MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

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MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby UnusedWorkMachines » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:34 pm

Greetings, all. I'm new to this, just started yesterday after hearing about folding@home when I was looking to stress test a troublesome machine here at work. I'm happy to pitch in; it's for a lot of good, it appears!

I tend to have a few extra machines at my desk so I plan on running FAH as I can. Currently there are 44 cores and 1 GPU.

On to the question: We're a 25% Mac shop and recently have gotten in a spate of the new 15" MBPs with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory (EDIT: I put the wrong card at first: AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2GB GDDR5 GPU). I read that Mac GPUs aren't supported and wondered if anyone had tried it with boot camp (dual boot option for Macs) with Windows 7 or 8 or even XP .
Thanks!
Last edited by UnusedWorkMachines on Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby UnusedWorkMachines » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:51 pm

To answer my own question, I kept searching and found this from a year ago:
The only way to have your Mac fold on its GPU is while running Windows using Bootcamp. That would also require that you have a supported GPU. The 6770M in your MacBook Pro is supported, but at about the minimum processing power to handle currently available GPU WU's.

from viewtopic.php?f=96&t=26157&p=262242&hilit=radeon+mac#p262242

I'll give mine a try here in a few
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby Joe_H » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:51 pm

I have not tried GPU folding with these models, but have done so in the past on my son's Mac Pro under Boot Camp. It worked okay most of the time, but I did run into some crashes. We never did isolate whether it was a problem in the drivers or a corrupted install of Win 7. Son mostly booted into Windows for some Windows only games that he does not play much anymore, so have not done any recent GPU folding on his Mac Pro.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby UnusedWorkMachines » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Yup, it works. And just in time for the weekend. I'll see how stable it is, if it stays up all weekend
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby ChristianVirtual » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:20 pm

Watch the heat ... Not sure if the thermal design of MacBook's will support the increased temps ...
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby billford » Sat Jun 20, 2015 6:54 am

UnusedWorkMachines wrote:Yup, it works. And just in time for the weekend. I'll see how stable it is, if it stays up all weekend

One thing you may want to look out for- if you run a MacBook without a battery installed the CPU clock is reduced as the power supply can't provide the full power that can be demanded at full load. Link

A corollary is that if it's running flat out 24/7 with a battery then the battery may gradually discharge... may not be a problem but worth keeping an eye on.

@Joe_H- could this have been the cause of your crashes, it simply ran out of power?
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby Joe_H » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:21 pm

No, the machine I was mentioning that is my son's is a desktop Mac Pro. As for how this would apply to the MBP's mentioned by UnusedWorkMachines, it would not as all current models have non-removable batteries. Their power adapters have enough capacity to run and under all but the most extreme load also charge. So as I have seen on my older MacBook, some discharge can occur, but the lowest I have see is about 98% and it recharged during the rest of the time.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby bruce » Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:37 am

Welcome to foldingforum.org, UnusedWorkMachines.

For the record, let me state clearly that I'm not Mac knowledgeable though I do run both Linux and Windows.

Running FAH on 44 cores is certainly a good start. I hope Boot Camp works out for you.

As you've discovered, FAH does not run successfully in native MacOS X. The reason often given is that the OpenCL drivers supplied in OS X don't provide the necessary support and I believe that to be true. Nevertheless, I've also heard that there have been some useful fixes applied to OpenCL in "the latest updates to OS X" (and I don't know which version they're referring to). Nevertheless, there may be good reason to hope for something in the future although any time-frame would be pure speculation.

NOTE 1: Time-frames are generally quoted as "soon" or "not-soon" and I'd have to put this in the not-soon category as it has been for many years.

NOTE 2: Besides, Stanford does not pre-announce new software.

I hope you're planning to be with us for the long-term.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby UnusedWorkMachines » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:12 pm

Well it's still running full speed ahead. I performed zero updates on it after Windows 7 came up so the interface is ...basic and strange. I can't tell how much that particular machine did over the weekend. I'm glad I got it going though because three of the Windows machines rebooted from updates. Bah.

Even though we got it in two weeks ago it looks like it's not the newest specs I see on Apple.com-- so let me change the description I posted above and say that THIS particular model worked just fine in Boot Camp'ed Windows 7:

15" MacBookPro 2.5GHz quad-core i7 with 6MB L3 cache (turbo boost up to 3.7GHz) (hyperthreaded)
16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
512GB flash storage
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory

I expect that any other Mac running a discrete video card would be able to use it in Boot Camp.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby Joe_H » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:37 pm

I don't know about the nVidia drivers, but from experience with AMD drivers you may need to watch out for Windows trying to autoupdate the GPU drivers. Only some of the AMD drivers work with Bootcamp, and that was one of the potential contributors to the occasional crashes my son and I saw on his Mac Pro.

P.S. The model you described was released last July with the updated model announced only a month ago. Initially stock was listed as shipping in about a week, so whoever purchased it may have got a deal on closeout models.
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby UnusedWorkMachines » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:52 pm

Thanks for all the welcomes and suggestions! I do plan on doing this long-term here. I work at a non-profit so being at work is already a service, might as well extend that outside these four walls! :)
Discharge hasn't been a problem, billford, I guess Joe_H is right since this machine and a 2011 MBAir i7 1.7GHz both charged up to 100% while running FAH full out.

On the MacBookPro running Boot Camped Windows 7 Pro it says it's doing a total of 24,000 points per day. 11,112 on the CPU 7 cores and 13,746 on the GPU.
Not too important because it's going offline tomorrow to be deployed to a user but for information purposes for others, how does that stack up to comparable *actual* PCs?

Right beside it I have a Dell Precision M4800 with an i7-4810MQ Quad Core 2.80GHz, 3.80GHz Turbo, 6MB 47W, w/HD Graphics 4600 (hyperthreaded), 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L RAM, a Radeon HD 8800M series GPU (Dell actually sold it as "AMD FirePro M5100 w/2GB GDDR5") and a Samsung 850 Evo SSD. It is cranking out 16,000 on 7 CPU threads and 24,000 on the GPU. These two computers seem like they should be more comparable, if you ask me. This wasn't even the top of the line video card for the Dell.

Thoughts?
I'm willing to tweak on the MBP if someone has some ideas
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Re: MacBookPro GPU under BootCamp?

Postby bruce » Tue Jun 23, 2015 10:47 pm

I can't answer your question about "how does this compare?" but in general, tweaking doesn't help much. The client is pretty good at setting the optimum defaults for your system.

If possible, allow the client to FINISH the active WUs before you deliver the system to the customer. Uncompleted WUs are "expensive" although FAH is designed to recover.
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