PS3 vs quad core PC

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PS3 vs quad core PC

Postby etchells » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:48 am

I want to dedicate a machine to folding; i currently have a PS3 and a dual core AMD PC running folding. The question: what can produce more resluts- a PS3 or a quad core PC running windows XP? In looking at how my current PC and PS3 are working- it seems the PS3 is cranking through more work-- is that really the case- if so, honestly, it's cheaper to buy a PS3 that it will be to pull together another PC with a Quad core Intel chip. The price of a PS3 is around the price for a quad chip plus one other component (pick the component- power supply, case, video card, etc). I would very much appreciate feedback from someone in the folding community. My family has been personally impacted by one of the medial conditions relevant to Folding and being a computer hobbist I want to try and do somthing to help. My best regards, DTG
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Postby Ivoshiee » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:54 am

How do you define the expression more results?
The PS3 is more powerful on those calculations it can run, but as the WU points are being defined by time then the quad will earn you more points during that time frame.
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Postby 7im » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:54 am

Both the SMP and PS3 clients are producing a lot of good results. Both are an excellent choice.

A better way to choose might be to decide by long term power costs, or if you could use either a PC or a PS3 for secondary things as well as folding. Dual use appliances tend to be easier to justify long term. If just dedicated to folding, do consider initial costs, plus long term electricity costs.
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great so far

Postby etchells » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:04 am

great to see replies so far! So, let's not consider power, and let's not consider credit- which machine, a PS3 cell processor or a Quad can execute more computational results for folding? Also, I don't care about the dual use thing, I've got a PS3 for use as a PS3 and I've got PC's for PC's- i'm tying to determine what will produce more results, for folding, for me to put my efforts into buying some PS3's to run folding or PC's to run folding. This may sound crazy but, it's personal as my familiy is impacted by the research folding is conducting and given computers are one of my hobbies I want to put some of my efforts into helping. I could buy 2 or 3 PS3's for the price of one PC but, if an overclocked quad core would out work them I would go for the quad core (overclocking is my hobby). Once again, thanks for your time and your reply. DTG
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Postby toTOW » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:09 am

Sciencewise, I would go for a PS3 (more processing power).

Pointwise, I would go for a Q6600 running at 3.2 GHz or more. It also produce good science, but less than a PS3.

It's up to you to decide what you prefer ... you could also setup a quad under linux, and you'll learn how to use it ... ;)
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Postby Cprossu » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:11 am

I am also curious where the GPU client falls upon this because I am thinking of setting up some more.
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nice

Postby etchells » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:11 am

ah- nice- you guys are great with your feedback. Yes, I would go with Linux if I went with the quad core. I could probably buy 2 or 3 PS3's for the price of one credible quad core- would that produce more computational results than one quad core from chipzilla?
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GPU vs CPU vs PS3

Postby etchells » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:18 am

see, now we are getting somewhere- that's a great possibility- do I pull together a PC running multiple GPU's and would that out work a PS3 or a Quad Core from chipzilla? interesting idea, so it wouldn't take a quad core to service a dual GPU PC would it? I run SLI now with my AMD dual core but, I guess folding doesn't work on AMD cards, in fact, I don't seem to be able to fully load my dual core AMD 4800+ OCed to 2.8, it gets over 50% leading me to believe it's into both the cores and i'm running the latest folding software but, it seems like my PS3 is out computing the PC lots. would it be more effective to put together with a dual core chipzilla cpu but, with dual ATI GPU's or would the same money produce more results with a bank of PS3's? chime in folks.
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Postby toTOW » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:46 am

Cprossu wrote:I am also curious where the GPU client falls upon this because I am thinking of setting up some more.


