MI200 high-performance computing and tuning guide#

Applies to Linux and Windows

2024-02-08

14 min read time

System settings#

This chapter reviews system settings that are required to configure the system for AMD Instinct MI250 accelerators and improve the performance of the GPUs. It is advised to configure the system for the best possible host configuration according to the High Performance Computing (HPC) Tuning Guide for AMD EPYC 7003 Series Processors.

Configure the system BIOS settings as explained in System BIOS settings and enact the below given settings via the command line as explained in Operating system settings:

  • Core C states

  • input-output memory management unit (IOMMU), if needed

System BIOS settings#

For maximum MI250 GPU performance on systems with AMD EPYC™ 7003-series processors (codename “Milan”) and AMI System BIOS, the following configuration of system BIOS settings has been validated. These settings must be used for the qualification process and should be set as default values for the system BIOS. Analogous settings for other non-AMI System BIOS providers could be set similarly. For systems with Intel processors, some settings may not apply or be available as listed in the following table.

BIOS Setting Location

Parameter

Value

Comments

Advanced / PCI Subsystem Settings

Above 4G Decoding

Enabled

GPU Large BAR Support

Advanced / PCI Subsystem Settings

SR-IOV Support

Disabled

Disable Single Root IO Virtualization

AMD CBS / CPU Common Options

Global C-state Control

Auto

Global C-States

AMD CBS / CPU Common Options

CCD/Core/Thread Enablement

Accept

Global C-States

AMD CBS / CPU Common Options / Performance

SMT Control

Disable

Global C-States

AMD CBS / DF Common Options / Memory Addressing

NUMA nodes per socket

NPS 1,2,4

NUMA Nodes (NPS)

AMD CBS / DF Common Options / Memory Addressing

Memory interleaving

Auto

Numa Nodes (NPS)

AMD CBS / DF Common Options / Link

4-link xGMI max speed

18 Gbps

Set AMD CPU xGMI speed to highest rate supported

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options

IOMMU

Disable

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options

PCIe Ten Bit Tag Support

Auto

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options

Preferred IO

Bus

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options

Preferred IO Bus

“Use lspci to find pci device id”

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options

Enhanced Preferred IO Mode

Enable

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

Determinism Control

Manual

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

Determinism Slider

Power

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

cTDP Control

Manual

Set cTDP to the maximum supported by the installed CPU

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

cTDP

280

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

Package Power Limit Control

Manual

Set Package Power Limit to the maximum supported by the installed CPU

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

Package Power Limit

280

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

xGMI Link Width Control

Manual

Set AMD CPU xGMI width to 16 bits

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

xGMI Force Link Width

2

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

xGMI Force Link Width Control

Force

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

APBDIS

1

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

DF C-states

Enabled

AMD CBS / NBIO Common Options / SMU Common Options

Fixed SOC P-state

P0

AMD CBS / UMC Common Options / DDR4 Common Options

Enforce POR

Accept

AMD CBS / UMC Common Options / DDR4 Common Options / Enforce POR

Overclock

Enabled

AMD CBS / UMC Common Options / DDR4 Common Options / Enforce POR

Memory Clock Speed

1600 MHz

Set to max Memory Speed, if using 3200 MHz DIMMs

AMD CBS / UMC Common Options / DDR4 Common Options / DRAM Controller Configuration / DRAM Power Options

Power Down Enable

Disabled

RAM Power Down

AMD CBS / Security

TSME

Disabled

Memory Encryption

Memory configuration#

For setting the memory addressing modes, especially the number of NUMA nodes per socket/processor (NPS), follow the guidance of the “High Performance Computing (HPC) Tuning Guide for AMD EPYC 7003 Series Processors” to provide the optimal configuration for host side computation. For most HPC workloads, NPS=4 is the recommended value.

Operating system settings#

CPU core states - C-states#

There are several core states (C-states) that an AMD EPYC CPU can idle within:

  • C0: active. This is the active state while running an application.

  • C1: idle

  • C2: idle and power gated. This is a deeper sleep state and will have a greater latency when moving back to the C0 state, compared to when the CPU is coming out of C1.

Disabling C2 is important for running with a high performance, low-latency network. To disable power-gating on all cores run the following on Linux systems:

cpupower idle-set -d 2

Note that the cpupower tool must be installed, as it is not part of the base packages of most Linux® distributions. The package needed varies with the respective Linux distribution.

sudo apt install linux-tools-common
sudo yum install cpupowerutils
sudo zypper install cpupower

AMD-IOPM-UTIL#

This section applies to AMD EPYC™ 7002 processors to optimize advanced Dynamic Power Management (DPM) in the I/O logic (see NBIO description above) for performance. Certain I/O workloads may benefit from disabling this power management. This utility disables DPM for all PCI-e root complexes in the system and locks the logic into the highest performance operational mode.

Disabling I/O DPM will reduce the latency and/or improve the throughput of low-bandwidth messages for PCI-e InfiniBand NICs and GPUs. Other workloads with low-bandwidth bursty PCI-e I/O characteristics may benefit as well if multiple such PCI-e devices are installed in the system.

