Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

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Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:44 am

Was reading through this and wanted to point it out to Core i7 CPU users - http://foldingforum.org/viewforum.php?f=55

So, I've found info for how those among us with Core i7s willing to overclock to get a huge points bump.

The key here is that there is a enormous bonus for those with 8-core systems who can get WUs done fast. Minimum is 2.8Ghz on an i7 to get it done in time, but if you can get it done just one day early it's a 100% increase in points!

Points system is as follows:

25,000 points for the WU (4 day deadline), plus bonus for how fast you get it done--if you can do it in 2.5 days, you get about 50,000 points. One guy with his i7 at 4.2Ghz gets 60,000 points for his WUs--the bonus grows exponentially.

Here's a detailed list:

002 hours = 10X
003 hours = 9.8X
004 hours = 8.49X
005 hours = 7.59X
006 hours = 6.93X
007 hours = 6.41X
008 hours = 6X
009 hours = 5.66X
010 hours = 5.37X
020 hours = 3.79X
030 hours = 3.10X
040 hours = 2.68X
050 hours = 2.4X <-- Core i7 at 4GHz (30,000 PPD) = 60967.2 points total
060 hours = 2.19X
070 hours = 2.03X
080 hours = 1.9X
090 hours = 1.79X
100 hours = 1.7X
110 hours = 1.62X
120 hours = 1.55X
130 hours = 1.49X
140 hours = 1.43X

http://www.linuxforge.net/bonuscalc.php

These are huge WUs--one person with 1.2Mb/s upload takes 20 minutes to upload a WU.

Things you need:
-you have to use a passkey
-You need 10 A2 units done before you can get the bonus.
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby skier » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:27 am

wow even if i had core i7, my connection would never GET the units OR send them in :(

but thats a crazy amount of points though
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby Darkstar » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:35 am

Only Linux and OS/X systems ..... :(

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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby bubba » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:51 am

looks like I need to get Linux on a drive for the test bench for in between testing...
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby geokilla » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:53 pm

You can still run the -bigadvmethods in Windows! http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=4464 The following is taken from the EVGA Folding@Home forums. Happy folding! If you wish to see the pictures for this guide, please visit the EVGA link. Also don't forget that you can use the backup script to backup your folding progress.


This thread is dedicated to folding bigadv in VMware. Below is a screenshot of 7-core SMP folding of bigadv in Windows XP x64 using VMware 3.0 Player.

Image

The TPF with 7-core folding is 34:52 with my i7 @ 3.8 GHz.

There are examples of systems, PPD, and bonus points at this forum thread:

http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=11314

To calculate bonus points and PPD based on TPF, go here:

http://www.linuxforge.net/bonuscalc.php

Leaving one core unused is probably not the worst idea if GPU folding at the same time. This leaves a virtual core over for the GPU clients and other system resources.

Image and instructions

As requested, I have compressed a copy of my Linux image consisting of the necessary fah client. This image is for bigadv units and the bigadv folding requires an i7 or dual socket setup consisting of 8 or more cores. At least 6GB total memory is necessary. The bigadv Windows VMware folding is experimental and stability is unknown. Make sure your system, CPU, and memory are completely stable and all temps under load are normal before trying out these bigadv units. Also make sure your operating system has enough available resources including memory. This can be checked in Windows task manager. This image can also be used to run the regular 1920 pt Core A2 work units.

The image can be download here:

Linux FAH Image v0.6 (Mirror 1)
Linux FAH Image v0.6 (Mirror 2)
Linux FAH Image v0.6 (Mirror 2) (7-Zip/LZMA - 37.2MB)

[urlhttp://hotfile.com/dl/18563526/e72bb21/VMWare-FAH-0.4.zip.html=]Linux FAH Image v0.4[/url] (Mirror 1)
Linux FAH Image v0.4 (Mirror 2)

Thanks to wb488641 and braindancer for providing file mirror locations.

VMWare Player Download

VMWare Player 3.0

Folding backup scripts provided by TheCrazyCanuck (see further down the thread for more info)

Folding backup scripts

Thanks to Shane @ EVGA for hosting the file and thanks to TheCrazyCanuck for spending the time writing the backup scripts and instructions.

Utilities

Qfix - Linux 64-bit build - Source (Link 1 - Link 2)

Installation

1) Install VMWare Player 3.0 - default options

2) Download and unzip the image. Put the file anywhere you like as long as there is at least 4GB free storage.

3) Startup VMWare Player

4) Click File - Open a Virtual Machine

5) Go to the location where you put the image and double click on the Linux64_FAH.vmx file.

6) The VMX file is preconfigured to use 8 processors and 3600MB memory. Before starting the VM machine, you have the option to "Edit virtual machine settings" and adjust RAM. 3600MB seemed to work okay for me but you may want to allocate more memory just to make sure the client has what it needs. Double click on the name "Linux64_FAH" to start the virtual machine.

