This box had been running for months/close to years with a Zotac GTX460 prior to this incident. I have a second-hand EVGA GTX460 that refuses to play nicely with other GPUs and fold, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to swap the EVGA into the file server, which only has one PCIE slot. I have other dedicated folding rigs with 3x PCIE x16 slots.
Now as we all know (if not, you will), there is one folding critical setting in nvidia control panel that is absent in Windows XP, Prefer Maximum Performance. Without this setting, XP is a fickle thing and tends to allow the GPU to downclock out of 3D, right down to 101MHz. Clearly this is the opposite of what is desired for maximum PPD. Now you may be wondering, why am I using XP? Why not use something newer or different? Well here's why:
- This copy of XP is paid for and I can't justify a Windows upgrade for a headless file server.
- Starting in Vista and above, you can't run the GPU client as a service. Thanks for that. <grumble>
- The FAH GPU client does not currently support Linux natively. <Yes please!>
After all the post-SP3 MS hotfixes, I installed the current non-beta nvidia 285.58, MSI Afterburner 2.10 and FAH GPU console 6.41r2. Folding took off fine; note at this time I had a keyboard and monitor connected while testing. I was watching it quite closely and it all seemed to be working fine. So I left it longer. Downclock, drat. As soon as I logged back in, it jumped back to 3D. Hmm. I did a bit of searching, someone suggested setting the 2D profile to be the same as the 3D profile. Seems plausible, so I set it up. No change. More searching. Another suggestion was that newer drivers downclocked more aggressively, stick with 266.58. Also seems plausible, most of my dedicated rigs are still running 266.58, but the rigs with Fermi cards are also running Windows 7. Worth a try. No change.
Now I'm getting a bit frantic as the wisdom of the internet is getting rather thin for additional ideas. I stumbled across another poster that in addition to recommending 266.58, said to disable the screen saver completely. Huh, seems a bit of a stretch, but I'm grasping at straws now, so what the heck? Lo and behold! The 3D clocks stayed put! Huzzah!
So with that, this box has been folding at 3D clocks for several days continuously now. I thought it might be best to document this caveat in order to assist anyone else out there with this issue as it took me quite a bit of digging to put all the pieces together.
Good luck and fold on.