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Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:16 pm
by PantherX
If you want a Windows environment 24/7, how about you use VirtualBox (http://virtualization.findthebest.com/q ... n-software) for a Linux installation and see if you can successfully fold bigadv WUs while not effecting your content creation. Do note that your CPU shouldn't be over-committed otherwise you will have a significant negative impact on F@H and possibly on your content creation too.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:55 am
by donkom
Thanks PantherX, but it's an "all or nothing" kind of system. I need the power on a moment's notice, and its only convenient in Windows. "Idle time" makes use of F@H, but dividing all time as a "work-around" is not practical.

I may explore running bigadv SMP WUs when I travel and the computer will be idle for an extended period of time, but for now... the true potential of this machine might remain hidden in obscure content creation. :)

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:33 am
by 7im
Fah can do that. What exactly did you want?

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:47 pm
by donkom
I know Fah can do that 7im, but virtualization cannot (to the best of my knowledge). I can't give 100% of all resources to a virtual machine, and have all of those same resources available in Windows.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:29 pm
by 7im
Neither can you do that if bigadv was available in windows, so I'm not understanding the hang up here. Run one or more SMP clients in windows and move forward. Since you are obviously going to share time on this computer with other tasks, it's not such a big deal to squeeze out every oz of performance. Squeeze what you can get.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:09 am
by Jesse_V
Yep, 7im is right here. In the previous page he suggested setting up two SMP slots and going with that. I'd also recommend that for your situation. You should be able to do that with FAHControl and configure their CPU count as you like.

Indeed, donate what you can, and don't sweat the rest. :)

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:42 pm
by PantherX
donkom wrote:..."Idle time" makes use of F@H, but dividing all time as a "work-around" is not practical...

Please note that by default, F@H runs at idle priority, thus, virtually all other applications have a higher priority and thus, resources can be "taken" from F@H and given to other process. Generally speaking, SMP shouldn't have a negative impact on any other common day-to-day application even if the CPU Usage is 100%. Since you are into content creation, I would suggest a simple test:

Run a simulation of your workload when nothing is running in the background and measure the time it takes. Once that is over, install SMP with 32 CPUs and while it is running in the background, re-run the simulation and note the time.

If the time difference is negligible, you can run the SMP Slot without any issues. If the difference is significant, than you can always pause the SMP Slot before your workload. Pausing the SMP Slot takes only few seconds so it won't cause you any delay in your content creation. When I do multimedia en/decoding, I do notice that it takes slightly longer (couple of seconds) for each task to complete. If there aren't many tasks, I let both of them fight over the CPU. However, if there are several tasks, I pause F@H.

Alternatively, if your content creation always uses less than 100% of your CPU, you can convert the free percentage to the number of cores and use that value to setup a SMP Slot which can run in the background. In your case, each core is ~2% thus, a 8% free time would result in 4 CPUs being free.

Do note that I wouldn't go down the 2 SMP Slots route, the reason being that you have 24 Cores with 48 Threads. Since F@H is FPU intensive, the key factor in determining its performance is the number of Cores, 24 in your case. The threads do provide some boost, depending on the Project, it can be from 0% to 20%. Thus, with 32 CPUs, it would be fine since 2 SMP Slots of 24 CPUs each would over-tax the FPU.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:33 pm
by bruce
PantherX wrote:If the time difference is negligible, you can run the SMP Slot without any issues. If the difference is significant, than you can always pause the SMP Slot before your workload. Pausing the SMP Slot takes only few seconds so it won't cause you any delay in your content creation. When I do multimedia en/decoding, I do notice that it takes slightly longer (couple of seconds) for each task to complete. If there aren't many tasks, I let both of them fight over the CPU. However, if there are several tasks, I pause F@H.


If the difference is significant AND if you have to pause SMP for an appreciable percent of the day, then allocate fewer cores to FAH. Contention slows FAH down radically, and sometimes it's better to remove the contention, even if that means using fewer cores for FAH. Doing so, however, takes judgement and probably some extra testing.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:19 am
by donkom
Thanks for the continued discussion everyone!

My scenario is this: I want to "live" in the Windows environment. I will need access to it at a moments notice, and often leave applications open as I sleep - to pick up where I left off in the morning. I have had no problems running F@H on this machine even while I work, it throttles nicely and the system stays fast and responsive on all accounts. I simply want to give the best advantage to F@H and the best point reward to myself, which doesn't seem possible without running Linux.

Running two instances of F@H with totals above the total core count could overwhelm the FPU as PantherX suggests. Running one instance at 48 threads would be ideal, but this can only happen in Linux. I can't give that much power to a Linux VM without crippling Windows. So then Windows is limited to 32 threads with no real workaround, unless I want to switch entirely to Linux for some bigadv units when I will be away for a certain amount of time, somehow configuring it to finish after a set number of units based on the time I predict I'll be away for (I'd hate to leave a bigadv WU half done).

The other option is running a 64-bit F@H Windows client, which does not exist. :)

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:31 am
by 7im
There is no difference in resource load when running SMP 48 vs SMP 32 + SMP 16! Both load the resources equally, so let's not talk like it doesn't. As I said before, and what Bruce echoed, run the client with one or more slots and you will have to balance the fah load with the work load. Fold with 48 cores, or fold with 4. We've given you lots of options, the rest is up to you to try/test, see what works best, for your situation.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:37 pm
by donkom
Sorry for an confusion 7im, but the number don't add up regarding PPD. Running a single 32-CPU instance in Windows will net me around 146,000 points per day. That number drops to 122,000 or so when I run two instances, 32+16. I'm sure some of this can be attributed to early completion bonuses, but a single WU at a time seems to offer the best results.

I appreciate all the options given, and I'll simply be running one 32-CPU instance for the most part. :)

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:46 pm
by k1wi
Personally I'd stick with SMP32 and if I had the time experiment with the effect of varying the count of a second client. More than likely (as you've found) the second client would simply slow the first one down. Due to the scaling of hyperthreading, being limited to SMP32 should still be more than 3/4 the performance of SMP 48 (QRB will of course offset this).

So while not ideal, it's also not toooo bad.

ADD: I think you two are talking about differently concepts of 'resource load'.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:01 pm
by bruce
You guys are talking about two different things. PPD is not a measure of resource loading. The Baseline points for WUs do indicate how much computation must be completed but when you add the Quick Return Bonus, time becomes a major factor, too. Thus one WU completed by, say 32-cores, warrants a higher bonus than two identical WUs completed by 16-cores because the two WUs each take longer. Loading, based on a series of pairs of 16-core WUs or based on a series of 32-core WUs in succession will be similar but not the PPD.

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:07 am
by Calcii
donkom
Problem solved?
What PPD on that new proc?

Re: New to this, whats the best setup for a dual Xeon E5 269

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:21 pm
by donkom
Calcii,

PPD right now in Windows is around 145,000 using 32 threads of the maximum possible 48 if the technology cooperated more. I have seen some setallar results running this same configuration in bigadv Linux with PPD hitting the 600,000 mark.