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Hot!Guide to Build/Install/Setup your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig

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Chris21010
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2017/06/13 21:12:34 (permalink)
This guide will go through the process of building a new Folding@Home rig. first by selecting the right parts as well as explaining key features to look for in those parts. Then installing and setup for Linux Mint onto your new dedicated Folding@Home system.
 
 
Part 1: Selecting the right components. (last updated 6-14-2017)
Part 2: Installing all the Software (not yet written)
 
In this section we will be picking parts based on four assumptions:
  1. you want maximum efficiency
  2. you want maximum PPD
  3. you want to spend as little $$$ as possible
  4. you are looking at having two GPU's
 
The first and most critical part to any folding rig is the GPU that is doing the folding. at this time there are really only two viable options depending on your budget. Either a GeForce GTX 1080ti if money is no issue or GeForce GTX 1070. The 1080ti excels in the Points per Watt arena while the 1070 has nearly the same performance ratio but at a lower cost.
 
The second component for success, and the most complicated one to get right, is the motherboard. Here the key thing you must have is pcie 3.0 x8 on two separate slots, one for each GPU. you will need to look at the specs closely for something that says "PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16/x0/x4, x8/x8/x4 modes)" or something similar. you can even look at pictures of the back of the motherboard to see how many pins are soldered, if half are then you know that slot is at max x8 performance. if you get this wrong you could limit the performance of one of your cards to only 80% or less of its full potential. for me i have found that the MSI Z170A SLI or the ASUS Z170-E are two solid choices. (at this time ryzen is not cost effective for Multi-GPU setups)
 
The next part is CPU. here you are really looking for any modern CPU with high clock speeds. the Intel Pentium G4600 dual core CPU with hyper threading has been tested to run two 1080ti's to their full potential and is the CPU i would recommend. if you do not trust a Pentium than any LGA 1151 Core i3 will also do the job.
 
The last critical part needed is the Power Supply. here you'll need to pick a highly reliable brand as nothing is worse than a cheap PSU frying all your hardware. As to how large of a power supply you need if you are going the 1070 route you will only need 650W. but keep in mind that you can not run dual 1080ti with only 650W. dual 1080ti's require 850W of power. so if you plan on starting with 1070's and upgrading later pick the 850W power supply. the third important thing about power supplies is its efficiency rating. sense these machines are running 24/7 you will want an 80+ Gold, Platinum, or Titanium rated power supply. anything less and you are just wasting money to heat your room. cost does tend to shoot skyward after gold though so that is where i tend to draw the line.
 
From there all you need is 4GB of RAM, as each F@H slot can use between 250MB-1GB of RAM leaving 2GB for linux OS is plenty. A 16+ GB USB flash drive, again sense you are doing nothing but folding on this machine you do not need to waste power and money on a HDD/SSD unless you have spares laying around. You may also want a cheap USB Wi-Fi adapter if you are not planing on plugging in ethernet. A Case to put it all in is recommended as this way parts are less prone to accidental damage when compared to an open bench approach, kinda costly but so is dead hardware. And lastly you may want either a monitor to be plugged in at all times or a Display Emulator to plug into the gpu. linux kinda requires it if you ever want to remote in with a GUI, only 1 is needed per machine not GPU.
 
below are pics listing all the suggested required parts with newegg prices at the time of the last update.
 
1080ti's (~2.12M PPD)

 
1070's (~1.2M PPD)

post edited by Chris21010 - 2017/06/18 16:11:20


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    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/13 21:12:43 (permalink)
    Part 2: Install/Setup (rough layout 6-15-17)
     
    Prerequisite Downloads:
     
    Step 1: With Rufus create your bootable USB flash dive with the linux mint installer 
     
    Step 2: Follow the installation instructions until you see this window and make sure automatic login is checked.

     
    Step 3: once installation is complete go to Menu->Administration->Software Sources and then under the PPAs tab add "ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa"
     
    Step 4: go to Menu->Administration->Driver Manager and install the nvidia-XXX drivers.
     
