Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

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Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby Foliant » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:43 am

Disclaimer: I was begging for an ARM section, now i have to post something. :eugeek:

As I may get some obsolete Smartphones after christmas i needed a way to make sure theyre working or not. Now I can compare the SOCs with my Raspberry Pi3 Model B I was using for testing.
A benefit to the community will be the following report I try to post as a guide:



I copied over my standart config.xml to get points counted and gain me remote access. (You can also configure identity and remote access from FAHControl or manually but for the moment there seems not to be a prompt to do so during installation)

I decided to start F@h as a service because a folding Pi wont do much more than just folding, I guess.
This requires some terminal work:
Code: Select all
sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/fah.service

You can copy and paste
Code: Select all
[Unit]
Description=Start Folding Client
After=multi-user.target

[Service]
Type=simple
ExecStart=/usr/bin/FAHClient --config /home/pi/config.xml

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Save the file by Ctrl + O, Return, Ctrl + X.
You may ignore " --config /home/pi/config.xml" but for me it was neccessary to specify my ready-to-fold config.

At least you have to enable the autostart by:
Code: Select all
sudo systemctl enable fah.service

  • After rebooting FAHClient should be runing.
  • Check by remote access (if configured) or using local FAHControl.
I instantly was getting a Cancer WU (16933), my preferred cause.

Conclusion:
After some folding, and fixed thermal throttling, I was sure the CPU on a Pi3 Model B is slow but would finish just before the Timeout of 2.4 Days (That forecast only applies with proper cooling!)
A Pi 3 is not making a reasonable amount of Points, its for enthusiasts and with photovoltaic and a battery it also can possibly make a zero-energy-cost build for contributing to F@h.

Happy Folding!

Regards,
Patrick
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1x GTX 770 (GK104) - nearly 24/7
1x HD7970 (Tahiti XT) - nearly 24/7
1x GTX1660 Super (TU116) - if Idle
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby toTOW » Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:49 pm

Are you sure that the Pi3 is able to make the deadlines ? I wouldn't try to run the client on anything slower than a RPi 4 ...

And I think the best choice would be an Odroid N2+ ...
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby Foliant » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:37 pm

toTOW wrote:Are you sure that the Pi3 is able to make the deadlines ?

I wouldnt recommend it but im only on 3 cores and the first (and for now only) WU I picked up will finish before timeout.

See for yourself
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby Foliant » Fri Jan 01, 2021 4:31 am

Raspberry Pi 3B returned a good WU in 1,8 Days while folding on only 3 cores.

Code: Select all
03:10:22:WU00:FS00:0xa8:Completed 500000 out of 500000 steps (100%)
03:10:26:WU00:FS00:0xa8:Saving result file ../logfile_01.txt
[...]
03:10:28:WU00:FS00:0xa8:Folding@home Core Shutdown: FINISHED_UNIT
03:10:28:WU00:FS00:FahCore returned: FINISHED_UNIT (100 = 0x64)
03:10:30:WU00:FS00:Sending unit results: id:00 state:SEND error:NO_ERROR project:16933 run:57 clone:74 gen:46 core:0xa8 unit:0x0000004a0000002e0000422500000039
03:10:30:WU00:FS00:Uploading 3.63MiB to 129.32.209.203
03:10:30:WU00:FS00:Connecting to 129.32.209.203:8080
[...]
03:11:18:WU00:FS00:Upload complete
03:11:22:WU00:FS00:Server responded WORK_ACK (400)
03:11:22:WU00:FS00:Final credit estimate, 552.00 points
03:11:22:WU00:FS00:Cleaning up


So as long as the Timeout is not under 2 days even a Pi 3 is usable for full time folding. :ewink:
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby demorgan » Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:08 pm

I have found that my Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB consistently and reliably does WUs on time. I did have to restart it for some reason after a couple weeks, but it's been OK since then. I know I said I have the 8GB version but I think 4GB should be enough, maybe even 2GB? It's cool that the Pi 3 is works too; I'm thinking of getting a 2GB Pi 4 model and seeing how it does with that. If it works well it's only $35 USD and one could make a cluster of them. Perhaps the video hardware could be supported too?
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby foldy » Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:12 pm

How much PPD do you get on a Pi 3 or 4? And what is the power usage?
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby demorgan » Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:30 pm

On Raspberry PI 4 with 8GB, PPD right now is 593. I seem to remember that it was higher than that, however, closer to 800-900 before. I don't have a Pi 3 so I can't comment on that.

