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Guide to running multiple GPU work units

Discussion in 'World Community Grid (WCG)' started by KieX, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. KieX

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    DISCLAIMER: Use this at your own risk! It is entirely down to each user to update as needed!
    • Users of app_info.xml method: This method will not be supported by WCG in the future. Please check the prerequisites list below and use the new setup guide. This is much simpler, with no AMD/NVIDIA specific code and avoids a lot of issues we encountered in the past


    Index:
    1) Why run multiple GPU work units?
    2) Prerequisites
    3) Auto-setup utility for app_config.xml
    4) Manual setup guide for app_config.xml
    5) Troubleshooting
    6) Old app_info method


    1) Why run multiple GPU work units?
    By default World Community Grid is setup to run a single GPU WU on your machine. This guide will show you how to get better performance from your GPU by running more than 1 WU at a time. This can increase the output of both your PPD (point per day) and the runtime per day. This is achieved by creating a file called app_config.xml to detail how to use your hardware


    2) Prerequisites
    Before creating the app_config.xml file you will need:
    1. Install BOINC version 7.0.40 or above. Currently 7.0.42 is available as BETA but should be stable.
      Download page for all versions: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download_all.php

    2. Check you have the latest NVIDIA or AMD drivers for your graphics card. (Complete install is best to make sure all needed files are there)
      Download page for NVIDIA: http://www.nvidia.co.uk/Download/index.aspx

      Download page for AMD: http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
      For AMD crunchers under Windows 8: You will need to use 13.2beta drivers or higher (13.2b4 works for sure) to avoid instant WU errors.

    3. Make sure your graphics card is supported! The link below shows a list of cards that are NOT compatible:
      https://secure.worldcommunitygrid.org/help/viewTopic.do?shortName=GPU#610

    4. Login to the WCG website and check your project lists include HCC and that the option to do GPU work is ticked on the profile assigned to your computer.


    3) Auto-setup utility for app_config.xml
    The fastest way to setup the file is using m&m's easy to use utility. Enter your desired numbers and everything will be created for you in the right place. Remember to restart your BOINC Manager aftwerwards in order for the file to be read correctly:

    Link to post / file download link: Utility to run multiple GPU work units

    4) Manual setup guide for app_config.xml
    If you would prefer to make all changes manually you can follow the steps listed below. (If you've already used the auto-setup in previous point, you can skip this entirely).
    1. Alternatively if you prefer to manually edit your file the nextOpen notepad or other text editor and copy the following code into it:
    2. Edit the following according to your setup:
      • max_concurrent: This specifies the maximum number of WU the app can run at a time. Best to set this to the number of total HCC1 WU your computer will be doing at a time.

      • gpu_usage: This specifies the % use of the GPU per WU. Set this according to how many WU you want to run per GPU.
        1 / Desired WU per GPU = gpu_usage

      • cpu_usage: This specifies the % use of CPU threads per GPU WU. The default value is 1, but if you want to run more GPU WU than you have CPU cores edit it accordingly.
        Total CPU Threads / Total GPU WU = cpu_usage

    3. Save the file as "app_config.xml" into your WCG project folder.
      (Default Windows 7: C:\Program Data\BOINC\Data\projects\www.worldcommunitygrid.org)
      (Default Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\BOINC\Data\projects\www.worldcommunitygrid.org)

    4. Open BOINC and you're done!
    Check the event log (ctrl+shift+e) for any errors. I found that in switching from app_info it sometimes doesn't download any WU but once you hit the "update" button a few times it all looks normal. If you get an error about app_name not found in file, check the numbers you entered are correct and perhaps reset the project.

    max_concurrent can be used to limit the HCC WU. For example if you have 8 CPU threads and want to use 2 for other projects you can set the value for HCC max_concurrent to 6.


