So for some Saturday geek fun, I decided to do some CPU and GPU folding. Having a beer (or two) while testing my new system. I'm logging these points to TRFrankenbot because there are at least a hundred people named "bif-something" and I'm not feeling creative enough at the moment to choose a new ID that doesn't name a person, place, thing, or ship name from Star Wars or Star Trek. People are too predictable; yawn!
Anyway, I have a Core i7 3930k and an AMD 7970 HD, with 64 GB RAM and Windows 8 Pro 64 bit. I've got both SMP and GPU folding working now, and I'm logging between 25,000 and 35,000 PPD thus far. This number was in the mid-40,000's when I allowed it to use 100% of all 12 threads, but as you'll see below the system wasn't usable.Here's what I learned on my Saturday Night
1. When setting up a new Windows 8 PC with an AMD GPU, it's tempting to let Windows Update / Microsoft Update do your work for you and go get all the drivers you should need, right? And it's tempting to use the "autoselect" on the AMD website to tell you what you need, right?. Well, don't do this; or at least take it all with a grain of salt. I was getting a message about OPENCL.DLL missing, and this was causing the GPU client to fail. Eventually, I decided to physically go get, download, and install the whole Catalyst 12.10 package, which fixed it and allowed GPU folding to begin.
2. Even a 6C/12T CPU is not invincible. In order to have ANY reasonable response time in Firefox, I've had to adjust the SMP settings in the F@H configuration. Right now it's set to use only 8 threads. Additionally, I had to adjust the "%CPU Usage" slider (on the Advanced tab) to 80%. Otherwise, there's just not enough compute headroom to do simple end-user tasks. For some reason that I don't yet understand, my old Q6600 quad-core could run F@H at 100% and you'd never know it using Firefox or IE.
3. So this setting in F@H results in the monitor readings as follows:
Core limit = 8
Cpu % limit = 80
Resource Monitor shows CPU% = 84% to 90%
Resource Monitor shows 8 CPU threads in the 80%-ish range and 4 threads close to 100%.
My case is still on the workbench. I have the case doors off because I have one malfunctioning piece of equipment (a fan controller that I'll be RMAing soon). The left door is leaning against the unit so that the fan can blow into the case. Three 230mm case fans, Front (in), Side (in), and Top (out), currently plugged into various motherboard connectors. The Corsair H80i is set up in push-pull blowing from back of case (in). Ambient room temperature is about 79 F (26.1c).
Corsair Link shows CPU% is around 75% and temperature is 53-54 degrees c.
Corsair Link shows H80i cooler temp is around 36.5c
Corsair Link shows GPU temp is 58 c
According to Corsair Link, these are normal when not folding (basically just using web browser, etc):
CPU Temp <33c
GPU Temp <32c
I would like to find a way to run F@H at a higher priority, but not if it's going to impact everyday PC usage. I'm willing to shut it off manually when I'm going to do something critical like running one of my DAWs, but I can't put up with simple web browser usage going into the toilet.
Anyway, that's my fun thing for today. Now I'm off to find another beer and maybe make a pizza.