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Author Topic: I have 3 5970s on the way; now what?  (Read 4032 times)
Proofer
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November 30, 2011, 09:07:09 PM
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I've ordered three ATI HD 5970s.

I do software, especially low-level optimization; hardware, not so much.  I'm in this project for the software thrills.

I've spent a lot of time in these Forums in the past five or six days.  I was influenced in my 5970s buy by DeathAndTaxes's discussion of the GPU and rigs.

Any kind soul(s) want to suggest the next focus of my attention?  Motherboard?  Case?  Would it be feasible to assemble a partial parts list (motherboard, PSU, ...) and then call a custom systems builder to supply a rig?
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Unacceptable
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November 30, 2011, 10:03:42 PM
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Build em yourself.You got a copy of XP or Win7??? You can even use a flash drive instead of a hardrive if you can figure out Linux(I have no clue about Linux myself Huh).

You can either build 3 small rigs for about $140 each,dual core AMD cpu($50),mini atx mobo($30),no less than a 600watt powersupply($40)for single 5970,1 gig DDR3 ram($20),use an old hardrive you got laying around.

Or 1 large rig for about $600,1500 watt powersupply for 3 5970's($275 or so),3 slot PCIE 16x mobo($250),same cpu & ram.

I have crossfire 6970's & they along with my AMD965 quad core & 8 gigs of ram & 3 extra fans for cooling the vid cards uses 740 watts.Always have an extra 200 watts over what you may need & you can't go wrong.

I'm sure some folks will recommend specific mobos in later posts.

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November 30, 2011, 10:18:10 PM
 #3

Run an open-air rig.  No case.  Those 5970s get way hot when they're sitting right next to each other in a case.  Plus it's cheaper to go caseless Smiley

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December 01, 2011, 12:02:36 AM
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It can be done a lot cheaper than, for the rest of the parts, than what Unacceptable is saying. A 1000 watt psu is all you'll really need with an AMD sempron 145 and a MSI GD70 (just in case you want to expand later) and 1g of ram. Buy Used!

The PSU is going to be your largest investment, besides the GPU(s) and will run around $200 +/- $50 depending upon what you want, maybe less now. I know RandyFolds had a 1350W for sale a bit ago.

I have a GD70 with a seated sargas 145 and 1g of ram I'll sell you for 150 + s/h if you'd like as well.

I do recommend PCIe extensions because 5970's get very hot! Cablesaurus will get you there, don't buy used ones.

Everything after that is fairly plug in and go, especially if you go dedicated rig with a persistent LinuxCoin or BAMT USB. I'd recommend BAMT, it's much faster and easier to set up a rig that turns on and goes.

If you have anymore questions or need some help send me a pm.

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December 01, 2011, 12:20:18 AM
 #5

I would recommend you do something like this:



These are a couple of rigs I have running. PM me if you would like some details.
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December 01, 2011, 12:23:50 AM
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I would recommend you do something like this:

These are a couple of rigs I have running. PM me if you would like some details.

You move out of the dc or you have some at home too?

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December 01, 2011, 12:50:12 AM
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Build em yourself.You got a copy of XP or Win7??? You can even use a flash drive instead of a hardrive if you can figure out Linux(I have no clue about Linux myself Huh).
System software is still an open question.  I am going to want to get into the GPU software at a low level just to make sure I won't have any ideas to speed it up, so I think I'm going to want to run AMD's SDK, which is either Win7 or Linux.  Right now my only development system is a MacBook Pro on which I run, in addition to Mac OS, Win7 via virtualization.  I could also run Linux the same way, but am not currently.

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You can either build 3 small rigs for about $140 each,dual core AMD cpu($50),mini atx mobo($30),no less than a 600watt powersupply($40)for single 5970,1 gig DDR3 ram($20),use an old hardrive you got laying around.

Or 1 large rig for about $600,1500 watt powersupply for 3 5970's($275 or so),3 slot PCIE 16x mobo($250),same cpu & ram.
Definitely one rig containing the three cards.  Based on what I've read and seen on these Forums I'm pretty sure that can be done by separating the cards (with empty slots between) in a closed case with lots of airflow.  But I don't require a closed case.
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December 01, 2011, 12:51:28 AM
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Run an open-air rig.  No case.  Those 5970s get way hot when they're sitting right next to each other in a case.  Plus it's cheaper to go caseless Smiley
Open is OK, but I'd prefer a chassis so the rig can be moved as a unit.
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December 01, 2011, 12:56:52 AM
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Right now my only development system is a MacBook Pro
Really?! What kind of development do you do, web?

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You move out of the dc or you have some at home too?
Open air rigs are still portable, I move mine around fairly frequently.

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December 01, 2011, 01:06:38 AM
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Right now my only development system is a MacBook Pro
Really?! What kind of development do you do, web?
I'm not doing much currently, which is one of the attractions of mining software: a new challenge.  I'm sorta retired after a career in SW development of all kinds, many languages, OSs, etc.

Quote
...
Open air rigs are still portable, I move mine around fairly frequently.
I'm open-minded about open-air.  I like the idea of a chassis if it doesn't turn out to add silly expense or inconvenience.
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December 01, 2011, 01:29:37 AM
 #11

I'm open-minded about open-air.  I like the idea of a chassis if it doesn't turn out to add silly expense or inconvenience.

Unfortunately, with 3 or 4 GPU's you'll need a E-AXT, XL-AXT or HPTX. All of which are expensive boards and enclosing them is equally expensive.

