Screen lag? Limit gpu usage? [Yes, fold when idle]

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Screen lag? Limit gpu usage? [Yes, fold when idle]

Postby Walter » Thu May 05, 2011 1:53 am

I have been using the FAH GPU for over a year (now on version 6.23), but it is now slowing down my nvidia GT240 video card dramatically. I have tried to use the percentage cpu usage slider in the configuration menu, but it has no effect. Could the problem be a particular work unit? If not will changing to version 6.43 help? Why does the set up of the GPU ask how much CPU it can use when it is running on the GPU and not using much cpu time? I am also running FAH on one cpu and world community grid on the other 3, but I still have 12.5% cpu available as multithreading makes this look like an 8 cpu machine.

Thank you,

Walter Hamilton
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windows 7 64 pro
intel quad core I7 950
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby PantherX » Thu May 05, 2011 2:19 am

If you are complaining about desktop lagging when performing basic tasks. Possible solutions are:
A) Enable Aero if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7.
B) Use this Nvidia Environment Variable; FAH_GPU_IDLE and use a value between 5 and 10 (Guide 1, Guide 2)
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby bruce » Thu May 05, 2011 6:46 am

Walter wrote:Why does the set up of the GPU ask how much CPU it can use when it is running on the GPU and not using much cpu time?


The client is essentially the same for all cores. There are some minor tweaks so that the GPU client download GPU assignments, the SMP client can download assignments for multi-CPU hardware, and the Classic client can only download assignments for a Uniprocessor. The configuration questions are part of the standard client boilerplate and they don't change based on the type of WU you're assigned. Some, like the %CPU setting, the checkpoint interval, and disabling optimized code have essentially no meaning for GPU assignments but the questions are still there. In fact, in V7, there's only one client and it still asks for all of the same settings, no matter which type of WUs you choose to receive.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage Solution Found

Postby Walter » Thu May 05, 2011 5:16 pm

Thank you. I had to add the FAH_GPU_IDLE variable and put it at 15 before I got a livable response time for other programs. Then I remembered that Windows update had done an update on the nvidia driver. I looked in the update history and the update failed. This seemed to be about the time the big delays started so I downloaded new drivers from nvidia. The problem persisted. I then reloaded the older (late 2010) drivers and the problem went away. I removed the FAH_GPU_IDLE variable to get back to full speed. If you start getting complaints from nvidia users it might be the new dirvers of April 2011. I don't know if it just affects the GT 240 card or others.

Thank you for your suggestions.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby bruce » Thu May 05, 2011 5:43 pm

Thanks for the information.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby Dinkydau » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:01 am

PantherX wrote:If you are complaining about desktop lagging when performing basic tasks. Possible solutions are:
A) Enable Aero if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7.
B) Use this Nvidia Environment Variable; FAH_GPU_IDLE and use a value between 5 and 10 Guide 1, Guide 2

I had this problem so I enabled aero, and it works! I find that strange, because I actually had aero disabled to make my computer faster. :?
Last edited by Dinkydau on Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby PantherX » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:38 pm

Welcome to the F@H Forum Dinkydau,

Humm... Can you please post your system specifications so that we can see if there is any relationship?
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby toTOW » Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:10 pm

Strange, I always thought that Aero helped to lower the 2D lag ... :?
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby Dinkydau » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:30 pm

PantherX wrote:Welcome to the F@H Forum Dinkydau,

Humm... Can you please post your system specifications so that we can see if there is any relationship?

toTOW wrote:Strange, I always thought that Aero helped to lower the 2D lag ... :?

Sorry, the first "disabled" in my post should have been "enabled". Hopefully my post makes more sense now.

What I meant to say is that I find it strange that enabling aero helps to reduce the lag, because aero has alot of special graphical effects which I expected would only make my computer slower, not faster. :?

If needed, here are my specifications:
OS: Windows 7, 64 bits
CPU: Intel Q6600, 4-core 2,66 GHz
GPU: Nvidia 8800 GTS 512MB
RAM: Corsair DDR3, 2x 2048 MB
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby PantherX » Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:57 am

AFAIK, Aero does contain more GUI features but the "bottleneck" is what is processing it; the CPU or the GPU? When it comes to graphics, the GPU is significantly more powerful than the CPU so with Aero enabled, everything is done by the GPU. With it disabled (I guess) the CPU is in charge of drawing the graphics and since it isn't optimized for it, it will be slower which will cause the lag to appear.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage

Postby Dinkydau » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:59 am

If the CPU is too slow to draw the graphics, then why is the CPU usage of windows so low? It would make sense if the CPU was used for 100%, but even then, 4 times 2,66 GHz not being enough to draw some simple graphics would be strange.
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Re: What about screen lag? Can you limit gpu usage?

Postby PantherX » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:46 am

The difference between a CPU and GPU is the hardware used. The GPU excels in Graphics handling while the CPU excels in FPU calculations. The reason is that the CPU and GPU have their own dedicated hardware that makes them specialized for those jobs. The "simple" graphics that you see on the screen needs to be calculated pixel by pixel (Screen resolution) and refreshed 50 or 60 (varies on the refresh rate of the monitor) times a second. Do the math and then you will realize that the trivial task is in fact a significant one.
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Re: can you limit gpu usage Solution Found

Postby MtM » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:35 am

Walter wrote:Thank you. I had to add the FAH_GPU_IDLE variable and put it at 15 before I got a livable response time for other programs. Then I remembered that Windows update had done an update on the nvidia driver. I looked in the update history and the update failed. This seemed to be about the time the big delays started so I downloaded new drivers from nvidia. The problem persisted. I then reloaded the older (late 2010) drivers and the problem went away. I removed the FAH_GPU_IDLE variable to get back to full speed. If you start getting complaints from nvidia users it might be the new dirvers of April 2011. I don't know if it just affects the GT 240 card or others.

Thank you for your suggestions.



Maybe you could add your experience to this thread here -> viewtopic.php?f=59&t=18814&start=0
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Re: What about screen lag? Can you limit gpu usage?

Postby Agu4 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:41 am

I just upgraded my Nvidia graphics driver from 275.33 to 280.26 and the lag is better. Before the mouse cursor would take many seconds to move if I was folding and playing a video. Even a video imbedded in a web page would trigger this.

After upgrading the video driver I no longer notice the lag. My thanks to Nvidia and I hope this works for others.
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Re: What about screen lag? Can you limit gpu usage?

Postby M-x » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:35 pm

I had severe lag with Aero off (using Windows Classic theme). I just enabled the Aero theme and the lag is gone! Very counter-intuitive...
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