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Message 33734 - Posted: 3 Nov 2013 | 7:46:12 UTC

Hey there :)

I have a 780M in my iMac and wondered why I wasn't getting any tasks from gpugrid. I have the most recent cuda drivers installed (5.5.28) and rebooted, and my client is set to download all types of tasks short/long/beta.

This is the cuda line from my log in boinc:

CUDA: NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GTX 780M (driver version 5.5.28, CUDA version 5.50, compute capability 3.0, 4096MB, 3578MB available, 2408 GFLOPS peak)

Maybe a bad idea anyway with the heat but I would like to try first at least :)

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Message 33735 - Posted: 3 Nov 2013 | 8:40:00 UTC - in response to Message 33734.

What does it say in your event log? "ADVANCED" > "Event Log" that may tell you.

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Message 33765 - Posted: 3 Nov 2013 | 23:22:16 UTC - in response to Message 33734.

There isn't a GPUGrid app for Apple systems (iMac/Darwin).

At present (and for some time) there are only two apps:
Linux running on an AMD x86_64
Windows x86

http://www.gpugrid.net/apps.php
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Message 33768 - Posted: 4 Nov 2013 | 2:03:56 UTC

Has anybody tried creating a VirtualBox running a Linux OS and crunching GPUgrid on a Mac that way?

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Message 33818 - Posted: 10 Nov 2013 | 12:38:24 UTC - in response to Message 33768.

Can VirtualBox access the GPU, without any ridiculous overhead? I know in HyperV it's just a virtual GPU, independent of what you're actually running.

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Message 33825 - Posted: 10 Nov 2013 | 20:08:21 UTC - in response to Message 33818.

Can VirtualBox access the GPU, without any ridiculous overhead?


I'm trying to find out by creating a virtual XP Pro machine on my Linux box but I can't get it (XP Pro) to install properly in the VirtualBox. I even tried installing it beside Linux in a dual-boot config but I get the same problem which is that in Device Manager the PCI, VGA, smbus and ethernet devices have the yellow question mark and the "device not working properly" message.

I've tried reinstalling the OS from scratch and reinstalling the drivers. In the latter case the installer wizard says it can't locate the drivers. It's a legal XP Pro DVD with legal product code supplied with the computer. I found a solution in the Microsoft knowledge base but it refers to folders that should exist on the HD but don't. So I'm stumped for now.

From the number of hits Google turns up on this "unable to locate driver" problem it's obviously a common problem. I recall helping a friend solve the same problem (just different drivers) years ago and I'm sure it's just a matter of renaming a folder or two or some file names but I can't figure out which ones.

I could create a virtual Linux machine to investigate the question of overhead but I have no use for a virtual Linux other than to investigate that question. A virtual Win machine would allow me to investigate a second question in addition to the overhead question ( 2 birds with 1 virtual stone, so to speak).

BTW, installing the nVidia driver in either the virtual XP or the real XP produces an error saying it can't locate an nVidia card in the machine which makes sense because the PCI bus is flagged in Device Manager as not working properly.
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Message 33826 - Posted: 10 Nov 2013 | 21:28:32 UTC - in response to Message 33825.
Last modified: 10 Nov 2013 | 21:33:23 UTC

The only way to have any chance of doing this is to create an image with the drivers included. Although you have the option when installing XP to install 3rd party drivers during the installation (F6, this is only for a floppy disk - yeah!). So splicing the drivers into an image (built on the same system) is the only hope to get the drivers.

A theory. If you had a Linux image with NVidia drivers and Boinc, and loaded that on a 4th Generation Intel based system (but not a K model) from within a Vista/W7/W8 OS (but without any NVidia drivers installed) you might avoid the 11% performance drop.
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Message 33831 - Posted: 11 Nov 2013 | 2:17:16 UTC - in response to Message 33826.

The only way to have any chance of doing this is to create an image with the drivers included. Although you have the option when installing XP to install 3rd party drivers during the installation (F6, this is only for a floppy disk - yeah!).