7) Wait for Linux to boot. You will see a command prompt. Just above, there are instructions on how to setup FahMon. The system will attempt to get an IP by DHCP and will tell you that IP address.

8) Login with the following:

FAH Login: fah
Password: fah1234

9a) This step is for web-based configuration. If you would rather configure with the fah6 client then skip this step and go to 9b.

When you first boot up the virtual machine it will tell you the HTTP address. The format should be:

http://ip/

where IP is the IP address assigned to the virtual machine.

Enter your username, team id, and passkey here. Optionally, you can change the hostname or enable auto-startup for the fah client with v0.6. Click submit when finished. You must reboot with the command reboot if you change the hostname or enable auto-startup for the changes to take effect.

To get a passkey:

http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py

When you have done that, shutdown the web service with this command:

v0.4 or newer:

web disable

V0.2-0.3:

/etc/rc.d/rc.httpd stop; chmod 644 /etc/rc.d/rc.httpd

This will save some memory and also close down the web port for security.

Start fah6 with this command in the virtual machine:

./fah6 -bigadv -smp 7

9b) Command line configuration:

With this configuration, the web interface is not being used so this service can be turned off with this command:

v0.4 or newer:

web disable

v0.2-0.3:

/etc/rc.d/rc.httpd stop; chmod 644 /etc/rc.d/rc.httpd

To startup and configure the folding client:

./fah6 -bigadv -smp 7

For configuration, you will need your login, team (111065), and passkey. To get a passkey:

http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py

The only two options I change from default is I select "big" for the unit size when prompted and I enable advmethods under Advanced Options when prompted.

10) (Optional)

8-core bigadv folding may be possible if you allocate enough memory to the virtual machine. At least 4600MB will need to be allocated, if not more. Make sure that Windows has enough resources before trying this. Thanks goes to brentpresley over at foldingforum.org for the tip on setting a greater memory allocation to the virtual machine.

./fah6 -bigadv -smp 8

It is also possible to run the smaller 1920 pt work units via this system (replace with 8 with however many cores you like and your system supports):

./fah6 -smp 8

11) With v0.6, you can now view the folding log file via the web:

http://IP/log.php

Additional Information and Configuration Options


Bonus point requirements

1) At least 10 Core A2 work units must be completed. (1920 or 25403 pt units qualify)
2) At least 80% of Core A2 work units must be completed in time.
3) A passkey must be used.

GNU License

The Linux image software is covered under the GNU General Public License Version 2

ChangeLog

0.6 -
* Web configuration
+ Added option for enabling tear's Langouste de-coupler on boot
+ Added option for enabling Ramdisk on boot
+ Made passkey optional for those who would rather not fold bigadv
+ Access fah log by web via web page log.php
+ Access langouste log by web via web page langouste.php

0.5 -
* Updated kernel to 2.6.32.2
+ Added both Intel Core 2 and AMD optimized kernels
+ Changed timer frequency to 100 Hz and set to tickless (might help with clock drift issues reported)
+ Added BFS scheduler

* System update
+ Upgraded to GLIBC-2.11
+ Rebuilt and optimized some of the core packages
+ Changed init scripts to speedup boot process and to work with FAH auto-startup functionality
+ Removed /etc/dhcpc/dhcpcd.duid file (causes duplicates IP issues with multiple VMs on the same network)
+ Added Nano editor

* Web configuration
+ Added option to change Hostname
+ Added option to start FAH on bootup and included bigadv and core options
+ Setup web config to auto-fill in info if previously configured

* FAH Utilities
+ Added tear's Langouste WU upload/download de-coupler - http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=11615

0.4 -
* VMX changes
+ Removed Ethernet MAC address so that the virtual machine will setup a new MAC address for eth0 on startup (Helps with duplicate IP issues)
+ Set CDROM to raw mode to fix warning notice about missing ISO file
+ Set tools.remindInstall to FALSE
+ Set rtc.diffFromUTC to 0

* Updated kernel to 2.6.31.6
+ Set compression to LZMA instead of GZIP for a smaller kernel image
+ Change optimization level to Os since folding performance was slighty better than level O2 or O3.
+ Disabled some debugging support
+ Disabled several other unnecessary features
+ Modularized USB support

* Set virtual machine Linux system to UTC to match the folding client time configuration
* Disabled console screensaver (setterm -blank 0)
* Added Pico editor as a secondary editor to Vi
* Added Cron support
* Enabled full read and write access to the fah network share on the Linux system to allow for fah backup to host OS

