Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

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Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby Nantes » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:02 pm

Hi guys,

I followed the "multiple systray versions" of client 6.23 to get 4 clients running on my Core i5 2500k. With the exception of the machine ID number, every client has the following configs as per the guide:

http://postimage.org/image/cukp5e45v/

However I noticed 2 things:

1- Except the client I was originally using, whose progress showed 4690/7000, the 3 new clients all showed a 0/250 progress. I found it strange that they all got WUs of the same size and so small, and figured it was probably because they got packets before I could config them to use different MachineIDs and get larger-than-10MB WUs, so I exited each client's tray and deleted the "work" folder and "queue.bat" file in each client's folder so that they got new WUs with their proper Machine IDs now set up. But they all started again with 0/10000, and right now are all at 100/10000. They update in increments of 100 and always at the same time, in contrast to my the original client which updates in increments of as little as 5 I think.

2 - The original client seems to be working much slower than the others. In the same time the others went from 0 to 300/10000 progress, the original one went from 4690 to 4745/7000, a gain of not even 100 progress. What is going on?

Thanks!
Last edited by Nantes on Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress doensn't upda

Postby bruce » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:31 pm

First, I recommend that you either download one of the 3rd party monitor programs (Personally, I like HFM, but others are good, too) or you monitor the end of FAHlog.txt in each folding directory. I've never really trusted the data being reported by the systray icons, though I can't say they're wrong, either. (V7 has an open ticket to properly update the fly-over message from its icon.)

Unless your machine is busy with other tasks, the speed that each client progresses should be very similar whether it is running alone or with all four of them running. (This would not be true if your machine had hyperthreading but your i5 does not have it.)

By default, the FahCore writes a checkpoint every 15 minutes. If you stop and restart a client after that 15 minute interval, you can expect to see permanent progress such as the change from 4690/7000=67.0% to 4745/7000=67.8%. The important issue here is that you're looking for a way to see that progress without stopping/restarting. (You shouldn't have to do that.)

Assuming that the (67.8 - 67.0)% = 0.8% progress represents 15 minutes work, you can expect that WU to take about 32 hours of computing to finish which should be well within the deadline for whatever project that happens to be.
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:33 pm

1. I wouldn't have deleted things like that. I don't think it will make a whole lot of difference in terms of the number of steps (that's what the 250 is, it's representing 250,000 iterations or something like that) and sometimes you'll get ones with 7000 and ones with 250. I have a couple of uniprocessors running, and without changing any settings they can vary just like that. Don't worry, I do believe that it's normal. I think the steps are a bit independent of the actual WU size. The increment will update every 1%, which explains that behavior you saw there. In essence, so far as I know things are running all normal and fine for you.

2. Different processor? Other background tasks? Larger or more complex protein? There's a whole host of things that could explain that.
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby Nantes » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:38 pm

Well I checked each FAHlog and they are running different project numbers, and the progress on the log is in accordance to what the systray is displaying. So I guess what remains why the other clients seem to have slowed the first one down. I have not been running anything that demands much processing power, unless you consider switching Firefox tabs as such. :e)
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby Jesse_V » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:45 pm

Nantes wrote:Well I checked each FAHlog and they are running different project numbers, and the progress on the log is in accordance to what the systray is displaying. So I guess what remains why the other clients seem to have slowed the first one down.


Perhaps. How many CPU cores do you have? If you don't know how to determine this, you can press Control-Shift-Escape to pull up Task Manager, click the Performance tab, in the View menu under "CPU History" make sure "One Graph Per CPU" is selected. Then tell me how many CPU graphs you see. If there are less graphs (cores) than the number of clients you are running, they could be slowing each other down, but since they are running different projects that may not even be the case. As a side note, using Task Manager to determine the number of cores this way can occasionally be misleading, (due to hyperthreading) but there's a good chance that it will be accurate in this case.
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby 7im » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Not strange at all. You might get the same sized work units on every client for months at a time, or you might get different sized work unit each time the client downloads a new one. If project X is a priority, would it be strange that ALL clients didn't get project X work units? FAH servers send out what they need processed in the order needed to help move the science forward. The pattern of assignments means very little.

You can NOT judge speed by watching those numbers. It is not going faster or slower. Each work unit counts 100 steps (1-100%). Sometimes that is 5 to 500, 5 at a time, or 100 to 10000, 100 at a time. And BOTH can take exactly the same amount of time to process. Both WUs can be exactly the same size, or very different in size, and still take the same time to process, or not. The 5000 vs. the 10000 means very little to us as a donor. As bruce suggested, get a 3rd party tool, so you can watch the simplified 1-100% graphs scroll by. ;)
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby bruce » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:50 pm

Look up each project number here: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/psummary.html and find the deadlines, the Points, and the "Code" (probably GROMACS or GRO-A4). Most likely the rate of completion will be roughly proportional to the Deadline (and the Points) for projects belonging to the same Code.

Rough calculations like the 32 hours I estimated in my previous post should allow you to estimate when each WU might finish. (That's another nice piece of information that the monitoring programs provide for you.)
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby Nantes » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:49 am

Thanks guys, that cleared things up :)
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Re: Set up multiple uniproc. clients, progress is slower :S

Postby bruce » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:16 am

A new open beta version of the V7 client was released a few hours ago. With very little effort, you could migrate your system from four clients, each with their own interface, to a single installation of V7 with a single interface. (Sorry to say that, now that you have the V6 clients all working.) If you're happy with your current installation, there's no urgency for you to move to V7, but personally, I find it a lot easier to work with and certainly a lot easier to see what's going on.

Whenever you decide to do that, you can set each V6 client to Pause When Done / Stop the client / Restart the client with -send all / and replace that one client with a single uniprocessor slot in V7. As each V6 client finishes, simply add a new slot to the V7 client and disable the corresponding V6 client. More information can be provided if this is too concise.

From the description here, it sounds like there will be a big announcement and a major change to the download page when the next beta version is ready to distribute.
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