• Sashleycat

(Update) The SCIENCE Farm! is now completed at Stage II.

Updated: Apr 3

On a more positive topic, I am happy to report that the number-crunching monster that lives in the corner of my room near the window, has been completed to a standard that I am more or less happy with, finally. I call this Stage II.

Stage I was back when I was employing the extremely cost-effective Ryzen 7 2700 processor, based on the Zen+ architecture, in multiple machines - 8 cores, 16 threads each - for the entire compute workload. Zen+ is a fine core, but with the dawn of Zen2, it was clear there were more efficient alternatives available - that could easily be installed in the AM4 socket infrastructure of the B450 motherboards that make up the backbone of my servers.

It was, of course, decided that at some point I would upgrade the Farm with Zen2-based processors, of particular interest was the Ryzen 9 3900X, which had started to see some significant discounts at retail, enticing me even further to upgrade to Stage II. A close friend of mine has allowed me to borrow some money to upgrade some of the machines with the vastly more efficient Ryzen 9 3900X processor - a 12-core, 24-thread design with nearly 2X performance per watt of my previous processors in specific situations. This would of course be highly beneficial to my electricity bill, and to the environment....

(Interest point about the environment for those concerned with the ~900W power use, 24,7: the energy provider to our estate actually has '100% renewable energy' packages available. Now, assuming these are not marketing bull-scrap, it would mean that 100% of the electric power is from renewable sources. Renewable likely includes bio-mass burning, which while being renewable (chickens poo a lot), is still going to cause pollution. That said, it's better than fossil fuels. Either way, our estate has a large wind-turbine generator very close by, and I bet that provides a large portion of the estate's power. Interesting note regarding eco-friendly computing...)

...Where was I? I just had to deal with something unrelated and lost my 'Train of Thought'. Anyway, four of the servers have been upgraded with 12-core Zen2 CPUs, three of them are Ryzen 9 3900Xs and the fourth is the infamous Ryzen 9 3900XT, which is essentially a slight silicon advancement of the same dual, six-core enabled CCD design, but built on a slightly improved version of TSMC's N7 process - the same process as used on the new Zen3 processor CCDs and the RDNA2 based, Radeon RX 6000 family of graphics processors. The slight improvements allow for around 20-30mV less at the same frequency in my (extremely anecdotal) testing versus one of my 3900Xs, since the other two run Ubuntu server with no GUI, and I don't feel it necessary to conduct such a test at this current time. Perhaps in the future.

Anyway, the current specification of The SCIENCE! Farm is as follows, note I also have two Zen+ processors still operating in the farm, for a combined 24-cores, and they are heavily power optimised (more on that in a moment) in an attempt to not fall behind the other machines too heavily in performance per watt.

24/7 machines for World Community Grid:

  • Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24 thread @ 3.6 GHz locked, ~1010mV Core, 1466 MHz FCLK 1:1 memory at 2933 MHz, C16.

  • Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-core, 24 thread @ 3.6 GHz locked, ~980mV Core, 1600 MHz FCLK 1:1 memory at 3200 MHz, C16.

  • 2x Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core, 24 thread @ 100W PPT lock (bios), 1466 MHz FLCK 1:1 memory at 2933 MHz, C15

  • Ryzen Threadripper 2950X 16-core, 32 thread @ 3.0 GHz locked, ~880mV Core, 1500 MHz FCLK - 3000 MHz, C16

  • Ryzen 5 2600X 6-core, 12 thread @ 3.0 GHz locked, ~ 880mV core, 1333 MHz FCLK - 2666 MHz, C16

Part time machines for World Community Grid:

  • Ryzen 7 5800X 8-core, 16 thread @ 4.0 GHz locked, ~950mV Core, 1600 MHz FCLK 1:1 memory at 3200 MHz, C14.

Available if needed machines for World Community Grid:

  • Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X 8-core, 16 thread @ 3.0 GHz locked, ~880mV Core, 1200 MHz FCLK 1:1 memory at 2400 MHz, C14. (Laptop)

  • Ryzen 5 3400G 4-core, 8 thread @ IDK really

I had to cut this post short because of... unrelated events. :D

Anyway, Stage III would be upgrading to Zen3, but that won't be for a while. For now, I am very happy with t he ~ 1M PPD that The SCIENCE! Farm currently provides at <700W (the 900W figure is for my entire set up, though I also think 700W is excessive for CPU-only power; the full figure includes all the networking hardware such as the router, pair of gigabit switches, hard-drives in the NAS, the fans, monitors, speakers and even a desk lamp. :D

Anyway. I need to chill. So I will go chill now. Laters <3

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