Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

The PS3 client has been deprecated.

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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby wickedproxy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:14 pm

I never paid much attention to the points. I just wanted to contribute to research that could lead to a cure or at least medicine that can treat Alzheimer. My Grandma spent the last 5 years of her life slowly losing her mind because of that and I can see signs of it with Mom. For me it's all about the research and how much I can help it along. I was going to build a folding farm with some PS3s when my income tax refund came through but I guess there's not much point now. :(
I will miss folding on my PS3
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby artoar_11 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:56 pm

The new PS4. Hardware information.

http://www.vg247.com/2012/11/01/ps4_det ... station_4/

If someone wants to make a new thread with this link. I can't comment because I never had a PS :(
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby bruce » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:32 pm

somata wrote:
mdk777 wrote:Well, a discussion of the points and scientific value would make sense if PG were making this decision.
However, I think you miss the point. Sony is the one pulling the plug, and not PG.

Right, and I agree with almost everything you said. I just don't think it's fair for people to say the PS3 has long ago been eclipsed in performance by modern CPU/GPUs based on PPD comparisons, while the stats show that they're still a force to be reckoned with from a computational point of view. Clearly GPUs have surpassed the PS3's capabilities by any relevant metric, but I think it could be argued that by and large x86 CPUs have not.

I think QRB is a good idea based on how FaH works, but I never liked how SMP got special treatment and its effective PPD exploded while all other clients were still measured by older standards developed in a QRB-free era. The current QRB scheme significantly undervalues the contributions of GPUs and PS3s (imo), something that is just now coming to light with the new unified benchmarking currently in testing.

I bet if the PS3 were held to the same standard, its PPD would significantly increase as well. But as you said, it doesn't matter anymore; the PS3 is entering its twilight year and Sony is moving on. More closure would have been nice, like what is going to happen with the PS3 projects in progress, but overall I'm fine with the decision. I just want to emphasize that I don't think it's because the Cell processor has become useless for folding.


The only fact you've overlooked is that the FahCore being run on NVidia GPUs is or soon will be able to run explicit solvent simulations like SMP can. I strongly suspect that the FahCore being run by the PS3 and by AMD/ATI GPUs is still limited to implicit solvent models which is a significant limitation to the science they can produce. While both are important, implicit solvent FLOPS are not worth the same as explicit solvent FLOPS. That one factor represents a partial justification for the points differences.

Once again IF we assume that a PS4 client might someday be developed, we can hope that an entry for a passkey is incorporated into the client and a new FahCore is also developed and that the PS4 provides the hardware necessary to run explicit solvent models too.

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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby csvanefalk » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 am

wickedproxy wrote:I never paid much attention to the points. I just wanted to contribute to research that could lead to a cure or at least medicine that can treat Alzheimer. My Grandma spent the last 5 years of her life slowly losing her mind because of that and I can see signs of it with Mom. For me it's all about the research and how much I can help it along. I was going to build a folding farm with some PS3s when my income tax refund came through but I guess there's not much point now. :(

I am sorry to hear about your grandmother, and I can relate. My own grandmother also suffered from a form of the disease the last years of her life. Eventually she did not know who I was anymore, and it was something that seriously got me involved in contributing to research on the disease.

Your money can still be well spent when it comes to Folding. As far as hardware goes, you might consider investing in a new graphics card (which can perform much better than a PS3). However, note that it might also have a greater net effect if you donate money directly to the project rather than buying new hardware. I am sure the senior members here could counsel you on that. Regardless, there is a always a way to make a difference for FaH.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:08 am

csvanefalk wrote:However, note that it might also have a greater net effect if you donate money directly to the project rather than buying new hardware. I am sure the senior members here could counsel you on that. Regardless, there is a always a way to make a difference for FaH.

IIRC, the website says that the best way to help F@h is to run their software, but donations are always appreciated and they go into paying for development, buying servers, etc. I've heard from the senior members that buying hardware specifically for folding can be a bit risky, because the point system can change over time in accordance with scientific needs. Better to have some sort of additional need for the hardware, at least as a contingency.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby somata » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:27 am

bruce wrote:The only fact you've overlooked is that the FahCore being run on NVidia GPUs is or soon will be able to run explicit solvent simulations like SMP can. I strongly suspect that the FahCore being run by the PS3 and by AMD/ATI GPUs is still limited to implicit solvent models which is a significant limitation to the science they can produce.

Fair point, but according to the PS3 FAQ:
PS3 FAQ wrote:However, the PS3 client is more flexible, in that it can also run explicit solvent calculations as well, although not at the same speed increase relative to PC's. We are working to increase the speed of explicit solvent on the PS3 and would then run these calculations on the PS3 as well.