Edit: As for power consumption, don't know. If the Raspberry Pi has a way of tracking that in RPOS I'll look into it later.

Edit2: Temerature is 76.2 celsius. Also, this is running in normal, not full mode, which is why I get less PPD than before. Previously, I was in full mode. I do not have a heatsink on my Pi, which I assume would be recommended since the temperature is only supposed to go up to 80 celsius.
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby MeeLee » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:44 pm

From using the Pi3B+, it uses about 5W on the wall (just CPU).
I believe the Pi4B uses about 7W, but it's hard to measure.
You'll need a 5V 2,5A charger on both of them, or else it experiences freezes, unless you have high quality USB cables to provide power (because apparently it's low quality USB cables that are the cause of the Pi3B and 4B to fail with regular USB 2.0 2,4A chargers.
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby Foliant » Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:30 pm

At the moment I only finished one WU on my Pi 3 B
Credit --- Assigned ----------------- Returned ------------------ Credited ------------------- Days --- Code
553,08 -- 2020-12-30 07:46:04 -- 2021-01-01 03:15:51 -- 2021-01-01 03:10:54 -- 1,809 -- Ok


Voltage and current measured at DC In. Temps read via "vcgencmd measure_temp"

Idle (WLAN disabled): 1,53W
0,29A -- 5,26V -- 51°C Max

Folding (WLAN disabled, 3 cores): 3,47W
0,65 to 0,67A -- 5,26V -- 65,5°C Max
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby toTOW » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:02 pm

demorgan wrote:On Raspberry PI 4 with 8GB, PPD right now is 593.

Do you have a passkey set ?

A RPi 4 should be in the 2500-3000 PPD range from those I've seen running ...
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby demorgan » Sat Jan 02, 2021 11:01 pm

toTOW wrote:
demorgan wrote:On Raspberry PI 4 with 8GB, PPD right now is 593.

Do you have a passkey set ?

A RPi 4 should be in the 2500-3000 PPD range from those I've seen running ...


Nope, I didn't have a passkey set. (I did not realize that bonus points were a part of the PPD calculation; I've got a passkey on my Pi 4 now)
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby foldy » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:01 am

So it is $35 to buy a Pi 4 and it gets max 3000 PPD using 5 watts running 4 cores.

Any PC with GPU can beat that easily.
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby MeeLee » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:14 am

toTOW wrote:
demorgan wrote:A RPi 4 should be in the 2500-3000 PPD range from those I've seen running ...

Would be interesting to see some actual numbers of the ARM technology compared to x86.

My Intel Pentium N5000 running 4 cores at 1,1Ghz (no boost), gets ~2.500 PPD.
Running 3 cores at ~1.8-2Ghz nets me ~3.000 PPD.
Meanwhile running all 4 cores at ~1,4-1,6Ghz (thermal throttled ~70-72C), it nets ~4.600 PPD

Coincidentally the N5000 has a very similar TDP as the Pi 3B+ /4B.
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby Neil-B » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:48 am

... but if 10,000 schoolkids/enthusiasts all contributed this way it would be very small impact/cost per contributor with a reasonably significant total contribution... if someone active in the pi community got this setup as a pi project might be productive?
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Re: Start folding with a Raspberry Pi

Postby SilvioMartin » Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:30 pm

Just in case that anyone is interested in this, as a COVID-19 lockdown project I built a rack of 4 Raspberry Pi 4B and let them run F@H with full power 24/7. I see usually something like 1700 PPD.

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Every 15 minutes one of them collects some info from the others and puts a simple report on my web page: http://www.anne-emscher.net/fah/ You will find a PDF report there with a complete description.
My Raspberry Pi folding rack: http://www.anne-emscher.net/fah/
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