Frankie 2012

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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:41 am

Nice! Yeah, I'm going to let the current work units end so that I can get some things done with my machines.

The longest running ones will end about 10 or 11 hours from this writing. New WUs will probably be 2+ days again, and I don't want to have those commitments queued up just yet so I won't accept new ones for a couple days. That will give me time to do some unrelated testing and other activities without hearing the laptop's howling fans in the living room or feeling heat in my home office.

I need to give a lot of thought to how I'm going to do folding with my new hardware which is currently planned to be a 6-core SB-E and a GTX 690. I really don't like howling fans or a warm office and I've perceived that it is warmer while folding is running. It could only be one degree F for all I know, but I am sensitive to it.

I'll probably be back online folding sometime Sunday night.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:49 am

BIF wrote:Nice! Yeah, I'm going to let the current work units end so that I can get some things done with my machines.

The SMP client is designed to get out of the way if you use the machine. It runs at a very low CPU priority, and only uses cycles that aren't needed for anything else. I just let 'em run.

BIF wrote:The longest running ones will end about 10 or 11 hours from this writing. New WUs will probably be 2+ days again, and I don't want to have those commitments queued up just yet so I won't accept new ones for a couple days. That will give me time to do some unrelated testing and other activities without hearing the laptop's howling fans in the living room or feeling heat in my home office.

I need to give a lot of thought to how I'm going to do folding with my new hardware which is currently planned to be a 6-core SB-E and a GTX 690. I really don't like howling fans or a warm office and I've perceived that it is warmer while folding is running. It could only be one degree F for all I know, but I am sensitive to it.

It's not your imagination. With modern systems that throttle the CPU down when idle, the difference in heat load from folding can be quite substantial. This (and the related increase in A/C cost) is why I no longer run it during the summer months.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:36 pm

I have 1 Q8200 making a modest contribution. It manages 2600 points every 14 hours or so. My goal was to see how far it would push "my team" up the rankings. In 4 years I made it to the top 1600. Participating in Frankie is fun and lets me tinker with the configurations of my PC's.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:40 pm

just brew it! wrote:The SMP client is designed to get out of the way if you use the machine. It runs at a very low CPU priority, and only uses cycles that aren't needed for anything else. I just let 'em run.


Yep, that's what I thought but on the Asus laptop though it makes quite a racket, and it gets on my nerves. Even only running at at 75% of max CPU, I can feel the twin fans blowing hot air out the back of the laptop. This makes me nervous that I'm cooking my parts. Also, the laptop is sluggish with IE or Firefox, but there's plenty of available overhead in the thread display, so I wonder if the sluggishness may be due to the Geforce 460 mobile GPU being fully committed. I usually hit pause if I need to do anything with that system, then I hit run when I'm done.

The desktop Q6600, though it's a slower machine with a slower GPU, seems to never suffer from lags when the folding client is running.

Regarding heat:
It's not your imagination. With modern systems that throttle the CPU down when idle, the difference in heat load from folding can be quite substantial. This (and the related increase in A/C cost) is why I no longer run it during the summer months.


When I build the new system, I'll probably not fold on the others; the new one should be capable of an order of magnitude more work anyway. I do wonder if I can set up a schedule to automate the starts and stops of the folding client based on day/time, so that it would only run while I'm out of the house. But I need to see how much the direct electricity costs will be before I get too far down the road.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:40 pm

PhilipMcc wrote:I have 1 Q8200 making a modest contribution. It manages 2600 points every 14 hours or so. My goal was to see how far it would push "my team" up the rankings. In 4 years I made it to the top 1600. Participating in Frankie is fun and lets me tinker with the configurations of my PC's.


I definitely agree on the "fun" part!
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:49 pm

BIF wrote:When I build the new system, I'll probably not fold on the others; the new one should be capable of an order of magnitude more work anyway. I do wonder if I can set up a schedule to automate the starts and stops of the folding client based on day/time, so that it would only run while I'm out of the house. But I need to see how much the direct electricity costs will be before I get too far down the road.

