PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

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PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ryoungblood » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:59 pm

Hey there,

I'm getting back into the folding scene after 5 years and I want to jump in full-throttle.

I have a new VR-gaming rig currently folding @ roughly 720k PPD with a 1070 and a 670. I purchased another 1070 to replace the 670 and which should boost the total PPD of this machine to over 1M PPD tomorrow.

I've been debating building a dedicated machine for folding, but want to garner some advice before I drop the cash. I have a total budget of around $3K for all of the components, but I want to make sure I get the most for my money.

I want to get some firm PPD numbers from different GPUs (haven't seen much on AMD). Currently, the plan is to shoot for 4x 1070 unless I'm convinced otherwise. The 1080 cards don't seem worth it due to the price-point and output, estimated at 700k/PPD (1080 - 1,147 PPD/$ vs. 1070 - 1,547 PPD/$), but these are just based off of what I've seen from other folding forums.

Does anyone care to share their output on the latest generation of cards from either AMD or NVIDIA? Anyone have a recommended build for the $3K budget, not considering the monthly cost of power?

Any input would be appreciated!
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby SteveWillis » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:29 am

$3000 including GPU's

You should consider the entire cost of the folding rig, not just the GPU when calculating the PPD/$. It may make more sense to go with a higher end GPU.
Are you up to building a PC or are you looking at buying something already built? It's not that hard. For $3000 you could build with money left over that would for sure support 3 GPUs, because that's what I have. I'm hoping for 4 but haven't gotten around to setting that up yet.
Using high quality components:
high quality AMD Sabertooth Motherboard (military grade components) $200
hard drive 1T but you don't really need that large $107
memory 8GB $61
6 core processor and cooler $116
I went with an open air mining case off ebay, $62 or around $30 if y0u build it from scratch, probably not too hard if you are handy and have the tools
pcie header cables $22/GPU so say $66
OS I use Linux Mint so free
misc way less than $100
Power supply I went with 1000 watt but may wish i'd gone bigger $140
3 gtx 1080s total about $1900

total less than $2752

don't think I've forgotten anything. You could spend a couple hundred bucks for a fair KVM switch to switch your keyboard, video, and mouse between your primary PC and folding rigs.
I'm sure others have done better
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My thanks to my very indulgent wife
http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_summary.php?s=&u=712804

3 AMD Linux rigs 3, 4, and 5 GPUs 7 X GTX 1080, 5 X GTX 1080 TI
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby rwh202 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:49 am

I don't have a 1070 to give you numbers, but it will be hard to get meaningful comparison since WUs vary so much (maybe FAHBench results?)
Right now, across 7 1080s I have the following PPD showing:
1057k PPD
895k PPD
827k PPD
763k PPD
822k PPD
664k PPD
1091k PPD

800k PPD would seem like a safe average - that improves the PPD/$ of your previous calc, but not enough. When I did the sums including power usage and also factoring in that for a given PPD I would need fewer 1080s, cases power supply etc, that the 1080 was the way to go.
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby foldy » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:19 am

For gtx1080 for $600 you get 800k PPD and gtx 1070 for $400 you get 600k PPD. AMD GPUs currently cannot compete with that.

Do you want to build one rig or several???

Because one way to go is to buy cheap old used PCs and add a fast GPU. e.g. a cheap used PC may cost $100 plus $400 for gtx 1070 this is $500. With your budget of $3000 you could build 6 such PCs: 6 x $500 = $3000 folding 3.6 million PPD.
If you build that with gtx 1080 for $600 then you can build 4 PCs this way: 4 x ($100 + $600) = $2800 and folding 3.2 million PPD.
So I would go for the gtx 1080 because you only need 4 PC instead of 6.
The cheap old PC should have single or dual core CPU, 4GB RAM, 200GB HDD, power supply that has 250 watts at 12V and pcie x16 slot with enough space in the case for a gtx 10X0 (and Windows 7 64bit if you do not use linux).

If you want to build one rig with several GPUs keep in mind you need at least pcie x4 speed for each GPU if you use Windows and one CPU core for each GPU to feed it.
Here an open case build with several GPUs using risers is shown viewtopic.php?f=38&t=28869
Last edited by foldy on Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby Nathan_P » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:06 am

A GTX 1070 will max out at 800k PPD depending on the OC and work unit that's its doing, a 1080 will max out at 1m PPD based on the same. I have one of each but prefer the 1080 as it has slightly better PPD per watt.

I would go a slightly different route - Any AMD or Intel mobo with 3 or more PCIe x16 slots that will run at a minimum of PCIe 3.0 x8 - anything lower than this and you will start to lose PPD. This will limit your options somewhat in board choice but you don't necessarily need the latest and greatest, if x99 is too expensive x79 based mobo's may be cheaper if you can find one.

