CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

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CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby Norton » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:41 am

So looking to upgrade my e5200 (mobo is p5q pro), i'm not much of a gamer but do a lot of multitasking and HD video converting/manipulating. I'd also like to pick up as many ppd as is possible, I'm debating between the q6600 and the q9550. I do plan on giving the cpu a moderate overclock but my tower isn't a great cooler so I don't want to push it too far if i'm going to run it 24/7. I plan on picking up a 260 a the same time to also fold with 24/7 so I'd be running 1 gpu client and the smp client (Windows XP 32bit) i imagine? New to cpu folding so still trying to figure this out. Figure it's best to get advice before i upgrade rather than after i've spend the $$$.

Any other tips on maximizing my ppd with the smp client on a non-dedicated folding machine?

Thanks
e5200/ASUS P5Q Pro/2GB RAM/9800gtx+ and 9800GT/500GB HDD/Windows XP
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby toTOW » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:57 am

You'll probably receive more answers in the FAH Hardware forum. Thread moved.
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby Norton » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:30 am

Great, thanks...sorry for dropping it in the smp area, I was doing my searches in there and just posted without thinking.
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby P5-133XL » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:26 am

To explicity answer your question, the q9550 is better than the q6600 for folding. However, that really simplifies the answer too much.

First, considering your normal tasks, the CPU will matter somewhat but not as much as you'd like. Before considering a CPU upgrade, go x64 and maximize RAM. Keeping everything in ram and not paging, is far more important for your personal computer usage even though that does not help folding significantly. Next, if you want to maximize your PPD potential then you should forget about optimizing for SMP and simply put all your money into the video card(s): Get two, if you can ...
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby Norton » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:10 am

Lol i have too many cards folding :p have a dedicated gpu rig. I figured if I was going to pick up a quad core for my daily usage rig i could possibly pick up a few extra ppds. the 5200 just can't hack the multitasking i do, is chugging most days.

This will be my last upgrade (other than the gpu this summer) for atleast a year, if not two, so thinking q9550.

So you'd almost suggest not to upgrade from the 5200? Just up to a x64 OS and max RAM? I do a lot of HD video converting and it's literally taking multiple hours to convert these clips, a jump to a q9550 or q6600 has got to make a significant difference .

What about all options, i have a copy of vista 64 I could try, double my ram to 4GB, it's cheap, and then a q9550 as well.
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby redshift » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:17 am

There are many people on these forums who run the Q6600 and are very happy with it. It has a good bang for the buck. P5-133XL's suggestion of going the video card route might be worth looking into. For example, you could get the q6600 instead of the Q9550. With the savings you could nearly get a respectable graphics card, such as an Nvidia 9800GT. This way, you can still fold with your CPU, but you are now able to fold with your GPU as well.

On the other hand, if you're only interested in folding with your CPU, and you have the $$$, go ahead and get the Q9550
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby ikerekes » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:36 am

I know that is not really answering your question, but I still would like to share a bit of my experience.
I have 2 E5200, both are in gigabyte G31M-S2L board, what I picked up for around $60 one is running at 3.65 the other at 3.75Ghz. Both running with the built in video chip.
Since the E5200 doesn't have the proper VT, can't run 64-bit vmware client, I am running native linux (64-bit Ubuntu) on it.
The A2 cores are available only in linux smp.
While it can run an A2 WU at ~3500 PPD, a typical A1 WU slows it down under 1700 PPD. The windows SMP would be even slower.
I know that it would not give you any comparable video editing capability, but maybe you could put the quad in your existing mobo, and reuse the E5200 with a cheap mobo as a dedicated folder. You can run the diskless notfred linux client on it off a $10 USB stick :)
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby P5-133XL » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:48 am

OK, the reason for RAM is because of paging. Both multi-tasking and video are RAM hogs. When you run out of ram, then paging occurs and minimizing paging can gain order-of magnitudes speed increases (a HD access can easily cost 100x-1000x the speed of accessing RAM). For a processor upgrade, you are only realisticly going to gain 2x. Now that 2x is for everything but even an occasional HD access will really drag down your performance a lot. So your best bang for the buck will be increasing RAM to 8GB to maximize RAM usage, which requires x64.

As to folding, realisticly you will only get 2000-2500 PPD for Windows SMP on a quad. However, adding a Nvidia GPU, even a relatively cheap one, will get you 3000+. So regardless of the fact you are already GPU folding, for optimizing PPD, you should always maximize GPU folding before going after SMP folding. Now that isn't to say, that when you've expired your budget, you shouldn't try to SMP fold even if you haven't maximized GPU folding yet.

Just as a side note, I'm sure you already know because you are already GPU folding, GPU folding can create user-interface lag and that may not be acceptable on your main machine...
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby Norton » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:26 pm

Thanks for all the feedback guys...yeah, I already have an 9800gt on this system, that folds about 18/6, eventually I'll upgrade that to the 260 but for now am happy with the 9800gt. I'm not looking for a cpu to fold with, I'm looking for a cpu to multitask with and fold on the side,to pick up a few extra ppd on top of my existing gpu folding rig. I was just curious on the differences between the q6600 and the q9550 for part time SMP folding in XP. I guess I should have made that clearer at the beginning.

Anyways, I think what I'm getting out of this is to upgrade to vista x64, upgrade the RAM to atleast 4GB and then see how that goes. Possible upgrade to the q9550 later, for now I'll stick with the e5200 @ 3.5.
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby jrweiss » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:45 pm

Newegg has the Q6600 for $195 and the Q9550 for $280. So, the 9550 is 50% more. It will NOT get 50% more PPD, but may get 20% more in stock trim from the higher clock speed and larger cache. So, the Q6600 wins for "bang for the buck for FOLDING ONLY.

HOWEVER, that clock speed and cache will also help in all the other stuff you do with the computer if it is not a dedicated folder. It will also run cooler and use less electricity (95W vs 105W max).

If you can afford the extra $95, get the 9550. I'm just waiting for the 9650 to come down a bit before I replace my E6850...
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Re: CPU upgrade: best ppd bang for buck?

Postby Norton » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:04 pm

Yeah, i think I'll go with the q9550 as it's more future proof and I'd like to make this, with the 260 and RAM, my last upgrades until 2011. At which point I'll pick up an entirely new system and turn this one into a folder.
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