20 May 2017

20th of May

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Spent all of last week running Einstein gravity wave work. Now back to Seti

Nvidia GPUs
Running Einstein gravity wave work (CPU only)

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Other news
Now I have the second internet connection I split the network into two. The Raspberry Pis are now over on the 2nd net. It took a while to unhook the Pis from the main network with network cabling and having to dig out an unused switch. Software-wise I spent a bit of time removing dependencies on machines that are now on the main network and therefore inaccessible. Two of the Pis have Pi Drives (USB hard disks) so one of them was turned into a proxy and time server.

One problem I have with the Pi's is they don't seem to broadcast their device name so I can only reference them by their IP address, which means they have to be assigned a static IP address. Sure they can get a dynamic IP address from the router but I can't access them by name, only by their IP address. The PC's running Linux don't have this problem so it seems something unique to Raspbian.

I will order a couple more Pi3's. I need to replace a faulty Pi3 and replace the one that got used for the proxy/time server. I also need to order more copper heatsinks from Enzotech.

One of the other projects I am doing is a more accurate time server for the main network. I have purchased a USB GPS receiver which can be used to obtain accurate time. It needs a view of the sky and the machine I am intending to connect it to is furthest away from the window/skylight. Today I have ordered a USB extention cable so I can connect it.

The pair of GTX1060's that I ordered for the Ryzen machines arrived during the week. Unfortunately the Ryzen's still haven't been built due to delays with getting the heatsinks. Maybe next week.

13 May 2017

13th of May

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All doing Einstein Gravity wave

Nvidia GPUs
Doing Einstein Gravity wave (CPU) plus Seti GPU work

Raspberry Pis
Doing Einstein BRP4 work


Project news Einstein
They had a problem with their first tuning run so we've got updated apps and are doing a second tuning run.


Other news
Still waiting on the Ryzen builds. The computer shop were waiting on Noctua heatsinks to come in. It would have been nice to see how they perform on the Gravity wave tuning run as its CPU only. Hopefully they'll be ready next week.

The new Drobo arrived. I had a bit of a problem with it due to taking the mSata SSD from the old Drobo. A software reset fixed that. I think its 50% faster than the old one. I need to list the old one on eBay now that I've cleaned off the hard disks.

The second ADSL connection is running however I need to work out how to load balance the two internet connections. I know TP Link make a $130 load balancer device which might be how I'll run it. I need to switch the main internet connection back to a standard ADSL first. It seems the wiring between the communications cupboard and the house isn't too good because they can get 18Mbit to the comms cupboard, but to the house only gets 13Mbit.

07 May 2017

7th of May

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Mostly Seti with a batch of Einstein work

Nvidia GPUs
Mostly Seti with a batch of Einstein work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Project news Einstein
They've started another run of their gravity wave work units. Currently its a tuning run to get an idea how long each type of CPU takes and iron out any bugs with the apps. There are two types of work unit called Hi and Lo. When I ran all 8 cores on the i7-6700's the Hi ones were taking 12-13.5 hours. When running half the cores they were taking 9 hours.

My i7-6700's only have 16Gb in total. The Ryzen's will have 32Gb. The higher frequency work units need 2Gb of memory each so I can only run 7 on the i7's and 14 on the Ryzen's.

The Lo work units are sent to slower machines and don't take as long. The i3-6100T's were talking around 3.5 hours when running all cores. These work units also use much less memory (around 270Mb).


Other news
The two AMD Ryzen 7 motherboards, CPUs and memory kits arrived and I dropped them off at my usual computer shop. I supplied the GPUs and hard disks and they are supplying the case, power supply, cooler and assembling it. Hopefully they will be ready next week.

The two i7-5820K's were sold off and have gone. That leaves the farm with two working GPU's at the moment. I kept the GTX970's which will go into the Ryzen's to start with and get swapped for the GTX1060's when they arrive, supposedly on the 18th.

The Drobo 5N2 is due to arrive next week some time.

30 April 2017

30th of April

Farm Status
Intel GPUs
All running Seti work

Nvidia GPUs
Running Seti work

Raspberry Pis
Running Einstein BRP4 work


Transition to Linux
The last two machines were converted over to Linux without any issues. I simply follow the process I documented before. That means there are no Windows crunchers in the farm now.


Other news
The same person that purchased all the motherboards also wants to buy the i7-5820K machines. I decommissioned them and removed the GTX1060's on Friday. I will be replacing them with a pair of AMD Ryzen 1700 machines. The GTX1060's will go into the Ryzen's when I get them.

I have also ordered another pair of GTX1060's. These will initially be used to replace the GTX970's. Longer term I will probably replace the i3's with another pair of Ryzen machines.

My original idea was to have a low powered CPU (the i3-6100T is only 35 watts) and a pair of high performance GPU's. Unfortunately the i3 doesn't have enough PCIe lanes  to run two GPU's at x16 speed. It seems to provide one slot at x16 and the second at x4 and this is on a Z170 chipset motherboard. The i3 does have built-in graphics and the motherboard is mATX sized so I may be able to use them for some other purpose.