I just tried that. The prompt says press F6 to install SCSI or RAID drivers. Thinking MS might not know the difference between SCSI, RAID and video drivers and that pressing F6 might somehow get me what you indicate it will (a way to install video drivers), I pressed F6 anyway. Then came a menu reaffirming the process is for RAID or SCSI drivers. I opted to proceed and then ran up against the "no floppy drive" message. I was hoping that maybe MS doesn't know the difference between a floppy and a DVD drive but apparently they wised up by the time they released XP.


So splicing the drivers into an image (built on the same system) is the only hope to get the drivers.


I fail to see the difference between what you seem to have proposed (unless I misunderstood what you proposed) and splicing the drivers into the OS after the OS is installed and running. Please enlighten.

I am still of the opinion that the only reason the nVidia drivers didn't install is because the PCI bus wasn't working when I tried to install the nVidia driver after the XP installation completed and I rebooted. Since the PCI bus wasn't working the nVidia driver installer was not able to find the nVidia card so it gave the "don't see an nVidia card in this computer" message and quit. As I explained in my previous message, I also tried to install XP alongside Linux in a dual-boot config i.e. NOT in a virtual machine. That attempt ended with the same problem... Device Manager said "PCI bus not working" after XP installed and rebooted. And again, the nVidia driver installer said it could not see an nVidia card. Of course it can't see the card if the PCI bus isn't working properly. For some reason the XP driver for the PCI bus isn't installing properly, neither in a real machine nor a virtual machine.

Anyway, I will have access to a real Win 8 machine later this week. I'll install my 660Ti in that machine temporarily, just long enough to see if I can use the Win utils for recurving the fan speed and unlocking the clocks. Really, that's the only reason I need a Win machine at this time. I thought I might get one by creating a virtual XP machine and I thought that while I was at it I would take a little side-trip and see if it's possible to use a GPU in a VM, just out of curiosity, for the sake of Mac folks.

A theory. If you had a Linux image with NVidia drivers and Boinc, and loaded that on a 4th Generation Intel based system (but not a K model) from within a Vista/W7/W8 OS (but without any NVidia drivers installed) you might avoid the 11% performance drop.


Frankly, I couldn't give a less of a damn about that 11% loss of performance. Never have, never will. It has never been my goal (and never will be) to investigate that problem. If the 11% hit bothers Win users they can install Linux. If they can't do without Win then they can install Linux then install their Win in a VM hosted by Linux.

What I will do, to see if there exists some solution for OS X users, is install Linux in a VBox VM on my Linux box and see if BOINC running in that VM can recognise and use the GPU. If that works it might work for Mac users too. And I would crunch a few tasks that way to see what performance hit is imposed by the VM overhead.

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Message 33834 - Posted: 11 Nov 2013 | 11:27:11 UTC - in response to Message 33831.
Last modified: 11 Nov 2013 | 11:30:00 UTC

Sounds like you didn't install the chipset drivers before attempting to install the NVidia drivers?

For anyone else wanting to try this, I suggest using nlite for XP and Vlite for Vista and creating an iso,
http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

http://www.vlite.net/download.html

It makes for a great recovery tool so you don't have to individually install drivers and updates, but it's limited to XP and Vista.

If you can run Linux from within a VM with NVidia drivers and crunch that way, it would be very useful for Mac users, Windows users and possibly even Linux users (who wish to isolate their crunching environment from their working environment).
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Message 33837 - Posted: 11 Nov 2013 | 17:40:24 UTC - in response to Message 33834.
Last modified: 11 Nov 2013 | 17:50:35 UTC

Sounds like you didn't install the chipset drivers before attempting to install the NVidia drivers?


I should not need to install chipset drivers manually if that's what you mean. The XP install DVD should do that. It does so for 200 million other XP users, why is it picking on me? Before you answer that consider this... The XP install DVD is an OEM DVD packaged with the computer when it sold. Nothing in the machine has changed wrt hardware... same CPU, same mobo therefore same chipset, same RAM.... just a new HDD and my 660Ti. I even tried installing XP without the 660Ti in the slot and still got the problem with the non-functioning PCI bus, VGA, smbus and ethernet adapter.

