Welcome to team 2630!

Come join the... uh... er... fold.

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Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:02 pm

Team TR Folding@home
by idchafee & Just Brew It!

This page is based on the tutorial produced by the original TR Folding evangelist, DiMaestro. Without him, TR would not be the folding juggernaut that it is. And a big thanks to all the members of The Tech Report F@h team for their help in editing this revision.

What is Folding?
Folding@home is a distributed client computing effort by Stanford University intended to help understand how proteins assemble or "fold." Exactly how proteins assemble themselves is a mystery, and why proteins sometimes fold improperly or "misfold" is also not fully understood. Many serious diseases are related to the misfolding of proteins, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Mad Cow Disease, and several forms of cancer. By donating your CPU's spare cycles, you are contributing to an effort to understand how proteins fold, which is the first step to understanding how basic proteins work and how we might treat these diseases. When you are not using your computer, the processor will run simulations of different proteins and the way they assemble to better help scientists understand why they do what they do.

How can I help?
First, go to the Folding@home web site and download the latest client. The client comes in a variety of flavors. For the graphically minded, there is a screensaver client that will run whenever your screensaver is engaged, ensuring that the client won't run when you're using the computer. There is also a graphical client ("GC") available that will fold whenever the computer is on; it runs during the CPU's idle processing time. The GC puts an icon in the systray with an option to display a simulated picture of the protein as it's being folded. Finally, the newest addition to the F@h client family is a command-line version that you can set up to run as a system service under Windows NT/2K/XP, so that the client will run even if the machine in question is not logged in.

The F@h client is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. The screensaver version runs only when the screensaver kicks in. The graphical and console versions run at a very low priority, and only consume CPU cycles which would otherwise be unused. You should not notice any significant impact on application performance of your system when running F@h.

I'm not using a Windows OS. Can I still help?
Fear not, there are Mac OS X and Linux clients for the alternative minded. Instructions on the Linux client are listed below.

Running F@h under Windows

Installing the graphical client
Installing the graphical client is fairly straightforward. Run the installer, and it will ask you a series of questions, like most installers. After the install, you can join The Tech Report's team by right clicking on the "red flower" icon in the system tray and selecting Configuration. This will bring up a small configuration screen for Folding@home. On that screen, enter 2630 for your team number. You can also change your name in this screen. Pick your name carefully; if you change it later on, the points you've accumulated under your original name won't transfer.

Installing the command line client as a service in Win2K/XP
Unike previous versions, the newest version of the command line client adds the capability to install F@h as a service under Win2K/XP, without the need for a 3rd-party service wrapper (e.g. FireDaemon). The Windows Service functionality is now built-in to the stock console F@h client!

After you've downloaded the client, create a directory to contain all of the files related to F@h (I usually create a folder called C:\Program Files\FAH), and put the downloaded client EXE there. If you have a HyperThreaded or dual-processor system, and want to get the highest possible throughput, create two different directories (e.g. FAH1 and FAH2), and put a copy of the folding client in each one. (Additional info about setting up HT/dually systems can be found in this forum thread).

Now go ahead and run the client -- browse to the folder you downloaded the client to, and double click on the client file: FAH504-Console.exe.

Once you start the client, the config screen will look like this:

Image

The arrow points to the most important question that needs to be answered when using the command line version: Do you want to install this client as a service? Running as a service means that the client will start as soon as the machine boots (even if nobody is logged in). If you choose not to run as a service, you will need to start the client manually each time you log in, or add it to your Startup folder. Also make sure that you key in the username you have chosen for yourself, and the TR team number (2630).

The rest of the installation's questions should be answered based on your situation. One of the nice things about this version is that if you're installing F@h on a laptop, you can tell F@h to be inactive when the notebook is on battery power. To get the extra options (battery suspend, CPU usage requested, etc), you need to say yes to the advanced options choice.

Depending on your system, there are additional options which may be configured to maximize your throughput. Additional information about configuring advanced options and command line switches for the Windows F@h client can be found in this forum thread.

One last note: in the Windows Task Manager, you will see two processes. FAH504-Console.exe is the client which you downloaded and installed; it handles the communications with the main servers at Stanford, and manages the operation of F@h on your system. It runs at 'Normal' priority, but only becomes active when a work unit needs to be uploaded or downloaded. You will also see a process with a name like FahCore_xx.exe; this is the "core" program which does all the actual work of running the folding simulation. The core program will show as a 'Low' priority app, which means it will only consume CPU cycles which are not needed by anything else running on your system.

And now you're folding, Windows style!

Folding under Linux
The Linux Folding@home client is command line-based only (no graphical client or screen saver).

