GPU (3080 v 3090 v A4000) and OS recommendations for stability

HI, considering the new GPU cards on the market, I am looking for users’ experience and recommendations as our labs seek to expand processing capacity.

How stable is the 3090 for cryoSPARC and RELION running on TRX40 motherboard (or similar)? Is overheating often an issue? We would consider 2x 3080Ti if it increases stability. One company has recommended using 2x A4000 due to increased stability (and availability), but it seems much slower in the benchmarks (6,144 cores compared to 10,240 in 3080Ti), although it has 16GB memory and lower power consumption.

Has anyone had a good experience with CentOS7? I see some problems, here and here, in addition to the firewall issues during setup. Can CryoSPARC become stable on this OS? We only have experience with cryoSPARC/Relion in Ubuntu and it works well. One GPU provider can easily pre-compile their cryoEM software (RELION and others) with CentOS and will attempt cryoSPARC install, but the cryosparc install does not come with technical support down the line. I think Ubuntu is an option, but we would just have to install most or all of the software ourselves after they install CUDA drivers.

We are seeking increased processing throughput, as all users share one workstation currently. We are basically processing 24/7 on a workstation with 2x 2080Ti. No one works on very large proteins (say max 500px box), so I think the 3090 is probably overkill in terms of GPU memory for our needs, but the lack of upper limit would be nice down the line if we move to larger particles. That being said, if the 3080Ti provides drastically increased stability, we would strongly consider it.

I am being advised by a company that cannot reliably source 30xx cards that the A4000 is a good alternative due to the increased stability and performance afforded by NVIDIA professional drivers. I am also being told that the 3080Ti is “geared towards gaming” and the A4000 is built to run 24/7 reliably in a workstation environment. On paper, the A4000 looks much slower, but can drivers possibly bring it up to par with the 3080Ti?

CryoSPARC officially does support CentOS 7, however it’s not a OS that we generally recommend due to some stability issues we’ve seen related to the older kernel version, older system library versions and GPU/Driver/CUDA compatibility. That said, we have addressed most of these issues in the latest versions of cryoSPARC and future versions should be relatively stable.

If you have a hard time getting a workstation running an OS other than CentOS 7 you can still very much use CryoSPARC. Otherwise we recommend an Ubuntu LTS installation.

Thanks for the reassurance, @nfrasser

Our IT uses debian OS only and they run cryosparc as well as relion and others quite smoothly.
Sometimes the dev-packages need to be installed but they are all available from official repositories.


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