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Resort to low-power folding? (E-350 / Atom)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Recently got into folding, quickly gaining interest... in fact, I'm running the client right now as I'm typing this! However, I have a bit of a problem... if you take a quick look at my sig rig you might get what I'm hinting at biggrin.gif

Now I'm currently in Saudi for the summer holidays. Cheap-ass electricity, less than $0.01 per kW/h haha, fold the hell out of that thing all the way! I'll be heading back to Jordan early September to start my 2nd year of college. Planning to (at the very least) run Folding@home overnight every night while I'm asleep ( ~8 hours), I'd love to take it even further and go for maybe 24/7 folding.

Now here's the problem with Jordan. My room is in a commercial building, so electricity rates are around 3 times higher the norm of the general public... at $0.31 per kW/h and good chance it'll be going up to $0.60! Bit of Maths and Logan's **** formula and it would cost around $20 per month to run those 8 hours per night... heck $60 per month after the price-hike? Can't stomach the figure with a 24/7 run.

This is what got me to thinking of maybe building a budget low-power machine dedicated to Folding@home. I'll be attending university for the next 4 - 5 years... in less than a year I would have accumulated $200 in electricity bills... why not just build a low-power computer at this stage? I'm thinking AMD E-350 or Intel Atom... are either one up to the job? Should I be looking at more power CPUs? And (because I'm still wondering), with Folding@home, should the emphasis be on the CPU or GPU?

Could you please steer me in the right direction and guide me as to what parts I should be looking at for this new build? I'm in no hurry, build can wait a few months... I'd like to get to know all there is to folding and have a dedicated Folding@home build ready before introducing the programme to our Pharmacy faculty and (hopefully) get the entire university to embrace it. Just, as I already emphasized, I am quite concerned about the power consumption.

Would really appreciate your help,
Thanks!

EDIT: Just to clear the picture, check the following?

kW/h = $0.31
Sig-rig at full load with Folding@home ~ 300W?
300W x 8 hours = 2400W / 1000 = 2.4kW per day, 72kW per month
72kW x $0.31 = ~ $22 per month

Are these calculations correct?
Edited by Forde3654Eire - 7/26/13 at 11:14pm
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post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forde3654Eire View Post

This is what got me to thinking of maybe building a budget low-power machine dedicated to Folding@home. I'll be attending university for the next 4 - 5 years... in less than a year I would have accumulated $200 in electricity bills... why not just build a low-power computer at this stage? I'm thinking AMD E-350 or Intel Atom... are either one up to the job? Should I be looking at more power CPUs? And (because I'm still wondering), with Folding@home, should the emphasis be on the CPU or GPU?

Could you please steer me in the right direction and guide me as to what parts I should be looking at for this new build? I'm in no hurry, build can wait a few months... I'd like to get to know all there is to folding and have a dedicated Folding@home build ready before introducing the programme to our Pharmacy faculty and (hopefully) get the entire university to embrace it. Just, as I already emphasized, I am quite concerned about the power consumption.
 

 

The focus right now seems to be on GPUs.  For a low power / descent PPD card, I would look at something like a 7850 / 7870, or a GTX 660. 

 

For CPUs a low powered dual core isn't going to get much done in ~8 hours / day.  Larger CPU Work Units can take me up to ~12 hours to complete on an overclocked 3930k, I could see that taking several days 24/7 on an Intel Atom type CPU.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by anubis1127 View Post

The focus right now seems to be on GPUs.  For a low power / descent PPD card, I would look at something like a 7850 / 7870, or a GTX 660. 

For CPUs a low powered dual core isn't going to get much done in ~8 hours / day.  Larger CPU Work Units can take me up to ~12 hours to complete on an overclocked 3930k, I could see that taking several days 24/7 on an Intel Atom type CPU.

Wow that seems quite beefy for folding... what about the rest of those college students? The typical student here has a Core 2 Duo / 1st and maybe 2nd gen low power laptops... will it be pointless for them to fold? I'm not trying to earn PPD or enter competitions, simply trying to make an example of the faculty / university, by contributing what it can to disease research... as long as the computer can finish work units before their deadline, that's all I'm looking for.

Speaking of which, would an AMD E-350 / Atom running 24/7 be able to finish the work units on time, regardless of how weak they are?

Seeing also that the focus seems to be on GPUs, any cheaper options to the GTX 660 / 7850? I heard the GTS 450 mentioned here and there... maybe a 6450 / 6570, something that won't require a 6 pin power connector?
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post #4 of 6
I don't think that cpu will get much my Sempron gets 700 ppd . Gpu folding is the way to go on weak cpus . My rig had a 7770 ( 25 kppd) and 7970 ( 125 k ppd ) for 376 watts .

my link http://www.overclock.net/t/1374609/amd-sempron-145-folding/0_20
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhal View Post

I don't think that cpu will get much my Sempron gets 700 ppd . Gpu folding is the way to go on weak cpus . My rig had a 7770 ( 25 kppd) and 7970 ( 125 k ppd ) for 376 watts .

my link http://www.overclock.net/t/1374609/amd-sempron-145-folding/0_20

Yup, I happened to be reading through your thread a while ago. I'm also interested in the Sempron, can get the 130 for $40 shipped off Ebay... I'm just not sure about the power consumption?

Once again, I'm not interested in points. As long as the CPU / GPU can finish work units before the deadline, that's all that matters to me. This is not a solo project, I'm hoping to get a few hundred (if not the entire faculty) to fold for our university. I just need to be sure their Core 2 Duo / Atom laptop CPUs can finish work units on time if run overnight.
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
What are the minimum system requirements?
All computers can contribute to Folding@home. However, if the computer is too slow (e.g. wasn’t bought in the last 3-4 years or so), the computer might not be fast enough to make the deadlines of typical work units. A Pentium 3 450 MHz or newer equivalent computer (with SSE) is able to complete work units before they expire.

Thanks guys. Found what I'm looking for off Stanford's Folding@Home site.
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