Print 23 comment(s) - last by Ringold.. on Dec 6 at 7:26 PM

New version adds support for Radeon X1800 and X1600

Folding@Home has released a new Folding@Home GPU client. This brings the GPU client up to version 5.91 beta2. While previous Folding@Home GPU clients only supported ATI Radeon X1900 series graphics cards, the latest beta2 adds support for more GPUs. This release adds support for ATI’s Radeon X1800 and X1600 series of graphics processors.

As the Folding@Home GPU client relies heavily on pixel shader performance, the performance differences between the X1900-series and other ATI GPUs is tremendous. The Folding@Home GPU FAQ claims:
We now support serveral classes of GPU boards, including X1600, X1800, and X1900 class GPU's from ATI. At the launch, we supported X1900 cards only. X1800 cards do not provide the performance seen in X1900's and so we strongly recommend X1900 class cards (although we now officially support X1800). X1900 and X1800 cards are actually quite different -- they have different processors (R520, R530 vs. the R580 [in the X1900 series]). The R580 makes a huge difference in performance -- its 48 pixel shaders are key, as we use pixel shaders for our computations.
The latest beta2 release still only supports ATI GPUs. There’s no mention of support for NVIDIA GPUs at the moment. The latest Folding@Home GPU client can be downloaded from the Folding@Home download page.

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RE: not for the casual folder
By phusg on 12/5/2006 7:06:50 AM , Rating: 2
The primary issue now appears to be the CPU use of the GPU core. Due to how graphics drivers work in Windows, the CPU must poll to see if the GPU has completed. This polling is very CPU intensive (as the GPU does complete its work fairly quickly). We are working on a fix to this...

How does this sluggishness feel? General sluggishness or only when playing a 3D game? Can you link to the different experiences between 512MB en 256MB cards? I'm looking to buy an AGP X1950 and would like to know if this really makes a difference.

RE: not for the casual folder
By bobsmith1492 on 12/5/2006 7:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
The F@H core shuts down automatically when you start a game, though it doesn't restart itself (in the old version, at least.)

I've been running it on my x1900GT, and while it's running, Windows' GUI hiccups every few seconds. If you're scrolling down a web page, it catches at one spot, then jumps ahead again, or if you're watching a movie, it freezes up for maybe a quarter second then resumes.

RE: not for the casual folder
By phusg on 12/5/2006 7:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, sounds like you only want this thing running when you're not actually at the PC. Does the client have detection of mouse movement that automatically pauses the client, or can you set it to run only overnight? Or is it all manual control? Shame the BOINC version of FAH is delayed, it provides all these types of control functions...

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