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Ultimate Guide to max out PPD for F@H


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#1 frenchhorn1

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:10 AM


Here we go!!!!!

Follow this guide to max your PPD.
YES!! I'M SURE!!
FEEL FREE TO ADD!!!!!

If you have a single core cpu
Then goto 1
If you have a dual core cpu
Then goto 2
If you have a Quad core cpu
Then goto 3
If you have a GPU (video card) - or 2 gpu's
Then goto 4
If you want to build a system and get the best PPD/$$$
Then goto 5
If you have a tri core
Then goto 6


1. Download text-only console here: http://www.stanford....504-Console.exe
Then go here for detailed instructions:
http://fahwiki.net/i...ide_for_newbies)

2. Download SMP client***.
It is located here: http://www.stanford......MP Client.EXE
Then go here for detailed instructions: http://www.ocforums....ad.php?t=505126
*** Note: You must have the user account enabled in the control panel. You'll need a username and password.

3. Download SMP client. You will need to run two of these, but only need to download one copy: http://www.stanford......MP Client.EXE
Then go here for detailed instructions on how to install two of these to run***: http://forums.pcper....ad.php?t=450784
*** Note: You definately need a quad core for this with AT LEAST 2GB RAM.
*** Note: You must have the user account enabled in the control panel. You'll need a username and password.

4. Make sure your video card/GPU is supported by folding@home:
Here is the FAQ: http://www.stanford....nglish.FAQ-ATI2
Nvidia specific: http://foldingforum....opic.php?t=3186
Step two: Download the GPU2 client: http://www.stanford....stray-612b8.msi
Step three: Install - follow directions***:
*** It is possible to set up dual GPU2 clients. You have to do some entry level hacking (no coding involved) to get it working. You need two video cards, and one monitor attached to each card. If you disconnect a monitor, the program will 99% most likely quit working. KVM switching is like disconnecting a monitor. You also need to have all windows xp updates current (just in case), and use the right cpu driver software listed up in the previous instructions.
You install and configure the first one, then you have to make a shortcut with a -gpu0 flag in the shortcut. Then copy and rename the fah folder in your program files (add a 2 to the end). Then open any folder, click tools, folder options, view tab, "show hidden files and folders, and click apply to all folders. Then go to c:\docs&settings\(username)\application data. Copy and rename the folding@home-gpu folder to folding@home-gpu2 . Then go to download.com and download shortcut doctor. Install that and make a shortcut for your second fah executable in your renamed fah progam files folder. Make sure to type out -gpu1 at the end of the target box, and in the start in: box, type in the address for your application data folding@home-gpu2 folder. Now it gets tricky. Before you run the second client, download the text-only console client of fah. Install and configure it. Make sure you enter all the right settings (user, team, yes to adv options), and make sure you put 7 for the machine number. Then go to that text client's folder in your program files. Cut the client.cfg file, and paste it (overwrite the old one) into both the second fah's program files folder, and the second fah's application data's folder.
Viola, I just saved you 13 hours. If you like, you can pay me back by folding a few units under my name frenchhorn1 team 32461.
***** If you setup dual gpu2 clients, make sure you at VERY least have a q6600 cpu, especially with fast nvidia cards.


5. If you're going to build a computer for folding it is best to max the PPD per dollar you spend.
Things to look at:
processor (CPU) - recommended intel q6600 core 2 quad
memory - recommended 2gb-4gb ddr2 max supported speed of your motherboard
mobo - doesn't need to be anything special, just make sure it supports the processor
power supply - 600W or better
GPU - ati 4850 - $200 will give less PPD than just the q6600. The new nvidia GTX280 is rumored to get around 8500 PPD, but costs $650.
I suggest this build:
q6600, cheap mobo, 2 gb ddr2 pc6400 memory (2 1gb sticks), cheapest hard drive, cheapest cd-rom, go with oem cpu fan and swap it for a ZALMAN cpu fan, go with cheap case, no video card, the power supply that comes with the case, $10 case fan, and install an old copy of win xp. Use systool (free) to overclock it, and SIW to monitor your temps. If you have a zalman fan, don't worry about the temps.
For $400 I built this from ascendtech.com and get 3150PPD running 2 smp clients.
here's the links:
no os: http://www.ascendtec...=DTC2Q660025640
Windows included: http://www.ascendtec...DTWINC2Q6600256

-OR-

Go the expensive route ($1200+):
q6600 or better
GTX280
4gb ddr2 ram
Mobo (one of) = IP35-pro, asus p5k, p5k-e
zalman cpu fan

-OR-

Add a 8800gt ($160) to a dual core and pop out an extra 4000 points over what you were doing.


