Measuring Folding@Home’s performance impact

THERE ARE A FEW legitimate reasons not to run Stanford’s Folding@Home client. You could be without an always-on Internet connection, or barely able to scrape together enough change to make your next utility bill payment. Heck, you may even think that searching for aliens is a better way to spend your spare CPU cycles, and that’s your choice. However, some have raised questions about whether or not the Folding@Home client has an impact on overall system performance, something that could prevent individuals and especially businesses from running the client on their machines.

Of course, running the Folding@Home command line client isn’t supposed to take away system resources from more important processes. The client itself is tagged with a low process priority when running in Windows, so just about any other system process should have first dibs on system resources. Folding@Home should only use CPU cycles your system would otherwise leave fallow, which means there should be no perceptible impact on performance when running the Folding client.

Despite that fact, some businesses may fear a loss of computational productivity, and gamers may want to avoid a potentially deadly drop in frame rates, just to be safe. Rather than simply trusting that Folding@Home doesn’t impact system performance or assuming that running the client will slow things down, we’ve run the client through a gauntlet of tests to set the record straight, one way or another. Read on to find out just how much of an impact, if any, running Folding@Home will have on system performance.

Folding@What?
So what’s this Folding@Home stuff all about? I’ve lifted a helpful little primer from TR’s official Folding@Home team page:

Folding at 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 the proteins sometimes fold improperly or “misfold” is also a mystery. Quite a few serious diseases are related to the misfolding of proteins, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, to name two. By donating your CPU’s spare cycles, you are contributing to the effort to understand how the proteins fold, which is the first step to understanding how basic proteins work and how we might treat these diseases.

Our preferred method of running Folding@Home is to use the text-only command line version of the client, which can be run transparently as a service, using FireDaemon, for any Windows NT/2k/XP-based PC. Folding@Home can also be run on Apple’s OS X and on Linux, but for the purposes of this article, I’ll just be covering the Windows version of the client.

If you use Windows 9x, or if don’t want to run Folding@Home as a service using FireDaemon, you can always run the text-only client manually. In fact, you can even copy a shortcut to the client into your Windows Startup folder so that it loads automatically each time you start Windows. Running the client as a service is a cleaner way to do things, because it will let you effectively hide the client from the hands of meddling users. The service will also automatically restart the client should it crash or shut down for whatever reason.

Now, let’s get on with our testing.

 

What to watch for in the test results
Ideally, the graphs we’re about to see are going to be very boring.

Sorry.

Folding@Home is supposed to run as a low-priority process, which means that Windows will give just about every other program, including our benchmark applications, priority when allocating resources. The differences in benchmark scores between systems running with and without the Folding@Home client should be negligible, and we’ll find out if that’s really the case.

Because Folding@Home runs as a low-priority process, it’s not going very productive if you have other programs eating up your system’s resources. In this case, Folding@Home will still run in the background, but it won’t crunch through many work units, since the client will be running on whatever table scraps Windows throws its way.

Remember: we’re not out to measure how well a machine folds, but how transparent a Folding@Home client can be running in the background. The less of an impact Folding@Home has on benchmark results, the less a user is likely to experience any kind of slowdown in day-to-day computer use.

Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run three times, and the results were averaged. Our test systems were configured like so:

  High-end Low-end
Motherboard Albatron KX400+ Pro
Processor AMD Athlon XP 2100+ AMD Duron 1.2GHz
Front-side bus 2x133MHz 2x100MHz
Chipset VIA KT333
North bridge VIA VT8367
South bridge VIA VT8235
Memory size 512MB (2 DIMMs) 256MB (1 DIMM)
Memory type Corsair XMS3000 PC2700 DDR SDRAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
Graphics Driver Detonator 40.72 CATALYST 2.23
Storage IBM 60GXP 40GB 7200 RPM ATA/100 hard drive
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP 1

The high and low-end systems I’ve set up for testing should give a pretty good cross section of what people are actually running today. I suppose I could have tested something even slower to simulate the kind of decades-old hardware that some workplaces impose on their employees, but honestly, some of the benchmarks probably wouldn’t even have run, with or without Folding@Home running in the background.

The high and low-end systems were run with and without the Folding@Home client crunching in the background as a service via FireDaemon. After each round of tests with the Folding@Home client activated, the client’s log was checked to ensure that it was indeed crunching on a work unit during the test and not otherwise inactive or waiting for a work unit from the server.

Testing was limited to Windows XP Professional, but the results should hold true for Windows 2000, NT, and XP Home, all of which can prioritize active processes. If you are running Windows 9x, you may not see the same kind of impact on system performance, but that’s what you get for running an operating system based on DOS.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

During testing, the display resolution was set at 1024×768 with 32-bit color at a refresh rate of 75Hz. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests, and all of the 3D gaming tests used the highest detail image quality settings in 32-bit color.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

 

Memory bandwidth

Memory bandwidth can often be a determining factor for overall system performance, but as you can see, the Folding@Home client has no apparent impact on available memory bandwidth in either of our test systems.

Business performance

Business Winstone performance should be especially important for businesses since it tests performance in word processing, email, and web browsing applications. Oddly enough, our high-end system actually scores a little better with the Folding@Home running in the background, but the score delta is within the margin of error. Our low-end system scores a little lower with Folding@Home running than without, but again, the difference is small enough to chalk up to the margin of error. Really, half a point in Business Winstone is nothing to get too excited about.

In last year’s Content Creation Winstone, the Folding@Home systems are a little slower, and the difference in performance here is a little bigger than what we saw with the Business Winstone test. Still, it’s a close race.

The performance gap between the systems with and without the Folding client is even smaller in this year’s edition of Content Creation Winstone.

 

3DMark2001 SE

Like our business and content creation tests, 3DMark2001 SE shows Folding@Home having only a very small impact on overall performance for both high and low-end systems.

Quake III Arena

In Quake III Arena, Folding@Home again has a miniscule impact on performance. At lower resolutions, the Folding@Home systems are only a few frames per second slower than systems running without the client enabled. Quake III Arena is a little old, so let’s throw a couple of more recent games into the mix.

 

Jedi Knight II

The relatively flat performance profile of Jedi Knight II suggests that it’s a lot more limited by overall system performance than by the graphics card, at least until we start hitting high resolutions. Throughout the different resolutions tested, Folding@Home has a negligible impact on frame rates, which means that no one’s going to buy your “folding lag” excuse for getting owned in light saber matches anymore.

 

Comanche 4 Demo

Like Jedi Knight II, the Comanche 4 demo seems more limited by overall system resources than the graphics card up to a resolution of 1600×1200. And, just like Jedi Knight II, the impact of the Folding@Home client on frame rates isn’t going to be big enough for anyone to notice. Seeing the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second is one thing, but there’s no way anyone is going to be able to see a difference of 0.3 frames per second.