    Step 5: from the terminal type the following commands to allow F@H Control to be installed.
    wget http://launchpadlibrarian.net/109052632/python-support_1.0.15_all.deb
     
    sudo dpkg -i python-support_1.0.15_all.deb

     
    Step 6: After a reboot Install F@H Control and Client, linked above, and Teamviewer. (Software setup is outside the scope of this guide)
     
    Step 7: Open F@HControl and under Configure->Expert remove flags "GPU False" and "fold-anon true"
     
    Step 8: Open F@HControl and under Configure->Slots remove cpu and add two gpu slots
     
    Step 9:  From the terminal type "sudo xed /etc/X11/xorg.conf" and paste the code below and save

    Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Layout0"
    Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
    Screen 1 "Screen1" 1920 0
    InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
    Option "Xinerama" "0"
    EndSection
    Section "Files"
    EndSection
    Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier "Mouse0"
    Driver "mouse"
    Option "Protocol" "auto"
    Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
    EndSection
    Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier "Keyboard0"
    Driver "kbd"
    EndSection
    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Monitor0"
    VendorName "Unknown"
    ModelName "CLB fit Headless"
    HorizSync 30.0 - 83.0
    VertRefresh 56.0 - 76.0
    Option "DPMS"
    EndSection
    Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Monitor1"
    VendorName "Unknown"
    ModelName "CRT-0"
    HorizSync 0.0 - 0.0
    VertRefresh 0.0
    Option "DPMS"
    EndSection
    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Device0"
    Driver "nvidia"
    VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName "GeForce GTX 1070"
    Option "Coolbits" "12"
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
    EndSection
    Section "Device"
    Identifier "Device1"
    Driver "nvidia"
    VendorName "NVIDIA Corporation"
    Option "Coolbits" "12"
    BusID "PCI:2:0:0"
    EndSection
    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen0"
    Device "Device0"
    Monitor "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth 24
    Option "Coolbits" "12"
    Option "Stereo" "0"
    Option "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder" "DFP-1"
    Option "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0"
    Option "SLI" "Off"
    Option "MultiGPU" "Off"
    Option "BaseMosaic" "off"
    SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection
    Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Screen1"
    Device "Device1"
    Monitor "Monitor1"
    DefaultDepth 24
    Option "ConnectedMonitor" "CRT"
    Option "Coolbits" "12"
    Option "Stereo" "0"
    Option "nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-0"
    Option "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0"
    SubSection "Display"
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection

     
    Step 10: From the terminal type "sudo xed /home/*******/.config/autostart/fan1.desktop" (replace the ** with your username) paste the code below and save. Do note that you'll have to replace *** with the desired fan speed in percent, acceptable values "0-100",  and again with the of amount over/under clocking in MHz. (A value of 100 will increase to base clock by 100 where a -50 value will under clock the base by 50) 

    [Desktop Entry]
    Type=Application
    Exec=nvidia-settings -a "[gpu:0]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a "[fan:0]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=***" -a "[gpu:0]/GPUGraphicsClockOffset[3]=***"
    X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
    Name=nvidia-fan-speed
    Name[en_US]=fan1.desktop

     
    Step 11: repeat step 9 but for fan2.desktop

    [Desktop Entry]
    Type=Application
    Exec=nvidia-settings -a "[gpu:1]/GPUFanControlState=1" -a "[fan:1]/GPUTargetFanSpeed=***" -a "[gpu:1]/GPUGraphicsClockOffset[3]=***"
    X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
    Name=nvidia-fan-speed
    Name[en_US]=fan2.desktop

     
    Step 12: Reboot
    post edited by Chris21010 - 2017/06/18 12:33:21


    #2
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/13 21:12:55 (permalink)
    Once all is said and done you should have a PC that you can remote into from anywhere, even your phone for free, with only a power cord connected to it. it will automatically boot into linux and start folding at the press of a button. and with the fan1 and fan2 files being autorun at startup your GPU fans will also be ramped up to a constant speed of your choosing. As of now i have yet to figure out how to automatically OC the GPU's at startup but i assume it can be done simply with another file just like with the fans, just need to put time into figuring that one out.
     

     
    i went an optional step farther and installed liquid coolers for the GPUs. 
     
    post edited by Chris21010 - 2017/06/15 16:21:40


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    HK-Steve
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/14 04:24:30 (permalink)
    Awesome start Chris, Thanks for taking the time to post.
     
