Seems that the Quad Core cpus by intel are not seen fully by Rybka, probably because they are two separate dual-cores in one chip. Other engines, however, sees 4 cores without problems, as Hiarcs 11, Deep Fritz 10, Deep Shredder and Naum (the ones I tested). There's a solution to the problem or one must use only 2 cores?.
I get node counts of around 600 kN/s with my processor running at 3.465 ghz. This is up from around 350 kN/s which I achieved on my dual core E6600 over clocked to a similar speed.
Is it possible that something is not set up correctly on your machine ? As mine seems to perform as I would expect.
The cpu clock is at 385 with a 9 times multiplier giving a cpu speed of 3.465ghz. It will run faster, I have had it up to 3.9ghz, but it is not so stable and very hot at those speeds.
At full load I get temperatures of around 60c, which should give a reasonable cpu life. It often runs for 24 hours a day, and seems very stable.
It was not stable on anything under 1.47v, I have friends who can run at 1.4v for the same speed, but some chips just seem to need more and I have a greedy one.
It's been running for about 3 months now without problems, and played around 12000 games without a system crash. If anything should go bang, I will let you know...
It was only a bit slower than my 8 cores computer, but it ran stable all the time.
Btw. i sold that chip.
In an Apple Mac Pro 8x3GHz, cpus reach temperatures of over 90° C, so 55 or 60° are not really dangerous. The only thing that might shorten the life of an overclocked cpu is electromigration - but an overvoltage of 10% shouldn't make too much of a difference.
Anyway, I came up with a very cool solution which dropped the CPU temps by >10 degrees - just have a fan blow air over the radiator.
When can I collect my Nobel prize?
Is your external radiator a Mora 2? There are fan sets for that, they should work fine.
Nobel prize might be handed to you, as soon as Rybka prooves to be more intelligent than President George Bush - but that might be too easy ;)
Maybe with the added fan, I can try 3.5 GHz again.
I need help from people in-the-know, like Phill Harris, or Majd Ansari, or anyone, on the following:
My system is Quad Q6600 GO, 2x2 Gb 800 Mhz RAM, MB Gigabyte P35-DS3L, 500 Gb Hitachi HD, ATI Radeon HD 3600. It runs Windows XP PRO 64-bit, overclocked @ 3.15 Ghz 24/7 loaded with all 4 Rybka 3 cores (1 Gb hash, 245 kN/s rough middlegame average on infinite) 100% stable. RAM is at 700 Mhz with these settings. I have additional passive cooler, and 2 extra fans, and as long as I keep cleaning the dust inside the box, I'm very fine with the temperatures (Core Temp in full load: 55-53-50-48, which is fine as far as I know). I have this PC plugged on APC Back-UPS CS 350 (and PC only, because when I plug my monitor in - 22" Samsung Syncmaster 2243NW/NWX - it just can't handle that much power hunger). I understand that my UPS is on its limits when it comes to supplying any additional power for such a beast; even a tiny fluctuation in network voltage - during bad weather - shuts down the PC, while my other PC which is not on UPS, as well as other appliance, continue to work normaly. Below are my current BIOS settings (MB Intelligent Tweaker):
Robust Graphics Booster [Auto]
CPU Clock Ratio [9x]
CPU Frequency 3.15(350x9)
CPU Host Clock Control [Enabled]
CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) 
PCI Express Frequency (Mhz) [Auto]
Performance Enhance [Standard]
System Memory Multiplier (SPD) [2.00]
Memory Frequency 800 700
xxxxxx System Voltage NOT Optimized xxxxx - this is flashing in RED -
System Voltage Control [Manual]
DDR2 Overvoltage Control [Normal]
PCI-E Overvoltage Control [Normal]
FSB Overvoltage Control [+0.1V]
(G)MCH Overvoltage Control [Normal]
CPU Voltage Control [1.30000V]
Normal CPU Vcore 1.21250V
And here are the questions:
1. I do not intend to buy better UPS, at least for now. Am I better off without it (pulling the PC directly in the wall) at current settings, with respect to occasional network voltage fluctuations (I want to avoid those shutdowns as a priority)? Never mind the idea being somewhat risky.
2. If I ever consider buying stronger UPS, how much kW is enough, roughly, for a) PC alone, and b) PC and monitor?
3. I can not find a way to change my RAM latency - I guess there is a place for improvement on this, too - is this because my MB does not support RAM tweaking?
