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Old August 22, 2011, 05:56 AM
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Default budget bigadv folding rig

I am flirting with the idea of getting a folding rig for the bigadv units. I know that i need at least 8 cores for that so I am asking some questions here. Can it be done with Win 7?
I was looking at an Opteron based platform and while the CPUs required for that would not cost much, the motherboard required has kinda some high prices. From what I have read already for an Opteron based platform you need at least Opteron 23xy CPUs, these are the quad core versions and you can put 2 on a mobo to get the 8 necessary threads. Now on Intel side you can start with the Xeon 53xx series on LGA771 socket and of course you would need again 2 of them to get the necessary 8 threads. Mobos for dual lga 771 are far cheaper, i spotted a mobo on ebay for an HP xw6400 workstation around 65$ in Canada and it would accept the quad core Xeons. As a plus also has 2 mechanical X16 PCIE slots for some additional GPU folding. Any ideea how much PPD production can you get with such a setup, let's say 2 xeons at 2 GHz? I guess would be the half of what you get out of an i7 2600k at 4GHz?
would it be simpler to rely on GPU folding? a 3 x16 PCIEX slots mobo can be had for around 100$ and throwing in 3 GTS 250 cards would yield around 20kppd for around the same budget as building a budget bigadv folder. What do you think of it?
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Old August 22, 2011, 06:02 AM
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At 4GHz, the 2600k will output ~32k ppd, depending on the unit of course. I'm currently getting ~34k ppd just on regular smp units, but I'm running my processor at 4.8GHz. I used to run at 4.1GHz before I upgraded my cooler, and I was running bigadv for a while, even after they changed the points, and I was running around where I mentioned for a 690x unit. I did pick up a 2686 unit, and iirc, that worked out to ~24k ppd.

If it's going to be dedicated, I would go with the 2600k and clock it around 4.4 - 4.5GHz (depends on your cooler and what you're comfortable running 24/7). That would yield you the most points with the least amount of electricity consumed ... a definite win-win.

Edit: I realized that I didn't answer your question about Win 7 ... in short, yes, you can run bigadv in windows, the 6.34 version of the smp client will handle it (I'm using this currently), along with the new version 7 client (have used this in the past).
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Old August 22, 2011, 06:22 AM
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as for gpu folding seems that the best ppd/watt producer is GTS450
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Old August 22, 2011, 06:26 AM
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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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Old August 22, 2011, 09:34 AM
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2600k
p67
8gb ram
W7 Home Premium

Easiest, most efficient bigadv rig.
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
2600k
p67
8gb ram
W7 Home Premium

Easiest
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.0charlie View Post
2600k
p67
8gb ram
Ubuntu

most efficient
FTFY
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Old August 22, 2011, 10:55 AM
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i say wait and see what dozer does. pretty close given your investment is not 100 bucks or so :)


but indeed. a 2600k caseless or not rig would be the it right now.z68 so no extra gpu needed.
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:42 AM
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if your rig is folding, smp or anything else on the cpu, on all cores, can you do anything else like do your browsing, listening to some music or watch a movie? because for example I see from folding on the gtx 460 there is enough breathing space to do all of the above. how is on the cpu?
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Old August 22, 2011, 11:50 AM
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yeah,no problem. its gonna take a hit depending on how much you use the cpu,of course.
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Old August 22, 2011, 01:20 PM
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I agree with Dan, the smp program is quite good at getting out of the way ... at the cost of some points of course. I can fold full smp and play games at the same time without seeing any noticeable performance hit.
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