The actions of the utility do not persist across reboots. There is no need to change any existing firmware settings when using this utility. The “Preferred I/O” and “Enhanced Preferred I/O” settings should remain unchanged at enabled.

Tip

The recommended method to use the utility is either to create a system start-up script, for example, a one-shot systemd service unit, or run the utility when starting up a job scheduler on the system. The installer packages (see Power Management Utility) will create and enable a systemd service unit for you. This service unit is configured to run in one-shot mode. This means that even when the service unit runs as expected, the status of the service unit will show inactive. This is the expected behavior when the utility runs normally. If the service unit shows failed, the utility did not run as expected. The output in either case can be shown with the systemctl status command.

Stopping the service unit has no effect since the utility does not leave anything running. To undo the effects of the utility, disable the service unit with the systemctl disable command and reboot the system.

The utility does not have any command-line options, and it must be run with super-user permissions.

Systems with 256 CPU threads - IOMMU configuration#

For systems that have 256 logical CPU cores or more (e.g., 64-core AMD EPYC™ 7763 in a dual-socket configuration and SMT enabled), setting the input-output memory management unit (IOMMU) configuration to “disabled” can limit the number of available logical cores to 255. The reason is that the Linux® kernel disables X2APIC in this case and falls back to Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC), which can only enumerate a maximum of 255 (logical) cores.

If SMT is enabled by setting “CCD/Core/Thread Enablement > SMT Control” to “enable”, the following steps can be applied to the system to enable all (logical) cores of the system:

  • In the server BIOS, set IOMMU to “Enabled”.

  • When configuring the Grub boot loader, add the following arguments for the Linux kernel: amd_iommu=on iommu=pt

  • Update Grub to use the modified configuration:

    sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
    
  • Reboot the system.

  • Verify IOMMU passthrough mode by inspecting the kernel log via dmesg:

    [...]
    [   0.000000] Kernel command line: [...] amd_iommu=on iommu=pt
       [...]
    

Once the system is properly configured, ROCm software can be installed.

System management#

For a complete guide on how to install/manage/uninstall ROCm on Linux, refer to Quick-start (Linux). For verifying that the installation was successful, refer to the post-install instructions and system tools. Should verification fail, consult the System Debugging Guide.

Hardware verification with ROCm#

The AMD ROCm™ platform ships with tools to query the system structure. To query the GPU hardware, the rocm-smi command is available. It can show available GPUs in the system with their device ID and their respective firmware (or VBIOS) versions:

rocm-smi --showhw output on an 8*MI200 system

To see the system structure, the localization of the GPUs in the system, and the fabric connections between the system components, use:

rocm-smi --showtopo output on an 8*MI200 system

  • The first block of the output shows the distance between the GPUs similar to what the numactl command outputs for the NUMA domains of a system. The weight is a qualitative measure for the “distance” data must travel to reach one GPU from another one. While the values do not carry a special (physical) meaning, the higher the value the more hops are needed to reach the destination from the source GPU.

  • The second block has a matrix named “Hops between two GPUs”, where 1 means the two GPUs are directly connected with XGMI, 2 means both GPUs are linked to the same CPU socket and GPU communications will go through the CPU, and 3 means both GPUs are linked to different CPU sockets so communications will go through both CPU sockets. This number is one for all GPUs in this case since they are all connected to each other through the Infinity Fabric links.

  • The third block outputs the link types between the GPUs. This can either be “XGMI” for AMD Infinity Fabric links or “PCIE” for PCIe Gen4 links.

  • The fourth block reveals the localization of a GPU with respect to the NUMA organization of the shared memory of the AMD EPYC processors.

To query the compute capabilities of the GPU devices, use rocminfo command. It lists specific details about the GPU devices, including but not limited to the number of compute units, width of the SIMD pipelines, memory information, and Instruction Set Architecture (ISA):

rocminfo output fragment on an 8*MI200 system

For a complete list of architecture (LLVM target) names, refer to GPU OS Support for Linux and Windows.

Testing inter-device bandwidth#

Hardware verification with ROCm showed the rocm-smi --showtopo command to show how the system structure and how the GPUs are located and connected in this structure. For more details, the rocm-bandwidth-test can run benchmarks to show the effective link bandwidth between the components of the system.

The ROCm Bandwidth Test program can be installed with the following package-manager commands:

sudo apt install rocm-bandwidth-test
sudo yum install rocm-bandwidth-test
sudo zypper install rocm-bandwidth-test

Alternatively, the source code can be downloaded and built from source.

The output will list the available compute devices (CPUs and GPUs), including their device ID and PCIe ID:

rocm-bandwidth-test output fragment on an 8*MI200 system listing devices

The output will also show a matrix that contains a “1” if a device can communicate to another device (CPU and GPU) of the system and it will show the NUMA distance (similar to rocm-smi):

'rocm-bandwidth-test' output fragment on an 8*MI200 system showing inter-device access matrix and NUMA distances

The output also contains the measured bandwidth for unidirectional and bidirectional transfers between the devices (CPU and GPU):

'rocm-bandwidth-test' output fragment on an 8*MI200 system showing uni- and bidirectional bandwidths