New to F@H need startup info

This client will only use a single CPU

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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby jrweiss » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:37 pm

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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:39 pm

Hello again, as you can see it has been some time since I've been here. Been folding now for just short of two years. I think I am ready to move up some, maybe. I am using V6.23 on an i7 860 CPU running four clients. I am getting around 1400PPD. I have an NVIDIA GTS240 and I am wondering if I would do better using a GPU client instead. I have read some of the posts in the FAH Hardware forum and they go WAY over my head. Any help would be appreciated.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Zagen30 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:14 pm

Welcome back to the forum, rtbrd.

Running clients is not an either/or proposition; you can run both CPU and GPU clients concurrently.

If you want to maximize your folding capabilities, the best option for you is one SMP client and one GPU client. The Pande Group has been hard at work on version 7 of the F@h client, and one of its major features is its simplicity in setup. Though it's still in beta, it's proved to be very stable. v7 auto-detects what hardware you have during installation and recommends the most productive setup; for you, it should recommend SMP + GPU slots.

v7 is an all-in-one client. As you've seen, with version 6 you had to install 4 separate copies of the uniprocessor clients if you wanted to use all 4 cores without going the SMP route. In v7, you'd install just one copy, and make 4 uniprocessor slots to end up with the same configuration. v7 slots are analogous to separate v6 clients. You'd be going with 1 SMP and 1 GPU slot if you wanted to maximize your productivity.

If you haven't done so, I'd also recommend getting a passkey. All SMP work units get bonus points based on how quickly they're returned; while the science done is the same whether or not you have a passkey, it's still nice to get more points.

I didn't completely reread the thread, but how long is your computer on for on average? SMP work units have rather short deadlines, and while an i7 can get through them pretty quickly, it may be better to stick with 4 uniprocessor clients.

As always, ask away if anything is confusing/missing/etc.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:10 pm

My computer is on 24/7 for folding. I do intermittent scientific stuff at home but most is done at work. PPD is nice but I have a vested interest in what is being done (and I belive that higher PPD indicates more scientific work has been accomplished) as I have diabetes and AD has been associated, so the more the merrier.

I just read about V7 which is supposed to easier, yeah, 44 pages of instruction being printed out now. Hey, I'll give it a shot, if all else fails I'll try the GPU and then back to 6.23 which I know works.

Stay tuned I'm sure there is more to come. :)

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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:34 pm

Well it appears that it was easier than 44 pages might have suggested. It is up an running (to the best of my ability to determine and the fan is running louder than I have ever heard), all eight processors (as shown in Task Manager) are running at 100%, 50% was the best before.

Is this going to run as a service or will I have to restart it after an unintentional restart? If there is an unintentional restart (Windows auto update) will the program resume where it left off?

I see two IDs in the FAH Client Control screen, I assume one is the GPU and the other is the four CPU cores.

The two IDs are 00 & 01, which is which?

What is PRCG? I see that it is the project but what are the other digits (in the parens)?
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Jesse_V » Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:51 pm

rtbrd wrote:Well it appears that it was easier than 44 pages might have suggested. It is up an running (to the best of my ability to determine and the fan is running louder than I have ever heard), all eight processors (as shown in Task Manager) are running at 100%, 50% was the best before.

Is this going to run as a service or will I have to restart it after an unintentional restart? If there is an unintentional restart (Windows auto update) will the program resume where it left off?

I see two IDs in the FAH Client Control screen, I assume one is the GPU and the other is the four CPU cores.

The two IDs are 00 & 01, which is which?

What is PRCG? I see that it is the project but what are the other digits (in the parens)?


Well I'm glad to hear it was easy for you. Its going to be easiest if you place a link to v7 in your startup folder. Due to Microsoft's restrictions, it won't allow you to start the GPU as a service, so the startup folder is the next bet. Of course you can always launch it manually.

RPCG identifies what particular WU you are working on. As stated on the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folding@home#Software, each WU is identified for its respective protein Project, Run (conformation), Clone (atomic trajectory), and Generation (time steps in the trajectory/simulation). Just identifies the WU really.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:10 pm

Good idea about the startup folder. Didn't think about that.

Which ID corresponds to the CPU/GPU?

Sorry, there is so much to read.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Zagen30 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:26 pm

There's also an option in Preferences to Autostart (it's in the Local client section).

If you click on one of the slots in the Folding Slots window, it'll highlight the WU that the slot's running. The IDs aren't locked to any one client, but get assigned as they're available, with the client giving the smallest available number. For instance, say the SMP WU has ID 0 and the GPU WU has ID 1. If SMP finishes first, the next WU will get assigned to ID 2 since v7 downloads a new WU shortly before one is about to end and IDs 0 and 1 are already taken. If the GPU WU finishes after this, the next GPU WU will get ID 0 since ID 1 and 2 are taken, but 0 is not.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby GreyWhiskers » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:51 pm

Re: New to F@H need startup info
by rtbrd » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:10 pm

Good idea about the startup folder. Didn't think about that.

Which ID corresponds to the CPU/GPU?

Sorry, there is so much to read.


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How about a little pictorial. Here's a screen shot of one of my computers running F@H v7 - this one has a Uniprocessor slot and a GPU slot. I've compared this with the pictorial you get in the Windows task manager and also, just for grins, a display from MSI Afterburner software that I crank up when I want to look at the behavior of my GPU in detail.

Your main F@H screen should look pretty much like the lower right of my picture. The "folding slots" pane showing the slot IDs 0 and 1 (in my case) for Uniprocessor and GPU. Now, looking at the work queue pane you see two running Work Units (or WUs). There are two ways to see what these are.