6. Tri core cpu owners:
Take back your junk, pay the extra $10 and get a real processor.


Conclusion:
Please enjoy, add to, and fold away.
I think I got everything. Let me know if I left anything out.

#2 frenchhorn1

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:55 AM

Also,

Google Black viper.
That site will tell you what windows services you can disable to save cpu cycles.
Does it help? I think so. I hope so. I did it anyway. (Indexing service, help, etc.)

For overclocking I use systool.
I can't get it to work with my amd systems, but my q6600 is oc'd to 2.9 from 2.6ghz.

#3 Heliotrope

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:55 AM

thanks i'll look into this. you seem to know what you're talking about, you're in the top 10 folders here

#4 frenchhorn1

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 06:03 AM

Ahhh yeah.

R E S P E C T

Find out what it means to me tonight at 11.


I'm frenchhorn1 for cbs news. Oh wait, I mean TLM.

#5 Mind

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:47 PM

Thanks for the tips frenchhorn1! Everyone should be tweaking to boost performance and get the most efficient PPD.

#6 Live Forever

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 04:06 AM

Thanks, frenchhorn1!

You are a great asset to the team. Hopefully we can max out our production and make it into the top 100!

#7 chungenhung

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:14 AM

The best bang for your buck setup that I've came up with is a Quad core CPU with QUAD GPU.
1. Motherboard must support 4 PCIE full length slots. Such as those based on AMD 790FX or Intel X48 chipsets.
AMD board is a lot cheaper than Intel, so does the processor.
Since the GPU client does not use much CPU power, I would assume a low end AMD processor would be enough.
2. 4x 8800GT video cards.
3. A 800-1000 Watts power supply,
4. Of course, a case to put in all that good stuff.

Being able to buy the above component is one thing, paying the electricity and cooling it is another.
I am a computer builder/seller for several years, so if you need help, let me know. Will be more than happy to help fellow folders.

#8 frenchhorn1

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:22 AM

Well Mr. chungenhung,

May I make the following suggestion:

Sell those.

How much for the comp?

How much more if you pre configure it with an OS, the F@H clients with the username and team number and everything already setup?

#9 chungenhung

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:33 AM

Well Mr. chungenhung,

May I make the following suggestion:

Sell those.

How much for the comp?

How much more if you pre configure it with an OS, the F@H clients with the username and team number and everything already setup?

Well, I would sell them if there is interest in this community for such a beast! I will try to get info on how much the system would actually cost, probably from newegg.com
Windows XP would be about $139.99 WinXP Pro OEM

#10 frenchhorn1

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 05:18 PM

What kind of PPD we talkin here?

#11 chungenhung

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:24 PM

After some thoughts, I think 4 GPU system might be too expensive for anyone to consider crunching for themselves.
A 2 GPU is more feasible, as one can use standard mobo, power, and case, which some of us might have laying around or can be bought for cheap.

Such a system would be a 650i motherboard with a dual core CPU.

#12 chungenhung

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:09 PM

I reached 1 million points today!!
http://folding.extre...e...s=&u=336410

#13 dnamechanic

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:10 PM

I reached 1 million points today!!

Indeed!

Hurried to get the images up before you cross the 2,000,000 milestone. ;o)

#14 StrangeAeons

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 02:38 PM

I just got started folding a week ago. I got my system earlier this year and it's on the cheap side but still pretty sweet.
I'm currently running two SMP clients and a GPU client. Yesterday I think I got them configured in the most stable way possible. Right now I'm ranked 198 (out of ~350) in the Longevity Meme, which is actually pretty sweet considering how briefly I've been on.
Here are my specs:
Intel Core 2 Q6700
2GB PC5400 DDR2
2 x16 PCIe slots, one of which has:
nVidia GeForce 8500GT 256MB
500W power supply

I've been thinking about investing a small amount (ideally <$100) on a second GeForce to put in SLI configuration. Is it better to use SLI and one GPU client or to try and seperate them over two clients? Any recommendation on a specific card to max out PPD?

