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Folding@Home

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August 4, 2010 10:30:18 AM

Hmmm... I may sound dumb for asking this, but how exactly does Folding@Home work? I understand that there is a SMP platform that you run for 24/7, but how exactly do you gain anything other than helping stanford and those diseases? I know there's points and such how are those accumulated? Does OCing the CPU give you more points or something? Does OCing help?

Also, CPU-wise, is it an Intel thing only? Seemed when i was look at the Folding@home thread, i saw only Intel CPU choices. Although i've been meaning to want to build an intel build.

And the final part question of this thread is what would a good folding@home rig be? I would be in the market of $500-$650ish and the i3-530 has appealed to my budget, so what would a good rest of the rig be? Total the 500$-$650, this may not even be built till late nov though when black friday comes. But just to see what i'd look for i'd like to see a basic skeleton of a Folding 24/7 rig.

More about : folding home

August 4, 2010 1:14:02 PM

The quickest way to understand F@H is to check out their website. It is relatively complete. Their software is designed to run in the background and will run on multiple OS's and platforms including PC and PS3. It is CPU agnostic and some of the software will run on some GPU' (both Nvidia and ATI).

F@H research is mostly targeted at various diseases. There is no reward for folding except the personal ego boost to know you've helped in a minor way to search for cancer cures and such.

Any rig can fold. I run an i7-860 with 6 instances of folding running at once 24/7. It does not interfere with my normal work flow. I'm presently looking into using the GPU on this rig since GPUs have much high processing power then any CPU.
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August 4, 2010 2:30:16 PM

aznshinobi said:
Hmmm... I may sound dumb for asking this, but how exactly does Folding@Home work? I understand that there is a SMP platform that you run for 24/7, but how exactly do you gain anything other than helping stanford and those diseases? I know there's points and such how are those accumulated? Does OCing the CPU give you more points or something? Does OCing help?

Also, CPU-wise, is it an Intel thing only? Seemed when i was look at the Folding@home thread, i saw only Intel CPU choices. Although i've been meaning to want to build an intel build.

And the final part question of this thread is what would a good folding@home rig be? I would be in the market of $500-$650ish and the i3-530 has appealed to my budget, so what would a good rest of the rig be? Total the 500$-$650, this may not even be built till late nov though when black friday comes. But just to see what i'd look for i'd like to see a basic skeleton of a Folding 24/7 rig.




As siliconvideo said and to simply put it short, F@H will use any and all resources/hardware that it can use.

You can use out of os's windows, linux, OS x, and out of hardware, Any nvidia geforce cuda cards (geforce 8 series and above), Ati " CAL" cards (2xxx and above), any Intel or AMD cpu thats been made in the past 10 years.

So even your grandpa/dad 10 year old laptop/desktop will still work for F@H. ;) 


Quote:
Hmmm... I may sound dumb for asking this, but how exactly does Folding@Home work? I understand that there is a SMP platform that you run for 24/7, but how exactly do you gain anything other than helping stanford and those diseases?


What do we gain? :lol:  in the short term, nothing but some numbers.

in the long term, The WU's that you may process now may lead to a cure for you or a loved one in the future.

Now SMP doesn't have to be 24/7 thing. If you want to, when setting up the client, put the "-oneunit" flag along with the additional parameters and what it will do is finish up a WU and F@H will shut down.

Quote:
I know there's points and such how are those accumulated?


Well, the WU that you process has a set value.

Most SMP2 WU have a base value around 481 points.

GPUs vary more but there about there around 511

Single core client most of the time is 123ish points.

Then BIGADV wu base points are a whoping 8955. ( need 8 cores or a highly overclocked core i7 to do bigadv wu)

Quote:
Does OCing the CPU give you more points or something? Does OCing help?


Yeah it can.

There 2 ways to view points,

Points per day (PPD)

or

Points per WU. (PPW)



Most people view it as PPD. the average amount you've turn in over a 7 day period. The more WU's you can turn in for a week, the higher the average.

Then for each WU, SMP and BIGADV wu's have a somewhat new method of getting people to turn WU's in sooner called the "Early return bonus". What it does is increase the base points of the WU's to a higher points. The faster you get them done, the larger the reward.

For examples, my Pentium Dual core T2390 (1.86 GHz) laptop can complete a WU in about 1 day, 10 hours (20mins and 30 seconds time per frame). I recive about 1400 points for it. PPD i get almost 1k.