The following instructions assume that you will be working from a command shell (terminal window). In most distros, you can launch a terminal window from the GUI by selecting System Tools - Terminal from the menus. If you are new to Linux, please note that command and file names in Linux are all case sensitive. On the other hand, if you're a Linux veteran, just bear with me (most of the following will probably be painfully obvious to you).

Basic client installation
To install the Folding@home client on a Linux system, you need to do the following:

1. Create a subdirectory in your home directory to put the Folding@home files in. I like to name the directory something descriptive like folding.

2. Download the latest Linux client from Stanford's site and save it to the directory you created in step 1. The remaining instructions assume that you've downloaded the 5.04 client, FAH504-Linux.exe. If you have downloaded a newer client, substitute the appropriate file name in all of the instructions below.

3. Navigate to the folding directory (using the cd command), and enter the command: chmod +x FAH504-Linux.exe to mark the client as executable.

4. Run the client, and configure it. Assuming you are still in the folding directory, all you need to do is enter: ./FAH504-Linux.exe and the client should start. It prompts for your configuration options, just like the Windows console client does. Don't forget to enter 2630 as your team ID!

Once you have configured the client, it will continue to run in your terminal window. If you don't mind starting the client manually every time you log in, you're done. The client will stop when you log out; if you need to stop it manually for some reason, just hit ^C (control-C) in your terminal window. To start it up again, just navigate to your folding directory and enter: ./FAH504-Linux.exe If you'd like to automate things a bit more, read on...

Creating a script to launch the client in the background
You can easily create a script that will run the client as a background process. Using whatever plain text editor is bundled with your GUI (or vi if you're a seasoned UNIX hacker, or just plain masochistic), create the following text file:

#!/bin/bash
./FAH504-Linux.exe -forceasm >>folding.log 2>&1 &

I've included the -forceasm switch as an example; you can also specify any other switches you want to pass to the client. Save the above file to a short, easy to remember file name, like go. Also mark the file as executable, by entering the following command in your terminal window: chmod +x go. From now on, you can launch the client in the background simply by navigating to your folding directory, and typing: ./go

Running the client as a service
To have the folding client to start automatically when the system boots, you need to add it to your system's startup script. Under Redhat/Fedora, the startup script is located in the file /etc/rc.d/rc.local. This script is executed during system startup (well, actually during init level changes, but that discussion is beyond the scope of this article), after all other system initialization has been completed. Other distros may put it in a slightly different location, so if you don't see an rc.local script in the /etc/rc.d directory, you may need to poke around a bit, or do a little Googling to figure out where the appropriate file is located in your distro.

Once you've found the file, all you need to do is append the following line to the end of the rc.local script (you must be logged in as root to edit the rc.local script):

sudo -u joeblow sh -c "cd ~joeblow/folding; ./go"

(Substitute the actual name of the user under which the client is installed for joeblow.)

In a nutshell, this says "pretend we are user joeblow, go to his folding directory, and run the go script that is located there."

Odds and ends
OK, so you're running the Linux client in the background. Maybe you've even installed it as a service. How do you check on its status, or kill the client?

Checking on the status of the client is easy; just like the Windows version, everything the client does is logged in the FAHlog.txt file. You can examine the contents of that file to see what the client is doing. You can also use the tail -f command in a terminal window to continuously display the log file as it updates. The command:

cd ~/folding; tail -f FAHlog.txt

can be used in a terminal window to display a running log of what the client is doing, even if the client itself is running in the background.

The top command can be used in a terminal window to display a list of processes (similar to Windows' Task Manager). By default the display is sorted in descending order by CPU usage; unless the system is particularly busy, the Folding@home client should be near the top of the list.

To stop a client that is running as a background process or service, use the command:

killall FAH504-Linux.exe

You must be logged in as either the root user, or the user under which the client is running in order to kill it.

It's alive! AALLLIIVVVEEEE! .. Uh, now what?
Check your place in Team TR on the official Stanford stats page, or on the unofficial (but more detailed) EOC stats page. You are also invited to browse and post in our Distributed Computing Forum if you have any questions about how this stuff works or if you want to talk some smack about how you're going to own the rest of us. We welcome the competition.

Welcome to The Tech Report Folding Team!

edited & updated by farmpuma, 23 August 2007
html removed and/or converted by farmpuma, 26 February 2008
Last edited by farmpuma on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:43 pm

OK! We now have an intro to folding sticky as Damage requested. I hope I've done justice to the hard work of stiffie, JBI, and all who have helped.

Now we need a how-to for Mac, SMP, GPU, and PS3 folding. Plus any tidbits anyone thinks would help a new folder.
You post'em and I'll paste'em!
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Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:22 pm

The link to the EOC page doesn't work..
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Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:45 pm

41.60l23 wrote:The link to the EOC page doesn't work..

Fixed, Thanks. :oops:
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Postposted on Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:47 am

The front page folding ad now links to this thread. Thanks!

Also, http://techreport.com/etc/folding/ forwards folks to the DC forum. That should keep our old article links and the URLs listed on our folding shirts working.
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Postposted on Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:42 pm

Awesome. Thanks so much Damage.
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Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2007 9:36 am

Now we need a how-to for Mac, SMP, GPU, and PS3 folding. Plus any tidbits anyone thinks would help a new folder.
You post'em and I'll paste'em!


Hmm, well it's been a long time coming considering that this was originally posted in August :O

Let's see here...

Windows SMP

This FAQ is for the Windows (not Linux or Mac OS X) client. SMP differs from the regular client in that it utilizes processors with multiple cores more efficiently. CPUs that should take advantage of this should consist of any Athlon X2's and any Core 2 Duo's.

Without further ado, here's how you install the client:

1. Download the client from this link or go to Stanford's page to get the SMP client. Note that this client will expire in February of 2008 and you'll be forced to update it with the new version.

2. Run the installation.

3. Run "install.bat" and input the following:

Windows domain\user
Password
Password confirmation

You can not run the SMP client if your computer doesn't have a password!

For the Windows domain\user, they mean the name of your computer (domain) and your user name. For example, the name my computer on my network is called "Bobmarley" and my user name is "Mark". Therefor, I will input "Bobmarley\Mark" without the quotations.


You will see two lines below in the cmd.exe Window confirming that smpd/mpiexec were installed fine:

If you see this twice, MPI is working
If you see this twice, MPI is working


If you don't see this, something has gone wrong :D Feel free to make a post about it explaining your problem.

4. Press any key to close the window and then run (double click) FAH.exe. Don't forget to give permission to FAH to use your firewall!

5. A window should come up welcoming you to F@H, etc., ignore that and look toward the bottom. Since this is the first time you're running this client, the config options are coming up and you need to complete some of them so you and your team can get credit for the units you complete.

The first item to come up is the username. You should pick your own username (or you can fold under the banner of UnitedGerbilNation, pm jeffry55 or feel free to post in the thread for more details)

The second item to come up is your team number. This is how our team gets credit for the points that you get. Input 2630 as your team number (if you wish to fold for The Tech Report, that is, otherwise input some other team number).

The next option is "Ask before fetching/sending work". You should check type in "no" if your computer is connected to the internet continuously. However, if you're connected via dial-up, then you should type in "yes" so that it isn't constantly trying to connect to Stanford's servers while you're offline.

The next item is something like "Change advanced options?" which you should type in "yes" as there is some stuff you may want to change.

Next, a message will come up querying the priority of the process. If you have another distrubited computing client (such as SETi@home), then you should change the priority to "low". Otherwise, type in idle.

The next item concerns the % of the CPU that the client will use. This should be set at 100% for the maximum utlilitization of the client. If you're concerned that the rest of your system may suffer because of the client using all of your precious CPU, then have no fear because there is little or no impact to any applications. Proof. However, if you have the multiple distributed computing clients, this options may be of use to you.

Next up, the question of disabling highly optimized assembly code. This should be marked "no" in 99.99% of all cases. Failure to do so results in horrible, horrible amounts of time needed for the client to complete the unit. Trust us, you don't want to have this option ticked as yes.

"Ignore deadline information (mainly useful if system clock frequently has errors)?" As the question says, it's useful if your system clock has errors. If it doesn't, then leave it "no". Note: when folding under the SMP unit it's very important that your client makes the deadlines. If you take a look at Stanford's page, you'll notice that the regular console's units have upwards of 30 days to complete. With the SMP units, you have 4 days. Make sure you complete the units in the time frames or you'll be losing 1000's of points.

"Machine ID" Leave this as "1". There isn't a 8 core CPU out there right now that can take advantage of two SMP units (because I believe that the maximum number of threads that the SMP unit can take advantage of is 4). If you had two clients on the same machine, then you'd want to change one of the client's ID to a different number.

"Accept WUs>5MB" Set this to "yes" if your machine has at least 512mB of ram. 1gB is recommended for this.

6. Begin folding! The client will run as long as you have it running. To stop the client, simply exit the window. To begin, double click the FAH.exe icon to begin. If you wish to change the configuration of the client (change the username, team number, etc.) then you should create a shortcut to it and add -configonly to the "target" line.