* Command line additions
+ upkernel - Used for simplified kernel upgrades
+ timesync - Used to sync the clock on a specified interval (30 minutes default)
+ fahbackup - Makes a backup of the folding queue.dat file and work directory contents to a folder called backup or a destination of your choosing
+ web - Used to enable or disable the web configuration tool
+ buildramfs - Creates a Ramdisk, copies files from fah work folder to Ramdisk, and mounts Ramdisk to work folder (Default size 750000K)
0.3 -
* Create a new smaller image that is 85MB in size compressed
* Same functionality as v0.2

0.2 -
* Added web interface for simple configuration
* Updated startup notification with additional setup information

0.1 -
* Initial image
* Built kernel 2.6.31.5 and optimized for Core 2 architecture
* Added fah6 6.24r3 client
* Added Samba support for folding progress monitoring via network

Folding backup scripts and instructions provided by TheCrazyCanuck (compatible with v0.4 image or greater)

[quote=TheCrazyCanuck]
Folding backup scripts

These files will allow you to backup your FAH contents to your Windows machine every hour. Those of you who have real servers to backup files just tweak the username, password, and location accordingly. These files also take care of backing up the ramdrive if you happen to use it. The reason why you would want to backup every hour is because if the FAH client restarts early then you might loose days worth of work that is either not backed up or has been backed up and replaced by another backup.

The hourly backups also resync the clock just in case it was drifting over time. I give you the option of starting up the client with a RAM disk using what Linuxrouter has provided and I give you instructions on how you can retain those contents since they are volatile.

*Disclaimer: I expect anyone who uses this to read the instructions and not complain to me if they loose a WU because they were too lazy to follow instructions. I also take no responsibility for anything you manage to bugger up on the host or VM.*

View original IP configuration information

If you missed the original configuration information including the IP address, FahMon setup, and web configuration address, then you can run this command to see that information again:

info

Solution for client error "Could not connect to Primary Assignment Server for ID" (Credit to pgmoney for solution)

The virtual machine needs an IP on the network in order to access the Internet and the folding servers. If on startup the IP is missing in the notification, then this configuration change may give the virtual machine access to the network.

1) Open VMWare and select Linux64_FAH but do not start the virtual machine
2) Click "Edit virtual machine settings"
3) Click on Network Adapter
4) Change Network Connection from Bridged to NAT
5) Click OK and start the virtual machine

Shutting down or restarting

To shutdown the virtual machine, run this command:

shutdown -h now

To reboot the virtual machine, run this command:

reboot

Multiple Consoles

The image supports opening multiple consoles at once (max 6). Simply hit ALT+F2 through F6 and login. Then you can run other commands while folding at the same time.

Sample Configuration Screenshot

Image

-- Advanced Options --


SSH / Screen Session Setup (Optional)

For those familiar with SSH, there is also the option to access the virtual machine and FAH client remotely.

Only do this if you are familiar with SSH and feel that your network is adequately secure.

To enable SSH:

chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/rc.sshd; /etc/rc.d/rc.sshd start

You can now SSH into the virtual machine using the fah login. Make sure your network is secure first. I would highly recommend setting a new password for the fah account to something more secure using the command: passwd fah. Alternatively, setup a key pair. Use your favorite SSH client. I use Putty in Windows and OpenSSH in Linux.

Setup a screen session:

screen -R -D -S fah

Startup FAH:

./fah6 -bigadv -smp 7

Detach from screen session:

CTRL A + D

Reconnect to the screen session at a later time:

screen -rx fah

Using this method you can login to your virtual machine from another system on the same network or from another site if your network is configured for remote access (VPN) and then join into the screen session again to monitor your FAH client.

Ramdisk (v0.4 or greater)

v0.4 has support for setting up a Ramdisk. There is a script called buildramfs that you can run to set up the Ramdisk. This script creates a Ramdisk with a default size of 750000K to accommodate the bigadv work files. It also automatically copies the files from the work folder and mounts the Ramdisk to the work folder. You will need at least 500MB of available memory and allocated to the virtual machine for these files. The Ramdisk does grow and uses in memory what it needs up to the file system size. The script takes one argument of size where you can specify another size instead of the default 750000K.

Only do this if you have the available memory, have an adequate backup plan, and feel comfortable working with Linux. You will want to backup your files somewhere. These are several options you might consider:

1) Setup a batch file in Windows that copies the work folder and queue.dat file to the host OS on a scheduled time interval using scheduled tasks.
2) Mount a Windows shared folder in Linux using CIFS and copy the files to the Windows shared folder using a Cronjob.
3) Copy the files to a location on the Linux file system of your choosing using a Cronjob.
4) Copy the files manually.

