View Full Version : SETI Benchmarks

Dec 14, 2001, 06:06 AM
Hi there people.

Do any of you run the SETI program? If so, I am very interested to find out how long a unit takes you to process + on what machine that was.


Dec 14, 2001, 06:20 AM
between 14 and 19 hours on a g4 867 640mb ram. average times seem to be 17 to 19 hours. a g3 400 (firewire) powerbook i had was consistent on 29 hours. seti osx on the 867. seti os9 was on the powerbook.

[Edited by 748s on 12-14-2001 at 07:33 AM]

Dec 14, 2001, 08:31 AM
Are you sure? I know somebody that processes unit on a G4 433 I think, it only takes about 11 hours!!

Dec 14, 2001, 09:13 AM
My average is 16 hours on a dual 533/512/10.1. I find that slow considering how many people can do it in 10hours or less, but whatever. They might be set up differently.


Dec 14, 2001, 09:42 AM
There seems to be a huge difference in times! Do you set set it up to process data with a blank screen + only when the screensaver is on? This should not make a huge difference, especially not nearly 6 hours extra! I'm lost.

Dec 15, 2001, 12:27 AM
i usually have it run when i'm not working but doing stuff like surfing, downloading etc. so that may explain the difference. next unit i get i will run overnight to see what sort of time it takes.

Dec 15, 2001, 01:29 AM
I used to use SETI, but I found it horrifcly slow. It has been working for 9hrs & 19 minutes and has only done 48 percent. I don't know how some guy managed to push our 24 packets in a weekend!?! I also have a G4 867 but I only have 384 Ram.

Dec 15, 2001, 04:45 AM
SETI will not increase in speed once the RAM increases over a certain point (probably 256MB). I am really supprised that it takes everybody so long to process a unit.

Dec 15, 2001, 07:09 AM
it use to take around 11 hours in phase 1. earlier this year they started sending out phase 2 units that took the powerbook around 28 hours instead of 11 hours. an SGI onyx would do 24 units on a weekend. think they do a phase 2 unit in around an hour.

Ensign Paris
Dec 15, 2001, 11:30 AM
I have a dual-800/ which processes about 11 packets in a weekend. Running it in the Terminal Mode is much faster that running it as an carbon app.


[Edited by Ensign Paris on 12-30-2001 at 07:02 PM]

Dec 15, 2001, 04:42 PM
can I have it then? I'll pay shipping.


Dec 16, 2001, 10:00 AM
Ok, question. SETI give us a CPU time, but where does it tell us the actual time it takes us to process a unit?

Dec 16, 2001, 11:06 AM
In my limited experience cPU time has little effect on 'real' time. If you are running other apps the CPU time remains average although this average can vary by as much as 50%.

I run on mainly 233 G3 machines and average an 24hours CPU time.

Dec 21, 2001, 11:48 PM
all i know is that ive done 76 units and havnt found any ETs yet

Dec 22, 2001, 05:44 AM
47% done CPU time: 13hr 41 min 57.7 sec

Powerbook G3 500 w/ 640MB RAM
OS X 10.1.1

Dec 30, 2001, 04:30 PM
iBook 500 w/256mb RAM takes 20-hours on the average to process running in the background.

Unlike the PC version, macSETI seems to not like anything else running for it to work. In the past hour, it only crunched about 1% more -- and all I was doing was reading online news and posting comments here.

Run overnight and when I'm not around, it works out to one work unit per day.

Dec 30, 2001, 04:42 PM
As much as I like the ibook I am not very impressed at how long it takes to process a unit! Is this to do with the mac version of seti, I cant believe that the mac is slower than pc's!! Afterall, a v.good time for a desktop should be around 10 hours!

Dec 30, 2001, 04:50 PM
My pc (a Toshiba 4080xCDT laptop @ 366mhz & 192mb RAM) whips through a unit in about 11 hours, so I think it must be a programming thing. Perhaps all those built-in math routines in Pentiums has something to do with it, while the RISC might be difficult for some people.

Then again, isn't SETI programmed in C++, and the same code is on all machines? Might then be a question of compiler optimization.

