BOINC incorrectly requests GPU driver updated instead of an insufficent RAM msg

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Yavanius
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Message 80817 - Posted: 6 Sep 2017, 3:36:55 UTC

Greetings,

I have an HP notebook that the nVidia GPU is on the CUDA list, but the Video RAM is insufficent (128mb).

However, instead of a message about the video RAM, it incorrectly gives a message in the log that the graphics drivers needs to be updated to the latest.

This is on Linux Mint and I used the independently maintained nVidia PPA. I verified the version is the latest against nVidia's site.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Windows install anymore to see if this just with the Linux version or a BOINC issue overall.

Yavanius
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Message 80825 - Posted: 6 Sep 2017, 8:13:29 UTC - in response to Message 80817.  

However, instead of a message about the video RAM, it incorrectly gives a message in the log that the graphics drivers needs to be updated to the latest.
BOINC doesn't care how much video memory your GPU has. It doesn't use the GPU, it only detects it so that projects can make use of it. The project on the other hand can detect the memory amount and give a message about what's wrong, and why it won't send you work. That's the case here as well, so you'll have to take it up with the project to get the message changed/adapted.
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robsmith
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Message 80826 - Posted: 6 Sep 2017, 8:14:29 UTC

A few questions
Which nvidia GPU does your laptop have?
Which projects have you tried connecting to?
Which exact version of the driver do you have installed? - the error message can be a bit misleading as sometimes it means you are running too new a driver.

Depending on what GPU you have this may be an issue with "shared video memory", or that the actual GPU just doesn't have enough video RAM, the error messages can be very confusing.
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Yavanius
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Message 80919 - Posted: 8 Sep 2017, 2:21:00 UTC - in response to Message 80826.  

A few questions
Which nvidia GPU does your laptop have?
Which projects have you tried connecting to?
Which exact version of the driver do you have installed? - the error message can be a bit misleading as sometimes it means you are running too new a driver.

Depending on what GPU you have this may be an issue with "shared video memory", or that the actual GPU just doesn't have enough video RAM, the error messages can be very confusing.



@Ageless - Roger that. For some reason I thought it was a BOINC issue. I wonder if BOINC should do a preliminary check first though and advise the user?

Running currently on Kubuntu 17.04 (which unlike Mint, the GPU support for BOINC worked right out of the box)

Laptop is a Pavilion DV6500 (Linux thinks it's a DV6700, but I've seen this oddness with WIndows too before)
Video is a GeForce 8400M GS.
Driver version is 340.102

Einstein & SETI

Incidentally, Einstein actually doesn't tell you anything. It directs you to a logfile on the website which doesn't actually tell you your machine's graphics chip sucks. It just gives you the available RAM and the RAM needed for the App.

SETI gives me the update video driver message.

I haven't a chance to check any other projects as this is a fresh OS install. However, IIRC, SETI is more forgiving than Einstein for GPU computing.
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Message 80926 - Posted: 8 Sep 2017, 8:02:00 UTC - in response to Message 80919.  
Last modified: 8 Sep 2017, 8:15:09 UTC

However, IIRC, SETI is more forgiving than Einstein for GPU computing.
That's true, but I think they require a minimum of 256MB or 512MB on the GPU (so not total with shared memory). Or its work group size is insufficient. That's something you best ask on their forums, or wait for Rob (Smith) to return and ask him.
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Message 80937 - Posted: 8 Sep 2017, 11:42:46 UTC

Thanks Jord - I was hoping you wouldn't drop me in it ;-)

OK, that GPU is right on the bottom line for SETI. I'm not too sure about the driver being the most suitable one as I haven't got all my notes here - it might actually be too new! From memory the best one is somewhere in the region 356.x.y

Just now your RAC is too low to be able to post in the main body of the SETI forum, but you can post in the Q&A section where you will encounter both Jord & I there as well, plus a few more helpful beings.
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Yavanius
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Message 80964 - Posted: 8 Sep 2017, 21:03:06 UTC - in response to Message 80937.  

Actually, I don't think I have an issue posting there as I think I'm grandfathered in... but I couldn't tell you either way offhand.

I added the nVidia PPA and I wasn't able to get the version that shipped with (K)unbuntu 17.04. A quick Google didn't reveal that info. However, whatever that version was what I first tried it with.

According to BOINC/SETI GPU processing notes, for CUDA I need 256mb of RAM. I never extensively tested that notation though. I don't know if I ever was able to do GPU in the past but memory says no but I think I only every tried SETI and Einstein.

I thought the hard drive was dead in it and was running off a Linux stick before I got a replacement system. Recently, I decided to play with it again and the system saw the hard drive again. It was funny seeing WUs from a couple of years ago. I bet the project manager were wondering WTF with these old WUs being turned in. ;) There was some corruption with Vista and it looks like when M$ says it is no longer supporting the OS, it means it... it yanked all the support links I tried to follow. It wasn't worth the time to hunt it down and I didn't feel like getting W7 for it so I had Linux format the whole drive.

Oddly, with Mint, I had to hunt down how to enable the GPU support for BOINC (without sacrificing platypus, adding shark fins, and oil of Orca). Yet with Kubuntu I didn't have to do anything...
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Message 81508 - Posted: 20 Sep 2017, 22:34:49 UTC - in response to Message 80926.  

I'm pretty sure that 256mb is locking me out. Only Einstein seems to give you a sign that something is awry. BOINC never beem terribly good at giving you reasons why work fetch failed.

I tried see if I could get work from other projects and I didn't have any luck. I was never able to get any GPU work in the beginning, but I thought I'd just try anyways to see if there was some lightweight GPU client. Being a notebook card, it can't be upgraded. It's too bad, because I'd be curious to know if it could actually crunch with the GPU.

In other notes, I was trying some different distros of Linux out and discovered at least with Kubuntu that nVidia GPU support for BOINC is enabled. Mint didn't, but I think I might grabbed the previous release. However, one might think that all the *buntus on the same schedule would be the same, although I haven't checked them out. Maybe it's a per distro decision...
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Message boards : Questions and problems : BOINC incorrectly requests GPU driver updated instead of an insufficent RAM msg

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