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Message boards : Number crunching : RunTime vs CPUTime

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Profile SophieProject donor
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Message 134718 - Posted: 9 Nov 2019 | 8:50:15 UTC

Hello, i am not sure if this is the right board to ask this question.
But can anybody tell me what difference between runtime and cpu-time is, regarding cpu tasks and gpu tasks?

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Message 134720 - Posted: 9 Nov 2019 | 9:52:17 UTC - in response to Message 134718.

Hello, i am not sure if this is the right board to ask this question.
But can anybody tell me what difference between runtime and cpu-time is, regarding cpu tasks and gpu tasks?


CPU-time is the total CPU time used for completing the task. If you on a quad core runs 1 task at a time using all 4 cores per task, then the CPU time will eventually be about 4 times as high as the runtime.

The runtime is the time that your boinc client has had the task, so until the time that Mike updated the multithreading system, the runtime could be the same as the cpu time in the beginning.

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Message 134745 - Posted: 10 Nov 2019 | 11:29:26 UTC - in response to Message 134720.

so until the time that Mike updated the multithreading system, the runtime could be the same as the cpu time in the beginning.

I don't think it was, even for CPU tasks.

The question is how it is measured, and how accurately.

/JeppeSN

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Message 134748 - Posted: 10 Nov 2019 | 13:03:24 UTC - in response to Message 134718.

Hello, i am not sure if this is the right board to ask this question.
But can anybody tell me what difference between runtime and cpu-time is, regarding cpu tasks and gpu tasks?



I was REALLY hoping someone else would give you a good answer, because this is going to be a rather complex question with a lot of parts.

Your question, in itself, was too small. To get a meaningful answer, you need to ask, "What are run time, cpu time, and gpu time?" In addition, you need to also be asking "What is multi-tasking?" and also "What is multi-threading?" Only by answering all of those do you get the full picture. Let's start with the simple definitions:

Run time is the wall-clock time (also called elapsed time) between when the calculation starts and when it ends.

CPU time is the number of CPU seconds a CPU core is running during the calculations. Note that if two CPU cores are running that calculation at a given moment, two CPU seconds are accumulated during each second of run time.

GPU time is the number of GPU seconds a GPU device is running during the calculations. This is analogous to "CPU time", except it's for GPU apps. Note that if two GPU devices are running at a given moment, two GPU seconds are accumulated during each second of run time. Also note that we generally lack the tools to measure GPU time, which is why you don't see it used anywhere. Also, we have no apps that are capable of using more than one GPU.

Multi-tasking is the computer science concept of having a computer (actually a single computer core) *appear* to be doing more than one thing at once. In reality, at any instant in time, it can only be doing one thing, but it can switch back and forth so quickly that to humans it appears to be doing multiple things at once.

Multi-threading, in the context of this explanation, is the ability to use multiple CPU cores simultaneously to perform a single calculation.

Now let's put all of that together:

Imagine, if you will, (or remember, if you're old enough) a simple DOS computer with a single-core 8088 CPU. There's just one core, and there's only one thing running at a time. If you tell the computer to run a computation, and it runs for 1 minute, both the run time and the CPU time are 60 seconds.

Now jump forward in time a little bit, and the CPU is a more powerful, but still single core, 486-DX2 CPU, and you're running an early version of Windows. You run that same calculation, but there's a lot of Windows stuff going on in the background and those background tasks (probably "Minesweeper") are consuming about 50% of the CPU cycles doing other stuff. The one minute calculation therefore takes 2 minutes to complete because the CPU is busy half the time. The CPU time is still 60 seconds, but the run time is 120 seconds.

Finally, let's jump forward to today, and let's run multi-threaded LLR on a PSP-LLR task on a Linux server. Background overhead from other tasks is negligible, and there's 4 CPU cores. It takes 1 day to run the calculation on a quad core CPU. That's 1 day (86400 seconds) of run time, and 4 days (345600 seconds) of CPU time.

That takes care of the examples without GPUs. For GPU tasks, run time is simply the wall clock time from the start to the end of the calculation. GPU time -- which we can't really measure -- is the amount of time the GPU is actually running. If the GPU is running at 100% utilization, then GPU time would be equal to run time. If it's running at 50% utilization, then GPU time would be half of run time., etc.

Even GPU apps, however, require some CPU cycles to feed the GPU. In an efficient app, very little CPU is used, and we can't see the actual GPU time, so the only relevant number is the run time. The CPU time value should be very low.

Less efficient apps tend to use a lot of CPU time, and in extreme cases will need an entire CPU core. You'll see that the CPU time for inefficient tasks is high, sometimes even equal to the run time.
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Message 134768 - Posted: 11 Nov 2019 | 5:46:08 UTC

Hello Michael,

thank you for the long and detailed answer.
My Goal is to check if multi-threading during LLR tasks is worth it.

So i will test this using CPU-Time and number of WU`s running simultaneously, to evaluate if i got more WU's done in a given time using Multi-Threading or not.

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Message 134769 - Posted: 11 Nov 2019 | 6:13:58 UTC - in response to Message 134768.

Hello Michael,

thank you for the long and detailed answer.
My Goal is to check if multi-threading during LLR tasks is worth it.

So i will test this using CPU-Time and number of WU`s running simultaneously, to evaluate if i got more WU's done in a given time using Multi-Threading or not.

