PC updates?

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Postby Ivoshiee » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:24 pm

A PS3 is outperforming any other option - it has a lot less issues to deal with and it will run out of the box.

If the device is being considered for the FAH only then get a PS3.
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Postby Macaholic » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:34 pm

Ivoshiee wrote:A PS3 is outperforming any other option - it has a lot less issues to deal with and it will run out of the box.

If the device is being considered for the FAH only then get a PS3.


That is a HIGHLY debatable topic. You'll likely find far more folks that will say that an overclocked G0 stepping Intel Q6600 provides far more "bang for the buck" running native Linux SMP while sucking far less wattage and creating much less heat. Agreed, a PS3 will run out of the box much better. :)
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Postby toTOW » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:11 pm

The best performers currently are Intel Quad cores CPU with linux SMP client (they're even better if overclocked). :)
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Re: PC updates?

Postby sneakers55 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:03 am

Adam A. Wanderer wrote:I hope to upgrade my PC this coming year to a more capable model. I'd also like to increase my output of F@H units. If circumstances permit, I hope to buy a custom made PC. What should a PC have to "optimize" it, by way of CPU/CPUs, mother board and chip sets, to insure maximum F@H output? For example, are Intel or AMD products better at producing F@H units?


CPU - more cores are better, more cache is better, more speed is better, higher memory bandwidth is better. I would recommend a separate video card as integrated video sucks up bandwidth. Intel has been better for folding ever since the C2D came out.

Is a particular operating system better than another?


Linux will do better assuming you're going to run SMP on it, but then there are a lot of apps that will never see the inside of a Linux box.

Also, is it more "cost effective" to just purchase a PS3 and let it run 24/7?


PS3 will get you 900 easy PPD for $400. Count the fact you get a Blu-ray, upsampling DVD, and CD for your home theatre as gravy. On the other hand, you can probably get more points per watt with a PC and you can run other things while folding.
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Postby v00d00 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:14 am

Depends on your budget and what you want to use it for.

If it sits in a corner doing nothing but folding, then quad or dual quad should be in your santa sack. I dont know what the numbers are at present for people leaving PS3's unattended for long periods of time (months) unmonitored, but you could consider one.

If you want a full desktop system that does everything, then do the desktop option with quad or dual quad.

If you want to play games, and maybe do the odd other thing, then choose the PS3.
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Postby castlebomb44 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:46 am

The cheapest ps3 is 399 now. I wish some gaming websites would use folding@home to benchmark how fast it is
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Postby sneakers55 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:54 am

castlebomb44 wrote:The cheapest ps3 is 399 now. I wish some gaming websites would use folding@home to benchmark how fast it is


A PS3 gets 900 PPD.

There are basically two configurations, one with the Emotion Engine (PS2 hardware) and one without. F@H runs on either (Europe never got the EE, it got phased out probably concurrently with the recent price drop). Sony has used four different sizes of hard drive but you can bolt in just about any laptop drive and it will run. In fact, the manual has instructions on how to do it.

There aren't XBOX 360 or Wii versions of F@H.

Each of the six usable SPEs in the CELL will run 25.6 gigaflops peak.
The Xenon chip in the XBOX 360 will run 116 gigaflops peak.
The Broadway chip in the Wii is far slower than CELL or Xenon.

XBOX might be able to fold fairly well but Wii is too wiimpy :lol: to fold at any speed.
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Postby bruce » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:06 am

sneakers55 wrote:There are basically two configurations, one with the Emotion Engine (PS2 hardware) and one without. F@H runs on either.


There was a discussion about a die-shrink on the CELL which would change points-per-watt. Did that happen? I have the EE and it makes a pretty good room heater on cold nights.

Does the firmware do a good job of emulating the EE, or are there reported problems with some PS2 games?
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Postby Cprossu » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:07 am

I've got a quad 6600 I will add soon, but to tell you the truth, (due to power supply failures), the bulk of my points come from this rig running the GPU client on a x1900xtx....

hopefully one of my buds upgrading soon will let me have his so I can add that one too
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Postby toTOW » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:50 am

PS3 are not the best solution if you plan to leave them unmonitored : they often hangs and need a minimal surpervision to restart them if it occurs. :(
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Re: PC updates?

Postby neilrieck » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:09 am

Make sure build/buy a system with a 500W or 550W PSU (power supply unit) and at least one 16-lane PCIe (a.k.a. PCI-Express) slot. Then buy an ATI Radeon x1950-XTX from eBay and use it to turn in GPU work units. :D

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Postby greystone » Fri Dec 07, 2007 9:04 pm

sneakers55 wrote:There aren't XBOX 360 or Wii versions of F@H.

Each of the six usable SPEs in the CELL will run 25.6 gigaflops peak.
The Xenon chip in the XBOX 360 will run 116 gigaflops peak.
The Broadway chip in the Wii is far slower than CELL or Xenon.

XBOX might be able to fold fairly well but Wii is too wiimpy :lol: to fold at any speed.


Does anyone know if a 360 verion is in the works? I'd happily leave mine on for F@H, my PC's are not as useful.

Thanks.
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Postby 7im » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:09 pm

If there is, it has not been disclosed.

However, there was discussion that MS is not being helpful with an SDK to allow low level hardware access necessary for client development.

Additionally, it has been suggested the main processor would not be very fast for folding, however the GPU might be.

The WII is out of the question, too low performance processor.

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Postby jrweiss » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:37 am

My C2D E6850 (3GHz, not O/C'ed) gets over 1900 PPD on the SMP client. You might do better than that with a C2Q plus the X1950 running a GPU client as well. With the Quad, I don't know what the trade is when dedicating 3 cores to it plus 1 core for the GPU client I/O, but it may be worth a try...
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Postby toTOW » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:47 am

By assigning affinities to CPU 0/1/2 and living the CPU 3 free, my WinSMP gets 2500 PPD on a p2653. It's getting 2900 PPD with 4 cores. (Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz, 8 * 400)

I let you do the math, by assuming actual GPU produce a mean of 1000PPD ;)
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