Added 10,000PPD with dual SMP clients in SMP-GPU2 computers!

LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciersEagle River, Alaska
edited August 2009 in Folding@Home
No joke. Yesterday I reconfigured my five farm Folders to each run 2 X Windows SMP clients. Previously I had been doing that, but when I started GPU2 (video card) Folding, I changed the computers to run only 1 X SMP. A month or so ago I started using Nvidia drivers 180.60. If you don't already know, these drivers allow a video card's GPU to perform almost 100% of the GPU Folding processing, leaving the computer's CPU mostly free.

Well, it finally dawned on me: ' I've got quad core CPUs in the Folding boxes. Why not run two SMP clients on each computer as I used to do?'

Well, I am now, and is it ever paying off! That change - no new hardware - is increased production 8,000 to 10,000 PPD, depending on the work units assigned.

Here is the general setup for the multi-SMP/multi-GPU Folding systems I'm running:

  • Windows XP SP3 (Pro or Home, does not matter)
  • Affinity Changer (no settings, just install it and forget it)
  • (Other than the above, there are no affinity setting application: no affinity or core priority settings at all - none)
  • Folding@Home Windows SMP, console version (each computer with clients)
  • Folding@Home GPU2 Systray client (each machine one to four clients)
  • Riva Tuner for overclocking GPU shader clocks
  • GPU-Z for monitoring GPU temps and clocks
  • Core Temp and SpeedFan for monitoring CPU cores and system fans
  • FahMon for monitoring Folding@Home clients and production, CPU and GPU
:D:cool::hair:

Comments

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    edited January 2009
    Leonardo wrote:
    • Folding@Home GPU2 Systray client (each machine one to four clients)
    :D:cool::hair:
    ....wait what.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited January 2009
    Yes, up to four clients - 2 X 9800GX2, 2 GPUs per PCI-e video slot. So that particular machine has 6 Folding clients running - 4 X GPU and 2 X SMP.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou
    edited January 2009
    you can use the console version of the GPU2 client also if you prefer not to clutter the systray

    i cant tell you if console is faster than systray. I know it used to be back when there was console/gui
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited January 2009
    I like the systray client as I can pause the clients any time I want. Also, I "auto-hide" systray, so clutter is not an issue.
  • edited January 2009
    what happened to linux leo? hehe. :P
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska
    edited January 2009
    Linux? Linux and I engaged in a running battle for several days. We eventually ended in a truce - Linux Folded for a while with unremarkable results and I agreed to leave the battlefield return to Windowsland.

    Simply put, I did not see a benefit commensurate to the pain. I'll probably experiment further in the future.

    In my opinion, Linux is neither good nor bad. It's just not for me at the moment.

    If I were to build a new Folding rig and needed an operating system, I would probably go with Linux and learn it from the ground up - drivers, programs, applications - everything. As it is, I have a legal copy of Windows XP on all my machines, all of which run rock solid smoothly and reliably. I just have no motivation for further experimentation at this time.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    edited August 2009
    Call me stupid but how does running dual SMPs actually increase performance in ppd. Will it not increase times between frames to at least twice as long? I need some explainin'
  • edited August 2009
    Windows SMP is not very efficient at addressing all 4 cores. It typically does better with two clients addressing 2 cores each. Linux SMP makes sweet love to quads.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    edited August 2009
    I should use Process Lasso to limit each instance to 2 cores each then, instead of just let them fight amongst themselves?
  • edited August 2009
    Something like that. I think I used to just run Affinity Changer, you know back when I used to actually fold. :p

    /slacker
  • lordbeanlordbean Ontario, Canada
    edited August 2009
    I'm finding this piece of knowledge doesn't hold on windows vista... I tried running dual SMP clients on my PC (Q9450 @ 3.72GHz), and my total PPD was nearly identical, perhaps even slightly lower. With a single SMP client, the CPU produces about 3500PPD, and with two SMP clients, each one produces ~1700PPD, so it's almost exactly the same.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI
    edited August 2009
    Are you restricting the processes to specific cores? How much RAM do you have?
  • lordbeanlordbean Ontario, Canada
    edited August 2009
    Restricting the processes to individual cores causes problems when attempting to shut the clients down later. Client 2 will kill client 1's cores, and vice versa. I have 8GB of ram in the PC.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas
    edited August 2009
    Ok so I have been doing my checking with the dual SMP, currently with 2GB while stuff gets RMAd. When one of the smaller 1700point WUs is running you will take a hit in ppd but when the 1920point WUs are running or larger ones there is an incease in ppd. Its a little give an take.
  • lordbeanlordbean Ontario, Canada
    edited August 2009
    hmm, I see.

    Well, since my gaming PC really just folds on a casual basis (only when I'm not using it) and I don't care for overly-complicated launch and shutdown routines, I'm sticking with the single SMP client. Maybe I lose a little bit of PPD, but it honestly doesn't feel like much. I still suspect Vista handles SMP processing better than XP. I hope that carries to Windows 7, because I plan on picking that up when it's on store shelves.
  • SnarkasmSnarkasm Madison, WI
    edited August 2009
    Your SMP should be running at all times. It automatically releases the processor when your PC requests it and only uses the processing power you don't need anyway, so you shouldn't be starting it up and shutting it down unless you're doing the same to the computer. It should start when your computer boots and not end until it turns off.

    Along the same vein, the only complicated part of starting and stopping them is that you have to do it twice instead of once. You make a folder for your SMP, make two folders underneath that for SMP1 and SMP2, put the installs in the different directories, adjust the machine IDs when configuring them, and put shortcuts to both executables in the main SMP folder (obviously titled differently). When you boot, open your SMP folder, double click the first shortcut, double click the second, and you're done. That's not overly complicated in the least.
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