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How to Get the Most Folding Points from your Hardware

 
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babychunder
Knight
Knight


Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 81
Location: In Exile, near a Telegraph Pole in Merrie England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:11 am    Post subject: How to Get the Most Folding Points from your Hardware Reply with quote

I thought I'd jot down a few tips to pass on what I've learned, so that new / existing folders can squeeze those last few points out of their rig. Might not be 100% accurate so please feel free to improve the thread.

Best Clients

1. SMP client (Native Linux/OSX)
2. SMP client (Windows with Linux under VMWare)
3. SMP client (Windows)
4. GPU no-nonsense console client (Windows)
5. GPU GUI client (Windows)
6. No-nonsense console client (Windows or Linux)
7. GUI client (Windows)

Best Operating System

1. Linux/OSX
2. Windows with Linux under VMWare
3. Windows

Best CPU Hardware

1. Quad Core Clovertown Xeons with 1333FSB
2. Quad Core Clovertown Xeons with 1067FSB
3. Quad Core Kentsfield
4. Dual Core Woodcrest Xeon with 1333FSB
5. Dual Core Woodcrest Xeon with 1067FSB
6. Core 2 Duo (larger cache and/or faster FSB are better)
7. Dual Core AMD Opteron, larger cache sizes are best
8. Core Duo Mobile
9. AMD 64 x2, larger cache sizes are best
10. Core Solo Mobile
11. Pentium M (Dothan) with 2mb cache
12. Pentium M (Banias) with 1mb cache
13. Single Core AMD 64
14. Older Pentium 4 Netburst Architecture, larger cache sizes are best
15. Older Pentium Mobile
16. Celerys and Simper-ons

Obviously the higher the clock speed the better. There will be some overlaps between processor classes, for example a high-end DC Opteron will smoke a low-end Core 2. Similarly, 2x Dual Core Woodcrests will outperform a single Core 2 Quad because of the extra cache and the higher memory bandwidth of the duallie motherboard. Pretty much all of these CPUs can be overclocked; however the Xeons are for experts only.

Best GPU Hardware

0. ATI Radeon 2xxx series high end (NB untested)
1. ATI Radeon X1950XTX with DDR4
2. As above with DDR3
3. ATI Radeon X1900 series
4. ATI Radeon X1950Pro
5. ATI Radeon X1800 series

I haven’t tried all of these so beware. 512MB GPUs are more productive than their 256MB counterparts; same is true of DDR4 memory over DDR2/3.

Best Memory Configuration

1. Four FB-DIMMs in Quad Channel mode
2. Two DDR2s in Dual Channel mode
3. Two DDRs in Dual Channel mode
4. Four DDR2s Dual Channel
5. Four DDRs Dual Channel
6. One or three DDR2s
7. One or three DDRs

In all cases you should have at least 1GB (2x 512) of memory. If running VMWare, you will need at least 2GB (2x1GB). With Quad Cores, shoot for 4GB if possible.

Latency matters, the lower the better, but it’s less important than clock speed. DDR2-800 with CAS4 is the minimum you should shoot for if it’s a new build. DDR2-1067 if you can afford it.

Best Client Mix

1. 2x Quad Core Xeons – Four SMP clients and (optional) one GPU client
2. 1x Quad Core C2D – Two SMP clients and (optional) one GPU client
3. 2x Dual Core Xeons - Two SMP clients and (optional) one GPU client
4. High-end Dual Core machines – One SMP client
5. Mid-range Dual Core machines with SLI or Crossfire – Two GPU clients
6. All other Dual Core machines – One SMP client
7. High-end Single Core machines – One Console client
8. Low-end Single Core machines – One GPU client

The above assumes non-Windows SMP clients. You should only consider the Windows SMP client if you can’t get VMWare working, or don’t have enough RAM to support VMWare.

Never mind that Stanford recommend four cores per CPU client, it runs fine on two. Your low end machine (Celery, Simperon etc) still has value and is best used as a mule for a GPU. The X1950Pro is good value, the X1950XTX has the most power. If you have a mid range dual core machine, and two PCIe slots with at least 8 lanes each, then two GPU clients (on two GPUs) will probably outperform one SMP client. All other dualies with one PCIe slot are best used for an SMP client.

Look out for electricity cost. Any of the Mobile chips on a Desktop mobo will save you money. After that, the Core architecture is best, followed by the AMD, with Intel P4/Xeon Netburst bringing up the rear. The best Points Per Day per Watt comes from the Clovertown Xeons and the Kentsfield Quad; the worst is from the P4 Netburst and Celeri.

Last if you are overclocking, don't push it too far. An unstable OC will cost you points and waste Stanfords time.

Vote for sticky if you find this useful.
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Grizzly
Prince
Prince


Joined: 01 Jun 2002
Posts: 3136
Location: Creepy (Crawlley)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Voted

Regds Grizz
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PeteBee
Knight
Knight


Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 56
Location: Middle England

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vote sticky! Very Happy

Update - considering points per day per watt, my macbook pro with a T7600 manages 28 on 1760 pointers and my minimal linux Q6600 G0 builds with integrated graphics and modest overclocks will match that figure running a pair of 1760 pointers. Push the o/c and vcore up and it goes decidedly south though. Thus, the latest stepping of the Q6600 has caught up with the efficiency of the mobile core2 duo.

I'd say 30 points per day per watt should be everyone's green ideal, quite a few modern desktops running core2duos won't top 10 ppd/W.

Another target for anyone building a folding farm should be 1000 ppd per £100/$200 spend.
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Putting_things_on_top
Duke
Duke


Joined: 14 Oct 2009
Posts: 435
Location: Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe someone wants to update this thread?
Info is nearly 5 years old!

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