Einstein@Home GPU/APU Application for AMD/ATI Graphics Cards: discussion thread

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Oliver Bock
Oliver Bock
Joined: 4 Sep 07
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Topic 196325

Hi everyone,

We're proud to announce the official release of our first application for AMD/ATI graphics cards (GPU) and accelerated processing units (APU). Please use this thread to discuss this release.

Minimum Requirements:

  • * Windows or Linux
    * BOINC Client 7.0.27 (

download)
* ATI GPU or APU (OpenCL 1.1 compliant, equivalent to Radeon HD 5xxx)
* 512 MB video memory
* Catalyst Driver 12.x (don't install the APP SDK!)
Notes:

  • * Please be aware that all previous tests we ran could only do a limited amount of testing given the vast amount of different hard- and software run by our volunteers. There might still be smaller issues, in particular with validation. Please bear with us, we'll do our best to improve the application over the next weeks and months.
    * The same applies to application performance. This is our first official release. It might not be on par with our CUDA application just yet. We still have ideas on how to improve application performance and we're going to introduce them in due course.
    * Tip: performance might be improved if you set BOINC

not to use all your CPU cores (e.g. all but one).
* Support for Apple Mac OS X is currently targeted for OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)
Known Issues:

  • * When running this application (all 32-bit) on 64-bit systems you might encounter the following error message (error number 255/-1):

[ERROR] Failed to get OpenCL platform/device info from BOINC (error: -1)If that happens, please download the latest AMD/ATI Catalyst driver, reinstall it and reboot your computer.

Happy crunching!

Oliver

 


Einstein@Home Project

Sunny129
Sunny129
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Einstein@Home GPU/APU Application for AMD/ATI Graphics Cards: di

will installing the APP SDK hurt anything or prevent this new applications from working correctly? as ask b/c the machine i plan to try this on already crunches Milkyway@Home on an AMD/ATI GPU (HD 6950 2GB to be exact), and i'm not entirely sure that the APP SDK isn't required for MW@H...

Bikeman _Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein_
Bikeman (Heinz-...
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RE: will installing the APP

Quote:
will installing the APP SDK hurt anything or prevent this new applications from working correctly? as ask b/c the machine i plan to try this on already crunches Milkyway@Home on an AMD/ATI GPU (HD 6950 2GB to be exact), and I'm not entirely sure that the APP SDK isn't required for MW@H...

The SDK and the driver installer may both install (different!) versions of a certain 32-bit lib (at least under Linux) at the same time and this might cause the E@H app to fail while trying to even find the GPU, so very early in the execution. Since your machines are Windows only, I'd suggest to give the E@H app a try even with the SDK installed. If it fails just after start with something like this in its log:

> [15:49:08][7370][ERROR] Failed to get OpenCL platform/device info from BOINC (error: -1)!
> [15:49:08][7370][ERROR] Demodulation failed (error: -1)!

then you might encounter this particular problem.

But I'm rather optimistic this is not going to happen under Windows.

CU
HB

Sunny129
Sunny129
Joined: 5 Dec 05
Posts: 162
Credit: 160342159
RAC: 0

RE: RE: will installing

Quote:
Quote:
will installing the APP SDK hurt anything or prevent this new applications from working correctly? as ask b/c the machine i plan to try this on already crunches Milkyway@Home on an AMD/ATI GPU (HD 6950 2GB to be exact), and I'm not entirely sure that the APP SDK isn't required for MW@H...

The SDK and the driver installer may both install (different!) versions of a certain 32-bit lib (at least under Linux) at the same time and this might cause the E@H app to fail while trying to even find the GPU, so very early in the execution. Since your machines are Windows only, I'd suggest to give the E@H app a try even with the SDK installed. If it fails just after start with something like this in its log:

> [15:49:08][7370][ERROR] Failed to get OpenCL platform/device info from BOINC (error: -1)!
> [15:49:08][7370][ERROR] Demodulation failed (error: -1)!

then you might encounter this particular problem.

But I'm rather optimistic this is not going to happen under Windows.

CU
HB


thanks for the quick reply. it turns out (after a quick search on the MW@H forums) that the APP SDK is required for my Milkyway@Home AMD/ATI GPU app...so i'm glad to hear that you're optimistic about the new E@H AMD/ATI GPU app working correctly on a Windows platform even w/ the APP SDK installed. hopefully i'll have some time this evening to test it out. i'll report back w/ results as soon as i have the chance to test it...

Eric

Kurt Roeckx
Kurt Roeckx
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Is there a way to use this

Is there a way to use this with an intel GPU like sandy or ivy bridge?

Richard Haselgrove
Richard Haselgrove
Joined: 10 Dec 05
Posts: 1721
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My understanding is that

My understanding is that nowadays OpenCL runtime support is included in the default 'Catalyst software suite'. The current description on the download pages is 'OpenCL(tm) Driver', though in the past it has been called 'APP' (accelerated parallel processing) or even SDK.

There should never be any need for an end-user to download the quite separate Software Development Kit just to run a pre-compiled OpenCL application either here or at MilkyWay.

