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Old May 16, 2010, 02:22 PM
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So I been getting into this whole folding thing with the CC, but I can't afford to run an inefficient/power hungry rig 24/7 or I'll go over the over-usage line which I'm always towing. (already went over this month for the CC)

So I have 2 ideas:

I've been contemplating a GPU upgrade on my main rig for well over 2 years. (ever since I bought the 8600gt in my system specs) I kept putting it off because I don't game much anymore, but I don't game because of the 8600gt. (pointless paradox) So I figure when GPU3 comes out I could grab a Fermi (probably 470/465) and have it fold at night. I'm on the dreaded smart meter, but it's 4.4c/kWh at night, totally affordable at ~200-215W for the GPU which would be ~9c/night ~22c/weekend/holdiay. Heat would be an issue, but I always get aftermarket cooling for my components since I'm such a noise freak, so I should be fine. The rig would only fold from ~9PM-7AM and all day on weekends/holidays. That's only about $25 a year for just the GPU, without significant risk of going over my usage cap.
My main concern for this first idea is completing WUs before the deadline, but I finally get the eye candy I've been wanting for years.

The other option is to build a really energy efficient rig. I'd leave about a $1500 budget for this and I wouldn't need peripherals.
I was thinking of running an i3/h55/itx build off of a Pico PSU. O/Ced to ~3.8-4.0ghz an i3 540 should be able to pull under 120W and not overload the Pico I've been looking at. But with some Epimethius and Google, I found that this would only net about 6k PPD at ~100W. Only slightly better than my current Q6600 and not impressive compared to a GT240.
The problem with just GPU folding is I would have to build a new big anyways, since I don't have that many PCI-E lanes left on my D975XBX2, not to mention they're 1.0 and not 2.0.

I could always just fold on my current rig, but my 8600gt gets way too many failed WUs and crappy PPD. So either way I'm looking to replace that.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)
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Old May 16, 2010, 02:48 PM
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Bigadv folding is the most energy efficient method of folding at the moment; you would want ~3.6GHZ and at least 6GB of ram, and 24/7 folding on that would net you ~20K PPD. So you would have to go 1366, unless you would be willing to put 8GB of ram on a H55 rig. Takes about 2.5 days to complete one WU. If you can't run the rig 24/7, I would be worried of meeting the deadlines for bigadv. SMP2 will not be as energy-efficient for PPD as bigadv.

The GTX 470 is an unknown beast at the moment. Potential PPD is not known, and estimates vary.

Since you have your mind set on a new GPU, I would suggest waiting until the 470 gets folding and evaluate then. If it folds well, then at night your video card will eat through some WUs that will get finished. If you go bigadv, you might not meet deadlines if you stop the WU for too long. SMP2 might net similar PPD as a GTX 470 in your case, if the PPD predictions come true for the 470.

So...I would wait for the 470 to fold, and if the predicted numbers hold, then go that route as you want a PU upgrade for games anyway.
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Old May 16, 2010, 03:15 PM
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This is my first try at folding and somewhere in the future I was considering the same idea as you; another computer with lower power consumption part time/weekend folder or even 24/7 if possible... So, I'll be following this thread. And I'm waiting for the next hydro bill as I'm on the smart meter as well. I was running 1 PC 24/7 since May 4th, then added my old P4 and a PS3 (older version).

My current machine isn't too bad with power consumption (i7-860 not overclocked) but I don't know how it compares to any other computer. It's running 100% now (CPU folding) and is drawing 193 watts with the monitor. According to Dell specs, the monitor draws 52 watts (less than 1 watt in sleep mode) so that would be drawing around 142 watts most of the time.

System: i7-860, 8 gigs memory, CM 690II case with extra fans, 2 HD, DVD, 22" monitor (plugged into a APC UPS). Edit: It was doing about 3 medium WUs per day for the duration, except when I got a crappy WU and it took a lot longer for less points.
Here's a screen shot of current status folding (trying to get my 10th WU now that the CC is over).
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Last edited by LaughingCrow; May 16, 2010 at 03:21 PM.
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Old May 16, 2010, 03:33 PM
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bigadv if its on all the time. smp, more or less the same.
gpu? it takes hours, not days to complete, probably safest bet.
but the first would be regular wus...timeless? cant beat them
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