Messing around with fine-tuning LLMs, part 4 -- training cross-GPU.

Posted on 21 May 2024 in Programming, Python, AI

My goal is to fine-tune an 8B model -- specifically, the Llama 3 8B base model -- on the openassistant-guanaco dataset. I'm doing this as a way to try to understand how to do full-on multi-GPU training of a model that literally cannot be trained on just one GPU. I've been building up to this goal gradually; so far, I've:

In that last step, I'd found a very useful page in the Hugging Face documentation. It split multi-GPU situations into three categories:

  1. Your model fits onto on a GPU.
  2. Your model doesn't fit onto a GPU (but the layers taken individually do).
  3. The largest layer in your model is so big that it doesn't fit onto a GPU.

I'd interpreted that first point as "you can load the model onto just one GPU" -- that is, you can run inference on it because all of the parameters fit there (with some overhead for the data, activations, etc). However, my experiences showed that it meant "you can train the model on one GPU", which takes up significantly more VRAM than inference does. The suggested approaches they had for that category were all about having the model loaded and training on each GPU, which is good for speeding up training by training on multiple batches simultaneously, but doesn't help if you want multiple GPUs simply because you can't train the model on one GPU alone.

So my goal this time was to change my training strategy to use a technique that allowed the training of the entire model to be split across GPUs. Here's what I did.

[ Read more ]

Messing around with fine-tuning LLMs, part 3 -- moar GPUs

Posted on 15 May 2024 in Programming, Python, AI

Having fine-tuned a 0.5B model on my own machine, I wanted to try the same kind of tuning, but with an 8B model. I would need to do that on a cloud provider, because my own machine with its RTX 3090 would definitely not be up to the job, and I'd tried out Lambda Labs and found that it worked pretty well.

Importantly, I was going to need to train with multiple GPUs in order to do this. The Lambda Labs options open to me last time around were:

  • 1x H100 (80GiB PCIe) at $2.49/hour
  • 1x A10 (24GiB PCIe) at $0.75/hour
  • 1x A100 (40GiB SXM4) at $1.29/hour
  • 8x A100 (40GiB SXM4) at $10.32/hour

The last of those looked like it should be ample for my needs, which I'd estimated at being 160GiB VRAM (vs 320GiB on that monster machine). But before trying to use a multi-GPU setup to fine-tune a model I'd never worked with before, I figured it would be a good idea to try with the model that I've been using to date. The plan was:

  • Spin up a 1x A100 and run the same fine-tune as I've been doing on it.
  • If all was well, try again with the 8x A100 instance and start to learn about multi-GPU training.

Then once that was all done, I'd hopefully be in a good position to try the fine-tune for the bigger model.

Here's how it went.

[ Read more ]