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Kickstarter Project to Support Distributed Computing

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  • New Build
  • Support
  • Distributed Computing
  • Systems
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Last response: in Systems
February 16, 2013 11:45:46 PM

Hello,

My family has started a Kickstarter project to optimize PC platforms for the BOINC client in support of the advancement of science. Please see the project here:

http://kck.st/11CrcbM

Any help getting the word out about this project would be greatly appreciated.

The Sheaffer Family

More about : kickstarter project support distributed computing

February 17, 2013 12:06:36 AM

those guys are doing it wrong

1) the maximus v extreme is for overclocking. something that should not be done if you are doing compute work.
2)you have windows 7 premium which does not support more than 16gb of ram
3)you dont need a large SSD if you are using this purely for compute
4) with 4 cards, there will be a CPU bottleneck. but it depends if you are acutally using the CPU for part of the compute process

grab these parts instead
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DZfP

power supply is here
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=65627&vpn=P11250BEFX&m...

hard drive
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=74462&promoid=1332

and also, if you guys can setup something similar to Folding@home where they have distributed computing across the internet, im glad to help out that way
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February 17, 2013 12:37:10 AM

Thank you. The objective of the project is to optimize the PC platform specifically for the BOINC client. I appreciate the detailed parts list and we will undoubtedly use your advice and/or recommendations in one of the builds.
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February 17, 2013 1:25:28 AM

I'm not so sure that even those modifications will suffice. There are PCI-E bandwidth issues to consider.... but perhaps that was what you meant with the comment about the single CPU.

I think you need one of these
http://www.amazon.com/LGA2011-Intel-Motherboard-Z9PE-D8...

and two of these
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some nice memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You'll need to be careful about the case... lot's of air flow but also space under the last GPU for cooling.
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February 17, 2013 1:40:51 AM

Proximon....could you expand a bit on your "PCI-E bandwidth issues" concern? I would appreciate your guidance here.

Probably not going with a socket 2011 processor (limits available processors for testing/optimization)

With that said, we did look at the dual processor ASUS board you mention; it seems to have "issues" of its own (although I am a huge ASUS fan).

I did tweak the "typical" components in the newegg wishlist link. Would love to know you thoughts on the revised list.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
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February 17, 2013 2:21:02 AM

PCI-E bandwidth is measured in the number of available lanes. This is the pathway that data travels on between your CPU and GPU and other components such as USB 3.0 devices.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
Quote:
On November 18, 2010, the PCI Special Interest Group officially published the finalized PCI Express 3.0 specification to its members to build devices based on this new version of PCI Express.[26]

AMD latest flagship graphic card, the Radeon HD 7970, launched on January 9, 2012, is the world's first PCIe 3.0 graphic card.[27] Initial reviews suggest that the new interface would not improve graphic performance compared to earlier PCIe 2.0, which, at the time of writing, is still under-utilized. However, the new interface would prove advantageous when used for general purpose computing with technologies like OpenCL, CUDA and C++ AMP.[28]


Ivy Bridge review
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-benchmar...

Quote:
And although Ivy Bridge carries over Sandy Bridge’s 16 lanes of on-die PCI Express connectivity, we now have official PCIe 3.0 support for cards like AMD’s Radeon HD 7000s and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680.


Anandtech: Sandy Bridge E & X79 PCIe 3.0: It Works
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5264/sandy-bridge-e-x79-p...

Anandtech: ASRock X79 Extreme11 Review: PCIe 3.0 x16/x16/x16/x16 and LSI 8-Way SAS/SATA
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6228/asrock-x79-extreme11...
Quote:
This gives the motherboard, as a whole, 72 PCIe 3.0 lanes to play with. The 64 lanes that come directly from the PLX chips go to the PCIe slots, to provide a peak x16/x16/x16/x16 mode with 4 GPU devices. However, the focus of this board is not in GPUs for gaming, but workstations with GPU accelerated features.
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February 17, 2013 3:13:21 AM

Thank you. I understand the fundamentals.

However, in researching motherboards, there seem to be limited (reliable) options for quad SLI configurations.

Have you seen the reviews on the board you mention above?

Customer Reviews of the ASRock X79 Extreme11

35% (7) 5 eggs
20% (4) 4 eggs
5% (1) 3 eggs
10% (2) 2 eggs
30% (6 1 egg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 17, 2013 4:16:15 AM

User motherboard reviews are often problematic. Some can be thrown out as incompetent. Some will be blaming their MB because it is the least understood by them (or so they believe, they probably understand their PSUs less) and so must, in their minds, be the source of the problems.

Then there are people like the first 4 star reviewer. He claims to be a tech expert and says the board has a "ton of PCI-X slots".

I wasn't really recommending the board anyway. Keep in mind that those extra PCI-E lanes deal more with SLI capability. For your needs any x79 board with the right number and spacing of PCI-E slots should work... The CPU will supply 40 lanes, and that's the important part. 32 lanes for the 4 cards and the rest to handle the SATA 6GB/s.

This is a more reasonable, and undoubtedly better performing setup
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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February 17, 2013 12:21:02 PM

I think your suggestion is excellent.

If the Kickstarter project gets funded, one of the firs things I will do is put together and run similar x79 and z77 rigs and run them head to head.

I really do have an affinity for the ASUS boards (I've done a bunch of builds on their Mbs and have 3 of their laptops), so I like the combo you have suggested.

I assume you are recommending the 3820 vs. 3930k on a price/performance basis.

Thanks again for your suggestions; they are truly appreciated.
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February 17, 2013 12:26:50 PM

x79 is only really useful if you use the CPU as part of the compute process. if the graphics cards are the sole components that compute, it isnt really necessary to get x79. the 4 way boards have a plx chip onboard for lane switching


your components in your wishlist can still be made cheaper by shopping elsewhere. it will save you more than a 1000 dollars easily. especially the maximus v extreme (a overclocking and gaming board, not work board)
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February 17, 2013 1:01:02 PM

Yes, the CPU is part of the compute process, but only does about 5% of the total work.

I'm not seeing a $1,000 in savings, but am just using newegg as an easy way to make the ever changing components list public.

If the project is funded, we will certainly look for deals as they become available.


That said, I also have great experiences with newegg...they haven't let me down yet.
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February 17, 2013 1:04:55 PM

5 rigs = 1000 dollar savings
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February 17, 2013 1:13:00 PM

Could be...if so, the extra funding would be used to extend the life of the project.
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