    5) Troubleshooting
    • How many WU to run?
      Your mileage may vary, as factors like CPU speed and numer of threads have an impact on performance. The best way to determine what works best for you is to find out how long a single WU takes then see how much longer it takes to complete multiple WU. Below is a simple list for ballpark figures:
      - Most NVIDIA: 2-3 WU
      - AMD 6970: 4 WU
      - AMD 7770: 3-4 WU
      - AMD 79xx: 8-12 WU

    • Mixed/Multi GPU
      If you're using mixed cards by default BOINC uses the best one, and in some cases may not use all your GPU even if they're the same. To use more than one GPU in the same machine go to the BOINC data folder (normally: C:\Program Data\BOINC) and look for file "cc_config.xml". If it doesn't exist, create it but the contents should have the following:

      Code:
      <cc_config>
      <options>
      [B]<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>[/B]
      </options>
      </cc_config>
    • Driver crahses:
      If you are having driver crahses, the following registry modification might prevent that:
      (Source: Bun-Bun from XS)
      Code:
      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Watchdog]
      "DisableBugCheck"="1"
      
      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Watchdog\Display]
      "EaRecovery"="0"


    6) Old app_info method
    This is for reference only. Not supported in future.
    What is this?
    ATI/AMD users will notice that by default their GPU isn't loaded to 100% and NVIDIA users may have GPU's that are capable of more compute work. This allows you to manually set how many work units you want to crunch simultaneously on your GPU.

    How does it work?
    You create a file called app_info.xml inside the project folder of your BOINC Data folder (normally: C:\Program Data\BOINC\Data\projects\www.worldcommunitygrid.org). The contents of this file will determine:
    - How many GPU WU to run at a time
    - Which WCG projects to run

    Intestested! Where do I start?
    The basic steps to this are:
    GPU User settings
    (Please modify these to suit your system. If in doubt, ask.)

    Replace the number in <count>.5</count> according to how many GPU WU you want to run at same time:
    • .5 for 2 GPU work units
    • .33 for 3 GPU work units
    • .25 for 4 GPU work units

    1 / Desired GPU WU Total = count
    (example: 1 / 4 GPU WU = 0.5 coprocessor count)

    This applies to both single and multiple GPU setups.

    CPU User settings
    If you want to run more GPU work units than you have CPU cores, change the <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus> line to specify how much of a thread to use on average:

    Total CPU Threads / Total GPU WU Total = avg_ncpus
    (example: Dual core CPU / 4 GPU WU = 0.5 avg_ncpus)

    This applies to both single and multiple GPU setups.

    Multiple card setup

    If you're using mixed cards by default BOINC uses the best one, and in some cases may not use all your GPU even if they're the same. To use more than one GPU in the same machine go to the BOINC data folder (normally: C:\Program Data\BOINC) and look for file "cc_config.xml". If it doesn't exist, create it but the contents should have the following:

    Code:
    <cc_config>
    <options>
    [B]<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>[/B]
    </options>
    </cc_config>
    Templates
    (Current HCC version: 7.05)
    If you want to crunch all projects, you can use this link for reference information: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?283509-Working-app_info-files.
    An example of this in use by Norton: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2786213&postcount=394

