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 Post subject: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:21 am 
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Its been a year or better since i last did any folding. At that time Nvidea seemed to be the best GPU to use in folding. Is that still the same? Or is AMD now the best to use?


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:29 am 
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I'm not sure how much of a difference there is anymore. New AMD hardware plus better "something, something, GPGPU compute programming" has made it pretty even, with AMD maybe having a slight edge. If you're in the market for a new GPU you can make your decision based on whatever other factors are important to you (cost, performance, noise, power consumption); Folding performance will be good either way. If you narrow down a few candidates I'm sure we can find some PPD info for you one way or another.
Oh, BTW, glad to see you thinking about getting back into Folding. Good ol' Team 11108 Maximum PC Magazine [go Desktops!(what? you got a better mascot?)] is losing ground. We'll go from 6th to 8th within the year.
Yeah, yeah, I know all the science goes toward the same goal and (much like Whose Line) the points don't matter, but c'mon, without points and teams and stuff it becomes a lot less interesting. We're just a bunch of tribalist primates. (OMG!, is that where the monkey Federation came from?)


Last edited by crwlngkngsnk on Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:35 am 
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crwlngkngsnk wrote:
Good ol' Team 11108 Maximum PC Magazine [go Desktops!(what? you got a better mascot?)] is losing ground.


I thin Hardware hogs sounds good.


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:38 am 
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devastator_2000 wrote:
I thin Hardware hogs sounds good.

Beats "Fluff and Folders".


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:06 pm 
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As crwlngkngsnk said, the playing field has leveled out quite a bit. To my knowledge, Nvidia Maxwell cards are looking to claim top spots as they roll out, but current AMD cards do have that generation of Nvidia cards beat.


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:27 pm 
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One more thing. I think NVIDIA GPUs are using some CPU like how you used to have to leave one core open for AMD. I have a vague recollection of reading this, maybe at https://foldingforum.org/.
As anecdotal evidence I present my beleaguered E2160/GT430. I had a few CPU WU's crap out on me and then my GPU OC seemed to be a problem so I stopped Folding on it for awhile. I've recently begun using the GPU again (at a lower clock) and I've noticed that Core_17 keeps my CPU usage at 50% (basically one of the two cores).

I'm wanting to say it has to do with using OpenCL instead of CUDA? I'll look into it more sometime today, maybe.
Oh, also, I found this tool. I haven't played with it yet. It's a GPU Folding benchmark. Apparently, NVIDIA drivers after 327.2.3 (except on 780, 780Ti, Titan) suffer Folding performance hits. Something to look into if someone is not a gamer, or doesn't need the features included in more recent driver packages.

Found something else cool. CPU and GPU stress tests designed for Folding. https://folding.stanford.edu/home/download-utilities/


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:51 pm 
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AMD still takes a cpu core too. Makes me wonder if the same GPU on a diferent CPU would put out different PPD.

I'm running an i5 4670k @4.3GHz and I use 95% of one core for GPU, but if someone else had an i3 at 3.4GHz it would probably also use 95% of one thread (core i3s and i5s both have 4 threads, but i5s are 4 core, i3s are 2 hyper-threaded cores)

If the PPD is the same, 24% of a quad core 4.3 is a lot more than 24% of a dual core 3.4... so where is the power going? If its not the same, maybe I should OC more :twisted:

Does anyone have any experience with this? I could downclock my CPU to 3ghz or so and keep an eye on GPU folding, but that's wasted time and folding potential!


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:14 pm 
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I don't think it's a limiting factor (outside of a really weak proc). My E2160 is an old dual-core sans HT (OC'd to 3Ghz) and it uses one core for the GPU side (at least on Core_17 WUs). Of course, it's a pretty weak GPU, so maybe CPU use scales with GPU horsepower. I'm willing to bet that turning down the clock on your proc wouldn't impact those WUs at all (short of some ridiculous underclock). In my case it means I haven't tried CPU Folding on that machine recently. I'd only have one thread for it. I'm debating installing the V6 client, as it will only receive Core_15 WUs and I don't think those need any CPU, being CUDA based, not OpenCL.


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:34 am 
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I don't think cpu affects it either, but if that's true, what is all that cpu power doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Best GPU for folding
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:48 pm 
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I think the CPU use is an overhead cost of using OpenCL. I don't think the CPU is the bottleneck, but if you had a really weak or really old proc then I think it might become the limiting factor. Like an Atom paired with a high end GPU.


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