As the Work Unit Crunches

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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:03 pm

I haven't folded in so long... 1/2 decade perhaps? I may be interested in starting some boxes up again soon...
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:07 pm

thegleek wrote:I haven't folded in so long... 1/2 decade perhaps? I may be interested in starting some boxes up again soon...

The way to get the really big points these days is with the GPU client. I tend not to buy high-end GPUs (I prefer ones with passive cooling), so I just run the Linux SMP client. Linux SMP tends to be "fire and forget" once you get it set up properly (though initial setup can be somewhat fiddly depending on distro); as long as you've got a reasonably recent multi-core CPU it posts some respectable points.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:37 pm

Haitch wrote:The barrier fix will also work for XFS.

The problem with the filesystems is specific to those that have barriers enabled, and is a problem of Stanfords making. After completing the WU the client 0's out two ( or more, don't recall all the murky details) of the temp files, one byte at a time, and some of the files are over 100MB. The filesystems with barriers enabled take a long time to do this. EXT3 with no barrier support does it a lot faster.

H.

Well, I've started the VMware Linux setup again in hopes of receiving an elusive bigadv WU, since Windows spent a day not giving me one. Linux didn't give me one, either. I've added the "nobarrier" variation to the fstab, and we'll see if that makes any difference. I didn't notice any complaints on startup, though Linux seems to often not complain when there's something that I would expect it to complain about.

That zeroing out thing is an odd way of working, indeed. But it's my impression, though not firm, that they have professionals of some sort involved in the software. But it's tough to know whose fault the various problems are given the secretive way they operate. It seems like they need a rewrite, though, if they're making 100MB temp files these days. Anyway, thanks once more for the information.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:39 pm

just brew it! wrote:The way to get the really big points these days is with the GPU client. I tend not to buy high-end GPUs (I prefer ones with passive cooling)

Any issues ever arise from running this on your video card 24/7? I have a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, is that adequate enough to fold?

just brew it! wrote:so I just run the Linux SMP client. Linux SMP tends to be "fire and forget" once you get it set up properly (though initial setup can be somewhat fiddly depending on distro); as long as you've got a reasonably recent multi-core CPU it posts some respectable points.

Heh. Most all of my linux servers (physical) I have since converted into vmware vm's now... I have 2 physical linux machines left running. One has Ubuntu on it which serves as our main media center (uses Boxee), and the other STILL serves my IRC server all these years (over 12+ years now) running ancient FreeBSD on very ancient hardware (a COMPAQ Deskpro DP4000 if anyone recalls those).
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:48 pm

thegleek wrote:
just brew it! wrote:The way to get the really big points these days is with the GPU client. I tend not to buy high-end GPUs (I prefer ones with passive cooling)

Any issues ever arise from running this on your video card 24/7? I have a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450, is that adequate enough to fold?

I run the same video card (but with 1860 MHz shader [whoops I put the core speed before this edit]), and get about 9000 PPD on it with no trouble. I've been running it since sometime last November and it doesn't seem to have any problems.
Last edited by Ragnar Dan on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:52 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:That zeroing out thing is an odd way of working, indeed.

Sounds like they want to remove all traces of the just-completed WU from the system for some reason. If that's truly their intent, what they're doing probably doesn't even accomplish that on a modern journaling file system.

Ragnar Dan wrote:It seems like they need a rewrite, though, if they're making 100MB temp files these days.

100MB is nothing; done in a sane manner, it should take only a couple of seconds to write that much data on a modern system. 100MB just *sounds* like a lot because you're old and have first-hand memories of the days when systems had 640KB (or less) of RAM! :wink: (And yes, I'm getting frikkin' old too; don't remember if I'm older than you or not though... :lol:)
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:52 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:I run the same video card (but with 930 MHz shader), and get about 9000 PPD on it with no trouble. I've been running it since sometime last November and it doesn't seem to have any problems.

Oh god... SO many choices! WTH!

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

WHICH one do I download?!?!
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:10 am

just brew it! wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:That zeroing out thing is an odd way of working, indeed.

Sounds like they want to remove all traces of the just-completed WU from the system for some reason. If that's truly their intent, what they're doing probably doesn't even accomplish that on a modern journaling file system.

And it's as though they expect spies to be reading others' filesystems w/o their knowledge or something.

just brew it! wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:It seems like they need a rewrite, though, if they're making 100MB temp files these days.

