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Old 01-07-2010, 11:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Folding at Home Guide!

First off, what is Folding at Home? If you don't know check out the Folding at Home announcement here by Nitestick.

----------------------------------------

Guide to Getting Started with F@H

Contents:
Help you figure out which client is best for you
How to get them running
How to monitor each client's progress
Where and how to find your folding statistics
Risks of Overclocking and Folding/Stability/Increased Heat

-The CPU Clients
Classic Uni-core client
SMP (multi-core) client
VMware Clients (essentially an SMP client with a bit of a speed boost)

-The GPU Clients
Clients that use your video card's processing power

-Client Monitoring
Making sure each client is running smoothly and contributing to the cause

-Your Folding stats
Track your points/statistics of your contributions



--The CPU Clients--


Classic Uni-core client:

Run this if:
-You have your computer on for a few hours a day or have a low end processor.
Setup:
-Go here and download the client that corresponds to your operating system. For Windows most prefer the System tray client, though some prefer the console client which is slightly faster but a bit more of hassle to configure.
-Once you have downloaded the client, follow the instructions here
to get started.

SMP Client:

Run this if:
-You have a strong dual/tri/quad core processor
-Your computer is on for all/most of the day
Setup:
-Go here , scroll down to "Windows: V6 Beta SMP/CPU clients" and pick "Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008 SMP client console version" (MPICH). There is also a choice for DEINO. It was regarded as most stable, but if you get that, it is for 32bit only and must be run with the -deino flag.
-Follow the instructions here. READ them!
-Here for DEINO
Other Notes:
-A new version of the SMP Client (6.29) has been released and along with it has come a new batch of SMP work units. The new work units require what's called a passkey; a "password" for your clients that adds a bit of extra security and prevents people from pretending to be you. You can get one here: Folding@Home, just enter your F@H username and your email address and you are set.

-Another thing to note is that the SMP Client typically runs quite a bit slower than GPU clients (depending on your CPU), which means longer times between frames (%'s). For reference, an stock Intel E2180 can get up to 45min per frame (%), and the i7@4.1ghz I am folding on, gets about 3:20 per frame using 7 cores.

-When configuring the SMP Client and it asks you whether or not to change the advanced settings, be sure to type yes, and add the follow options when asked to do so:
1)When asked about work unit size, be sure to select BIG (It will offer small, normal, big).
2)When asked for "extra parameters" add the following: -smp -verbosity 9

-One last thing. The F@H folder doesn't like being put into the Program Files directory, so I would recommend that you place it in another location (eg. Make a folder for it in your User directory)

--The GPU Client--


Run this client if:
-You have an ATI 2xxx or newer graphics card, or
-An nVidia 8xxx or newer card (any card that supports CUDA).
Setup:
-Download here . Select either the system tray or console client, the console client is a bit more of a hassle to work with but has the option of being run as a service.
-Follow installation instructions here (Folding@home - WinGPUGuide).
Notes
-Folding + Gaming at the same time = bad. If you want to play a game pause F@H, doing both at the same time can cause stability issues.
-If using 2 or more GPU's, follow the Multi-GPU instructions. Stanford advises that, if using Win Vista/7, you need to either have a monitor connected to each card or have a VGA dummy plug to fold with 2+ GPU's. A guide on making a dummy plug can be found here (The 30 Second Dummy Plug - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net).
-If you are folding with ATI: ATI uses a lot more CPU than Nvidia does and can cause slow downs if you are using your CPU to fold also. Check out this page about minimizing CPU usage using environmental variables.

