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Message boards : Problems and Help : Frequent display driver crashes when running primegrid

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Luke Formosa
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Message 107908 - Posted: 14 May 2017 | 16:27:49 UTC

Hardware: 2x Nvidia GTX670 in SLI
OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
Subproject: Mainly PPS Seive, but also AP26/27 and Genefer

When running primegrid, I get frequent display driver crashes. The screen goes blank for a few seconds, then comes back, accompanied by a notification that "the display driver has stopped responding and has recovered".

The status of any Seive tasks that were in progress when the crash happened becomes "computation error" so no points are granted.

The errors happen at random times, though it seems to happen more the harder I use the computer while Primegrid is running.

I have just finished completely reinstalling windows and the problem is still occuring. I can run GPUGrid, Collatz Conjecture and so on with no issues.

Any suggestions?

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Message 107911 - Posted: 14 May 2017 | 19:17:42 UTC

Assuming the crashes occur with all three apps, it's not likely to be the app itself. They share no common code, and were written by different people in different years. One's a CUDA app and two are OpenCL.

The one thing I will say is that the Genefer code is specifically designed to recover from a driver crash and pick up the calculation from the last save file. (I wrote that piece of Genefer.)

I used to get driver crashes every now and then (that's why I wrote the code to recover from them) on my Win 7 box with GTX 2xx, 4xx, and 5xx series GPUs. I haven't had a driver crash since I upgraded to the GTX 1060, however. I don't know if it's a better driver now, or a better GPU. Otherwise it's the same computer. Then again, since Genefer recovers from a driver crash, I wouldn't notice it unless I'm looking at the computer when it happens.



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Message 107913 - Posted: 14 May 2017 | 21:15:07 UTC - in response to Message 107911.
Last modified: 14 May 2017 | 21:16:06 UTC

That's true, Genefer didn't get a computation error after the driver crash. However I kept looking at the progress bar after the crash and it didn't increase any longer. On my PC the crash sometimes results in the GPUs not being seen any more (neither by BOINC nor by any other software, including the NVIDIA control panel) until I restart windows. So probably the reason for it to effectively stop running was because of the non-availability of the GPU.

The crashes occur much more frequently with Sieve. Actually coming to think of it, I may have been running Sieve and AP27 concurrently when the last few crashes happened since I have a dual GPU setup. So maybe it's always been PPS Sieve that's crashing it.

I suspect it's trying to put too much load on some component of the GPU (like maybe loading too much code in some register or some memory component), because if I leave the computer alone it runs mostly fine, but if I use the Chrome browser on this PC with PPS running I tend to get crashes every few minutes.

Any idea what I can do? With collatz conjecture, I could put a config file in the project folder that controls program settings (things like kernel sizes, lookup table sizes and so on). Certain extreme values of certain parameters resulted in immediate driver crashes. Perhaps Sieve is set too aggressively and results in crashes when other programs use certain GPU resources?

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Message 107914 - Posted: 14 May 2017 | 21:30:57 UTC

Assuming temperatures are ok & dust bunnies have been eliminated, I've found a 10% underclock helps 'solve' the issue, especially as hardware gets older. PPS sv has been reliable for me but AP tends to work the machine harder therefore can spit its dummy out.

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Message 107916 - Posted: 14 May 2017 | 22:35:47 UTC - in response to Message 107913.

I suspect it's trying to put too much load on some component of the GPU (like maybe loading too much code in some register or some memory component), because if I leave the computer alone it runs mostly fine, but if I use the Chrome browser on this PC with PPS running I tend to get crashes every few minutes.

Any idea what I can do? With collatz conjecture, I could put a config file in the project folder that controls program settings (things like kernel sizes, lookup table sizes and so on). Certain extreme values of certain parameters resulted in immediate driver crashes. Perhaps Sieve is set too aggressively and results in crashes when other programs use certain GPU resources?


Tell BOINC not to use the GPU while the computer is in use.
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Luke Formosa
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Message 107955 - Posted: 16 May 2017 | 16:42:12 UTC - in response to Message 107914.
Last modified: 16 May 2017 | 16:45:04 UTC

I've found a 10% underclock helps 'solve' the issue, especially as hardware gets older


Thanks, sounds like a reasonable suggestion. Will implement and see how it goes, especially since my 670s are over 5 years old now :)

Tell BOINC not to use the GPU while the computer is in use.


I tried that previously, and although it works, I lose a lot of uptime because I frequently use the PC for a few seconds while boinc is running.

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Message 107983 - Posted: 17 May 2017 | 19:40:00 UTC

Are you running with SLI enabled?

Luke Formosa
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Message 108013 - Posted: 19 May 2017 | 8:03:32 UTC - in response to Message 107983.