Dec 30, 2001, 04:54 PM
Thats a big difference! Do you run the same versions? 3.0.3?

Dec 30, 2001, 04:58 PM
I am at the moment running a AMD650Mhz, 128Mb RAM + it takes me 15 hours to process a unit! I'll be whipping through those units as soon as I get a mac!

Dec 31, 2001, 11:57 AM
Yup -- same version.

My Toshiba's p2 is a "mobile variant" which I am led to believe is faster than a normal pII. Waaaaaaay too many p2's and p3's are Celerons, which have limited math routines... I think.

Any pc hardware folks out there know what I'm talking about?

Dec 31, 2001, 12:20 PM
Of course, it also depends on the WU (work unit).

Those without gaussians (bell-curve signals) are obviously going to go through processing superfast, and those with loud noise are going to be processed even faster, often within a few minutes before getting another WU.

Remember: it's doing all these calculations over a range of doppler shift values, and all that math takes time. Those running the program as a strict screen-saver will wait an eternity for just one WU to process, even though the total processor time for one will amount to a few hours. Running it overnight as a standalone program is the only way to go.

Which, BTW, is how I'm up to 777 WU's processed -- since the program started back in '99.

Dec 31, 2001, 12:22 PM
well i've got a pc with a p3-500. it chunks down units in around 16 hours, with seti v. 3.03.

Dec 31, 2001, 11:56 PM
A 9600 chunking away at this task... 92 hours at least!!!

Jan 1, 2002, 12:59 AM
You know...

The way PDA's are evolving, that 9600 will be less advanced in a couple of years to a handheld, and to see SETI crunching away on something that small...


Jan 1, 2002, 01:41 AM
Where did you get the purple logo? I also want to know how Jetahatfield got that green smily/winking face!

Jan 5, 2002, 08:09 AM
Does anybody run SETI on a 700Mhz imac? How quick does it crunch a unit?

Jan 13, 2002, 06:43 AM
I also run seti on an old 8600 mac! It takes about 39 hours to process a unit!

Jan 18, 2002, 11:06 AM
Who has managed to get their new imac yet?? How fast is it on the new G4 imac to process a unit of seti?

Jan 18, 2002, 11:27 AM
I used to finish one packet in around 10-11 hours on my B&W G3 400, two years ago.. I wonder if teh information they send or the processing they are doing now has changed, that it takes so much longer?

Jan 18, 2002, 11:31 AM
I think it was about 6-8 months ago they added in extra mathematical calculations that made it take longer to process the unit. You probably be able to process a unit in say 14/15 hours I would have thought.

Jan 22, 2002, 11:21 PM
10 hours average in 9.1
about 9 or so in os X

v 3.03 w/ nothing else running except for SUM 3.3 in classic

856 units completed at the time of writing, about 600 of those from this current machine, which is a dual 500 mhz G4 with a gig of ram and radeon graphix.

still trying to get the terminal one to work, but it refused the first time around....

its about 16 hours average for my B&W 400 g3 w/ 384 of ram..not run too often though

Jan 23, 2002, 10:54 AM
So your computer... Choppaface has been running for 8506 hours??? Wow... thats real dedication towards seti...:eek:

Jan 23, 2002, 07:35 PM
yay i finally got the terminal version running! :D

I used to run it all day when i was at school...now my comp it on 24hr/day and when I'm not using it its running seti.
and actually its more like 9,000 hours :D....I used to run it on a 233 g3 that took a day a unit

Feb 28, 2002, 12:42 AM
finally got around to running seti as blank screen overnight. on the 867 g4 i was getting 14 to 19 hours letting it run randomly. turned off the screen saver, set hd to never spin down. seti to fire up into screensaver mode after 1 minute then blank screen after 2 minutes. best was 7 hours 7 mins worst 8 hours 30 min. huge improvement.

Feb 28, 2002, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by Falleron
As much as I like the ibook I am not very impressed at how long it takes to process a unit! Is this to do with the mac version of seti, I cant believe that the mac is slower than pc's!! Afterall, a v.good time for a desktop should be around 10 hours!

