Installer v0.38 release notes

Started by arkayn, June 16, 2011, 02:32:13 am

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arkayn

Lunatics Installer Dudes and Dudette are pleased to announce the availibility of the v0.38 installer in the main download area
Please take care you use the right installer (32/64 bit) for your system.

We made the effort of writing a README. Available both separately and as part of the install.

Should you have any questions or problems - ask! Post in the Seti Number crunching forum

New in this installer:
Automatic BOINC client (but not manager!) shutdown and restart.
ATI applications: AP r521, MB r177 [AP r453 hybrid (Brook) for older/smaller cards]
CUDA MB application: x38g_cuda32

ONLY applications for GPU have been added/changed - if you are currently running optimised apps but do NOT have a GPU (either ATI or NVidia) that can crunch you do NOT need this installer

NB We use default values throughout the app_info.xml. If you have previously installed optimised applications and manually edited app_info.xml (e.g. counts for Fermi, cmdline for ATI) you WILL lose those edits on running the installer and have to redo them.


Known issues - general
The installer is supposed to shut down the BOINC client while leaving the Manager running - noticable from the red 'disconnected' dot in the tray. After finishing the BOINC client should restart and the red dot vanish when the Manager reconnects. This make take a few minutes. On some systems however this fails to work. Please ensure BOINC has restarted.
Advanced users only: If you know you are going to edit app_info.xml, it may be easier to shutdown and restart BOINC manually, so you can get the changes into app_info before the restart.

Known issues - ATI apps
Minimum required driver: Something that is OpenCL capable. You can check with GPU-Z (see readme). For your convenience a list:
Catalyst 10.7b with SDK
Catalyst 10.10 APP without SDK
Catalyst 11.3 or higher - if you need to upgrade this should be the easiest, safest option. 11.2 can also be used.

NB using this installer will give you arbitrary default cmdline parameter entries. If you are already running ATI applications: Make a note of what numbers you are using to be able to restore to those values PRIOR to running the installer. This also applies to setting the [count] variable according to your -instances per device variable for multithreading.

The ATI MB application will not work on ATI cards with workgroup size 128 (e.g. HD43xx). To check this run CLinfo, downloadable (at present) from http://boinc.berkeley.edu/dl/clinfo.zip
The Hybrid AP application uses about 80% of a CPU core and does only about 20% of the calculations on the GPU. Parameters have been choosen to reflect this usage. However present BOINC can not reserve '0.8' of a CPU core and therefore reserves none. This means your CPUs will be over committed and runtimes and DCF will suffer. You do increase the overall output though.

Known issues - CUDA app
Requires minimum CUDA 3.2 capable NVidia driver: 263.06 (260.99 on notebooks)

BOINC API has been fixed, newer drivers (270+) can be used.
VRAM requirement has increased from x32f. It should be able to JUST run on a 256 MiB card, provided you free up as much VRAM as possible.
CPU fallback is working again. IF you experience extremely long runtimes or -177 errors, check the stderr for a line reading:
setiathome_CUDA: CUDA runtime ERROR in device memory allocation (Step 1 of 3). Falling back to HOST CPU processing...
or something similar and correct your memory issues if found.
Newer (270+) drivers use more kernel RAM - you may run into memory problems, especially on 256 MiB cards or when multithreading on Fermis or with a lot of cards in one host.
NB with a 256 MiB card you may be forced to stay on 266 drivers until a newer app with reduced memory requirements is available.
Fermi card owners need to decrease the [count] entries in app_info.xml again, should they wish to multithread: Find all instances of [count]1[/count] in your app_info.xml and decrease to 0.5/0.3 to run 2/3 tasks at the same time.
Task validation is geared toward V7 - you may experience more inconclusives in the transition period.

General Notes:
With Windows Vista and Windows 7, do not install BOINC in 'Service' or  'Protected Application Execution' mode for GPU crunching, and do not connect to a Vista/7 computer with Windows Remote Desktop while it is running a GPU application.
Switching users can also cause the GPU app to fail [BOINC versions before 6.12.28]

Tuning cmd line parameters:
For AP: If you get lags or worse driver restarts, decrease unroll. If you run stable you can try to increase it. ffa_block should be a multiple of ffa_block_fetch.
Start low e.g. -ffa_block 4096 -ffa_block_fetch 2048 and try increasing if it runs fine. Sticking to the power of 2 line at first can help.
The will be a system specific best combination - too low slows you down, too high slows you down as well.
Remember AP runtimes depend on blanking % so only compare runtimes on similar blanking %.
For MB: other way round - if you experience lag or driver restarts increase -period_iteration_num

Thanks go to Jason and Raistmer for the applications and to Richard for getting the BOINC stop/restart to work and actually building the installer. You may shout at me, if the app_info is wrong.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our active alpha testers (in no particular order and apologies to anybody I've forgotten) Claggy, Ghost, arkayn, Mike, SciManSteve and Vyper, perryjay for reliable beta testing and advertisement as well as Fredericx51 for valuable insight into what it looks like when something went wrong.

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