    ATI/AMD GPU ONLY (No CPU work)
    Code:
    <app_info> 
     <app> 
     <name>hcc1</name> 
    <user_friendly_name>Help Conquer Cancer</user_friendly_name> 
     </app> 
     <file_info> 
     <name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</name> 
     <executable/> 
     </file_info> 
     <file_info> 
     <name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</name> 
     <executable/> 
     </file_info> 
     <app_version> 
     <app_name>hcc1</app_name> 
     <version_num>705</version_num> 
     <platform>windows_intelx86</platform> 
    <plan_class>ati_hcc1</plan_class> 
     <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus> 
     <max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus> 
     <coproc> 
     <type>ATI</type> 
     <count>.5</count> 
     </coproc> 
     <file_ref> 
     <file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</file_name> 
     <main_program/> 
     </file_ref> 
     <file_ref> 
     <file_name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</file_name> 
     <open_name>hcckernel.cl</open_name> 
     </file_ref> 
     </app_version> 
    </app_info>
    ATI/AMD GPU and CPU HCC (HCC GPU and HCC CPU only)
    Code:
    <app_info> 
    	<app> 
    		<name>hcc1</name> 
    		<user_friendly_name>Help Conquer Cancer</user_friendly_name> 
    	</app> 
    	<file_info> 
    		<name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</name> 
    		<executable/> 
    	</file_info> 
    	<file_info> 
    		<name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</name> 
    		<executable/> 
    	</file_info> 
    	<file_info>
    		<name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86</name>
    		<executable/>
       </file_info>
    	<app_version> 
    		<app_name>hcc1</app_name> 
    		<version_num>705</version_num> 
    		<platform>windows_intelx86</platform> 
    		<plan_class>ati_hcc1</plan_class> 
    		<avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus> 
    		<max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus> 
    			<coproc> 
    				<type>ATI</type> 
    				<count>.5</count> 
    			</coproc> 
    		<file_ref> 
    			<file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</file_name> 
    			<main_program/> 
    		</file_ref> 
    		<file_ref> 
    			<file_name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</file_name> 
    			<open_name>hcckernel.cl</open_name> 
    		</file_ref> 
    	</app_version>
    	<app_version>
    		<app_name>hcc1</app_name>
    		<version_num>705</version_num>
    		<platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
    		<avg_ncpus>1.000000</avg_ncpus>
    		<max_ncpus>1.000000</max_ncpus>
    		<api_version>6.13.0</api_version>
    		<file_ref>
    			<file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86</file_name>
    			<main_program/>
    		</file_ref>
    	</app_version>
    </app_info>
    ATI/AMD GPU and GFAM (HCC GPU and GFAM CPU only)
    Code:
    <app_info>
       <app>
          <name>hcc1</name>
          <user_friendly_name>Help Conquer Cancer</user_friendly_name>
       </app>
       <file_info>
          <name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</name>
          <executable/> 
       </file_info>
       <file_info>
          <name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info>
          <app_version>
          <app_name>hcc1</app_name>
          <version_num>705</version_num>
          <platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
          <plan_class>ati_hcc1</plan_class>
          <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus>
          <max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus>
          <coproc>
             <type>ATI</type>
             <count>.33</count>
          </coproc>
          <file_ref>
              <file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__ati_hcc1</file_name>
              <main_program/>
          </file_ref>
          <file_ref>
             <file_name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</file_name>
             <open_name>hcckernel.cl</open_name>
          </file_ref>
       </app_version>
    
    <app>
        <name>gfam</name>
        <user_friendly_name>GO Fight Against Malaria</user_friendly_name>
    </app>
    
       <file_info>
          <name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_6.12_windows_x86_64</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info> 
       <file_info>
          <name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info>
       <file_info>
          <name>wcgrid_gfam_gfx_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</name>
           <executable/>
       </file_info>
    
    <app_version>
        <app_name>gfam</app_name>
        <version_num>612</version_num>
        <platform>windows_x86_64</platform>
        <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus>
        <max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus>
        <flops>3347548492.458962</flops>
        <api_version>7.1.0</api_version>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_6.12_windows_x86_64</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
        <file_ref>
             <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</file_name>
              <open_name>AutoDockVina64.exe</open_name>
         </file_ref>
         <file_ref>
             <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_gfx_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</file_name>
              <open_name>graphics_app</open_name>
         </file_ref>
    </app_version>
    