If i was to some how overclock that to have 15min frames, I would get 1.6k points and sence the time it took drop from 1 day 10 hours to almost 1 day, my ppd will also be about 1.6k.

*only SMP and bigadv have this bonus system.


Now a core i3 530, i would say would be able to earn around 2k to 2.5k ppd.

You dont need much ram for F@H. 2GB would fine, 4GB is the highest you ever need with a dual core cpu.

HDD, The cheapest you can find. Largest WU from F@H are only 100MBs and those are BIGADV wu's. (which need 8 cores or a highly overclocked core i7 to do) so you wont be seeing any of them.

Now if you also chose a graphic card, while i cant recommend a particular card, i will recommend an Nvidia cards as ATM they can do more work than a ATI card.

PSU: get one that powerful enough to run the setup. :lol:  Mainly it will depend on the GPU.

Motherboard: Just geta cheap name brand MB like asus or gigabyte.



Primarily with a 24/7 f@h rig, you're going to want to spend the big buck in GPU, CPU, and PSU.

Now, what gpu i would get if i had the money is GTX 460. It earns about 10k ppd and it isn't a power hog like the other GTX 4xx's.

Cpu, depends on what you want to run, but core i5 is decent.

PSU, Never skimp on it. F@H will use a lot of power and if you get an el-cheap-o PSU, you'll find it dead in a few month and maybe a few other parts that were taken with it. Antec and Seasonic are a few good brands. Also try to get a PSU with a 80% bronze badge or better.

It will save you money by using electricy more closely to what the computer is using than using (for unreal example) 600w when the computer only using 400w. (even none energy efficient psu are not that bad. It just an example to show what i mean.)

Hope this helps.
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August 4, 2010 5:03:39 PM

Oh, so you gain points by your CPU completing a WU. It's so clear now, lol, for the rig though, would a 5670 or a 5770? I mean I know the 5770 and mostly the 5670 use very little power, and i'd like to keep the power to a very small amount. Also, I plan on OCing it, just a tiny bit you know. Also I hear good things about the 530, i have heard also that you can reach up to 4ghz on the stock cooling. If so, what would the power draw be? Running a 4ghz 24/7 seems like it'll take a lot of power.
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August 4, 2010 6:21:37 PM

aznshinobi said:
Oh, so you gain points by your CPU completing a WU. It's so clear now, lol, for the rig though, would a 5670 or a 5770? I mean I know the 5770 and mostly the 5670 use very little power, and i'd like to keep the power to a very small amount. Also, I plan on OCing it, just a tiny bit you know. Also I hear good things about the 530, i have heard also that you can reach up to 4ghz on the stock cooling. If so, what would the power draw be? Running a 4ghz 24/7 seems like it'll take a lot of power.


Well let me brake this down to make answering easier. :) 

Quote:
It's so clear now, lol, for the rig though, would a 5670 or a 5770? I mean I know the 5770 and mostly the 5670 use very little power, and i'd like to keep the power to a very small amount.


Well, looking at ppd's on a HD 5770 card, there decent for the power and points they produce. Although With ATI cards, you'll certainly want to look at setting up "environment variables" to get the most of the card. (until gpu3 client starts using the ati cards more effectively.)

Quote:
Also, I plan on OCing it, just a tiny bit you know. Also I hear good things about the 530, i have heard also that you can reach up to 4ghz on the stock cooling. If so, what would the power draw be? Running a 4ghz 24/7 seems like it'll take a lot of power.



As for what the power draw be on the core i3 530 @ 4GHz, i have no idea. Although i'd imagine it will be less than a core i7 power draw @ 4GHz. ;) 



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-core-i7,2...

For charts of 100% loaded core i3 530, head to here

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2921/2



Although with a little bit of serching, i am able to find core i3 530 ppd @4Ghz.
Quote:
i3 530 / OC 4.0Ghz / SMP2 A3 Core / 4400PPD

http://www.overclockers.com.au/wiki/Folding_PC#Processo...

That certainly a nice cpu as those ppd figures are what normal quad cores make. :D 


Hope this helps. Any more questions, just keep on asking. ;) 
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August 5, 2010 3:23:10 AM

OK, so if i was folding@home, what would i expect used out of the comp? I mean if i was folding, could i still browse the internet? Also would it use any of the internet speed?