    Looking forward to the Part 2.
     
    Much appreciated.

     

     

    #4
    yodap
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/14 05:58:01 (permalink)
    Great post Chris!
     
    I have an idea of the ppd for both rigs but maybe you could offer your best guess for others thinking of getting into this.
     
     


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    QuintLeo
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/14 20:36:40 (permalink)
    GTX 1070 is a reliable 600k PPD card with little or no tweeking.
    GTX 1080 is 700-750k PPD in my relatively limited experience with them.
     Can't speak to the GTX 1080 ti as I don't have any.
    You CAN run 3 of them on a good 650 watt PS but it's very marginal - my 3card rigs (3x 1070 or 2x 1080 + 1x 1070) use Seasonic X-850 supplies (the EVGA G2 850 is a good alternative there).
     
     Any of those 3 is a good folding choice, I wouldn't bother with the 1060 or lower as they don't do nearly as well on fast return bonus so their PPD/watt drops off some at the full-system level.
     (if you already HAVE the card, though, might as well use it).
     

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    #6
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/14 21:22:43 (permalink)
    OK, added part 2 and an estimated PPD of each build. its kinda rough but i do believe its all there. now i just need someone to follow it and give advice. i wrote it mainly trying to remember all the key points from when i last did this a few weeks ago.


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    QuintLeo
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 09:36:43 (permalink)
    Can't help there - never used Mint (I think it's Debian tree?), never installed from a flash drive (DVD works well enough for me), never used Teamview or any similar stuff (I like real monitors and KVM around), and I prefer to use a "setup.conf" for generic startup stuff and various "whatever.start" files called from XFCE's startup menu for my config stuff on XUbuntu (though FAH ends up using the standard startup stuff it autoinstalls when I install the .deb packages with dpkg).
     
     

    I am no longer the friendly FAH competition - thank Vorsholk and his ABUSE of his Curecoin developer position for that.
     I am still big on MOOing though!
     
    #8
    bcavnaugh
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 11:09:29 (permalink)
    @ Chris21010  
    Under Linux Mint Cinnamon x64 what tools are their to Edit Text Files? Other than VI that it.
    post edited by bcavnaugh - 2017/06/18 09:43:24

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    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 12:41:03 (permalink)
    It is a debian flavor of linux and if someone knows how to create a setup file for fresh installs that would be simpler, though i do not know how. I would also rather follow a few steps than spend $$$ on windows, which reboots and installs stuff without your concent.

    As for a text editor they have xed preinstalled and the one I used in the guide.


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    bcavnaugh
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 15:32:50 (permalink)
    Chris21010
    As for a text editor they have xed preinstalled and the one I used in the guide.

     
    Thanks,
     

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    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 16:18:31 (permalink)
    updated the 3rd post to include what its like when finished.


    #12
    nikkocortez
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 19:00:37 (permalink)
    Very good write up!  I will be using it very soon I think.  I just got my two GTX1080Tis installed in the Wife's rig for the time being but that means I have three GTX960s collecting dust now.  I may build a cheap machine to run them unilt I can upgrad to a few more 1080Ti cards.  So far I am rolling a Pascal Titan, two 1080Ti's and a GTX690 since it's in my main rig.  So far the 1080Ti's are doing little over 950K PPD with Windows 7 Pro-64.  My titan does 880K while I use the computer browsing the web, and about 1.1 mil at idle.  The GTX690 does an average of 80K per GPU so 160k total(not great), but it's in there to drive cheap wonky 1440p Korean monitors that are picky with DVI converters so needed a card with three DVI ports.  But it is time to expand into the realm of dedicated folding machine to get my Titan back for gaming.  
    #13
    bcavnaugh
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/15 19:04:28 (permalink)
    The Cost to run that GTX690 are going to put you in the Poor House.
    I have 4 of them Collection Dust. That is 8 GPUs being that the 690 has two each.
    post edited by bcavnaugh - 2017/06/15 19:05:44