 

SPECviewperf

In SPEC’s viewperf suite of 3D workstation tests, Folding@Home again has a negligible impact on overall performance. About the only interesting result here is that the Radeon 9000 Pro on our low-end test system has problems completing the Unigraphics (ugs) component of the viewperf suite and registers a score of zero regardless of whether or not the Folding@Home client is running.

 

POV-Ray ray tracing

In our POV-Ray rendering tests, both the relatively simple ntreal and more complex glasschess scenes show Folding@Home has little impact on trace times. Overall, the high and low-end systems running the Folding@Home client are only about 1% slower, if that.

Media encoding
For better or worse, legally or not, media encoding is something all the kids are doing today. Will Folding@Home slow you down?

Nope, at least not when encoding a 60MB WAV file into an MP3 with LAME 3.89. You’ll notice that the bars don’t quite perfectly line up in our graph; that denotes a fractional difference in performance that isn’t reflected by our bar labels, which are set to display no decimal places. For all intents and purposes, MP3 encoding with Folding@Home running in the background is no slower than without.

Moving to DivX, we see a noticeable difference in encoding performance. I say noticeable not because you’ll actually notice the difference in encoding performance, but because our DivX test takes several minutes to complete, so the impact of having the Folding@Home client running ends up being a couple of seconds on both our high-end and low-end systems. Overall, those few seconds work out to less than a 1% difference in overall DivX encoding performance.

 

ScienceMark

ScienceMark continues a trend we’ve see throughout testing: running Folding@Home simply doesn’t have much of an impact on overall system performance. Let’s break ScienceMark down into its individual tests to see if we can find some variation, somewhere.

Nothing to see here; move along. Folding@Home isn’t stealing enough resources from even ScienceMark’s computationally-intensive tests to make much of a difference in overall scores.

Sphinx speech recognition

Our Sphinx speech recognition tests bring me to the end of this broken record of benchmark performance. Neither the high-end nor low-end systems experience more than a negligible dropoff in performance with Folding@Home running during our Sphinx speech recognition test. At this point, we should be expecting nothing less.

 
Conclusions
The results of our testing couldn’t be clearer, at least for the systems we’ve tested today. Quite simply, the impact of running Folding@Home in the background is negligible. Even the most discerning users won’t notice it. Windows allocates CPU time slices according to process priority, and as long as the Folding@Home client is running as an idle-priority task (which is how it runs by default), one shouldn’t notice any slowdown. Remember that we’re also running FireDaemon in the background, and the impact of this small service management tool is also negligible.

With the results we’ve seen here, one more exuse for not donating excess CPU time to the Folding@Home project is gone. Whether you’re playing games, encoding media files, surfing the web, slaving away in a cubicle at work, or mumbling to your computer, running the Folding@Home client won’t slow you down. To effectively fold, however, you will need an always-on Internet connection. Also, expect to pay a few dollars a month extra on your electric bill as your system’s CPU crunches away at full tilt all the time. In my book, those are small sacrifices, especially if you count completing a work unit as your good deed for the day.

So why not head on over to Stanford’s Folding@Home page and download the client? While you’re at it, you can also join TR’s very own folding team, and help make the world a better place, one work unit at a time. 

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[http://folding.stanford.edu/faq.html),<]Β§ the console version of the folding client *is* compatible with dial-up modems. The article needs to be corrected so that readers without broadband connections won\'t be discouraged from participating. (I have a 56K modem and am a successful \"folder\".) From the latest (11/11/02) version of the FAQ: I have a modem, can I use Folding@ home? Yes. It can be configured to dial up automatically, or wait until you connect. There may be some problems with modems and the screen saver version. If you are experiencing any, please use the console version of Folding@Home.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I used to fold 24/7 when I first got DSL.

    Then I noticed that folding seemed to be using an inordinate amount of ‘idle’ bandwidth. If I started to do anything (even just moving the mouse), the bandwidth would quickly wind back to 0 k/s, leave it for a while, and it would ramp back up to 20-30kB/s.

    The downloading wasn’t constant, but I watched over 60MB come down in one hour one afternoon.

    Either I had a trojan, or F@H really likes downloading something, because after I removed it, I had no more extraneous downloads occuring (yes XP’s background data transfer service and auto-updating was disabled).

    Any chance of a quick follow up showing data transferred by the client? Per WU perhaps, with some indication of how long it takes for a CPU of xxx MHz to complete a WU.

    WRT gaming, at times the gameplay would ‘stutter’, even though average frame rates stayed high, this stutter was very annoying, making gaming unenjoyable.

    I think income tax is reprehensible. However Government has toi have _some_ way of getting money from the constituents to spread around for services (police/health/education etc).
    Possibly something based on personal spending rather than income tax could even out the majority poor and minority rich. IANA Accountant. I live Sown Under, we have both income tax and a Goods and Sales tax. Too many I think.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    yeah. taxes are definitely necessary for public goods.

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    That’s a whoopsie on AG102 πŸ™‚

    Stupid buttons,
    IntelMole

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    I didn’t…

    If you want it in economics terms, then fine. I just thought capitalism was a better way of approaching the subject…

    Say you lived on an island that was freqently flooded (UK πŸ™‚ and there was an agreement to build a sea wall to protect your livelihood. That sea wall is a public good. If you left it to [b]the market mechanism[/b], that wall would never get built and maintained (spelling?). One person could not build his section and benefit from everyone else, so therefore could everyone else

    Happy now?

    Whereas, if the Government plans a way of doing this, then it will get built properly (unless you live in the UK).

    Aaaah years of crappy public busses have left me jaded,
    IntelMole

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I didn’t…

    If you want it in economics terms, then fine. I just thought capitalism was a better way of approaching the subject…

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]Say you lived on an island that was freqently flooded (UK πŸ™‚ and there was an agreement to build a sea wall to protect your livelihood. That sea wall is a public good. If you left it to capitalism, that wall would never get built and maintained (spelling?). One person could not build his section and benefit from everyone else, so therefore could everyone else.[/quote]Capitalism isn’t a form of government. Don’t confuse the two.

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    Erm… hi πŸ™‚

    Yep, from the good old UK πŸ™‚

    Anyways, I don’t know much about your system no, I was just giving my theoretical beliefs…

    Taxes are good πŸ™‚

    Say you lived on an island that was freqently flooded (UK πŸ™‚ and there was an agreement to build a sea wall to protect your livelihood. That sea wall is a public good. If you left it to capitalism, that wall would never get built and maintained (spelling?). One person could not build his section and benefit from everyone else, so therefore could everyone else.

    OTOH, if a sea wall tax was introduced, everyone would have a sea wall…

    Other public goods include the military, police etc.

    “If people want more investment in health, let them spend their own money. They are never entitled to spend mine. I can’t afford their spending my money, and have the right to every last unit of payment for my work.”

    Reverse the situation. You need to pay for health, but you don’t have the money. Health is another public good. One person doesn’t hurt anything if he doesn’t get his vaccination, or doesn’t pay for investment, but the community as a whole must agree to pay for it.

