are the other projects for ATi Cards? mine are apparently barely pulling 3k ppd each according to that, which kinda seems pointless.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 11:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
I wonder, what ever happened to the update that was supposed to improve performance on AMD cards?
It was never more then a hopeful rumour circulated by the fanboys.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 11:51   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
I wonder, what ever happened to the update that was supposed to improve performance on AMD cards?
It was never more then a hopeful rumour circulated by the fanboys.
Here you have a link for the fanboy rumour:
Quote:
F@H Core 16: Taking AMD GPU Folding to the Next Level?
...

...
So there you have it; the new AMD Core 16 project seems to do wonders for AMD’s Folding@Home performance. Currently there is only a single project making the rounds but there are surely more in the pipeline and what we’ve seen so far is only the first step down a very long road.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 11:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
I wonder, what ever happened to the update that was supposed to improve performance on AMD cards?
It was never more then a hopeful rumour circulated by the fanboys.
Yeah, but an update that improves performance would only benefit F@H - so you have to wonder why they haven't produced something.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 12:12   #10
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I get the feeling all the Radeon 5/6xxxs were working on Core11 Work Units.
I was running my 5870 through the BETA client and there is a huge difference in Folding performance between Core11 and Core16 units.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 12:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie View Post
I wonder, what ever happened to the update that was supposed to improve performance on AMD cards?
It was never more then a hopeful rumour circulated by the fanboys.
Here you have a link for the fanboy rumour:
Quote:
F@H Core 16: Taking AMD GPU Folding to the Next Level?
...

...
So there you have it; the new AMD Core 16 project seems to do wonders for AMD’s Folding@Home performance. Currently there is only a single project making the rounds but there are surely more in the pipeline and what we’ve seen so far is only the first step down a very long road.
I have every right to be very sceptical.

Since the 3xxx series of cards came out there have been threads full of fanboys proclaiming their cards are actually much faster then the green ones, quoting theoretical stats, and saying there's the magical update for folding home just around the corner that will unlock their true potential. Every new generation of card that comes out gets tested with folding home, is found to be slower, then gets followed by a rumour that in-fact folding home isn't using that new card properly and if it was performance would go through the roof. So far it's never happened, that new card never gets the *special* update, the next new card comes out and the cycle starts all over again.

[QUOTE=Spreadie][QUOTE=DbD]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Yeah, but an update that improves performance would only benefit F@H - so you have to wonder why they haven't produced something.
I can't believe ati wouldn't have done it already if it were even half way possible. Folding home gets reviewed everywhere, and has been for many years - it is the reviewers equivalent of quake 3 for gpu compute. Even if they ignored every other compute application out there, and just hacked together a special driver to make folding go fast it would be worth it for them. What conclusions can you come too? Either the ati engineers are incompetent, nvidia is in fact secretly paying of folding home to keep ati slow, or the ati cards just aren't very good at compute.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 12:14   #12
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I know you guys push F@H but there are many other BOINC projects where an ATI card is far superior.
Could you do a rundown with those ? As I have 3 x GTX 460 OC's and would like to add an ATI 5870...

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Old 26th Apr 2011, 12:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toploaded View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way anyone, I'm genuinely curious. What motivates people to spend the time, money on parts and electricity, to fold 24/7? Is it the warm feeling of helping the possible progression of mankind, or it it just a kudos thing? (such as Bit-Tech being proud of their top ten status). It does seem like a pretty cool collective project in all, and I'm impressed with how seriously some people take it. Just seems like such a selfless act I wondered what drove people into it.

I would expect, at the very least, Steam achievements for such an endeavor
Simple, the same reason anyone on here builds a £1000 watercooled super system. They love hardware! The other side of it is the amount of knowledge and fine tuning that goes into folding just to get the best out of the hardware. It also introduces problems which an everyday gaming machine doesn't always uncounter like running 4 closely spaced gpu's, which arn't designed to run 24/7. a few members have also lost someone to cancer or another condition folding is studying so in some ways this is their attempt at helping science progress to find a cure and better understanding how to treat patients. Personally I just fold for kudos as you put it, I'm skeptical if anything will come of it but am happy to try to get into the top 200 bit-tech folders. Its another achievement and folding is surprisingly addictive. If something good comes of it then it'll defo be worth it.there's also part of me feels that having hardware sitting idling when not gaming is a bigger waste than the electricity spent folding

As for an AMD update on their client. CustomPC did ask the question and due to resources they haven't looked at the client but will in the future. They are currently busy between their standard graphics drivers, physX alternative and pushing openCL for fusion. Eventually and hopefully if fusion takes off they will turn their attention to this popular yet niche past time.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 14:18   #14
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Originally Posted by GiantKiwi
@borandi: how much more efficient are the other projects for ATi Cards? mine are apparently barely pulling 3k ppd each according to that, which kinda seems pointless.
The only project I'm familiar with is MilkyWay@Home, but the results are basically the polar opposite of F@H; AMD cards lead the pack, with even a 4770 being faster than the GTX 480. The 5870 is roughly three times faster than the 480 on average in MW@H.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 14:43   #15
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Thanks for publishing this - looks like I made the right decision to get more GTX560s (:-)
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 15:09   #16
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Originally Posted by DwarfKiller View Post
I get the feeling all the Radeon 5/6xxxs were working on Core11 Work Units.
I was running my 5870 through the BETA client and there is a huge difference in Folding performance between Core11 and Core16 units.
Indeed. I get between 7K and 8K using my radeon 6950
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 15:28   #17
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Seriously. Considering AMD cards for F@H is simply bonkers. nVidia destroys every AMD imaginable in this competition. And it is no surprise that testing above prove the point. It is client architecture fault. AMD cards are not bad for sure, but without proper client software AMD computing potential is wasted in such applications.

And word to Bit-tech Crew. Guys you should really think about the title. The best means >the best<. The best does not allow compromises. And as such - for F@H - there is only competition between 2 GTX 590s and 4 GTX 580s for best possible solution or if someone want only one card then choice is obvious as even under-clocked GTX 590 outperforms GTX 580 by far. Like in sport. 1st is 1st and 2nd is nowhere.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 15:34   #18
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I have never folded a Graphics card, but would imagine ones with soft PCB's would be best.
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 15:41   #19
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Old 26th Apr 2011, 16:33   #20
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This project is not the whole of medical science. In fact, it barely hits the scanner. The randomisation implementation of the protein chains means it's a very brute force way of solving protein folding issues. If they actually delved deeper into the mathematics, they could find general results/equation-esque type expressions to solve a range of problems overnight, rather than several years plugging away using millions of Watts of power and energy.
Yes, I'm sure that probably some of the smartest people on the planet simply can't be bothered to do the maths and would rather just waste computer time .

Seriously though, the maths must be horrendous enough for them to use this method instead. Besides, they can still do maths in the meantime and if they're fortunate enough to find a solution, they'll have a shed load of data to allow comparison.
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