#15 Krell

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 01:57 AM

El Cheapo FAH?

I have been able to stay in the top 12 of the Longevity Meme Folding@Home team and win a prize each quarter by spending less than $100/yr. I run under the name VA_Dave.

I had been running BOINC 24/7 on two old AMD 4200+ X2 PCs with integrated video, 1gb memory, and winxp. For FAH I bought two ATI Radeon HD3650 video cards last year for $50 each on sale, and that gave me 700ppd per computer with the GPU client plus BOINC still running. The FAH net of 1400ppd has kept me in the top 12 until this month, when I dropped to below #20 in the ppd FAH team list.

My upgrade budget was only $100 to get back into the FAH team top 12 ppd, but I was lucky enough to run across a recent article promising 4,500+ ppd with a $49 GeForce 9600 GSO 384mb
http://www.legitrevi.../article/797/1/
Of course your effective ppd is going to be lower because of downtime, slow work units, etc.; so figure on only getting ~80% of quoted ppd in actual use, or about 6500ppd for my two 9600 GSO systems.

So last week I got two of the 9600 GSO cards for $50 each, overclocked them in each PC as in the article above, and I am now up to 4300ppd on the ppd list, on my way to about 6500ppd net steady state. I hope that ~5x ppd improvement will keep me in the top 12, in line for a prize this quarter. And I sold my old HD3650 cards for about $70 net on eBay. And I still run BOINC.

Note that these more powerful video cards use more watts. My total system max power draw for my 9600 GSO systems at the wall socket, measured by a Kill-A-Watt meter, is 220watts at FAH max power, so I can still use my old 300 watt PC power supplies with no problems.

Here is an interesting article that computes ppd/$ for Nvidea and ATI video cards
http://forum.xcpus.c...comparison.html

And here are the latest Newegg deals on GeForce 9600 GSO 384mb cards
http://www.newegg.co...amp;Order=PRICE

Edited by Krell, 07 October 2008 - 02:45 AM.


#16 sentinel

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 11:33 AM

El Cheapo FAH?

I have been able to stay in the top 12 of the Longevity Meme Folding@Home team and win a prize each quarter by spending less than $100/yr. I run under the name VA_Dave.

I had been running BOINC 24/7 on two old AMD 4200+ X2 PCs with integrated video, 1gb memory, and winxp. For FAH I bought two ATI Radeon HD3650 video cards last year for $50 each on sale, and that gave me 700ppd per computer with the GPU client plus BOINC still running. The FAH net of 1400ppd has kept me in the top 12 until this month, when I dropped to below #20 in the ppd FAH team list.

My upgrade budget was only $100 to get back into the FAH team top 12 ppd, but I was lucky enough to run across a recent article promising 4,500+ ppd with a $49 GeForce 9600 GSO 384mb
http://www.legitrevi.../article/797/1/
Of course your effective ppd is going to be lower because of downtime, slow work units, etc.; so figure on only getting ~80% of quoted ppd in actual use, or about 6500ppd for my two 9600 GSO systems.

So last week I got two of the 9600 GSO cards for $50 each, overclocked them in each PC as in the article above, and I am now up to 4300ppd on the ppd list, on my way to about 6500ppd net steady state. I hope that ~5x ppd improvement will keep me in the top 12, in line for a prize this quarter. And I sold my old HD3650 cards for about $70 net on eBay. And I still run BOINC.

Note that these more powerful video cards use more watts. My total system max power draw for my 9600 GSO systems at the wall socket, measured by a Kill-A-Watt meter, is 220watts at FAH max power, so I can still use my old 300 watt PC power supplies with no problems.

Here is an interesting article that computes ppd/$ for Nvidea and ATI video cards
http://forum.xcpus.c...comparison.html

And here are the latest Newegg deals on GeForce 9600 GSO 384mb cards
http://www.newegg.co...amp;Order=PRICE


Excellent post Krell! This is the sort of granularity and information sharing we need in order to get the best out of our team.

You and I are both bubbling around at number 12/13 at the moment and I also will be raising my game soon ,so I look forward to seeing you in the top 10! But watch out for dexml...

Edited by sentinel, 07 October 2008 - 11:35 AM.





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