I'd like to build the ideal BOINC computer

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Markus

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Message 43023 - Posted: 14 Mar 2012, 4:07:32 UTC

First off I apologize if this isn't the best place for this post. But it seemed like the best one I could find.

I want to contribute in a big way to BOINC projects, like docking@home along with Rosetta@home etc.

I am wondering, I've tried asking this question on other message boards having to do with computers, but no one is willing to help.

What kind of computer would be IDEAL, I mean high powered, on steroids processing of Data able to handle dozens if not hundreds of batches a day?

I've thought about building a custom computer with SBC's attached to a main circuit power board or "back plane" as someone in a forum put it, and maybe racking up about 6-7 CPU's housed on these SBC's as Dual CPU SBCs. So I'd have about 3-4 SBC's for a grand total of 6-8 CPU's all working on conjunction. I know it's possible to build such a custom beauty of a machine for processing Data, and I know I DON'T have to have a bachelors in electronic engineering to do so. But what I want to know is if that is the ideal thing to do.

What I basically want to do is build a monster computer, a veritable mini-super computer, for the good of science, the BOINC community and humankind in general.

I need real help though knowing if that is what I should do, or if there is a way to upgrade my current computer dramatically and not blow a motherboard.

I'm also a complete novice.

SO yeah. Tough. I know. But a good start would be explaining to me the differences in processors.
Here's my specs:
AMD FX-4100 Quad core processor, 3600 Mhz, 4 cores, 4 logical processors

AMD Radeon HD 6670 (GPU)
16 GB of virtual memory
8 GB of Ram

What do I need to upgrade and how could I do it to turn my desktop into a beast with an appetite for BOINC workunits like the event horizon of a blackhole?
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Markus

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Message 43049 - Posted: 16 Mar 2012, 0:09:20 UTC - in response to Message 43023.  

Ok... if there's no takers interested in this project, maybe you could tell me what would be an upgrade to my current processor and GPU? I don't understand what the upgrades are and what they mean. They're not really labeled in a way for novices.

What'd be an upgrade? Like a serious one?
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Rasputin42

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Message 43050 - Posted: 16 Mar 2012, 0:47:08 UTC

First step:
What do you want to achieve?
Are interested in only some specific projects or are you interested to get the most credits?
Are you interested in a better world ( drug research, clean energy etc.)
Or mathematical ( prime numbers, whatever they are good for)
or other things (like exploring the universe (mikyway, einstein,seti)
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BOINCuser

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Message 43098 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:27:21 UTC

I posted somethin like this before..

i would also like to have some information on this:)


I have around €1.600 to spend.

I'm interested in a better world.
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BOINCuser

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Message 43099 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:31:41 UTC - in response to Message 43098.  

I posted somethin like this before..

i would also like to have some information on this:)


I have around €1.600 to spend.

I'm interested in a better world.


I want to build a whole new computer btw. Its not just an upgrade for me.
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BOINCuser

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Message 43100 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:34:16 UTC - in response to Message 43049.  

Ok... if there's no takers interested in this project, maybe you could tell me what would be an upgrade to my current processor and GPU? I don't understand what the upgrades are and what they mean. They're not really labeled in a way for novices.

What'd be an upgrade? Like a serious one?


As far as I know..this is the best CPU of AMD now: AMD FX-8150 Black Edition.
So this is a really good CPU upgrade.
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BOINCuser

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Message 43101 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:36:19 UTC

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Claggy

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Message 43102 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:38:00 UTC - in response to Message 43098.  

I posted somethin like this before..

i would also like to have some information on this:)


I have around €1.600 to spend.

I'm interested in a better world.

Go and ask at your favourite project, this month it might be more cores, next month avx support, the month after the latest GPU and drivers,

Claggy
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BOINCuser

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Message 43103 - Posted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:46:42 UTC

Best GPU:

XFX Radeon HD 6990 4GB (ATI)

But how much money would you like to spend?
I mean..if you want to make a high-end computer you could consider to have 2 or more GPU's. But it will also cost a lot more;).

I hope I helped you out a little bit.
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Markus

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Message 43109 - Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 7:55:53 UTC - in response to Message 43050.  

First step:
What do you want to achieve?
Are interested in only some specific projects or are you interested to get the most credits?
Are you interested in a better world ( drug research, clean energy etc.)
Or mathematical ( prime numbers, whatever they are good for)
or other things (like exploring the universe (mikyway, einstein,seti)


I'm interested in a better world. Without clean energy and a stable world how will we ever explore the universe outside our cradle?

Either way, wouldn't it be the same? I'm going for computing power FOR Boinc projects. Wouldn't upgrading my processors and GPU's provide across the board improvement in performance? Allowing me to process more workunits faster?
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Markus

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Message 43110 - Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 7:58:27 UTC - in response to Message 43103.  

Best GPU:

XFX Radeon HD 6990 4GB (ATI)

But how much money would you like to spend?
I mean..if you want to make a high-end computer you could consider to have 2 or more GPU's. But it will also cost a lot more;).

I hope I helped you out a little bit.


I think for right now, upgrading my current system may be more realistic and feasible for my financial situation.

I have around 200-300 dollars to spend on processor upgrades. Considering my current setup, can anyone recommend what would be the most prudent decision in regards to processors and/or GPU?

My main project is docking@home.
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ProfileJord
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Message 43111 - Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 9:16:32 UTC - in response to Message 43110.  

I have around 200-300 dollars to spend on processor upgrades. Considering my current setup, can anyone recommend what would be the most prudent decision in regards to processors and/or GPU?