You can do an ATX board, but you need PCIe extensions because of the heat generated and it will no longer fit in an off-the-shelf enclosure.

BTW, in response to your PM: All operating systems with available ATI SDK, except for mac (don't know, don't use it), will allow up to 8 GPU's. 5970's are dual GPU's so you are at 6 total now Smiley

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December 01, 2011, 04:46:43 AM
 #12

If you are willing to open mount them you can use a normal ATX MB without using extenders.

You just need a MB w/ a slot configuration:

PCIEx16
anything - unused
anything - unused
PCIEx16
anything - unused
anything - unused
PCIEx16

I run 3x5970s (6 GPU) that way just fine.  Granted this is w/ no case.  I simply have the MB mounted to an ATX MB tray (w/ expansion slots to support the video cards).

~2300 MH/s per rig and 870W @ the wall.
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December 01, 2011, 05:05:05 AM
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If you are willing to open mount them you can use a normal ATX MB without using extenders.

You just need a MB w/ a slot configuration:

PCIEx16
anything - unused
anything - unused
PCIEx16
anything - unused
anything - unused
PCIEx16
I know from another post of yours elsewhere that you use the MSI 890FXA-GD70; that's what I'm planning to use.

Quote
I run 3x5970s (6 GPU) that way just fine.  Granted this is w/ no case.  I simply have the MB mounted to an ATX MB tray (w/ expansion slots to support the video cards).
I know this isn't frugal, but do you think this $50 acrylic open case would work?

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~2300 MH/s per rig and 870W @ the wall.
So a 1000W PSU should be enough, even with a HDD?  --I might decide to do some SW development with this system.
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December 01, 2011, 05:27:00 AM
 #14

I know from another post of yours elsewhere that you use the MSI 890FXA-GD70; that's what I'm planning to use.

Yup that is the one.

Quote
I know this isn't frugal, but do you think this $50 acrylic open case would work?

A little pricey but it would work fine.  Hell just a MB sitting on a MB box works fine (I ran 4 rigs that way for over a month).

I use a pair of 120mm fans laying "on top" across the 3 video cards to aid in airflow.  That plus GPU fans clocked at 70% keep everything cool and stable.  If you want it a little quieter in winter you probably can get away w/ 60% fan speed but you might need to turn down the clocks 5% or so.

Quote
So a 1000W PSU should be enough, even with a HDD?  --I might decide to do some SW development with this system.

The 870W is a sempron CPU (underclocked to 2Ghz from 2.8Ghz), usb drive running linuxcoin, GPU RAM underclocked to 160MHz, no HDD, everything unrelated to mining turned off in the bios (USB3, sata, onboard sound, etc) and a 80Plus-GOLD PSU. If you are going to put in a decent CPU and use it for general purpose computing if it were me I would go for 1200W PSU.  1000W would be fine for an optimized dedicated mining rig.

The other advantage of 1200W is that if you later change your mind you could build an open extended frame, buy 4 extenders, add one more 5970 and convert it into a 4x5970 rig (~3GH/s).   Grin
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December 01, 2011, 05:49:22 AM
 #15

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The other advantage of 1200W is that if you later change your mind you could build an open extended frame, buy 4 extenders, add one more 5970 and convert it into a 4x5970 rig (~3GH/s).    Grin
I would recommend this. If bitcoin goes up you'll be happy, if bitcoin goes down its pretty safe to say you'll have a computer you'll be happy with for some years down the road. The 890 is an AM3+ board so you can always grab a 6 core later on down the road.

Quote
I know this isn't frugal, but do you think this $50 acrylic open case would work?
I have seen this being used, AceJam I believe, and it works good.
It's a bit more oddball, but a shoe rack works good too!  Cheesy (with the use of extenders of course)

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December 01, 2011, 07:17:37 AM
 #16

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Proofer
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December 01, 2011, 07:52:14 AM
 #17

The rig so far...

Ordered:
3x 5970 GPU
1x Corsair 1200AX PSU
1x Acrylic Open Computer Case

Planned:
MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard containing Sempron 145 CPU and 1G RAM (used)
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December 01, 2011, 10:58:15 AM
 #18

I would recommend you do something like this:

These are a couple of rigs I have running. PM me if you would like some details.

You move out of the dc or you have some at home too?

This is a picture of them being burnt in at my house before being moved to the DC. I will details the specs when I get a free moment.
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December 01, 2011, 02:47:25 PM
 #19

So a 1000W PSU should be enough, even with a HDD?  --I might decide to do some SW development with this system.

No, a 1KW PSU will not power  3 5970's in a stable configuration.  Many, many of my initial problems when building my bitcoin rigs turned out to be power related.  Once I switched exclusively to 1200w PSUs, 90% of my stability problems went away.  Running at the threshold of a PSU will induce all sorts of intermittent problems that are nearly impossible to track down.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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December 01, 2011, 03:15:06 PM
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So a 1000W PSU should be enough, even with a HDD?  --I might decide to do some SW development with this system.

No, a 1KW PSU will not power  3 5970's in a stable configuration.  Many, many of my initial problems when building my bitcoin rigs turned out to be power related.  Once I switched exclusively to 1200w PSUs, 90% of my stability problems went away.  Running at the threshold of a PSU will induce all sorts of intermittent problems that are nearly impossible to track down.

+1000000000

This is why ALL of my rigs are dual PSU to specifically avoid this problem. Dual PSUs are almost always less expensive than a single PSU of the same wattage so there is also cost savings in dual PSUs, even if you have to buy the dual PSU adapter.
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