Yes, with SLI enabled.

However I used to get the same problems on this same PC before I added the second 670.

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Message 108112 - Posted: 24 May 2017 | 19:02:21 UTC - in response to Message 107914.

Hi Dave,

I've done some testing on your suggestion. Reducing the core clock from 980MHz down to 900MHz seems to have drastically improved the success rate.

Now, when you say a 10% underclock, what are you measuring exactly? Is that percentage of core clock, or %TDP? Do you adjust memory clock too?

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Message 108114 - Posted: 24 May 2017 | 20:31:26 UTC

Glad to be of assistance on this matter. Tbh for safety I do both core & memory, though you may want to test the different permutations. I literally calculate e.g 783MHz×0.9=705MHz.

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Message 108116 - Posted: 24 May 2017 | 21:29:40 UTC - in response to Message 108114.

Glad to be of assistance on this matter. Tbh for safety I do both core & memory, though you may want to test the different permutations. I literally calculate e.g 783MHz×0.9=705MHz.


Thanks :). In my case 980*0.9 = 882 so my 900MHz isn't far off. I left the memory at stock (6000MHz).

There's also the TDP ("power limit") setting. Doesn't seem to affect anything - with my 900MHz core clock, the actual GPU cores run at 1032MHz (GPU #0) and 1071MHz (GPU#1) while crunching Genefer.

I have to do more testing with PPS Seive as that seems to crash it most often.

What software do you use for the tweaking? At first I tried OC Guru as my cards are Gigabyte, but the UI was awful. Now I'm using MSI Afterburner and have it set to apply settings at boot though they seem to reset to stock a few hours in.

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321 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (11,369)Cullen LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (55,272)ESP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (21,706)PPS LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (75,676)PSP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (17,524)SoB LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (114,948)SR5 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (27,968)TRP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,320)Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (163,295)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (107,581)PPS Sieve Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (68,205,443)TRP Sieve (suspended) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (59,951)AP 26/27 Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (893,503)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,310,084)
Message 108117 - Posted: 24 May 2017 | 21:48:23 UTC - in response to Message 108116.
Last modified: 24 May 2017 | 21:52:53 UTC

Update: Still no joy. Got a driver crash while running only Genefer at 900MHz core.

I'm at my wits' end. Looking for an alternative project to run. I think I will switch over to Collatz. Pity the 670s are 3x slower than 10-series cards on that project. Sigh.

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Found 5 primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesFound 5 mega primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesThe "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 6 mega primesFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,822,730)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,624,591)ESP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,021,269)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (16,008,485)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,197,957)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,291,181)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,007,110)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,252,256)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,084,329)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,911,985)321 Sieve 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 (76,733,355)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,445,029)
Message 108118 - Posted: 25 May 2017 | 2:37:48 UTC - in response to Message 108116.

There's also the TDP ("power limit") setting.


TDP stands for "Thermal Design Point". It's a measurement of the cooling ability of the device. People like to think of it as the max power limit, but it's not. It's the limitation of the cooling system.


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321 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (11,369)Cullen LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (55,272)ESP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (21,706)PPS LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (75,676)PSP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (17,524)SoB LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (114,948)SR5 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (27,968)TRP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,320)Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (163,295)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (107,581)PPS Sieve Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (68,205,443)TRP Sieve (suspended) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (59,951)AP 26/27 Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (893,503)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,310,084)
Message 108120 - Posted: 25 May 2017 | 8:02:30 UTC - in response to Message 108118.

There's also the TDP ("power limit") setting.


TDP stands for "Thermal Design Point". It's a measurement of the cooling ability of the device. People like to think of it as the max power limit, but it's not. It's the limitation of the cooling system.



I'm familiar with it - I used to be an R&D engineer at a semiconductor plant ;). In this context I meant the "power limit" slider on MSI Afterburner (and others) which presumably sets the max wattage (heat output) of the die as permitted by the boost clock. My 670 runs at 60-70% of full TDP when doing primegrid (as reported by GPU-z). Considering the GTX 670 has a TDP of 170W that means about 110W dissipated through the heatsink during crunching.

Are there any plans to update the apps? PPS Seive has been at v1.39 ever since I remember (almost 6 years and counting).

Profile Michael GoetzProject donor
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Found 5 primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesFound 5 mega primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesThe "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 6 mega primesFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,822,730)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,624,591)ESP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,021,269)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (16,008,485)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,197,957)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,291,181)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,007,110)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,252,256)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,084,329)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,911,985)321 Sieve 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 (76,733,355)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,445,029)
Message 108127 - Posted: 25 May 2017 | 12:42:28 UTC - in response to Message 108120.

