Need help getting started

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lifeskills Posted: Fri, Jul 2 2010 3:14 AM

I read an article in Fast Company recently about a program called World Community Grid, which seems to be a program similar to folding@home.  I have a few PC's lookin for work, and this seems to be just the job for them.

Could anyone point me in the right direction to get me started?  

Does folding@home rely on CPU or GPU?

Does this program run in the background? (Might keep it off of my main rig if it is too memory intensive)

What are the hardware requirements?

Excuse me if these questions are answered elsewhere.

Thanks!

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AKwyn replied on Sat, Jul 3 2010 9:10 PM

Folding@home has a regular client for the CPU but a special high-performance client for dual-core CPU's and GPU's. So it relies on both but only depending on the version.

I don't know if this program runs in the background but you might as well snoop around and check to see if it does.

 

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Technically any computer can do the work, the only problem is that there are deadlines to be met and if your computer is slower then the data you worked on will just be discarded because its late.  (recommended at least a core 2 duo or better). GPU wise Nvidia cards have an advantage as the work output you get from the nvidia cards are much higher, AFAIK its still not very optimized for the ATI cards and the work output isn't as good as Nvidia's.  The client can run in the background and utilize unused CPU work (idling, etc).  IIRC you can adjust it.  Also it can get stressful to your power supply (a dedicated folding machine can use up a lot of electricity).

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 2:16 AM

I was able to run 8 instances of the CPU client on my Quad core with hyperthreading with some customization. I specified each instance to a specific core.

Then I also ran 2 instances of the GPU client and specified it to a specific GPU.

It takes a little customization but once it's done, you make a batch files to run them all at once. I turned my rig into a folding beast lol

It's supposed to run in the background and other apps will take priority. You still might see some delay tho. Try it out and see if the performance impacts your computer too much or not.

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slugbug replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 1:40 PM

With a Core i7 920 you really should be using the Windows SMP client with a passkey to get the bonus points. Also if it is overclocked you could run the -bigadv work units which can give upwards of 60,000 points.

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werty316 replied on Thu, Jul 8 2010 11:02 PM

You can use your CPU and/or GPU for folding@home.
It can be set to run in the background as a service and requires little memory.
There aren't any hardware requirements unless you run the GPU client.

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slugbug replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 12:45 PM

Your GTX295 should be able to run two GPU clients, and One Windows SMP client for your 920.

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finally just installed this.  Acarzt, how did you run multiple instances?  I am going to wait until my HD5850 gets back from RMA before I install the GPU client.

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werty316 replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 5:53 PM

The easiest way is to make another folder that contains all the needed file for folding.

 

This guide should help: http://forum.xcpus.com/f91/guide-running-client-multiple-nv-gpus-12627.html

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 6:08 PM

I downloaded one of the multi core clients but when I would run it, i noticed it wasnt putting my CPU at full load.

So what I did was.. I made a folder on my desktop and placd 8 shortcuts in the folder all leading to the exe file of the application. Number your shortcuts 1-8 (or however many cores/threads you have)

My CPU can run 8 threads at once so I had 8 shortcuts. Right-click and click properties of each shortcut. In the target line enter C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START " " /affinity 1 at the beginning of the shortcut so it should look like this

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C START " " /affinity 1 "c:\program files\whatever\Program.exe"

Change the number on each shortcut 1-8 to assign 1 instance to each core.

I don't remember if I used the single core or multi-core client for this tho lol So you might have to do a little experimentation. But using this method I was able to acheive 100% CPU usage.

I did the same thing with the GPU, assigning each instance to a specif GPU. But the syntax is different so just let me know if you ever need that as well.

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 6:11 PM

It's been a LONG time since I had this setup. So if you run into issues, let me know and i'll do what I can to help you figure it out :-)

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werty316 replied on Sun, Jul 11 2010 10:24 PM

The SMP client is multi-threaded so you should really only need to run one client window especially if you are running SMP2 WUs; if one client alone doesn't put a 100% load on your CPU you can run two clients and set the affinity of each to -smp 4.

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slugbug replied on Mon, Jul 12 2010 2:04 PM

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/DownloadWinOther

Scroll down to Windows: V6 Beta SMP2/CPU clients and get the 6.29 beta for MPICH (32-bit or 64-bit)

Here is an excellent setup guide which should help:  http://www.evga.com/forumsarchive/tm.asp?m=503846

A Core i7 920 running at stock speeds will get up to 10,000 points per day depending on the work unit. You'll need a passkey to get bonus points:  http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py

Definitely more productive than running 8 single core clients.

