New Einstein@Home Radio Pulsar Search and NVIDIA GPU Code

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Profile Bruce Allen
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Message 109719 - Posted: 20 Jan 2011, 15:57:08 UTC

Einstein@Home is beginning a new round of searching for radio pulsars in short-orbital-period binary systems.



This is accompanied by the release of a new application (called BRP3). The new application is particularly efficient on NVIDIA Graphics Processor Cards (up to a factor of 20 faster than the CPU-only application). In addition, when running on an NVIDIA GPU card, this new application makes very little use of the CPU (typically around 20% CPU use when the GPU is devoted to Einstein@Home).

The NVIDIA GPU application is initially available for Windows and Linux only. We hope to have a Macintosh version available soon. Due to limitations in the NVIDIA drivers, the Linux version still makes heavy use of the CPU. This will be fixed in Spring 2011, when a new version of the NVIDIA Driver is released. Many thanks to NVIDIA technical support for their assistance!

Because we have exhausted the backlog of data from Arecibo Observatory, this new application is being shipped with data from the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey (from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia). In the next weeks we expect to also start using this new application on fresh Arecibo data taken with the latest 'Mock Spectrometer' back-end.

Questions, problems or bug reports related to this new application and search should be reported in this news item thread as a 'Comment'.

Bruce Allen
Director, Einstein@Home
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Message 109748 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 13:42:33 UTC - in response to Message 109719.

I'm running an i7 with two nvidia 470 gtx video card and Linux which seem to be getting computational errors on the new process. They seem to run ok till the end and then error out.
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Message 109749 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 15:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 109748.

I'm running an i7 with two nvidia 470 gtx video card and Linux which seem to be getting computational errors on the new process. They seem to run ok till the end and then error out.


Please provide some details so we can look into the problem. It'd be best to post links to the results/tasks that failed.


Thanks,
Oliver
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Message 109750 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 15:11:31 UTC - in response to Message 109749.

I assume it's these ones?

http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/results.php?hostid=3803628
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Message 109752 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 15:30:00 UTC - in response to Message 109750.
Last modified: 21 Jan 2011, 15:33:06 UTC

I assume it's these ones?

http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/results.php?hostid=3803628


Ok, looking at the error descriptions it seems that your BOINC client installation doesn't work properly, most likely to due to missing privileges (it has affected almost all E@H tasks on your host, it's not specific to the Radio Pulsar Search application). I recommend you reinstall the BOINC software, probably using the one that comes with your Linux distribution.

If that doesn't work please consider opening a separate thread in the Problems and Bug Reports board.


Hope this helps,

Oliver
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Message 109753 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 15:30:31 UTC - in response to Message 109752.

Yes

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Message 109754 - Posted: 21 Jan 2011, 15:33:21 UTC - in response to Message 109753.

Update: please check that your host is able to run 32 bit applications. Right now it seems that it can only run 64 bit apps.

Oliver

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Message 109765 - Posted: 22 Jan 2011, 0:55:31 UTC - in response to Message 109748.
Last modified: 22 Jan 2011, 0:57:59 UTC

I'm running an i7 with two nvidia 470 gtx video card and Linux which seem to be getting computational errors on the new process. They seem to run ok till the end and then error out.


It looks like the runtime on your tasks are showing as 0. You might want to check to see if there are any missing dependencies with these commands:

cd projects/einstein.phys.uwm.edu
ldd einsteinbinary_BRP3_1.06_i686-pc-linux-gnu__BRP3cuda32fullCPU

This should show all required libraries and if any are missing. Then also check to make sure IA32 support is enabled in kernel if running on a 64-bit system.
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Message 109788 - Posted: 22 Jan 2011, 23:49:41 UTC

I tried reinstalling boinc and that did not work. It may have made things worse. So since the machine is only running boinc projects I reinstalled ubuntu and the nvidia drives then bionic. So far things are looking good.thanks for the help.
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Message 109796 - Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 6:47:43 UTC - in response to Message 109788.