    Oh, and Ragnar Dan#99, that’s because your body gets used to the lie in and starts shutting down bodily functions, making you feel more tired. It’s not hibernating, but it’s apparently quite close…

    Just something I heard,
    IntelMole

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 17 years ago

    Like me, I think you need to get more sleep. πŸ˜‰

    This broadband, tech. site, practically anything recent and quite a bit from the past ready and waiting for you, thing… it can make you hurt yourself.

    I’m a few hundred hours of sleep shy, and for some reason not catching upeven when I sleep in on Saturday.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    nevermind, i realized that its the first 10 amendments of the constituation just after i posted that last post. i was thinking of an older document written before the constitution (maybe declaration of independence) lol.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    pic = pick

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    A document. An essay. Take your pic. But the Bill of Rights is NOT law.

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 17 years ago

    If it’s not law, then what do you call it?

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote](even though the amendment to allow it violates the Bill of Rights and was never ratified, it was fraudulently done by 2 states having passed different versions, but that’s another argument) [/quote]Bill of Rights != Law

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 17 years ago

    My point is that amendment 16 was never ratified. 3/4 of the states have to ratify an amendment for it to be valid. They did not do that. But the Secretary of State at the time just asserted that it was ratified, and everyone in Washington, DC was so greedy for our right to exist that they yelled, “Hooray!” and wrote an income tax law.

    Anyway, this is a thing you’ll have to read about in order to consider it plausible. There was a book written a few years ago by an IRS agent which showed it to be true, and then someone even went to court, I think in Kentucky (one of the 2 states which didn’t ratify the submitted amendment as worded, the other being Connecticut), but I never heard what happened with that. I imagine the federal judge said, in effect, “Go away,” and threw out the case. I can’t remember the name of the book off hand, but I heard him talking about it on something, somewhere, and somewhere I have a PDF showing various things… but you’ll have to look into it yourself if you’re interested. I just repeat it because I’m sickened at how quickly we’ve fallen from the way this country is supposed to work.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]Oh, and income tax is IMHO very constitutional[/quote]

    Section 8 of the constitution:
    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

    Section 9 of the constitution:
    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

    Amendment XVI (1913)
    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    So, yes, technically an income tax is now “constitutional” because Congress passed an amendment. However, it was not intended by the writers of the Constitution. How that money is being used far exceeds the intention of the constitution: “to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”.

    It is rather interesting to go back and actually read the Constitution as an adult — rather than as an assignment in Civics class. You’d be surprised at how many unconstitutional activities are routine.

    Just for fun, guess when term limits first started being imposed? Or when salary changes for representatives could be applied during their own terms?

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 17 years ago

    IntelMole,

    I think you’re from the UK so perhaps you are not fully aware of the United States’ system. We had police, and crime lower than you have in your nation, before we had the income tax, which we got from the Federal government (even though the amendment to allow it violates the Bill of Rights and was never ratified, it was fraudulently done by 2 states having passed different versions, but that’s another argument) in 1913, we were doing fine. Our crime rate had been falling since a bit after the war ended in 1865, and continued falling until 1961 when it began a general climb for the first time in our history. After wars, when young men come back and often decide on crime since in wars they get away with quite a bit, the crime rate often climbs for a short period, but it comes back down.

    There is one main reason for the income tax, and that’s to provide a certain type of politicians with victims to exploit for his power. When the income tax was passed in 1913, they promised up and down that “only the rich” would pay, and “it will never rise past 1%!” Well, now everyone pays, and no one pays that little. Most income tax money is spent on social programs to buy votes and weaken the integrity, honor, and life-prospects of citizens (who are now actually subjects), and on other unlawful (in the U.S.) ideas like foreign aide, foreign military adventures and installations, and regulation of life by rules written by the Executive branch of government, even though all legislative authority is supposed to be vested in our Congress, and their granted powers are supposed to be extremely limited.

    If people want more investment in health, let them spend their own money. They are never entitled to spend mine. I can’t afford their spending my money, and have the right to every last unit of payment for my work.

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    In my view, government should be a vector for public demand. Just as in business if more people buy your product, then you produce more of that product, if people ask for more investment in health, then this should be reflected in the next budget.

    Oh, and income tax is IMHO very constitutional, it provides you with things you would otherwise not have e.g. police (google for a site called “amosweb economic glossarama” (can’t remember the web address) and look under “public goods”)

    And #86, thanks, but when it comes to women, isn’t more usually better? :-),
    IntelMole

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Efficient government is the tyrant’s siren.

    What is desirable is minimal government. That accomplishes the well-intended goal of those wanting efficiency, while protecting the rights of the population being governed.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #87

    I agree.

    Political officials should be almost like soldiers, who fight on the political front.

    The military is efficient and effective. Perhaps if the government were more like the military, it too would be efficient and effective.

    Perhaps a military government is in order.

    Money lures most politicians.

    Perhaps a lack of it would only draw those interested in the best interests of the people.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I can’t agree that writing a letter asking MY representative in MY government to direct MY money paid via taxation is unconstitutional.

    Of course, I don’t believe an income tax is constitutional to begin with. Nor do I believe political officials should receive more than minimum wage for SERVING their country.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #80: Arguing that someone should write a letter telling a legislator to violate his oath of office is an obscenity.

    As much as you may want money to be spent on research, you have no right to ask for money to be stolen by a legislator or his agents for that purpose.

    You may think you have that power, and evidently that power is thought to exist by legislators in every country. But it is not just, and in the United States it is unquestionably a violation of the powers granted to the federal government, and after the 14th amendment was passed the state governments as well.

    Give your own money. Ask someone with wealth to give his money. Ask a corporation to donate cycles or money – they love doing that stuff, by the way, and I think this particular project could benefit immensely from such things, and I’m sure it is possible for accounting types to accurately determine the electrical and maintenance costs of folding during particular, down-time hours. That would be valuable for them because of taxation and deductions they might be able to make. (Though being strictly honest about it, that’s something the Constitution doesn’t really allow either.)

    Anyway… I’m being a bit of a whiner here, considering I’m fighting a mostly-lost battle.

    #85: Nice posts. It’s the woman, though, not women. πŸ™‚

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    On a different note, the review:

    Very original, much preferred to the next Athlon XP 2*00+ πŸ™‚

    Very good. Well presented for such a boring conclusion. I wanted to hear that blood, sweat and tears were needed just to get the thing to run at half the speed of the non-F@H system, but no, in the end it’s just the same with as without.