On Linux it would be a piece of cake to automate start/stop using cron. It shouldn't be too difficult to devise something similar on Windows using Job Scheduler.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:09 pm

I borrowed someone's example - to use Win XP scheduled tasks to start and stop my single core clients so they run at night. Very easy. I can post something if needed. Basically, Run: "/path/folding.exe" -local
Start in: "/path/"
Give a start time and stop after 9 hours.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:24 pm

Cool! I'll work on that when I finally do my build, after I've decided what will be my "production" system. Probably Windows 8.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:02 am

It can be even smoother, for the SMP Client at least, to use "net start" and "net stop" in conjunction with installing the Folding client as a Windows Service. Then your Task Scheduler becomes calls to net start and net stop.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:40 pm

Hello all you halloweeners Folding for TRFrankenbot. arpstorm here. Thanks to Flying Fox for reminding me about the October TRFrankenbot activity. I've loaded up the Linux 64-bit SMP FAH client on my quad core Q9300 PC overclocked to 3Ghz, and set its eyes upon TRFrankenbot. FAHControl estimates this will contributed approximately 4900 points per day (PPD) to the cause.

When I build this machine almost four years ago I made sure it had a great big copper Zalman fan cooling the Q9300 CPU, in part because I wanted to overclock it, and in part because I believe in the importance of generous cooling. Folding on all four cores results in the following:

Average CPU utilization rises from low single digits to 100% on all cores,
Core temperatures rise from 37-47 degrees C to the 55-62 degrees C range, so the
Cooling fan revs up automatically from 1420 rpm to about 1962 rpm.

Yet the system remains competely responsive. I like to run Compiz-fusion under Ubuntu 12.04, and wobbly windows still wobble nicely, the desktop cube will still rotate smoothly, windows move with grace and partial transparency, and tasks launch quickly from the Unity launch bar. So the computer remains completely usable and safe to operate. If memory serves, CPUs can be run hot into the 90 degree C range without harm.

Fold On!
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:07 pm

My own folding garden (windowbox?) is also back online for at least a few days...
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:28 pm

BIF wrote:My own folding garden (windowbox?) is also back online...


Then my lone box Folding for TRFrankenbot qualifies only as a mere flower pot 8)
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:08 am

BIF wrote:Status update please. Who's still folding for Frankie?

14-16k PPD here. Overall, we don't seem to be anywhere near last year. TRFrankenbot is currently at #3 for daily average in Team 2630.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:40 pm

I'm still Folding for Frankie.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Me too; I usually shut 'em down Friday afternoons, but we're having cooler temps outdoors this weekend, so I'm letting the machines run to the end of the current work units. The Q6600 has been working on the same SMP WU for the last 3.5 days; and will finish it up within the next couple hours. I'm very disappointed that this machine has been spending the last half-week working on a mere 6,000 point WU.

I will be home most of tomorrow, so may shut them down during the day; depends on the weather. Will go back online in the evening and will probably let them run through the entire week probably until Saturday 10/27. At that point, I'll re-assess. Need to start getting serious about my new workstation, and while this has been fun it is a distraction.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:50 pm

With the exception of one or two rare and random (although recently a bit more regular) Fermi work units from my son's GTX 460 at UCF, I am all in for Frankie until the end of the month. Sadly, that grandiose statement only amounts to about 3,700 points per day depending on how often I fall over and forget to switch work units.

Once mother is moved from her apartment into assisted living I hope to have more time to build the hardware I've been collecting. And if the cost of bringing the fiber optic cable the last mile and a half plus the 200 yards up my driveway isn't too prohibitive I can contribute a couple of SMP systems in addition to my yet to be built GTX 430 and Radeon 4830. Yeah, small potatoes in the latest and greatest scheme of things, but I would be a happy camper on the high side of 10,000 points per day.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:02 pm

BIF wrote:Need to start getting serious about my new workstation, and while this has been fun it is a distraction.

