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i7 980X - Yay or nay?

Discussion in 'bit-tech Folding Team' started by Unicorn, 13 May 2010.

  1. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    This one is mainly for Lizard, as I'm pretty sure he either has one, or has had one for testing in the past but by all means chip in if you know something as well. Would it be worth me forking out for one of these to put in my new build alongside the three cards (whether they turn out to be 295's or 480's has yet to be seen)? I know in comparison to the 930, it's still stupid money for only an additional two cores, but the whole point of the build is the absolute maximum PPD that you can get from one box (well, that's one of the themes anyway) and it seems to be a real performer. I can only assume that 12 threads on a bigadv project will be far superior to the 8 that a standard i7 can offer.

    By the way, it's not like it needs more name dropping or anything but the build I'm talking about is (working title only) project Fold4Life. Hope you recieved my email about it last week James. I'd love to hear what you guys think about this CPU choice. Thanks!

    [edit]

    FTR, I'll be running this in a 3x SLI EVGA X58 classified with 12 GB of Dominator GT 2000.
     
  2. Lizard

    Lizard @ Scan R&D

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    To be honest I haven't had a chance to get any of my 980Xs folding yet - there's been a constant stream of new products arriving the lab the last couple of months.

    I would certainly imagine it will do much better running the bigadv client than a 930 as the bigadv client does scale extremely well over multiple cores. (I've tested it on a 64 core server :jawdrop: )

    I'm pretty sure at least one member of team has gone out a bought a 980X for folding, so they might be able to shed more light on the actual ppd to expect...

    BTW, I didn't receive your email, can you try sending it again?
     
  3. saspro

    saspro IT monkey

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    phoenicis & the doc both have 980x's IIRC
     
  4. Christopher N. Lew

    Christopher N. Lew Folding in memory of my father

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    Well, I bought an Engineering Sample of one of these, did a quick overclock to 3.8MHz (air, Fenrir Titan, Asus P6T board in Fractal Design R2 case plus additional fan), and am now getting over 38,000 ppd with a frame time of 25 minutes, Linux Ubuntu 9.04. I have to say it is the quietest, most energy efficient folding machine I have and is going to stay running after the Chimps Challenge is over and I can shutdown all the GPU clients.

    I'm sure lots more could be squeezed out of this CPU - this is my first attempt at overclocking, and given the price, I wasn't taking any chances. And the quiet is important to me.

    Actually, I liked it so much that in a fit of economic madness, I bought another one. :jawdrop:
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2010
  5. Lizard

    Lizard @ Scan R&D

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    Damn you! Now I feel uber guilty about not having time to build up my 980Xs for the Chimps Challenge :eyebrow:
     
  6. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    @ Lizard - Ah that's fair enough. I understand you being very busy. I copied you on an email to Alex, but obviously it didn't work. I'll send it again, along with my most recent reply to Alex. If it doesn't work this time, I'm a complete noob and you'll have to poke Alex to see a copy of it :)

    @ CNL - Thanks for the info mate. Definately sounds worth the money to me. I'd be extremely pleased with myself if I can get the three cards and a bigadv client running on this machine, although I understand that might be a little ambitious. It will certainly have the raw power to make a good attempt though... that I'm sure of ;)
     
  7. DocJonz

    DocJonz Another CPC refugee .....

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    I 've built two i7 980X machines (mad, I know - that's what my wife tells me) :D

    I haven't had chance to tinker with the clock speed (as I've got issues with Ubuntu not allowing me to see the current temperatures - no temp monitoring, no overclocking in my opinion), so they are at stock. Running the -bigadv WU's, each one gives me 33k PPD (or rather, at the moment, they give 33k each to the Chimps Challenge!) ;)

    Given the high PPD, the lower power use, the core stability, and ease of client set-up .... I'd be strongly tempted (if I could find a few spares notes!) to shift away from GPU Folding on to these babies. The only downside for me, is that the upload speed on my ADSL connection means that each one takes an hour to send the results back and makes the internet connection un-useable during that time - perhaps a small price to pay.
     
  8. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Thanks doc, more info pointing me towards one in place of the (already owned) 930! By the way, how much memory are you guys running them with? I have 6 GB in my 920 machine at the moment and it's struggling at times. Especially with the -bigadv client, ACAD 2010 or SolidWorks open. I'll be running 12 GB Dominator GT in the new machine anyway, but I'd be interested in hearing what your experiences have been regarding memory usage. Also, how ridiculously impossible or possibly doable is my setup mentioned above regarding gpu2 and SMP clients running alongside one another? Do you think with the right affinity and memory allocation settings it might run stably? Either way, I'll have 60K+ PPD out of this one box, which is more than enough to make it worth building.
     
