It is currently Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:55 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Dedicated PC for folding, possible?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 2:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
Hello!

I'm new to Folding@Home, but am really interested in helping out. If I understand correctly, the folding procedure works by utilizing idle cycles of the CPU. So no matter what you do with your PC, folding won't interfere CPU usage. Correct?

Recently I got an idea with my friend and that is to build a powerful PC funded from part-time jobs and use that PC as a dedicated folding PC. What I want to know is that if it is possible to make the folding procedure utilize all available CPU / GPU horsepower. Maybe a threshold like 70% CPU and 80% GPU maximum usage.

In an attempt to help all life I want to get on as fast as I can and building a dedicated folding PC sounds good. What do you think?

_________________
Fight spam! The Official Anti-Spam Thread.
Have a nice day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:54 am
Posts: 24
Welcome to SilentPCReview Folding@Home team!

In order to run a "dedicated" folding machine, all that is required is that you do not use the computer to do anything else. It's as simple as that. The amount of CPU cycle that Windows operating system requires while sitting still is so low that it is not worth worrying about. The client will use all of the CPU cycles that are available.

If you are worried about Windows taking up your memory, you can try using the notfred's diskless folder with a flash drive for work files. Trying searching on google. If you have trouble with it, feel free to come back and ask.

I imagine that Linux or GPU folding works similarly (no GPU diskless client at the moment). Maybe some of the more experienced members can help out.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Dedicated PC for folding, possible?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:43 pm 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 6:21 pm
Posts: 4247
Location: Undisclosed but sober in US
LodeHacker wrote:
Hello!

I'm new to Folding@Home, but am really interested in helping out. If I understand correctly, the folding procedure works by utilizing idle cycles of the CPU. So no matter what you do with your PC, folding won't interfere CPU usage. Correct?

Correct.

Quote:
Recently I got an idea with my friend and that is to build a powerful PC funded from part-time jobs and use that PC as a dedicated folding PC. What I want to know is that if it is possible to make the folding procedure utilize all available CPU / GPU horsepower

Happens all the time, I have 3 pcs that do just that. They are called farms. There's no need to specialize anything, the less you use the pc yourself, the more that goes into folding. But if you're in Word document, your CPU usage is just about zero anyways. Seriously.

This is the setup that you are dreaming about. It utilizes GTX295's, known for very high power consumption.

http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=8985

Quote:
Maybe a threshold like 70% CPU and 80% GPU maximum usage.

Why? I admit if you're a gamer you may want to turn off gpu folding, though my roommate played games with it on and he never had a problem.

On the other hand I have tried the cpu limiting and it does work, but that process all uses cpu cycles, I found it to be inefficient.

CPU limiting is not useful, and GPUs have one 1 issue; In 2D windows usage they slowdown a tad, but never in 3D or games. The problem is slight but noticeable. I've never turn off folding because of it.

Quote:
In an attempt to help all life I want to get on as fast as I can and building a dedicated folding PC sounds good. What do you think?

You're more than welcome. My pc #2 was made with leftover parts, but later as GPU folding caught on I found myself buying parts just to fold.

You have a number of things to consider.

Spare parts, what you have, then what to buy. Warning - it's addictive.

You pay for electricity? It will add to your power bill. How much? Well depends on what you build, and how many builds you have.

_________________
People who put money and political ideology ahead of truth and ethics are neither´╗┐ patriots nor human beings.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
Thanks for the help so far! Yes, I need to handle electricity bills, but for that reason the build will utilize an Intel Xeon Low Voltage CPU (hopefully). Setting a threshold maybe is good to make sure the build lasts long. Or is it unnecessary?

_________________
Fight spam! The Official Anti-Spam Thread.
Have a nice day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:51 am
Posts: 464
Location: Sweden, Stockholm
LodeHacker wrote:
Thanks for the help so far! Yes, I need to handle electricity bills, but for that reason the build will utilize an Intel Xeon Low Voltage CPU (hopefully). Setting a threshold maybe is good to make sure the build lasts long. Or is it unnecessary?


Its unnecessary to bother with anything. Just install OS and download folding. It can't be easier than that.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:28 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: USA
LodeHacker wrote:
Yes, I need to handle electricity bills, but for that reason the build will utilize an Intel Xeon Low Voltage CPU (hopefully).

I would think a very low-end CPU coupled with a fairly high-end GPU would fold better than a high-end CPU with a low-end or no GPU. Seems better to devote the bulk of your budget (both monetary and power consumption) to the GPU side of things. I'd think the optimal solution would be a very low-end AM2 processor, undervolted to the extreme, coupled with multiple copies of whatever GPU solution had the best performance at the wattage you'd find acceptable.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
jessekopelman wrote:
LodeHacker wrote:
Yes, I need to handle electricity bills, but for that reason the build will utilize an Intel Xeon Low Voltage CPU (hopefully).

