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  • #4019322

    Monster server for 3TB RAM application/workstation or terrible idea?

    by jwmathis14 ·

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    I am in need of a super power machine to run a very heavy workload application (poker solver). I currently use a machine that I built a year ago. It has the 32 core AMD Threadripper, 256GB of RAM, 60 something TB of HDD (mostly M.2), and Windows 10 Pro OS. This is too slow for the timeline I’m trying to work with and not nearly enough RAM to have the accuracy I would like. It currently takes about 20 days to get through a set of solves for evaluation and I am limited to the size of the game tree due to RAM.

    I am considering buying a Dell PowerEdge R930 with 4 CPUs: E7-8867v4 2.4GHz 72-Cores total, 3TB RAM. I’m not interested in buying the Windows Server license for all 72 cores so I would be using Linux Ubuntu. The solver application will work well on that OS I hear. I’ve never used Linux OS, but am somewhat savvy with tech stuff (built multiple PCs, did some coding in college).


    Many people that run this application rent servers like this for $1200 a month and just use it 1 month or 2. I will need to use it for several months and much more in the future. It seems like it makes more sense to just buy the server. I know it will be loud. I know it will use TONS of power.

    Has anyone messed with something like this? What kind of issues will I be running into? How hard is it for a Linux newbie to set up Ubuntu with a decent GUI (don’t need much in the way of graphics, just a GUI to interact with the solver app)? Is it possible to change out the fans in a big server like this to quieter fans? The fan plugs are not standard 4 pin, could possibly modify plugs..? Is there a better OS for this server to do what I’m trying to do? Is it a completely insane idea to start with? Are there builds that would work better, considering I want 3TB of RAM and at least 60 CPU cores (preferably more)?


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    • This topic was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Avatar photobirdmantd.

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    • #4019332
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      It’s usually not RAM.

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Monster server for 3TB RAM application/workstation or terrible idea?

      I’ve worked many analysis projects over the years and with rare exceptions the solution is to split the work over more computers. Cores might not be the answer here but I know nothing about your app.

      While the software is running, pull up task manager to see if the cores are really being used.

      Since this is highly app specific, ask your software supplier what sort of result times you can expect.

    • #4019337

      Def needs the RAM and CPUs

      by jwmathis14 ·

      In reply to Monster server for 3TB RAM application/workstation or terrible idea?

      Thanks! Yes, it uses 100% of as many CPU cores as I tell it to use (I usually give it 30 cores). It also uses 220MB of RAM. I closely monitor the RAM and CPU usage. The trees I would like to solve use just under 3TB of RAM. The app will give you estimations of RAM requirements based on the game tree you build. It REALLY does need that much RAM and CPU cores. Trying to determine the best way to get that.

      • #4019358
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        220MB and ten hours?

        by rproffitt ·

        In reply to Def needs the RAM and CPUs

        That’s not a RAM problem.

        But I don’t know your analysis software. My work was in electronic circuit simulation and other areas.

        There are free poker solvers out there and trial versions that are cloud based. Maybe it’s time to try some other software.

        But at the moment it doesn’t sound like RAM will reduce that 20 day solve time.

        My examples are circuit and other analysis that we would split across many computers. It scaled exactly as expected. For the dataset 1 computer if it took 20 days, 2 computers would be 10 and so on.

        A bigger baddest computer wouldn’t help because there are bottlenecks in the shared memory system.

        • #4019362

          RAM does not affect timeline

          by jwmathis14 ·

          In reply to 220MB and ten hours?

          The RAM has nothing to do with the timeline. The RAM just determines how big of a game tree you can build. The number of CPU cores and CPU speed is all that affects the timeline.

          I have 4 different solver applications. I have been using most of the ones available since they became available in 2015. I am trying to develop something a little outside the box.

          I am not trying to decide what hardware I need, I am trying to determine how hard it will be to this hardware up.

        • #4019364
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          I can’t answer how hard.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to RAM does not affect timeline

          I’ve been around before the PC. While I think nothing of setting up a large server or Linux, BSD, Windows and so on that means I can’t answer if this is easy or hard.

          My concern is that this doesn’t sound like a RAM issue. Windows, Linux and such are virtual memory machines.

          And even if a system starts to tap into the pagefile it’s not the end of the world since it would be rare to see the pagefile usage to peg the meter.
          Source? BTDT.

          Try this: Let Windows manage the pagefile, then load up that 3TB tree. What happens? At worst you’ll find you need to be on Linux or another server OS.

    • #4019353

      As for the software developer

      by jwmathis14 ·

      In reply to Monster server for 3TB RAM application/workstation or terrible idea?

      The software developer will rent you a server similar to what I am looking at buying. The monthly cost adds up though. You can also rent the servers from many other companies as I’m sure you know. That is definitely the easier way. I am trying to save money since I will be using it so often.

      As far as the expected time to run the app, I am currently at about the right timeline for my current setup. More CPU cores and higher CPU speeds are close to a 1 to 1 ratio in terms of decreasing the timeline.

    • #4020343
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      What you really need is a Blade Server

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Monster server for 3TB RAM application/workstation or terrible idea?

      With lots of CPU’s massive amounts of HDD Space and lots of RAM of course that will never be cheap and cost the earth to run as it will use Electricity like a Multistory AC Plant running at full power.

      Incidentally you’ll also need some form of Linux that can use the number of CPU’s you have I remember one Blade with 6,000 8 Core CPU’s and Hyperthreading I put into a movie place to run George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic Software that some clown came along and installed Windows on because the front of house was Microsoft Only so this Blade had to be Microsoft I’m betting MS was laughing all th eway to the bank with the Licensing fees that racked up and then throw in that you could only run the CGI Software On Redhat Enterprise Linux they turned that blade into a very expensive bit of junk that they never recovered their money wasted by the person who had no right to be in the work area of the studio.

      It took hours to strip out every bit of Windows and reload the thing with Redhat and then hours more explaining to the Accountant why he was an IDIOT who didn’t deserve to be working there and much more importantly why the specified software Did Not run on Windows never did and never would and that there was nothing else that could do the job of that software.

      Of course if money is no object a Quantum System would be exactly what you need but as far as I know they do not have them working long term yet but the moment that they do the entire idea of Cryptography will have been destroyed in a couple of milliseconds.

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