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Old Apr 8, 2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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MDC
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Default ATI GPU - Reduce CPU Usage!

I've done this in Vista 64 and reduced the GPU client's CPU usage from 25% (1 full core) to 1-13%. It's usually in the 1-3 range but jumps to around 13% frequently. The GPU client's frame times did go up by about 15 seconds after doing this (about 10%), but it may be worth it.

This may be enough to run 2 linux VMs and the GPU without losing much PPD. I'm setting up a new Windows install and don't have the VMs running just yet.

Here are the changes that you need to make. Add these three environment variables in system properties/advanced/environment variables. Restart your computer to implement them.

BROOK_YIELD 2
CAL_NO_FLUSH 1
FLUSH_INTERVAL 64

It seems to work great on Vista 64. Please give it a try with whatever version of Windows you're GPU folding on and report back.

I got all this info from the ATI core 1.24 thread at foldingforum. But I'm not going to be updating to 1.24 due to performance issues (low PPD).
http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=9162

Last edited by MDC : Apr 8, 2009 at 09:10 PM.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 01:43 PM   #2
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So far the experiment hasn't been as good as hoped, but it greatly helps the CPU clients. The VMs are chugging away at p2699 WUs at exactly 7k PPD combined. The GPU was going about the same speed, but doing a 384 point WU instead of a 1920 pointer. That puts the box at 7.7k total PPD with the current settings.

I found one more variable that I'm going to try.

CAL_PRE_FLUSH 1

Someone says they get 0% CPU usage with all four variables set. I'm not sure I believe it, but I'm trying.

http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=9282

After implementing this variable, the CPU usage by my GPU fah doesn't go over 7%. While impressive, it's still going at an 8 minute frame rate (~700 PPD) with two Linux VMs running at the same time.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 11:04 PM   #3
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I found one more tweak for the GPU. I set the priority to high for fahcore_11 and the frame times greatly improved. The SMP clients slowed by about 280PPD each, but now the total is 8614 PPD for the box.

Running two VMs was netting about 7000 PPD, and before the last priority tweak running the VMs plus GPU was good for about 7600 PPD.
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Old Apr 9, 2009, 11:49 PM   #4
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no one other than u are posting in this?
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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ATI Technologies

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Originally Posted by biscuitownz View Post
no one other than u are posting in this?
Doesn't mean it's not being read
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitownz View Post
no one other than u are posting in this?
good stuff but i dont use ati cards so i dont post
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Nice Mike! I'll be giving this a shot this weekend w/ my q9450 + 4870 1gb.

I would be interested to see if the tweaks help Nvidia GPUs as well ... every little bit!
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 05:03 PM   #8
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Hey Lupine,
Of course, the CPU priority defaults back to low after finishing the WU, so it was taking all day to do the next one that should have taken a few hours.

I found this program called Process Lasso and am testing it out. It is supposed to remember the priorities if you set them as default and adjust them accordingly.

Definitely check it out if you're GPU folding!

http://www.bitsum.com/docs/pl/
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 01:47 PM   #9
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MDC did you try increasing the FLUSH_INTERVAL? I got mine set at 128 and 384 pointers net me about 3000ppd on a HD4850.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 01:08 AM   #10
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I'm currently using the first three environment variables in MDC's original post, but my FLUSH_INTERVAL is set to 256. Luckily, no VPU recovers with my 4850s. I'm seeing the same experience as XSBagage where each GPU is netting between 2500-3000 PPD depending on the WU.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 05:32 AM   #11
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After some experimentation and rereading what BROOK_YIELD=2 is about I think the problem is that BROOK_YIELD=2 makes the GPU client yield CPU cycles no matter what priority it gets.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 07:25 AM   #12
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I haven't seen that happening.

Last edited by MDC : Apr 13, 2009 at 07:27 AM.
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 07:39 AM   #13
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Well it doesn't go to 0% entirely for me. It usually hangs between 12-15% CPU with spikes up to 20% every so often, when you run another client that competes for CPU cycles, the GPU client will hang around 5-6% with spikes up to 15% every so often, eventhough it has a higher priority. As a result the GPU load goes down to 50-70%.

If I remove the BROOK_YIELD=2 variable it'll take up 30% and it'll compete for CPU cycles normally. So it's sort of weird, you free up CPU cycles but when you try to use them you hurt the PPD on your GPU.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 08:41 AM   #14
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OK i used all 4 varibles with my 3850, CPU usage dropped from 25-50% to 2-4% with spikes to 8-9% occasionally. Result was 30 seconds slower frame times(i forget which WU it was working on) now the good part......got winSMP going on that box now also, GPU speed up 20secs a frame giving me ~1500ppd and the winSMP on the Athlon(Phenom) X2 7750BE @ stock 2.7ghz is kicking in ~900ppd oh yeah and this is on XP pro...so for now I'm happy.

Now i just need to get time to try MDCs VMs instead of the winSMP.

(A side note should have a 9600gso & 9600gt in the mix within the next month or 2)
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 11:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo_Rage3d_ View Post
OK i used all 4 varibles with my 3850, CPU usage dropped from 25-50% to 2-4% with spikes to 8-9% occasionally. Result was 30 seconds slower frame times(i forget which WU it was working on) now the good part......got winSMP going on that box now also, GPU speed up 20secs a frame giving me ~1500ppd and the winSMP on the Athlon(Phenom) X2 7750BE @ stock 2.7ghz is kicking in ~900ppd oh yeah and this is on XP pro...so for now I'm happy.

Now i just need to get time to try MDCs VMs instead of the winSMP.

(A side note should have a 9600gso & 9600gt in the mix within the next month or 2)
Also could someone tell me how this is for my setup....good, average, poor what...just curious to know?
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