Linux vs Windows client [Either, based on non-FAH uses]

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Linux vs Windows client [Either, based on non-FAH uses]

Postby vimes » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:53 pm

Hi! I leave my computer on when ...not using it, and then of course Folding@Home get's to do it's thing.

But I just wondered, will Folding@Home perform better under Linux, it seems at it supports 64 bit. My current setup is Windows 7 64 Bit but there is only a 32 bit CPU client, and the GPU client doesn't agree with my drivers even if it is the newest drivers (got a ATI Readon HD 4650).

I have experience with Linux (Ubuntu) and to some extent know my way around terminal. So if Linux 64 bit can fold significantly better, I'd install it.

So the question is, will a 64 bit version of Ubuntu fold faster then Windows 7 would?
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby MtM » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:09 am

Yes it will. Current client is faster on linux IF you get A2 core work units. A1 core on linux is maybe marginally faster but that would be almost unmeasurable.

A2 core can get 3-4x what an A1 core under windows would get but it depends ( as always ) on the wu and the hw.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby weedacres » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:10 am

vimes wrote:Hi! I leave my computer on when ...not using it, and then of course Folding@Home get's to do it's thing.

But I just wondered, will Folding@Home perform better under Linux, it seems at it supports 64 bit. My current setup is Windows 7 64 Bit but there is only a 32 bit CPU client, and the GPU client doesn't agree with my drivers even if it is the newest drivers (got a ATI Readon HD 4650).

I have experience with Linux (Ubuntu) and to some extent know my way around terminal. So if Linux 64 bit can fold significantly better, I'd install it.

So the question is, will a 64 bit version of Ubuntu fold faster then Windows 7 would?


Significantly Faster, at least until the new Windows client shows up. After that it's anyone's guess.

Assuming that you have a cpu with VT extensions, then you can also install VMWare Player which is free and install a Linux client. notfreds VMWare Appliance is the easiest but least flexible. linuxfah's Slackware client is pretty good, I run that on my quads, or do a full OS install of Ubuntu or one of the other distributions. There is a little VM overhead but very little.
Using VMWare will also allow you to fold your GPU under windows. There is a forum for the ATI gpu client if you're having trouble with it.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby MtM » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:22 am

weedacres wrote:
vimes wrote:Hi! I leave my computer on when ...not using it, and then of course Folding@Home get's to do it's thing.

But I just wondered, will Folding@Home perform better under Linux, it seems at it supports 64 bit. My current setup is Windows 7 64 Bit but there is only a 32 bit CPU client, and the GPU client doesn't agree with my drivers even if it is the newest drivers (got a ATI Readon HD 4650).

I have experience with Linux (Ubuntu) and to some extent know my way around terminal. So if Linux 64 bit can fold significantly better, I'd install it.

So the question is, will a 64 bit version of Ubuntu fold faster then Windows 7 would?


Significantly Faster, at least until the new Windows client shows up. After that it's anyone's guess.

Assuming that you have a cpu with VT extensions, then you can also install VMWare Player which is free and install a Linux client. notfreds VMWare Appliance is the easiest but least flexible. linuxfah's Slackware client is pretty good, I run that on my quads, or do a full OS install of Ubuntu or one of the other distributions. There is a little VM overhead but very little.
Using VMWare will also allow you to fold your GPU under windows. There is a forum for the ATI gpu client if you're having trouble with it.


You really should make the notion that it's only with the A2 wu's not A1 wu's or you'll have a very angry vimes when A2 servers go down and he get's the same ppd as on windows :mrgreen:
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby 7im » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:43 am

To be clear, the clients are the same speed, and when running the same fahcores, the fahcores are the same speed as well. However, as said above, the Windows SMP client doesn't yet run the more productive a2 fahcore.

32 bit vs. 64 bit means nothing to speed. Only a software requirement for certain types of clients...
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby Zagen30 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:05 am

If you do install Linux, either natively or as a VM, make sure you install a 64-bit version. The Linux F@h client needs 64-bit Linux to run in SMP (multi-core) mode, which is where the Linux client is so much more efficient than the Windows client.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby katakaio » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:22 pm

Zagen30 wrote:The Linux F@h client needs 64-bit Linux to run in SMP (multi-core) mode, which is where the Linux client is so much more efficient than the Windows client.


Like 7im said, the use of the 64-bit client doesn't impact the speed of calculation. I think the decision to release only a 64-bit Linux SMP client was a more pragmatic one (since most multi-core processors are 64-bit, why bother writing code for 32-bit and 64-bit?) and I've seen no evidence of it translating into faster folding.

However, if you want to work on -bigadv units, you will need the Linux SMP client (read more here), which means you'll need 64-bit Linux. But if you honestly want the fastest folding times, install a client (whichever flavor you choose) on a server. The less time your computer is spending processing things like a desktop environment and 100+ daemons, the more time it can spend folding. Whether it's Windows/Linux/32-bit/64-bit is your preference.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby patonb » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:36 pm

This is wayyyyy out of date, there is no more A1 or 2's, and now a3 and a5's.

And yes *nix vs windows is 20% faster on identical units... So its looking like 64bit may be better..
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby 7im » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:25 pm

Nix currently faster, and moreso on the -bigadv work units, not so much on regular SMP work units.

The performance numbers tend to rebalance over time, so even this comment will be out of date soon. ;)
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby MtM » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:44 pm

Holy resurrection!

Windows servers usually do come with a desktop btw, not many people I know run their windows servers from a console. And servers are usually set up for production environments, so instead of installing the client on a server, install a server os on your desktop and run the client from it ;)

Nix being x% faster then windows doesn't mean x64 f@h cores are x% faster then x86 fah core's, make that comparison when you can run both x86 and x64 client processing the same work units on the same operating system.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby lysistrata » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:15 am

Does anyone have an update on this? I'm setting up a new server and just considering optimum OS to install. Currently folding on a few pcs and a v old server running Win Server 08. Be glad of your thoughts.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby 7im » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:25 pm

This recommendation hasn't changed. Run whatever OS you are comfortable supporting. Linux is still slightly faster on the CPU, but if you don't know Linux you won't enjoy folding on it. Windows is better for GPU folding. Use what works best for you.

Holy double resurrection! ;)
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Re: Linux vs Windows client

Postby davidcoton » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:06 pm

Linux (64 bit) works well for nVidia GPUs, but won't run AMD GPUs.

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Re: Linux vs Windows client [Either, based on non-FAH uses]

Postby ChristianVirtual » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:44 pm

I also prefer Linux for GPU folding with nVidia cards. The only downside of it is for those who want to overclock the GPUs: it's much more difficult; up to impossible. But the good thing: I'm not in overclocking so I can enjoy the stability and remote capabilities of Linux.
The only thing I needed (and partially with help of this forum done) was the manual control of fan speed via scripts. That's important in summer time as the default fan profile of my GTX 780s and 660Ti keep the fan too slow and the GPU run in temp throttle.
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Re: Linux vs Windows client [Either, based on non-FAH uses]

Postby bruce » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:00 pm

Temp throttle a GPU = BAD.
Temp throttle a FAH = GOOD.

;) :D
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