budget bigadv folding rig
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August 22, 2011, 06:26 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Halifax, NS
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Older Xeon 771 series processors are fairly inefficient when it comes to power usage, compared to a newer sandybridge single-cpu setup. Even if you rent and get your power included.. it's kind of opposite the point of folding - to do good things for science.
Clovertown does have a low voltage series, which would make things a bit more equal (sort of, not really) the L5335 (50Wx2).. but the single 2600k (95W + overclock) motherboard would consume less power than the Xeon board you were looking at. And the 50W socket 771's are more expensive, which defeats the purpose of going 'on the cheap'.
With the faster ram/bus speeds of the newer sandybridge, and the power difference.. it's far more efficient to go with a i7 2600k setup. I'm guessing you want to do the -bigbeta workunits with the need for 8 cores.. but you will do better PPD with the 2600k, and don't have to worry about running a box for 3-4 days to submit a single big workunit. The chance of failure is quite high with those workunits, i've learned this the hard way (a couple of times).
GPUs do a lot for the science, but don't yield PPD like the dedicated SMP folding boxes. Last time I checked, when I ran my GTX 580 on my i7 2600k, the PPD result of the video card was equal to the drop of PPD on the SMP folding.. which just equaled wasted electricity, and seemed pretty pointless from a PPD perspective.
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