Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

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Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:39 pm

Have been running a CPU client for sometime, but have recently downloaded a copy of exactly the same client with the same core and installed it on a USB stick (I fold at college). Is it possible to run both identical cores at the same time on a single machine? If so, how? Would it double my PPD?
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby 7im » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:03 pm

Possible, yes. Should you? Not unless you have multiple processor cores to run multiple clients. PPD with 2 clients on 1 processor will be the same as 1 client on 1 processor.

The CPU client install guide shows how setup multiple clients, if you have the hardware to run it. ;) Hit the GUIDES link at the top of this forum page.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:00 pm

My CPU is a dual-core a 1.8GHz. So should I set the core affinity to one core per client?
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby 7im » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:43 pm

Not necessary. The OS will manage the load balancing automatically.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Alright, have set both clients to work, after 1 hour all seems well. Out of curiousity, should this have doubled my PPD?
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:46 pm

JoshEllie-16 wrote:Alright, have set both clients to work, after 1 hour all seems well. Out of curiousity, should this have doubled my PPD?


It should, assuming of course that they don't compete for resources, which probably isn't happening.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:31 am

My system crashed after starting a new project, but is stable when only running one client. This is a laptop I'm using - an Acer Aspire 7520 to be exact - and at the minute I'm getting about 206 PPD, is it worth even bothering? The only reason I'm using the laptop is that my main rig is down (faulty PSU) and I have to wait for Xmas before I get a replacement. After that I'll go back to my PC and folding on GTX 560's - can't wait.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby gwildperson » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:57 am

That's not unexpected.

If you search the forum for topics that mention laptops, you'll probably find a lot of comments about them being designed to save battery power rather than for speed of computations. They're a poor choice for FAH which demands speed of computation at the expense of power/heat. You'll also find comments that should you decide to seek maximum folding throughput on a laptop, you'll have to be especially careful to clean out the dust and raise it off the table so that there is good airflow. A crashed computer is often caused by obstructed airflow leading to too much heat for the cooling system to handle.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby Jesse_V » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:36 am

I'd like to second gwildperson's comments. I run F@h on a laptop because that's what I have. My computer just sits here in my dorm room, pulling in about 5,500 PPD from SMP+GPU. Fortunately I purchased a laptop that had very good cooling, but after 9 months of folding I've had to dedust the inside, which wasn't too difficult. But in general, I would fully support the idea that on average they are built for portability and battery life rather than performance. Yet I believe they are still capable of significant F@h contributions. I've heard from 7im and others that a lot of computing power comes from university campuses, and its been my experience at least at Utah State University that almost everyone here has laptops. BYU is one of the top teams. My laptop is raised off my desk by three empty electrical tape rolls; they are wide enough to provide excellent ventilation around the air intakes. So do what you can. I don't know how much effort is to run F@h on your laptop, but 206 PPD is better than nothing, and its not too bad if your running uniprocessor.
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:51 pm

Thanks, I have the laptop perched next to my bed on a blanket box with the vent hanging off the edge, so there are no obstructions. I run uniprocessor because I didn't think I would meet deadlines with SMP. The laptop in question is an Acer Aspire 7520 with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 1.8GHz; will this complete SMP WUs within the preferred deadlines? JESSE_V, your previous post implied that I would get more PPD from SMP - would this be the case with my laptop? I don't normally have any other programs running, apart from the occasional bit of internet surfing. My main rig - which achieves around 20,000 PPD - is down right now, so naturally only achieving 206 PPD is a bit devastating :(
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby Jesse_V » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:01 pm

JoshEllie-16 wrote:Thanks, I have the laptop perched next to my bed on a blanket box with the vent hanging off the edge, so there are no obstructions. I run uniprocessor because I didn't think I would meet deadlines with SMP. The laptop in question is an Acer Aspire 7520 with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 1.8GHz; will this complete SMP WUs within the preferred deadlines? JESSE_V, your previous post implied that I would get more PPD from SMP - would this be the case with my laptop? I don't normally have any other programs running, apart from the occasional bit of internet surfing. My main rig - which achieves around 20,000 PPD - is down right now, so naturally only achieving 206 PPD is a bit devastating :(


Yes, I get much more PPD from SMP. Not sure if you're aware, but donors that run the SMP client are usually rewarded with bonus points. As a reward for more computing resources and completing the WUs before the shorter deadlines, we are non-linearly given extra points for finishing a WU before the deadline. However, since you've mentioned that your laptop has a dual-core processor, I would say that two uniprocessors is the best that you can do for your CPU there. My laptop has a quad-core. The Pande Group says in the SMP FAQ that a dual-core is capable of SMP, but I'm not sure how close to the deadlines you will get. F@h clients run at an extremely low priority, so they will back down for your other applications. I'm not sure how much that would impact your folding performance, but like I said two uniprocessors might be the best configuration.

Oh, here's a tip: get someone else into Folding@home, and then you can feel a bit better better about your PPD. :D
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:59 am

Yes, I know that bonus points are awarded (I get them for WUs on my main rig). It seems I have my wires crossed - the client I run on my laptop IS an SMP client. I used to run two uni clients and gave up because the laptop often crashed. I now only keep one uni client, which I take to college and use on their machines (with their permission, of course).