    Erm, good prose, good use of full stops, commas, letters, and pretty pictures πŸ™‚

    No pics of the women though :-),
    IntelMole

    • IntelMole
    • 17 years ago

    Okay, let’s see, so far we’ve got Government corruption, commercial corruption, erm… power leeching computers, bullshit, bullshit, and sativa…

    (Sorry sativa :-P)

    What F@H does:
    Proteins fold. They are made this way and fold to make certain shapes. Enzymes are proteins, they speed up biological processes by the “Lock-and-key” method. They increase surface area, so the reaction is speeded up, same as if you increase the surface area of a CPU more heat can be dissipated.

    (that’s a fairly accurate analogy, considering how much I’ve thought about it before bringing it up, don’t go beating it okay… just an analogy)

    What happens if they fold “wrongly” though? I just studied a disease called Phenylketonuria briefly, caused by a genetic problem. The problem causes a different protein to be made, and the enzyme that’s involves can’t catalyse phenylalanine, so it builds up, causing brain growth to be retardated…

    That’s the sort of thing that happens when proteins fold “wrong.” Although the example is slightly different (different protein not different fold sequence), the idea is pretty much the same…

    But we know very little about how these proteins fold? F@H works out a 5ms timeslice of a protein fold, so we can piece together the whole thing when it’s compiled back together.

    Commercial greed my arse. Where?!?!?!?! Those of you who say it’s pointless for this very reason, don’t understand the project.

    “We will never see the benefits…”:

    Billy. They recently folded a protein involved in AIDS, now considering how much we know about combating that disease, I’d call that pretty beneficial, wouldn’t you?

    AG58, kudos for having the right glasses on πŸ™‚
    All the rest of you, learn how to get dressed first, then tackle more important issues…

    I would run F@H myself, except I’m on dialup, and my machine chugs anyways… I lost an grandparent to cancer a while back, so yeah, I’d love to run the client…

    And all those who whinge about the power consumption: loose a belt buckle hole or two FFS! I’ve seen looser corsets πŸ™‚

    /rant,
    IntelMole

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #80 — the funny part is that reaching into my pocket and making a donation takes checking out the charity thoroughly to ensure that more than 10% of my donation actually goes directly into the research.

    Let’s say I donated $15 per month rather than leaving my computer running (saving me $15 per month). How much do you think it would cost Stanford to purchase the computing power I would no longer be providing?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    It’s all a question of values.

    If someone does not see a value in the end result of all the work units, then increased electricity bills and decreased performance are MAJOR concerns.

    If someone does see a value in the end result of all the work units, then increased electricity bills and decreased performance are MINOR concerns.

    Each individual has their own values. I do not value feeding someone in Africa, so all my parents’ statements that my dinner could feed a family of 10 in Africa meant nothing.

    Don’t fold “because you should”. Fold “because you want to” or even “because you need to”.

    • R2P2
    • 17 years ago

    [q]less time debating copyright legislation[/q]No! That would just result in more stupid copyright legislation being passed! They need to debate it long enough to see the idiocy of it.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I really dont think running this proggie will help mankind that much. a better approach may be to reach into your pocket and make a donation, volunteer at a hospital/charity thing, or write a letter to your representatives urging more reasearch money and less time debating copyright legislation.

    • Zenith
    • 17 years ago

    Ever notice the pause button on the F@H client, why dont you just pause the damn thing when gaming if you are so friggen worried about your little performance boost you get and shut up, run F@H AND DO SOMETHING FOR MAN KIND YOU HEATHENS.

    • axeman
    • 17 years ago

    I’ve noticed weird behavior running the F@H client too, not really performance issues, but its been with the graphical client, not the CLI version. I don’t play UT, but several other games like to minimize themselves halfway through loading, like someone else mentioned, sometimes if folding is running. The crappy part is that a couple of games that do this hang when you try to maximize them again, so then I have to CTRL-SHIFT-ESC and end them, and try it again. A real pain esp. when it does it twice in a row. Also have a few weird slowdowns in games sometimes too with folding running, really noticeable in PGA 2002 golf, which is a pig and needs all the power you can muster I guess. Bottom line is that it ain’t perfect, and since I’m stuck on dialup for a while I will stop running it. I’m guessing the problem is games aren’t using 100% of the CPU all the time, so when folding tries to take up some of the idle cycles, because the CPU is switching tasks back and forth more cache misses and pipeline bubbles form. Benchmarking with timedemo is probably a bad way to test for this reason, since it will probably easily hog 100% CPU since its rendering as fast as possible and not realtime gameplay where depending what’s happening the CPU may have a little free time, etc. Benchmarking 3d games has always irritated me because minimum fps are ignored in favour of average. Concievably one graphics card could average higher fps yet feel less smooth in real life because in intense graphical situations it slows down more than different card. The folding benmarks might even not show this kind of thing, just because with folding running the average is .3 less doesn’t mean the minimum fps in some spots isn’t far less, even if the drop is only for a half a second. And a human playing the game would most certainly notice.

    Win2k SP2 or 3
    Duron 1.1, 512mb PC133, GF3 Ti200.

    • R2P2
    • 17 years ago

    AG#73 — Memory bandwidth has nothing to do with the amount of memory in the machine, except that if you have no RAM you also have no bandwidth. πŸ˜‰

    • Steel
    • 17 years ago

    It must be XP specific, I haven’t encountered that on any of the Win2K machines I fold on (from 300MHz to 2GHz).

    • Jase
    • 17 years ago

    Yep ER that sounds reasonable. The thing that got me is when you pull down your most recent url’s IE ground to a halt for 10-30seconds. I found that unacceptable behaviour considering a lot of my users browse in that fashion πŸ™

    • EasyRhino
    • 17 years ago

    Remember how someone way earlier said that the IE URL bar matched typing slower with FAH running? Seems believable. Good chance that the URL matching runs as a low-ish priority thread.

    Power consumption stats WOULD be nice to see, not just for FAH but for computers in general.

    Alls I know is that here at home I had a dualie 500, and two PPro’s 200 running, and when I turned off the two PPro’s, it cut up to $15-20 bucks of my wicked-fun California electricity bill.

    ER

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Dim, you are wrong, folding takes up little if any memory bandwidth. I run 3 folding boxen with amd k6-2 450’s and they each have 32 meg of ram just to get the machines booted and that is it.

    • highlandr
    • 17 years ago

    This is for the negative poster from earlier (62, 56…), and yes, this is beating a long-dead horse…

    It would be worthless to measure differences in power consuption, because each machine is different. A spankin’ new P4 or XP that put it’s single hard drive to sleep after 15 minutes would have a much larger difference in power consumption than an old PIII 500 with 3 drives that are almost constantly in use. Not only does every major CPU stepping revision have a different max and min power consumption, but many other components in the case affect it as well. I agree they COULD have measured the difference, but they also could have measured the performance by timing any differences in windows’ startup. Neither of those measurements would have much bearing on any other machine besides the ones they measured them on.

    Some more fuel for a dying fire…

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    my figure for power cost was merely an abstract that was meant to be filled in by the readers actual power cost.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    [quote] Sativa, you are off by a mile on your figures.