I would think a very low-end CPU coupled with a fairly high-end GPU would fold better than a high-end CPU with a low-end or no GPU. Seems better to devote the bulk of your budget (both monetary and power consumption) to the GPU side of things. I'd think the optimal solution would be a very low-end AM2 processor, undervolted to the extreme, coupled with multiple copies of whatever GPU solution had the best performance at the wattage you'd find acceptable.
Sounds interesting, so GPU calculations for folding are faster than what the CPU could handle. Correct?

@Redzo: Thing is, this is partly a school project for the next year and I want to be able to show my class and explain what protein folding is. For this I also want to present a small, but dedicated PC (farm) that handles these complex calculations fast using Folding@Home. At the same time I had the idea to encourage others to download the client and let it utilize those idle cycles in order to help science and humanity.

_________________
Fight spam! The Official Anti-Spam Thread.
Have a nice day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: cool!
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Posts: 1074
Location: San Jose
Wow, that's great, get them to join our team if you can. :D

Yes, a gpu can usually fold a lot faster than a cpu at around the same price point, but a good gpu may force you to upgrade the power supply and it'll definitely be noisier than a cpu with a good cooler on it. It also depends a lot on the os too, you can get a lot more speed out of the same cpu in 64 bit linux than in windows. But the gpu clients are windows programs, so you need to use wine in linux to get those to run. So if you want to build a single folding machine, definitely get an ok cpu and a great gpu and you'll be doing great.

On the other hand, if you're doing a farm and your budget is limited, you may want to go a different way. If you want to run a lot of machines with low power, then integrated video may make more sense. I'd really be curious to see what the new Ion boards could do in terms of folding, and paired with a cheap atom 330 or low power core duo. The new Zotac Ion board is very interesting in that respect, since it has a built in power supply you don't need to worry about that in the cost, so really you'd just need the board and a case, or a rack to hold a bunch of them. It'd be interesting to see the cost breakdown with that. I have an Atom 330 system, in 64 bit linux it's giving me about 650ppd, and I have an Asus P5N7A-VM board (http://www.silentpcreview.com/article892-page1.html) with an on board 9300 gpu, it also puts out about 650ppd, so it's possible that an atom 330/ion board would give you about 1300ppd, picking it up with some memory and a hard drive would probably run you around $250. Which is about as much as a gtx 275, that can put out about 6000-8000 ppd, so eh, maybe not such a great deal. But the cost of the hardware you need to support the 275 adds up, so I guess it depends on your budget and how many machines you want in your farm.

But really, it's great to encourage others to fold, they don't have to dedicate a computer, the client just runs in the background at the lowest job priority, so if you do other things it should take the cpu cycles it needs, and the folding client will spring back to life when you're done. It does help to leave the computer on as much as possible and hooked up to the internet, though. That might be a more important thing to emphasize, if they turn their computers off all the time, then they won't be contributing much.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:07 am 
Offline
Patron of SPCR

Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 7:18 am
Posts: 1067
Location: UK
Quote:
This is the setup that you are dreaming about. It utilizes GTX295's, known for very high power consumption.

http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=8985

Urrrrmmmmmmm, yes. The things people do...
That "Atlas folding farm" out folds Team SPCR (with 80+ members), A LOT, like 317K ppd to 215K ppd!!!!

I believe Nvidia cards work better for folding than ATI ones. This may change with updates to the Folding software and ATi's drivers but for now if you want a card to fold with go with Nvidia. ATi cards do work though, my HD4670 is good for ~1000 ppd.
Regards, Seb

_________________
i7 2600k @4.5GHz under NH-C14 w/2xTY-140PWM fans, P8P67Pro, 8GB RAM, GTX560Ti OC w/TwinTurbo II and BIOS fanspeed mod. 2x120GB HyperX 3K RAID 0 & 2TB EARX in Scythe QuietDrive outside case. Antec Signature 650 fan swapped. CoolerMaster 201C with 2x92 + 80mm fan out rear, holes-in-floor and mesh top+front intakes.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
I have a question; if the PC is suspended (say S3/S1), will the F@H client still work out calculations?

_________________
Fight spam! The Official Anti-Spam Thread.
Have a nice day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 7:28 pm
Posts: 1406
Location: USA
LodeHacker wrote:
I have a question; if the PC is suspended (say S3/S1), will the F@H client still work out calculations?

No. Suspend stops the entire OS, so no programs can run -- even in the background. S3 actually turns off the CPU.

Folding@Home basically means leaving your computer running all the time and at close to max load. Basically, instead of donating money to a charity you are donating the cost of electricity. Let's say you just use your existing computer, instead of building a dedicated one. Normally this computer might be on for 10 hours a day, but now it's on for 24. Also, it might normally idle at 70W 90% of the time, but now it's running at 100W all the time. So you've got 14 hours @ 100W + 9 hours @ 30W that you're paying electricity just for folding. That's 610 kWh/year. If you are paying $0.15/kWh that's like donating $91.50/year to charity. I would imagine that this expense is potentially tax deductible (but any components you buy specifically for Folding would not be, since you would still own them).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm
Posts: 628
Location: Finland
I as just thinking that my PC for example is configured to automatically go in S3 after a few hours of idle. That would not make it good enough for folding.

_________________
Fight spam! The Official Anti-Spam Thread.
Have a nice day.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group