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 Post subject: VMware Folding Appliance
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:48 am 
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On my new i7 machine, I was getting around 3K PPD running one SMP client. That's as many as I was earning in a MONTH on my old P4 machine so I wasn't dissatisfied. Even so...

I'm now running 4 instances of a "folding virtual appliance" using the free VMware Player and look to be getting something north of 8K PPD. FahMon is not wanting to cooperate so that's an estimate based on WUs worth 1920 points each and 12:30 (minutes:seconds) steps. At that rate each of the four VMware instances will compete a 1920 point WU in less than 24 hours.

How is this possible? Well, there is a new A2 core that's massively faster than the existing A1 core, but it only runs under Linux and OSX. So, even though the virtual machines are going to be a bit slower than FAH running 'native,' the faster A2 core way more than makes up for the difference.

It's crazy.

Here is where I got my inspiration:
http://forum.xcpus.com/xtreme-folding-h ... r-ppd.html

The A2 core is designed for 4 or more cores, but VMware only supports two cores per virtual machine and the i7 has 8 (4 physical cores, but Hyperthreading makes it looks like 8 to the OS), hence the need for 4 instances. With one SMP client under Windows I was seeing CPU utilization of only 50%. With the 4 VM machines I'm seeing utilization of 96% to 98%. There aren't a lot of cycles being wasted. One VM instance uses 25%, two use 50%, three 75% and four 100% so it's not rigging the system to run 4 instances.

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 Post subject: tried it
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
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Location: San Jose
Hey, so I did follow this link and got two instances set up on one of my quad machines, and it does appear to have roughly doubled the ppd I'm getting from it, i.e. it used to run between 2500 and 3000ppd, and now I have two instances running at 2500 ppd. But I've also noticed that my gpu (gtx 285) on that system has had a ppd drop, it used to do 7500-8000 ppd, and now it's running around 6500-7000 ppd. Now that may be normal range for different gpu WUs, but I'm not so sure. I'm still a little ahead with the virtual machines, but I'm not so sure it's worth the trouble. I did notice on a dual core machine I have with an on board gpu, when I run the gpu job with nothing running on the cpu, one of the cores shoots up to 100%. I think the gpu jobs need more cpu resources than they may imply. Interesting stuff, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:35 am 
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If I don't have anything running but the 2 GPU clients, my cpu usage is a steady 2%.

You might want to diddle with priorities, to make sure your GPU client is running at a higher priority than your CPU clients. I'm no expert on this subject so that will be the extent of my advise.

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