Introducing the NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU Accelerator (Kepler GK210)

NVIDIA has once again raised the bar on GPU computing with the release of the new Tesla K80 GPU accelerator.  With up to 8.74 TFLOPS of single-precision performance with GPU Boost, the Tesla K80 has massive capability and leading density.

NVIDIA Tesla K80

Here are the important performance specifications:

  • Two GK210 chips on a single PCB
  • 4992 total SMX CUDA cores: 2496 on each chip!
  • Total of 24GB GDDR5 memory; aggregate memory bandwidth of 480GB/sec
  • 5.6 TFLOPS single precision, 1.87 TFLOPS double precision
  • 8.74 TFLOPS single precision, 2.91 TFLOPS double precision with GPU Boost
  • 300W TDP

To achieve this performance, Tesla K80 is really two GPUs in one. This Tesla K80 block diagram illustrates how each GK210 GPU has its own dedicated memory and how they communicate at x16 speeds with the PCIe bus using a PCIe switch:

Tesla K80 block diagram

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How to Benchmark GROMACS GPU Acceleration on HPC Clusters

Cropped shot of a GROMACS adh simulation (visualized with VMD)

We know that many of our readers are interested in seeing how molecular dynamics applications perform with GPUs, so we are continuing to highlight various packages. This time we will be looking at GROMACS, a well-established and free-to-use (under GNU GPL) application.  GROMACS is a popular choice for scientists interested in simulating molecular interaction. With NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPUs, it’s common to see 2X and 3X speedups compared to the latest multi-core CPUs.

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Benchmark MATLAB GPU Acceleration on NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPUs

MATLAB solving a second order wave equation on Tesla GPUs

MATLAB is a well-known and widely-used application – and for good reason. It functions as a powerful, yet easy-to-use, platform for technical computing. With support for a variety of parallel execution methods, MATLAB also performs well. Support for running MATLAB on GPUs has been built-in for a couple years, with better support in each release. If you haven’t tried yet, take this opportunity to test MATLAB performance on GPUs. Microway’s GPU Test Drive makes the process quick and easy. As we’ll show in this post, you can expect to see 3X to 6X performance increases for many tasks (with 30X to 60X speedups on select workloads).

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Running GPU Benchmarks of HOOMD-blue on a Tesla K40 GPU-Accelerated Cluster

Cropped shot of a HOOMD-blue micellar crystals simulation (visualized with VMD)

This short tutorial explains the usage of the GPU-accelerated HOOMD-blue particle simulation toolkit on our GPU-accelerated HPC cluster. Microway allows you to quickly test your codes on the latest high-performance systems – you are free to upload and run your own software, although we also provide a variety of pre-compiled applications with built-in GPU acceleration. Our GPU Test Drive Cluster is a useful resource for benchmarking the faster performance which can be achieved with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

This post demonstrate HOOMD-blue, which comes out of the Glotzer group at the University of Michigan. HOOMD blue supports a wide variety of integrators and potentials, as well as the capability to scale runs up to thousands of GPU compute processors. We’ll demonstrate one server with dual NVIDIA® Tesla®  K40 GPUs delivering speedups over 13X!

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Benchmarking NAMD on a GPU-Accelerated HPC Cluster with NVIDIA Tesla K40

Cropped shot of a NAMD stmv simulation (visualized with VMD)

This is a tutorial on the usage of GPU-accelerated NAMD for molecular dynamics simulations. We make it simple to test your codes on the latest high-performance systems – you are free to use your own applications on our cluster and we also provide a variety of pre-installed applications with built-in GPU support. Our GPU Test Drive Cluster acts as a useful resource for demonstrating the increased application performance which can be achieved with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

This post describes the scalable molecular dynamics software NAMD, which comes out of the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. NAMD supports a variety of operational modes, including GPU-accelerated runs across large numbers of compute nodes. We’ll demonstrate how a single server with NVIDIA® Tesla®  K40 GPUs can deliver speedups over 4X!