Can you provide a link to the new GPU code so I may run it?
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Message 109800 - Posted: 23 Jan 2011, 10:43:19 UTC - in response to Message 109796.

Can you provide a link to the new GPU code so I may run it?

Your Intel machine is running it already.
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Message 109896 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 2:32:58 UTC - in response to Message 109800.

First I want to say thank you. Finally the GPU code is stable enough that I can run it on my machine without having to take one of the processors off crunching the CPU code to handle feeding GPU. Finally the code is stable enough that I dont have to cripple my vid card to have it not error out trying to run one of these.

I do have a question though. Currently on my GTX570 it is only running at about 35 percent GPU utilization. Are there any plans on improving the code to run at higher utilization rates hence more work for the time from the GPU's. Some projects, like milky way for example run in the upper 90's. It'd be nice to see einstein being able to use most of what the card can give us to crunch the numbers.

If there are tweaks or something else I can do that makes a significant difference in utilization (ie more than just a few percent) can someone please share them so I can try.

Thank you
Aaron
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Message 109903 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 8:03:23 UTC - in response to Message 109896.

What you can do is using a app_info.xml file run 3 GPU tasks in parallel. That should increase the GPU usage to ~90%



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Message 109905 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 9:34:10 UTC - in response to Message 109896.

Currently on my GTX570 it is only running at about 35 percent GPU utilization.


That might be influenced by how much your CPU cores are utilized and how much GPU memory is used by other things (e.g. your desktop). Our tests show that a single instance of the GPU app uses up to 73% when there are no other tasks running (remember: it still depends on approx. 5-30% of a CPU core, depending on your hardware) as the CPU still needs to feed the GPU.

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Message 109907 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 10:50:59 UTC - in response to Message 109905.

My experience shows, that the GPU usage depends on the capacity of the vid card.

The more powerful the card, the less the usage of CPU capacity by one BRP task.

Example:

Quattro FX 770M has ~80% CPU usage with 210 minutes to finish
GT240 has ~75% with 145 minutes to finish
GTX240 has ~60% with 90 minutes to finish
GTX460 has ~50% with 55 minutes to finish

This results are more or less independend from the CPU usage, since BRP version 1.05

That means, that one BRP task can't create more GPU usage at the moment. So the alternative is to run more than one BRP tasks at the same times.
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Message 109909 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 11:28:06 UTC

Thanks Rechen. Where is this file located at, the app into file? Granted it's early and I havent had my fill of coffee yet but I was not able to find it.

Thanks
Aaron
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Message 109911 - Posted: 27 Jan 2011, 12:58:36 UTC - in response to Message 109909.

Look here http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/forum_thread.php?id=8652 and then especially at this post http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu/forum_thread.php?id=8652&nowrap=true#109287

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Message 109926 - Posted: 28 Jan 2011, 8:26:31 UTC

Due to limitations in the NVIDIA drivers, the Linux version still makes heavy use of the CPU. This will be fixed in Spring 2011, when a new version of the NVIDIA Driver is released.


excuse me, what version are you talking about? 260.xxx and 270.xxx beta are available already.
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Message 109929 - Posted: 28 Jan 2011, 9:23:38 UTC - in response to Message 109926.
Last modified: 28 Jan 2011, 9:24:28 UTC


excuse me, what version are you talking about? 260.xxx and 270.xxx beta are available already.


Well, the 260.xx (CUDA 3.2) drivers exhibit an issue that get's fixed in the next stable driver release (acknowledged/confirmed by NVIDIA). We don't expect our volunteers to run beta drivers (i.e. 270.xx).


Cheers,
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Message 109931 - Posted: 28 Jan 2011, 9:44:09 UTC - in response to Message 109929.

so, this high CPU usage under CUDA crunching depends not only on drivers?

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants PHY-1104902, PHY-1104617 and PHY-1105572 and by the Max Planck Gesellschaft (MPG). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the MPG.

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