Folding & Hardware/Software Comparisons

Discussion in 'Team ECF Folding Forum' started by Nach, May 3, 2013.

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  1. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Hi folks, today I thought I would share some of my experiences with building a folding machine and setting them up using different configurations. This is not a guide, but merely a benchmark/comparison.

    This is the hardware I started out with to build my rig:

    - Dual Xeon X5570 2.93Ghz (3.33Ghz Turbo Boost), 8C 16T
    - 12GB DDR3 1600Mhz Triple Channel Non-ECC Cruicial Ballistix Tactical Tracer
    - 2GB nVidia GTX660 Ti SC
    - 120GB SanDisk Exrtreme SSD
    - 1TB WD Blue SATA3 HDD 7200rpm
    - 16X DVDRW
    - Corsair AX860i PSU
    - Corsair H80i Liquid Cooling x2
    - EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard
    -- Intel 5520/ICH10R chipset
    -- 12 x 240-pin DIMM sockets (Maximum of 48GB of DDR3 1333MHz+)
    -- 1 x UltraDMA133
    -- 6 x Serial ATA 300MB/sec with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD
    -- 2 x Serial ATA 600MB/sec with support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
    -- Audio connector (Line-in, Line-out, MIC)
    -- 8 Channel High Definition (Realtek ALC889)
    -- 2 x 10/100/1000 (Marvell 88E8057)

    Currently, the CPU's are overclocked @ 3.96GHz and GPU gets a small overclock @ 1254MHz.

    So, now onto the comparisons...

    Initially, at stock speeds, fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate, no SP, no updates, no drivers; FAHv7.3.6 installed: GPU 27K PPD SMP 40K PPD
    Then, at OC speeds, fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, all updates, current drivers; FAHv7.3.6 installed: GPU 27K PPD SMP 36K PPD
    Now, at OC speeds, fresh install of Kubuntu 12.04, all updates; FAHv7.3.6 installed: SMP 90K PPD (bigadv)
    Finally, at OC speeds, fresh install of Kubuntu 12.04, all updates; FAHv6.34 headless installed: SMP 144K PPD (bigadv)

    WOW! Do we see a pattern here? I sure do!

    If anyone else has their own experiences to share, please do so and post here.
  2. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Oops, added this by mistake.... RESERVED! lol
  3. loft

    loft Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    No point in reserving a post when we can only edit for a day or two... unless you plan on editing asap~ :p

    Good info on the build. It only goes to show that Windows and GUI clients are not always performance driven. I'd hate to see the diminishing returns on my big rig if it were using Windows... I've read nearly 30% performance decrease but I don't want to test it.
  4. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I'm moreso flabbergasted at the fact that Windows actually IS THAT bloated. I always knew system resources were being used to keep up the GUI and all its processes, but after seeing these results with my own eyes, I have really considered Linux as a long term solution. I just have to keep learning it, because I still feel the way I did when I got my IBM PS2 back in 1989, not really knowing what to do with what was in front of me.
  5. psycheval

    psycheval Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I have to make another set of seperate runs. I fubar'd my last Linux run for 24hrs. Got to start over but will be a few before I can. I need to roll a kernel before I do too but might not get there. The diffs shocked me because the GPU isn't running in Linux, it is in Win. I run a fairly stripped Win I leave Aero on but anything flashing, moving or fading gets killed. I'm using a cdebootstrap Debian standard x64 with MATE and my other choices added after I boot a kernel. It's real low on resources. Win is on a 120gb ssd but I put Linux on a 750gb Hybrid Seagate because I play with too many OS's at once. Linux will warp your brain. That's a good thing too. Win does something else we won't talk about. If I wasn't a gamer....
    I'll get some seperate runs down and put up the numbers. This has turned out to be more interesting than just a burn in utility.
  6. Marob

    Marob Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I only just read this thread. That is interesting, for sure.