    <app_version>
        <app_name>gfam</app_name>
        <version_num>612</version_num>
        <platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
        <avg_ncpus>1.000000</avg_ncpus>
        <max_ncpus>1.000000</max_ncpus>
        <flops>3347548492.458962</flops>
        <api_version>7.1.0</api_version>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_6.12_windows_x86_64</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
        <file_ref>
             <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_vina_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</file_name>
              <open_name>AutoDockVina64.exe</open_name>
         </file_ref>
         <file_ref>
             <file_name>wcgrid_gfam_gfx_prod_x86_64.exe.6.12</file_name>
              <open_name>graphics_app</open_name>
         </file_ref>
    </app_version>
    </app_info>
    NVIDIA GPU Only (No CPU work)
    Code:
    <app_info>
       <app>
          <name>hcc1</name>
          <user_friendly_name>Help Conquer Cancer</user_friendly_name>
       </app>
       <file_info>
          <name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__nvidia_hcc1</name>
          <executable/> 
       </file_info>
       <file_info>
          <name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info>
          <app_version>
          <app_name>hcc1</app_name>
          <version_num>705</version_num>
          <platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
          <plan_class>nvidia_hcc1</plan_class>
          <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus>
          <max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus>
          <coproc>
             <type>CUDA</type>
             <count>.5</count>
          </coproc>
          <file_ref>
              <file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__nvidia_hcc1</file_name>
              <main_program/>
          </file_ref>
          <file_ref>
             <file_name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</file_name>
             <open_name>hcckernel.cl</open_name>
          </file_ref>
       </app_version>
    </app_info>
    NVIDIA GPU and CPU HCC (Both GPU and CPU Work units of HCC only)
    Code:
    <app_info>
       <app>
          <name>hcc1</name>
          <user_friendly_name>Help Conquer Cancer</user_friendly_name>
       </app>   
       <file_info>
          <name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__nvidia_hcc1</name>
          <executable/> 
       </file_info>
       <file_info>
          <name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info>
       <file_info>
          <name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86</name>
          <executable/>
       </file_info>
    <app_version>
        <app_name>hcc1</app_name>
        <version_num>705</version_num>
        <platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
        <plan_class>nvidia_hcc1</plan_class>
        <avg_ncpus>1.0</avg_ncpus>
        <max_ncpus>1.0</max_ncpus>
        <coproc>
            <type>CUDA</type>
            <count>.5</count>
        </coproc>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86__nvidia_hcc1</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>hcckernel.cl.7.05</file_name>
            <open_name>hcckernel.cl</open_name>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>
    <app_version>
        <app_name>hcc1</app_name>
        <version_num>705</version_num>
        <platform>windows_intelx86</platform>
        <avg_ncpus>1.000000</avg_ncpus>
        <max_ncpus>1.000000</max_ncpus>
        <file_ref>
            <file_name>wcg_hcc1_img_7.05_windows_intelx86</file_name>
            <main_program/>
        </file_ref>
    </app_version>
    
    </app_info>

    Troubleshooting
    Alternate method: If this setup doesn't work, an alternate method is described here: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?283512-How-To-run-multiple-BIONC-clients-on-one-machine-not-an-app_info-method

    Driver crahses:
    If you are having driver crahses, the following registry modification might prevent that:
    (Source: Bun-Bun from XS)
    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Watchdog]
    "DisableBugCheck"="1"
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Watchdog\Display]
    "EaRecovery"="0"
    How many WU can my GPU handle?
    This is hard to say. I am currently running 2 on my HD7770's. People with OC'd 6970's can do up to 6! Again, treat this as a test starting low.

    Other useful tips:

    Updates to this tutorial
    03-Feb-'13: Updates to utility link and prerequisites
    03-Jan-'13: Setup utility by m&m included as preferred method
    22-Dec-'12: Full OP update for app_config method.
    12-Dec-'12: Updated the NVIDIA code to correct default settings
    10-Dec-'12: Added info for multiple GPU setups
    26-Nov-'12: Added links to "all-project" app_info files
    14-Nov-'12: Added HCC GPU & CPU code
    10-Nov-'12: Updated Version number on all templates
    10-Nov-'12: Added CPU settings information

    Sources:
    http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/forums/wcg/viewthread_thread,33962_offset,90
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?283509-Working-app_info-files
    (Credit to original posters, this is is just a simplified version to share with this community.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  2. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    Thank you for posting this here, it looks useful! :toast: :respect:

    I'll add it to my Essentials thread :)
     
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  3. KieX

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    Thank you [Ion], you did after all help me with finding some of this. :toast:
     
  4. Bow

    Bow

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    :respect:
     
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  5. stinger608

    stinger608 Dedicated TPU Cruncher & Folder

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    That is awesome information KieX!!! Thanks a ton for sharing all the info!

    This should be a sticky for sure!!!
     