  9. Christopher N. Lew

    Christopher N. Lew Folding in memory of my father

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    I know the challenge is different, but for the price of three high-end graphics cards and a 980X, you may be able to afford a dual-Westmere machine; 24 threads of bigadv-folding gorgeousness outscoring the GPU folding. It's something I'm looking forward to ...

    +1
     
  10. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Will a dual Westmere machine fit in an Antec Three Hundred though? This is a dual purpose project ;) I agree with you on the cost though. I'm already feeling an ample "dent" in my wallet and I've only bought a handful of the components so far :hehe:

    [edit]

    I could, however, when this project is finished, I have recovered from the financial impact and those preliminary launch prices have died down a bit, be tempted into a Classified SR2 and a pair of Westmere's along with whatever chassis I can mod to fit a HPTX board :worried: Seriously, everyone please stop showing me new kit! :lol:
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2010
  11. Christopher N. Lew

    Christopher N. Lew Folding in memory of my father

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    Well, you can get suitable Supermicro ATX dual-CPU motherboards, although with only one PCIE x16 slot (but since there is on-board graphics you don't need a GPU). CPU coolers are no larger than the Fenrir or Mugen, so I reckon it would fit in Antec Three Hundred, but I'd be a little uneasy about the air flow and cooling.
     
  12. leexgx

    leexgx CPC hang out zone (i Fix pcs i do )

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    cost wise 2x 920/930@ 4ghz or so work out better and more points then an 980x as well maybe using little bit more power as well
     
  13. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    I'm afraid it's going to have to wait until after F4L :rolleyes: I've got this one designed down to the nuts, bolts and rivets. I'm definately tempted to go for a second "monster box" after this one though, instead of keeping the farm of 8800's going. You, sir, have given me much food for thought! FTR, I'm throwing the air flow and cooling "capacity" of the stock Three Hundred out the window... I redesigned it ;)
     
  14. DocJonz

    DocJonz Another CPC refugee .....

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    My 980X machines have 6GB in them, and the -bigadv uses about 5.5GB of this - so if you're multiple GPU Folding on it as well, you'll probably need to go to a 12GB kit (my 980X rigs don't GPU Fold at present).
     
  15. stonedsurd

    stonedsurd Is a cackling Yuletide Belgian

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    Folding - can't say.

    But otherwise, definitely a nay.

    It's a lot of money for something that's better than the 930 in a handful of applications.
     
  16. phoenicis

    phoenicis Retired Chimp

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    [​IMG]

    980s running with smp 12 flag. With smp 11 you can shave a minute off the tpf. This is great for A2 bigadv wus but there's a known problem with the A3 core and and smp 11 which frequently causes EUEs.

    Are the 980Xs worth it? Looking at it from a purchase £ per point basis, no. From a power usage per point basis, most definitely yes.

    Like CNL, I'm looking forward to seeing what a SR-2 and a couple of Westmeres can do.
     
  17. coolamasta

    coolamasta Folding@Home CC Captain 2010/11/12

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    Really want to get a 980X or 2 and then ditch a few GPU's, phoenicis and doc are getting some great results from them (loving your HFM by the way phoenicis, mine is 4 times the length for around 200,000 PPD, shows how good powerful CPU's are!!) :D


    Unfortunately all my money has gone on my engine forging at the moment, my bay looks like this at the moment until I get the engine back to refit!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. phoenicis

    phoenicis Retired Chimp

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    Thanks captain. Went for the reduced power approach upon receiving heart stopping leccy bills following a peak of 42 clients during the last CC.

    How your other half lets you get away with two outrageously expensive hobbies defeats me :D

    @ Uni - If you decide to go down the 295 route I may be able to help you out with one when I get around to RMAing my remaining card to EVGA. Liking the folding beast potential of F4L:thumb:
     
  19. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

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    Ooh that sounds excellent mate, I'd appreciate any help I can get reagrding 295's. They're getting to be like gold dust! Single or dual PCB model? It certainly is going to be a monster... hopefully, once the project gets off the ground, the fact that I'll be able to get so much high end kit into a lowly midi tower chassis and keep it all cool whilst folding 24/7 will attract a lot of attention in the Project Logs forum :) It's also going to be mucho pretty, a la MDPC standards, which should get those modding nutjobs in the Modding secion of bit-tech drooling ;)
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2010
  20. phoenicis

    phoenicis Retired Chimp

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    With a 980X and 3x295/Fermi you could be looking at 80K+ ppd from one rig. We'll all be drooling ;)

    Its a dual pcb but assuming they accept the RMA they could send anything 'equivalent' back including a Fermi.

    A word of caution though. I agree with Lizard on the poor reliability of Nvidia chips as this was a new replacement for a previously failed 295. With one of my 8800GTs (father's rig) starting to get self test failures just about the only brand that has never let me down, aside from a DOA, is BFG who I understand have withdrawn from the UK market. It's real shame because, for months before I sold them, their 295s didn't skip a beat even with 3/4 in the same rig.
     

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