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-   -   Nvidia Client Takes A Hit, Playtime Almost Over (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardwarecanucks-f-h-team/9953-nvidia-client-takes-hit-playtime-almost-over.html)

LCB001 September 9, 2008 07:34 AM

Nvidia Client Takes A Hit, Playtime Almost Over
 
Good thing we do this for the Science, not the points. For those that don't know, Stanford has released new WU's that are larger, offer less PPD, and can cause your GPU to run upto 8* hotter, so check your temps.
For all the info see this thread: Folding Forum • View topic - new public NV projects 5508-5513, 5017-5022

Selected Quotes:

by DanEnsign on Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:56 pm
Hi,

I'm warning you, you will start to see a new series of projects coming out this morning. The proteins we're studying here are larger and in some sense more relevant to biology than anything we've run on GPU2 to date.

However, due to the larger size of the protein, you may see a PPD drop putting NV cards more in line with ATI production. This isn't due to different benchmarking or a different way to assign points, but rather we anticipate NV to be slightly less efficient with larger proteins than it has been with the smaller ones.

by John Naylor on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:11 pm
CoreX5 wrote:Why if these projects are larger, are they worth less? Also why is the benchmark machine an ati 3850 when the same projects are not being run on nvidia as the ones being run on Ati clients? Just seeking some clarification as this could look like it was changed just to appease ati and their clients.
They are worth less because despite being bigger the benchmark machine processes them quicker than the old units (I think the simulations are shorter, just the proteins are bigger). The benchmark machine has always been a 3850 so nothing has changed.

And as an aside, the project staff have repeatedly said that nvidia's huge lead in the PPD stakes may change. It now has (I'm an nvidia folder too so I would be as miffed as anyone were it not for the fact that I don't give two hoots about points), so you can't say we weren't warned

by toTOW on Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:32 pm There is no point about calling it favoritism : we have always said that the first batch of WU (with ~550 atoms) was doing very well on the NV hardware and that might not be the case with future WU (see the "Preliminary results" in the PPD thread title).

It's just a matter of architecture : NV chose to use a few amount of complex shaders which are fast, but few. ATI chose simpler shader, which are a bit less efficient, but a lot.

On NV architecture, more atoms (and thus complexity and parallelism) means that there are no free SP to use, as they were already used hence the PPD drop.

On ATI hardware, there are still plenty SP available, so more complexity means better performance, as there were SP available.

We still see performance difference between two architectures because of SP efficiency, but both hardware tend to join their performances : NV slows a bit, and ATI gets a bit faster.

by slegrand on Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:50 pm No worries, there are plenty of NV optimizations in the pipe as well, but I need to validate them before turning them loose and right now, I'm swamped with some other F@H-related work. As things stand, the NV algorithm is more efficient but the ATI algorithm is simpler. Hence around lambda-sized molecules, ATI gets a perf spike while NV is still warming up and bogged down by the housekeeping incurred for its more efficient algorithm. For Fip35-sized molecules, NV is underutilized on GTX280, but ATI is doubly so on 4870 and that's why the perf differential there is just crazy.

In the long run in this GPU generation, I *expect* SP for SP that an NV GPU will be about 2.5x faster than an ATI SP. This is of course then modified by SP count and processor clock. If Mike finds a structural optimization to his code, then I will revisit that ratio, but that's my prediction for now. And the game resets with the next hw generation anyway so it's an ongoing arms race.
John Naylor wrote:The work units have not been devalued, nor is there a motive to bring down NV points to make ATI and NV produce roughly equal points... Mike [Houston, the guy who builds the ATI cores] has a lot of optimisations on the backburner for his core while they sort out some obscure issue. If they wanted to level the production field, then those optimisations would probably be in already (from what I've read the problem is extremely obscure and not science related). The GPUs were always going to be used for bigger units, their enormous speed makes them inherently suitable for processing big systems, which can bog down the uniprocessor clients into multi-day units (e.g. p1487, which has taken a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 11 days to fold on my system, and anywhere inbetween [that's not including downtime]). Both NV and ATI cards will be used to fold big units, but this was known from the start. It just seems that the ATI cards excel with these units where NV excels with smaller units. There is no intentional redistribution of PPD with these units.

3.0charlie September 9, 2008 08:07 AM

We all knew this was coming along - those points were great for the time they lasted, just like ATI owners had their time when they were the only ones that could GPU fold...

yycraven September 9, 2008 08:21 AM

thats why I had less pts and my PPD's were at only 3500.
WU was 5022

SKYMTL September 9, 2008 08:34 AM

I noticed this last night as well. I may as well use a more-efficient ATI card to fold now since PPD for the Nvidia cards has dropped off significantly.

sswilson September 9, 2008 08:54 AM

Once again the FAH team shows that they don't quite understand the social engineering aspect of getting folks to fold.

I had this discussion WRT one or two SMP WUs which were handing out a good 30% less PPD than the current day standard. They didn't seem to understand that once you make it a competition by handing out points, some folks are going to dump those WUs in favour of better PPD ones. Or, in the case of GPU folding, possibly switch back to SMP if the points aren't up to par.

yycraven September 9, 2008 09:08 AM

Not to worried about the pts, but did not realize that the PPD would drop that much. Oh well still going to buy a 9800GTX+ to fold with.
Still will Fold even if there are no pts. For good cause and gives my system something to do while I'm asleep. It fold and Boinc.

SKYMTL September 9, 2008 09:29 AM

Quote:

Both NV and ATI cards will be used to fold big units, but this was known from the start. It just seems that the ATI cards excel with these units where NV excels with smaller units. There is no intentional redistribution of PPD with these units.
Looks like many of us will be going ATI for folding based on this statement.

I have to agree though. bigger WUs should equal more points.

yycraven September 9, 2008 09:43 AM

I'm sure everyone has seen this Folding@Home
give WU's and size and PTS

enaberif September 9, 2008 09:47 AM

this explains the drop from 5000 to 1100 ppd :(

lame.

Dashock September 9, 2008 09:50 AM

yea mon im getting 3500 ppd now what a killer of almost 2000 ppd but reading those statements eventually the new projects will favor Nvidia.

"In the long run in this GPU generation, I *expect* SP for SP that an NV GPU will be about 2.5x faster than an ATI SP. This is of course then modified by SP count and processor clock. If Mike finds a structural optimization to his code, then I will revisit that ratio, but that's my prediction for now. And the game resets with the next hw generation anyway so it's an ongoing arms race."

my computer seems slugish too running these new projects.


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