TR Forum Tidings: Folding@Home, GPUs, and power
A newcomer to our forums has posted a rather interesting thread concerning the Folding@Home GPU client and system power consumption. Bill Clo has a machine with an old Socket 754 Athlon 64 3200+ processor and 256MB of RAM, and he decided to throw in a PCI Express-compatible motherboard and a Radeon X1900 XTX graphics card to improve his folding capability via Stanford's FAH GPU client.
Using stock settings, Bill's system draws 207W of power while folding. However, Bill was able to underclock his processor to 1GHz—half the stock clock speed—and reduce the voltage from 1.45V to 1.05V. These drops reduced folding power consumption to 166-168W, and Bill says FAH production only went down by 2.6%. Bill's post includes a list of settings he used with power consumption measurements, which makes it an an interesting resource for users looking to fold while keeping their power bills manageable. (Thanks to forum gerbil Ragnar Dan for the tip.)