While I don't know when that was written or whether such projects ever came to the PS3 client, it does suggest that explicit solvent calculations are possible on the PS3, though they appear to be more difficult to optimize for. My understanding is that Sony played a large role in porting and optimizing Gromacs for Cell, and assuming explicit solvent modeling never officially came to the PS3, I wonder whether the core stagnated due to performance limitations or a loss of interest by Sony or PG.

A PS4 client would be great, but considering that it's rumored to run on a modified AMD A10 APU, it's not going to be a leap like the PS3 was. The exciting potential of a new exotic architecture (like Cell) just isn't there, and sadly, the age of CPU diversity seems to be rapidly coming to a close in general. :(
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby 7im » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:48 pm

The PS3 FAQ was written more than 5 years ago, when PS3 folding was first announced. Please view any technical statements made as being very outdated now.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby JonazzDJ » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:03 pm

somata wrote:
bruce wrote:
A PS4 client would be great, but considering that it's rumored to run on a modified AMD A10 APU, it's not going to be a leap like the PS3 was. The exciting potential of a new exotic architecture (like Cell) just isn't there, and sadly, the age of CPU diversity seems to be rapidly coming to a close in general. :(


Sony doesn't have the financial power (nor the arrogance) to create a beast like the PS3 was in its days. However, a PS4 and Xbox720 client could be a welcome third client for many folders (CPU/GPU/gameconsole), giving a nice boost to their PPD and to the science.

Something I've been wondering: since in game consoles you only have to work with one CPU and GPU, could it be possible to create a project that utilises both of them, at the same time? So, what I'm asking is: could the CPU and GPU of one's game console work TOGETHER on a single work unit?
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby 7im » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:12 pm

Eventually, yes. Not soon.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby bruce » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:26 pm

It theory, yes. In practice, I doubt it. We do know that the SMP client can use a number of identical processors but that the performance drops off very rapidly if all of them cannot remain synchronized. Synchronizing a GPU with a CPU would be much more difficult because GPUs come in MANY different speeds as do CPUs so figuring out how to synchronize any of those GPUs with any of those CPUs would probably pose quite a challenge.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby JonazzDJ » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:58 pm

bruce wrote:It theory, yes. In practice, I doubt it. We do know that the SMP client can use a number of identical processors but that the performance drops off very rapidly if all of them cannot remain synchronized. Synchronizing a GPU with a CPU would be much more difficult because GPUs come in MANY different speeds as do CPUs so figuring out how to synchronize any of those GPUs with any of those CPUs would probably pose quite a challenge.


Right, that's why a gaming console with a single CPU and GPU could come in handy.
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby bruce » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:15 pm

I think you missed my point. If you have a gaming cosole with a single GPU and a single CPU, the work from one of them is going to finish before the other one, thereby failing to give good performance. Suppose you have a top-of-the-line GPU with a moderate CPU. Upgrading to a better GPU would be useless since either way, the GPU's "half" of the work will be waiting on the CPU. The software would have to be smart enough to somehow match the work up with a fast CPU and a slow GPU or with a slow CPU and a fast GPU and all other possible combinations.

To get a pair of matched CPUs to each complete their "half" of the same step, you can assume that the "half" means 50%/50% but to have a GPU finish it's share of a step at the same time the CPU finishes it's half, the step might need to be divided into halves that are 95%/5% or 90%/10% or 85%/15% (etc.) otherwise they won't be doing their share of the load. The "half" required to synchronize the two is pretty much unpredictable without cataloging every possible GPU against every possible CPU (which isn't going to happen).
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby mdk777 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:06 pm

IF,

It is an APU as rumored, a well written/optimized heterogeneous program will be insanely efficient. (work for $ and Work for Watt) While the balance that BRUCE discusses is important, the advantage of the consul is that you know what the balance of computational power is and it stays stagnant for some years. Also, having both on the same chip eliminates the huge latency problems seen with current GPU compute applications.

However, it is just a rumor now, and will not be on the market for what? another year? So, in a year, PG and SONY can think about this again. A great deal can happen in a year... :mrgreen:
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby JacobKlein » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:22 pm

My UI questions were answered.

The program has been concluded via a "Life with PlayStation" software update. Refusing the update leads to "cannot connect to server" errors. Installing the update shows a "Thank you" message and prompts the user to quit, with no other options. The data is still on the device (one of my devices says "Life with PlayStation" still uses 230 MB of data, another says 330 MB).

I hope to see this program run again on PlayStation hardware, whether that be PS3 or PS4.

Thanks for the long run on the PS3,
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Re: Sony announces PS3 folding to end in November 2012

Postby Jesse_V » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:33 pm

Thanks for the information Jacob.

Is anyone still getting WUs for their PS3?
The stats page says there are 15,388 active PS3s, but there is a delay of 15 days before a PS3 is considered inactive. Just curious when the project actually concludes.
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