This means 2P/4P Opterons or Xeons. For the Xeons, the jump to 2P and 4P is fairly large, and then FB-DIMMs are not the cheapest thing in the world. For cost (and other component choices), you can pick a 2P system, but there is no telling whether future BIGADV will up the core count yet again.BIF wrote:1. Take advantage of BIGADV work, if they are still available. I believe the requirement is 16+ cores.
Server boards may not have that many PCIe x16 slots. I would set a more realistic expectation of 2. Do you know if the x17 GPU core can take advantage of DP instructions? If not, then you don't have to go for the Teslas, Titans will do.BIF wrote:2. Take advantage of x17 core GPU work. To support multiple slots, I will need as many economically available modern graphic cards as possible; one or two at first, up to four total in the future.
What is the software involved and which OS does it require? This dictates whether you will be using Linux or WIndows as the host OS, or whether you need to put things on a VM. That said, animation server should probably benefit more from more cores vs higher IPC cores, meaning you can go AMD without worrying too much about falling behind the performance curve compared to the Xeons.BIF wrote:3. Possibly use this box as a backroom animation server. More cores, more cores!
Media library = storage. Server/workstation boards should give you plenty of ports and even RAID options. Not sure about iTunes, especially if you want to run this headless. If your primary rendering software on Windows can take advantage of the cores, then why limit it to be on a VM with limited cores?BIF wrote:4. I want to be able to run Windows on this box, so that I can support a rendering software, a SQL Server database, or even my iTunes and media library from a central location.
5. As far as I'm concerned, the folding can run in a Linux virtual machine, as long as that will not disqualify this system for BIGADV or x17 work. I could also let Windows also run as a virtual machine but only let him see a maximum of two physical processors. What is feasible, and/or doable on a software budget of $300-500?
A relatively cheap PCIe x1 card can handle it, or just get a USB one.BIF wrote:6. I would like the new box to have 802.11 N or AC, and would like it to run without a monitor so that I can plug it in anywhere close to an Aircon vent; even the laundry room.
It can bust $2k easily. May be you do need to make some compromises.BIF wrote:7. I need help putting some of this into perspective so that I can arrive at a reasonable hardware budget. At this time, I think I'm willing to spend a couple thousand just for the hardware.
For 16 cores you can get away with 2x 8-core Opterons or 4C8T (may be even 6C12T) Xeons. Going to 4P you have the following issues:BIF wrote:8. Loose Hardware Specs:
---- 2 or 4 processor motherboard that can support at least four PCIe Graphic cards and 24 GB RAM
---- Start with 2 CPUs, add more later. Would prefer to get to 16+ cores with the initial build.
You pretty much cannot do it with server boards.BIF wrote:---- I do not want to overclock either the system or the GPU. Stock speeds only because I want to run this server for several years.
BIGADV is supposed to use a lot of RAM as well, add to rendering and SQL server (how big are your databases?), I would say you should shoot for 32GiB. More costs.BIF wrote:---- Start with 16 GB RAM, add more later.
If the x17 cores can take advantage of the DP instructions in Teslas, then just get a Titan or 2. I am not sure if you can find server boards with properly spaced out PCIe x16 slots for all double-width cards.BIF wrote:---- Start with 2 graphic cards, HD 78xx or 79xx or Nvidia equivalent, add more later.
For 2P systems, I would say 850W is minimum. If going to 4 video cards, then may be those 1KW+ PSUs make sense. However, if you want 4P and rackmount server chassis, mainstream ATX/EATX power supplies won't apply and I don't know much about those power supplies.BIF wrote:---- Power supply that can handle the number of processor slots and GPUs that I have listed above.
Remote DB access is just basic networking. We can almost take it for granted.BIF wrote:1. The database won't be big (home stuff mostly for learning, but I want to be able to access it from other computers/devices, to learn this part of it).
Can it suck up all the cores that you can throw at it? If this animation stuff is as important, then I think the simplest is to stick with Windows as the OS (if you are looking beyond 2P then you will need Windows Server). A quick search did not come up with any recent comparisons of bigadv-16 Windows vs Linux (both are supported I believe). Let's say even the Linux version is better, do you want to sacrifice the animation stuff by relegating it to run in a VM with less cores and RAM? Depends on your animation software of course.BIF wrote:2. The animation stuff will run under Windows.