-----

^This is pretty rough since I'm at school right now and can't really remember anything :P
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Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:06 pm

Could we add some links to some of these to the sticky?
http://folding.typepad.com/news/2007/11 ... tube-.html
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:14 pm

Hey Nitrodist. Thanks for putting up the instructions for installation and setup of the Windows SMP client. :D I am assuming (I know, I should never assume anything :wink: ) this is for Windows XP.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:52 pm

jeffry55 wrote:Hey Nitrodist. Thanks for putting up the instructions for installation and setup of the Windows SMP client. :D I am assuming (I know, I should never assume anything :wink: ) this is for Windows XP.


Nitrodist wrote:Windows SMP

This FAQ is for the Windows (not Linux or Mac OS X) client. SMP differs from the regular client in that it utilizes processors with multiple cores more efficiently. CPUs that should take advantage of this should consist of any Athlon X2's and any Core 2 Duo's.


;)
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:55 pm

Nitrodist wrote:
jeffry55 wrote:Hey Nitrodist. Thanks for putting up the instructions for installation and setup of the Windows SMP client. :D I am assuming (I know, I should never assume anything :wink: ) this is for Windows XP.


Nitrodist wrote:Windows SMP

This FAQ is for the Windows (not Linux or Mac OS X) client. SMP differs from the regular client in that it utilizes processors with multiple cores more efficiently. CPUs that should take advantage of this should consist of any Athlon X2's and any Core 2 Duo's.


;)
Forgot Windows Vista? ;) The instructions for Vista is a bit different because it involves disabling some of the security enhancements, which should not be recommended though.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:48 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Nitrodist wrote:
jeffry55 wrote:Hey Nitrodist. Thanks for putting up the instructions for installation and setup of the Windows SMP client. :D I am assuming (I know, I should never assume anything :wink: ) this is for Windows XP.


Nitrodist wrote:Windows SMP

This FAQ is for the Windows (not Linux or Mac OS X) client. SMP differs from the regular client in that it utilizes processors with multiple cores more efficiently. CPUs that should take advantage of this should consist of any Athlon X2's and any Core 2 Duo's.


;)
Forgot Windows Vista? ;) The instructions for Vista is a bit different because it involves disabling some of the security enhancements, which should not be recommended though.


Actually, you don't need to disable anything. You have to create an administrator account and then install the client. There is a wiki that gives instructions on how to create the administrator account. I had to use the cmd window approach, but it worked! :P I run the SMP client on my Q6600 powered Vista X64 PC. 8)
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:24 pm

jeffry55 wrote:Actually, you don't need to disable anything. You have to create an administrator account and then install the client. There is a wiki that gives instructions on how to create the administrator account. I had to use the cmd window approach, but it worked! :P I run the SMP client on my Q6600 powered Vista X64 PC. 8)

It works but unfortunately at the expense of your system security. :-? This is not something that should be done by people who don't know what they are doing or care about not allowing their systems get owned.

If they have fixed that then that's a different story. I don't think Stanford usually moves this fast though.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:50 pm

You can simply run cmd as an admin, do the setup, and you should be fine. installing FAH as an admin isn't exactly a huge security liability, and doesn't require a new acct made.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:04 pm

pikaporeon wrote:You can simply run cmd as an admin, do the setup, and you should be fine. installing FAH as an admin isn't exactly a huge security liability, and doesn't require a new acct made.

But it does require you to activate the admin account.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:03 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
pikaporeon wrote:You can simply run cmd as an admin, do the setup, and you should be fine. installing FAH as an admin isn't exactly a huge security liability, and doesn't require a new acct made.

But it does require you to activate the admin account.
The F@H programmers have their priorities, and apparently Sony now pays their bills.

Under vista's default slightly draconian setup, right click any program, and it'll give you the option to run it as an administrator [with the UAC mention]. Do this with CMD, install fah, and exit your admin instance of cmd. It's about as insecure as "sudo apt-get install folding" [ignoring the innate insecurities of the windows platform]
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:07 am

pikaporeon wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
pikaporeon wrote:You can simply run cmd as an admin, do the setup, and you should be fine. installing FAH as an admin isn't exactly a huge security liability, and doesn't require a new acct made.

But it does require you to activate the admin account.
The F@H programmers have their priorities, and apparently Sony now pays their bills.