Hi Sophie,
I thought this was a great idea and when I suggested it, the consensus was that the best way is to see how long the tasks run with different number of cores. So running a task with 8 cores and then comparing to running 2 with 4 cores as an example. I hope I have this correct, for CPUs that share the L3 cache amongst the cores - to be guided by FFT size of the task to see how many fit in the cache. You times FFT by 8 to get the size of L3 cache that the task takes up. You find the FFT in the task details once it is completed. For Skylake X and some Xeon, you can probably be guided by the total L2 + L3 cache. I'm not sure about the latest from AMD.
Cheers,
Nick

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Message 134775 - Posted: 11 Nov 2019 | 10:34:31 UTC - in response to Message 134768.

Hello Michael,

thank you for the long and detailed answer.
My Goal is to check if multi-threading during LLR tasks is worth it.

So i will test this using CPU-Time and number of WU`s running simultaneously, to evaluate if i got more WU's done in a given time using Multi-Threading or not.


Actually, what you're interested in is the run-time, not the CPU-time.

If you're trying to see how many tasks you can complete in a given amount of time, look at the run time per task. For reasons that are sort of arcane (thread synchronisation, CPU cache speed vs. main memory speed, etc.) the CPU time numbers are going to be deceptive and will give you misleading information. What you want to do is measure the run time required to complete tasks in each configuration you're testing.

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Message 134826 - Posted: 12 Nov 2019 | 6:24:42 UTC

Hello Again,

yes, i think i will go with runtime, to see how many tasks i can complete in an given time, and if multi-threading is worth it or not, or on wich WU it is worth something or not.

I will share my findings, if any, with you.
But corruently I am trying to crunch some SOB's.

All The Best

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The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2021 Tour de Primes321 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,132,712)Cullen LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,114)ESP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (6,177,890)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,939,711)PPS LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,751,038)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,956,186)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (36,067,618)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,007,110)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,718,606)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,084,329)Woodall LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,032,821)321 Sieve (suspended) Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,061,196)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (22,885,121)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,118,303)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (78,031,938)WW Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (35,972,000)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,445,029)
Message 134831 - Posted: 12 Nov 2019 | 11:20:18 UTC - in response to Message 134826.

Hello Again,

yes, i think i will go with runtime, to see how many tasks i can complete in an given time, and if multi-threading is worth it or not, or on wich WU it is worth something or not.

I will share my findings, if any, with you.
But corruently I am trying to crunch some SOB's.

All The Best


I don’t have a lot of experience with AMD CPUs, but I suspect that you will get the best results on SoB by first setting BOINC on your computer to “use 50% of the CPUs” and then setting the preferences on the website to “unlimited” for both “number of tasks” and “number of threads”. The 50% will cause it to only use the physical cores, which is what you want for LLR, and the unlimited settings will make it use all 6 cores on each SoB task.
____________
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321 LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (679,505)Cullen LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (547,380)ESP LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,146,490)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (498,454)PPS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,004,223)PSP LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,735,696)SoB LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,677,920)SR5 LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (249,258)SGS LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (196,055)TRP LLR Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (998,946)Woodall LLR Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,055,157)321 Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (461,683)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,455,260)PPS Sieve Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,247,840)AP 26/27 Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,094,274)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (97,119,744)WW Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,496,000)
Message 134864 - Posted: 14 Nov 2019 | 5:08:21 UTC

I don’t have a lot of experience with AMD CPUs, but I suspect that you will get the best results on SoB by first setting BOINC on your computer to “use 50% of the CPUs” and then setting the preferences on the website to “unlimited” for both “number of tasks” and “number of threads”. The 50% will cause it to only use the physical cores, which is what you want for LLR, and the unlimited settings will make it use all 6 cores on each SoB task.


This might be right and i read this often, but after all i want to test it, at least up to 321.

Just a little Test to determine how to got the most WU finished in a given Time.

All The Best

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RAC: 273,774
The "Shut up already!" badge:  This loud mouth has mansplained on the forums over 10 thousand times!  Sheesh!!!Discovered the World's First GFN-19 prime!!!Discovered 1 mega primeFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de PrimesFound 2 primes in the 2021 Tour de Primes321 LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,132,712)Cullen LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,038,114)ESP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (6,177,890)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,939,711)PPS LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (20,751,038)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (7,956,186)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (36,067,618)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,007,110)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,718,606)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,084,329)Woodall LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,032,821)321 Sieve (suspended) Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,061,196)Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (4,170,256)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,059,304)PPS Sieve Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (22,885,121)Sierpinski (ESP/PSP/SoB) Sieve (suspended) Amethyst: Earned 1,000,000 credits (1,035,522)TRP Sieve (suspended) Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,051,121)AP 26/27 Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,118,303)GFN Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (78,031,938)WW Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (35,972,000)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,445,029)
Message 134866 - Posted: 14 Nov 2019 | 11:43:09 UTC - in response to Message 134864.
Last modified: 14 Nov 2019 | 11:44:19 UTC

I don’t have a lot of experience with AMD CPUs, but I suspect that you will get the best results on SoB by first setting BOINC on your computer to “use 50% of the CPUs” and then setting the preferences on the website to “unlimited” for both “number of tasks” and “number of threads”. The 50% will cause it to only use the physical cores, which is what you want for LLR, and the unlimited settings will make it use all 6 cores on each SoB task.


This might be right and i read this often, but after all i want to test it, at least up to 321.

Just a little Test to determine how to got the most WU finished in a given Time.

All The Best



The results will vary by project. You specifically asked about SoB, so I gave you an answer for SoB.

321 tasks are much smaller and may not get as much benefit from multithreading as SoB does.

Certainly, do not run tests with 321 and use those results to drive your decisions about how to run SoB.
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Message boards : Number crunching : RunTime vs CPUTime

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