Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

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Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:04 am

I'm in the process of planning a Windows Home Server build (think Windows Server 2003). It will have a cheap dual core (thinking E6300 or those 45nm Athlon II X2's) and most likely 2 gigs of RAM. I'm not looking at super low power Atom or even "regular" single core CPUs because I want folding to be a secondary function of the box.

Given the recent string of crappy SMP WUs I am beginning to think that may be I should get a cheap GPU just to make a decent points contribution. However I seemed to recall that when I was GPU folding the HD3450 (it was just a "will it work" test) on an XP system, whenever I connect to the system over Remote Desktop, the GPU driver "resets" and the GPU folding client quits. My recently upgraded Win7 RC system with HD4550 does not seem to have this problem with me connecting over Remote Desktop and the GPU folding client continuing to run. I don't have a free box right now to test so I am asking, "on Windows Server 2003, will Remote Desktop stop GPU folding?" Would someone please try that for me? ;)

Also, the debate with this server also includes whether I should stick with CPU folding for the lower power consumption (and by consequence heat generation :-?). My experience suggests that even with an overclocked dual folding flat out, it would be hard to draw more than 100W at the wall. However, adding even a low end foldable GPU would add at least 30W to the power draw which will make the room hotter during the summer. This WHS box is going to be pretty much "set it and forget it" and I don't want too much trouble. Ventilation inside the case should not be a problem, the system build review should follow soon in SBA as I finalize the component list. I just need to figure out if it is even possible to entertain the idea of GPU folding on that box when the only means to access it will be via RDP.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:16 am

IIRC 2k3 uses the same display driver model as XP, so you're probably still screwed when using remote desktop.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:17 am

Why not just use the WHS connector console? It does just about all you should need, FWIW.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:11 pm

drsauced wrote:Why not just use the WHS connector console? It does just about all you should need, FWIW.

There is no Folding@Home management add-in for now, so to babysit the node I'll have to RDP into the system (which is fine because I know my around Server 2003 myself.). Besides, the connector console is based on RDP so if there is something to do with the XP driver model resetting to the "RDP driver" and replacing the currently running AMD/Nvidia driver, GPU folding would still be interrupted.

So I would like to know if RD is still affecting 2003, even for the "console" GPU client. At the same time we can also discuss whether I should stick with CPU folding for the lower heat/noise running in the scenario I outlined above.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:05 pm

Hm, would it make a difference if you ran RDP in /console mode rather than the regular?
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:14 pm

drsauced wrote:Hm, would it make a difference if you ran RDP in /console mode rather than the regular?

RDP in XP is essentially /console and it doesn't work. That is the purpose of this thread, I am asking if anyone off-the-top-of-his/her-head or have some spare hardware+OS to try it out for the curious among us. I don't have any hardware to try all those combos out myself.

I would expect /console to be worse, since that is the "non-virtual" session and is supposed to be more tied to the video drivers? Besides, when someone else in my household uses the WHS Connector software it will be opening an RD session without /console either. :-?
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:46 pm

It will screw up if you use RDP. Try using VNC (I've had success with that and the GPU client).
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:44 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:It will screw up if you use RDP. Try using VNC (I've had success with that and the GPU client).

I've seen at least a few different VNC versions over the years (Tight, Ultra, Real), and all seem to have their adherents. I still don't know which is best.
Last edited by Ragnar Dan on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:46 pm

I use UltraVNC when in the need.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:54 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:It will screw up if you use RDP. Try using VNC (I've had success with that and the GPU client).
Which means even using the WHS Connector it should screw things up (for those who have WHS, connect from another machine using the Connector, and on the WHS machine Task Manager shows another session under the "Users" tab). So I guess that box will be limited to CPU folding.

Damnit Stanford, time to fix the SMP client+WUs! :evil:
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:03 pm

Flying Fox wrote:[...] Damnit Stanford, time to fix the SMP client+WUs! :evil:

For Windows SMP, it's seemingly only the software that won't allow the a2 core to run. For Linux, it's the new v. 2.10 a2 core which is harming SMP output. Since my C2D downloaded the latest FahCore_a2.exe, not only is its production down signficantly, but it appears to vary a lot more from frame to frame than it used to, though since WU's are taking up to 5-6 hours longer to complete, maybe I'm just noticing the variation more.

Anyway, though it means more software, I'm not seeing why you couldn't run a GPU with VNC to keep it from crashing the client.
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Re: Windows Server, GPU folding, and RDP

Postposted on Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:29 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:Anyway, though it means more software, I'm not seeing why you couldn't run a GPU with VNC to keep it from crashing the client.

The plan, as stated above, is to run Windows Home Server on that box. It may be 2003-based, but to use the "WHS features" one would need to use the "WHS Connector", which other client computers on the LAN talk to the "server" via RDP. Sure I can put VNC on (I am already thinking VMware with LinuxSMP on it), but when WHS Connector is used, the GPU client will die. :-? That's the main point of this thread, which is to see if anyone has tried/known on Win2003, because my experience on XP tells me it is not going to work.

And then there is the heat/noise thing, which is secondary.
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