First, if you click on one of the ID lines in the work queue, the big "work unit" pane at the right will come up telling you what you have. The second line in the Work Unit pane is "Folding slot ID" - which in my picture here is 1 - which is the GPU slot. This pane also shows FahCore 0x11, which one knows (by osmosis, I guess) is the actual computational core for pre-fermi, pre-advanced ATI GPUs (this slot is running an ATI 4670 AGP bus on an old HP desktop).

Second, by clicking on the work queue line, that line is highlighted, the appropriate Work Unit comes up on the right, and the appropriate Folding slot is also highlighted.

I often also look at the "Processes" tab of the Windows Task manager. I've sorted for this picture the tasks alphabetically so all of the Folding tasks are together. You can see the FAHControl (which runs the GUI you look at), the FAHClient (which keeps the flow of work going - downloading new work units, starting the appropriate core for that work unit, downloading a new core from Stanford if needed, uploading the results back to the Stanford servers, etc.), and finally, the cores: a11 for the GPU and a4 for the Uniprocessor. These core IDs are the same as reported in the Work Unit pane of the Folding at Home GUI window.

Any other questions? Welcome to the fold.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:36 pm

Thanx for the replys.

For the record Dell XPS8000, i7 860 (2.8GHz), DDR3.

My next concern is processor temps. I downloaded Speedfan (V4.44) and the numbers I am getting concern me. This is the only computer I have and I can't afford to burn it up. GPU temp (NVDIA GTS240) is running about 105C which from what I have been able to determine is close to max. Cores 0-3 show ~80C, there again high (100% activity). However idle temps appear to be high to me, CPU 70C and GPU 75C. I have not been able to determine the accuracy of Speedfan but the idle temps seem quite high, room temp is running about 27C. When running V6.23 four clients and ~50% CPU activity the cores are running about 75C, GPU 70C. The temp difference between 100% and 50% don't seem to add up. Any suggestions?
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Zagen30 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:14 pm

Speedfan's pretty accurate to my knowledge. I just compared it to RealTemp and they were showing about the same temps on my hardware.

Yes, 105C is cause for concern- that's the thermal limit on Nvidia cards, and you should not be getting anywhere close to that, especially with a relatively mainstream card like a GT 240. 80C is pretty hot for a stock i7- my i7-930 is OC'ed to 2.8 GHz and only hits 80C on very hot days. Of course, I have an aftermarket heatsink and thermal compound, while I get the feeling Dell doesn't, so that may skew the comparison a bit.

High temps are usually the result of either poor air flow or dust buildup. Is your desktop in a well-ventilated area? If the fans are blocked by a wall or something similar, that can cause the hot air to get stuck inside the case. To remedy the dust situation, get a can of compressed air from Staples or the like and use it on the CPU heatsink/fan and the GPU shroud/fan (the GT 240 may just have a fan). If you haven't cleaned it since this topic was first started, there could be some serious accumulation. Getting rid of dust in other portions of the case can help as well.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Napoleon » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:37 pm

rtbrd wrote:The temp difference between 100% and 50% don't seem to add up. Any suggestions?

The small CPU temperature difference between 50% CPU (four classic clients == 4 threads) and 100% (SMP, 8 threads?) actually makes sense. The 860 CPU has four real cores - thus four FPUs - but 8 threads (HyperThreading) which show up as 8 logical CPU cores. FAH relies heavily on FPUs, so both cases push all four available FPUs hard. HT makes running 8 threads slightly more efficient, but actual difference is far from 2x despite the 50% vs 100% CPU utilization readings.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby rtbrd » Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:18 pm

Zagen30, I'll have to check the possible dust problem and I will resituate my tower however it is mostly unblocked. My system is totally stock from Dell.

Napoleon, yes when running classic it shows approx. 50% for all logical CPUs, while V7 shows 100% on all logical CPUs. Are you saying that a 5C difference between 50% CPU (8 logical) and 100% (8 logical) is to be expeceted or not unusual?
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby bruce » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:09 am

rtbrd wrote:For the record Dell XPS8000, i7 860 (2.8GHz), DDR3.


Being a laptop, I'm going to assume that the GPU was installed by Dell. If not, this may not be applicable.

The person who designs/builds a computer is responsible for making sure it works. That means having a big enough power supply to keep it running under any combination of events and having enough fans to keep it cool enough under any combination of loads. When you buy a white-box computer (no recognizable brand name) or when you or your neighbor put together a bunch of parts, those design criteria are often neglected. When you buy a brand name like Dell, they are responsible, and even though the first people you talk to may deny it, if you go far enough up the chain of command, they'll either fix your computer or find some other way to satisfy your complaints -- assuming, of course that you haven't done something stupid like blocking the vents.

Laptops rarely run at 100% load, so most people would never notice if the cooling is inadequate. Exchanging the computer for one that works is a hassle, so it makes sense to do what you can (like cleaning the dust out). Getting one of those laptop cooling devices (or just propping it up off the table so air can get underneath it) is probably a good step, too, just as operating it on a soft bed would be a BAD idea.

If you can fix it by running at 95% instead of 100%, it's probably not worth the hassle. If it has to be less than that, you didn't get what you paid for and I'd ask for it to be repaired/exchanged. There's a chance that the thermal compound between the CPU or GPU and the heatsink didn't get installed properly and nobody noticed.

My first laptop, (not Dell, but another well-known name) overheated. It was a brand new model and tech-support had very little information on it. They eventually exchanged it for a higher priced model (one with a different brand CPU in it) and it's still working, many years later.
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Re: New to F@H need startup info

Postby Zagen30 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:49 am

Bruce, I'm virtually certain the XPS8000 is a desktop.
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