Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

This client will only use a single CPU

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Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby barebear » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:28 am

I have been part of FAH since 6/1/06

I am on team 39340 and my donor name is Peter_Baerwald

I have 3 computers running FAH, all of them run 24/7 and are single core processor.

In April of 2010 I had a 4th machine custom built. it also runs 24/7. These are its basic specifications:

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name FAST
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model P55A-UD3
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 30 Stepping 5 GenuineIntel ~2798 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. F4, 11/20/2009
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"
User Name FAST\Administrator
Time Zone Pacific Daylight Time
Total Physical Memory 2,048.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 859.73 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 4.84 GB
Page File D:\pagefile.sys

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor BX80605I7860

All 4 machines are running the 6.23 console client

I am not an advanced user but am good at keeping my computers malware free and clean in terms of 24/7 defrag w/ Diskeeper, running WinMend registry cleaner every couple of weeks, and Disk Cleanup every few days. I am protected with Avira AntiVir Premium, SuperAntiSpyware, Malwarebytes, and Ashampoo Free Firewall ( which I really like because it lets me know when something is trying to go out)

When I look at Task Manager I see CPU usage 0f 13% -15% and after a reboot my Commit Charge is 670M/4952M with about 66 running processes.

With that as background , here is my question:

Am I using my quad core machine to its full potential? Couldn't all 4 cores be doing FAH? It seems from that 13%-15 % CPU usage I am not doing things as well as I could be?

If I properly understood some of the things I read as I was looking through the site to figure out the right place to post this, it looks like people w/ quad core processors are running 4 instances of FAH at the same time ?

I would like to be able to do that to help the project more if the preceding info indicates that I can, but am very afraid of damaging my software installations or the processor by not properly configuring things ---- please realize that I am totally unversed in doing this sort of thing -- I was very pleased with myself for being able to put a shortcut to the FAH executable on my desktop and then into Start\All Programs\Startup so that it would start by itself when the computer is rebooted once a day. ( And I had to do that twice before I got it right )

If there is a step by step procedure for totally unskilled people like myself to follow, I'd greatly appreciate being provided with it.

One other question ( prompted only by all the things I read where people were asking if they were being properly credited for their work units ) -- if someone reading this has the ability to go and look at the work I've done and check that all is right, I would greatly appreciate the reassurance.

I have noticed one odd thing in regards to that -- when I go to http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/mai ... r_Baerwald , it shows that I've had 10 active clients in the last 50 days and 9 in the last 7. I don't understand this because I only run FAH on my 4 machines at home and on one at a friends place of work.

Much thanks in advance to those of you who've had the patience to read all this and can offer constructive information and advice.

Best regards, Peter Baerwald
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel MB
Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Proc.BX80605I7860
16Gb ram
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby MtM » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:30 am

Hello Peter,

No you're not as optimized as you could be since you're not using your cpu fully. The easiest way to get it running as optimal as possible is adding the -smp flag to your current client ( which you didn't list ) or by letting your current work unit finish and then upgrade your client to the new V7 Beta client, choosing 'SMP' during install. That way you will be set up right. The new V7 client is aimed at getting the novice folder on his feet quickly and without to much hassle, even if it doesn't work for you at this time it would certainly help that any issues you might encounter are ironed out so the next novice folder has an even higher chance of success.

I don't know about your active client list, reads like it's doubling your actual client count. If you really want to debug that we would need all your log files from all your clients ( so we can have the mods check the submission db ).

Edit: sorry btw for saying you didn't list your current client, you did I read over it a couple of times looking for the info.
Last edited by MtM on Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby PantherX » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:31 am

A good place to get an overview of the clients is here (viewtopic.php?f=61&t=16207).

Assuming that you meet the requirements of SMP2 Beta Client, you can follow this pictorial guide (http://new.fahwiki.net/index.php/How_do ... ndows_7%3F).

Regarding checking of credits, it is not common and normally, everything goes along smoothly but there can be some glitches or bad WUs (viewtopic.php?f=19&t=16526).

Feel free to ask any further questions/clarifications.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bollix47 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:59 am

Hi Peter,

At the risk of repeating some of what has already been said, adding the -smp argument to the i7 client will give you the best 'bang for your buck', especially if you're using a passkey as mentioned in the guide that PantherX referred to. Your 860 with hyper-threading(HT) turned on can run 8 threads on it's 4 cores. If you want to use 100% of your cpu for folding then just use -smp or -smp 8. Using -smp 4(assuming HT is on) would be less productive and leave a lot of your cpu idle. I see no degradation in my setups when using the cpu @ max for folding if I use the computer for other functions like browsing, email etc. You can check if HT is on by using Task Manager and looking at the Performance tab to see how many CPUs are shown. Normally it is on by default unless changed in the bios.

