Monday, April 14th 2008

New Folding@home GPU Client Available

Until now, the only graphics cards supported by the Folding@home GPU client were ATI’s Radeon 16xx, 18xx and 19xx series cards. However, a new beta version is now available from here which will allow owners of HD 2xxx and 3xxx cards to contribute some of their graphics processing power to the project. The Folding@home project is run by Stanford University and simulates protein folding in the hope of finding cures for diseases including Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (BSE), CJD, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease and many Cancers. Even if you do not own a supported graphics card, you can still download the standard CPU client and contribute your idle processing power – all you need is an internet connection. To find out more, why not take a look at techPowerUp!’s Folding@home team?Source: Folding@home Support Forum
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31 Comments on New Folding@home GPU Client Available

#1
[I.R.A]_FBi
finally .. might go buy myself a hd3850 this week
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#2
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
ughghghghgghg nvidia PLAY NICE!!!
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#3
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter


That part is a bit dissapointing...but it is in fact running on my HD3870 now.
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#4
Exceededgoku
Interested in hearing the difference in output of these GPUs compared to previous gen :).
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#5
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
Im at 1900/5000 since I posted that image! Maybe 30 mins?
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#6
Necrofire
by: sneekypeet
http://img.techpowerup.org/080414/F@H.jpg

That part is a bit dissapointing...but it is in fact running on my HD3870 now.
I don't mean to be the troll here, but that pic would have been smaller as a png, and with no quality loss.

Anyway, I'm stuck with an 8600gts. My bro with the 3870 is anal about heat from his computer, so no go on that either.
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#7
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
My HD3870 is rolling F@H at 50*c with my fan set at 70%

No offense Necro but I really dont care about image quality to express a point. If it was a screenie..... I understand the tip tho!
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#8
selway89
Is there a way to see the GPU usage? I'd like to see how much of the power its making use off. The client itself is still using a fair amount of one of my CPU cores.
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#9
Weer
Wait a second.. this entire time nothing but the X1K series could use Folding@Home?!

If the people who made it actually cared, they would have known that graphics cards are the life blood of that program, and allowing the G80/R600 chips to use it would quadruple the overall performance..
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#10
Ben Clarke
I mentioned this in the F@H thread. It's quite fast, im getting 14+ WUs done per day on my GPU, each worth 97 points.
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#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: Necrofire
I don't mean to be the troll here, but that pic would have been smaller as a png, and with no quality loss.
No, it wouldn't have been smaller as a PNG with no quality loss.

His JPEG weighs in at 7.81 KB.

A 24-bit PNG(which still has color quality loss vs the 32-bit that is actually displayed) weighs in at 21.5 KB. An 8-bit PNG(which has a huge color quality loss vs the 32-bit displayed) weighs in at 12.3 KB if you use all 256 colors available to 8-bit. If you drop it to 64 colors, the size goes down to 8.55 KB, but the colors become noticeably dull.

by: Ben Clarke
I mentioned this in the F@H thread. It's quite fast, im getting 14+ WUs done per day on my GPU, each worth 97 points.
That is pretty fast, a lot faster than the old x1k series. The SMP client still seems to be faster though.
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#12
Necrofire
by: sneekypeet
My HD3870 is rolling F@H at 50*c with my fan set at 70%

No offense Necro but I really dont care about image quality to express a point. If it was a screenie..... I understand the tip tho!
Since you understand, no offence taken.

I've seen how little I get from running the client on the cpu in my specs, and wish I could run it on my gpu.
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#13
Necrofire
by: newtekie1
No, it wouldn't have been smaller as a PNG with no quality loss.

...Evidence why goes here...
I think I just got owned.

@Selway89 regarding gpu usage, RivaTuner.

Also, did I doublepost? Dammit.
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#14
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
As posted in the F@H thread....66mins per WU on a HD3870 stock
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#15
Darkrealms
I agree, if they'd cared they'd look into other GPU chipset support. Nvidia has a large market share out there. Oh well, cool for those that have the right hardware.
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#16
Ben Clarke
Thye don't support NVIDIA cards because of lack of support from NVIDIA, in both drivers and code development. AMD/ATI have been willing to help, so ATI cards are supported. The reason R600/500 took so long is because they had to get everything worked out for the new architecture on the cards.
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#17
[I.R.A]_FBi
someone join teh forums and tell them to ask daamit for code for teh new gpu's from early out.
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#18
Darkrealms
by: Ben Clarke
Thye don't support NVIDIA cards because of lack of support from NVIDIA, in both drivers and code development. AMD/ATI have been willing to help, so ATI cards are supported. The reason R600/500 took so long is because they had to get everything worked out for the new architecture on the cards.
Ah, didn't know that. Just started folding on a server last week with the other article. New a little about it but figured it was another Seti thing and didn't care.
I guess thats Nvidias bad then.
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#19
Ripper3
Only the current-gen DX10 GPUs really have a huge amount of processing power for thsi sorta thing, as DX9 GPUs used single-purpose pipelines, which is why the Geforce 7 series and previous, was never supported, they just didn't make a huge difference over running F@H on a regular, fast CPU. Meanwhile, the X1900 GPU was a new design, and used 48 shaders at the most, and since these shaders aren't single-purpose, but rather, they can do either pixel or vertex operations, they were perfect for F@H. I think it preliminary testing, they were getting WUs done 4x faster, or sumat.

