Monday, June 18, 2012

Personal Supercomputing System with Quad GPUs

The secrets of the new Kepler GPUs have been revealed. The Kepler based graphics cards have been studied extensively for gaming performance. Most would suggest you don't need the upgrade. Furthermore, the supported PCI-E 3.0 is of little to no use.

Well, it's probably a different story for CUDA programs. Here's the setup I'm going to use for testing CUDA programs extensively.

  • Asus P8Z99-V Premium
    • Supports dual 16x PCI-E. Most other boards support only single 16x.
    • Built-in 32GB SSD storage.
    • At the time of writing, the system is not fully functional when the 2nd GTX 690 is installed. The BIOS probably needs update to fix the problems.
  • Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz/8MB (3.9GHz at Turbo mode)
  • Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 32GB
  • Asus GTX 690 4GB x 2
  • Kingston HyperX SSD 3K SATA3 240GB
  • Western Digital Black SATA3 2TB
  • Corsair AX1200 1200W
  • Antec Kuhler 920 (Liquid cooling)
    • The CPU is extremely hot 80+ C with stock fan at full load. Liquid cooling is highly recommended.
    • Unfortunately, the fan control software is rather limited. It controls the fan based on the liquid temperature which is very different from the CPU temperature. As a result, the fan does not automatically ramp up on high CPU temperature as the liquid temperature may be much lower.

Asus GTX 690 in a box

GTX 690 is much longer than old GTX 285. Prepare a long casing for the card.

Full system with dual GTX 690

A closer look at the LED illuminating GTX