Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

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Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby Ivkosky » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:39 am

Hi all

I used to be active in folding some time ago and I would like to get back to it. The issue I have is that with my new laptop I only have an SSD hard disc, which seems to be not good for folding computations, judging from some discussions I have read over the Internet. I know that I can set the checkpoint frequency to 30 minutes and logging verbosity to 0, so that I lower the frequency of recording on the HDD, but some suggest this is not enough and I would still damage my SSD. Any ideas?

Also, I have installed and test started the folding software, and it gives me roughly 86 C temperature on my CPU, with full fan on all the times. I know that this might be a normal behaviour, but obviously I would not like to lower the lifespan of my laptop. I would appreciate your views.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby rwh202 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:57 am

There is no problem with SSDs and folding. The amount written is tiny and modern OSs and drives ensure that writes are minimised and spread across the cells. I've got a 2009 vintage intel SSD still going strong thats been in folding rigs 24x7 with all default settings. In fact, it's doing better than all my spinning HDs from that era, with the last one being replaced this week with an SSD.

Laptops and heat with folding is another issue - most should be safe and run for several years, but laptops in general aren't designed for running flat out 24x7. I've found that fans wear out, cooling gets blocked, TIM goes brittle, batteries get cooked etc. If you still want to get a healthy 5 years or so out of a laptop, then extra effort with respect to cooling is needed. Either one of those cooling pads, some well directed fans or just sitting it on bottle caps to increase airflow will all help.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby foldy » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:06 pm

You can also limit the CPU cores used for folding e.g. on a 4 core CPU only use 1 to 3 cores to reduce heat and noise. Does your Laptop have a GPU (which)?
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby jrweiss » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:30 pm

As others said, SSDs are just fine for Folding. All my current computers have SSDs for primary OS and data drives.

CPU Folding will work on virtually any modern laptop, but only a small percentage of laptops have GPUs suitable for Folding.

Also, cooling IS usually the biggest problem in a laptop. Few are designed to run at full load constantly. I had a Lenovo T500 that did so (CPU only) for about 4 years, but then began to overheat. I cleaned it out and got another 6 months or so out of it, but after that it became too hard.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby Ivkosky » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:34 am

Hi all, thanks for your replies. As for the GPU, I have Intel HD Graphics 520, which I suppose is not ideal for folding...?
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby JimboPalmer » Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:23 pm

Correct F@H does not support any Intel graphics. Very few laptops can fold on the graphics and get more points than the CPU anyway.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby foldy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:31 pm

If you want to do folding on a large scale then you need a PC with fast Nvidia/AMD GPUs.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby bruce » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:21 pm

There's an earlier discussion re: Intel support.

Bottom line:
1) Older versions of Intel's OpenCL didn't work last time FAH was considering what to support. That seems to have been fixed in recent versions of Intel's drivers.
2) FAHCore_21 and beyond require at least minimal Double Precision, so older iGPUs would be excluded, in any case.
3) FAH Performance is closely related to GFLOPS. Compare your numbers with even the not-so-fast NV/AMD dGPUs and you'll see why there's no incentive to support Intel GPUs. (This information is easy to find on wikipedia.)
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby Ivkosky » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:29 am

All, thanks for your inputs. Being a layman, I suppose the principal question for me now is, whether it actually has any sense to continue folding on my laptop (assuming that I would buy some cooling mat, etc.), or because I don't really have the compatible GPU, I should just bail out...?
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby JimboPalmer » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:55 am

Every bit of science helps.
I fold on laptops that give me more than 1000 Points Per Day, but not on laptops older than that.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby Ivkosky » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:16 pm

My laptop can definitely crunch more than 1000 points per day, so that shouldn't be a problem. :-) Ok, the last question, I suppose, is how can I limit the usage of the CPU to prevent overheating? I would rather contribute a bit more slowly, but in a sustainable way over a longer period of time... I have read in another thread that I can go to 'Advanced control->Config->Slots tab->double click the CPU slot' to decrease the number of threads folding uses. It is currently set to '-1'. I have a four-core CPU, so if I want to use only let's say two cores, what should I put in there? Number 2? Many thanks!
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby Joe_H » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:01 pm

Yes, a 2 in that setting will use just 2 of the 4 cores. Left with a '-1' in the setting, that leaves the control to the slider, Medium uses one less core than available and Light uses half the available cores.

Another option is using the NaCl client for Chrome. That has a slider for how much CPU should be given to folding.
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Re: Folding using SSD HDD and laptop

Postby jrweiss » Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:47 pm

Using 2 of 4 cores will effectively run the CPU at 50% load. All 4 cores are actually used, but not at full load.

Depending on the particular laptop, running at 75% or 50% load may or may not significantly decrease temperatures. If the cooling system is weak, and the CPU is throttling to keep withing temp limits at full load, you may not see much difference at 75%...
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