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  6. KieX

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    This is what the .5 setting looks like on a single 7770:

    [​IMG]

    Roughly the same time it used to take for a single WU, but doing 2. Hopefully if this works for others it would also mean a huge boost for TPU. :rockout:
     
  7. ThE_MaD_ShOt

    ThE_MaD_ShOt

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    Just be careful loading up the wu's. You only want to load the gpu to around 95%. If you load it to much you will start erroring out the wu's. You just want to get the gpu to use it's idle time so you can maximize the crunching power. Also make sure you have good case air flow as the card is not going to get the break in between the wu's to cool down. It is going to steady be at 95 or so % no down time. And as Keix stated use at your own risk.
     
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  8. Bow

    Bow

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    Whats the heat increase like on the cards?
     
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  9. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    That's amazing!
    If I get an ATI card for the i7-920 build I'll have to give this a try!
     
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  10. KieX

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    It doesn't seem to be giving me a steady pattern, still loads, and unloads as before.. just loads higher each time. Will add your advice to the OP though.. that's a pretty good point regarding the errors and cooling.

    For my particular 7770s they were crunching at 45C load, and now they're 50C. GPU load went from about 70% to 91%


    Of course.. each card will vary some may have a higher impact. ThE_MaD_ShOt's advice above regarding cooling is very much valid.
     
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  11. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    Works like a charm- running 3x wu's on my 7870 atm :toast:

    Wondering if I set the count to .125 if I can run all 8 cores on gpu wu's?
     
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  12. KieX

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    From all the posts I've seen, the maximum anyone used is 6 WU on a 7970. No idea if 8 will work or not, this is testing after all. But I'd recommend allowing a few hours in each setting to at least see if it gives any problems.
     
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  13. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    Wow...3 on a HD7870....

    How long are they taking to finish?
     
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  14. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    About 20 seconds longer than single wu's (appr. 01:45 vs 01:25 to 99.415%)
     
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  15. [Ion]

    [Ion] WCG Team Assistant

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    o_O
     
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  16. KieX

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    So looks like you'll be reclaiming cherry pie then :roll:
     
  17. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    ThE_MaD_ShOt says thanks.
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  18. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    Possibly tomorrow but not today..... 2 of my remote rigs report in the am so I have a shot at 100k tomorrow :D
     
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  19. KieX

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    Is BOINC installed with default settings? In that case the ProgramData folder may be hidden. Enter the address into an explorer window.

    If you can see the ProgramData folder but can't see the boinc folders.. then you probably installed it somewhere else like another drive?
     
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  20. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    We need to get t_ski to give these a try. iirc he's running 3x7970's in his main rig so he has a shot at the daily single cpu crunching record :cool:
     
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  21. ThE_MaD_ShOt

    ThE_MaD_ShOt

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    When I was reading up on this last week there was a guy running 8 on a 7970 and he started getting errors. He had to back it down to 4. It was recommended to add 1 wu at a time until you get close to 95% load and stop there. Once you hit optimal and it takes sometime and patience and skill because you may have to start each wu manually, but you can get it to where one is starting right when another is finishing so there is no down time on the gpu. Also if you run more then on you can have it so there is one at 50% when the one is finishing and one is starting. I haven't tried it because my 6850's are already at 93% load with just one. But the 7850 is fair game as it is just over 80% load with one. When I get some time to play with it I will load that gpu up with more wu's.
     
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  22. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Ok I got 4 WU on each card but it shows it taking 38 minutes per WU?
     
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  23. ThE_MaD_ShOt

    ThE_MaD_ShOt

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    Card is loaded to hard. What is the load percentage? Also be careful of errors.
     
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  24. Norton

    Norton WCG-TPU Team Captain

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    I'm peaking @87% load and 60C max temps so I can definitely fit in a 4th wu. The peak load% only lasts for 5-6 seconds and then it drops into the 70's due to the stagger on the wu's.

    I think I can squeeze in a 5th wu without causing errors but I don't think I'll push it THAT hard... :eek:
     
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  25. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    They have dropped to around 7m per wu. is that good?
     
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