CPU wise I would be tempted to go for a used xeon off the auction sites if you choose to go intel - cheap ones can be found and they are bomb proof.
a 1000w PSU rated at least 80plus platinum with a decent warranty
8 to 16Gb of ram - doesn't need to be a top end kit but i'd go for a brand with a decent warranty
The cheapest HDD that you can find - doesn't even need to be an SSD
OS either use Linux (free) or win 7/10.
Casewise either an open mining rig as above, a DIY build - there are plenty of examples including a couple on this forum or a normal case - bear in mind that for a normal case you will need at least 8 expansion slots and plenty of pleaces to mount fans.

Everyone has their favourite brands for components but I would personally go corsair for the RAM and PSU as their customer service is excellent if you need to do an RMA
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby foldy » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:14 pm

@Nathan_P: In this thread we found that with pcie x4 you only loose 2% compared to x16. So x4 is good and for 4 GPUs this also fits the 16 cpu lanes of non x99 intel cpus. viewtopic.php?f=38&t=28847&start=90
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby Nathan_P » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:51 pm

I've found anything upto 6% loss just going from PCIe 3.0 x16 to PCIe 1.1 x16 in my own research, everything will depend on the WU, even if we split the different and say 4% loss you are looking at 24k PPD less for each 1070 and 32k less PPD for each 1080
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby foldy » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:16 pm

OK lets say 4% but compared to the price for a quad pcie x8 PC isn't a quad pcie x4 PC the sweet spot? There are mainboards with PLX switch chip like ASUS Z170-WS which support x8/x8/x8/x8 but they cost $350 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... -_-Product + CPU i5-6400 $200 = $550

For so many GPUs to buy if you want to wait until March 2017 then nvidia wants to announce GTX 1080 Ti which will be nearly as fast as Titan X Pascal and get 1200k PPD for around $800. So instead of 4 gtx 1080 you could buy 3 gtx 1080 ti and still get 3.6 mill PPD for the same price.
Last edited by foldy on Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ryoungblood » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:37 pm

Wow, thanks for all the input here. So I'm getting a lot of advice for the 1080. I think the issue I'm running into here is the Mobo. I had initially thought I would go with 4x 1070 on a x99, but with the price of the board + CPU together, there may be a better option. I'll look into a board that supports 3 cards and run some numbers for 2x 1070 and 1x 1080.
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ComputerGenie » Thu Jan 19, 2017 5:59 pm

Nathan_P wrote:...I have one of each but prefer the 1080 as it has slightly better PPD per watt...


In my experience, more people have overlooked that realization in folding/mining than anything else.

Based on just getting FLDC (because I want to keep this post "short") and assuming "round" figures (including $0.1 electric cost, 2000FLDC per month per 100k PPD and ~$900BTC):
1080
800k PPD = $18 p/month ($216 p/yr)
@180 Watts: $157.70 yearly cost to run
Yearly profit = $58.30, which is 10.29 years ROI
1070
600k PPD = $13.5 p/month ($162 p/yr)
@180 Watts: $131.41 yearly cost to run
Yearly profit = $30.60, which is 13.07 years ROI

Again, these are rounded, exaggerated figures; however, it should suffice to make the point. :wink:
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ryoungblood » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:45 am

So I realized I had a PC lying around that supported up to 3 GPU. I went out and grabbed a 1080 Hybrid and another 1070. Installed the 670 with the Hybrid 1080 and currently running 904k PPD on the new card. I installed the two new 1070 into the other machine but am running into issues getting F@H to run. I keep getting some errors and am waiting on a Win10 install to finish to try and fix the problem. Currently @ 1.5M PPD with another (hopefully) 1.2M+ pending.

I've decided to wait on the $3K to see what the 2nd-gen Pascal cards offer for PPD.
Last edited by ryoungblood on Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ComputerGenie » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:22 am

Sounds good.
BTC has been good to me lately, there's a good chance I'll be adding 2 more 1080s by the end of next week :D
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby ryoungblood » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:20 pm

Depending on the performance of this set-up, I might just wait for the Voltra-based titan in '18
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby Aurum » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:58 pm

I just bought this today and he's throwing in three 16x risers: PC Combo-Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5, AMD FX 8350 black 8 core 4ghz, 6gb RAM and a Zalman CPU 92mm all copper CPU Cooler for $205.

Are you guys saying you do not need a CPU core per GPU with Linux :?: :?: :?:
Will I get faster bus speeds with Linux :?: :?: :?:
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Re: PPD by GPU - Advice for Dedicated F@H Machine

Postby davidcoton » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:47 pm

Aurum wrote:Are you guys saying you do not need a CPU core per GPU with Linux :?: :?: :?:

I don't think (from a quick scan) anyone mentioned the CPU requirement for GPU folding.
Officially ats of now it does required one CPU core per GPU.
HOWEVER, since most of the time is spent in a wait state, I speculate that leaving one core for two or three GPUs will have very little detrimental effect. I don't have a multi-GPU rig to test this with.

Aurum wrote:Will I get faster bus speeds with Linux :?: :?: :?:

Not inherently. But most who run both Linux and Windows choose Linux for dedicated folding rigs. It is harder to set up, but cheaper! Performance may be better on Linux, that is a software difference rather than use of hardware. YMMV.
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