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Lowest cost for point production

edcentricedcentric near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Icrontian
edited Jul 2008 in Folding@Home
I am looking to buy some new hardware. Watching my AX2 fold is painful. I'll have a case, psu, hdd, and if it uses DDR2, memory. What mobo/PCU combo will give me the highest points with the lowest capitol costs?
Is it worth going quad? or will cheap dual core work better?
Give your thoughts, but you have better also have numbers to back them up.

Comments

  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    The cheapest way is Q6600 overclocked. Running two Windows SMP clients simultaneously (based on work unit distribution typical of the last month)

    1. Q6600 at default clock (2.4GHz) - 3100-3800 PPD
    2. Q6600 at 3.5GHz: 3500-4500 (yes, WUs vary that much)

    Q6600 with two clients running will outproduce a similarly clocked Core 2 Duo by 50% or better.

    Ad an Nvidia 8800GT/S/X video card using the GPU2 client, and you can reach up to 6000PPD on a single machine - 1XWinSMP + 1XGPU2. Look carefully, and you can find 8800GT cards on the used market for less than $125. (I just made a deal on a new GT/512MB/600MHz, new, for $105 shipped.) You can find new 8800GTS cards, after rebate, for less than $135. Look for 500MHz core clock minimum. Onboard RAM quantity and speed doesn't seem to matter much for Folding.

    I do not have figures for running GPU2 alone. I have just purchased an 8800GT on a trading post and will soon be experimenting with that.

    If you are willing to purchase on the pre-owned market, you can easily find a good Socket 775 overclocking board and a Q6600 G0 for $300 or less. Shop carefully and you can find retail, new for around $300.

    For maximum points with Quad, you will need a good PSU and a good CPU heatsink. Q6600s are rather easy to overclock given good cooling and solid vCore supply.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    How about a non-overclocked recommendation. I have $400 waiting to be burnt.
  • edcentricedcentric near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    The Q66 is right at $200.
    There are a boatload of G31/G33 mobos that run DDR2. What gets me is that they run from $40 to $240. The features are all over the place.
    Any tips on a reliable one. I do want on-board graphics to minimize power use and cost.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    QCH2002 wrote:
    How about a non-overclocked recommendation. I have $400 waiting to be burnt.
    Q6600 and an 8800GT. Like Leonardo said, 1SMP + 1GPU2 = mad points.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    I'm not interested in overclocking though. The Q6600 is a beast for overclocking and a great price. HOWEVER, there might be a better CPU dollar for power without OCing.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    The Q6600 is a beast for overclocking and a great price. HOWEVER, there might be a better CPU dollar for power without OCing.
    True, there might be, but I can't think of one right now. At near a $200 pricepoint, and such a monster, the Q6600 is such a Folding king that I haven't done much more than casually follow quad core developments. For the performance per cost factor, no, I don't think there is anything that will outperform the Q6600 in Folding. The exception being 8800 video cards. To be fare, I don't know the cost/performance benefit of running GPU Folding with a dual core CPU.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    I have a nice 8800GTS so that combo of SMP and GPU will work. What motherboard then? Also... is there a certain run of the Q6600 that I should try for or all of them good CPU's?
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    What motherboard then?
    You stated you don't want to overclock, is that correct? Just verify and we'll go from there. Essentially, if you are not looking looking for the latest, greatest, your best bet is the tried and true Intel P35 chipset.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    QCH2002 wrote:
    I have a nice 8800GTS so that combo of SMP and GPU will work. What motherboard then? Also... is there a certain run of the Q6600 that I should try for or all of them good CPU's?
    You'll want a G0 stepping for the Q6600. The motherboard I use is an MSI P6N Diamond, however if SLI is not something you're looking for you can find boards at a much better price point.
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Jun 2008
    I will reiterate what Leo said.. if you are sticking with DDR2.. you want P35. X38/48 do not OC DDR2 as well and the P45 is still too immature, needs bios work yet.

    If you are going to go DDR3, then go X38/48.
  • Ultra-NexusUltra-Nexus Buenos Aires, ARG
    edited Jul 2008
    edcentric wrote:
    The Q66 is right at $200.
    There are a boatload of G31/G33 mobos that run DDR2. What gets me is that they run from $40 to $240. The features are all over the place.
    Any tips on a reliable one. I do want on-board graphics to minimize power use and cost.

    The Gigabyte GA-G33M series are great. They use high quality components that also consums less energy. I have two of them (GA-G33M-S2) folding 24/7 for 8 months now and with no problems at all. Or else Asus G33 alternative are also very good.
  • edited Jul 2008
    If you aren't going to overclock the Q6600, then any G0 stepping will do. You do want a G0 stepping over the older B3 stepping though because the G0 is a 95 watt TDP part and the B3 is a 105 watt TDP part. So the G0 will run cooler with a little less power draw.

    And if you decide later that you do want to run a very moderate overclock on a Q6600, you can pretty much get away with just setting the fsb speed to 333 and have an instant 3 GHz processor. Most all of the G0 Q6600 procs can run 3 GHz without messing with vcore too.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jul 2008
    My No. 4 rig (see signature) is now folding with one WinSMP client on the Q6600 and one GPU2 client on the 8800GT video card.

    I have become a firm believer in GPU folding. The 8800GT is producing more than an overclocked Q6600 running two WinSMP clients simultaneously. Lowest cost point production? If your computer has a PCI-e 16 slot and a competent power supply, GPU Folding@Home is the way to go.

    The good news is that Nvidia 8800 cards are becoming inexpensive. I picked up my XFX 8800GT on a forums trading post, new, still sealed for $105 shipped. (Mudd, the seller was g0dm@n.) 4500PPD - just from the video card.

    Icrontic's GPU2 Folding thread.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jul 2008
    4500PPD - just from the video card.
    Scratch that. I've now got another 8800GT and am overclocking both of them. Here's where we're at:

    XFX 8800GT 256MB (Alpha Dog Edition) - 4700PPD rough average
    MSI 8800GT 512MB (NX8800GT 512M OC) - 5400+PPD

    The most I paid for either of those was $125 shipped and it was used. That is better bang for buck than any CPU at any real world clock rate.
  • QCHQCH Ancient Guru Chicago Area - USA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2008
    So... I have 8 remaining CPU's folding. I'm running 6000 per WEEK. So... when they die, they will not return. What will happen is that I will be working my butt off to go the route Leo and many of you are. Quad with GPU... 4-5k per day per rig? THAT is a good use of power!!!
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Jul 2008
    Quad with GPU... 4-5k per day per rig? THAT is a good use of power!!!
    No, more than that. In my sig, check out numbers 4 and 5. Each is running 1 X WinSMP plus 1 X GPU2. Each is running an overclocked Q6600 and overclocked 8800GT, which is not even a 'high end' anymore. They both crank out 7200 - 7500PPD. You could run two 8800GTs per machine and be looking at ....way up there.
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