Though at present ATI Radeon cards do not support as many projects as Nvidia cards, ATI's have a very high performance in those projects that they do. Therefore, when you are active in one of those projects, you might want to consider upgrading to a recent Radeon card.
Projects with ATI/AMD applications:
- Collatz Conjecture has various applications for Ati/AMD cards, ranging from CAL/Brook applications for Windows and Windows 64bit to OpenCL applications for Intel 64-bit Mac OS 10.5 and later.
- DistrRTgen has an application for Ati/AMD OpenCL capable cards (Windows only).
- DNETC@Home (Windows and Linux 32bit) This is by now a Retired project Succeeded by the Moo! Wrapper.
- Einstein@Home has a Binary Radio Pulsar Search (Arecibo) application for Ati/AMD OpenCL capable cards (Windows and Linux).
- Milkyway@home (OpenCL support and Double precision GPU required, so a Radeon 47xx, 48xx, 58xx, 59xx, 69xx, 77xx, 78xx, 79xx; FirePro V87xx, V78xx, V88xx, V98xx; FireStream 92xx, 93xx) (Windows only)
- Moo! (Driver v10.4 or later, Ati Runtime (not older AMD), Minimum device memory 250MB.
- POEM@Home has a POEM++ OpenCL application for Ati/AMD OpenCL capable cards (Windows and Linux).
- PrimeGrid (Proth Prime Search (Sieve) (Windows, Linux and Mac OS X; OpenCL support required, so a Radeon HD4xxx -or equivalent FirePro/FireStream- or higher)
- Seti@Home can be run on Ati/AMD cards using an application from Lunatics. Be careful, not for the faint of heart. Read the instructions and try to understand them before you proceed!
- SETI@home Beta (Windows only)
- World Community Grid is on the verge of launching a Windows GPU client. An OpenCL 1.1 capable card is needed, so HD 5xxx and higher. The test ran on a Llano APU as well.
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
|Shaders||TMUs||ROPs|| Memory size
|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|
|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|
|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|
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
|External card||Shaders|| GFlops
|Combined card||Shaders|| GFlops|
|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
- Download and install the latest version of the 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.