Initial impressions for fast ARM hardware

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Initial impressions for fast ARM hardware

Postby ky0ko » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:01 am

As of recently, i am the proud owner of a Mac Mini based on the Apple M1 ARM chip, which is remarkably speedy.

I found out a few days ago that folding@home has support for ARM platforms now, and i have an Ubuntu aarch64 VM set up on that machine, so i went ahead and installed it and got folding. It seems to pretty steadily maintain an estimate of 40,000 ppd, plus or minus about 2000.

After a couple of days folding on that, I then ran the version for macOS under Rosetta2 emulation for comparison. Over 24 hours it has been steadily hovering at 55,000 ppd, plus or minus about 1000.

It seems to me that if folding under dynamic translation from x86_64 returns about 37% more ppd than the native ARM client under a hypervisor, then there must be quite a bit of room for improvement! Hopefully this margin decreases in the future as FahCore and its dependencies continue to receive work. I fully intend to continue testing both versions against each other on this machine with future updates.

Nonetheless, i am very happy that arm support is here, as i have quite a bit of arm hardware lying around that can dedicate free CPU time to the project.
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Re: Initial impressions for fast ARM hardware

Postby bruce » Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:37 pm

A primary goal for FAH is to maximize the total science being produced. The existing ARM support will allow many new systems to come on-line without modification. If ARM support can be improved as you suggest, I'm sure there will be immediately be a project started to do that.
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