Topic Title: Linux: temperature and clock speeds monitor and control
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Created On: 02/04/2013 03:22 AM
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 02/04/2013 03:22 AM
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Dagorath
Peon

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I run http://boinc.berkeley.edu and all my systems are Linux.  Via BOINC I crunch numbers for various scientific research projects.  Some of those projects use GPUs because they have such incredible "compute power".  I bought my first AMD GPU, a 7970, installed it in one of my Linux boxes and now have it crunching numbers. I believe the driver is 12.13, or 12.31.

The problem is the 7970 doesn't seem to be runing at full speed and I say that because the exhaust air coming out the back is not very warm and the fan is almost inaudible which means it's running at low speed.  This is in contrast to my nVIDIA GPUs which all put out a lot of heat and the fans rev up to near full speed soon after the unit starts crunching a job.

As I said, this is my first AMD GPU so I'm not familiar with apps andnutilities for it.  I found the Catalyst Control Center app in my task launcher and ran it but it doesn't show me the fan speed or temperature of the GPU.  Is there an application, even a CLI app, I can use to query the catalyst driver or whatever and get the fan speed and temperature?  Do I have to "unlock"  anything to get that info or to allow the GPU to run at highest possibel clock settings?  I ask about variable clocks because my NVIDIA cards all adjust the clocks and fan down when the GPU isn't being used.  Or you can set them manually to run at maximum.  Do the AMD GPUs have anything similar?

Again, this is running on Linux, not Windows, so the usual Windows based apps such as GPUZ and whatnot are useless for me.

PS:  The driver is 13.1, not 12.x as I mentioned above.



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Edited: 02/04/2013 at 03:41 AM by Dagorath
 02/04/2013 04:53 AM
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Eydee
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Originally posted by: Dagorath The problem is the 7970 doesn't seem to be runing at full speed and I say that because the exhaust air coming out the back is not very warm and the fan is almost inaudible which means it's running at low speed.

It all depends on the cooling solution of the card. You see, my Asus card with its excellent DirectCU cooling never goes above 40-50% fan speed, and is relatively cool (60-70°C) even during a long Furmark stress test.

It is not because it doesn't operate at full speed, but because the cooling solution is that good. If you happened to buy something similar, one with some nice custom cooling, it can be the reason why you experience what you do.

This is in contrast to my nVIDIA GPUs which all put out a lot of heat and the fans rev up to near full speed soon after the unit starts crunching a job.

That is what nvidia cards are infamous for (next to their prices). Infinite power consumption and and heat dissipation. It doesn't mean they perform better.

As I said, this is my first AMD GPU so I'm not familiar with apps andnutilities for it. ... Is there an application, even a CLI app, I can use to query the catalyst driver or whatever and get the fan speed and temperature?

Unfortunately linux support is almost non-existant. There are no monitoring tools whatsoever that I know of. You should look around for open source alternatives, if they exist at all.

Do I have to "unlock"  anything to get that info or to allow the GPU to run at highest possibel clock settings?  I ask about variable clocks because my NVIDIA cards all adjust the clocks and fan down when the GPU isn't being used.  Or you can set them manually to run at maximum.  Do the AMD GPUs have anything similar?

If everything works as it should, the cards work at their full potential out of the box. There's no need to unlock anything. These cards do the same as nvidia cards, set a low clock speed when idle, and ramp up the clock under load. It's all controlled by their BIOS, so it's OS independent.

If you ran windows, you'd have all these clock and manual fan speed settings. Unfortunately as I said, linux support is terrible at the moment, except for driver stability and ease of installation.

It might change in the future with more and more games and Steam coming to linux. AMD is forced to improve the linux situation. But it can take years. If you need all those things right now, a switch to nvidia is unavoidable.



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CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 3120MHz | RAM: Kingmax 2x2GB DDR2 800 @ 833MHz| MoBo: MSI K9A2 CF v1.0 (BIOS: 1.D)| GPU: Asus HD 6850 1024MB (DirectCu) @ 835/1135MHz | Display: L24FHD | PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad | OS: MS Windows 3.11 Pro x64

 02/04/2013 06:00 AM
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Dagorath
Peon

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Thanks for your interest and advice Eydee.  After more investigating I learned that the application running on the card at the time simply doesn't work the card very hard thus the low temp and fan speed.  That in contrast to the app that normally runs on my nVIDIA which works the card very hard and causes things to heat up.  Nothing to do with card performance; everything to do with the way the app using the card works the card.

It turns out Linux support is far from non-existant and  I found exactly what I was looking for after some Googling.  The AMD driver package for Linux installs a command named aticonfig which is used to query and set various settings on AMD cards. It's a backend. The command "aticonfig --help" provides help, unfortunately there is no man page but the --help option is sufficiently verbose.

I found a wee bash script here for monitoring temperature and clock speed and adjusting clocks up/down as required to keep the temp with in specified bounds.  It's a good example of how one can use aticonfig. Also in that thread someone posts a link to a Windows script that apparently does the same thing though I didn't really look at it so I'm not 100% sure.

If I have time I might build a Python script with a wxWidgets based GUI that would probably do everything one needs re: temperature/fan/clock monitoring and adjusting.  If Windows also has the aticonfig command it would run on Windows too though I doubt it would be any better than GPU-Z. 

 

 



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Is it new? Heck no it's better than new, I fixed it already!



Edited: 02/04/2013 at 06:12 AM by Dagorath
 02/22/2013 05:05 AM
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Dagorath
Peon

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Sorry, the link I gave in my last post is broken, it's actually https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=26309.0



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Is it new? Heck no it's better than new, I fixed it already!

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