You are using 6.23 which works well but there is a later version on the download page ... 6.34. I have both versions running currently and don't see any difference in performance or stability, so upgrading would be a personal decision at the moment but may become important later or if you start to see problems returning WUs.

Regarding the number of clients that Stanford's official stats show, this has been wrong for some time now and I'm not sure if they're working on correcting it or if it is one of those 'fixes' that has a low priority or if anything is being done about it. Mine shows 36/20 but I currently run 16. :e?: Both counts have come down recently, so maybe it's just a matter of time before they're showing the correct numbers.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bruce » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:46 pm

bollix47 wrote:Regarding the number of clients that Stanford's official stats show, this has been wrong for some time now and I'm not sure if they're working on correcting it or if it is one of those 'fixes' that has a low priority or if anything is being done about it. Mine shows 36/20 but I currently run 16. :e?: Both counts have come down recently, so maybe it's just a matter of time before they're showing the correct numbers.


It's off-topic, but the stats are being revised to incorporate the concept of the passkey. Previously, all stats were combined under your User Name. When the transition is completed, someone called "John" with passkey1 will be considered a separate account from someone called "John" with passkey2 and they'll both be separate from "John" with no passkey. The official stats will still show a total for everyone who happens to use "John" as their UserName. How these issues are managed by the 3rd party stats is entirely up to the 3rd parties that build stats sites.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby barebear » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:38 pm

Thanks to everyone who replied!

For MTM : I wrote in my original post that I'm running the 6.23 console client on all the machines.

How would I go about adding the -smp flag ?

I went to the download page http://folding.stanford.edu/English/Download and it showed me that based on information provided by my browser the only recommended client software was the 6.23.


For PantherX : I went to viewtopic.php?f=61&t=16207 and am way over my head -- I can only say that all the machines run 24/7 with no hibernation or anything of the sort.

Per my original post I'm running XP Pro SP3 ----- am I right that I can't run SMP2 Beta Client ?

I went to the download page http://folding.stanford.edu/English/Download and it showed me that based on information provided by my browser the only recommended client software was the 6.23.

For Bollix47: Wow! I recognized your name--you're at the top of the Mozillazine team.

"You can check if HT is on by using Task Manager and looking at the Performance tab to see how many CPUs are shown. Normally it is on by default unless changed in the bios."

This is a screenshot of my Performance tab in Task manager -- can you tell whats going on?

Image

As I replied to MTM above, how would I go about adding the -smp flag ? Is there a simple explanation of how to do ?

I didn't see a 6.34 on the download page I mentioned to PantherX above ---am I going to the wrong place ?

I'm not stressing at all re the client count --it was just curiosity on my part.

For Bruce: I'm sending you a PM after posting this.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby MtM » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:55 pm

6.34 is a drop in replacement ( bottom of the page iirc, yes the page mentioned by PantherX seems right ).

Panther's guide's should be enough to add the flag, it's a step by step process. If there are steps in the guide which are not clear ask specific questions and we will answer ( and probably edit the existing guides so others won't have to ask for clarifications ).

Btw I already edited my previous post, I had to pm Bollix to ask where the client info was I really seem to have read over it not once but a couple of times :oops:
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bollix47 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:01 pm

You can find the client on this page:

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/DownloadWinOther

Windows: V6 Beta SMP2/CPU clients
Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 SMP2 client console version
Read this Install Guide first!
(and Passkey Information) 6.34 (32-bit or 64-bit)

Since you are running the console client you can either start the client with -smp following the command line used to start the client or you can add -configonly and add -smp to the additional parameters field in the advanced section of the configuration.

Basically, stop the client on your i7. If you use a shortcut to start it then you'll have to edit it by right-clicking on said icon and selecting properties, then add -smp to the command line(outside the quotes if applicable).

e.g.

Code: Select all
"Program Files\Fah\FAH6.34-win32-SMP.exe" -smp -verbosity 9


If you just open a DOS window and navigate manually to the fah directory and start by entering the fah program name then just add -smp there.

e.g.

Code: Select all
FAH6.34-win32-SMP.exe -smp -verbosity 9


I added the verbosity flag as it may help if problems ever occur but that's how I start my console clients.

Keep in mind the client will finish the current work unit before actually downloading an SMP project so don't expect the cpu usage to immediately jump to 100%.

Wow! I recognized your name--you're at the top of the Mozillazine team.


lol ... not the top ... will never catch kennish but grateful the team has him on our side. I just try to maximize my output for the project and mazimize my points for the team. :wink:
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bruce » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:11 pm

barebear wrote:"You can check if HT is on by using Task Manager and looking at the Performance tab to see how many CPUs are shown. Normally it is on by default unless changed in the bios."