    Actually my equation couldn’t be MORE right…[/quote]You’re both right. AG#63 is questioning figures not equations. Sativa has the right equations but the $0.02kw-hr (figure) for power cost is probably unrealistically low just as the 350W figure for a single PC is unrealistically high. Unless its a duallie with the monitor on. πŸ˜‰

    • Mr Bill
    • 17 years ago

    Power here costs $0.067/kw-hour. I draw 930 watts with everything powered up. I keep the monitors powered off when I’m not using them. So, I only draw about 630W which works out to about a dollar a day.

    I think it was excessive for that university to compute total gflops and assign a cost of computer time theft. Someday that will be true if there some sort of distributed computing service comes into being that pays people for their spare cycles. Then one can talk about stolen CPU time. Like someone diverting time from a computing facility where the cost of each gflop it is well characterized.

    Its hard to assign a true value to CPU time if that time is not actually being utilized for anything else constructive. However, its much easier to calculate a misappropriated energy cost. It would be interesting to compare the energy efficiency (e.g. gflops/watt) of distributed versus centralized computing.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]Sativa, you are off by a mile on your figures. [/quote]Actually my equation couldn’t be MORE right. The kw/hr figure depends on where you live and your electrical company, so its obviously variable. Just open up your electric bill and check for yourself, then apply their rate instead of the 2 cents per kw/hr i used in my example and you have your answer.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Aside from idiot places like Grayout Davis’s CA, and apparently the results of decades of Cuomo and friends’ policies in NY, who pays almost 14 cents kWh? I pay under 10 cents, and that’s the highest cost in my entire state, and it’s not a west coast or Tennessee valley taxpayer subsidized area, either.

    • andurin
    • 17 years ago

    lol, I plan to fold during the winter so I can cut back on my heating bill.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Sativa, you are off by a mile on your figures.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #56 here.

    Sorry to hear about your personal problems with the diseases. I lost one grandfather to Alzheimer’s years before he actually died. And if folding proteins have anything to do with cancer, I’ve lost another grandfather both to Alzheimer’s and cancer, and more relatives to the associated diseases. So I know your feelings on this.

    Look at the other posts on the power consumption questions. Look at slashdot’s posts as well. A lot of questions on this topic.

    Now I’ll let it rest.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    Assuming you have a 350watt power supply providing its maximum capacity (350W, which probably never ever happens), and your electrical company charges you 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, you’d pay 17 cents a day maximum (350/1000 * 24 * .02)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Hey, chill. If you check out TR’s folding forum it should become clear that quite a few people fold for other teams. The general consensus is that who you fold for is far less important than the value of the work. Take a look at the sponsors for TR and you will see they have nothing to do with F@H. They don’t pay more or less based on our F@H standings.

    What I would like to see is a more direct comparison of running F@H or not running F@H. I don’t leave my computer on all night just to run F@H. The additional cost to my electric bill for running F@H is only the b{

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Wow… some of you ppl are really dense.

    Asking about the additional electricity cost of running F@H?? WTF? Are you serious? Do you have nothing better than to bitch and complain about such little and virtually unimportant details?

    Costs? Ha! You’re worried about costs? Better not use that washing machine and clothes dryer at home then. That eats up more energy than F@H would and you can very much wash your clothes by hand anyways.

    Playing games on your computer?? Ha! What’s that truly costing you then? Wasting time and money playing a game when you could be using that time more wisely by working and earning some money or even out washing your clothes by hand.

    Downloading/playing mp3s on your computer?? Ha!! Gee… that’s a pretty costly activity there. Cost of electricty to run your computer… to power your speakers… cost of your internet connection… cost you’re causing to the other computers affected by you connected and d/l music.

    =P

    Morons… I swear.

    • Damage
    • 17 years ago

    #56:

    You may not like the fact the article didn’t measure your pet problem with distrbuted computing applications, but that doesn’t mean the article didn’t do what it set out to do or that it was somehow grossly deficient.

    As for me, I am proud to participate in the Folding project. My grandmother has Alzheimer’s and my dad has Parkinson’s, and I damn well don’t worry about burning a little extra energy trying to help scientists figure out why proteins don’t always fold properly.

    If you don’t care to join and/or fold at all, fine. Don’t. That’s your choice. No need to be such a blowhard.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [q]#51: We are not asking anyone to donate money to us, and we don’t benefit financially from doing well in Folding.[/q]

    Not mailing you a check, it’s using our computers for your team, which is the same as mailing you a check. As for not benefitting financially, are you serious? Do you really believe this? Is Tech-Report a hobby? If you don’t derive any income from the site, then I believe you. But if you derive income from the site, how can you possibly say that joining tech-report’s team in a contest for bragging rights and publicity over other sites and other teams doesn’t benefit Tech Report financially? Does this really need to be spelled out? Really?

    [q]We generally believe the Folding project itself is a good cause, and thus worth whatever few extra dollars are needed every so often on the energy bill. That’s all.[/q]

    Maybe so, and it is a good cause. But it is more than a few dollars per month. And it is an issue. Both on mom’s pocketbook, and on the environment. We didn’t forget the environment, did we? While I don’t believe in the crisis du jour, be it global cooling, global warming, hair spray in the atmosphere, whatever, many other readers of slashdot, and I’m sure Tech Report wail about SUVs, Bangladesh being flooded by melting icebergs, etc.

    [q]The article focused on the effects of PC performance because it was low-hanging fruit: quick and relatively easy to measure, at least in a basic way,[/q]

    I brought this up previously in another post to your site, and an email if memory is correct. An ammeter, a notepad, a pen. Or a spreadsheet. Clamp the ammeter around the power strip. Measure usage. Multiply. Report. One fruit so high, you’ll need binoculars just to see it.

    For those of us aware of actual electrical costs, especially when stuck with demand meters, this is not a biggie. But you are missing the point. The review or article was deficient. It should have covered electrical consumption, both from a user cost, which would be pointed out in the article, and from an environmental cost, which would be up to the reader to figure out and decide for themselves, once the electrical consumption figures are really known.

    [q]and performance concerns many of us more than power use or other considerations.[/q]

    At a couple bucks, why would power use be a worry? At ten or twenty per box per month, would that enter into the equation?

    [q]And for the record, we’d rather see you fold for another team than not participate at all.[/q]

    As long as I’m not a 13 year old folding on mom’s dime. Wouldn’t you agree?

    I’ve beat this dead horse enough. Where do I join?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I wonder if anyone with a “plug logger” and a computer on which they fold could measure the 24 hour difference between having folding running and having it not running.

    I don’t see any explanation of what the computer consuming $0.34/day was running for those 24 hours. If it was idling that entire time, then that number is woefully low for even the most basic office use. If not, it still doesn’t tell us how that breaks down to CPU usage vs. other power usage (fans, drive motors, etc.) I’d wager the full-time running of F@H would add considerably less than $0.34/day.