4. Are my current voltages OK for the given settings? I mean, it runs perfectly, but anyhow, are these voltages ok, or maybe to low?
5. Bearing in mind I have decent cooling and nice core temperatures as it is, it comes to mind to overclock a little bit more :-). If I try say 3.24 Ghz, or 3.33 Ghz, or even 3.50 Ghz, what voltage settings (both core and MB and FSB ...??) are advisable and expected? I know I can try and play with this, but I know many of you have already a lot of experience, so to save me from trouble. I did try those speeds first time I got the PC, but it was unstable at 3.33 and 3.50, and would freeze, or didn't even boot - blue death screen - probably because I couldn't raise enough voltage as my UPS would start to whistle annoyingly. Without UPS, and with additional voltage I firmly believe I could go higher, as there is enough "temperature space" till I reach 60-65 degrees. Am I right in thinking so?
That's it, I thank very much in advance to anyone who is willing to share their own experience and knowledge, and help me a bit!
ad 3) some Gigabyte boards allow RAM latency setting - I don't know if your board does. Try pressing ctrl + F1 when you are in Intelligent Tweaker.
> ad 2) 700 - 1000VA should be OK
VA, kW, whatever, "it's all Greek to me" :-)
Thanks Lukas for your thoughts!
Your temperatures would suggest you have a little more room to overclock, but not a great deal. I would try setting the Vcore to 1.35v, the (G)mch to +2 notches I forget what the values available actually are, but basically 2 clicks up from stock), one more click on the FSB volts and the FSB to 360. Assuming this runs OK and the temps are still within sensible limits (not more than 60c loaded at this stage) then you might get 5 more on the FSB. The idea is to go up in small steps from there.
From your temperatures now, I would think something around 1.36 to 1.38v will be the limit of Vcore for your system. This should not be a problem for a Q6600 G0.
Once you have a stable CPU overclock that works at safe temps, you can look at your RAM settings.
You don't mention the spec of your RAM. If it is capable of higher than 800mHz, then it's worth playing around with the multipliers to get it running faster. The motherboard provides 1.8v to DDR2 RAM by default, which may cause instability if it has a performance profile. I would suggest setting the Vdimm to +0.2 anyway, as all but the nastiest DDR2 will be safe with 2.0Vdimm, and it removes RAM voltage issues from the equation.
The easiest way to experiment with RAM settings is a program called Memset. http://www.tweakers.fr/memset.html . That will allow you to experiment a little from within windows. One warning being that if you go too far, you may need to do a BIOS reset and start your settings from scratch.
Hope this helps,
> You don't mention the spec of your RAM. If it is capable of higher than 800mHz, then it's worth playing around with the multipliers to get it running faster. The motherboard provides 1.8v to DDR2 RAM by default, which may cause instability if it has a performance profile. I would suggest setting the Vdimm to +0.2 anyway, as all but the nastiest DDR2 will be safe with 2.0Vdimm, and it removes RAM voltage issues from the equation.
My RAM is 2x2Gb Kingmax DDR2 800 Mhz.
What is Vdimm? DDR2 Overvoltage Control
I am running out of things to check, I've done a tone of administration (downgraded from buggy IE8 beta 2 to IE7, registry clean up and defrag, disk clean up and defrag, anti virus-malware-trojan-spyware checked with 7-8 major programs, fine tuned Windows for better performance loosing fancy graphics, vaccum cleaned the housing and vents, reduced core temps, .......) and nothing changed. The ONLY DIFFERENCE between now and before super reliable and fast system is installation of F11 GUI. So, is it possible somehow that the new GUI stressed something on my PC as opposed to F8 GUI, in particular during the 100% work on CPU, and only after a couple of hours of work? Maybe RAM now needs higher voltage? Maybe CPU or MB now needs higher voltage?
In any case, the key question is, what possible hardware problem could cause symptoms like these?
The RAM you have there is not the best to be honest, although within it's design limitations it should be reliable. With the prices of DDR2 dropping so fast it might be worth considering something faster, if you intend keeping the rest of the system for a while.
why do you say that Rybka doesn't see 4 cores?