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    #14
    notfordman
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/17 12:47:36 (permalink)
    Great guide Chris, thank you for putting it together. This should probably be added to stickies. 
    When I ran the 4P set-up, it was great to have it all ran off of a flash drive. Of course I needed tons of help to get it going, thanks to Bowlinra I had all the help I needed. 
    #15
    Cool GTX
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/17 12:56:23 (permalink)
    BR awarded
     
    Looks like a nice write up thanks for sharing
     
    Will sticky this info, so people can find it in the future
     
    New Folders can find information here:  https://www.evga.com/folding/promo.asp
     
    Note: passkey is an important step to earn max PPD
     
     
     

    Nibbler - EVGA X99 Classified, I7-5960X, 2-Titan X Pascal & 1 EVGA 1080FE, EK WB, Custom loop, modded Phanteks Enthoo Primo Case, 32GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR4-3000, Intel NVMe PCIe 750 SSD, Win10 Pro, PSU EVGA 1600 P2 Folding ~3.5M PPD @2100MHz, 4K Acer XB280HK monitor
    #2 ASUS Z97-WS, i7-4790K@4.5GHz,  2Way-SLI - EVGA Titan X SC - EK WB/BP, Custom loop, 32GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR3-2400, Samsumg Pro 850 SSD, 2-2TB WD Black, Win 10 Pro 64bit, EVGA 1200 P2 Supernova PSU, Folding  1.6M PPD, modded Corsair 760T case   Affiliate code 05MLLDCG6B

     
     
     
     
     
    [image]http://folding.extre
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    mektacular
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 09:29:21 (permalink)
    Thank you.  I've wanted a straightforward set of Linux instructions and haven't been able to find them. 


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    bcavnaugh
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 09:45:11 (permalink)
    mektacular
    Thank you.  I've wanted a straightforward set of Linux instructions and haven't been able to find them. 


    Indeed,
    While I like Ubuntu and it is OK, I do like Linux Mint a lot more.

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    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 12:34:40 (permalink)
    updated step #11 to include your OC for "GPUGraphicsClockOffset". this way you are now setting GPU fan speed and clock speeds automatically at startup.


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    redleader00
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 16:58:23 (permalink)
    Very nice guide.
     
    In case anyone wants to try different ways to remotely control the linux desktop, this is what I use:
    • To control linux Xservers remotely I use tightvnc. This one is 100% free (Teamviewer is not).
    • The debian package for the server is tightvncserver (can be installed with aptitude).
    • The debian package for the client is xtightvncviewer.
     
    If you want to use the client or server for Windows, you can get the installers here.
    post edited by redleader00 - 2017/06/18 17:18:38



     
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    Cool GTX
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 18:48:09 (permalink)
    Thanks redleader for sharing that information

    Nibbler - EVGA X99 Classified, I7-5960X, 2-Titan X Pascal & 1 EVGA 1080FE, EK WB, Custom loop, modded Phanteks Enthoo Primo Case, 32GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR4-3000, Intel NVMe PCIe 750 SSD, Win10 Pro, PSU EVGA 1600 P2 Folding ~3.5M PPD @2100MHz, 4K Acer XB280HK monitor
    #2 ASUS Z97-WS, i7-4790K@4.5GHz,  2Way-SLI - EVGA Titan X SC - EK WB/BP, Custom loop, 32GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR3-2400, Samsumg Pro 850 SSD, 2-2TB WD Black, Win 10 Pro 64bit, EVGA 1200 P2 Supernova PSU, Folding  1.6M PPD, modded Corsair 760T case   Affiliate code 05MLLDCG6B

     
     
     
     
     
    [image]http://folding.extre
    #21
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/18 19:38:39 (permalink)
    redleader00
    • To control linux Xservers remotely I use tightvnc. This one is 100% free (Teamviewer is not).



    teamviewer is free, till you exceed their PC limit for free users. i can not recall where that limit is but it is more than 5, as i have 5 now.


    #22
    QuintLeo
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/20 13:21:56 (permalink)
    Sadly, recent events in the mining world have rendered the GTX 1070 a "not so good" choice for folding - it's pricing is now in the bottom end of GTX 1080 pricing range and availability has gotten VERY scarce.
     