    I run linux on everything except my desktop/folding/gaming rig. Unfortunately, because of that last part, I'm stuck with Windows. It's a shame when I think of the folding I could get out of it running linux. :(

    For everything else, there's Crunchbang (debian based distro) with which I am in love :wub:. Super lightweight and clean as my Caravela...
  7. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Why not dual boot Linux and just run it when you're not gaming?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
  8. Marob

    Marob Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I was thinking about it but I still use it most of the day, some gaming included. I might give it a go just for night folding and see how my PPD work out.
  9. Jaguar07

    Jaguar07 Carpe Nocturne Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I've been bench marking for about 20 years. The stability and increases of performance for ANY flavor of Linux BLOW any version of windows out of the water on every level. The only reason I have Windows 7 on any computer is for Microsoft Office, which unfortunately is required by most of my classes at my college. I boot to Windows for that and then boot back out as soon as possible. I use Fedora 18 for my servers and workstations and I dabble with Kubuntu 12.04 once in a while. Arch gives the most performance but takes considerably more effort to install.
  10. Jaguar07

    Jaguar07 Carpe Nocturne Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    FYI the latest FAH Client install does not get along with Fedora 18 x64. The version of python on F18 is 2.7. FAH requires 2.6. Kubuntu 12.04 x64 runs smooth as silk.
  11. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    If you're running nix, you'll probably want to run version 6.34 along with the kraken and langouste. 6.34 runs headless and earns more points!

  12. Jaguar07

    Jaguar07 Carpe Nocturne Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Thanks Nach, I'm trying the 6.34 on my F18x64 server, it updated the FahCore_a3.exe file automagically. It seems to be better performing than the 7.3.6-1 version. Though I cannot monitor it remotely via the FAHControl utility. On my Workstation and backup server I use the 7.3.6-1, numbers are not as impressive but I do like that I can have the FAHControl on any system and see all of the systems that run the 7.3.6-1 in one view.
  13. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    You can get HFM.NET to monitor your clients and it has a legacy support for v6 clients! Click the hyperlink in my signature to see what it'll display.

  14. tjmax

    tjmax Senior Member

    -bigadv is a different type of work unit designed for high end duel CPU or better. windows does not currently support any bigadv work units but they are working on them.

    If you are capable of running -bigadv you should check out [H]ard forums for a basicly scripted out virsion of unbuntu with ramdrive designed to pump the most PPD out of your -bigadv work.

    [H]ard forums is currently the king of folding teams and they are very good folks willing to help out when you need it.
    this thread is to the Ubuntu Desktop folding guide.

    Ubuntu Desktop Installation Guide for F@H - [H]ard|Forum
  15. Nathek

    Nathek Full Member

    I just installed kubuntu on a separate drive to test out with. Got 6.34 and it is running but is only using 1 core. Is it just this work unit or did I configure it wrong. I have 4 cores. On windows, I ran on medium but that doesn't seem to be an option on this, just idle or low.
  16. tjmax

    tjmax Senior Member

    Folding in linux on a standard machine will really not help you out much as far as increasing your production rate. Unless you are only going to fold CPU on it.... well thats not entirely true anymore. the core 17 work units for the newer video cards will fold on the linux machines but you need V7 to get them I believe.

    The PPD increase he is seeing from running linux and 6.34 is due to running a -bigadv work unit. You need a monster PC or server to get them. You need a minimal of i think 16 cores to run a -bigadv and they have a very short time that they must be completed in. that means you need a server class machine.

    My 4P folding machine is a 48 core 4 processor g34 server with 32 gigs of ram.

    If you are only running CPU and no GPU folding you may see a minor increase in PPD depending on the machine. for home class machines. Modern newer mid to high end video cards will yield you much better PPD in windows then in linux. Because you can over clock them in windows.

    For instance a Nvidia 670 TI are getting somewhere around 70K PPD while a high end card like the GTX 780 will give around 150k PPD
  17. Nathek

    Nathek Full Member

    Ah gotcha, that makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying! :thumb:
  18. tjmax

    tjmax Senior Member

    When I quit smoking and started vaping, Rather then pour all the extra money from not smoking into vaping gear, I poured it into folding gear.

    I am very active in it and have a lot of knowledge around it now. I hope It will be useful for folks now that I discovered you all have a folding team.
  19. Nach

    Nach Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Yeah, I will confirm this... I wouldn't bother at all with Linux unless you're preparing to fold BA WU's. But, that being said... v6.34 headless, gets the most PPD out of BA WU's.

    I say, 4 core machine, just use windows. At least that way you can still do other stuff while you're folding. :)
  20. timinftl

    timinftl Super Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Think I'm gonna drop ECF, kinda like a black hole...
    Been active on it since the day I joined ECF and not a heck of a lot of activity, might have been at one time but I haven't seen it...
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