New to folding - few questions

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by COrocket, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #1
    Hey everyone - So i just switched and joined the macrumors team using my 2012 mac mini in my signature after using BOINC for a while. Looks like I am leveling out at around 12,500 PPD using the light settings. I tried the full/medium setting but that pretty much meant nearly maxing out the fan and getting really hot, which was annoying but I could get around 20k+ PPD max which I guess is decent for something w/o a GPU. Maybe I'll step it up in the winter since the machine seems really sensitive to ambient temps. Few questions -

    1. Does RAM amounts have any impact on folding performance. I checked and I don't have any page outs so I don't imagine it does.

    2. Is there any info on how much data up/down folding takes? I guess this would be computer speed dependent. The reason I ask is because I'm taking a semester internship and probably won't have cable internet where i'm going so I'm not sure I could use a tethered mobile internet connection and let it run.

    Finally, has anyone looked into external GPU solutions? I've been lurking on the other threads and I know that GPU's look like the real deal for folding. A GPU would be nice to have and that seems to be the only place the mini is lacking (non-existent). It looks like Thunderbolt bandwidth and enclosure availability/price is a limiting factor here. Maybe once the new Mac Pro comes out there will be different options for external stuff. I guess that would greatly increase power consumption - I like the fact that the mini only uses 30-40 watts so I can run 24/7 without thinking about the power bills.

    Looks like T-3 months until my 7 digits if I keep this pace...
     
  2. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #2
    Welcome to the team COrocket

    Glad you made it and hey: impressive PPD from the little Mini. Just make sure it gets enough airflow. Air to breath. Heat is our common problem :eek:

    As for your questions
    1) RAM don't really matter that much for us regular folder. Just make sure that the system is not swapping too much with other applications you might have in addition (iTunes, Xcode, ...). RAM is more relevant for those with 1 million PPD and making so called "BIGADV" work units; a different league I hope to reach once in far future :D

    2) as for the upload/download: it really depends on the WU you get assigned. You find indication for each WU size in the logfile; its mentioned in there what amount got downloaded at begin, what get compressed and uploaded after result is computed. Also the bandwidth/speed is relevant for those WU with Quick Return Bonus.
    That said: a tethered mobile link might be quite some stress for your mobile provider and also for your bonus. but I think I read one fellow folder is using a satellite link in Africa; that must be awful.

    3) External GPU would be great; problem is: on Mac the GPU folding is at this point in time not supported due to buggy implementation of OpenCL. We have only CPU while Mac OS Is running; you can use Bootcamp for Windows; that could allow GPU folding if the GPU is supported. I use actually Linux for my GPU folding; remote controlled from my Mac and iDevice. :cool:

    4) regarding you folding target: make sure to get a passkey from the Stanford site and configure it in the client. You need that key to qualify for bonus points (after finishing 10 WU).

    If you like share your folding name; makes it easier to look after each other. I'm folding since three month and it is totally addictive; also like the community around.

    Enjoy your stay, and wish you lots PPD
    Christian(FAH)
     
  3. lordonuthin macrumors 6502

    lordonuthin

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #3
    I think Christian got the answers right.

    Most folks who want to get more points have to go with Linux or windows on their Mac to get the gpu involved. I've tried to mess with Ubuntu on an Asus board and could never get the gpu's to fold so I have stuck with windows 7 on 2 Asus boards with 6 gpu's. I don't know if anyone knows yet if the new MP gpu's will fold with Linux or windows or if gpu's in a separate chassis will work at all. Only time will tell.

    You are getting good points out of your mini, my 09 Mac Pro only gets about 35k ppd on the high setting.

    Thanks for joining the team!
     
  4. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #4
    thanks for joining and welcome to the team!

    it looks like your questions have already been answered, but to add a little to the gpu question - i haven't come across gpu via thunderbolt, however i think it should be here at some point (if not already). like already stated, you'd have to run it in windows. but just knowing you could do it with your mini is nice.

    and i must say that 20k ppd is outstanding for your mini! i have a 2011 macbook pro with a 2.3 i7, and i only get about 10-12k ppd depending on the unit. maybe i need to relook at folding on it, cuz that's really good for the watts.

    as for your internet connection, shouldn't be a big deal as long as you have a connection. the speed doesn't have to be fast. only the bigger units need somewhat fast speeds, since those units can be 100 mb or so.

    let us know if you have any other questions!

    ----------

    well after searching for gpu thunderbolt enclosures:

    here's a link of someone making their own

    here's one that's not released yet
     
  5. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #5
    Welcome indeed! Christian definitely has it right...

    here's another (albeit, expensive, and only half length) expansion chassis:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/HELIOSTB1/

    but seriously, it's more effective to buy a used low-wattage PC with a decent power supply and 64-bit Windows and pop in a card and start crunching... or build your own! (that's the addictive part!)