100MB is nothing; done in a sane manner, it should take only a couple of seconds to write that much data on a modern system. 100MB just *sounds* like a lot because you're old and have first-hand memories of the days when systems had 640KB (or less) of RAM! :wink: (And yes, I'm getting frikkin' old too; don't remember if I'm older than you or not though... :lol:)

My thinking was more of the "this 100 MB meant something back a decade ago, but now it's a pittance and shouldn't be considered worth worrying about" sort, not the other way around. And, the first machine I used had 4k of RAM, bucko. I'm not old. At least I didn't learn about the S-100 stuff until it was mostly over.

:wink:
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:11 am

thegleek wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:I run the same video card (but with 930 MHz shader), and get about 9000 PPD on it with no trouble. I've been running it since sometime last November and it doesn't seem to have any problems.

Oh god... SO many choices! WTH!

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

WHICH one do I download?!?!

You download the one compatible with your OS. The Fermi ones are the ones which work with the GTS 450, and the others don't, if memory serves. But the main differences seem meaningless, like whether it's a .msi or .zip file. I always use the least GUI-using versions because I want to waste the least resources on meaningless things.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:35 am

Ragnar Dan wrote:My thinking was more of the "this 100 MB meant something back a decade ago, but now it's a pittance and shouldn't be considered worth worrying about" sort, not the other way around.

Ahh, OK. But they still need to be able to maintain state that can persist across client restarts and reboots (i.e. checkpoints), yes?

Ragnar Dan wrote:And, the first machine I used had 4k of RAM, bucko. I'm not old. At least I didn't learn about the S-100 stuff until it was mostly over.

:wink:

Touche! :lol:
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:54 am

just brew it! wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:My thinking was more of the "this 100 MB meant something back a decade ago, but now it's a pittance and shouldn't be considered worth worrying about" sort, not the other way around.

Ahh, OK. But they still need to be able to maintain state that can persist across client restarts and reboots (i.e. checkpoints), yes?

Well, I see ~3 files in the "work" subdirectory that are updated every time a checkpoint occurs, but I suppose it's possible there are files hidden elsewhere in the system that I'm not aware of being updated and the names of which are kept somewhere in the more local files. It's crazy, but it's possible.

just brew it! wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:And, the first machine I used had 4k of RAM, bucko. I'm not old. At least I didn't learn about the S-100 stuff until it was mostly over.

:wink:

Touche! :lol:

That Tandy machine also was the first one I bought what eventually would be called a graphics card for. It was a board that attached to the back of the machines' insides (built-in CRT and keyboard on the thing), and I recall starting to try programming a graphical game on it, but better machines came along before I learned enough to get very far. But the Z-80 was where I first learned assembLY language, and used an assmblER to assemble my programs (yes that's a pet peeve of mine. Ahem). Fun stuff.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:42 am

Ragnar Dan wrote:But the Z-80 was where I first learned assembLY language, and used an assmblER to assemble my programs (yes that's a pet peeve of mine. Ahem). Fun stuff.

I learned assembly language on a SOL-20...
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:28 pm

Wow, a numeric keypad and everything. :wink:

Edit: 8080 processor. My first intel was an 8088 in 198...3? I forget now. Columbia portable (suitcase machine). Gads the price of memory back then. :o

BTW, when I took an assembly class in college, the machine was a VAX VMS system, and the breadth of its instructions astounded me. It was the last of the non-RISC machines, if memory serves, and you could load a few registers, and basically make the thing take your dog for a walk for you it was so advanced. Or so it seemed to me compared to what I'd been using. :lol:
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:54 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:Columbia portable (suitcase machine).

Back in '83, it was the Compaq Portable you are referring to!

I still have mine in 100% working condition!

But alas, my FIRST computer was a year prior to that computer, the Timex Sinclair 1000 ($99.95 deal!). The CPU was called a Zilog Z80A (@ 3.25Mhz), whatever that is!

Edit: link fixed
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:20 pm

thegleek wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:Columbia portable (suitcase machine).

Back in '83, tt was the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compaq_Portable]Compaq Portable[/rul] you are referring to!

I still have mine in 100% working condition!

Naw, this Columbia was the maker, back then. And here's a link to a jpeg of the actual model. The books included with that machine taught me the differences twixt Z80 and 8088 processors, which weren't all that great since they both came from the same origins. But another book also showed me the interrupts I could call from programs, which were quite useful. That was a 4.77 MHz machine, which seemed fast... at first. It ran my favorite video game, too: Jet. But no color, so it didn't look as good as on the 8086 color monitors at school.

thegleek wrote:But alas, my FIRST computer was a year prior to that computer, the Timex Sinclair 1000 ($99.95 deal!). The CPU was called a Zilog Z80A (@ 3.25Mhz), whatever that is!

My Z80 was 1.00 MHz if I remember rightly. Cute little 8 bit machine. 8)
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:41 pm

Kaypro luggable, anyone?
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:15 pm

Haitch wrote:This is a known issue if you install Lunux with an Ext4 file system, the default with Ubuntu and others.