And with a 700 dollar budget, do you think the i5-750 would be possible? And what kind of power draw would i expect. I know for sure i would OC it to 4ghz. IT EARNS 11k PPU according to that site you showed me. OH and if i actually make this build, could i join the Tom's hardware folding team?

Also i understand the GPU standpoint that although the 5770 is a good card, it isn't as effective at getting PPU because gpu3 doesn't utilize ATI cards to the fullest potential is that correct?
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August 5, 2010 3:39:50 AM

Anyone can join the tomshardware folding team, all you need to do is enter the team ID when you set your F@H client up, and your WU will be counted for yourself and towards the team.

You can also surf the internet, watch videos, and most anything while folding. I've even ran some games while letting my F@H client work in the background without seeing much performance loss in game.

I'm not a folding expert, I'll leave your other questions for someone else.
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August 5, 2010 5:32:33 AM

Oh also, if i don't make that build, i decided to use folding@home on my main rig, which is a pretty energy efficient i must say. NOT! It's alright. But It is an AMD Phenom 955 3.7ghz and a 5850 running 950/1205, what is the PPU I could expect from my CPU alone, and GPU alone. Or can AMD CPU's not fold?
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August 5, 2010 1:46:25 PM

aznshinobi said:
Oh also, if i don't make that build, i decided to use folding@home on my main rig, which is a pretty energy efficient i must say. NOT! It's alright. But It is an AMD Phenom 955 3.7ghz and a 5850 running 950/1205, what is the PPU I could expect from my CPU alone, and GPU alone. Or can AMD CPU's not fold?


Run folding@home how ever you like ;) 

Cpu, Per WU, @ 3.7GHz, points would be around 2600 to 2800. which ppd would be around 6300 or more.

Gpu. per wu would be right now for the common WU's 511p's (due to no bonus points, they dont give larger rewards.)

Although ppd, a 5850 with this referance.
Quote:
HD 5850 OC 850/? GPU2 4650PPD


I would say factoring in you higher overclock, would be 4800 ppd.

Total PPD from both would be almost 10k ppd. (which would make you are 3rd largest producer in points. ;)  if you did dedicated 24/7 folding. Although i know thats not going to happen)

Although, If you plan on running folding@home on your main rig while gaming, i would do a few things.

1.) turn off the gpu client. Unlike the cpu/smp client, The gpu client doesn't seam to know how to give up some of the resources on a gpu for gaming as well as it should. Maybe if you're playing a lite game, you could run it but anything like crysis. Forget it. Turn off the gpu client when playing a game.

2.) For a gaming machine, I would (when configuring the smp2 client) tell it in the "additional parameters" -smp 3 or -smp 2.

What these flags (as F@H community calls them) do is -smp means multi core support.
Normally it will take as many cores as it can get and run on all of them.

The number after it, means that the amount of cores it's aloud to use. So if you only run it on 3 or 2 cores. you would say "-smp 2" for 2 cores and "-smp 3" for 3 cores.


Why i recommend this is, SMP2 client has some issues when running with other programs. It not like gpu client where it doesn't know how to properly give up resources, it does just fine on that.

It that when 1 core slows down (due to running something else) all cores (to keep in synchronized) slow down as well so the client isn't getting to far ahead of it self. It not noticeable though task managers as it will still show 100% on the number of cores F@H is running on but notice able if you're running monitoring programs like HFM.NET (more on HFM.NET in a moment). How to notice this, watch the TPF (time per frame) and you will see it jump up by a few minutes. (even just taking on here right now, im already seeing a jump of 2mins. Thats just being here. a game will be worse.)

So to reduce the slow down, it recommend to tell the client to run on 3 or 2 cores instead of all 4 cores. (and who knows, it maybe faster doing it that way. ;)  )



Now about HFM.NET, It a monitoring tool made by a folder named harlam357. It one of the best monitoring tools out there mainly because it can estimate (pretty darn good estimate) the bonus points of the WU's.

Here an image of what it looks like



As for can see, there alot of info on it.

You'll see what points (call credits on here) you'll earn, ppd, points per MHz, ETA, TPF, Which client(s) (yes, you can have more than 1 client showing on this tool. I only have 1 due to that i only have a cpu on this laptop) you're running, the deadline of the WU you're on, What Wu you have, the status of the wu that being processed, ect.

