It's alive! Alive! (my pixel mining rig)

After several weeks dealing with unrelated hardware issues (that still aren't resolved) I finally got my pixel mining rig working. Just a bit of backstory, since GPU cryptocurrency mining went out of favor a few months ago, I decided to buy some pcie risers and see if I could make them work for GPU rendering. I spent weeks trying to figure out why Windows was reporting 'Not enough resources' for the add-in cards while they would work fine when installed in the computer. Then today, I realized that the pcie slots probably need to be set to 1x (instead of 16x) to allow all card slots to work. Sure enough, that fixed it. And here it is in all its glory.

gpu mining rig

It won't win any beauty contests, that's for sure, but it works. And it's not a speed demon either. The 1080ti outpaces the other cards combined; I built it just to see if I could. But the important thing is all the Nvidia GPUs contribute in Daz Studio.

screen shot

 

The cards are a 1080ti (internal), GTX770 (external), GTX440 (external) and a bastard-child Radeon 5830(external). The Radeon is for Luxrender,but so far, I can't get any of the GPUs to work in DS/Reality/Luxrender, and only the Nvidia cards work in Luxmark. The Radeon won't even work by itself in Luxmark. That'll be a project for another day.

Hopefully this weekend I'll get some benchmarks going and share with everyone. So far, the scene prep time doesn't seem to be any longer than usual, but I'll have to do some more in depth comparisons to know for sure.

Comments

  • ebergerlyebergerly Posts: 2,842

    Yeah, my GTX-745 took over 10 times as long to render a scene as my 1080ti. So I'm guessing the 770 and 440 are more of an annoyance than a help in your render process. I'm guessing you could pick up a 1060 or 1070 and slide it in next to the 1080ti and have a huge improvement over your external mining rig laugh

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946
    ebergerly said:

    Yeah, my GTX-745 took over 10 times as long to render a scene as my 1080ti. So I'm guessing the 770 and 440 are more of an annoyance than a help in your render process. I'm guessing you could pick up a 1060 or 1070 and slide it in next to the 1080ti and have a huge improvement over your external mining rig laugh

    One weird thing I've noticed is that as I've gotten faster and faster cards, I produce less and less art. I guess I'm less of an artist and more of a hobbyist, just rendering things to see if I can create a certain effect or something without postwork. I think I was a lot more creative with my 770 + 460; something about having to work within limitations. Anyway, my hobby budget is on hold for the near future, due to some real-life issues (had to replace an air conditioning unit). But if I had the money, I'd be eyeing this new Nvidia release to see if they discount their old cards. Plus, it looks like GPU crypto mining is dead (for now) so the 10-series cards that retailers have may drop in price.

  • 8eos88eos8 Posts: 166

    Yeah, I was amazed the other day to check prices on 1080Ti's and find that they're $700-800 and in stock, instead of twice as much and on backorder, heh. Why did the cryptominers give up anyway? (Not that I'm complaining!) I know Bitcoin hasn't been profitible to mine on GPUs for years now, but I thought some of the altcoins were still supposed to be worth mining...

  • JazzyBearJazzyBear Posts: 663
    8eos8 said:

    Yeah, I was amazed the other day to check prices on 1080Ti's and find that they're $700-800 and in stock, instead of twice as much and on backorder, heh. Why did the cryptominers give up anyway? (Not that I'm complaining!) I know Bitcoin hasn't been profitible to mine on GPUs for years now, but I thought some of the altcoins were still supposed to be worth mining...

    Pretty much the market MANIPULATION and the Hacking of the KOREAN Crypto exchange investigations. It seems the rise was artificial and China is actually shutting down illegal fundraising through cryptocurrencies. So basically no benefit of mining since virtially all crypto has fallen in value.

     

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    From what I understand, some company finally released an ASIC miner that can mine Ethereum and other coins that were meant to be ASIC resistant. If you look at https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/ethereum-mining_profitability.html#1y the hashrate is going up, even as the price (and profitablility) is going down, so somebody has a new more efficient way to mine, apparently. Either that or free electricity. I don't care, as long as card prices come back down.

    The China and Korea things had a huge effect too. All crypto is down over the past 8 months or so, but I think ETH and similar coins have taken more of a hit.

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946
    edited October 2018

    Well, I finally got a round tuit and did some benchmarking this weekend. Luckily now, for some reason, my ATI card is working. I didn't do anything or change anything and I haven't really touched it since I installed it months ago, but it's working somehow. Anyway, I did some testing in Luxmark and here are my results.

    Luxmark v3.1 Results
    Device Score
    Radeon HD 5800 2800
    GTX 460 2278
    GTX 770 5041
    GTX 1080Ti 20804
       
    HD 5800+GTX 460 5081
    HD 5800+GTX 460+GTX 770 10219
    HD 5800+GTX 460+GTX 770+GTX 1080Ti 30180
       
    GTX 1080Ti+GTX 770 25852
    GTX 1080Ti+GTX 770+GTX 460 27497
    GTX 1080Ti+GTX 770+GTX 460+HD 5800 30202

    The first thing I noticed was the Radeon scoring higher than the 460 which is a more powerful card. I had read that Nvidia didn't put much emphasis on OpenCL back in those days, and I guess it shows. The 770 result was what I expected for a card 2 generations newer and one tier higher than the 460, but I had no idea how much the 1080ti would blow everything else out of the water. I tested a few combinations of cards starting from the bottom, then from the top. But no, I'm not testing every possible combination. The math is pretty clear; if you actually had decent cards to use, using mining hardware to run extra cards would be worth it, certainly cheaper than paying Nvidia for a license to run additional machines.

    The biggest issue I've run into so far is that the cables that connect to the PCI-E extenders are only 60cm or around 2 feet, so your cards will have to be right next to your PC. I think it would be possible to use longer cables, but it might increase latency and make setup times longer. The setup was a lot quieter than I expected. With all four cards at 100%, the whole setup wasn't much louder than at ambient temperature. It definitely did make the room warmer, but it was barely noticeable with a ceiling fan running. Would I try to run it with Asus' 19 slot motherboard? Probably not. Having to locate 19 GPUs that close to a motherboard would probably melt a hole through the floor of my room and I don't think my insurance covers that sort of thing. Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope to get to the Iray benchmark this weekend.

    Edit: yes, I ran the test with all GPUs twice, just to see if I'd get a similar score and it is; just over 1% difference.

    Post edited by Kitsumo on
  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946
    edited May 8

    I finally got around to testing my setup with the SY Iray Benchmark. This was mostly to see whether internal/external placement or PCIE 1x/4x/16x speed makes a difference. The results are mixed.

    SY Benchmark Results
    Card PCIE location init time render time total iterations
                 
    GTX 1080ti 1x internal 14.696s 208.597(3m28.53) 3m44.5s 4987
    ---------------            
    GTX 770 1x external 16.372s 1378.372(23m07.372) 23m15.83s 4968
    ---------------            
    GTX 1080Ti 1x internal 17.551s 185.296(3m05.296s) 3m24.5s 4330
    GTX 770 1x external 17.763s 184.303(3m04.303s) 3m24.5s 660
    ---------------            
    GTX 1080Ti 1x internal 13.385s 183.401(3m03.401s) 3m18.7s 4328
    GTX 770 1x internal 13.351s 183.789(3m03.789s) 3m18.7s 672
    ---------------            
    GTX 770 1x internal 13.218s 1372.198(22m52.198s) 23m6.662s 4966
    ---------------            
    GTX 1080Ti 16x internal 13.404s 208.493(3m28.493s) 3.42.89 4979
    ---------------            
    GTX 1080Ti 16x internal 13.336s 187.552(3m07.552s) 3m22.2s 4322
    GTX 770 4x internal 13.304s 187.516(3m07.516s) 3m22.2s 678
    ---------------            
    GTX 770 4x internal 14.524s 1374.394(22m54.394s) 23m10.10s 4982

    Sidenote: What is an iteration? - That's probably a discussion for an entire thread by itself. Let's just say that each iteration makes your render one step closer to being complete.

    The important results to look at are the 770 1x internal vs 770 4x external and the 1080ti 1x internal vs 1080ti 16x internal. Overall, there wasn't much difference in the location of the cards or the bus speed. In most cases, the initialization time (for loading textures/geometry) only differs by a couple of seconds and doesn't affect the overall render time.

    There are a few things I didn't do for this test. I didn't reinstall Windows and run everything in a sterile environment, mainly because I wouldn't do that every time I render anyway. In most cases, I was listening to mp3s or watching a Youtube video which probably skewed the results a little. Personally, I don't find a benchmark useful unless it's run in a real environment with normal everyday stuff going on in the background. Also, I didn't test the 1080ti in the external enclosure because I didn't want to risk it with the power supply I had. Plus, that was a big budget item for me and I don't want to keep swapping it from place to place. Honestly, if you have so many cards that you need to put a 1080ti in an external enclosure, you're probably running your own benchmarks anyway.

    So the takeaway from all this is that reducing PCIE bus speed to add more cards isn't going to kill anyone's performance. It's a couple of seconds slower in setting up scenes, but that's pretty small compared to how long a render takes. Once the card starts rendering, the bus speed doesn't make any difference, the card is working on it's own. My results may have some anomolies, but there's no case where the 770 slowed down the 1080ti.

