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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigval
The absolute best would be a p4 extreme edition dualcore since it as HT and you could run 4 cores, but that would be very expensive.
.
Cant you only run 3 pcs at a time though in the rules? Although you could have it in a different name, and after all its not a comptetion, its for a good cause which some people seem to be forgeting when they restart it to get good points...rave over, ignore this post
    
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post #12 of 41
I'm just wondering: does a dual core count as one or two computer, since technically its only one computer. Does it count as one or two towards a teams total 8?
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickweb31
Cant you only run 3 pcs at a time though in the rules? Although you could have it in a different name, and after all its not a comptetion, its for a good cause which some people seem to be forgeting when they restart it to get good points...rave over, ignore this post
For our internal team competition, 3 CPUs is the limit, but if you have the ability to run more than that, by all means you can and should. One of the dual core EEs would be a folding monster, though running two instances of folding on a HT CPU (or with HT on each core of a dual core CPU) is not good for the overall folding project despite the fact that it yields about 30% more points (see the FAQ on that).
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerousHobo
I'm just wondering: does a dual core count as one or two computer, since technically its only one computer. Does it count as one or two towards a teams total 8?
Each instance of the folding software counts as one CPU. Stanford doesn't make a distinction between two separate processors, two physical cores on one CPU, or two logical cores on one physical core - all count as two.
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post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Where to start? How much will I spend--more than I plan to--as usual. I guess the real answer will be derived from the information posted up in this thread. But aside from wanting to build a fast folder I would also like to see what the opinions are on this and to develop some consensus on the best builds for folding as this may prove useful to others. From my perspective starting at top tier hardware is logical--as downgrading to a more affordable build is then somewhat futureproof if you choose lesser yet compatible components.

Personally I would like to find the best balance between money and performance (judged by folding ability). If I could build 2 single cores for the same money as one dual I would look into that option. Team folding is good for us and good for folding, but I prefer to go it alone at this time, so the more cores the merrier.

Obviously dualcore is more economical (one OS, one rig, etc) but the really good ones are ridculously high priced IMO. I hear the 920 and others are going to come down a lot so that may be the way to go.

I will take the suggested hardware and research cost and compatiblity and post my findings in this thread to help clarify what kind of rigs we come up.

So far it seems that an Opteron Dual Core would be a good start for something affordable. I had originally thought RAM would be significant--but apparently that is not the case. I guess as long as it will run with tight timings at the OCed speed of the rig it'll do. How much RAM is needed? Would 512 be ebough--that would help on the total cost. How about HDD? would a fast HDD help or would a RAID array be even better?

I was intrigued by Taeric's post that HyperThreading hurts folding. Could you fill me in on how that works? I have one HT and one Dual core folding at the moment.

Thanks for all the input--that's what I was hoping for.
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post #15 of 41
The quantity of RAM is not too critical with the current batch of WUs, but there have been (and may be again) some WUs that are very RAM intensive (300+ MB). Most WUs only use 5-10 MB, though. For the sake of potentially large WUs and for general system performance, I would suggest 2x512 MB.

A lot of the typical Intel vs. AMD debate goes right out the window in this situation. You're looking for the best bang for the buck as far as raw number crunching power goes. Dual core is a definite bonus in terms of economics. The Pentium D 9X0s have been showing some great OCs, and the lower end ones (920, 930) are pretty reasonably priced for what you get. I know Optys are popular as well, though I can't quote cost to performance ratios for them. Check the two CPU forums and the news forum as well on here for pricing info as I know there have been several threads on planned price drops for numerous CPUs over the coming months.

HDs will have little to no impact on folding performance. Unless you're planning on doing other things with the system that will benefit from fast HDs or a RAID array, this is a good place to go cheap. Optical drives, of course, are in the same boat as HDs.

PSU is going to be pretty important, though not quite as important as for a gaming rig. The CPU will be chugging along hard and will benefit from a great PSU. Graphics demands will be small, though, so you won't need the typical 30+ amps on the 12 volt rail that you would want on a gaming rig. Definitely go with a good quality one.