Quickest fix is to reinstall with ext3. It may be also possible to fix the issues by remounting the filesystem with "nobarriers", but I don't have any instructions for that.

H.

just brew it! wrote:You can try adding the "nobarrier" option to your /etc/fstab file. If there's a line with a mount point of "/home", add it to the <options> column of that line, otherwise add it to the line with a mount point of "/". If the existing <options> entry says "defaults" then you should replace "defaults" with "nobarrier"; otherwise, append "nobarrier" to the existing option(s), separated from them by a comma. Reboot the system to have the new options take effect.

Haitch wrote:The barrier fix will also work for XFS.

The problem with the filesystems is specific to those that have barriers enabled, and is a problem of Stanfords making. After completing the WU the client 0's out two ( or more, don't recall all the murky details) of the temp files, one byte at a time, and some of the files are over 100MB. The filesystems with barriers enabled take a long time to do this. EXT3 with no barrier support does it a lot faster.

H.

Well, I had a large (P2684) WU turn in fairly quickly on Wednesday after completing, and tomorrow afternoon it will complete one more and I'll be able to check that one's FAHlog.txt file to see how it went. I'm hopeful, though.

One more thing: I re-installed the VMware player at my current processor speed so the Linux system clock drift problem would be corrected, and that was several days ago, and it's still well synchronized with my Windows clock, so that looks like it worked, too. The WU's aren't looking quite so much faster as they used to, but they're still faster than on Windows SMP. So far I'm pleased, and thank those who helped with the problems I was suffering. :)
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:33 pm

It uploaded earlier, and according to the log, it took 1:57s between finishing writing the 95.79 MB file to disk and the core shutting down, which looks good. For now I'm preliminarily pronouncing the problem solved, until it shows up again, anyway. :wink:
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:19 pm

Well, the problem appears to be mitigated, but not necessarily completely solved:
Code: Select all
[09:29:39] Completed 250000 out of 250000 steps  (100%)
[09:29:51] DynamicWrapper: Finished Work Unit: sleep=10000
[09:30:01]
[09:30:01] Finished Work Unit:
[09:30:01] - Reading up to 52629024 from "work/wudata_01.trr": Read 52629024
[09:30:01] trr file hash check passed.
[09:30:01] - Reading up to 42749468 from "work/wudata_01.xtc": Read 42749468
[09:30:01] xtc file hash check passed.
[09:30:01] edr file hash check passed.
[09:30:01] logfile size: 284743
[09:30:01] Leaving Run
[09:30:02] - Writing 95833587 bytes of core data to disk...
[09:30:02]   ... Done.
[09:52:35] - Shutting down core
[09:52:35]
[09:52:35] Folding@home Core Shutdown: FINISHED_UNIT
[09:54:38] CoreStatus = 64 (100)
[09:54:38] Unit 1 finished with 48 percent of time to deadline remaining.

22:33 to finish writing everything out and shut down the core... could be better. But at least it's in the same hour. :wink:
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:37 pm

I've had 3 or maybe it's 4 bigadv WU's get killed when my machine restarted itself within hours of the WU's completion. At first it was because I was trying to OC a bit more, but the last one I undid that and went back to what had been a stable setup, and now... I'm starting to wonder. I had lowered the voltage on my CPU for things whose only result seems to be making the VRU exceptionally hot, but maybe it doesn't something else.

This is the least simple to OC machine I've had so far, that's for sure.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:35 pm

So... the burn-in of my new Phenom X6 1090T as a TRFrankenbot node is done, and I've got it folding under my own name now. Holy crap, the SMP bonus on some of the larger WUs is insane when you've got a 6 (or more) core CPU!

Just checked my folding status, and project 6098 (for example) nets a total score of more than 7X the base points when the SMP bonus is factored in:
Folding Status wrote:Project: 6098 (Run 5, Clone 72, Gen 5)
...
1593.00 point GRO-A3 (100 frames), 2364.87 PPD, 00:09:42/step, 02:35:12 remaining, 12027.54 total points w/bonus (17855.32 PPD)

For the curious, I've finally tweaked my folding monitor page to calculate SMP point bonuses. It's interesting to compare the various multi-core CPUs to see how much the SMP bonus scales up.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:49 pm

That's quite impressive. I forget what you may have written about that proc's speed/OC if any, but my 8 thread i7 930 at ~3.94 GHz (it's a bit lower due to a frequency variance I can't recall off hand) is doing a Project 6099 at about 9m:28s per frame, though it does speed up considerably when I quit running the GPU. I need a better case for my low power AMD system to make it a more plausible multi-GPU folder, but that would require another mobo, and... well. :wink:

I'm still P.O.'ed at Stanford for reducing the bigadv bonus. Of course I haven't seen a bigadv WU since 8 days ago, so...
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:41 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:That's quite impressive. I forget what you may have written about that proc's speed/OC if any,

It is running stock (3.2GHz). It seems that a few of the larger SMP WUs have unusually large point values to begin with, which get further amplified by the early return bonus when run on a CPU with a lot of cores.