70c for a Core 2 Duo is about what you would get in a normally clocked Core 2 with stock fan and heat sink ... so I would not be too alarmed. To overclock your cpu a lot depends on which batch of cpu you have ... or which week it came out on. For example the Q6600's are now batch G0 ... which has a thermal envelope that is maybe 10% lower than the last batch (B3). Those should clock much better since by default they create less heat. I have had my QX6700 for around a year now and it has never seen a speed that was less than 3.2 Ghz. My water cooling setup is a very poor one that I bought locally ... but it still works much better than air. I am sure if I would throw in a Q6600 G0 cpu ... I would probably gain another 300 or 400 Mhz.
I'm looking to get an AMD Barcelona quad-core. Can you recommend one of the new water cooling systems I should be considering to instal if I have the system built for me?
Or are their systems from system builders that come pre-built with a good water cooled system that I should look at: Dell, Velocity Micro, Alienware, Colfax, Cyberpower?
Mine cost me around £1000 for all components, and a couple of evenings to put it all together and get it running. An equivalent machine sold by a specialist builder appeared for £3,500... OK it had big graphics cards, but for a chess playing machine, those are far from necessary.
I would think very hard about building one yourself. This was only the second one I have ever built, and I was amazed how simple it all was.
The money you can save by building yourself,(maybe with some help from a local computer store is there are aspects you are not sure about), will mean you can improve the specifications of the machine or pacify the wife with a weekend in Paris...
Thanks most kindly for the insight. I've never built a system so I will look for a local store to build it for me.
I will have the system built for me with water cooling and either 4 gig or 8 gig RAM with Vista 64-bit.
Any recommendations as to which Intel chip and what kind of memory/motherboard/BIOS?
PC Magazine recently had an article on memory, which recommended (for DDR2-800 speeds) the Super Talent 4GB kit.
The magazine also recommended for "casual overclockers" Enhanced Performance Profile-capable memory to make it easier to pick the overclocking settings (currently only motherboards using nVidia and ATI core logic support EPP.)
I need to have the system completed, and hopefully overclocked, by 11/1/07
Thats a nice case, with a very nice water cooling system already installed. The radiator should be fine if your ambient temperatures stay below 25c. $399.
Great power supply, modular type which allow for very tidy cable runs that don't just look neat, it helps cooling by allowing better airflow inside the case. $169
My choice of motherboard. I like this one because it shouldn't need any additional cooling beyond the fans that come in the case. $229
The best cpu for the money by far. Make sure you get the latest version with G0 stepping. It will be hard to buy the B3 versions soon anyway. Should run up to 3.6 Ghz without tears with the above case and cooling. $294.
Ocz flex memory. 2gb is fine, there really is no great advantage in having 4gb. This might seem a lot compared to other memory prices, but it will allow much better performance at high overclocks, and it cools well at high speeds. Cheap memory is a waste of money to be honest. $235
No point having less than 500gb HD now that prices are so insanely cheap, and Sata II is a must. $109
Hard core gamers will not think much of this graphics card, but the reality is there is very little it will not do, and it's cheap. $89
Optical drive, almost anything will do for this but I always like Sony stuff. $29
Windows XP64 bit pro. I would avoid Vista for now, I'm sure it will be great one day... $139.
$1692 in total. Obviously monitor, keyboard and mouse excluded, but a rough guide to what you would need.
Everyone will have their own choices of course, but right now I think thats the best chess playing specification available for sensible money. All high quality components which should prove very reliable.
The G0 Q6600 are apparently overclocking extremely well. If you order without checking the stepping there is a good possibility that you will get the B3 stepping. G0 will clock much better and will need a less robust cooling because they have a 10% less wattage envelope. At around $300 ... it would seem like highway robbery.
If you already have a case and do not want the neat Swiftech case that has built in water cooling, I would recommend the Swiftech Apex kit. Unfortunately Newegg is out of stock with that item but you can get it here apparently
This watercooling kit is IMHO the best watercooling kit. If you want to overclock your VGA card as well and cool your northbridge chipset (probably not worth it unless you are very into overclocking) then I would recommend this kit
As for memory ... I think it is a good idea to get the new PC8500 or DDR 1066 that is being sold at very reasonable prices. You can get 2GB of the stuff from Corsair for around $160 after rebate.
If you don't want to spend so much on memory but still want some decent stuff you can get 2GB of this XMS Corsair PC6400 CAS 4 ram for $76 after rebate. I paid $250 for this exact memory less than a year ago.