I would trust the OS to handle that for you, that's why I suggest running Windows only for simplicity.BIF wrote:3. I was thinking of hosting Windows and Linux both under VM (which VM is TBD). Linux because I was under the impression that BIGADV pretty much required Linux, but also to allow me to distribute CPU resources to the two VMs.
It may be so in Europe, but in the US the best deals are usually around Thanksgiving/Christmas. Although I must say with stores like Newegg/Tigerdirect/Microcenter/Amazon, good deals that are close enough can be had all year round if you are patient and check very often. However, server-grade hardware will not be discounted so heavily so often so this may be a moot point.Nec_V20 wrote:I have found the summer months to be the best time to buy hardware as the demand goes down worldwide because normal people (not troglodytes like us) are spending their money on things like holidays. I have found it to be the best time to look for bargains over the years.
DPete27 wrote:... Oops, there's $2000 already and I haven't even picked out a case and a GPU.....
just brew it! wrote:(For those of you who weren't around, that was a 2 CPU "node" in the massive diskless Athlon XP folding farm I had back in the day...)
Captain Ned wrote:just brew it! wrote:(For those of you who weren't around, that was a 2 CPU "node" in the massive diskless Athlon XP folding farm I had back in the day...)
One Athlon XP HSF install was enough for me.
just brew it! wrote:DPete27 wrote:... Oops, there's $2000 already and I haven't even picked out a case and a GPU.....
Real Folders don't need cases.
DPete27 wrote:I was curious about the cost of a system like this so I took a stab at it.
***Disclaimer - this type of system requirements is wayyy above my level of expertise***
2P mobo for $580
Dual E5-2620's (24 threads) for $850 total
4x8GB ECC memory for $310
1200W PSU for $275
Oops, there's $2000 already and I haven't even picked out a case and a GPU.....
Flying Fox wrote:Based on my quick search, it seems like for dual-gpu-on-a-card you just need to set up 2 GPU slots and have 2 WUs crunching, like the old multiproc days.
I think Nvidia has the edge still in Folding? By how much I don't know. You thinking of cost?
BIF wrote:Flying Fox wrote:Based on my quick search, it seems like for dual-gpu-on-a-card you just need to set up 2 GPU slots and have 2 WUs crunching, like the old multiproc days.
I think Nvidia has the edge still in Folding? By how much I don't know. You thinking of cost?
Yep, that's what I was thinking, regarding the slots.
Yes, I think Nvidia does have the edge in folding. But as I understand it, Geforce GPUs hogtie a CPU core for folding. Logic suggests that two 690's would hogtie all four cores in my Q6600, leaving nothing for a4 processing or even for media server, database, or browsing duties. And I don't know how long I may have to run this machine before I can upgrade the motherboard and CPU. Maybe only a couple months, maybe longer. Hence, my leaning toward AMD.
Flying Fox wrote:I forgot what the drop off of points is if the CPU core is in use. The process will not hog 100% of the CPU AFAIK. So you should still be able to overlay the GPU folding processes (they are low priority anyways) with your other programs. So it will be a little slow if you run your other apps, but that's exactly what you want, right?
BIF wrote:Flying Fox wrote:I forgot what the drop off of points is if the CPU core is in use. The process will not hog 100% of the CPU AFAIK. So you should still be able to overlay the GPU folding processes (they are low priority anyways) with your other programs. So it will be a little slow if you run your other apps, but that's exactly what you want, right?
Yes, it is...but (again, only as I understand it), AMD GPUs (with today's drivers) will leave a little bit more CPU headroom than Nvidia GPUs (with today's drivers). This would be nearly a non-issue if I were to install a couple of 8C/16T SBEs, but it is a consideration for a 4C/4T Q6600.
But I should ask: For anybody who might know, is my understanding correct?
BIF wrote:Ok I get it now. And the answer is yes, that would be okay.
So you're saying I'd be better to dive into this folding server with Geforce? If so, what would be my best choices for um, "maximum GPU folding" on said Q6600 then with the limitation of two PCIe cards in the P5KC motherboard?
Flying Fox wrote: ...Not that dominant once you go to the Folding benchmarks...
Flying Fox wrote:Not that dominant once you go to the Folding benchmarks.... with explicit SP mode.
BIF wrote:Any thoughts on dual GPU card comparisons such as the 7990s vs. GTX 690
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