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-   -   Parallels Workstation Extreme (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardwarecanucks-f-h-team/44501-parallels-workstation-extreme.html)

Arinoth June 26, 2011 09:19 AM

Parallels Workstation Extreme
I've been doing a lot of digging to try to find a virtual machine program that will allow more then 8 threads to be engaged at a time without spending a ton of money.

vmWare has solutions however to get 12 threads you need to spend about 2 grand, not really an option for a lot of folders (including myself).

Virtualbox has been reported by people to not be optomized for folding resulting in very poor ppd (i have not tested this).

I decided to look into what Parallels has to offer and it seems that their Workstation Extreme claims to be able to engage up to 12 threads while running in windows. I am going to try to give a test run using my 940 right now (970 wont be for a little while) and see what results it gives me. If its onpar/better to vmware big adv wu ppd then i try out 12 threads whenever i get my 970. Mind you its only a 30 day trial, it is the cheapest solution i've found down the line coming in at 400$.

If anyone with a 970 would like to test out ppd in this VM program and post it here it would help speed up the process.

_dangtx_ June 26, 2011 09:34 AM

dont they have a free trial you could...try? :)

Arinoth June 26, 2011 09:39 AM

Yes, 30 day trial. I said I was going to test it on my 940, thats only 8 threads. I want to use it on the 970 I'll eventually be getting(don't have right now), which is 12 threads. So i wouldn't mind if someone could do that research intandum with my own.

Rison June 26, 2011 10:10 AM

I wrote a whole bunch of VM type stuff, but realized you wanted to run it in windows.

Yeah, I tried virtualbox on win7 home x64 and it ran like shit. I tried a few things to make it work "better", then uninstalled it. This was about a year ago or more. I haven't heard it's gotten any better though. I might give it another go soon though, we're playing with virtualization at work.. not so much the workstation type, but i'll fit it in the testbench somewhere.

Most host-based virtualization makes static routes of processors/cores used, and a few have dynamic ram setups (ESXi).. however I don't think this is where you want to go in terms of folding. You could setup two VMs on a host based operating system (HyperV and Xenserver support up to 64 cores) but you wouldn't be utilizing all the cores on one FAH workunit.. which cuts into bonus' and such.

edit: downloading virtualbox now.

Rison June 26, 2011 10:34 AM

Installing Ubuntu 10.10 + kraken (etc) will update in a bit.

stoanee June 26, 2011 10:41 AM


Originally Posted by Rison (Post 527911)
Installing Ubuntu 10.10 + kraken (etc) will update in a bit.

Good stuff, will install that, or some thing like that on sr-2 when I have the chance.

Arinoth June 26, 2011 11:16 AM

Why are you downloading vitualbox again if you said it was crap? Also what exactly is kraken?

Again, when i have time i'm going to try this solution out to see what kind of tpf/ppd i get on my 940 and compare it (i7 clock speed) against other methods

Rison June 26, 2011 11:58 AM

I'm seeing if virtualbox is any better now, it's been a while since I tried to run a linux image on it.
Kraken is a core wrapper in linux for folding - it basically an affinity wrapper that keeps folding@home in top priority on the PC. Over time a large workunit will lose priority, and your PPD goes down. Thekraken wrapper keeps it going full tilt.
The guide for installation (plus custom kernel for folding) is here:
Ubuntu Desktop Installation Guide for F@H - [H]ard|Forum

I have virtualbox folding now, going to wait a while to see if there is a major difference in PPD here. First off, good god this is now lagging my system (see system specs). Window switching is kind of lagged in windows 7.. I set the virtualbox to a static size of 8GB on disk, and allocated 4GB of ram.

_dangtx_ June 26, 2011 12:04 PM

nice. it may need more ram allocated?

also did you set it on the blacks or the ssd? could make a good difference :)

Rison June 26, 2011 02:49 PM

Well, after running it for a few hours a few things about virtualbox. 1. It lags my system.. switching between windows takes a lot of time. 2. It substantially increased my PPD from ~42k to 56k, according to hfm.net. 3. It locked up my computer, twice.
In all, if I tweaked my overclock it would be more stable.. however it's not really worth it for me personally to have my box basically unusable. If I didn't install the kraken wrapper, it would probably be ok - that will be something I'll test some other time. For now, i'm back to my windows client.
I also ran the images off of my RAID0 WD blacks, the images were still really fast.

Virtualbox is a contender though, it supports up to 16 CPUs and is super easy to use. Hint - use "bridged adapters" in network config, turn off your soundcard, always use static image files for increased performance (rather than dynamic disks) and defrag your drive before assigning the virtual image disk space for best performance.

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