Are there any plans to update the apps? PPS Seive has been at v1.39 ever since I remember (almost 6 years and counting).


Not at the present time.

Except perhaps for some error-handling behavior, there's no reason to update the sieve apps. No developer (or anyone else) has indicated there's any way to improve performance, or offered to make such changes.

As with GCW-Sieve, it's possible there may be new sieve apps in the future if we open up new sieves, but there's no PPS-Sieve updates looming on the horizon.
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321 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (11,369)Cullen LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (55,272)ESP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (21,706)PPS LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (75,676)PSP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (17,524)SoB LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (114,948)SR5 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (27,968)TRP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,320)Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (163,295)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (107,581)PPS Sieve Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (68,205,443)TRP Sieve (suspended) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (59,951)AP 26/27 Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (893,503)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,310,084)
Message 108428 - Posted: 8 Jun 2017 | 0:18:02 UTC - in response to Message 108127.

It would be great if you added checkpointing/saving to sieve and AP27 apps like you have for Genefer.

Currently switched over to exclusively genefer. Have been running for a few days now with acceptable reliability. The way it recovers from driver errors is useful, and it also seems to throw up much less errors than the other projects.

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Found 5 primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesFound 5 mega primes in the 2021 Tour de PrimesThe "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 6 mega primesFound 1 prime in the 2018 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2019 Tour de PrimesFound 1 prime in the 2020 Tour de Primes321 LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,822,730)Cullen LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,624,591)ESP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,021,269)Generalized Cullen/Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,145,754)PPS LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (16,008,485)PSP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,197,957)SoB LLR Sapphire: Earned 20,000,000 credits (34,291,181)SR5 LLR Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (10,007,110)SGS LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (3,252,256)TRP LLR Turquoise: Earned 5,000,000 credits (5,084,329)Woodall LLR Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,911,985)321 Sieve 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 (76,733,355)PSA Jade: Earned 10,000,000 credits (12,445,029)
Message 108429 - Posted: 8 Jun 2017 | 1:00:35 UTC - in response to Message 108428.

It would be great if you added checkpointing/saving to sieve and AP27 apps like you have for Genefer.

Currently switched over to exclusively genefer. Have been running for a few days now with acceptable reliability. The way it recovers from driver errors is useful, and it also seems to throw up much less errors than the other projects.


All of our apps checkpoint, but I think Genefer is the only one with the code to recover from a video driver crash. Then again, AP27 and sieve tasks are relatively short, so you don't lose that much if the driver crashes. Having a crash near the end of a GFN22 (aka GFN-WR) task can obliviate days worth of computing. That's why the code was added to GFN to recover from video crashes.

If video crashes are occurring so frequently that you're losing a lot of sieve or AP27 tasks, you might want to figure out what's causing the crashes and correct the problem. It's not normal.
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Message 108863 - Posted: 7 Jul 2017 | 17:24:35 UTC

Problem sounds like the infamous TDR delay timeout, usually this is experienced more on AMD GPUs. Wagnard who created DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) has also created a small program for manipulating the Windows registry settings to counteract this problem, if you don't want to change the registry yourself. Here is a link to his description and download.

https://www.wagnardsoft.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=755
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321 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (11,369)Cullen LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (55,272)ESP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (21,706)PPS LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (75,676)PSP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (17,524)SoB LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (114,948)SR5 LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (27,968)TRP LLR Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (20,320)Woodall LLR Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (163,295)Generalized Cullen/Woodall Sieve (suspended) Silver: Earned 100,000 credits (107,581)PPS Sieve Emerald: Earned 50,000,000 credits (68,205,443)TRP Sieve (suspended) Bronze: Earned 10,000 credits (59,951)AP 26/27 Gold: Earned 500,000 credits (893,503)GFN Ruby: Earned 2,000,000 credits (2,310,084)
Message 108910 - Posted: 12 Jul 2017 | 8:23:49 UTC - in response to Message 108863.
Last modified: 12 Jul 2017 | 8:25:24 UTC

I had changed the TDR delays under H_KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ System \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Graphics Drivers, it actually made the problem worse. When the graphics card crashes, the lag between mouse movements and pointer movement gets worse and worse, then at one point the mouse stops responding, the screen goes blank, and the graphics card fans loudly rev up to maximum speed. This lasts about 2 seconds, then screen turns back on, I get the "display driver has crashed" warning, and everything comes back to normal (except that all GPU tasks will have failed with a status of "computation error"). With a delay of 8 seconds it simply took 8 seconds of unresponsiveness for the computer to come back to life after the crash instead of the current ~2 sec.

Seems to be worse on my new (re)install, but I've actually done all the windows updates on this one versus not doing any updates on my last install.

Message boards : Problems and Help : Frequent display driver crashes when running primegrid

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