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Power Efficient Folding Rig

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm sort of thinking about building a Folding@Home computer. I used to be a Folding guru on PS3, and had done over 300 work loads. On PS3, that's pretty good IMO. wink.gif

The thing that I would like special about this planned build is power efficiency. Why are we using computers to try and find cures to diseases, while the computer takes so much power? The power usually comes from coal power plants, nuclear plants, or natural gas plants.

My genius idea for this would be that it would be solar powered. How? Buy a solar panel, and put it on my roof. (simple enough, right?) I know it would cost quite a bit of $$$ for a solar collector, but I figure in the long run, it would save me money instead of hooking the PC to power from the wall.

So anyway, into the planned build.

CPU: i5 2500k (?)
RAM: 8 GB GSkill RAM (?)
HDD: Western Digital 250 GB HDD
Disc Burner: ASUS OEM DVD Burner
Motherboard: Asrock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 1155 Socket (?)
PSU: Raidmax 500W PSU
GPU: EVGA GTX 650 (?)
Case: Rosewill Blackbone Case (already owned)

*The case was an extra piece on my sig rig, I've since upgraded it to a different case.

I'm also trying to save money on this build, and everything with a question mark beside it means "Is this overkill? Can I get a better deal on something different? Do I really need this part?"

So yeah. I'm not even sure if I'll pursue this idea, but I think the idea of a solar powered PC would be so cool. smile.gif Maybe would spark the idea for others, start a trend. (that's likely though, lol)

But yeah, if you have any suggestions, I'd really appreciate them.

Also, I have the following questions:
-Do you really need a GPU for folding, or is a CPU about equivalent or better?
-If GPU is better than CPU on Folding, which is the better brand: AMD or NVIDIA?
-Is a 2500k overkill for Folding?
-Do I need 8 GB RAM for a Folding machine?

I also plan to get Windows XP, I have a source I can get it from. smile.gif I'd like to keep my budget under $600. With these parts (minus the case cost b/c it's already owned) it currently costs $599. :O If I can save a few bucks, that would be great.
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post #2 of 9
GPUs are better at folding, it would be much better to get a slower, cheaper processor and a pair of 650's - you don't really need a beast processor for simply folding, buy something low powered (i.e. Intel Celeron) - I don't believe you need tons of memory for folding, but you're going to want to make sure you have a good PSU (of which Raidmax isn't typically known for)
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85 View Post

GPUs are better at folding, it would be much better to get a slower, cheaper processor and a pair of 650's - you don't really need a beast processor for simply folding, buy something low powered (i.e. Intel Celeron) - I don't believe you need tons of memory for folding, but you're going to want to make sure you have a good PSU (of which Raidmax isn't typically known for)

This... Fold on gpus instead of CPUs. And for psu.. Whatever you do don't get dynex...
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post #4 of 9
Yea, I agree with the guy above. get a 35w processor (an i3 would prob be the most I would invest) and get a pair of good performance per watt gpu's to do much of the grunt work. and I would recommend a UPS to keep the load balanced during the day (solar has a tendency to fluctuate).

and an 80plus gold or plat PSU and maybe 3gb of ram (depending on OS)

EDIT: you said you are using XP (silly me), if service pack 2 you can get away with 512mb smile.gif
if you are using XP single core is recommended, os not well written for dual+ cores unless you use something else (win7)


or you can reverse generate, find out what kind of consistent output you can get from a solar cell and build a computer based on that.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
OK, I've updated the build a bit.

I changed the PSU to a Rosewill Capstone 750W 80 Plus Gold PSU (yay gold rated psu! I've also swapped out the processor for an Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Brige (65W).

I would have switched the RAM to 4 GB, but when I saw 8 GB of the same brand was cheaper than 4 GB, I said no way. smile.gif

Also, I thought about an SLI of 650's, but I'm not sure how much airflow the case would get then. I'm thinking it wouldn't get a lot of airflow, it would be pretty jam packed full.

The total cost now is $490. smile.gif
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post #6 of 9
Im not really sure why people in this thread think gpu folding is more power efficient than gpu folding. You can have a nice SB/IB folding rig that will use less than 300 watts at full load and get more ppd than those 2 cards combined. The power supply you are looking at is overkill and you can run Tri-SLI GTX 680's with it. Ask the people that have fold 24/7 for years and Im sure that most would agree with what I said. In my experience from folding with a AMD 48 core server, 2600k's, 3700k and a lot of different high end gpu's(GTX 580's, GTX 670, GTX 465, GTS 450's, etc) cpu folding is the way to go. You can get great deals at the OCN Marketplace or something like this(check link). BTW, you should post in the folding forum where you can get ideas from actual folders.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1320225/microcenter-3570k-169-99-50-off-any-z77-p8z77-v-lk-has-20-rebate/0_20
Edited by Desert Rat - 10/29/12 at 6:43am
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post

Im not really sure why people in this thread think gpu folding is more power efficient than gpu folding. You can have a nice SB/IB folding rig that will use less than 300 watts at full load and get more ppd than those 2 cards combined. The power supply you are looking at is overkill and you can run Tri-SLI GTX 680's with it. Ask the people that have fold 24/7 for years and Im sure that most would agree with what I said. In my experience from folding with a AMD 48 core server, 2600k's, 3700k and a lot of different high end gpu's(GTX 580's, GTX 670, GTX 465, GTS 450's, etc) cpu folding is the way to go. You can get great deals at the OCN Marketplace or something like this(check link). BTW, you should post in the folding forum where you can get ideas from actual folders.
http://www.overclock.net/t/1320225/microcenter-3570k-169-99-50-off-any-z77-p8z77-v-lk-has-20-rebate/0_20
Now that I think about it, I really don't need a 750W PSU. Thanks for noticing that, not sure why I picked one in the first place lol.

I'll check the Folding forums on here and see what people think though.
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post #8 of 9
No problem. Just go there and ask for help. They will point you in the right direction. I just hate for you to spend all that money and dont get want you really want/need.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post

No problem. Just go there and ask for help. They will point you in the right direction. I just hate for you to spend all that money and dont get want you really want/need.
Same here. I like doing months of research before plunging into something like this.

Great example: I'm planning on getting an SSD and another HDD for a RAID tonight, I've researched that for over 2 months. :O
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