@Sunny129: could you PM me a link to the source of your suggestion that MilkyWay requires the full development kit, rather than just the driver/runtime version, please? This terminology confusion keeps cropping up at various message boards, and I'd like to get to the bottom of it.

Bikeman _Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein_
Bikeman (Heinz-...
Joined: 28 Aug 06
Posts: 3501
Credit: 152417482
RAC: 88883

RE: Is there a way to use

Quote:
Is there a way to use this with an intel GPU like sandy or ivy bridge?

No. For several reasons:

BOINC itself currently supports GPU detection for OpenCL/NVIDIA and OpenCL/ATI. But sooner or later OpenCL/Intel will be added to BOINC.

The app itself was built and tested for ATI cards, ideally it should be able to run on other OpenCL enabled devices with just minor modifications, if any. However, for the GPUs that are part of the SandyBridge generation, Intel has, iirc, NOT even provided OpenCL drivers, and might never do so.

For the Ivy Bridge generation (3rd generation Core CPUs), Intel will provide OpenCL support for the embedded GPU.

However, because this is a GPU that will have to share the power and thermal envelope of the CPU, it will not be comparable in speed to dedicated GPUs on graphics cards. You can expect basically (say) 1/10th of the performance of a mid class gfx card, I'd say.

Of course you can run OpenCL not only on GPUs, but also on the (multicore) x86 CPUs in Sandy and Ivy Bridge, but apps that are optimized to run well on GPUs with hundreds of cores usually will perform rather poorly when executed on CPUs.

So because of the small number of such CPUs and the rather moderate GPU performance, those built-in GPUs are currently not a very attractive target for BOINC projects (effort-to-performance-ratio-wise).

Cheers
HB

Oliver Bock
Oliver Bock
Joined: 4 Sep 07
Posts: 587
Credit: 24328435
RAC: 604

RE: My understanding is

Quote:

My understanding is that nowadays OpenCL runtime support is included in the default 'Catalyst software suite'. The current description on the download pages is 'OpenCL(tm) Driver', though in the past it has been called 'APP' (accelerated parallel processing) or even SDK.

There should never be any need for an end-user to download the quite separate Software Development Kit just to run a pre-compiled OpenCL application either here or at MilkyWay.


Richard is correct!

Trivia: it was us making sure (by convincing AMD) the OpenCL run-time is actually included with and installed by the Catalyst driver, not just the SDK :-)

Oliver

 


Einstein@Home Project

Gaurav Khanna
Gaurav Khanna
Joined: 8 Nov 04
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Great news! Thanks Oliver &

Great news! Thanks Oliver & HB :-)

BOINC 7.0.27 seems to return that my Radeon HD 7970 doesn't support OpenCL. I have Catalyst 12.4 and my other OpenCL codes run OK.

http://einsteinathome.org/host/5359846
http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/host_sched_logs/5359/5359846

Thoughts?
Gaurav

Sunny129
Sunny129
Joined: 5 Dec 05
Posts: 162
Credit: 160342159
RAC: 0

RE: My understanding is

Quote:

My understanding is that nowadays OpenCL runtime support is included in the default 'Catalyst software suite'. The current description on the download pages is 'OpenCL(tm) Driver', though in the past it has been called 'APP' (accelerated parallel processing) or even SDK.

There should never be any need for an end-user to download the quite separate Software Development Kit just to run a pre-compiled OpenCL application either here or at MilkyWay.

@Sunny129: could you PM me a link to the source of your suggestion that MilkyWay requires the full development kit, rather than just the driver/runtime version, please? This terminology confusion keeps cropping up at various message boards, and I'd like to get to the bottom of it.


Richard,

i found the info in the All work Units giving "Computational Error" thread on the Milkyway@Home forums. if you scroll down to message 53419 (posted by user Assimilator1), you'll see that he was getting WU errors. Matt Arsenault, one of the head project developers, somehow noticed that Assimilator1's Catalyst 12.1 driver installation was missing the OpenCL.dll, and suggested that he reinstall the drivers, paying special attention not to uncheck the APP SDK option. sure enough, that's what Assimilator1 had done on the first try, thinking that he didn't need the entire developer kit...and sure enough, reinstalling the drivers without excluding the SDK solved his problem.

Bikeman _Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein_
Bikeman (Heinz-...
Joined: 28 Aug 06
Posts: 3501
Credit: 152417482
RAC: 88883

RE: Great news! Thanks

Quote:

Great news! Thanks Oliver & HB :-)

BOINC 7.0.27 seems to return that my Radeon HD 7970 doesn't support OpenCL. I have Catalyst 12.4 and my other OpenCL codes run OK.

http://einsteinathome.org/host/5359846
http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/host_sched_logs/5359/5359846

Thoughts?
Gaurav

Hmm...did you happen to have the same machine on Albert@Home before? Did it work there (with 7.0.26 perhaps)? Is the libOpenCL library (the 32 bit one for the app and, if you have a 64 bit BOINC client, the 64 bit lib as well installed in a default path or a path pointed to by LD_LIBRARY_PATH?). If this turns out to be a specific 7.0.27 problem we might want to go back to 7.0.26 which did work on Albert@Home.

Cheers
HB

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