What do you do with the extra power?

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What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:29 am

Hey guys, this topic is fairly simple, I want to know what you guys primarily use your beastly systems for, and if you feel like overclocking has significantly helped speed things up.

I currently have a core i7 930 @ 4.5Ghz with 6GB's of Corsair Cl7 Ram @ 1600Mhz and OC'ed Gtx 460 with an EVGA FTW3 mobo, I primarily use the system for gaming and was trying to think of other ways I can push it/take advantage of all its power. I feel like there is so much more than gaming that I should use this system for!

Thanks
BloodSoul
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:39 am

Some people would tell you to fold for the greater good. Others would say you could get into video encoding or something. What you should do is downclock the processor to the original Ghz if not lower, keep the heat down and wear on your fans lower. Look at the longevity of the chip. When your i7 is starting to feel slow, than turn up the GHz again. Not all overclocks degrade, but many do overtime. Keep the overclock for when you really need it.
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:44 am

With a processor like that, there are indeed numerous other things that the system would be very useful for. Almost any other thing you can find to do on the computer will benefit considerably from the OC'd RAM and processor, and even graphics if you do anything in 3D. (The processor would also render things quite fast.) I've never OC'd my system yet, but I could definitely benefit from doing so as I tend to have numerous windows open at a time, spread across 3 monitors. (There's always random stuff to do; web development, 3D modeling, whatever.)

Of course, if you have graphical power to spare, running more monitors (Eyefinity setup for example) could be a good use of it. Cranking up settings like FSAA if they're not already cranked up will also put the GPU power to use. Just try to stay at or above 60fps.

Of course, as mentioned above, downclocking would not be a bad idea if you're not using the power.
C-A_99
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:44 pm

Well for everyday use I keep the processor at mid 3Ghz, but I can stay stable at 4.5+ and just haven't found anything that can really use that much power. Folding is nice but I haven't really gotten that into it.

I dunno, I feel like I have so much power in my hands and I want to put it all to good use!
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:22 pm

Fractal flames. I've been messing around a lot with a program called Apophysis. Fractal flames are just stunning (go to exoteric.roach.org for examples) but I don't really have the processing power or memory in my system to render my own high quality high resolution ones right now. It took 4 hours for one to render at 1920x1080 and the projected time for one at 4096x2084 is best measured in days...
They're pretty at least. I don't think I'm helping my processor by folding at the same time though...
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:25 pm

I fold for Team 2630!
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:41 pm

Fractals? pssh, Fractron 9000 can render them almost in real time on a GPU. But high quality quaternion Julia fractals, excluding Keenan Crane's GPU ray tracer (which is kinda old and isn't really high quality enough to make "renders") are a different story.
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:42 pm

I have recently started playing with ray tracers.
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:09 pm

For the most part, I use the extra power to Fold, but it helps a bit with work, too.

But do tell, how have you gotten your 930 up to 4.5 GHz? I've got the same processor and motherboard (if not necessarily the same version number, since I just had to replace my last one ~3 weeks ago), and I'm using a CoGage "True Spirit" HSF, which was fairly cheap, but probably can't get much above 4 GHz on it without really cranking the voltage and probably finding another cooling solution. My PSU is an XFX 750W I had to buy because my last one, a Silverstone 600W I've had since late 2005, burned out on me last May. I'm presently doing ~1.3v on the CPU (the mobo seems to vary it without regard to my settings), and have upped some other voltages as well. And it runs hot. So what's your secret?
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:14 am

With more than 20,000 ppd using the -bigadv switch, you can get into TR's top 20 producers easily with just one rig! ;)
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:46 am

How about giving SETI@home a whirl.
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:32 am

I would agree with StuG about turning down the overclocking... though not about underclocking it. Even in a stable computer, OC can create more stress on the parts and shorten their lifespan. You've got a fair amount of power and you don't really need the difference overclocking gives you. That said, if you do want to use the power you have (preferably after you return it to specs) video encoding is probably the most practical thing you can do with it. If you're in the hard sciences though, you might have some simulation software that you could run on your machine.
I've got an i5 laptop right now and I can run Handbrake on it, using full processor power... and I've run it overnight before with multiple movies in queue. Looking forward to my new system I'm building with a i7 2600K. (I want the ability to overclock later... and might switch my motherboard if the Z67 lets you use the Intel quick encoding function while also running a dedicated GPU.)
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:20 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:For the most part, I use the extra power to Fold, but it helps a bit with work, too.

But do tell, how have you gotten your 930 up to 4.5 GHz? I've got the same processor and motherboard (if not necessarily the same version number, since I just had to replace my last one ~3 weeks ago), and I'm using a CoGage "True Spirit" HSF, which was fairly cheap, but probably can't get much above 4 GHz on it without really cranking the voltage and probably finding another cooling solution. My PSU is an XFX 750W I had to buy because my last one, a Silverstone 600W I've had since late 2005, burned out on me last May. I'm presently doing ~1.3v on the CPU (the mobo seems to vary it without regard to my settings), and have upped some other voltages as well. And it runs hot. So what's your secret?


I use the corsair a70 cooler in a haf 932 case, I got lucky with the processor I picked up and had little issue getting my 930 to 4.5ghz. As far as secrets go, there aren't really that many. I haven't OC'ed it in awhile (I just have the 4.5ghz profile saved in my BIOS) but things that make a difference are: High quality memory, lowering uncore frequencies multipliers to twice memory multipliers (that's there minimum, you don't need more than that so the extra headroom can be used by the cores), and patience. If you just try to plug in some settings, odds are it won't work, you need to slowly creep up until you find the very limits of your CPU, then give it a bit more juice and see where that can take it.

In response to the overclocking, I previously said that I do turn the OC down when I don't feel the need for 4.5ghz.

I think I'm going to play with fractals a bit haha.
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Folding, playing around with fractals and ray tracing, running VMs to try out different Linux distros...

Edit: Just noticed that this thread is in OT&C... TBH I actually don't overclock much these days, but at any given time I do tend to have one or two bare systems I'm messing around with running on the table in my office, so there's almost always a fair bit of "extra power" on tap! Here's what's on the table as of tonight:
Image
On the left: An Athlon II X4 635 running Ubuntu 10.04. This rig is currently my VirtualBox playground; it was supposed to have 8GB of RAM but I got a bad dual-channel kit from Newegg and I'm still waiting for the RMA, so it is currently running on only 4GB. The disks in the cage behind it are a software RAID-1 array (also been using this system to learn how to do bootable software RAID arrays under Linux).

On the right: A Phenom II X2 545 running Ubuntu 10.10. Currently my Ubuntu 10.10 playground (wanted to try 10.10 out native instead of in a VM, to get a better idea of whether I want to switch my main desktop over to it).

Yes, both of them are folding too, with the Linux SMP client... :wink:
(this space intentionally left blank)
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Re: What do you do with the extra power?

Postposted on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:20 pm

Corsair A70 makes sense. I considered an A50 for a little while, but had trouble finding a seller, and after a bit decided it would be more trouble than it was worth finding space for the radiator anyway. I already have a fair amount of dust, and have to assume a radiator would clog up fairly quickly. I think my 930 is OK, but nothing special.

As for the OCing, yeah, the sites I've read are often sort of vague about things, and it's pretty clear that there's less knowledge about than I expected. I had to find an Intel PDF document at one point to figure out what one of the voltages was since my mobo(s) didn't really give me any idea. It does take a very long time to figure out the right voltage combinations, but for the time being I haven't been trying to do anything beyond what I've already got.

Thanks for the reply.
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