Slow Folding on G4

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by arogge, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #1
    How is the Folding performance on the dual-G4 machines? I found that an Athlon XP PC is twice as fast as a fancy Apple system with a G4 of the same MHz rating as the Athlon. Aren't Macs supposed to be twice as fast as x86 systems? :rolleyes:
    For example, the Athlon can process one frame of p692_L939_K12M_int in about 10 minutes, while the dual-G4 takes over 20 minutes. Is there something wrong with the Mac or the Folding client, or is a 2-year-old Athlon PC really a faster system than a new PowerMac G4? :eek:
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    The p692 WU you have is a Tinker work unit.

    G4 processors do not have good floating point (real number) processing; therefore, the Tinker work units take much longer than they do on x86 machines.

    What you might not realise is that x86 owners complain about how slow Tinker work units are processed on their machines too. :D

    Gromacs work units are much more quickly processed than the Tinkers.
     
  3. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #3
    Also make sure you are running 1 Unit on each processor...

    Hence you are really equal to the amount the athlon does.

    Tinkers are slow.

    Gromacs are faster.

    Especially with the new core.
     
  4. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #4
    Can the Folding application request Gromacs units? Most of the units that I've been getting lately are p638 and p692. It's silly to be processing this data on a PowerMac when a low-end PC can do the work in half the time and the G4 could be doing something else. I'm doing a p692 unit now and it took so long for a frame to be processed this morning that the PowerMac went to Sleep. :rolleyes: I have to select Display Protein in the application to keep the system active.
     
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #5
    No, it can't request certain types of work.

    You could turn the sleep time up or turn it off completely to avoid the machine going to sleep.
     
  6. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #6
    I might just stop Folding on the Mac if this slow processing continues. It's not worth the cost of the CPU time. There are other things that the G4s could be doing other than struggling with non-optimized Folding units. :(
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    I guess you're not in it to help people then. :(
     
  8. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #8
    There are other distributed computing projects available and I have my own work to do. Folding gets an allotment of the available CPU time on a set schedule depending on the work load each week. If it takes the PowerMac more than a week to complete a work unit normally, and more than two weeks when I need more CPU time for other work, it's not worth keeping it running. The Athlon can do a large work unit in under five days. I've joined the MacRumors Folding team. :D Most of the points that I've posted have come from an Athlon PC. The Athlon has done two units and is almost done with the third one while the PowerMac is only halfway through the second one, and the Mac has been running almost every day with no other CPU-intensive tasks while the Athlon system has had less time for Folding. If I got an Athlon system running full-time, maybe even with a new AMD 64-bit CPU, it would make the G4 look like an old Pentium at Folding performance. This would be a bad thing to show at a keynote. I wanted to show people the Athlon and the G4 doing Folding so that they could see how the Mac is twice as fast as the x86 PC, like at the Apple keynotes, but it's really the old Athlon that's twice as fast. I like the PowerMac performance overall, but Folding just isn't what it likes to do.
     
  9. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #9
    You know what?

    I have a iMac G4... its finally kicking ass.

    How about you wait for a new Gromac unit to come to your Mac and it would kick real nice.

    I've got 1 Machiene, a Mac Running.

    1 Processor.
    1 Computer.
    1 Mac.

    Yet I have submitted a good deal of work units.

    I've figured out that if I don't need a process open... like for say SOX (System Optimizer Scheduler) then why should it be taking up my CPU, I've looked at the processes that are running and killed any that I don't need.

    Am I helping the team?
    Sure

    Am I helping future patients of dieases get cured?
    Yes.
     
  10. arogge thread starter macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #10
    The p692 unit that was running has just been finished. A large download occurred and :eek: it's the Gromacs Core v.1.54. :D

    The Folding client says:
    "Extra AltiVec boost OK." :)
     
  11. Plutronics macrumors member

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    #11
    Hey MrMacman !!!
    Do you think you could post a list of the un-needed processes you killed ???
    I'll Use at my own Risk :D
    Thanks
    Pluts
     
  12. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

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    #12
    Hehe, I have this program called System Optomizer... but for no apparent reason even though I turned scheduling off it 'idles' at .9-1.2% of my CPU at all times, totally useless. So I killed it.

    I happen to have other random processos also do this... like DiskWarrior, Norton, even though I turned them off... Together that was an easy 1% CPU...

    If your running P2P make sure everything is turned off if you want folding at its peak.

    I turn off things like MenuMeter overnight, why graph my network or CPU usage when I will not need to see it, eh?

    Basically what I do before going to sleep is run 'top -aus 10' in the terminal seeing what is taking (or wasting) my CPU, if something is unneeded I kill it.

    Somewhere Preview was loading an image, I apparently tried opening 30 minutes prior... it was eating 30% of my CPU, I didn't notice, that saved My folding overnight...

    It really helps.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    That should go pretty quickly. My dual 800 has been finishing most in around 36 hours per processor.
     

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