This is a screenshot of my Performance tab in Task manager -- can you tell whats going on?


Windows sees 8 threads, and on an i7, they're created by Hyperthreading on top of 4 physical cores. The 13% utilization is 1/8th of your threads (really more like 1/4 of your hardware) and that's exactly what you'd expect when running a uniprocessor assignment. Adding -smp will fix this.

Windows assigns the task to various threads, so it moves around randomly which is why the graphs show exotic patterns. If all that processing was moved into one or two graphs, FAH would look cleaner, adding up to a uniform 12.5%, filling one thread, plus an insignificant amount from your browser or other things you may be running but that wouldn't change performance much, just the way the image looks.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby Zagen30 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:57 pm

barebear wrote:I went to the download page http://folding.stanford.edu/English/Download and it showed me that based on information provided by my browser the only recommended client software was the 6.23.


While the others have covered most of the other stuff, I wanted to address this. Since the Windows v6 SMP and GPU clients were never officially moved out of beta, they weren't 100% recommended to everyone and thus weren't listed on the main download page. bollix linked to the download page for beta clients. Their beta status does not mean that they're full of bugs, and in fact they are pretty stable.

This issue of the higher-performance clients being harder to find will go away once v7 gets an official release.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bruce » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:17 pm

passkey is not password, but it applies specifically to the FAH stats. Passkeys have been optional but they're becoming increasingly important every day ESPECIALLY if you run smp. Search the forum for passkey.

Your question about the -smp flag may have been answered on-line but I use a shortcut to start the client, not starting it manually in a CMD window ant that's a longer discussion.

When you send me a PM, it forces me to be the only person who can help you and it makes sure that nobody else can learn from what I say. Both the -smp flag and passkey issue should be part of the public discussion, not something that we deal with in a PM. In the public topic, many people can help you with either one.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bdwilson » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:07 pm

barebear, I highly recommend you just uninstall V6 and install the V7 beta. It is incredibly easy to set up to run SMP. http://folding.typepad.com/news/2011/03 ... -beta.html

Just install, and during setup make sure "SMP" is selected instead of "uniprocessor". You should get yourself a passkey to get bonus points. During installation, just enter your ID and passkey and press next a few times. The client will do all the configuration for you and should start using all your cores to 100%.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby bruce » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:04 am

bdwilson wrote:barebear, I highly recommend you just uninstall V6 and install the V7 beta. It is incredibly easy to set up to run SMP. http://folding.typepad.com/news/2011/03 ... -beta.html

Just install, and during setup make sure "SMP" is selected instead of "uniprocessor". You should get yourself a passkey to get bonus points. During installation, just enter your ID and passkey and press next a few times. The client will do all the configuration for you and should start using all your cores to 100%.


I agree.

V7 is beta, and as someone who is very much in touch with the problems, there are lots of bugs that I'd like to see fixed, but for someone with a relatively simple installation, it's very unlikely that you'll run into any of them. It should be very easy to get the default smp installation to work for you -- much easier than fixing your V6 version.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby barebear » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:18 am

Wow !

A giant THANK YOU to all of you.

Based on the comments of Bruce and bdwilson, I am going to let my current version finish the work unit it is on (now at 88% and completing 1 % about every 10-11 minutes).

I will then delete the entire FAH 6.23 directory from my D drive

I will then install the v7 beta and let it go to my C:\ Program Files as it apparently has been designed to do, and very definitely make sure to select SMP instead of Uniprocessor.

You should get yourself a passkey
-- don't I just enter one during the installation process? If this assumption is wrong will someone please tell me where to go to get a passkey?

I will wait to do the v7 install until advised about whether I just enter a passkey of my choosing at some point in the installation, or if I have to go somewhere special to get one.

I am a bit concerned about the comments I read re not installing a beta if concerned about system stability, but since I'll have 6 immediately preceding days of Active Disk Image backups to rely on am not going to stress --especially in light of Bruce's comment
........for someone with a relatively simple installation, it's very unlikely that you'll run into any of them. It should be very easy to get the default smp installation to work for you -- much easier than fixing your V6 version.


Thank You all again and please leave this open --- I will wait to hear about the passkey, and as soon as I have v7 installed and running, I would like to post another screenshot of my Task Manager for review and comment.
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Re: Am I doing things right? Is there a better way?

Postby PantherX » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:23 am

barebear wrote:...
You should get yourself a passkey
-- don't I just enter one during the installation process? If this assumption is wrong will someone please tell me where to go to get a passkey?...
From this site (http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-passkey).
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