All you have to do with HFM.NET is link or show it where you placed the F@H client and once that done, it does the rest.


Now with now knowing about HFM.NET, i would say if you want to exactly know about what you're computer can do Points per WU wise, i would say run the client and HFM.NET and see what you can come up with.




Also forgot to mention a while back, to get the bonus points on the SMP2 client, you'll need a Passkey from F@H. To get one go here.

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-passkey

With out it you cant get bonus points (although that doesn't mean you cant see what you could make via HFM.NET ;)  )
Hope this helps. :hello: 


Fold on!
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August 5, 2010 2:16:54 PM

aznshinobi said:
OK, so if i was folding@home, what would i expect used out of the comp? I mean if i was folding, could i still browse the internet? Also would it use any of the internet speed?

And with a 700 dollar budget, do you think the i5-750 would be possible? And what kind of power draw would i expect. I know for sure i would OC it to 4ghz. IT EARNS 11k PPU according to that site you showed me. OH and if i actually make this build, could i join the Tom's hardware folding team?

Also i understand the GPU standpoint that although the 5770 is a good card, it isn't as effective at getting PPU because gpu3 doesn't utilize ATI cards to the fullest potential is that correct?



Quote:
OK, so if i was folding@home, what would i expect used out of the comp? I mean if i was folding, could i still browse the internet?


Yes you can. Just like im doing now :D .

Quote:
Also would it use any of the internet speed?


Well i wouldn't see how it would work without it. :lol: 

If your were more meaning by would it slow it down. Well, 5 Laptops and 1 desktop (with one of the five laptop folding), no one in my family seams to of notice it slowing down.

Although if you have a computer or 2 doing Bigadv or a bunch of computers gpu's & smp client's going. When there using the internet at the same time, things can slow down.

Bigadv due to there large file size. (100MB and over)

SMP varies but the upper limit i seen is around 50 to 60 MB. 1 computer not so much but when you start adding 2, 3, 4 or more on 1 internet connection .... you can see were this is going.

Gpu's, they dont have very big WU's but it's so easy to add multiple gpu's. Then if you have Gpu cards that have Multiple gpu's (HD5970/GTX 295 for example). Numbers add up real quick.

take a look this guy (atlas folder) youtube page for example. 4 gpu cards per motherboard and the cards are either GTX 295's or 9800 GX2. So 8 gpu's in total and thats not including the multiple Computers he has! But thats why he the greatest folder of all time with over 220 Million points. :ouch: 


Quote:
And with a 700 dollar budget, do you think the i5-750 would be possible? And what kind of power draw would i expect. I know for sure i would OC it to 4ghz. IT EARNS 11k PPU according to that site you showed me.


Like i keep on saying, Use what ever you like. 10 year old hardware will still be able to do f@h. (now may not be effective on ppd but hey, every little bits counts. ;)  )

So what every you want to use for folding@home, use it! :D 

Quote:
OH and if i actually make this build, could i join the Tom's hardware folding team?


You can join right now! :lol: 

Just click on the link in my sig below. It will lead you to the official toms hardware F@H thread. ;) 

Quote:
Also i understand the GPU standpoint that although the 5770 is a good card, it isn't as effective at getting PPU because gpu3 doesn't utilize ATI cards to the fullest potential is that correct?


ATM that is correct. F@H currently in works with ATI on making a special gpu3 client that work with ATI cards that makes more effective. This should be out in a few months.
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August 5, 2010 6:58:56 PM

Alright, well. You've answered my questions. One final thing. Can you link the clients i need to download? Because it's so confusing which to DL and not. Plus there's so many clients.
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August 5, 2010 7:15:14 PM

aznshinobi said:
Alright, well. You've answered my questions. One final thing. Can you link the clients i need to download? Because it's so confusing which to DL and not. Plus there's so many clients.


:lol: 

No problem.

ATI GPU (link it to download link)

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/WinGPUGuide GPU Guide

SMP2 download link

http://folding.stanford.edu/English/WinSMPGuide SMP2 guide.


Currently making a SMP2 video guide. if you need any help that the F@H guide is not clear about. I should have it up in a few hours. ;) 
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August 5, 2010 8:31:05 PM

Sweeet....
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August 5, 2010 8:31:31 PM

Best answer selected by aznshinobi.
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