What hardware do you recommend?

Division Brabant.Schaduwtje
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Thanks for the tips,

Thanks for the tips, ExtraTerrestrial Apes. Was just typing when you replied.

No, I agree that I don't absolutely need a 1000 dollar machine. But I can afford it and I'd like to have a fast machine for once - my current desktop machine is a 2003 AMD 3200+. Plus, I like participating in this project and have the feeling that I contribute a bit to science and be active in some competition in my team. I just want to make sure this hobby doesn't get out of hand too much, so that I have sky-rocketing electricity bills.

Tretboot
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I am not sure how

I am not sure how Hyperthreading works with Einstein, but in genereal Boinc really seems to profit from it, so i would go with an I7 that has it, as it will look to boinc like an 8 core Processor. If you are like me you would also probably roam some overclocking forums and see what cpus are good at the moment for that and buy a inexpensive one and clock it to the speed of around the top model or higher and invest part of the saved money to better cooling. But i am not that up to date with the I7 and overclocking, i only know that those CPUs already do a lot of that on their own.

For GPU i have to agree. I run an 8800GT in one of my PCs and it is only around half as fast as most GTX 580s that got to validate my units. That might change with a better Cuda app, but for the moment it might be best cost effetive wise to go with a powersaving GTX 2something or maybe even 9800 card or better 2 or 3 of them. If Einstein would support AMD/ATI cards i would suggest a 5850 wich has a lot of computing power and uses compared to Nvidia a lot less power. Over at Milkyway@Home those cards run circles around everything Nvidia has to offer.

http://einsteinathome.org/host/3810653/tasks&offset=0&show_names=0&state=3 That is my 8800GT doing its work, its interesting to look at the Work Unit Details, compare the runtimes and see what the other Computer has as hardware (but you won't know if and how it is overclocked). My PC is a Pentium Dual E2180 clocked from 2GHZ to 3GHZ and the 8800GT running at stock speeds.

DanNeely
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I just tried to build a full

I just tried to build a full system on newegg and ended up at ~$1040 + ~$25 shipping.

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.aspx?BundleExist=N&ID=19100247&ChangeQty=0

Suggested upgrades depending on how flexible your budget is would be:
120GB SSD (sandforce) instead of 60GB. Main benefit here is not having to worry as much about where you install apps, and being able to keep user data (excluding media files) on the SSD fore speed.

i7-2600K and moderately higher end motherboard if you want to overclock.

GTX 460 instead of 450, and a 600W PSU instead of 520: about 50% faster graphics, the catch is that your GPU will also use about 50% more power.

1/2TB HD instead of 500GB. Even if you don't need the extra space a newer generation drive with higher density platters will be somewhat faster when you need to access it.

Monitor with a more flexible stand, or slightly larger screen size. The one I picked has a fairly minimal set of adjustments, and 21.5" is on the smallish size these days.

Nicer case, keyboard, and mouse. All 3 of these were picked primarily because they were cheap. Pick what you like best.

Edit: better optical drive. Even if you don't want blueray, cheap drives tend to be significantly louder than their higher quality brethren.

Division Brabant.Schaduwtje
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Thanks guys. DanNeely, the

Thanks guys. DanNeely, the newegg link doesn't work for me - gives me an empty wishlist. Could you maybe copy paste the components or post a screenshot so that I know which components you selected?

mikey
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RE: Jeroen, thanks for the

Quote:
Jeroen, thanks for the tip. I am indeed thinking about a i5-2500 or i7-2600. So, does anyone know the difference between HT and non-HT in terms of credit? Did anyone spot these processors in the wild yet? If I look at the host rankings, I can't find them.

Try here http://einsteinathome.org/account/61992/computers

ML1
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RE: I am not sure how

Quote:
I am not sure how Hyperthreading works...


Best you get is about +30% improvement on throughput running HT to give two virtual cores on one physical core vs running the physical core without HT.

It's still one physical core regardless of what the HT 'fools' the OS with. The "+30%" throughput depends highly on how sympathetic your application is for running two threads to take advantage of the HT. Boinc is good for that in that you can run two tasks simultaneously. Whether they take twice as long to execute or "30%" less than twice as long depends on the task.

Quote:
... might be best cost effetive wise to go with a powersaving GTX 2something or maybe even 9800 card or better 2 or 3 of them. ...


Best is to get something out of the latest generation so that you can take advantage of the latest architecture and programming features. Hence, go bottom end GT-400 if you want low cost or power saving (passive cooling), or whatever. You at least still get the advantages of the Fermi architecture support for CUDA and OpenCL and double precision arithmetic.

Also important is to ensure you have enough video RAM on your video card. 512 MBytes is an absolute minimum. Best is to go for 1GByte so that you can run both tasks and have enough RAM to display your desktop!

Happy fast crunchin',
Martin

See new freedom: Mageia Linux
Take a look for yourself: Linux Format
The Future is what We all make IT (GPLv3)

Jeroen
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RE: Jeroen, thanks for the

Quote:

Jeroen, thanks for the tip. I am indeed thinking about a i5-2500 or i7-2600. So, does anyone know the difference between HT and non-HT in terms of credit? Did anyone spot these processors in the wild yet? If I look at the host rankings, I can't find them.

I have not had the chance to try a Sandy Bridge CPU yet. However, my i7 @ 3.8 GHz with HT completes these work units in about 18-18.5K seconds whereas it takes around 15-16K seconds with HT disabled. That would be around 9600 credits with HT and 5800 without HT.

Quote:

I don't know too much about PSU's yet. Will look into it. Anyone any ideas about Motherboards? Do they matter much, i.e. is there any number crunching reason to buy a not so cheap one? I was thinking of the MSI P67S-C43. I don't need USB3, nor Firewire as far as I know. Costs about 115 dollar. Many boards cost almost double.

It has been a few years since I last used MSI so I am not sure sure how reliable their boards are these days. If you plan to overclock, the EVGA boards are great for overclocking and come with a handy overclocking software tool called E-Leet. Unfortunately, EVGA is a bit behind the game and has not released their boards yet. Hopefully their boards will be coming out soon.

archae86
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Tretboot wrote:I am not sure

Tretboot wrote:
I am not sure how Hyperthreading works with Einstein


I recently ran some tests on an E5620 (Westmere). The report message gives hyperthreading throughput improvement ratios for my system in three different configurations, varying in number of memory channels provisioned

1-channel 4.4% (severely memory starved, no one would run this way)
2-channel 33% (I overclocked CPU and not memory, so most folks would be a bit more generously supplied)
3-channel 38% (as socket 1156 lacks three channels, this configuration, though lightly clocked on RAM, was probably a bit more richly supplied than most consumer systems of the Nehalem generation parts)

As the question posed was specific to Einstein, so is this answer, but in the broader topic the range of improvements seen have varied quite widely with:

1. specific MPU architecture (HT is not always the same at all)
2. application (some aps like HT a lot, and a very few hate it)
3. balance of RAM vs. CPU speed in specific system
4. cache sizes and speeds

and doubtless other stuff.

DanNeely
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RE: Thanks guys. DanNeely,

Quote:
Thanks guys. DanNeely, the newegg link doesn't work for me - gives me an empty wishlist. Could you maybe copy paste the components or post a screenshot so that I know which components you selected?

Sorry, try this link. Newegg's wishlist implementation leaves something to be desired from a usability standpoint. Instead of just copying the link from the page where you created it, you need to go to the public search page and find it that way...

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=19100247

Division Brabant.Schaduwtje
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Thanks guys for all your

Thanks guys for all your input! I think I have a pretty solid idea now of what I should get. I am going to assemble and buy my new pc now. :)

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