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Creating a $ Efficient Farm

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of creating a farm..I dont mind forking out a bit of $$$ as a hobby, I'm bored and actually trying to save money but this will take up a lot of time =)

I am wondering in terms of cost, what processor(s) I should be looking for?

I mean, running a pentium 1 wouldnt even be worth the power (maybe ill get flamed for that)

I am thinking, p3+ and some low end p4's..I am looking ~ $100/system, I have a lot of agp 16/32/64mb video cards, and a little bit of ram and some hdd's..i have a few mobo's, 2x PGA 370 slot, and I havent even looked up what they are...

I would also need to look at low cost hubs, I have a router and have cables via the house....it is wireless but I figure that would be quite an expensive option, but very cool to just be able to run a power cable anywhere and have it fold!!

and plenty of other various parts if something needs replacing, and anything i cant use i will just donate (ive heard it's bad to throw away chips/ boards)

So can someone help me get a happy medium between $ and folding power, I've been ebaying quite a bit and missed out on a bargain by like 30c, but do have an athlon 1100+mb on the way I got for $aus 40.. i will send you photo's of my farm once they are all grazing
teh dominatrix
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teh dominatrix
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post #2 of 10
P1s, P2s, and lower end P3s just really aren't worth the electricity that you'll have to burn to fold (feel free to draw parallels to AMD rigs as I don't have experience folding with them). I have one 466 MHz system up, but it does a small WU about once a month (it'll be retired once I work out a replacement system). Mid to high range P3s can be pretty productive, and you can usually find components inexpensively.

All that being said, one high end machine can be more productive than a whole bunch of lower end rigs. My 3.2E typically puts out more points than the other two P4s and three P3s put together. Depending on what lower end components you can find, you may be better off investing in an additional higher end rig.

For folding rigs, you can get away with low end everything except for CPU and and maybe RAM. Junk mobos with integrated video work just fine, and for lower end rigs, junk PSUs work well, too (I have P3 1.0 GHz running on a PSU with 4 amps on the 12 volt rail, and it runs just fine).
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Awesome, well I have two 478 mobo's here..I might make one into a 2.4 (bidding on one now on ebay, heh) and sell the other to get some parts for it..
teh dominatrix
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teh dominatrix
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post #4 of 10
Also remember to use integrated video if you have it. There's no need for a video card. That should save a few extra watts.
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post #5 of 10
You could also get a KVM switch or two so you wouldn't even need monitors.
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My System
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
They are all connected to the network and run folding & VNC, so i just remote them from here if i need to check them out, ive set every bios to restart automatically after a power out & they have wake on lan which is all managable.....

well sux about the useless slow cpu's...hopefully the ahtlon 1100 should do alright..if that's the case, ill throw the p3 out when i get a 478 chip and replace the box ..
teh dominatrix
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teh dominatrix
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post #7 of 10
Unless it's a really old P3, it's not totally worthless for folidng. I had a P3 667 MHz going until just recently (upgraded to a 1 GHz Celly), and it turned out a WU every few days. Stuff much older than that isn't all that helpful.

My suggestions were just based on how to best spend your money if you're going to purchase components. If you already have the gear, but all means get it folding.
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post #8 of 10
Yeah, you can always swap out or add to it later when you have better components. Every bit helps the cause, even if it takes a month and a half.
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post #9 of 10
I would actually consider investing in a cheap LGA775 setup. Splurge on a Pentium D and some decent RAM, and you will churn out work units like crazy. Plus, you can do two at a time, so you effectively double your output.
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
well i am trying to get 2 478 chips, i keep getting done on ebay ;(

i have two mobo's and lots of other parts,

will sell one to fund project and upgrade main rig, and run the other to fold..i think the 478s can hyperthread? i have this 775@3.82 folding 24x7 (but also runs prime95, and all low priority)

thanks for the tips guys, i think ill leave it at about 5 pc's to equal about 2 wu's a day..
teh dominatrix
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teh dominatrix
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