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Author Topic: folding farm  (Read 6441 times)

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computeruler

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folding farm
« on: March 23, 2009, 04:59:56 PM »
I want to make a folding farm.  Its in the planning stages now, because I still need to make some money to do this.
I will be using this method http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/articles/howto/FAH_Diskless_Farm_1.html So I will only need the CPUs, ram, and motherboards.
I was thinking quad cores.  The q8200 or q8300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115055
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115207

Will it make that much of a difference for about $20 difference? Is it worth it? If I buy about 6 thats an about $127 difference.

Now what ram? I was thinking about 1gb for each should be good (of course if I get a motherboard that only supports 667 I would get 667
I was thinking of one of these for each

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220088
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148239
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148166
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134634

As for the motherboard I think that I will go with the following

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500018(seems to have some good reviews)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130217
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131338
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135063
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500010(this one would save some space)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186146
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128357

And the power supplys (I dont need much power 95w for cpu and then motherboard and ram plus I would like to save some energy)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182050
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817104999
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182001

How many of each should I buy too?

Calum

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 12:19:35 PM »
There isn't much of a difference between the Q8200 and Q8300, not worth $20 IMHO.
You may want to look at Q6600 CPUs instead if you can find them around that price range, depending if you're overclocking or not.

All of those RAM modules look fine to me, all from good companies and have lifetime warranties.
I'd recommend 2GB of RAM though if you're going for pure CPU clients as they are rumoured to become more memory-intensive soon.

Motherboards are mostly all good too.

If you're planning on any expansion, a beefier PSU, such as an Antec Earthwatts 380W, might be in order, but otherwise that FSP Group unit looks good to me, if it has the connectors you'll need.

I have to say I advise against a pure SMP farm, I think you'll get some better results with GPUs instead.  I don't want to sit around with a calculator working it out though so I may be wrong.

computeruler

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 01:20:00 PM »
q8200s are a bit cheapers + 45nm for less power and less heat
Ok 2gb ram it is then
 I need to keep the power low and GPUs would suck up a lot. Mabye I could put just one on each motherboard but then I would need a lot better PSU and it would use more power

computeruler

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 01:42:16 PM »
If I where to put in some gpus, I was reading that a 9600gso can outfold a 4870x2  :o :o :o :o So could I just get some 9800gtx+ cards?
http://theovalich.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/why-nvidia-destroys-ati-in-folding-at-hom/
9800gts+ is the 3rd best on there (but that doesnt include the new 2xx series cards

Calum

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 02:51:41 AM »
q8200s are a bit cheapers + 45nm for less power and less heat
True, but Q6600s are faster and overclock much better if you're going for that.

Quote
I need to keep the power low and GPUs would suck up a lot. Mabye I could put just one on each motherboard but then I would need a lot better PSU and it would use more power
I understand that, but what I'm saying is you need to take the overall power usage and crunching power of the farm into consideration.  Sure, a Q8200, board and RAM suck less power than a Q8200 and a 9600GSO, however take the [email protected] performance into account and work out what combinations will give you the best performance for the least power.
Put another way (pulling numbers from the air, please do actually work these out) Q8200 = 1500ppd and 100W, Q8200 + 9600GSO = 3500ppd + 200W.  The second is clearly a better choice, as it uses twice the power for over twice the points.  I know it's not all about points, but as the work units vary so much I can't say how many units it will crunch per day so the points will have to indicate that.
As I say though, do check up on those numbers, I could be way off base and I'm just guessing.

At the minute, Nvidia does destroy ATI at [email protected] performance, but ATI are slowly catching up.  What I hear is that the newer units (such as the 590x series, worth 1680 points each) benefit more from a larger amount of shaders and this trend will continue, bringing ATI cards' performance up.  Nvidia has much better folding performance now, but ATI may have better performance in the future, so it's a trade-off.
The best bang for your buck was the 9600GSO/8800GS, but the lower number of shaders lowers their performance in the newer units.  Also the newer 9600GSO is crippled, with only 64 vs 96 shaders for the older ones.
If you go the GPU route I'd recommend at least an 8800GT/9800GT.  The 8800GTS/9800GTX give better performance and can actually be easier to find.  Going higher and the GTX260 is a beast at [email protected], but that might suck a bit too much juice for a farm.

computeruler

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 02:08:50 PM »
2.33ghz vs 2.4 And I probably wont overclock too much.
gtx260 is way to much power yes
Do you think ATi will be better then nvida?

Calum

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 02:39:34 PM »
I'm not sure how ATi/Nvidia [email protected] performance will be in future.
Looking at the situation as it is, Nvidia is destroying ATI totally at [email protected] right now.  The far more power hungry and expensive 4870 is roughly on a par with an 8800GT it seems.
Looks like the clients have a lot of optimization to go through if performance is going to match up as it technically should.

Look at your budget, look at how much power you want each client to pull, and then look at what cards fit the bill.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 03:20:53 PM by Calum »

computeruler

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Re: folding farm
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 03:07:13 PM »
Ok thanks