Personal computing discussed

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DrCR
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Why fold?

Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:31 pm

Altruistic reasons and/or bragging rights?

Edit: To elaborate, I remember when folding first became a thing, what, a decade or more ago? But I never bothered to get involved.
 
travbrad
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Re: Why fold?

Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:44 pm

I don't fold anymore but probably a bit of both for most people. I would say I mainly started folding for altruistic reasons, but the points/score stuff was a nice little bonus on top of that. The last time I folded was around when they started to support GPU folding, and that GPU died in about a year, so I stopped doing it. Maybe it was just a coincidence but that card died much faster than any graphics card I've ever had (before or since).
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whm1974
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:07 am

The last time I folded was around when they started to support GPU folding, and that GPU died in about a year, so I stopped doing it. Maybe it was just a coincidence but that card died much faster than any graphics card I've ever had (before or since).

Consumer graphics cards are not meant to be running at full load 24/7. That's why I don't use my GPU to fold. CPUs with proper HSFs on the other hand...
 
Kougar
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:17 am

I think it is silly, even downright absurd, that computer enthusiasts are so obsessed with system performance to buy high-end hardware or upgrade less than 3 year old systems, yet then the system never gets utilized to its potential. This goes doubly-so for overclockers, overclocking a modern CPU alone is nice, but how about actually quantifying the difference in a fashion that isn't a 5 minute benchmark? I got into Folding partly for altruistic reasons and partly to see what my hardware could do after I overclocked the heck out of it. If I could run F@H 24/7 on a 100% overclocked E6300 (3.8Ghz) without crashes then I knew it was stable, and took it as a point of pride as well. And I enjoyed seeing what the OC actually gained out of the same hardware.

I don't OC much anymore, I'll take the free max turbo bin OC across all cores and leave it at that for power consumption reasons. But I still fold because the system is running 24/7 already for other reasons and it's for a good cause. The cause has had quantifiable results and seems more realistic than others such as SETI (which was the first DC project I got started on). It helps that EVGA actually incentivizes folding with a monthly account credit, I've been folding for so long that when Pascal shows up I could get a Hydro model flagship card for free, if ignoring all those past power bills. :lol: I plan to skip Titan P and will look at Titan V whenever Volta comes around, but it's nice to have the option available. EVGA's credit doesn't completely offset folding costs, but it's still a nice touch. http://www.evga.com/folding/promo.asp

As for hardware durability... I've run a GTX 480 FTW Hydro for five years, literally 24/7 folding when not gaming. The card still runs fine, and everyone knows how hot 480's were nevermind FTW models. That E6300 system I mentioned above also runs fine though I stuck it at 3Ghz and replaced my father's email rig with it. Anyone that plans to do sustained GPU folding should either be using a watercooled card or have a lifetime warranty to fall back on... when/if the GTX 480 croaks I'll just send it in for warranty. Just another reason why lifetime warranties are no longer a thing (and why I didn't care about folding it into the ground).
 
whm1974
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:15 am

I started folding back in 2004 due to me leaving my computer on all the time doing file sharing. I decide back then to do some good after hearing about Folding@Home.
 
Duct Tape Dude
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:17 pm

Are there any recent science papers from Folding@home? I can't find any since 2014 and that concerns me. https://folding.stanford.edu/home/papers

I have been lending my CPU time instead to https://worldcommunitygrid.org which rotates through various projects (some of which involve protein folding). I don't know if it's any better, but I feel like the spread is much wider and the projects are actively maintained, updated, and reported on. https://secure.worldcommunitygrid.org/a ... &pageNum=1
 
slowriot
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:51 pm

The net benefits of distributed computing have always been questionable in my opinion.
 
whm1974
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:56 pm

Are there any recent science papers from Folding@home? I can't find any since 2014 and that concerns me. https://folding.stanford.edu/home/papers

They may have already picked all the low hanging fruit.
The net benefits of distributed computing have always been questionable in my opinion.

I strongly disagree.
 
Vrock
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Re: Why fold?

Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:10 pm

DrCR wrote:
Altruistic reasons and/or bragging rights?