Read this carefully and think.... the problem with the chipset drivers is not limited to when I install XP in the VM. As I said in the previous 2 posts, I can't even do a standard install (i.e. not in a VM) without getting the problem with the chipset drivers. OK? See what I mean? It's not just a thing related to the VM, in case that's what you're thinking, and even if it were I should not have to install chipset drivers. If you think I should have to install chipset drivers please explain why and how?

Also, I've built numerous VMs with various flavors of Linux installed in them as the OS and never once have I had to pay any attention to chipset drivers. Linux installs them for me automatically and I know Windows should too and does 99.9% of the time.

For anyone else wanting to try this, I suggest using nlite for XP and Vlite for Vista and creating an iso,
http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

http://www.vlite.net/download.html

It makes for a great recovery tool so you don't have to individually install drivers and updates, but it's limited to XP and Vista.


I haven't tried that. In fact I've never even heard of that until now but I will take a look. I doubt it will solve the problem I am having but maybe it will. I've never heard of anyone having to create an .iso to install an OS in VirtualBox. Perhaps in other VMs but not VirtualBox.

If you can run Linux from within a VM with NVidia drivers and crunch that way, it would be very useful for Mac users, Windows users and possibly even Linux users (who wish to isolate their crunching environment from their working environment).


I almost have that working except that a quirk with Ubuntu is preventing me from manually installing the latest nVidia driver available from the nVidia site. Ubuntu does install an nVidia driver from repos but I know it won't be a recent driver. I'll try that anyway, might be sufficient to prove/disprove the concept.

If anybody else wants to try, it's dead easy. Download the free VirtualBox package, install it, run it, when the VBox Manager GUI comes up click New and follow the prompts. Go with the defaults when in doubt. When VBox Manager has finished creating the VM it will show in the VBox manager with the name you gave it. At that point just highlight the name of your new VM and click "Start" up in the VBox Manager menu bar. The VM will start, you'll see 2 info boxes pop up just select "Don't show me again" and click OK. You will be prompted to insert your OS install disk into the DVD drive, it's cake from that point forward, just put in a regular Windows install disk, Linux, OS X, OS/2, whatever, no special .iso needed.

Edit added:

After you create a VM you can select "clone" from the VBox Manager menu to clone a copy of your VM. If you clone your newly created VM you can always just delete a VM you've fubar'd and start over with the clone without going through the process of creating another VM. If you feel you might fubar the clone eventually then clone the clone before playing with the first clone. You can clone a VM at anytime, for example after you've installed drivers, apps or updates. Essentially a clone is a backup you don't have to restore, just ditch the fubar'd VM and start using the clone immediately.
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Message 33838 - Posted: 11 Nov 2013 | 19:07:03 UTC - in response to Message 33837.

OEM isn't the same as non-OEM. Most OEM disks include drivers. Standard 'off the shelf' and Enterprise level Windows operating system disks (XP Pro) don't. You need to use the motherboards disk drivers.
A quick look in Device Manager will tell you if something isn't installed or is not working.

If you use nlite, you're probably going to want a bootable disk, so you should save it as an iso file and burn a disk which you can then boot to. From what I have read (recently) the NVidia drivers have to be installed after the OS, not at the same time.
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Message 33840 - Posted: 11 Nov 2013 | 19:56:29 UTC - in response to Message 33838.

OEM isn't the same as non-OEM. Most OEM disks include drivers. Standard 'off the shelf' and Enterprise level Windows operating system disks (XP Pro) don't. You need to use the motherboards disk drivers.


Thanks for that info!! I never would have guessed it myself. It's a Certified Data brand machine, the DVD has their brand on it, below their brand it says "This bootable recovery DVD will enable you to restore the operating system". Amazing. I've never run into such madness with Linux.

If you use nlite, you're probably going to want a bootable disk, so you should save it as an iso file and burn a disk which you can then boot to. From what I have read (recently) the NVidia drivers have to be installed after the OS, not at the same time.


OK, now I can see why I need to build the iso.

As for the Linux based VM... I tried it with the old nVidia driver from repos. There was no problem installing the driver in the VM but BOINC doesn't recognize the GPU nor does the nvidia-settings app. That particular driver has given me odd troubles before so I'm going to try with the latest driver as soon as I figure out how to boot to a terminal. The usual method of booting to a terminal in Ubuntu is to hold down the shift key while booting but that doesn't work in a VM. There are other ways.