The mobo will be very important if you want to OC this beast to get the most out of the CPU, but that selection will have to follow the CPU selection.

Cooling is going to be important as running a dual core CPU 24/7 is going to generate some heat, regardless of what CPU you select. Decent air cooling should do the trick nicely, though.

Jumping to the topic of folding and HT, think of a folding project as a long line of dominos (generations). One domino can't fall over until the previous one goes. Now thing of each individual domino as having many many parts (WUs). No domino can fall until each of the parts (WUs) are complete. Folding on HT does give you about 30% gain in points. Say that a WU takes one day to complete on a single core (WU #1), so two would take two days (WU #2). On HT, the two would about 37 hours (48 / 1.3 = 37). So, at the end of 37 hours, you have done two WUs (WU #1 and WU #2), which is good for points. However, say WU #1 was the last WU needed to complete a generation, it would take 37 hours instead of 24 hours to get that WU done. The end of the generation gets bumped by 13 hours in this example. Say a project has 1000 generations. If even a small percentage of the generations get delayed, this has a major impact on the overall project. Is that a bit more understandable?
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post #16 of 41
wait for conroe to come out and pick up a 940 0r 950 can fold two at a time. but remember that the 955ee folds four at a time.
    
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post #17 of 41
    
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post #18 of 41
Its mostly about clock speeds, So far the best in folding with a single core is FX57, Amd folds better per core than Intel, Intels hyperthread will give about 30% point gain, but compare that to the Amd 3700 SD @2.9ghz, the Intel the Intel will make about 5% to 10% more points in a month.

The magic number for Amd cpu's is 2.85 and up for max points with 1gig of ram.
And for Intel 4.4ghz or better for max pionts with 1 gig of ram
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post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 
Okay here is a preliminary "Ideal" Folding Rig using what I got from your recent posts. Skimming through the Egg for hardware I just had to check out
the reviews on the Opteron 170 which declare it to be the hands down OC champ--rivaling X2 and FX 60--a $400 CPU--way over the top for a
sit-on-a-shelf folder--but an upgrade target. That left an affordable A64 that will OC into the stratosphere: the 3000+. A 939 platform with onboard video
that is a known good Clocker would be the DFI RS482...since RAM is no biggy and stability is key while OCing: 2 X 512 DDR 500. A small SATA rounds off the hardware requirements as does the super silent and reliable Seasonic 380. Stuff all that in a good breathing case and all that is left
is the added expense of a preferred OS. The items below add up to $510 with the Venice or $783 for an upgrade to a dual core Opteron 170. XP Pro OEM is about $!40 so this kind of folding rig would set a body back between $650 to $820.

The upgrade factor on this build is what intrigues me--you could start with a $117 CPU and OC the knackers off it--then easily pass it along to fuel an
upgrade to the Opty. Later add a drive and be blazing fast with RAID 0. I imagine the PSU would not handle a real graphics card--so passing the rig
along to a gamer later in life would require a real PSU and Vcard upgrade that would easily push the costs over $1500.

From a little over $500 to a little under $1000...

What do you think--I would greatly appreciate seeing someone elses version of the ideal folder--it's a great excuse to buiild a PC in your head lol..

CyberD

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103586 Opteron170 Dual Core

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16819103537 A64 3000+ Venice

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16813136007 DFI RS482 mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148107 Seagate SATA 3.0 80 Gig

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148009 Crucial DDR 500 2 X512 RAM

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16817151022 Seasonic 380 PSU

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16811119088 CoolerMaster Centurion MicroATX Case
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post #20 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for explaining how HT would slow down the process for the end user Taeric--makes sense to me. Jrabb1920 thanks for the magic numbers. I might look into building a 16 core folder one of these days Chosen--you never know...that's a killer screenshot Remy--4 cores...now how about a mobo that supports two 955 EE chips?
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