Not without you telling us what you have now, as it's quite difficult to plug a Sandy Bridge CPU into an 1156 socket motherboard, nothing said about trying to plug a Bulldozer into that socket.

So you'll have to tell what motherboard you have, what CPU there's in it now, what kind of RAM and how much, what GPU (if any), etc.

Having just upgraded from an i3-530 (socket 1156) to an i5-2500K (Socket 1155), these were 318 euros for the new CPU and new motherboard (ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3). I could easily switch over my previous PC-1333 (DDR3) RAM.
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Markus

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Message 43115 - Posted: 18 Mar 2012, 22:56:07 UTC - in response to Message 43111.  

I have around 200-300 dollars to spend on processor upgrades. Considering my current setup, can anyone recommend what would be the most prudent decision in regards to processors and/or GPU?

Not without you telling us what you have now, as it's quite difficult to plug a Sandy Bridge CPU into an 1156 socket motherboard, nothing said about trying to plug a Bulldozer into that socket.

So you'll have to tell what motherboard you have, what CPU there's in it now, what kind of RAM and how much, what GPU (if any), etc.

Having just upgraded from an i3-530 (socket 1156) to an i5-2500K (Socket 1155), these were 318 euros for the new CPU and new motherboard (ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3). I could easily switch over my previous PC-1333 (DDR3) RAM.


I did. Scroll up.
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Markus

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Message 43136 - Posted: 23 Mar 2012, 0:48:39 UTC - in response to Message 43115.  

bump
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Freeze_XJ

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Message 43179 - Posted: 27 Mar 2012, 10:59:49 UTC
Last modified: 27 Mar 2012, 11:02:33 UTC

The problem is that the results vary from project to project. On NFS my 1090T completely smoked the opposition for a while (I think because of a well-optimized app + fast memory), but on for example SETI it doesn't do much. So your best bet is looking at the fastest computers for a certain project, and find out if they're all the same brand. This applies for graphics cards as well, if supported. For Docking I know (looking around at the top computers) that it doesn't matter much, so you can pick whatever is cheapest (usually AMD).
Then secondly you have to decide if you want a big power rig, or a farm. One huge multi-CPU monster is easiest to manage, and smallest. Simply pick a top-end CPU, throw in a truckload of memory, a sweet SSD, and a high-end GPU (of the brand you prefer) if your project supports it. Let's say a nice 2500k, 16 GB RAM, and a 680GTX should keep you up to date for a while. You can also overclock it, most of those CPUs run at 4.4Ghz with a bit of prodding.

The second option, giving you more credits per watt (who pays the power bills? My power bill is my main problem when crunching, new hardware only costs you once, but that hardware will consume power for a few years. That is why companies prefer Total Cost of Ownership instead of just buying price) is taking a lot of small rigs, underclock/volt them, and let them run. Say you take a bunch of cheap AMD 1045Ts or 8120s, cheapy motherboards, 4 GB RAM (assuming your project is OK with that), and an on-board GPU (or 560 ti / 6870 if project demands one). You can easily buy and run 4-5 of those for the price of a top-end PC, and probably score double the points as well. However, it takes up a lot of space, and will be harder to manage (swapping monitors around, and checking regularly), plus you can't play top-end games on it ;)

If you really want to build a computer like you suggested, you'll have to be a motherboard-designer, or be willing to spend several thousands on custom parts (Groupe Bull or IBM might help you :D) since blade systems are not exactly standard solutions. They're useless as well for BOINC, which is supposed to run distributed, aka no overhead needed. Several independant computers will work just as well, and are cheaper and easier to build.

tl;dr: there is no one-size-fits-all computer, nor a clear-cut strategy. Read up on different parts, and decide for yourself.
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Markus

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Message 43198 - Posted: 29 Mar 2012, 1:47:34 UTC - in response to Message 43179.  

My power bill is paid for by the college, so yeaaah. :D No need to worry there. And it's only just considering how much i'm paying for this kraphole. :D

Thank you. That was exactly the kind of post I needed.
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dt

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Message 43221 - Posted: 1 Apr 2012, 3:29:08 UTC - in response to Message 43050.  

What project would be good to work on if you wanted to make the world a better place?
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BOINCuser

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Message 43232 - Posted: 1 Apr 2012, 10:37:24 UTC - in response to Message 43221.  

What project would be good to work on if you wanted to make the world a better place?


Make ur own thread next time...

To answer ur question.

I think World Community Grid is the best project to make a better world.
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Co
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Message 43553 - Posted: 17 Apr 2012, 4:14:05 UTC - in response to Message 43232.  

Nvidia TESLA is the best thing we can add to computing desktop I believe.
Any statistics btw in comparison with ATI?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/nVidia-Tesla-C2050-Graphics-Card-Retailing-3200-3800-/180863726729?pt=AU_Components&hash=item2a1c517489
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Luke Formosa

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Message 44061 - Posted: 8 May 2012, 22:36:19 UTC

I know this thread is 15 days old, but here's a very useful benchmark lis that encompasses all the CPUs in existence (or at least most of them):

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

You can click twice on the "passmark CPU mark" column to sort by performance - in general, double the CPU mark means about double the work done (i.e. double the points) per day.

What's also evident from the list is that €1600 won't even cover the cost of the CPU alone if you want the fastest CPU on earth at this moment in time (the Intel Xeon E5-2690)

The best not-insanely-expensive CPU in terms of performance is thus the Intel Core i7-3930K.

And the best sub-$400 CPU in terms of performance would be the Intel Core i7-3770K.
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Message boards : Questions and problems : I'd like to build the ideal BOINC computer

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