    Many of us leave our computers on 24/7 for other reasons than F@H. That power consumption would still exist. The unanswered question is how much more power would it consume over the idle consumption?

    • Kilroy1231
    • 17 years ago

    You know, I should find out who is responsible for computer stuffs here at the University and inquire about installing Folding@home on the computers in the labs… I am pretty sure most of them are on 24/7… well, as long as school is in. I don’t think I could get them to join another team (Amdmb is the team I am on :p) but then again, some large amount of Pentium 4 2.0GHz computers folding 24/7 would help out a bit

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Damage
    • 17 years ago

    #51: We are not asking anyone to donate money to us, and we don’t benefit financially from doing well in Folding. We generally believe the Folding project itself is a good cause, and thus worth whatever few extra dollars are needed every so often on the energy bill. That’s all.

    The article focused on the effects of PC performance because it was low-hanging fruit: quick and relatively easy to measure, at least in a basic way, and performance concerns many of us more than power use or other considerations.

    And for the record, we’d rather see you fold for another team than not participate at all.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I really like this site. For the people running it, for the layout, for the stories, for a lot of things. But this “review” blows chunks. Excuse? For what? Providing hard earned cash to Tech report?
    The post below, pulled from slashdot, concerning electrical cost paints a realistic picture. Take the post number, go to slashdot, and read my response. The guy comes out with a figure of $0.34 per day for a PII 400. This figure if it is to be believed, means not a few dollars as stated in Tech-Report’s “review”, but $10.00 per month cost for one machine.

    Readers wish all you want, deny all you want, that won’t change the fact that a cpu costs more to run folding, and puts out more heat, than when idle. Period.

    As for the guy above, he’s only scratched the surface. Run your computer in a basement of anything more than a one family house? That’s a commercial rate. Run it at work? That’s a commercial rate. How many readers know what demand meter or charge is? See that $10.00 figure above? Try doubling it in the winter, double and a half, or more in summer. Businesses have demand meters. Many homes now have demand meters as well. One home I use computers in has a higher rate during the day, as well as a demand meter.

    Adding a computer to a high electric use place is not adding $10.00 to a bill, it is adding a multiple of that figure. Why? Because you are paying for the capacity to the home, not just the usage. Get an especially hot day? Flip on that last air conditioner to cool the home so you don’t pass out? That extra computer boosting the peak on the demand meter getting you over the next threshold level is going to tear you a new a**hole.

    Sorry guys. You have a great site. I’m even hoping you win the contest that you are in with this folding thingie. But creating a “review” or “report” that attempts to wipe away “excuses” for not donating “a few dollars” to Tech Report for its prestige, promotion, advertising, boosting, whatever is simply wrong. Especially when you know full well that some of your readers are under the age of 18, using mom’s dough to pay the utilities, and which would be considered unethical if the kiddies were lured into buying something online, or paying for some type of access by using mom’s credit card without her knowledge.

    It wouldn’t have been too much trouble to hook up an ammeter to the boxes over a few weeks, and figure out how much your project is really costing to run. Figuring out the demand charges where applicable would be a little trickier, but a couple of calls to your utility company would help. But this wasn’t the goal of the article, was it? Dispelling any “excuses” for not donating to Tech Report was.

    I have seen Tech Report articles listed on slashdot and elsewhere, and I’ve never seen the methodology questioned. But leaving out utility costs, or referring to them as a few dollars, and “no excuse” is simply inexcusable itself, and shows that in this case, your methodology is flawed at the very least, and could be considered deceptive.

    Post from another slashdot reader below, follow the post number for my response:

    PC Energy Use (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 11, @02:03PM (#4644306)

    Sorry for this being so trollish, but I am sick of the misunderstanding in PC energy use that runs rampant on Slashdot.

    I work for an energy consulting firm, and one of the many tools we have around the office is something called a “plug logger”. You plug it into the wall and then a device into the logger and it will tell you the power of the device (in WATTS) and will accumulate energy (in kWh). Check out Β§[< http://www.pacscitech.com/newdocs/detailsPlugLogger.html<]Β§ for more info. I have a PII/400 workstation, w/ 2 CD drives, 2 HDs, 19" Monitor, speakers and subwoofer. The logger was installed and connected to the PC 450 days ago. The monitor is turned off when we aren't in the office (12 hours/day plus weekends). The PC is left on continuously. So far it has consumed 1096 kWh. That's about 2.5 kWh/day and in New York state, that equals $0.34/day. When the monitor is on, the whole system consumes 165 watts. Without the monitor it's 65 watts.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Who on earth is so bored at /. that every decent article here gets a mention?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #43: What fan/heatsink are you running? I’ve got a Celeron 1.0a that won’t even do 1330, so I’m looking to replace the stock one. It’s my server so it has to be reliable, though, so if it only just gets to that speed and runs a little flaky, I won’t do it.

    I would tend to agree that Folding varies in how much CPU it eats from frame to frame, but I’ve never noticed it making a difference running a game. I haven’t checked the numbers, but I don’t notice slowdowns. I have assumed it got such low priority that it never got a time slice beyond a check of its priority.

    But, it does eat memory and that will make a difference on various things, like media encoding. And it adds an extra couple of processes (3 with FireDaemon), too, and they have to be managed by the OS.

    I’d like to see a Win9x box tested too, though, since I’ve got people running the GUI client using Win9x (or WinME in one case… yuck).

    • yarbo
    • 17 years ago

    folding isn’t too bad to get through a firewall because it usually uses port 80. I’ve got it to work from my school computer lab (only when i’m logged in and using it though), as well as through proxies.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    AG 45,

    Actually my team’s members have had pretty good luck getting the latest version of folding working behind most “big company” firewalls. If the box has access to the internet, you should be able to get Folding working. You will need to go in to the advanced settings and manually configure the domain, user name, password, proxy server IP and port.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    dissonance:

    Folding may not make much of a difference in Q3 time demos, but it seems knock a big chunk out of my FPS in actual game play. Did you try turning draw_fps on and running Q3 with and without F@H running in the background? I keep my frame rate capped at 125, which my box easily maintains with folding paused. With folding running, my frame rates dip into the 50’s and rarely get above 70. BTW, I’m running Win 2k SP3 on an AthlonXP clocked at 1930mhz using a Geforce2 GTS with the latest Dets.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    You ppl don’t seem to work to work in the corporate world… or at least you don’t work for any big named companies.

    Most of these big companies have strict access in/out of the network — i.e. firewalls and proxies. F@H usually won’t work through these network limitations (well not unless you’re lucky to get a dedicated IP at your job, but 99% chance you got DHCP running).

    Also… you ppl that are concerned about others making money off of your CPU cycles…. jebus! Get a life!!! Holy cow!! It’s for research… research that could help all of us and your kids and beyond. Granted any kind of research can be turned against us but that’s the risk you run. Get a grip ppl! Geez… those that are worried about someone making money off of it all are the ppl who are completely selfish. Don’t be!

