ATI Radeon

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Though at current the ATI Radeon cards do not support as many projects as the Nvidia cards, they have a very high performance in those projects that they do support, so when you are active in one of those projects you might want to consider upgrading to a recent Radeon card. Ati has more cards on its sleave though...

Contents

Projects with ATI/AMD applications:

You will -at this moment- generally get the most performance out of the latest and highest models Radeon cards, the 58xx, 59xx, 69xx, 77xx, 78xx and 79xx families. Mind you: not all Radeon 5xxx cards have the same features, e.g. a feature like double precision -needed for Milkyway@home- is *NOT* to be found in a HD 57xx or lower, nor in the HD 68xx series. Radeon cards are not the only cards manufactured by Ati/AMD that support double precision either.

ATI top 20 performing cards for Boinc applications

Sorted on Double Precision performance

ATI's best performing cards as of September 2011, data from Comparison of AMD graphics processing units, Radeon 5000 family, FirePro Professional Graphics Product Comparison, FireStream 9270 GPU Compute Accelerator
# Model GFlops
(single
precision)
GFlops
(double
precision)
Shaders TMUs ROPs Memory size
(MiB)
TDP in Watt
1 Radeon HD 6990 5099 1275 2x 1536 2x 96 2x 32 2x 2048 375 (450 in über mode)
2 Radeon HD 5970 Eyefinity/Ares 5440 1088 2x 1600 2x 80 2x 32 2x 2048 294
3 Radeon HD 7970 3788 947 2048 128 32 3072 230
4 Radeon HD 5970 4640 928 2x 1600 2x 80 2x 32 2x 1024 294
5 Radeon HD 7950 2867 717 1792 112 32 3072 180
6 Radeon HD 6970 2703 676 1536 96 32 2048 250
7 Radeon HD 7870 2560 160 1536 96 32 2048 175
8 Radeon HD 6950 2253 563 1408 88 32 2048 200
9 Radeon HD 5870 2720 544 1600 80 32 1024 and 2048 variants 188
10 FirePro 3D V9800 2720 544 1600 80 32 4096 225
11 FirePro 3D V8800 2640 528 1600 80 32 2048 208
12 FireStream 9370 2640 528 1600 80 32 2048 225
13 Radeon HD 4870X2 2400 480 2x 800 2x 40 2x 16 2x 1024 286
15 Radeon HD 7850 1761 110 1408 88 32 2048 130
16 Radeon HD 5850 2088 417.6 1440 72 32 1024 and 2048 variants 151
17 FirePro 3D V7800 2016 403.2 1440 72 32 2048 138
18 FireStream 9350 2016 403.2 1440 72 32 2048 150
19 Radeon HD 4850X2 2000 400 2x 800 2x 40 2x 16 2x 512 and 2x 1024 variants 250
20 Radeon HD 6870 2000 0 1120 56 32 1024 151

AMD Fusion

Raw performance is not everything, nobody in his/her right mind will want a high-end card to run 24/7/365 while consuming more than 300 Watts, or one has to get power for free. So cost effective-wise the best performer will be a card that delivers enough performance, while not bankrupting you on a 24/7/365 basis. Bearing in mind that the GPU also needs a CPU to work it is easy to see why the Llano and Trinity APUs of AMD, combined with a low power Radeon card in virtual crossfire, might be a wise choice for systems that work on BOINC on a 24/7/365 basis.

# Model Internal Graphics Shaders GFlops
(single
precision)
External card Shaders GFlops
(single
precision)
Combined card Shaders GFlops
(single
precision)
1 A4 HD 6410D 160 192 HD 6350 80 104 HD 6430D2 240 296
2 A4 HD 6410D 160 192 HD 6450 160 200 HD 6510D2 320 392
3 A6 HD 6530D 320 284 HD 6450 160 200 HD 6550D2 480 484
4 A6 HD 6530D 320 284 HD 6570 480 624 HD 6610D2 800 908
5 A6 HD 6530D 320 284 HD 6670 480 768 HD 6690D2 800 1052
6 A8 HD 6550D 400 480 HD 6450 160 200 HD 6550D2 560 680
7 A8 HD 6550D 400 480 HD 6570 480 624 HD 6630D2 880 1104
8 A8 HD 6550D 400 480 HD 6670 480 768 HD 6690D2 880 1248

The dual core A4 has a tdp of 65 Watt, the triple- or quad core A6 and the quad core A8 come in two versions, one with a tdp of 65 Watt and one with a tdp of 100 Watt. The 65 Watt versions have a lower basic clockrate, but offer a turbo setting as well. The HD 6350 has a tdp of 19 Watt, the HD 6450 18 WAtt (DDR3) or 27 Watt (DDR5), the HD 6570 of 44 Watt (DDR3) or 60 Watt (DDR5) and the HD 6670 50 Watt (DDR3) or 66 Watt (DDR5). So the total tdp of a Llano system (APU+Ext.GPU) can be as low as 83 Watt and never exceeds 166 Watt.

Get the latest BOINC software

Get the latest Ati driver

Run BOINC, and look at the Messages. If BOINC reports a GPU, your current driver is OK. Otherwise

It never hurts to check whether there is a more recent driver though.

Things to be aware of

  • By default, your GPU will be used only when you are not using the computer; otherwise graphical updates become jerky. If you want to use the GPU all the time, you must change your preferences.
  • You can configure BOINC to not use GPUs when particular applications are running.
  • You can configure BOINC to not use specific GPUs on a multi-GPU system.
  • If you have questions or problems related to GPUs, check the BOINCFAQ.
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