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Running AMBER on a GPU Cluster

Cropped shot of an AMBER nucleosome simulation (visualized with VMD)

Welcome to our tutorial on GPU-accelerated AMBER! We make it easy to benchmark your applications and problem sets on the latest hardware. Our GPU Test Drive Cluster provides developers, scientists, academics, and anyone else interested in GPU computing with the opportunity to test their code. While Test Drive users are given free reign to use their own applications on the cluster, Microway also provides a variety of pre-installed GPU accelerated applications.

In this post, we will look at the molecular dynamics package AMBER. Collaboratively developed by professors at a variety of university labs, the latest versions of AMBER natively support GPU acceleration. We’ll demonstrate how NVIDIA® Tesla®  K40 GPUs can deliver a speedup of up to 86X!

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AVX2 Optimization and Haswell-EP (Xeon E5-2600v3) CPU Features

We’re very excited to be delivering systems with the new Xeon E5-2600v3 and E5-1600v3 CPUs. If you are the type who loves microarchitecture details and compiler optimization, there’s a lot to gain. If you haven’t explored the latest techniques and instructions for optimization, it’s never a bad time to start.

Many end users don’t always see instruction changes as consequential. However, they can be absolutely critical to achieving optimal application performance. Here’s a comparison of Theoretical Peak Performance of the latest CPUs with and without FMA3:
Plot of Xeon E5-2600v3 Theoretical Peak Performance (GFLOPS)

Only a small set of codes will be capable of issuing almost exclusively FMA instructions (e.g., LINPACK). Achieved performance for well-parallelized & optimized applications is likely to fall between the grey and colored bars. Still, without employing a compiler optimized for FMA3 instructions, you are leaving significant potential performance of your Xeon E5-2600v3-based hardware purchase on the table. Continue reading

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Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 “Haswell” Processor Review

Intel has launched brand new Xeon E5-2600 v3 CPUs with groundbreaking new features. These CPUs build upon the leading performance of their predecessors with more a robust microarchitecture, faster memory, wider buses, and increased core counts and clock speed. The result is dramatically improved performance for HPC.

Important changes available in E5-2600 v3 “Haswell” include:

  • Support for brand new DDR4-2133 memory
  • Up to 18 processor cores per socket (with options for 6- to 16-cores)
  • Improved AVX 2.0 Instructions with:
    • New floating point FMA, with up to 2X the FLOPS per core (16 FLOPS/clock)
    • 256-bit wide integer vector instructions
  • A revised C610 Series Chipset delivering substantially improved I/O for every server (SATA, USB 3.0)
  • Increased L1, L2 cache bandwidth and faster QPI links
  • Slightly tweaked “Grantley” socket (Socket R3) and platforms

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CUB in Action – some simple examples using the CUB template library

In my previous post, I presented a brief introduction to the CUB library of CUDA primitives written by Duane Merrill of NVIDIA. CUB provides a set of highly-configurable software components, which include warp- and block-level kernel components as well as device-wide primitives. This time around, we will actually look at performance figures for codes that utilize CUB primitives. We will also briefly compare the CUB-based codes to programs that use the analogous Thrust routines, both from a performance and programmability perspective. These comparisons utilize the CUB v1.3.1 and Thrust v1.7.0 releases and CUDA 6.0.

Before we proceed, I need to issue one disclaimer: the examples below were written after a limited amount of experimentation with the CUB library, and they do not necessarily represent the most optimized implementations. However, these examples do illustrate the flexibility of the API and they give an idea of the kind of performance that can be achieved using CUB with only modest programming effort.

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PCI-Express Root Complex Confusion?

I’ve had several customers comment to me that it’s difficult to find someone that can speak with them intelligently about PCI-E root complex questions. And yet, it’s of vital importance when considering multi-CPU systems that have various PCI-Express devices (most often GPUs or coprocessors).

First, please feel free to contact one of Microway’s experts. We’d be happy to work with you on your project to ensure your design will function correctly (both in theory and in practice).

It is tempting to just look at the number of PCI-Express slots in the systems you’re evaluating and assume they’re all the same. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple, because each CPU only has a certain amount of bandwidth available. Additionally, certain high-performance features – such as NVIDIA’s GPU Direct technology – require that all components be attached to the same PCI-Express root complex. Servers and workstations with multiple processors have multiple PCI-Express root complexes.

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