Increase the resolution for the virtual machine

The default resolution is 1024x768x16 for the virtual machine. To set a higher resolution, on first boot when the red LILO bootloader shows up, hit the tab key. You only have 3-seconds to hit the tab key. Enter the following:

Linux-2.6.31.5 vga=0x346

This will set the resolution to 1600x1200x32 so that you can see a greater amount of information in the virtual machine at once. A couple other options:

0x344 - 1280x1024x32
0x355 - 2048x1536x32
Last edited by geokilla on Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby Darkstar » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:12 pm

holy %&^$ , maybe if you dont have a job.........
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:54 pm

hmm..spose I will see if I can get this going. I have no job so i guess it's worth a shot :) ..
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:20 am

well, hopefully I have it going right. @3.6ghz...7 cores folding along with my 285's..took just under 2 hours to hit 3% though...if it goes on that pace, it might finish before the war ends lol..im still not sure on how to tell what it's deadline is or how many points it's worth tho #-o (i see 40,000 ps..maybe that's it? [-o< )

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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby KnightRid » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:09 am

my lord - is it really worth it? I have my core i7-920 running at 4.3ghz with virtualization off right now. Will the ppd increase that much?

Why isnt this available for windows computers without all the fuss? seems goofy you can run it in VM Linux but just not native Windows.

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I will give it a shot IF the ppd increase is substantial!
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby bubba » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:40 am

I have 8 windows console instances that have been running since late Saturday afternoon. They are all 5 hours away from turning their first unit. That is at 3.5Ghz.

Might look at getting the Linux set up and trying that, but in order to get the bonus points you have to turn 10 units first. At the rate I'm going with the consoles I doubt it would get the 10 done before the end of the war BUT it would be good for the long haul. Certainly be easier then buying some new cards LOL
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:41 am

it looks like a LOT of work to get it going, but honestly, most of that is troubleshooting. This is the first time I've ever used VMWare, and never used this version of Linux. So If I can you do it then you all can too :) the hard part is waiting to see if it worked right [-o<
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby DMB2000uk » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:43 am

Have you completed the 10 passkey protected WU's before you started that bigadv unit InspectahACE? You don't get the bonus points without the 10 passkey units being done first.

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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:48 am

probably not...I put in my passkey..and let it go..i was just glad iw as able to get the VMWare working with it lol (was late nite/early morning I did this so I'm sure I missed some things)
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:27 pm

I'm gonna have to wait until this huge ass WU is finished to try out those passkey WU's. Keeps resuming where I left off(which is nice still) Wish I knew where the work folder was, I would've started over and tried lol
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby DMB2000uk » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:52 pm

I'm not sure if they regular non -bigadv WU's with passkey count towards the 10 thing, but if you've put your passkey in the setup of the -bigadv it's all that is needed to start the 10 WU countdown thing.

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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby InspectahACE » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:18 pm

I'll leave it as is then since I've had the -bigadv going the whole time with my passkey :)
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby geokilla » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:05 pm

KnightRid wrote:my lord - is it really worth it? I have my core i7-920 running at 4.3ghz with virtualization off right now. Will the ppd increase that much?

Why isnt this available for windows computers without all the fuss? seems goofy you can run it in VM Linux but just not native Windows.

Mike

I will give it a shot IF the ppd increase is substantial!

Yes it's worth it. You get A LOT more points once you factor in the bonus. Even if you don't factor in the bonus, well you still get A LOT more points. More efficient folding for more or less the same electricity usage, etc.

bubba wrote:I have 8 windows console instances that have been running since late Saturday afternoon. They are all 5 hours away from turning their first unit. That is at 3.5Ghz.

Might look at getting the Linux set up and trying that, but in order to get the bonus points you have to turn 10 units first. At the rate I'm going with the consoles I doubt it would get the 10 done before the end of the war BUT it would be good for the long haul. Certainly be easier then buying some new cards LOL

If you're running the normal uniprocessor clients, dump them ASAP and run at least the Windows SMP clients. However to get the most points, run this -bigadvmethods client.

As for the passkey, I'm not sure either, but hey doesn't hurt to keep the passkey in. Nothing to lose with points to gain :supz:
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bubba
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby bubba » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:06 pm

Swapping it over tomorrow, grabbed a different RAM kit from Nate for the time being.

Going to try the VM ware route. Think with this new RAM kit I can hit 4gHz, that's the hope anyway. I know I can do 3.8 easy, 4 has been elusive to say the least.
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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby KnightRid » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:01 am

Does anyone from here have some REAL numbers to show what the completion rate is on a Core i7-920 or similar system? From what I read in the f@h forums, core i7 systems are just MARGINAL for completing the work units on time - they really want you to have at least 8 cores, with no virtualization to get the most out of it.

I am thinking about trying it - I figure this core i7-920 running at 4.3ghz might have a chance, but for a 3 or 4 day work unit and getting MAYBE 2X the points, it might not be worth it. That is why I am asking about some real numbers from the members here.

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Re: Folding@Home on Core i7 processors for big points

Postby bubba » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:52 am

Still trying to get it set up.

Even if I have to load a drive with Linux I want to get the bonus points for the team (folding war or not)
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