Mmm...? As long as you're not sneakernetting WUs in and out it should be pretty much fire-and-forget. I just check my systems once a day to make sure they're running. Not much of a distraction at all.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:07 pm

@Biff

Folding is a distraction all right but it's a good kind of distraction at least. I really do hope that our efforts help Stanford to break new ground in terms of medical discoveries. I don't know Jack about medicine or drugs or biology but I do know who to keep a computer Folding :D

@farmpuma

I'm finding that my overclocked Q9300 system typically will not Fold overnight without some kind of system freeze. So I stop the Folding overnight and resume it in the morning. Curiously during the day the Folding does not cause a freeze-up even though I am using the box on and off for other tasks. It's not clear to me if it's the heat factor or some kind of Linux/Folding interaction thing causing it. Nothing in /var/log/syslog gives me a clue about the freezing.

To work around this I just installed VirtualBox and created an Ubuntu 12.10 virtual machine. I'll see how Folding inside a VM works. One nice thing about VMs is you can assign them a variable number of CPUs, so if you assign 3 out of the total 4 then you can control the amount of heat generated. Also VirtualBox lets you control what percentage of a CPU you want to limit the VM to using.

Do we know if the SereneScreen folks is still discussing Folding?

Fold On!
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:23 am

just brew it! wrote:
BIF wrote:Need to start getting serious about my new workstation, and while this has been fun it is a distraction.

Mmm...? As long as you're not sneakernetting WUs in and out it should be pretty much fire-and-forget. I just check my systems once a day to make sure they're running. Not much of a distraction at all.


Not sneakernetting work units. But the laptop, even running at only 75% is noisy in the living room. The Q6600 desktop is not so noisy, but I'm currently using a different hard drive for that system; the folding system is not my production system, and I prefer to keep it this way while I await news from the front of the upcoming Great Windows 8 War.

I am mentally, hardwarally, and softwarally "in-between" right now; trying not to make major changes to my systems only to have to rebuild things in a month or so.

I don't like heat and noise in my house. So on Fridays, when I know I'm going to be home a lot over the weekend, I will stop the folders from accepting new WUs so that they can finish up and I can have a nice cool and quiet house. Sunday night as I am preparing for the workweek, I'll fire up the folders again. I have not yet gotten my first electric bill, but this is a concern.

arpstorm wrote:@Biff

Folding is a distraction all right but it's a good kind of distraction at least. I really do hope that our efforts help Stanford to break new ground in terms of medical discoveries. I don't know Jack about medicine or drugs or biology but I do know who to keep a computer Folding :D


Yes, it IS a good distraction. And I am definitely enthusiastic about folding, and I'm glad to have had the chance to contribute to Frankie this year.

On my desktop, folding is currently set up on my Windows 8 trial boot drive, partly for testing, and as my comment above says, partly because I'm not yet prepared to set myself up with a userid and key, then monitor heat and noise, and make long-term adjustments in my systems.

Additionally, I never intended to continue using the laptop for 24/7 folding because I can't seem to get good information on how well the Asus G73 will stand up to the heat and wear-and-tear potential that comes with 24/7 high CPU and GPU usage.

The old Q6600 machine is doing fine, but I didn't really spec it for 24/7 high use of CPU and GPU either. This just was not part of my world when I built it back in 2007. To mitigate this somewhat, I have made some "quickie" adjustments to limit folding to 75% of CPU core usage for both machines, but I have not throttled GPU usage. I must admit that I have a lot of trepidation about breaking my machines because aside from my iPad and my company laptop, these are currently my only machines. This is also why I do not overclock, except for maybe the occasional "factory overclocked" GPU card.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:39 am

BIF wrote:But the laptop, even running at only 75% is noisy in the living room.

