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Best PC For Folding?

T4C Fantasy

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#1
lets say you know exactly what you are doing where you are the type of person that can get the most out of cheaper parts compared to people who buy the best and get less performance, but instead you buy the best parts.... what system can get the most PPD in a day examples would be nice... like a system with 2x Xeon E5-2690's and 4x GTX580s?

edit: also this is best case scenario which means you know the best cooling solution and most efficient overclock
 
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#2
Any rules for this hypothetical system?

I think the biggest single system that someone could build themselves would be an 8-way 10C/20T E7 Xeon and 8 GPUs. Of course, at $55-60K it wouldn't very cost efficient.
 

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#3
Depends on your budget. Can you set some constraints?
 
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#4
1x Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
2x Intel Xeon E5-2690
7x GTX 680 2GB
2x Enermax Platimax 1500W

All watercooled on afew separate loops. You're looking a £8,000
 

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#5
1x Asus Z9PE-D8 WS
2x Intel Xeon E5-2690
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All watercooled on afew separate loops. You're looking a £8,000
You know, I think AMD G34 16-core Interlagos would provide more power for a lower price. Folding can actually utilize a 16-core processor, then just get two or four of them if you find a good board. 600-series nVidia cards aren't super powerful when it comes to compute power, it might be worth it to go with GTX 580s or 7970s instead.
 
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#6
You know, I think AMD G34 16-core Interlagos would provide more power for a lower price. Folding can actually utilize a 16-core processor, then just get two or four of them if you find a good board. 600-series nVidia cards aren't super powerful when it comes to compute power, it might be worth it to go with GTX 580s or 7970s instead.
To be honest, i haven't followed Folding in a good year or so. Just going by what would seem right :)
 
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#7
yeah, the 7970 is much better at GPGPU than the GTX680 with it's GK104 gpu. When Nvidia releases it's GK110 gpu, we'll have a GTX600, or maybe GTX700 card that is a GPGPU beast. Until then, you are are much better off using the 7970 or GTX580.
 
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#8
yeah, the 7970 is much better at GPGPU than the GTX680 with it's GK104 gpu. When Nvidia releases it's GK110 gpu, we'll have a GTX600, or maybe GTX700 card that is a GPGPU beast. Until then, you are are much better off using the 7970 or GTX580.
Oh right, i thought AMD were still pants at the whole folding thing.

So, an AMD Opteron with AMD GPUs is actually better now?
 

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#9
You could also buy a server designed for GPGPU computing...Or a 4 socket server with 10c/20t CPU.

Of course It would cost a lot.
 

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#10
The absolute best single pc would be something like this:http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/5U/5086/SYS-5086B-TRF.cfm

80 core/160 threads, but probably over 100k$, and good luck powering this thing 24/7!

If you're talking about ppd/w or ppd/$, nothing can beat a 4p opteron rig. You can build one for under 3000$ and get over 300k ppd while consuming around 500w.

No gpu can get close to those numbers, and the cpu cycle they use will lower the ppd production of the smp client by a lot more than ppd the gpu(s) can produce. So even if your quad socket g34 motherboard has 5 pci-e slots, don't bother filling them. For the price of 5 gtx 580, you can build another rig!
 
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#11
^ That's what I had in mind when talking about an 8-way Xeon system earlier. You can build one up for about $55-$60K. $9,900 for the barebones unit, $37,000 for the CPUs, and the rest for RAM, drive, GPUs, etc.

I've been away from the FAH scene awhile so I haven't been keeping up with the numbers, but after a few PPD googles it looks like GPU would bring in more PPD than they would steal from SMP?

Just thinking from a single-system top PPD perspective - dedicated some cores for 100,000 PPD from 4 x GTX590. For power and cost... more 4P systems instead of GPU would be better.
 

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#12
^ That's what I had in mind when talking about an 8-way Xeon system earlier. You can build one up for about $55-$60K. $9,900 for the barebones unit, $37,000 for the CPUs, and the rest for RAM, drive, GPUs, etc.

I've been away from the FAH scene awhile so I haven't been keeping up with the numbers, but after a few PPD googles it looks like GPU would bring in more PPD than they would steal from SMP?

Just thinking from a single-system top PPD perspective - dedicated some cores for 100,000 PPD from 4 x GTX590. For power and cost... more 4P systems instead of GPU would be better.
Have you ever folded on 32-64 x86 cores? I'm sure the PPD per 16-core opteron isn't too bad and the cost of an interlagos chip is only around 600 USD per CPU, unlike Intel's 8-core Xeon which starts at 1,300 USD. So for the price of one 8c/16t xeon you could have 32c/32t AMD server setup. Folding loves more cores. People don't realize how powerful 8 BD modules are on Interlagos for transactional and parallel computing. It's also more cost effective than the Xeon counterparts.
 

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#13
i realize a server would be the best way to go for folding, most likely the most efficient aswel, i see someone on the tpu team with only like 10 work units with 2 million points?

User Points WU
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#14
im toying with the idea of a 5p hive, but a 4 socket AMD server pc with 32 cores cant be beat for price /performance at folding or performance per watt afaik but imho a quad of 7970s must do some points in, and would deffinately get way more work units done so by a work done metric Quad 7970's (no cpu client running to hamper them) beats all.
but for ppd the 4p wins:D ah im daydreaming again.

Raptors got some mean folding/crunching gear im sure he has a 4p but did have an SR2 dual xeon or two before , might be wrong
 

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#15
im toying with the idea of a 5p hive, but a 4 socket AMD server pc with 32 cores cant be beat for price /performance at folding or performance per watt afaik but imho a quad of 7970s must do some points in, and would deffinately get way more work units done so by a work done metric Quad 7970's (no cpu client running to hamper them) beats all.
but for ppd the 4p wins:D ah im daydreaming again.

