[Beowulf] gpgpu

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Wed Aug 27 12:22:40 EDT 2008

Hi Bo,

Thanks for your message.

What library do i call to find primes?

Currently it's searching here after primes (PRP's)  in the form of p  
= (2^n + 1) / 3

n is here about 1.5 million bits roughly as we speak.

For SSE2 type processors there is the George Woltman assembler code  
(MiT) to do the squaring + implicit modulo;
how do you plan to beat that type of real optimized number crunching  
at a GPU?

You'll have to figure out a way to find an instruction level  
parallellism of at least 32,
which also doesn't write to the same cacheline, i *guess* (no  
documentation to verify that in fact).

So that's a range of 256 * 32 = 2^8 * 2^5 = 2^13 = 8192 bytes

In fact the first problem to solve is to do some sort of squaring  
real quickly.

If you figured that out at a PC, experience learns you're still  
losing a potential of factor 8,
thanks to another zillion optimizations.

You're not allowed to lose factor 8. that 52 gflop a gpu can deliver  
on paper @ 250 watt TDP (you bet it will consume that
when you let it work so hard) means GPU delivers effectively less  
than 7 gflops double precision thanks to inefficient code.

Additionally remember the P4. On paper in integers claim was when it  
released it would be able to execute 4 integers a
cycle, reality is that it was a processor getting an IPC far under 1  
for most integer codes. All kind of stuff sucked at it.

The experience learns this is the same for todays GPU's, the  
scientists who have run codes on it so far and are really experienced
CUDA programmers, figured out the speed it delivers is a very big  

Additionally 250 watt TDP for massive number crunching is too much.

It's well over factor 2 power consumption of a quadcore. Now i can  
take a look soon in China myself what power prices
are over there, but i can assure you they will rise soon.

Now that's a lot less than a quadcore delivers with a tdp far under  
100 watt.

Now i explicitly mention the n's i'm searching here, as it should fit  
within caches.
So the very secret bandwidth you can practical achieve (as we know  
nvidia lobotomized
bandwidth in the GPU cards, only the Tesla type seems to be not  
i'm not even teasing you with that.

This is true for any type of code. You're losing it to the details.  
Only custom tailored solutions will work,
simply because they're factors faster.


On Aug 27, 2008, at 2:50 AM, Li, Bo wrote:

> Hello,
> IMHO, it is better to call the BLAS or similiar libarary rather  
> than programing you own functions. And CUDA treats the GPU as a  
> cluster, so .CU is not working as our normal codes. If you have got  
> to many matrix or vector computation, it is better to use Brook+/ 
> CAL, which can show great power of AMD gpu.
> Regards,
> Li, Bo
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Mikhail Kuzminsky" <kus at free.net>
> To: "Vincent Diepeveen" <diep at xs4all.nl>
> Cc: "Beowulf" <beowulf at beowulf.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 2:35 AM
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] gpgpu
>> In message from Vincent Diepeveen <diep at xs4all.nl> (Tue, 26 Aug 2008
>> 00:30:30 +0200):
>>> Hi Mikhail,
>>> I'd say they're ok for black box 32 bits calculations that can do  
>>> with
>>> a GB or 2 RAM,
>>> other than that they're just luxurious electric heating.
>> I also want to have simple blackbox, but 64-bit (Tesla C1060 or
>> Firestream 9170 or 9250). Unfortunately the life isn't restricted to
>> So I'll need to program something other. People say that the best
>> choice is CUDA for Nvidia. When I look to sgemm source, it has  
>> about 1
>> thousand (or higher) strings in *.cu files. Thereofore I think that a
>> bit more difficult alghorithm  as some special matrix diagonalization
>> will require a lot of programming work :-(.
>> It's interesting, that when I read Firestream Brook+ "kernel  
>> function"
>> source example - for addition of 2 vectors ("Building a High Level
>> Language Compiler For GPGPU",
>> Bixia Zheng (bixia.zheng at amd.com)
>> Derek Gladding (dereked.gladding at amd.com)
>> Micah Villmow (micah.villmow at amd.com)
>> June 8th, 2008)
>> - it looks SIMPLE. May be there are a lot of details/source lines
>> which were omitted from this example ?
>>> Vincent
>>> p.s. if you ask me, honestely, 250 watt or so for latest gpu is  
>>> really
>>> too much.
>> 250 W is TDP, the average value declared is about 160 W. I don't
>> remember, which GPU - from AMD or Nvidia - has a lot of special
>> functional units for sin/cos/exp/etc. If they are not used, may be  
>> the
>> power will a bit more lower.
>> What is about Firestream 9250, AMD says about 150 W (although I'm not
>> absolutely sure that it's TDP) - it's as for some
>> Intel Xeon quad-cores chips w/names beginning from X.
>> Mikhail
>>> On Aug 23, 2008, at 10:31 PM, Mikhail Kuzminsky wrote:
>>>> BTW, why GPGPUs are considered as vector systems ?
>>>> Taking into account that GPGPUs contain many (equal) execution
>>>> units,
>>>> I think it might be not SIMD, but SPMD model. Or it depends from
>>>> the software tools used (CUDA etc) ?
>>>> Mikhail Kuzminsky
>>>> Computer Assistance to Chemical Research Center
>>>> Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
>>>> Moscow
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