GPU ~ PS3 ... they're running the same algorythms, and have similiar point per day. GPU are more power hungry than PS3.
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Re: GPU vs CPU vs PS3

Postby toTOW » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:47 am

etchells wrote:I don't seem to be able to fully load my dual core AMD 4800+ OCed to 2.8, it gets over 50%


Install two clients, or try the SMP client.
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I am running the SMP

Postby etchells » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:59 am

I am running the SMP client but it still doesn't seem to load my dual cores. Also, i'm not concerned with power consumption- i'm trying to determine if a PS3 or quad core or multiple GPU machine produces more output for Folding. If it's that tight of a conversation hell i'll just buy 5 or 10 PS3's and be done with it. I 'm looking for some sound, technically founded advice, not opinoins, and it's not a money thing directly.
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Postby toTOW » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:08 am

PS3 are drawing 170-200W depending on the version you have ...

Q6600@3.2 GHz is taking only 130W ... it raises at 180W is you add the load of my HD3870 (which can't fold yet).

Of course I'm speaking in full load condition (Folding for PS3 and Quad, Folding + Game in Quad + GPU example).
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Re: I am running the SMP

Postby alancabler » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:43 am

etchells wrote:I am running the SMP client but it still doesn't seem to load my dual cores. Also, i'm not concerned with power consumption- i'm trying to determine if a PS3 or quad core or multiple GPU machine produces more output for Folding. If it's that tight of a conversation hell i'll just buy 5 or 10 PS3's and be done with it. I 'm looking for some sound, technically founded advice, not opinoins, and it's not a money thing directly.
Not loading cores with SMP? Is that info from TaskManager? Do you see 4 FahCore_a1.exe instances running?
Also compare your frame- times with those in the fahinfo.org database, and if you find that you really aren't loading your cores, then there is a problem...

If you have to act now, then build a quad rig and run SMP, or buy another PS3. If you're enchanted with the power of GPUs, then wait just a little while, as both GPU and client will change dramatically in the very near future.
Dual- instance GPU clients yield less than ideal results, as the 2nd GPU runs considerably slower, in most donors' experience. They can be tweaked, but best results are returned by discrete machines. The GPU client does not run SLI.

Those are your answers, and the rest of this post may help carify the issues for you.

PS3s and GPUs produce >50 GFLOPS avg, and the best current GPUs produce >90 GFLOPS for certain calculations. (Next-gen cards may produce >490 GFLOPS -peak- not sure about sustained).
GPUs (and to a lesser extent, PS3s) are limited by the types of calculations which they can perform, due to the size of the code kernel which can be shifted into the device's registers. This limits the calculations to a simpler kind than is possible with a general- purpose CPU. Code could be shifted in/out endlessly to be able to perform all calculations, but at a great loss of performance.
Hand- coding improvements are being made on the GPU client (and Gromacs cores) which will allow full kernel shifts and increase GPU versatility and speed. Professor Pande has mentioned that the new GPU client will be here soon. ATI will also release their amazing next- gen 3xxx series cards within days... [note; already released!]
The last PS3 client update trimmed the code and PS3 production climbed to >1 PFLOPS almost over night.

Multi-core CPUs apply all cores to the same problem while running the SMP client- one 9.6GHz processor working on a problem, rather than four 2.4GHz processors doing 4 separate WUs.
CPUs are a bit faster, in terms of FLOPS than their "speed ratings" indicate. For example, P4 3.0GHz CPUs perform at about 3.8 GFLOPS. Conroe- derived chips perform math much faster than the P4s/clock cycle. A 2.4GHz Q6600 performs SMP at a rate near 20 GFLOPs, so the SMP client offers versatility with substantial power.

Reference: N-Body Simulations on GPUs
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Re: I am running the SMP

Postby toTOW » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:58 am

alancabler wrote:ATI will also release their amazing next- gen 3xxx series cards within days... definitely worth the (hopefully short) wait.


They have already been released : I have a Radeon HD 3870 in this machine :mrgreen: I'm only waiting for a GPU client that supports it :?
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Postby Cprossu » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:59 pm

PS3 are drawing 170-200W depending on the version you have ...

Q6600@3.2 GHz is taking only 130W ... it raises at 180W is you add the load of my HD3870 (which can't fold yet).


hmmm

according to my watts-up, this X2 3800+ rig with a mildly overclocked X1900xtx is pulling 175 watts from the plug while folding on the gpu...
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