    =P bunch of morons these days…. I swear.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Well, one question I have, that was not addressed at all in this article, what is the difference in Power Usage, in Watts for running Folding@Home, then one that was sitting idle.This would obviously be of concern to an employer. How much is it directly going to cost.

    Also, testing with high end games, may be good from the point of view of technically seeing if there is a difference, but most employers wouldn’t consider that a good test, and may even think it is a bad test, because they obviously don’t want people playing quake III on company time. (ID employees excluded πŸ˜‰

    So if the target audience was just nerds, then it did a fine job. But if you want employers to allow programs like folding@home to run on employee systems, then I think the article and tests need to reflect things that an employer can understand, like performance while running MS Office, or even OpenOffice, etc.

    Sure, Nerds need to be convinced to run the app. But most Nerds probably would be convinced anyway. Now convince the Employer, and give the Nerds some ammo to go to the employer with.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I used to be a folder, but I’m trying new project now, Find-a-Drug. One thing I immediately noticed is that it doesn’t slow my machine down as FAH does. When I’m offline (dailup), FAH drops my framerate in Q3 from a capped 125 fps to a constant 100. When I’m online the framerate is back up at 125. With this new project the framerate does not drop to 100.
    Also, FAH does impact performance, as shown in the graphs. That by itself is not a problem. However, the performance drop is not a constant drop, it causes the machine to lag or stutter rather than just dropping a few fps. Since I ran 3 FAH clients (dailup remember) the drop was very obvious, but even with 1 FAH client it’s still noticable. Prime95 showed the same behaviour. Find-a-Drug does not. This shows that the fault is not with Windows (I run XP), but with the software. Maybe it’s very dependant on the size of the code and data, maybe it’s dependant on the L2 cache of the CPU, who knows.
    What I would like to see from Tech-Report is a cross system, cross DC-client, cross OS test, using maybe 2 or 3 benchmarks. This could help identify the cause of the stutter.
    (btw, my system is a Intel Celeron 1.0a (256kb l2) at 1500mhz on a i815 chipset)

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Sorry, /. means SlashDot, but what does “fark” mean?

    Gerbil #XXX

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Does it strike anyone else that link sites like fark and /. should be compensating smaller websites for the beating they give them by linking them? ie.. paying for some bandwidth?

    After all, TR goes to all the trouble of testing and benchmarking, then /. just links the article.

    I know it will never happen, just musing πŸ™‚

    BTW, how much bandwidth does TR serve up in an average month?

    • yarbo
    • 17 years ago

    Thanks for the article. Hopefully this will help a few of us with borgs and attract some new blood

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Shall I remind you that Tech-Report is SlashDotted?

    Gerbil #XXX

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Steel:
    AG 16 here. Tried both DOS window and service. Similar behavior. Service was a little better, but not good enough to not be an annoyance. This was on an XP machine with a 2.66GHz P4.
    I am waiting on a HT-enabled P4 to see if performance improves.

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    AG27, [quote]Nothing is free. Do you really think that not having a potential treatment is better than having one that costs money? Listen to yourself for a moment… You’re bashing a project that could potentially save lives and make life better for a lot of people, just because you’re pissed that someone might get rich off it. Yeah, people probably ARE going to get rich off the results of this project… So what? [/quote]Did you read my next post? Well thats a rhetorical question because you obviously didn’t. I said:[quote]Nothing, thats my point. Human race gets nifty disease prevention/treatment, and the employees of the drug company make a living. Everybodies happy. [/quote]So you’re arguing me about something we agree on. What a waste of time.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    OK AG24. I’ll bite πŸ™‚

    [q]That someone won’t be a diabetic, or a cancer patient, or someone with Alzheimers. No, the ultimate beneficiary carries a much more insidious disease, the symptoms of which Enron was just the tip of the iceberg: Greed.[/q]

    I hope you didnt spend a lot of time coming up with that quip, because its been said a million times before.

    Don’t underestimate the value this research on some ‘diabetic or cancer patient’. While this research is likely a decade way from any tangible patient benefit, I dont think patients will bemoan the fact that their drugs will make some faceless company $5 a pill for the rest of his/her life.

    So money makes the modern world go ’round. Is everyone as shocked as I am? Nowadays, very little research is free of societal influences. Just try getting a grant in the health sciences without implying somehow that it will benefit human life in some way.

    If you take away granting agencies and corporate backing as possible fund sources, just how do you propose academic institutions carry on any research at all?

    I do a bit of FAH because I really like the concept. (I also have a background in biochem and I work for a small biotech/pharma company so its doubly enjoyable). I’m not blind to the fact that big pharma will be the likely be the ones to benefit the most from this type of research. This is because:

    1) As you mention, even if the raw data is made publicly available only an institution with mega-resources can make anything meaningful out of it. It’s not a ‘snow job’, its large scale science.

    2) If you wanted to develop a drug based on that info, you will probably spend in excess of $500 million to bring it to market. Who can afford that, if not drug companies? Even if an academic find the latest new drug, they STILL need a pharma to put it through clinical trials.

    Here’s some Accounting 101 for you: Companies cant develop a product and give it away for free.

    Besides, just because the faceless pharma may be doing it for profit, most of the employees (and the Stanford scientists who initiated the project) really do have a love of the science and dont all have $$ signs in thier eyes. You go work alongside a bench-level scientist for a bit and then decide who is in it for the money.

    And don’t bring that Enron trash in here; what a crappy analogy. Yes, they was greed, but their downfall was the lying, coverups, and otherwise *ILLEGAL* activities by their ass-wipe corporate leaders.

    cheers!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • indeego
    • 17 years ago

    No, it’s for people who research their purchases, and make their buying decisions based on i[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    thought this was a site for people that liked hardware, hence they usually don’t run crappy out PCs but are interested on the new stuff, or the stuff that’s coming out.. leading edge type of thing.. I would indeed think a 1.2 ghz duron was low end.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Most Business Consider a 500 Mhz machine lowend not anywhere close to the Duron 1.2 Ghz

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    folding@home was affecting me, but not in system performance, in annoyance. every time i’d load up UT2003, it would keep minimizing the window. turn folding@home off, doesn’t do it. conclusion, folding@home was causing UT2003 to minimize.

    • superchode
    • 17 years ago

    indeed, it seems to me someone’s just pissed that he pumps gas for a living and spends his nights browsing conspiracy sites fueled by uber-nerds driven into a mad frenzy by x-files reruns.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Good job on the shameless self promotion! What

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Also, the end result of this project will (hopefully) be some sort of treatment or prevention of diseases caused by these proteins. That treament or prevention isn’t going to be free. [/q]

    Nothing is free. Do you really think that [b]not having[/b] a potential treatment is better than having one that costs money? Listen to yourself for a moment… You’re bashing a project that could potentially save lives and make life better for a lot of people, just because you’re pissed that someone might get rich off it. Yeah, people probably ARE going to get rich off the results of this project… So what?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Yeah, what about the puppies and kittens?

