Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby davidcoton » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:48 am

bigtruck747 wrote:So here's the twist to my question ... could a person connect the Raspberry Pi 2 to one (or two ... or more) of theses External PCI-E Graphics Card adapters??? So the GPU that's in the external adapter is doing the folding and the Raspberry Pi is just running the OS?????


I think not. None of the FaH software is written for ARM. I believe FAHControl is open source, so could be ported. But the actual Client isn't.

Try asking on Reddit -- maybe a case can be made that more RPi power is available than mobile phone power. Then maybe PG will create a Pi client.

Also, I don't know if anyone has tried the NaCl (Chrome) client on a Pi, or whether that client can use GPUs.
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby Dominic » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:53 am

Holy thread resurrection, Batman!

I'd completely forgotten that I'd asked this question of the original Pi, but the Pi 2 certainly has more power. Whether it'd be worth using it to fold, though, is still questionable, even if you could attach an external GPU to it.

(Confession: I'd kinda forgotten about folding completely until I got an email notification about this thread, so I should look into folding again on my rig. A 2Gb GTX760 should be fairly good at it, no?)
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby bruce » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:10 pm

The FAH software is compiled to run on Intel compatible hardware using one of the three supported OS's: Windows, Linux, MacOS -- and still under development, on ARM under Android. Under the category called "software" there's FAHClient (proprietary), FAHControl (Open source) plus a number of FahCore_xx programs that do the analysis on specific hardware. Porting all of this to a new platform is a MAJOR undertaking, plus there would be a need for continuing support. Only with the partnership with Sony have the developers been able to work toward the Android client. As you can see, progress on that front is slow, which also means that it's costly.

The pay-back for this type of development effort depends largely on the number of FAH clients that can be expected times their speed. Even if Rasberry Pi happens to win on speed, the number of potential clients on Android phones exceeds the number of home users who could be expected to run a Rasberry Pi by many orders of magnitude.
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby 7im » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:23 pm

No. GPU folding requires an x86 cpu to run the client on the GPU.
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby JimboPalmer » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:47 pm

I see three big issues:

Rewriting the software for a new piece of hardware is so much work that it is usually funded by the vendor of that hardware. No deep pockets vendor makes the Pi.

Currently the points for a Work Unit is an integer, but a Pi is going to produce less that 1 PPD, so you either need to make points a real number or multiply all previous points by 100 (10 for Android phones) so you can keep points an integer.

This leads to a third, more political problem, for many researchers, prompt results are vital, who would choose to release projects for a Pi? Clearly you won't be able to mix projects. (You are an undergrad? You are stuck on the Pi)
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby bruce » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:14 pm

JimboPalmer wrote:This leads to a third, more political problem, for many researchers, prompt results are vital, who would choose to release projects for a Pi? Clearly you won't be able to mix projects. (You are an undergrad? You are stuck on the Pi)


hehehe, You're stuck on the Pi ... expect results for your research in 10 years.

The Android client has many of the same issues (except the software development has been done by a vendor). FAH's processing much faster on a GPU than processing on a CPU (even one with many cores) which in turn is much faster than processing on ARM. Work completed by the ARM can fill in some of the gaps left after the initial results are in, but new projects need WUs to be completed rapidly.
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby JimboPalmer » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:13 am

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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby madtom1999 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:40 pm

Given that the Pi Zero costs only £4 or $5 and the GPU can run at 24 GFLOPs I would have though it might actually be worth looking into.
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Re: Running FAH on a Raspberry Pi [No]

Postby 7im » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:08 pm

madtom1999 wrote:Given that the Pi Zero costs only £4 or $5 and the GPU can run at 24 GFLOPs I would have though it might actually be worth looking into.


No OpenCL support on the Pi GPU from Broadcom means no folding regardless of the FLOPs count. It's not OpenCL FLOPs. Not all FLOPs are created equally.

A top fuel dragster can go more than 300 MPH in under 1000 feet, but only carries 1 person, and that's all the farther it can go.

For about the same price, you can get a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport which goes almost as fast, carries twice as many people, and can drive hundreds of miles, not just hundreds of feet.

Both are cars, both cars' speed is measured in MPH, and while their top MPH is about the same, it is still very much different. Same goes for GPUs that produce FLOPs.

Sorry, the answer to the OP is still currently no. And as noted above, the FAH project continues to watch how this hardware is developing.
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