Raptors got some mean folding/crunching gear im sure he has a 4p but did have an SR2 dual xeon or two before , might be wrong
what about mydog
mydog somehow averages 145922 points per work unit rofl

which is more then rapters 145298 average
 
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#16
Have you ever folded on 32-64 x86 cores? I'm sure the PPD per 16-core opteron isn't too bad and the cost of an interlagos chip is only around 600 USD per CPU, unlike Intel's 8-core Xeon which starts at 1,300 USD. So for the price of one 8c/16t xeon you could have 32c/32t AMD server setup. Folding loves more cores. People don't realize how powerful 8 BD modules are on Interlagos for transactional and parallel computing. It's also more cost effective than the Xeon counterparts.
No, back when I had that many cores most were working towards WCG, with a dual-quad Mac Pro keeping my TPU FAH badge visible.

As for the rest of your post, we're in agreement. The Xeon example was for a top-PPD producer without consideration of cost or power consumed using obtainable parts. (One that I could only roughly guess the PPD of, maybe 600-700K?) However, for the cost of this system, (17) 4P Opteron systems could be built, yielding over 5 million PPD. A hugely better deal for sure :laugh:
 
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T4C Fantasy

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#17
No, back when I had that many cores most were working towards WCG, with a dual-quad Mac Pro keeping my TPU FAH badge visible.

As for the rest of your post, we're in agreement. The Xeon example was for a top-PPD producer without consideration of cost or power consumed using obtainable parts. (One that I could only roughly guess the PPD of, maybe 600-700K?) However, for the cost of this system, (17) 4P Opteron systems could be built, yielding over 5 million PPD. A hugely better deal for sure :laugh:
what about 8x single slot gtx590s? that would be a ridiculous amount of ppd
 

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#18
what about 8x single slot gtx590s? that would be a ridiculous amount of ppd
Find a 4P mobo that can handle that... That is a lot of PCI-E for any machine, even an eATX board. Keep in mind that 64 x86 cores are more flexible and will still enable you to run a real server. Runnng a ton of video cards for OpenGL limits what the entire rig can do. I can tell you that a 64 core server would make a hell of a OLAP database server. Just keep in mind that what ever you make is going to be a lot of horse power and would be unwise to strictly dedicate it to folding. You're looking at designing a monster, not a folder (which I totally dig). :cool:
 

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#19
Find a 4P mobo that can handle that... That is a lot of PCI-E for any machine, even an eATX board. Keep in mind that 64 x86 cores are more flexible and will still enable you to run a real server. Runnng a ton of video cards for OpenGL limits what the entire rig can do. I can tell you that a 64 core server would make a hell of a OLAP database server. Just keep in mind that what ever you make is going to be a lot of horse power and would be unwise to strictly dedicate it to folding. You're looking at designing a monster, not a folder (which I totally dig). :cool:
yeah but i would like a Monster Folder.... its for a good cause.. who cares about the electricity bill lol, the gpu thing limiting the entire pc? wouldnt that be false if you get a dedicated PSU for each video card?

edit: aka yes i mean getting 9 psus for 1 folding machine haha
 

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#20
yeah but i would like a Monster Folder.... its for a good cause.. who cares about the electricity bill lol, the gpu thing limiting the entire pc? wouldnt that be false if you get a dedicated PSU for each video card?

edit: aka yes i mean getting 9 psus for 1 folding machine haha
Might as well build a mini-cluster. Get a rack and fill it up! :toast:
 

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#21
Might as well build a mini-cluster. Get a rack and fill it up! :toast:
while everyones input is very useful and could do a little more researching... i think its going way to far from the thread topic.... Best "PC" for folding hehe... reason why i said 2 xeons is because although they are server cpus... extremely wealthy gamers have 2x cpu gaming rigs so i would still see it as a personal computer and not a personal server lol.
 

Aquinus

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#22
extremely weathly gamers have 2x cpu gaming rigs so i would still see it as a personal computer and not a personal server lol.
That's only because they're trying to increase the length of their e-peen and don't realize that dual-cpus don't actually help games. In fact unless it's scheduled properly. Server CPUs result in decreased game performance because server CPUs are clocked lower and used shared memory between two CPUs which requires on CPU to access the other's memory using QPI which results in higher latency and straight up suffers in single threaded processes.

Honestly, if you want a parallelism work-horse, you're making a server, not a workstation and if you're making a workstation, you're not using Xeons or Opterons unless your workloads are highly parallel.
 

T4C Fantasy

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#23
That's only because they're trying to increase the length of their e-peen and don't realize that dual-cpus don't actually help games. In fact unless it's scheduled properly. Server CPUs result in decreased game performance because server CPUs are clocked lower and used shared memory between two CPUs which requires on CPU to access the other's memory using QPI which results in higher latency and straight up suffers in single threaded processes.

Honestly, if you want a parallelism work-horse, you're making a server, not a workstation and if you're making a workstation, you're not using Xeons or Opterons unless your workloads are highly parallel.
so.. its like saying.. Gamer: look at me i have 2 cocks but each of them consume eachothers sperm so the load is insufficient!.
 
Last edited:

Aquinus

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#24
so.. its like saying.. Gamer: look at me i have 2 cocks but each of them consume eachothers sperm so the load is insufficient!.
No, it's more like saying "I have 4 balls instead of 2 so I have twice the amount of sperm" when the regular amount will get a women pregnant just as well. :D
 

T4C Fantasy

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#25
No, it's more like saying "I have 4 balls instead of 2 so I have twice the amount of sperm" when the regular amount will get a women pregnant just as well. :D
lol thats the way the cookie crumbles...