Edit: To elaborate, I remember when folding first became a thing, what, a decade or more ago? But I never bothered to get involved.
It makes geeks feel like they're doing something productive. They're not, but it makes them feel that way.
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Kougar
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Re: Why fold?

Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:38 am

Duct Tape Dude wrote:
Are there any recent science papers from Folding@home? I can't find any since 2014 and that concerns me. https://folding.stanford.edu/home/papers

I have been lending my CPU time instead to https://worldcommunitygrid.org which rotates through various projects (some of which involve protein folding). I don't know if it's any better, but I feel like the spread is much wider and the projects are actively maintained, updated, and reported on. https://secure.worldcommunitygrid.org/a ... &pageNum=1


Hmm, 11 months is a pretty big gap. I won't defend Pande Group, they've not done the best job of handling the project, nevermind code development and supporting infrastructure. I doubt WCG has project shortages, semi-regular assignment/receiving server issues, or the annual major bug issue that nobody can (or will) explain how it occurred even when the code itself hadn't been changed client-side.

WCG does have a wider spread, and I approve of the greater transparency they strive for. If the gap between CPU and GPU crunching continues to widen as rapidly as it has been since the 780 series launched then I may simply switch the CPUs over to WCG. For now it's just simpler to keep everything on F@H though since a single client handles both CPU+GPU folding.
 
slowriot
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Re: Why fold?

Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:20 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I strongly disagree.


Well, do you have data that could back it up? While I think the cause is noble on the surface, there doesn't seem to be much effort put into finding out how efficient these operations perform. Power is't free in a monetary sense, environmental sense, or political sense. There's very little regard in creating efficient setups versus just the highest folding rate. Then there's the whole... just what discoveries, benefits, etc. have come out of the work and do those justify very real costs. I'm open to being convinced otherwise by hard data, but until then I'm not remotely convinced it's been a net positive for the world.
 
BIF
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Re: Why fold?

Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:06 pm

It is good to question anything you do as a donation.

In fact, I usually set a time limit for any donation, and I rarely donate to the same place more than once every 10 years. Except for folding. I'm on a 5-year plan for folding; but I made that decision at the outset, partly because I knew that my donation would be geometrically amplified by my upgrades over time.

But keep questioning. Even the Red Cross needs to provide answers on a regular basis.

One thing I ask is that if you are expressing your doubts, you may be onto something. So please research and back up your claims and share with us. Don't just insert your doubtful comments and go merrily on your way. :)
 
MarkG509
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Re: Why fold?

Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:34 pm

I had a PS3 that came with Folding at Home preinstalled. I let it run it for a few days - it got pretty hot. Stopped it to do a business trip and never went back to it. IIRC, later versions of the firmware removed that app at about the same time they removed the ability to boot Linux on it.
 
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Re: Why fold?

Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:45 pm

I was one of the biggest producers on Team TR for a few years. The bottom line for me was that the power usage and increased heat output just got to be too much. It never caused me any issues with system instability or premature hardware failure that I'm aware of, but I ran the CPU client only (no GPU).

I still believe it is a worthy endeavor, but I'm not willing to personally sink big $ into running it 24x7 any more. I turn it on in October for the TRFrankenbot challenge, and use it as part of my burn-in and stability testing for new builds (allowing the last WU to complete when I deem the test a "pass", typically after a week or so).
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Kougar
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Re: Why fold?

Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:23 pm

I don't sink money into it, but heck if I got the hardware already then I'm certainly going to use it for stuff. Without overclocks the power consumption is much more manageable.

MarkG509 wrote:
I had a PS3 that came with Folding at Home preinstalled. I let it run it for a few days - it got pretty hot. Stopped it to do a business trip and never went back to it. IIRC, later versions of the firmware removed that app at about the same time they removed the ability to boot Linux on it.


Yep, PS3 folding was removed because it just wasn't efficient. A PS3 could net 1,200 PPD on a good day, compared to a 4770 that gets 13,000 for way less power. Or a Titan X for 500,000 PPD by comparison. :P Points are meant to be roughly equivalent based on the amount of science done.

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