    Also, before anyone points out that the initialization time and the render time don't add up to the total time, hey, I just report what the log shows. I didn't include the GTX 460 in the test because it was causing problems with the other two cards. I don't know if Nvidia has already dropped support for Fermi GPUs (I'm using DS 4.10.0.123) but I didn't feel like pursuing it any further. Anyway, thanks for reading. Now to get back to the sale.laugh

    Edit: Fix typosangry

    Post edited by Kitsumo on
  • IvyIvy Posts: 5,509
    Kitsumo said:

    After several weeks dealing with unrelated hardware issues (that still aren't resolved) I finally got my pixel mining rig working. Just a bit of backstory, since GPU cryptocurrency mining went out of favor a few months ago, I decided to buy some pcie risers and see if I could make them work for GPU rendering. I spent weeks trying to figure out why Windows was reporting 'Not enough resources' for the add-in cards while they would work fine when installed in the computer. Then today, I realized that the pcie slots probably need to be set to 1x (instead of 16x) to allow all card slots to work. Sure enough, that fixed it. And here it is in all its glory.

    gpu mining rig

    It won't win any beauty contests, that's for sure, but it works. And it's not a speed demon either. The 1080ti outpaces the other cards combined; I built it just to see if I could. But the important thing is all the Nvidia GPUs contribute in Daz Studio.

    screen shot

     

    The cards are a 1080ti (internal), GTX770 (external), GTX440 (external) and a bastard-child Radeon 5830(external). The Radeon is for Luxrender,but so far, I can't get any of the GPUs to work in DS/Reality/Luxrender, and only the Nvidia cards work in Luxmark. The Radeon won't even work by itself in Luxmark. That'll be a project for another day.

    Hopefully this weekend I'll get some benchmarks going and share with everyone. So far, the scene prep time doesn't seem to be any longer than usual, but I'll have to do some more in depth comparisons to know for sure.

    Very cool .    it looks kind of like a glorified stripped down version of a gpu accelerator box, I think its great you got daz to reconize & unitize all the cards,  I would think that would be a trick.  congratulations is in order :)

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    Thanks, but honestly I just put the parts together, Windows, Daz and Iray did everything else. I was stumped for weeks because I kept getting a "not enough resources error" from Windows concerning the extra cards. But it turns out that I just had to lower the PCIE bus speed to get the extra ports working. I don't know if that differs by motherboard or what. I guess it does because there are motherboards that run 4 high speed cards at a time. Anyway, it was a fun project and it will be useful if I can ever buy more cards.

  • All this rendering stuff is nice, but of course the real question is -- does it work in iRacing? laugh

    (your Logi Momo pedals sitting there caught my eye)

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    All this rendering stuff is nice, but of course the real question is -- does it work in iRacing? laugh

    (your Logi Momo pedals sitting there caught my eye)

    That thing mostly gets used for American Truck Simulator nowadays. I haven't tried racing since the days of Viper Racing and Grand Prix Legends. I occasionally still play NFS: Porsche Unleashed (IMO, it's the last game before the series went completely off the rails). I've tried a few SimBin games, but it seems like they take themselves too seriously, the games just aren't fun. I've never tried iRacing, though. How is it?

  • @Kitsumo - cool setup even if the rendering power ain't much.  How did you get MSI afterburner to show the monitoring in a windowed graph like that?  I can only seem to make it display in game.

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    @Kitsumo - cool setup even if the rendering power ain't much.  How did you get MSI afterburner to show the monitoring in a windowed graph like that?  I can only seem to make it display in game.

    If you start from the default Afterburner window and click the Detach button, it puts up that window. Its useful if you want to display more than 2 columns.

  • Hey, I've also been roaming the roads of Oregon lately in ATS. A surprisingly satisfying sim. yes  I agree that Porsche Unleashed was the last decent NFS game. Too bad EA decided to go all trendy Fast'n'Furious with subsequent editions.

    The only SimBin title I really enjoyed was GT Legends. Great fun to toss around older cars like an Austin Healey or Lotus Cortina.

    GPL was a great sim, and iRacing is also developed by Dave Kaemmer but it's online multiplayer only. Just as dedicated to realism but with a greatly enhanced physics model. A lot of fun and has systems in place to weed out those people seemingly only interested in causing crashes, which is the bane of most online racing games. Haven't played in years though.

    In case you haven't heard, ATS is going to be receiving Volvo trucks and a Special Transport DLC soon. Yay! More reasons to get back on the road. laugh

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    Hey, I've also been roaming the roads of Oregon lately in ATS. A surprisingly satisfying sim. yes  I agree that Porsche Unleashed was the last decent NFS game. Too bad EA decided to go all trendy Fast'n'Furious with subsequent editions.

    The only SimBin title I really enjoyed was GT Legends. Great fun to toss around older cars like an Austin Healey or Lotus Cortina.

