Thursday, April 02, 2009
GPU cracking for $250
ATI and nVidia have just shipped their spring refresh cards. Both now sell an essentially top-of-the-line card for $250 (either the ATI HD 4590 or the nVidia GTX 275). If you do password cracking for pentests, you might want to pick up a few of these cards.
Both would be an excellent card to buy for password cracking. Either would increase password cracking speed by around 10x. I prefer the nVidia card because the CUDA programming support is easier to work with, but I suspect the ATI card may be slightly faster for crunching numbers.
Note the way I say "top-of-the-line". For graphics, the more expensive GTX 285 is better than the GTX 275. However, both cards have the same number of "stream processors" at roughly the same clock speed. Therefore, both should crack passwords at the same speed. What makes the GTX 275 cheaper is the fact that it less backend graphics resources (fewer raster units, slower memory speed, narrower memory bandwidth, smaller frame buffer). We don't care about these other graphics resources -- all we care about is the number of "stream processors" and how fast they run.