     The GTX 1070 build should work with no other changes if a pair of GTX 1080 cards are substituted for the GTX 1070 cards - the power consumption isn't enough more to be an issue for a good 650 watt PS.
     
     PPD should probably be in the 1.4-1.5M ballpark with a pair of GTX 1080 and a mild overclock.
     
     

    I am no longer the friendly FAH competition - thank Vorsholk and his ABUSE of his Curecoin developer position for that.
     I am still big on MOOing though!
     
    #23
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/20 14:17:28 (permalink)
    a pair of 1080's will have an increased power cost of ~60W and a cost increase over $200 for only ~20% increased PPD. this isnt worth the 17% cost increase and 20% increase in power draw as the whole point of the 1070 rig is being the cheapest and most efficient rig, this of course is not considering availability. i would say that if you are going to be forced to spend more then $415 for a 1070 it will no longer be worth it. you would be better off buying a single 1080ti and wait a while and add a second 1080ti at a later date.
    post edited by Chris21010 - 2017/06/20 14:19:51


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    QuintLeo
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/06/21 01:26:59 (permalink)
    Power draw increase will be less than 20% at the system level - more like 15%.
    Cost increase .... isn't a factor any more, as 1070 cost has changed a LOT since you wrote the guide.
     
    Availability is a major issue - Newegg, for example, had a choice of *3* total 1070 non-FE models as of 10 minutes ago, all $489 AND UP vs $499 for the lowest-price 1080 cards which makes the cost increase factor almost zero now.
    1070 FE models they also had 3 available - $521 to over $700 each, or HIGHER than many 1080 models to higher than anything short of a top-end water-cooled 1080.
     
     It's been a week since I have seen ANY 1070 model listed at $415 - and almost that long since I saw any 1070 model listed under $450.
     
     Your numbers were valid when you wrote your guide, but the market has moved since then.
     
     The "single 1080 ti then add another one later" option is certainly valid, especially since 1080ti pricing seems to have dropped a bit over the last month.
     

    I am no longer the friendly FAH competition - thank Vorsholk and his ABUSE of his Curecoin developer position for that.
     I am still big on MOOing though!
     
    #25
    Ranmacanada
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/08/25 20:49:16 (permalink)
    So I tried to follow this today, am I supposed to have another usb key to install this on?  So I need 2 usb keys.  One to boot from and one to install it on?  Because the latest files won't let me install it to the usb I am booting off of.

     

    Asus X79 Sabertooth
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    Fold for the CURE!
    EVGA 1080 FTW
    MSI 1080 Gaming X
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    Register with my code SN278SHMDN :)
     
    #26
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/08/25 23:27:30 (permalink)
    yes, you will need a separate drive for the OS to be installed on. if you find anything else that needs clarification let me know so i adjust the post.
    post edited by Chris21010 - 2017/08/25 23:31:41


    #27
    Ranmacanada
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/08/27 22:07:18 (permalink)
    As for PPD clarifications on the 1080's I've seen mine hit as high as 1 million PPD on certain WU.  Averaging out about 850k PPD.  Both clocked at almost 2000, give or take.  Obviously you should have them water cooled to get the best clocks, which sadly I don't.

     

    Asus X79 Sabertooth
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    Fold for the CURE!
    EVGA 1080 FTW
    MSI 1080 Gaming X
    EVGA 1080Ti Hybrid
    Register with my code SN278SHMDN :)
     
    #28
    Wreck3r
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/08/28 08:31:52 (permalink)
    Can this be done on an X99 FTW K with 5 x 1080ti and a 6850K? I mean, linux support for this number of GPUs and other quirks to expect.
     
    Thanks.
    #29
    Chris21010
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    Re: Guide to Building/Install/Setup of your own Multi-GPU Linux Folding Rig 2017/08/28 08:46:48 (permalink)
    yea, though you'll have to make your own xorg.conf file to enable coolbits on all the GPU's so you can control the fan speed and clocks. everything else will not need to be changed but the for the auto run files you will just create 3 more and reference the additional GPU's.


    #30
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