The motherboard Phil has mentioned is also my pick as the best. As for power supply I like to go as high as possible from a reputable manufacturer. I have a 1000watt PS that I paid a pretty penny for, but you don't really have to splurge like I did on that.
All in all, it is very easy to setup an extremely powerful system today for very cheap. It is just a matter of doing your research properly in chosing the parts. This has already be done for you here so your job has been made much easier.
I am not really interested in engine room play of my hardware vs. someone elses. I want an analysis assistant dedicated to snatching advantage from 24/7 dedication at much longer time controls. Most games I will start after getting my build finished are going to last 1-2 years. Considering the pace of advances in technology, I am not adverse, for example, to the idea of a processor upgrade in 6-9 months. The same goes for other technology upgrades that might further my equipments purpose.
Would either of you, or anyone else, have differing recommendations anywhere for a chess workstation builder with my goals?
Certainly there is not the need to run quite so fast, but speed will have still have significant advantages.
I would still highly recommend water cooling, it's very quiet, which could be an issue for a machine running for long periods. It also allows for very cool running of the cpu at moderate overclocks, which has to be advantageous. People get put off using water to cool computers for fear of accidents or just worried about the apparent complexity of building. I admit that I had the same worries. I can now say it's definitely worth the effort.
As long as you buy good quality water cooling kit, you will find it's very easy to build, and the results more than justify any extra effort.
The list of components I suggested to CMA will achieve everything you want, including a clear upgrade path to Penryn when it becomes available.
A Q6600, over clocked to around 3.2ghz with water cooling will run 24 hours a day for years. Temperatures should run in the 50's which are no more than the stock CPU would run at with it's standard cooler.
If you want to spend a little less initially, you can cut a little of the RAM cost. I wouldn't recommend going below DDR1066 (PC8000)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227090 for instance.
Other savings could be a non modular power supply. It's VERY important that you use a good quality unit, I like Antec PSUs and this one is a bargain http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371001
If you didn't mind spending a little more, then DDR3 memory should be considered. Right now the technology needs fine tuning, but there is no doubt that it will eventually offer worthwhile a performance advantage. To use it now would mean paying the fiscal penalty always suffered by early adopters, but the motherboards which allow it's use are freely available.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128055 That is the DDR3 compatible version of the board I recommended to CMA
Hope this helps.
An absolutely fabulous post, greatly appreciated. (I will be going over M. Ansari's additional comments later.)
My only questions/quibbles are on 2 items.
I use Rybka for analysis, e.g., perhaps 30 minutes or more per ply. I like to see at least 20 ply in the analysis and often 24 ply with "Preserve Analysis" checked. So I believe in "as large a hash as you can get," quoting or paraphrasing Vas.
Unfortunately, on the Win-32 system on my AMD 4600+, I'm using only 3 gig of the 4 gig installed. So for my new Intel system, shouldn't I have at least 4 gig, and maybe 8 gig?
My total budget goes up to $3,000 + what I have to pay the shop here to assemble it.
Second question: what's wrong with Vista 64-bit? Admittedly, for the next 2-3 years, I will be using the new system only for chess analysis, but after that, I would like to have a Vista system.
As far as Vista 64bit is concerned, I am going on opinions I have seen expressed in various places. It would seem that XPpro 64bit has a lighter footprint, and as such is slightly less resource hungry. This may not be enough to effect results in the vast majority of cases of course, but as we are building for pure speed, I think XP is more in line with the essence of the project.
On the question of build cost. I would expect an experienced computer engineer to be able to assemble the parts and get the OS running in 5 hours or less. This would not include over clocking, which can be a rather time consuming process.
Over clocking is nowhere near as scary as people initially think, and can be great fun. There is so much advice out there on the net, that it's hard to go too far wrong.
With a $3,000 budget for kit, there are a few upgrades to my list worth considering. I will review it and post again soon.
For the ultimate chess machine you should still have extra money to spend for your budgeted $3000. I would get 2x or 4x 8GB USB sticks (preferable with a fast rating) to load my EGTB's on. They are now also available in 16GB sticks. The sweet spot seems to have 32GB of EGTB's on stick ... this should easily handle all 5 EGTB's and some 6 EGTB's. If you really want to have the ultimate analysis machine you should probably get another 2 x 500 GB SATA 2 drives in RAID 0 to carry almost all the other remaining 6 EGTB's.