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Message 33850 - Posted: 12 Nov 2013 | 21:53:28 UTC

Well, since you've got a Core 2 Duo your machine is significantly younger than the last Service Pack for XP. Yes, it's that old :p So it likely doesn't know all that much about your hardware and can't search the net due to not finding the LAN driver. You are right, this is not how usual Win installs turn out.

Not sure if it's worth the time to push this further. If the GPU is accessible under Virtaul Box should be easy enough to find out via an internet search. And only then would the question occur "does crunching in the V-Box cause a performance loss?".

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Message 33858 - Posted: 13 Nov 2013 | 7:13:18 UTC - in response to Message 33850.

XP is that old? Wow, how time flies!! The thing is I used that same XP install DVD to create a virtual XP machine on Ubuntu on that computer a few months ago but lost it when the HDD died (who backs up a 20GB VM that has nothing valuable on it?) That's why I'm a little puzzled about why I can't create one again, nothing has changed. Anyway, I tosssed that DVD in the box of clay pigeons beside the shotgun. It'll get what's coming to it in a few days.

I have a new (to me) C2Q with Win 7 installed on it which is getting set up with Linux-Win dual boot which I'll use to fiddle with the locked clocks.

I did create a virtual Ubuntu machine and tried every which way I could think of to get it to work. I was able to install drivers no problem but BOINC client (in the VM) was never able to find a CUDA device. Now it's time to Google and RTFM. (Yes I know, I do everything backwards, <sigh>)

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Message 33888 - Posted: 14 Nov 2013 | 21:22:32 UTC - in response to Message 33858.

It's strange that you could install the nVidia driver, yet it won't work. Under Win the driver would complain about "no compatible GPU found", and probably also in a HyperV guest. Either the linux driver doesn't do this check (unlikely?).. or the GPU is "almost there".

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Message 33890 - Posted: 15 Nov 2013 | 2:28:44 UTC - in response to Message 33888.

It's strange that you could install the nVidia driver, yet it won't work. Under Win the driver would complain about "no compatible GPU found"
MrS


Win's Device Manager said the PCI bus was not functioning correctly. If that assessment was correct then probably the GPU (plugged into the dysfunctional PCI bus) was invisible to the driver installer. I can't think of any other reason now that I realize XP likely wasn't installing chipset drivers.

Now you might wonder what was driving my monitor and the answer is... I had it connected to the mobo's VGA connector not the nVIDIA card.

Either the linux driver doesn't do this check (unlikely?).. or the GPU is "almost there".


That's what I was thinking too but decided it wasn't worth pursuing. Today I feel differently and intend to pursue. I doubt the installer proceeds without a check but I am going to verify by attempting to install the driver when the card is out of the slot. If it balks then we will know it checks. If it checks we can reason that if it proceeds when the card is in the slot while I'm installing in the VM then the GPU is properly virtualized or at least well enough to pass the installer's check. Either way we will be left to wonder why BOINC can't recognize it. Something skgiven posted the other day makes me wonder if having the driver installed in the host OS somehow prevents BOINC (running in the VM) from recognizing the driver installed in the VM. I intend to test that hypothesis too by not installing the driver in the host OS, just in the VM.





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Message 33913 - Posted: 16 Nov 2013 | 20:24:40 UTC - in response to Message 33890.
Last modified: 16 Nov 2013 | 20:25:09 UTC

Apparently VB provides a virtualized general OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU with up to 128 MB VRAM to the guest since 4.1. OpenGL calls can be forwarded to the hosts physical GPU. The midldeware involves some additional overhead - with 4.1.2. Phoronix measured about 40 ms additional latency, which is massive inside computers.

Searching for CUDA support you'll find quite a few questions and thoughts on the topic, but not much more. The best I found is this IEEE paper from the end of 2011 talking about the lack of GP-GPU support in all virtualized environments. They propose some middleware to get around this, but I don't think anything like this has made it out of the door yet.

So.. don't try too hard to activate this functionality ;)

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