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acarzt replied on Mon, Jul 12 2010 6:07 PM

I really don't remember what kind of points I was racking up. I remember it being a lot tho. But I had my GTX295 heping out too.

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lifeskills replied on Mon, Jul 12 2010 10:38 PM

Thank you guys for all the help.  Got my first WU earlier today.  Now that I kind of understand this stuff, im going to start with the multiple core stuff/ SMP client later

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 6:38 AM

Making any progress? Also I forgot I uploaded a pic of me folding lol

100% CPU usage and check out how many clients are running in the bottom right lol (click pic to see it bigger if you want)

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lifeskills replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 12:36 PM

have 3 clients up, 2 on this computer and one on the HTPC.  I have been workin like a slave all week, and have not had a chance to mess with this much more.  I want to see if I can get my Phenom II 1090T to 100%, though, and see what kind of WU's it can crank out.

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slugbug replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 1:49 PM

Those 6 core AMD's are getting 11,000 - 12000 ppd with the Windows SMP client when overclocked.

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I havn't tried the SMP yet.  Just figured out the multiple clients thing( I think).

While looking through the team page I noticed theres not too much activity, so sorry if all this is old news. 

 

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And heres the HTPC

This is a AMD Phenom II 710.  For some reason, Sometimes when I run this computer it only uses one core.  I think it  switches from 3 to 1 every other time the computer boots.  Weird.

 

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acarzt replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 6:06 PM

You can check to make sure the affinity setting are working properly by clicking on the processes tab in Task manager and right-click one of the Folding instance and click set affinity. If it's working right only the one CPU you designated should be checked.

If it's not working... post what you have written in the target line for your shortcuts and we'll see if we can figure it out :-)

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lifeskills replied on Thu, Jul 15 2010 10:41 PM

Thanks for all the help.

When I right-click and set affinity, I get: 

"The operation could not be completed

Access is denied"

not sure what is causing this, any ideas?

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acarzt replied on Fri, Jul 16 2010 12:58 AM

Perhaps you do no have full admin rights

Go to control panel, user accounts and see what kind of account you're using.

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slugbug replied on Sat, Jul 17 2010 5:12 PM

I use Process Lasso: http://www.bitsum.com/prolasso.php

Download the 32bit of 64bit version corresponding to your operating system. Once installed it's simply a matter of right clicking the app you wish to set affinity and priority for.Set the defaults so you won't have to do it after a reboot.

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Thanks for the link, that worked.

Do you have the full version of process lasso?  Just wondering if the trial version would run out or not, because I am leaving town tomorow and was going to fold while Im gone.  

 

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werty316 replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 1:33 AM

I use PriFinitty when I want to set the CPU affinity when folding. Give it a try, its freeware.

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nice, tried PriFinitty on 2nd machine.

Anyway goin backpacking now for a week, thanks everyone who helped me out with this stuff, probably could have looked it up on the forum, but theres a core i7 at stake here...

 

 

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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 18 2010 4:44 PM

lol, no problem man. Enjoy your trip!

And don't forget to bring us back some pictures!

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slugbug replied on Wed, Jul 21 2010 2:21 PM

No, I use the trial version of Process Lasso and it does not expire. You'll get a popup on Windows bootup telling you you've been using it for blank number of days but it does not expire.

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Just started messing around with the smp.  Norton Sonar kept deleting fahcore_a3 over and over again until I disabled it... 

 The SMP client takes cpu load right up to 100, gonna work with this for awhile and see what happens, and If I can get it to work with Norton.  

Just another question about the individual core clients...

When I had 5 fahcore_78's running, each time One would finish a WU and restart, the affinity would go back to 0-5.  I had tried to set the default affinity, but the problem is that all 5 processes had the same name, so each one would default to the same core.  Did anyone else have this problem?

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slugbug replied on Tue, Aug 24 2010 8:58 PM

I don't think there is a way around that. As you say each of the 5 fahcore_78 instances had the same name so I don't think there is a way to set each one up to use a specific core and not have the affinity change when a new work unit begins.

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nice 

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