Laptop Folding - worth it?

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

Moderators: just brew it!, farmpuma

Laptop Folding - worth it?

Postposted on Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:48 am

As a someone new to folding@home I had to try out folding on my Dell Vostro laptop. So far it seems like might be more trouble than it is worth.

My first attempt was to load the single core tray client. With Vista, a 100% setting shows up as 50% on each core. The laptop gets warm but nothing more than it would web surfing. The bigest drawback to this is that it takes nearly three days to process a 750 point WU.

My next attempt was to load the SMP multi core client. After a fairly tricky installation, I got the client to run, but the laptop fan had to run at full speed to keep it cool. In adition, it was taking over an hour per percent on a 1.4GHz Core2Duo. If I had let it run that would work out to about 500 points or so (with a 1750 point WU).

For my third attempt I got a little braver. I loaded the latest Nvidia driver from their notebook driver page. It seems a little confusing to me. The Stanford site dirrected me to Nvidia's CUDA page, but as far as I can tell you only need a driver with a 180 or higher revision and the GPU client will run just fine. Interestingly enough, running the 8600GT at full out generates less heat than running the CPU at 100%. I actually had to load the single core client as well. I did that to keep the laptop fan from cycling on and off every 2 minutes. I prefer to have the laptop run warm at a constant temp than to thermal cycle the thing.

So far it is taking 31 minutes per percent. I could not find the WU number listed on the site so I am going to have to wait to find out what kind of points per day it come out too.
Dagwood
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:10 am

Re: Laptop Folding - worth it?

Postposted on Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:24 pm

If you're into folding, I don't see why it's not worth it? Just watch the heat. Laptops that have fans that run 24x7 get clogged up with dust bunnies quicker than their larger desktop counterparts, leading to the possibility of overheating issues down the road. I would advise a thorough cleaning (or at least compressed-air blowing in the vents) after a few months to see how much crud you're picking up.
Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves... back to you with the weather, Bob!
computron9000
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:21 pm

Re: Laptop Folding - worth it?

Postposted on Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:28 pm

Not hotter than web browsing? I'd be really careful with the temperature when folding on a laptop. It can be a good way to bake one if you are not careful.
Image
[SDG]Mantis
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:39 am

Re: Laptop Folding - worth it?

Postposted on Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:15 pm

I'm sure every laptop is different, but mine works best with BOTH a single CPU client and the GPU client. If I only use one single core client (Vista seems ot split the load at 50% each core) the fan will ramp up and down in speed trying to cool the laptop. It goes from almost off to about 70% speed. This results in CPU temps cycling from 50 to 65C. When I am running just the GPU client things are worse (at least from a temperature cycling). The fan will go from off to nearly full speed. That results in the GPU temp swinging from 45 to 70C. However, with both the GPU running at 100% and the CPU client at 70% (thats 35% a core) the whole thing stablizes at 55C and the fan runs at a constand speed. Compare this to the short time I ran the multicore SMP client and the CPU temp ran at 70C and the fan was full speed.

To hypothisize a bit, The M8600GT GPU chip does not fluctuate in its power use as much as the CPU does. Running the GPU at full is not that bad. It is only when the CPU use goes to 100% that the laptop feels like its going to melt. This is also my experience when playing games. CPU use is low the game is GPU bound and the laptop is warmish. The time or two I have used the laptop to compress video has resulted in the laptop feeling hot, and the fan spinning up to what I think is 100% speed.

------------------------


I think I would be more inclined to fold on the laptop if the WU were smaller or the dead lines shorter. It takes about 30 minutes for a percent on the GPU and 35 to 45 minutes for the CPU. In order to see results at that speed it needs to folding 24/7. That really is not how I use the laptop. If the time frame was more like 8 or 16 hours it would apeal to me more. However, the single core CPU client does have the advantage of long deadlines, so with normal laptop use I might be able to make deadlines.

---------------------------

With the Desktop, I don't mind the 24/7 opperation. I used to leave it on, overnight just so it would perform its house cleaning. And if something burns up, it can be replaced cheeply. Heck as it is now, parts are just too old a long time before they burn up. I would almost welcome the chance replace a broken part.

[edit: attached sig :P ]
Last edited by Dagwood on Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Image
Core2 E7400 / Gigabyte GA-G41M / 4 GB DDR2 800 / HP OEM 300 watt PSU
Dagwood
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 497
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:10 am

Re: Laptop Folding - worth it?

Postposted on Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:50 pm

Yeah, I understand the system runs better when the fan is going full-tilt. That's how most laptops are. Heat removal is traded for quiet, initially. Once you exceed a certain load on some combination of cpu/gpu (depending on how the heat-sink assembly is designed), then you trigger a fan, which either toggles on and off to stay under the threshold or is forced to run continuously. "Smart Fan"

Anyhow, like I said, if you can take your laptop apart (and/or get at your CPU / GPU) from the back, and don't have to do a bunch of work, it should be easy to keep critical things free of debris. If it's a bunch of effort, or it voids a warranty or something, I wouldn't bother with it.
Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves... back to you with the weather, Bob!
computron9000
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:21 pm


Return to TR Distributed Computing Effort

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests