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Whats the point of a virtual machine?

post #1 of 28
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I am folding on my i7 and GTX 460 right now, usually only at night since its hot out, but I have seen a lot of talk about VM's here. Should I be using one?
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post #2 of 28
The point of a VM is to run Linux with a core hack (Stanford sees you as having 12 cores when you actually only have 6 or 8) which allows you to produce moar points per day by folding bigger work units (provided you can OC enough). It lets you complete larger WU inside of Windows for moar points.
post #3 of 28
It does allow you to do a corehack and get bigger WUs, but where it applies to most people is just that Linux is better at folding than windows no matter what type of WUs you are folding. I tend to think of Linux as just having less overhead than than Windows and therefore allow your CPU to work more efficiently without the OS getting in the way. It's usually worth around a 10-20% improvement going from windows to a linux VM even with just regular SMP workunits. You ought to know VMs aren't just for corehacks Phil. tongue.gif

Here is the VM guide I like to use. I've had that take a 3.3Ghz 920 from ~12K in windows to ~15k PPD in the VM.

What would also increase your PPD a bit would be switching to advmethods WUs on the GPU, but they bring the drawbacks of being both hotter (by about 8c) as well as more likely to reveal an unstable OC. The plus side is that they use much much less CPU processing time so that your CPU PPD will actually go up as a result, a regular GPU WU can use as much as 5% of my 2600k but the advmethods WUs use between 0-1%. In my case that has increased my CPU PPD from about 20-22K to about 30-33K with just that change alone, you may not see such a drastic increase but it will still be considerable. To set up the advmethods WUs I'm going to assume that you're using the v6 systray client and tell you how to set that up, but if not then just tell me what GPU client you are using. With the GPU folding running right click on it's icon in the systray, select configure, go to the advanced tab and in the "advanced client parameters" field at the bottom you want to input "-advmethods" without the quotations. Feel free to post back if you have any questions.
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post #4 of 28
I probably would not bother using a VM if you are only folding at night. While there are benefits even for normal SMP they are not that staggering and the cons of having to start up a VM will probably be more hassle then benefit.

If you are willing to run the machine 24/7 then I would take a look at it
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by juano View Post

It does allow you to do a corehack and get bigger WUs, but where it applies to most people is just that Linux is better at folding than windows no matter what type of WUs you are folding. I tend to think of Linux as just having less overhead than than Windows and therefore allow your CPU to work more efficiently without the OS getting in the way. It's usually worth around a 10-20% improvement going from windows to a linux VM even with just regular SMP workunits. You ought to know VMs aren't just for corehacks Phil. tongue.gif
Here is the VM guide I like to use. I've had that take a 3.3Ghz 920 from ~12K in windows to ~15k PPD in the VM.
What would also increase your PPD a bit would be switching to advmethods WUs on the GPU, but they bring the drawbacks of being both hotter (by about 8c) as well as more likely to reveal an unstable OC. The plus side is that they use much much less CPU processing time so that your CPU PPD will actually go up as a result, a regular GPU WU can use as much as 5% of my 2600k but the advmethods WUs use between 0-1%. In my case that has increased my CPU PPD from about 20-22K to about 30-33K with just that change alone, you may not see such a drastic increase but it will still be considerable. To set up the advmethods WUs I'm going to assume that you're using the v6 systray client and tell you how to set that up, but if not then just tell me what GPU client you are using. With the GPU folding running right click on it's icon in the systray, select configure, go to the advanced tab and in the "advanced client parameters" field at the bottom you want to input "-advmethods" without the quotations. Feel free to post back if you have any questions.

Thanks for the help, I will work on it today. I don't see how running a VM and increasing CPU load helps PPD though.
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post #6 of 28
Linux is able to do things much faster then Windows is. A virtual machine is able to sidestep all the bloat in the Windows OSs causing the folding performance to increase as a result.

If you are referring to increasing CPU load by using advanced methods with the GPU it does help with the PPD. By changing the type of WU the GPU relies on the CPU to get its work less frequently causing the CPU to be able to spend more time on its folding work.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
What I don't get is that running a VM should take up some CPU power, all the less that could be spent folding. But it is clear that this gives a boost so I'll go ahead and set it up, already got a nice PPD increase from the -advmethods.
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post #8 of 28
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I don't get how to configure F@H in the VM! The tutorial doesn't tell me how to start folding.
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post #9 of 28
You following the guide I linked you? What part are you stuck on? You don't really start folding per say you just set it up as per the instructions and then it's folding, to stop folding you close the VM and then to resume you reopen it.
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post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
How do I get to that client configuration place he got to? I need to enter my team number some where.
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