Nvidia was actually supportive. I'm not sure if they still are, but when the 8-series was released, they offered to give out documentation and help to the F@H devs. I can't remember where I read it, and the stuff above, I think it was in Custom PC mag a few years back. I'm not sure why the 8-series isn't supported, but certainly, the fact the GPU client only works on ATi GPUs can almost be seen as a selling point, and a huge advantage over Nvidia. Anyone setting up a serious folding machine, or a bunch of them could potentially just grab two quad-core Xeons (the Xeons Fold faster, as they're optimised more for server duties, and FP operations AFAIK), and stick that in a motherboard with like two PCIe slots, stick about 8-16Gigs of RAM, and two HD3k series cards, and have a seriously powerful Folding rig. AMD wouldn't sell their processors for this, but they'd make money off their GPU sales at least.
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#20
NamesDontMatter
I think the environmental aspect of this is quite interesting. For human health were killing the earth, kind of ironic. The powers got to come from somewhere. I guess I'm one of those idiots who still turns off my computer when I'm not using it. :eek:
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#21
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
this works on 690G, 740G and 780G BTW


offtopic

by: newtekie1
No, it wouldn't have been smaller as a PNG with no quality loss.

His JPEG weighs in at 7.81 KB.

A 24-bit PNG(which still has color quality loss vs the 32-bit that is actually displayed) weighs in at 21.5 KB. An 8-bit PNG(which has a huge color quality loss vs the 32-bit displayed) weighs in at 12.3 KB if you use all 256 colors available to 8-bit. If you drop it to 64 colors, the size goes down to 8.55 KB, but the colors become noticeably dull.
there are very few colors in that shot you could easily tweak it to be a smaller size than the jpeg case in point would be the PS3 clubhouse image i tweaked looks very nice and is very small :D

as matter of fact its this one
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#22
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Sweet, looks like Ill be grabbing this and start folding for TPU. I use the ps3 to fold already, so one more couldnt hurt.
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#23
Ripper3
Nah, not the only one that turns off your computer, although I now regularly just put it to sleep overnight. Now that I have a working Folder in the house (there's always one problem or another - right now the latest SMP client keeps connecting to server 0.0.0.0, or trying to, to get a work unit, obviously, it fails, but it repeats that process), I'll likely leave my PC on overnight, except that summer is coming, which means it will begin to be too unbearably hot in my room to leave all PCs on.

You're right, the energy has to come from somewhere, but to be fair, we're not responsible for where that comes from, and we shouldn't have to be, as regular people haven't a clue about electricity and its origin/source. Instead, I just hope my energy is coming from something clean, and efficient, even if it is nuclear. Still, my parents have saved enough energy, by cutting down on appliance use, to earn to use that "offset" up, and help humanity, even if it is with only like 3 WUs.
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#24
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: NamesDontMatter
I think the environmental aspect of this is quite interesting. For human health were killing the earth, kind of ironic. The powers got to come from somewhere. I guess I'm one of those idiots who still turns off my computer when I'm not using it. :eek:
Well, true. However, as more and more energy is being produced using clean sources, this factor gets smaller every day. In fact, the state I live in, Indiana, just installed a huge windmill farm about 70 miles south of my house.

by: cdawall
there are very few colors in that shot you could easily tweak it to be a smaller size than the jpeg case in point would be the PS3 clubhouse image i tweaked looks very nice and is very small :D
Very true, there is no reason that a PNG can't also be small. However, to get it under 8KB it definitely wouldn't be without a loss of quality. A loss of color definition is still a loss of quality, and the only way to get that picture under 8KB is to lower the color count enough that the colors start to look faded, mainly the red close button. However, there would not have been the artifacts due to the jpeg compression. You are trading off one loss of quality for another, either way it is wrong to say there would be no loss of quality.

by: Ripper3
(there's always one problem or another - right now the latest SMP client keeps connecting to server 0.0.0.0, or trying to, to get a work unit, obviously, it fails, but it repeats that process)
That is generally caused by there being no work available for you to do. Make sure you have the client set to accept WUs larger than 5MB, have it set NOT to accept WUs without deadlines, and set to accept advanced work units.
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#25
Jizzler
by: Ripper3
Anyone setting up a serious folding machine, or a bunch of them could potentially just grab two quad-core Xeons (the Xeons Fold faster, as they're optimised more for server duties, and FP operations AFAIK), and stick that in a motherboard with like two PCIe slots, stick about 8-16Gigs of RAM, and two HD3k series cards, and have a seriously powerful Folding rig. AMD wouldn't sell their processors for this, but they'd make money off their GPU sales at least.
Does the GPU client have a max instances like the CPU client (16)? The GPU FAQ wasn't too clear on that.

Could get a dual Xeon single-board computer and 19 3850/3870 :D

Probably only get to run one CPU SMP client and leave the other Xeon to handle all the clients.

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