FWIW my monitoring page shows the specs of each system (amount of RAM is what I've told the F@h client to report, not necessarily what is physically installed).
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:45 pm

Just upgraded the ghetto folding rig (mentioned in the Frankenbot thread) with some better CPU coolers -- lower CPU temps, and a lot less noise (important since they sit right next to my desk). Newegg had the CoolerMaster Hyper TX3 on sale for $20, so I ordered a couple. (You can't see too well from the pic, but the bottom one got an identical cooler too.)

This pile o' parts is currently responsible for nearly half of my ~50K PPD F@h production. :wink:

Image

(Since the Frankenbot pic I've moved the fan around to the other side, because the VRMs were getting really hot. The northbridge still gets some airflow in this arrangement, due to the heatpipe/tower design of the new cooler.)
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:This pile o' parts is currently responsible for nearly half of my ~50K PPD F@h production. :wink:

Looking good JBI, you're going to overtake me in December it seems. I've managed to hold you off for a good 7 or 8 years now, I guess this means I owe you a beer ;-)

The odd, random assemblage of CPUs still chugging along in my name should keep me in the top 20 until the world ends next year.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:36 pm

I may have to change my mind, JBI. Maybe Stanford is allowing freshmen programmers to write their code. My system, as it loves to do, decided to restart at 81% finished (and about 2/3 of the way through the next % with 3 minute checkpoints) of the first Bigadv WU I've had in I don't recall how many days. Using XFS as a filesystem, I don't know how to f-s-c-k the thing how it wants (xfs_check... but I have to make it do it at a runlevel I decided not to waste my time learning how to make it enter. What I want is a damned utility to set the stuff I don't care about and tell the system to run the check on the next system restart. Like Windows does. Yeah, Windows). So I gave up and just started the client again, and it did as expected and destroyed the WU. Because God knows, one can't keep 2-3 checkpoints and see if any of them work. That would be sensible. We're operating on $1500 5 MB hard drives still, aren't we? And why did it flush the WU? Because it had time to write out the ckp file (checkpoint, assumedly, but that's a Stanf Secret) and it had time to write out the log file, because everyone knows it's more important to do that than the last file you write out, the one that evidently fails to get closed after being written out every single stinking time my system restarts, the cpt file, which would seem to be the more important checkpoint file. Or something. Vonce again, iss Shtanf secret. :evil:

I'd probably be better off having the thing work inside a networked directory under Windows/NTFS, but I don't know how to do that in text mode Linux, and my current level of annoyance is too great to consider learning how (or really, learning how to find out where to learn how).

I wouldn't mind a beer, though, leor. :P
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:24 pm

TR folding Team 2630 is about to be passed by another team in ~3 days. We'll then be passed by 4 other teams in the coming weeks and months.

People with mid range and better video cards / GPU's could rescue TR, and it's fairly easy to do. You can run the client for a fairly short amount of time and get a decent Work Unit done (you could even use the -oneunit flag and the window the GPU client folds under in post-Vista OSes will close after the unit is completed), say while browsing TR. What's more, it helps solve some genetic puzzles which are expected to be useful in solving serious health problems.

Wouldn't that be helpful? A premier tech site retaining at least some of its former glory as a top Folding@Home team?
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:33 pm

It's so nice that the day the Stanford servers start reporting WU uploads, I probably had a 100,000+ point day, but didn't get credited for it. The one bigadv WU I've completed in who can recall how many days just gets absorbed and unreported. So far, anyway. And Stanford wonders why people get pissed at them. Unless they come up with something new, they're going to lose quite a bit from me this winter.
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:20 pm

So... I see that there's the new v7 client, and it seems that they finally replaced the Brook+ core for the newer ATi cards, but I haven't found much information on it. On to of my GTX 580 and an overclocked 980X, I also have an overclocked 5870 that I pulled out of the machine (but can put back in). Any information on how much PPD it can put out?
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Re: As the Work Unit Crunches

Postposted on Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:41 pm

Ragar Dan - looking at my stats on extreme oc - it appears my recent wu's were credited between 6pm and 9pm on 12/14. Much smaller point totals than yours. Have you been credited yet?
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