Ahh, yes. I forgot about the noise from the laptop. That's definitely an issue.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:08 pm

Noisy systems get even noisier when they're Folding. It's amazing how much extra heat those multi-core CPUs generate when running flat out. It got so bad that the wife motivated me to do something about it. So I did two things

(1) I made a mental note to explore options for home-brew computers that focus on silent operation. I think Steve Jobs had a disdain for fans in computers too.

(2) I moved the Folding computer into a room off the carport, an external building, and installed a USB/WiFi adapter for Internet access via the WAP in the house. Now it runs unattended for the most part, and I can access it via RDP anytime from the house.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Back in the day when I had the massive diskless crate farm, most of the systems were located in the crawlspace. If I was still into it to that degree today I'd probably use WiFi and put them in the attic or something. Without mechanical hard drives the lack of climate control would probably not be an issue.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:46 pm

Wow, carports, crawlspaces, and attics. You guys really are hardcore with this stuff!

I live in a hot climate, so cannot use attic, garage, or outbuilding. Need to run them in a reasonably moderate ambient temperature so that I don't damage any hardware.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:11 pm

That's right. Real Folders Fold in carports, crawlspaces, basements, and attics 8)
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:35 pm

BIF wrote:Wow, carports, crawlspaces, and attics. You guys really are hardcore with this stuff!

Not any more; but yes, it was quite the obsession for a while. Links to a couple of old threads for nostalgia's sake:

viewtopic.php?t=19033
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=33779

1,800 PPD was a pretty big deal back then! :lol:

Edit: For a while we even had a sticky thread with a list of motherboards that were suitable for diskless farm use: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25758

BIF wrote:I live in a hot climate, so cannot use attic, garage, or outbuilding. Need to run them in a reasonably moderate ambient temperature so that I don't damage any hardware.

Actually, if you just go a little overkill on the CPU cooler and have some cross ventilation to keep the northbridge and VRMs cool you probably won't damage anything. The "crate farm in the closet" from the first thread I linked got the temps in the closet up to around 100F before I added some ducting to suck cool air in under the door. :wink:
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:40 pm

arpstorm wrote:That's right. Real Folders Fold in carports, crawlspaces, basements, and attics 8)

I think drfish (?) folded in a dusty garage at one point too? :o
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:47 am

In my best "Wayne's World" voice:

"I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!" :lol:

I get frogs, lizards, snakes, cockroaches, and giant dog-sized ants in my garage. I couldn't bear to put any computer in there! :cry:

But on the bright side, no scorpions!
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:11 am

BIF wrote:I get frogs, lizards, snakes, cockroaches, and giant dog-sized ants in my garage. I couldn't bear to put any computer in there! :cry:

Not even a couple of ghetto computers zip tied into a plastic storage crate? :lol:
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:10 pm

drfish a.k.a. "Doc" at the SereneScreen forums is an avid Folder and a very positive influence. I believe he would be the kind of character to Fold under extreme conditions, including a dusty garage, and brag about it.

If the garage is not heated then I'd expect insects to be attracted to a nice warm Folding farm.

drfish (if memory serves) was at one time (and may still be) at the leading edge of Folding, and worked hard to get the GPU Folding client working. I followed along later and Folded for a year on a Windows 7 box with a single nVidia 8800GT, a configuration that proved to be very stable.
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Re: Frankie 2012

Postposted on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:49 pm

just brew it! wrote:Not even a couple of ghetto computers zip tied into a plastic storage crate? :lol:


LOL

Well, I wouldn't want snake skins or lizard poop to short out any equipment! But maybe there are economic opportunities...such as patenting a way to eliminate cockroach body parts from fans and the heatsink fins they got blended into... :o :lol:

arpstorm wrote: If the garage is not heated then I'd expect insects to be attracted to a nice warm Folding farm.


It is heated by the sun, and that would be the problem. 95-100+ F during summertime months. Winter would not be so bad for the health of the components, but as you say, the warm components might attract all manner of cold blooded creatures, which would not be desirable.
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