    20 K ppd is very, very good though! I don't think that my pro was getting more than 11 K ppd...

    We look forward to seeing you move up the ranks!

    Louis
     
  6. COrocket thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #6
    My name is the same as my MR username, and as of this posting I'm #660 on the MR team and climbing. Looks like I'm into my 3rd day of folding and have 17 WU's and scoring a little over 16000. Is that total score supposed to correspond to my PPD that have been totaled up? I guess I have to wait a while for my PPD average to stabilize because it seems to change every time I check. Also, I read the QRB section on the FAH website and that seems impact scoring a lot since people have a variety of WU's done and similar scores.

    Yeah, I'm impressed with the mobile quad processors. After I bought the machine I started looking at CPU benchmarks and read on the forums that the mini's quad processor exceeds all of the iMac processors, with the exception of a BTO 27" with the i7-3770. From what I read this is because the mini's processor supports hyperthreading where the ones used in iMacs do not. The mini seems to be around 25% slower than the i7-3770 which looks like a high end consumer desktop processor. If I bought my mini with the 2.6 Ghz model it would be much closer.

    20k PPD was probably optimistic considering I don't want the machine to run full throttle all the time. but 10-12k sounds right for a macbook pro with a quad in it. I bumped my mini up to medium and I'm using 7 out of 8 cpu slots available so hopefully I can stay around 15k PPD.


    Thanks everyone for the replies!
     
  7. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7
    You're doing well!

    The points total is the, well, total since you started. The points for the week are a 7-day total for the week starting Sunday morning. Points average 24H is for a 24-hr period but are based on a rolling 7-day average -- i.e. the last 7 days of production.

    You'll see points total and point week numbers correspond exactly until Sunday morning; then the points week resets but of course they still get added to the points total.

    If you want to get into QRB then you need to be able to run those Core 17 WUs on a graphics card or chip; I forget which AMD ones you need at a minimum; most of us are running 7900 series cards, and for nVidia you need Kepler series chips. And you need Win7 and the current client. Linux will work for nVidia.

    I quite like the mini and wish that they were available with a discrete graphics chip, at least as a BTO option.

    I think the i5 chips are not hyper threaded (except maybe the highest end one) but the i7s are. The i3 chips, oddly, are hyper threaded but you don't get turbo boost.

    Happy Folding! :)
     
  8. lordonuthin macrumors 6502

    lordonuthin

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
  9. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #9
    i wonder if you could fold with the integrated chip of the mini?

    so the wattage of the mini seems crazy to me. so you can get 20k ppd and only use 40 watts of power? doesn't that seem very efficient compared to gpus and desktops?
     
  10. lordonuthin macrumors 6502

    lordonuthin

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #10
    CPU makers are trying to put really efficient chips into rack machines. I can't remember now where I read it but they are putting lots of cell phone cpu's into one machine hoping for more compute power while lowering the power bill. Seems like they would have to re-code a lot of apps for that to pay off but who knows.
     
  11. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #11
    found this article:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3468?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    sounds like max consumption of the latest mini is 85W -- still awfully good...
     
  12. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #12
  13. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

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    Sep 1, 2011
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    Toronto
    #13
    I still want one! (maybe see what they release on tuesday)
     
  14. COrocket thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #14
    If I had a power meter it would be interesting to hook the mini up and see what it gets. I think the PSU is rated for 85 watts but I think it uses less. I was guessing 40 watts based on others experiences like in this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1522438

    IIRC the Mac Pro PSU is rated 980 watts but it uses less in real world usage.

    I bet this thing could do some folding http://gizmodo.com/5967189/this-custom-datacenter-rack-has-160-mac-minis-crammed-inside-of-it
     
  15. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #15
    Looks good with your Mac Mini ... Peeks at 18kPPD. Top 10 in daily producer ranking ! :D
     
  16. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #16
    maybe new ones next month? i wish it had 2 thunderbolt ports
     
  17. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    hopefully! 2 would be nice, like on the MBPs. too bad peripherals are so costly. daisy-chaining?
     
  18. COrocket thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #18
    Really? Thats pretty cool. Never would have guessed top 10. I guess we don't have that many "hard-core" folders on the team...

    A lot of people think that on the mac mini forum. Most predict that the FW800 port will be dropped in favor of another TB port. But with daisy-chaining I don't see a lot more utility unless you are hooking up a ton of peripherals.
     
  19. ChristianJapan macrumors 601

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #19
    Yeah, we should have some more ... But we are still moving some solid points around :eek:
     
  20. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
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    #20
    yeah i know there's daisy-chaining. but still. more ports are better. and a discrete graphics card would be nice. maybe more RAM slots also.
     
  21. Louis Wu macrumors 6502

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    Sep 1, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #21
    but wait -- that's the new Mac Pro!
     
  22. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #22
    well we don't have a to have a 12-core processor. or a huge price tag either
     

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