    GPL was a great sim, and iRacing is also developed by Dave Kaemmer but it's online multiplayer only. Just as dedicated to realism but with a greatly enhanced physics model. A lot of fun and has systems in place to weed out those people seemingly only interested in causing crashes, which is the bane of most online racing games. Haven't played in years though.

    In case you haven't heard, ATS is going to be receiving Volvo trucks and a Special Transport DLC soon. Yay! More reasons to get back on the road. laugh

    Awesome about the Volvo trucks. I got so frustrated with waiting for updates that I just stopped going to the forums and blogs. I haven't tried the Oregon DLC or anything yet. I have a long "to do" list.

    I gotta admit I'm not a serious racer. I got through about half the tracks in Viper Racing before I couldn't win any more races. I played "Indianapolis 500"(circa 1991 or so) and I think that design team went on to become Papyrus which made Nascar Racing, Viper Racing and Grand Prix Legends. I think my favorite games are ones where you can drive street cars really fast, so Test Drive (yep, I'm that old), Test Drive II, Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed, and NFS: Porsche Unleashed. I loved it when R&T magazine printed an apology for starting the NFS series.

    I guess I like supercars, but ones I might actually see on the street. Out of the original Test Drive and R&T:NFS lineup, I've seen all those cars in real life, except for a Corvette ZR1 and Diablo. I've never seen a Pagani anything or a McLauren whatever, so they don't really interest me. The new games seem focused on hypercars which I'm not really into.

    I did enjoy GT Legends. My sister had an 84 Capri V8 which I drove once around the block slowly and only in 1st and 2nd gear, lol. I think out of the SimBin games, RaceOn is my favorite just because of the musclecars.

  • Syrus_DanteSyrus_Dante Posts: 983
    edited October 2018

    I like the Frankenstein reference in the title LOL.

    Nice build, I never know you could extend the ePCI slots with those cabels and extra cards must be a mainboad that supports this. Looks like USB 3 cabels that connects the extrenal cards. I guess they shouldn't extend some length with those high frequencies they transmit. Cooling seems to be no problem with this open plastic box.

    Post edited by Syrus_Dante on
  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946

    I like the Frankenstein reference in the title LOL.

    Nice build, I never know you could extend the ePCI slots with those cabels and extra cards must be a mainboad that supports this. Looks like USB 3 cabels that connects the extrenal cards. I guess they shouldn't extend some length with those high frequencies they transmit. Cooling seems to be no problem with this open plastic box.

    Yeah, I never knew what those PCIE 1x connectors were for until I started researching this. The enclosure is just a milk crate so I could attach fans to the outside if I needed to, but it stays cool by itself. Now that people aren't using GPUs for cryptocurrency as much, there are some great deals on hardware(cases, multi GPU motherboards, PCIE extenders, etc). Overall, it was a fun project.

  • Kitsumo said:
    I think my favorite games are ones where you can drive street cars really fast, so Test Drive (yep, I'm that old), Test Drive II, Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed, and NFS: Porsche Unleashed.

    I can probably match you on the age aspect -- my first racing game was one I wrote for the Apple ][ in 1986 and was published in Nibble magazine:

    This was at the tail end of the era when hobbyists would painstakingly type in long listings of code from magazines and then spend days trying to find all their typos. The game was a mixture of an AppleBasic front end and the time critical code written in 6502 assembler.

    The game certainly doesn't seem very impressive now, but at the time most driving games were white road-side posts winding their way past you at night. I had color! 4 of them! wink

    Sorry for hijacking your thread. smiley

  • KitsumoKitsumo Posts: 946
    Kitsumo said:
    I think my favorite games are ones where you can drive street cars really fast, so Test Drive (yep, I'm that old), Test Drive II, Road & Track Presents: The Need for Speed, and NFS: Porsche Unleashed.

    I can probably match you on the age aspect -- my first racing game was one I wrote for the Apple ][ in 1986 and was published in Nibble magazine:

     

    This was at the tail end of the era when hobbyists would painstakingly type in long listings of code from magazines and then spend days trying to find all their typos. The game was a mixture of an AppleBasic front end and the time critical code written in 6502 assembler.

    The game certainly doesn't seem very impressive now, but at the time most driving games were white road-side posts winding their way past you at night. I had color! 4 of them! wink

    Sorry for hijacking your thread. smiley

    No worries. I think most of the Apple ][ stuff was a little before my era. I was in junior high when Test Drive came out, so that was around 87. That's pretty cool getting your game chosen for Nibble. I was barely able to get a handle on basic, I couldn't even fathom working in assembler. I may still try it one of these days. I still have my (nonworking) C64 and all the stuff that went with it, but I may just decide to use an emulator.

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