I have tried to get others into folding, mainly by advertising on Facebook and Omegle, and a friend of mine has gotten into it. My father also says that once he upgrades his PC that he will fold under my name, which will be a big plus. Once my main PC is back in action and upgraded from a sluggish AMD quad core to a newer Intel, I'll ditch this laptop and start chewing through WUs. Will changing the priority of F@H to high have any affect on TPF? I won't have any programs running in the background.

PS: How exactly are the bonus points for SMP WUs calculated? Is there some sort of formula that will let me estimate the bonuses? According to HFM, I will get 1057 points when I complete P 10721; will I get a bonus for that

PPS: apologies for the mix-up :?
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Nov 21, 2011 1:27 am

JoshEllie-16 wrote:I have tried to get others into folding, mainly by advertising on Facebook and Omegle, and a friend of mine has gotten into it. My father also says that once he upgrades his PC that he will fold under my name, which will be a big plus. Once my main PC is back in action and upgraded from a sluggish AMD quad core to a newer Intel, I'll ditch this laptop and start chewing through WUs. Will changing the priority of F@H to high have any affect on TPF? I won't have any programs running in the background.

PS: How exactly are the bonus points for SMP WUs calculated? Is there some sort of formula that will let me estimate the bonuses? According to HFM, I will get 1057 points when I complete P 10721; will I get a bonus for that

PPS: apologies for the mix-up :?


Well done on the advertising! I always like to make sure that I explain F@h in the simplest terms possible, because it can be easily confusing if you're not careful. But it looks like you don't have any problem with that. :) Nice job.

There is only one way to change the priority of F@h and that is through the client's controls. There is no need to mess the process priorities on Task Manager or something like that, and it would be really short-term anyway since the process shuts down and then starts up every time you start another WU. It may have some minor bearing on your TPF, so I'd try that if you really want to maximize your productivity. Of course raising the priorities may also impact your usage, I don't know.

As for the bonus points formula, see this page: http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-PointsNew#ntoc7
HFM assumes that you qualify for bonus points. You might be aware of this already but you need to use a passkey, complete 10 SMP WUs, and maintain an 80% successful WU return rate. Assuming you have that, you should get bonus points for that, yes. Here's an online bonus points calculator: http://linuxforge.net/bonuscalc2.php
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby JoshEllie-16 » Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:38 am

Thankyou. I used the calculator; it seems bonus points are included in HFM's projections. Changing the priorities in Task Manager reduced the TPF by around 3 minutes. TPF is over 1 hour/frame anyway so no, it doesn't make much difference at all. I am using the console client, so I will add the -configonly flag later and change core priority, after the current WU uploads and completes.

I often advertise to my friends, many of whom have rigs as powerful as mine or more so, but even when I dumb down many of the explanations and point them to folding.stanford.edu, they struggle to understand even the main concept of F@H, though in all fairness it is quite difficult to grasp. Many even think it doesn't work or is impossible, but I'll stay vigilant and keep trying to get them into it; it'll worth it if they decide to donate their rigs! :D
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Re: Can I run two instances of the same CPU client?

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:55 pm

JoshEllie-16 wrote:I often advertise to my friends, many of whom have rigs as powerful as mine or more so, but even when I dumb down many of the explanations and point them to folding.stanford.edu, they struggle to understand even the main concept of F@H, though in all fairness it is quite difficult to grasp. Many even think it doesn't work or is impossible, but I'll stay vigilant and keep trying to get them into it; it'll worth it if they decide to donate their rigs! :D


Pulling phrases from folding.stanford.edu is a good idea. The F@h article on Wikipedia might be another place to try. There's a number of ways to explain F@h, and it depends on your audience. Here at Utah State I encounter pretty much the entire spectrum, from the few people who are technologically challenged, to the biochem majors and Linux fans. Start with something simple, and work your way up if they seem interested. You could try something along the lines of "I'm running a small program on my computer that performs simulations of biological molecules, molecules which are very much tied to the development of many diseases like Alzheimer's, cancer, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many others. It runs completely in the background, so I can still use my computer just fine. And I really don't have a detailed understanding of how the calculations work, and nor do I since everything is pretty much taken care of for me. So basically my computer is doing calculations (which it excels at) which can lead to major medical advances towards cures for these diseases. This project, Folding@home, has been very successful, producing nearly a hundred scientific papers over the last 10 years, and has performed simulations that were far more difficult than any previous attempts. Its run by a group from Stanford University, so all scientific accomplishments are made available to other researchers, and in many cases to the general public as well. It also is one of the most powerful computing systems on the planet, so I'm convinced that it's quite a productive project and will make outstanding progress towards cures for many of these diseases."

Having them start with uniprocessor is also a good idea. If they are interested, they might come back to you for questions into how to improve their performance, in which case its your opportunity to suggest the SMP/GPU clients. Of course with v7, those high-performance clients are installed automatically, but I wouldn't recommend v7 to a newcomer until its out of beta and fully released.
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