    • superchode
    • 17 years ago

    AG #24.

    you don’t happened to be employed yourself, do you?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Steel: Normally I don’t follow-up on replies… I normally just throw a match into the pile and see what burns… but your reply merits some feedback. Allow me to turn on the light for you…

    [i]From the website you link:[/i]
    [q]…Folding@home is run by an academic institution (specifically the Pande Group, at Stanford University’s Chemistry Department), which is a nonprofit institution…[/q]
    Accounting 101: In the sense used here, “nonprofit” means, and only means, that in any statement of accounting for the group or organization, after all other expenses have been covered, no money is left over. But before that all manner of expenses are covered, up to and including the people involved getting paid. (Can you say “United Way scandal?”) People do not work for nonprofits for free. Sure, some do volunteer time, but people do not [i]work[/i], full-time, for free. And if you think that what these grad students are getting amounts to just a “modest stipend,” or the equivalent, you are deluding yourself. The students are just as much in this for the money, present- and future-tense, as the fat cat corporate execs.

    Now, where does this money come from? From Uncle Sam, of course, in the form of grants. And who decides to give them these grants? Some impartial, purely scientifically-oriented, totally objective federal grant committee? Gee… [i]<twisting finger in cheek>[/i]… I know you’d just love to think that. In reality, in the world we live in today, what really happens is not much different than what Jodie Foster experienced in Contact: the grad students contact a drug company, convince them of the long-term value of this project [i]to them[/i], who in turns lobbies (read: wines, dines, gets laid or otherwise pays-off) a senator or two, who in turn gives the grant committee a call, and shazaam! the grad students get their big, fat grant.

    That’s how the wheels are greased in America today, and it all goes back to a bigger bottom line on Merck’s, et al, income statement. It might take 20 years to get there, but it gets there just the same. The business cycle of the drug company model is very long, but the payoff is HUGE. And 99 times out of 100, the research is all paid for by… wait for it… you and me, the taxpayers. Deal with it. But now that’s not enough… now they want us to put our computers to work for them, too? As if!
    [q]Next, after publication of these scientific articles which analyze the data, the raw data of the folding runs will be available for everyone, including other researchers, here on this web site.[/q]
    This is total horseshit. The “raw data?” On their website? Hundreds of thousands of computers running (spare, but still) billions of operations per second, generating over years [i]hundreds if not thousands of Terabytes[

    • Jase
    • 17 years ago

    Yep, I stopped running the client on our machines in the office as it caused IE to stall/lagg unacceptably. Tho to be honest that was about 6mnts ago, dunno if there’s a better client out now..

    P.S. Systems were all Win2k, F@H running as a service launched via FireDaemon.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • pwdrhnd23
    • 17 years ago

    I think what AG #16 is really noticing is tasks that are of equal priority, all the benchmarks are examples of normal or high priority tasks.

    If you run the client for a long enough time and always run it you will forget what it was like without. It is all relative.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Incomplete test. Need to run on 9x too. Not everyone signed up for gates’ activation system.

    • Steel
    • 17 years ago

    AG16: What OS are you running? And is it running as a service or just in a DOS window?

    • droopy1592
    • 17 years ago

    Puppies and kittens?

    What tendencies are lurking?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I am sorry, but it does impact performance.
    One area it shows up is in tasks that normally complete in msecs.
    For example, when I have IE open, and start typing in a url, without the CLI client, IE will autocomplete and autofind instantaneously. However, with the CLI client, it sometimes takes a second before IE will begin autocompleting.
    TR needs to do some testing on short tasks, because this is where the task and priority switching will impact performance.

    • BabelHuber
    • 17 years ago

    [q]
    First of all, Stanford is a private university.
    [/q]

    Okay, then I was wrong about that. Still the fact remains that they didn

    • EasyRhino
    • 17 years ago

    I would suspect that performance differences, *if any*, could show up on Win9x systems, or on systems with less RAM. One thing about FAH is that it likes to allocate a buttload of RAM (5 meg active and 58 meg swapfile).

    Diss, why is it you always end up doing the unbargraph-able stuff, like FAH and power supplies and puppies and kittens, while Damage does the CPU’s and video cards?

    ER

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Great story – however I can’t get past the fact that my system simply feels more ragged when one of these things are running in the background (dnetc used to be my poison before I stopped doing it). Interesting how the quake3 scores in particular don’t change too much, as it simply seemed to spoil the fluency of movement on my machine

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]And when somebody makes money of it (which will definately happen) what

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]sativa, AG#2: AFAIK Folding is not a drug company

    • BabelHuber
    • 17 years ago

    sativa, AG#2: AFAIK Folding is not a drug company

    • mattsteg
    • 17 years ago

    AG6 – I think I had that issue when I ran the CLI client independently. When I run it as a service I have no such problems.

    AG8 – Sure, it’s comprehendable, but the difference will be felt long after its useful life is over anyway. You’ll pay far more in utility bills than you could possibly lose in normal hardware wear/tear. Also, it’s just as fathomable that the processor’s lifespan could be slightly increased due to a more stable operating temperature. Frequent sizeable swings in temperature are worse than being warm all the time. Either way, any difference will be way too small to notice. When was the last time you say a computer fail because the CPU “wore out”? There’s plenty that will go wrong long before that could be a factor. You’re hard drive will fail long before your cpu or other electronic components will, unless they are seriously flawed or mistreated.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Is it possible that constantly putting your CPU in full-load reduce the lifespan of your computer?

    Gerbil #XXX

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    AG #5 – Any half decent AI can comprehend robot manufacture. Try another analogy.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Hrm. When I run the console client, it won’t let the machine shut down until the client has been exited with ‘q’. Will this be different running as a service?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    will they figure out how this protein acid crap works before I die?
    I seriously doubt it…

    I have a lil crappy theory too, we will never figure out how or why life works just as a robot won’t be able to realize how the heck he was made by itself, no matter how superior of the AI it gets.

    I still don’t think we should stop trying though, hey, we all gotta find something to do before we die, right? well i guess that’s life.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    AG#2, since all drug companies are after profits, maybe you should consider not using medicine any more since it just gives ‘a couple more yachts’ to the people who own the drug company.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Sure… donating my cpu time to an ostensibly student research grant oriented project that is, in reality, only a thin facade for corporate welfare, and that will, once completed, become the property of said corporate goliath, is [i]just[/i] what I want to do with my computer… riiiight. As if!

    As if? Yeah, as if… this was to find cures for diseases… as if this was for the betterment of mankind. What this IS is nothing more than just another sleazeball underhanded way for already incredibly bloated fat cat drug company executives to become even fatter, one more chalet, a couple more yachts, another jet. All under the guise of some improvement for the human race… As if!

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    good idea for an article geoff

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