While the Q6600 offers the best price/power balance right now, things will change when the new Penryn chips become available. The system as listed would allow for upgrading when that happens. So I think I would suggest that you go for a Q6600 now, and put the money you save towards a processor upgrade 6 months to a year from now. This equates to spending the cost of a Q6600 for the use of a top end chess computer for the intervening time. If thats a year, it works out to about $5 a week.... You will also get reasonable money back for the Q6600.
The reason I think this is best is that I know the specification we are talking about will be capable of achieving around 600 kN/s with Rybka 2.3.2a. This is not so far off the maximum I have seen in the engine room at playchess, and as good as many 8 way systems are getting. Trying to get more performance now would involve a much greater spend than you wanted, and may well still be obsoleted by the impending CPU releases.
One thing you mentioned is addressable now. To get a Vista system I would suggest the following.
Buy a second hard drive and a copy of Vista 32bit home premium. Don't forget that the O.E.M. versions of Vista are much cheaper, and a legitimate purchase for you as the builder of the system. Then get both operating systems installed on separate hard drives. This will allow you to choose which system you want to run when you switch on the machine.
I suggest this because 64bit computing is still a rather niche market, and you may find that a lot of programs and drivers for some hardware aren't available in 64 bit versions. This situation doesn't appear to be changing too quickly, so I think dual boot systems offer the best compromise.
I don't think the graphics card I suggested above will have problems with Vista, but it's not an area I know too much about, so I would get advice on Direct x 10 compatibility. A video card upgrade may be of benefit, depending on what you propose to run on the Vista side of the computer.
Vista 32 bit premium will only add around $200 to your overall budget, but will provide you access to an exceptional general purpose computer when ever you need it.
-Rybka uses a maximum of 2 GB hash, so i think, on a normal computer no more than 4 GB are needed.
-Rybka loves fast memory. Clock speed and timings are important. The best memory modules i know have Micron GKX chips.
-So. 775 mainboards have 4 memory slots at max.
-using too many tablebases has negative effects - it takes long to load GUI and engine. I made a test with ~500 GB of TBs - it took several minutes to start GUI and after loading engine it took ~ 5 min. before the engine started working. And memory usage increases extremely.
-RAID 0 doesn't accelerate TB accesses at all - the only thing that matters is access time
"Rybka uses a maximum of 2 GB hash, so i think, on a normal computer no more than 4 GB are needed."
I believe this is true on a 32-bit OS. But on a 64-bit OS, Rybka or any app can use much more RAM as hash.
Here is a quote from Bob Pawlak: "Pawlak's article (which is in fact quite good)
correctly shows two other phenomena:
1) The longer the search, the more beneficial a bigger hash table is.
2) The fewer pieces there are on the board, the more beneficial a
bigger hash table is."
Here are quotes from Vas re hash: "Hi, a bigger hash is always better. Just make sure that your hash size is
not too big for your available RAM.
In fact, even better is to go backwards from the final position of the key variation you want Rybka to understand, back to the root position that you want Rybka to analyze.
Also, while it's good to clear the hash before you do this, it's not really essential unless you've been analyzing with "Preserve Analysis" for a long time. In the future, I'll have an option to have Rybka clear her own hash when the positions being analyzed are "significantly different" from the previous ones. Vas
Another poster, possibly Vas, "In end games, lots of hash is even more useful, both during analysis and in engine-engine games.
Finally, when the quad cores becoming standard within the next year, the hash tables will overall be filled quicker.
So having Rybka be able to use as much hash as possible would certainly constitute some gain for the user."--http://chessobserver.com/rybkaforum/viewtopic.php?t=758
Since I'm planning very long, deep searches, as much as 30 ply, 4-8 gig of RAM on a 64-bit system makes sense to me.
64 Bit Rybka takes 2 GB of hash as a maximum
and - i am only using 64 bit OS, and i now only use computers with 8 cores
This is an important issue for people that want to analyze a singe position to a very high depth because for any size memory, at some depth, the hit rate for positions from the previous depth will decrease. Given a branching factor of 2, doubling the hash size probably pushes this effect back to the next higher depth. Vas might have measured this more precisely although I'm not sure he has spent much time looking at hash hit rates.
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