Hardware What is the best graphics card for folding?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 5 Aug 2010.

  1. Sifter3000

    Sifter3000 I used to be somebody

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  2. badsector

    badsector i7

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    I use 2 GTX460 (EVGA SC [overclocked] 768) in a i7 system and get approx 9600PPD each card.
    Seemed better value for money than a single GTX480. Not sure why my figures are higher, but are reported by FAHmon (include bonus points?).
     
  3. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    @300W per hour? That's 7,2 KWh per day...(about one euro). ;)

    How does the SETI client run? :D
     
  4. Kúsař

    Kúsař regular bit-tech reader

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    Unless someone finds out what's wrong with folding on ATi GPUs, it's complete waste of power. Though there are other projects which make better use of ATi GPUs than F@H...
     
  5. mi1ez

    mi1ez Active Member

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    Could well sway my next purchase...
     
  6. Pete J

    Pete J RIP Teelzebub

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    What temperatures did the cards reach?
     
  7. erratum1

    erratum1 New Member

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    As important as this research is, have we forgotten about global warming.

    Hardly worth me using low energy light bulbs and not leaving stuff on standby if you nerds have your comps with multi gtx 480's going 24/7.
     
  8. Teelzebub

    Teelzebub Up yours GOD,Whats best served cold

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    There's a guy on another forum, The owner actually that folds and game's at the same with his GTX480 and reckons it reach's 90c +. :jawdrop:

    Personly I think the electric company benefits the most from people folding.
     
  9. Phalanx

    Phalanx Needs more dragons and stuff.

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    Of course that is if you believe that humans are aiding global warming other than what it would do even if everyone stopped polluting. :)
     
  10. borandi

    borandi New Member

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    It's a shame this reviewer doesn't know about the differences in the architecture of the cards, or the maturity of each of the algorithms used in both the ATI and NVIDIA implementations.

    NVIDIA: nice architecture, mature platform, optimised libraries
    ATI: more flops per clock, poor documentation, unoptimised libraries

    As a GPU programmer, almost everyone I come into contact with in this regard prefers the NVIDIA architecture, because it's more flexible and more mature. However, if you have algorithms that take advantage of the ATI high flops per clock (e.g. graphics, high workload per thread), and you want to go through the ATI documentation, then the ATI route is worth it.

    For example, Milkyway@Home, Collatz@Home and DNETC@Home (all part of the BOINC cloud) all benefit heavily from the ATI architecture. In some cases, it's because the ATI clients produced for those projects are a lot more mature and optimised than the NVIDIA ones.

    I've delved into computation protein folding before from the standpoint of someone who looks at the results, and the upshot of it is that you need so many results to come to one statistical conclusion, that if I wanted to donate computer time, I'd rather do it to something else. Sure, protein folding has noble goals, and there are a high throughput of results, but the results are still ultimately statistical and are a scratch compared to the practical biochem that goes on.
     
  11. Chris P

    Chris P New Member

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    One could also argue without a history of research, you wouldn't have low energy bulbs and devices to leave on standby :D

    And how much energy is being used to find a solution for 'global warming' by supercomputers and data centres churning over computer models and collating data?

    With regards folding, I keep getting error messages mid-gpu-fold (say 60-90% through) with my current system and I can't find the problem...
     
  12. vampalan

    vampalan New Member

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    A little off topic, but note that you can't mix and match brands of graphics card, as to use Nvida as a maths/physics processor and ATi as the graphics card. It's possible hardware side, just that the drivers have been written to lock that out, there have been hacks to make it work, but a hack is a hack, and last time I checked, it came with a virus of some sort.
     
  13. Lizard

    Lizard @ Scan R&D

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    You do realise that bit-tech didn't write any of the folding clients - we're merely reporting what results the different clients get on the various GPUs that can fold.

    As for the differences between the various architectures/APIs, this is discussed in brief on the final page, but given that there's no solid info from Stanford about the huge performance difference between ATI and Nvidia GPUs when folding, it's impossible to point the finger specifically at what the problem is.
     
  14. paisa666

    paisa666 I WILL END YOU!!!

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    What??... the article its about folding@home.. and ATi its currently not worth or it.. if it is good for something else then awesome.. but this is about folding: why the reviewer has to point out something else???
     
  15. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    I seriously don't see the appeal in folding. It seems to me to be big willy-waving thing that allows you to put up a pious face and say you are doing it for science.

    What i really don't get is that you guys wasted your valuable time testing four different ATI cards, while everybody knows that nVidia is the better folder by miles and miles. Just test the 5970 to prove the point that the 5xxx architecture hasn't changed this, and move on.

    Sorry to be so sour on this, but in my mind there's still so much things you could be researching and writing articles on that i'm just a bit disappointed to see about a full week worth of investigation time (or am i just that far off?) be invested in such a predictable and marginal thing as this.
     
  16. confusis

    confusis Kiwi-modder

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    Stanford really need to get their butts into gear to code properly for ATI. nVidia as usual use bribery to get their cards sold so ATI with their lower budget gets left out again.

    Higher FLOPS should equal higher PPD but the GPU client for ATI is a bodge job!

    Yeah it's a bit of willy waving but I'd rather spend a little money a money a month towards finding a cure/cause for a lot of human suffering than waste it on more booze/geekery for me.
     
  17. Xlog

    Xlog Member

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    Also, there is this, so you can fold while folding :D.
     
  18. Deadpunkdave

    Deadpunkdave ...why you need a 20-sided die

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    I have zero interest in RC cars, but I don't mind the articles about them being on here, because I know there is a large section of the readership that do enjoy them. Likewise, a lot of people on here are into folding. Many do it because they have been personally affected by the diseases that F@H tries to investigate. I really don't see that as pious. Sometimes it looks like 'willy-waving' because there is purposefully a degree of competition, and the hardware required to fold seriously is expensive, but its friendly and for a good cause.
     
  19. Muaadib

    Muaadib New Member

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    This "GTX460" is being recommended for everything...


    Up next: Research proves if you put your GTX460 in 45 degree angle pointing north east for 3 minutes, you will have 70% more chance to get laid that day....
     
  20. B1GBUD

    B1GBUD More Biddy Bang Bang than Sean Paul

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    I wouldn't say the GTX480 is "undesirable for gamers", quite the opposite. The stats also prove how good Fermi is for folding.

    To those that argue regarding the balance of power consumption vs global warning, if you look at most cards today they all seem to consume a lot of power compaired to the days when they would clock down when not in 3D, (Aero is part to blame for this but also myself, I do like the extra graphical quirks) having a folding client running while you PC isn't doing much would surely benefit the world in the long term.
     
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