The mac hasn't always been slower. I remember first going to college over 2 years ago, and all these PC big-wigs with their super PCs they all built and swore were the best, and then my G4 400 which was on average 300 MHz slower than their beasts would TEAR THEM APART. I think my average time was less than 6 hrs, and they were stuck at 10 hrs running so many optimizations that they couldn't touch their computer at all. I stopped doing SETI when they started changing the mac version...don't know why...or what happened..but it used to be much faster....just thought I'd chime in..

Feb 28, 2002, 03:59 AM
They got slower as they added different mathematical functions to both pc + mac version. The original G4 was a very good chip but since then Motorola has added pipeline stages just to get the Mhz up without increasing the actual performance up much!! At the moment I am using a 1Ghz DP and I send a unit back roughly every 3 hours.

Feb 28, 2002, 11:33 AM
There has to be something different about the chunks they are sending now or how or when the chunks are processed.

A couple of years ago I was getting something like 13-15 times per chunk on an old G3 300MHz (Beige). There's no way that Macs have gotten slower, so something has to be different.

1) Maybe the chunks are bigger.

2) Maybe it works even while other things are eating the processor (older versions would run only in screensaver mode--nothing else would be running).

I don't think the program has gotten slower, either. Its got to be one of the two reasons above.


May 11, 2002, 03:27 AM
I'm quite happy with how fast it takes my iBook to process a seti unit. Under OS X, with Folding@Home, Terminal Tasks, iTunes, Word and some other stuff running, it took about 25 hrs a packet. Considering how much stuff i've got running, that's pretty good. My AMD Duron doing *just* folding + seti takes over twice as long. The Terminal version of Seti@Home on OS X runs **much** faster than the carbon app.

I'd also like to point out that SETI is just as useful for benchmarking as Photoshop is... So don't take the results **too seriously**

Out of interest, does anyone have any results for a dual GHz PM? And when someone gets a rackmount server, plz post results!!!

...And we'll kick all those PC ppl's asses once we have our G5... even when AMD brings out their 64-bit processors.

May 11, 2002, 10:30 AM
I am 32% through and it has taken 7 hours, I guess it will take 21 hours for a unit. I am running a 700mhz G3 iMac on OS X. Is there any way I can make it go faster? 21 hours seems slow for a 700mhz G3.

Mr. Anderson
May 11, 2002, 10:42 AM
My seti has been all over the place. I left it alone and it did a unit in just over 15 hours - that's on a 450 G4. Not too bad.

May 14, 2002, 04:14 PM
First, my benchmarks: on iMac rev.B (G3 233MHz, 64M RAM, OS 9.2) average: 28 hours, fastest 5 min, lowest 35 hours.
For statistical reasons, you need at least 100 work units to get an average time as SETI drops very quickly uninteresting WUs but more interesting ones are treated thoroughly (and then it takes longer time for processing). on SETI 2, average time was 15 hours. Next version of SETI will introduce new calculations and it will take longer for processing on TODAY hardware but about the same on FUTURE ones. (like my iMac with SETI 2 was about the same level as G4's with SETI 3). When you look at people with very short process times in the users list, they use a lot of different computers under the same account (and they don't have any secret supercomputers!) people having 10 000+ WUs have well over 20 computers crunching data)
Just my $0.02....

May 18, 2002, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Macmaniac
I am 32% through and it has taken 7 hours, I guess it will take 21 hours for a unit. I am running a 700mhz G3 iMac on OS X. Is there any way I can make it go faster? 21 hours seems slow for a 700mhz G3.

it does seem kinda slow. my experience with seti is that it speeds up and slows down, so that 21 hr estimate might not be actually correct. if you're using the GUI version (with all the pretty graphs), you will find that the terminal text only version will run a lot faster...

Hey, when someone gets an xserve (what -- they arrive in june, don't they?) plz post a benchmark here, i'd be really interested.

May 29, 2002, 10:35 PM
It seems to take my Powerbook 667 (DVI) about 10:30-11 hours to process a unit, which is much improved over the 17 hour average that my iMac DV 400 was pulling. This is all with the command line version of seti. Only problem is, seti is one of the few things that makes the second stage of the fan come on, so I don't do it while sleeping.