Planned changes to "Big Advanced"

clifford_cooleyclifford_cooley Arkansas, USA Member
edited November 2011 in Folding@Home
Planned changes to "Big Advanced" (BA) projects, effective January 16, 2012
Big Advanced (BA) is an experimental type of Folding@home WUs intended for the most powerful machines in FAH. However, as time goes on, technology advances, and the characteristics associated with the most powerful machines changes. Due to these advances in hardware capabilities, we will need to periodically change the BA minimum requirements. Thus, we are shortening the deadlines of the BA projects. As a result, assignments will have a 16 core minimum. To give donors some advance warning, we are announcing this now, but the change will take place in 2 months: no earlier than on Monday January 16, 2012.

We understand that any changes to how FAH works is a disruption for donors, and we have been trying to minimize such changes. For that reason, we are not changing the points system at this time.

However, we want to emphasize that the BA program is experimental and that donors should expect changes in the future, potentially without a lot of notice (although we will try our best to give as much notice as we can). In particular, as hardware evolves, it is expected that we will need to change the nature of the BA WUs again in the future.

This news is disheartening to the reasons I purchased my i7-2600k. I am currently focusing on a few goal I had previously set for myself. After that I can't say if I will continue or not. This decision was a motivational heart break for me. This is the second time the point system has dropped, since I made plans to purchase the 2600k.

You can say folding is for the cause all you want. When I hear news of this magnitude, I question motivation behind PG with this folding project. Keeping folders seems to be a game with them


  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited November 2011
    I feel your pain ... I bought some equipment from Leo just last month for bigadv and the mobo will be obsolete for that purpose. The cost of entry also got much higher for bigadv.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited November 2011
    Loosing bigadv will cause a hit to your production but falling back to only SMP won't be the end of the world. You will still be in front of the curve. It will make your average more accurate plus any issue you don't lose as many points.

    It isn't much if you just bought hardware, luckily I still have a rig for bigadv. But this is also kind of a political thing with what the bigadv WUs are for and rewarding people for the very fast turn around for the large amount of work that is done. I feel like they should just use a deadline and let anyone attempt but enforce check points for completion. It is slightly annoying but they are trying to keep up with hardware and keep the current system that is in place valid for the way things were originally defined.

    But if they are doing this they should update GPU3 since my 460 has been getting the same ppd since launch.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Wake up and smell the glaciers Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited November 2011
    No, Tushon, your mobo is not obsolete. I7s, old and new, are still strong producers.

    The playing field really isn't changed all that much, as the majority (95% +, my guess) of Bigadv Folders were using single I7 processors. The science is still the science and competition amongst I7 Folders will be the same, just separated a bit from the 'server class' Folders.

    Yes, I know I just posted about my new 16-core build, but I purchased those parts weeks before Pande Group made the -bigadv hardware requirements announcement.

    If you've been with Folding@Home for the long haul (several years), you'll see the announced change as one of many. Moore's Law and research breakthroughs will see that this recent announcement is just par for the course. Some of you may remember 11 years ago when Pentium 4s and Athlon XPs were churning out --- wait for it ---- one work unit a day point. ;D

    I'm not really a Pande Group apologist, I just recognize any changes they make will upset some users...including me, occasionally. :bigggrin:
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited November 2011
    Obsolete in that I bought it specifically to run bigadv, which it will not longer be able to do. I'll definitely be running smp on it for a while, but frustrating nonetheless :/

    Maybe I'll start looking for buyers for some of this gear and start a 2P fund.
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