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-   -   What is better for folding (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardwarecanucks-f-h-team/51040-what-better-folding.html)

Mathus January 28, 2012 05:21 PM

What is better for folding
I have been thinking about this recently and wanted to the communities opinion. What would be more cost efficient for folding a single quad core CPU with many graphics cards or a 2p/4p system with a single graphics card. I always was if the understanding that GPU's were better for foldig than CPU's, am I wrong?

Silent_Avenger January 28, 2012 06:39 PM

Well from a ppd/wtt standpoint a 2p/4p folding machine would be most cost effective since you do get bonus points nd can run bigadv. I hear many tales that 4p systems have power draw as low as ~500w. Even from a parts standpoint a 4p system will probably cost less than a 4gpu setup for the same ppd. Of course the cheapest way to do things is from used or leftover parts. If you ever plan on upgrading an older 4core cpu and motherboard you can keep your old parts and you have the basis of a smp folding system.

Mathus January 28, 2012 11:56 PM

THanks for the advice, I will keep this in mind when building a new machine.

rommelrommel January 29, 2012 12:38 AM

2p/4p systems slaughter GPU's all things considered, if you're looking at 3/4 nvidia GPU's and the power supply that you'll need, and the cooling, and the power draw, I think the 2p/4p systems are by far the winners. If you look at complexity of setup the GPU's may be appealing although.

Rison January 29, 2012 08:41 AM

As said, from a points perspective a 2 or 4 socket processor system is far superior with respect to power usage than running a lot of graphics cards.

From a science perspective, graphic folding benefits a different project set because it uses different cores to fold with. What the different projects are specifically, I don't know - but I have read on other folding forums that they want to fold with a graphics card for specific project reasons. If you go the GPU route, use Nvidia graphics cards.

Dragonstongue January 29, 2012 11:43 AM

well, I am not 100% sure the performance differences and such, but if you could get 2 high performance gpus and declock them some to get thier power down, you may get similar folding power to multi-cpu systems?

I do bitcoin mining, I had stopped down F@H awhile back, I know with bitcoin, AMD most certainly is faster.

I know AMD is no where near currently as fast to my knowledge as Nvidia is in Folding, however, that may change soon enough, the thing with Nvidia is their hardware generally speaking is easier to reach its performance maximums, AMD is alot more complicated to reap the benefits from, main reason is the shader design, but this being said, once they can(example bitcoining) AMD cards really do trump Nvidia cards.

3.0charlie January 29, 2012 11:54 AM

It depends what are you looking for: $$$/ppd, or W/ppd? Obviously for base investment, GPU folding is the way to go. But power-wise, the GPUs are real hogs... the other option is 2p /4 p rigs. This is where W/ppd is the real champ. A 2p rig with dual 6128s can produce ~90k ppd. A 4p like mine can do in excess of 500k ppd. Power consumption is ~300w for the 2p, and 525w for the 4p. There is not a GPU farm out there than can even come close to those numbers. Also add in the equation the noise and heat generated by the GPUs.

I used to GPU fold, and decided to invest in a 4p rig instead. Noise, power consumption and heat are all down, ppd is incredible. But it's an investment: 900$ for the board, 500$ per chip...

Mathus January 30, 2012 11:30 AM

Hey Charlie, thanks for the tips!

I am still pretty new with this whole folding this so I'm how best to approach it. Right now I am folding on my desktop(SMP&GPU), Laptop(SMP) and my PS3. I am looking for the best $$$/ppd and cheapest way to increase my folding numbers.

I am thinking about upgrading my video card to a HD6970 or maybe a HD7950 once they are released so I would be using that and my current 4870 for folding. Power isn't really a concern at the moment since I don't pay for my power :D

PerryC January 30, 2012 11:49 AM

NVidia gpus far outperform AMD gpus for folding. My HD5750 is getting about 5500 ppd, 3 WUs a day, every third of fourth day it adds a 4th WU. 1835 points per WU. GTX460 get somewhere close to 10k ppd deepending on drivers and OS. I haven't been able to get my hands on a nvidia card yet- at least one that my son has hasn't killed on me.

3.0charlie January 30, 2012 03:31 PM

$$$/ppd? Nvidia is the way to go. Make sure the card is properly cooled, and let it rip.

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