Under vista's default slightly draconian setup, right click any program, and it'll give you the option to run it as an administrator [with the UAC mention]. Do this with CMD, install fah, and exit your admin instance of cmd. It's about as insecure as "sudo apt-get install folding" [ignoring the innate insecurities of the windows platform]

Ah, gotcha. I thought you meant actually launching the program as as the 'admininstrator' user, not just a user with admin-rights.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:10 am

Looks like there is some code breaking through on the "what is folding" part of this page.

edit: (by farmpuma, 26 February 2008) Fixed, thanks for the nudge.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:20 am

Well this is my first post in the TR forums. Ive been a long time reader for many years now. I just set up a spare computer that i plan on leaving on all day, so i decided to fold on it. So another folder for team TR! :) Hi everyone...
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:56 am

Wooohoo! Thanks and welcome!
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:48 am

J3SteR82 wrote:Well this is my first post in the TR forums. Ive been a long time reader for many years now. I just set up a spare computer that i plan on leaving on all day, so i decided to fold on it. So another folder for team TR! :) Hi everyone...


Welcome to Team TR J3SteR82! :D We appreciate every new member that joins the fold. :wink: Check out the forum and make some posts.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Sat May 23, 2009 10:06 pm

Just joined team 2630. I'm running off an MSI Laptop, Athlon X2 Dual-Core QL-62 2.00 GHz with an Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT graphics card.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Sun May 24, 2009 12:13 am

eternalmatt wrote:Just joined team 2630. I'm running off an MSI Laptop, Athlon X2 Dual-Core QL-62 2.00 GHz with an Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT graphics card.

Welcome, welcome... the more the merrier!
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Sun May 24, 2009 10:25 pm

Welcome to Team TR eternalmatt! :D
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:27 am

jeffry55 wrote:Welcome to Team TR eternalmatt! :D


Hi folding expert around

Since i have a spare Atom330 running for some good reason for 24*7 , can i fold also ? It is using a 945GC which i believe not much of GPU power going to contribute.

Will it be ok ? I'm using a bunle Vista -Basic ..is it ok or enough to go ??

1 more thing to ask , will it occpany my broadband bandwidth ?Since now it already narrowband due to poor ISP ??
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:04 am

mghong wrote:
jeffry55 wrote:Welcome to Team TR eternalmatt! :D


Hi folding expert around

Since i have a spare Atom330 running for some good reason for 24*7 , can i fold also ? It is using a 945GC which i believe not much of GPU power going to contribute.

Will it be ok ? I'm using a bunle Vista -Basic ..is it ok or enough to go ??

1 more thing to ask , will it occpany my broadband bandwidth ?Since now it already narrowband due to poor ISP ??


Hi mghong and thank you for your interest in folding.

The Atom processor and integrated graphics is not an ideal combination for folding. I do not know if you will make any of the deadlines. Give it a try and see what happens. :D It would be a good test case to share with others on Team TR.

The folding program only accesses the internet to get a work unit and then send the work unit when finished. The upload and download times are very short. It will not impact your bandwidth the rest of the time. :D
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:17 am

I'm returning to folding !

with a gtx 280 and a nehalem xeon using the SMP client.

2630's production sure has dropped like a stone in the past months.
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mph_Ragnarok
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:22 am

mph_Ragnarok wrote:I'm returning to folding !

with a gtx 280 and a nehalem xeon using the SMP client.

2630's production sure has dropped like a stone in the past months.


Welcome back mph_Ragnarok! :D Are you also folding with the GTX 280? I think they are good for about 8500 ppd.
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:33 am

jeffry55 wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:I'm returning to folding !

with a gtx 280 and a nehalem xeon using the SMP client.

2630's production sure has dropped like a stone in the past months.


Welcome back mph_Ragnarok! :D Are you also folding with the GTX 280? I think they are good for about 8500 ppd.


I definitely am folding with the GTX 280 as well. It is also overclocked around 15%.

http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/ ... =&u=146167

Take a look. I read that the 280 would get about 8k ppd, but with my quad core ( which has yet to turn in a work unit since I started 2 days ago) the two have only put up between 4k and 5k ppd ?
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mph_Ragnarok
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Re: Welcome to team 2630!

Postposted on Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:29 pm

mph_Ragnarok wrote:
jeffry55 wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:I'm returning to folding !

with a gtx 280 and a nehalem xeon using the SMP client.

2630's production sure has dropped like a stone in the past months.


Welcome back mph_Ragnarok! :D Are you also folding with the GTX 280? I think they are good for about 8500 ppd.


I definitely am folding with the GTX 280 as well. It is also overclocked around 15%.

http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/ ... =&u=146167

Take a look. I read that the 280 would get about 8k ppd, but with my quad core ( which has yet to turn in a work unit since I started 2 days ago) the two have only put up between 4k and 5k ppd ?


Yeah, those numbers are not looking right. :-? Try running just the GPU client for a few days and see what happens.

Something to check while running just the GPU client, make sure that the "Machine ID numbers" for the two folding clients are not the same. Set the GPU to '1' and the SMP to '2".
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