--Monitoring--

You will need:
-FahMon; Download
-A F@H client to monitor (obviously...)
Setup:
-Download and install/extract FahMon.
-Once you have the FahMon window open, go to the "Clients" tab and click "Add a new Client." You will be asked for a name and location.
-Choose the name to be whatever you like, and for location click the "..." button and navigate to the directory of your F@H client.
-For GPU clients, an easy way (for the system tray client) is to locate the F@H icon in your taskbar, right cick->status->logfile and copy the launch directory into FahMon.
-For a notfreds VM, the location is a bit different. For location, the format will be \\Fold-xxxx(or IP if static)\C\etc\folding\1(instance #)\ where xxxx is unique to your VM (it will show on VM startup). Also check the "Client is on a Virtual Machine" box.
Customizing:
-FahMon has several options for monitoring which you can change to more accurately show what PPD you are getting.
-To customize, go to the FahMon tab and click "Preferences."
-Settings I recommend to change are:
-Calculate PPD based on [All Frames]
-Ignore asynchronous clocks [x] <- Prevents clients from being shown as *Hung* when its clock aren't in sync with your machine.

--Your Folding Stats--

-There are a couple of sites that host stats for F@H. My personal favorite however is done by Extreme Overclocking
-Simply enter your username and click search.

--Notes on Overclocking/Heat/Stability--

-Something to note when overclocking and folding is that just because your overclock is LinX, Prime95 and OCCT stable, does NOT mean it will be for F@H. I personally have found F@H to stress the CPU more than any of those programs so if you want to overclock and fold, use F@H as your 24/7 clock test, NOT Linx/Prime/OCCT.
-Because folding is very intensive (both on CPU and GPU) you way want to upgrade your heatsink (really only an issue when overclocking) or turn up the fan speed on your video card. GPU's tend to get pretty hot when folding on stock fan speed.
-Again because F@H is very intensive and bogs down the rest of your system, if you are going to play a game/run another intensive program I suggest that you pause F@H.

That's It!!! Happy Folding!!!

If you need additional help or have questions, post in the F@H forum or feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll try to help out.




***Credit to MadCatMk2 at overclock.net for much of this info***

***Comments are Welcome!***

***If this helped you, please rep me ***
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Good info there
Check out the Folding at Home announcement up where?? lol

Awesome from "--The CPU Clients--" down
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

oh yeah, i should add a link lol. forgot to change that :P

i really just posted it so i could work on formatting it lol
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Looks good. Great work, mate.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Haha.

Changes to the guide... Console and Systray are the same speed, the files are exactly the same... 1 has an easy to configure gui, the other can be set to run as a service.

With gpu folding, enabling aero helps with lagging in Vista and XP

For stability checking of OCs, use Stresscpu2 from here:
Gromacs - Gromacs

Additions.

Should add to the Unicore, deadlines are usually 20-50 days with a 2.0Ghz moble cpu doing the work in about a day straight. SMP are usually 6 days with an e2180 at 2.0Ghz completeing in 2 days. GPU are in around 3 days with a 9400gt finishing in around 10hrs, a gtx 260-216 being around 2hrs.
Helps with determining what one can do.

If you noticed, I added the times for very low end stuff, so most gear will ge faster.

SMP

SMPs run much bigger units, so a longer time beetween %s. Therefore you will see time interval checks. Along interval is more speedy but risk losing more work in a crash. Less time, means more work doing the back up, so slower overall progress. 15-20mins is a good time.

GPU.

ATI requires more cpu work load than Nvidia, however using enviroment variables, it can be lowered from the use of a core, down to a few percentage.
Enviromental variables setup can be found here:
FAH-Addict : Articles - GPU environment variables

Dummy Plugs ARE ONLY NEEDED for Vista and Win7. And like the uni... There is no difference in speed between consoled and systray... they run the same files.

Thats all i got for nows.

Edit More:

If running multiple clients on a single setup, eacvh client needs a different machine id. Very important.
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Old 01-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

hey trotter... could i get extended rights or something so i can edit my OP after the 24hr deadline?

@paton
i read somewhere that console was a little faster than systray... guess not... will change that

i'll add the rest too, thanks.

you should have written it.. lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by patonb
With gpu folding, enabling aero helps with lagging in Vista and XP
you mean vista/7? XP doesnt have aero... and don't you mean disabling aero? or am i missing something...
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Er yha win 7 and Vista.

No, enabling aero ironically smoths out the lag. Might be due to keeping the gpu in a hiugher state of 3d settings.

If the consoles faster its a second faster over the wu. They run the same files, I switched from console to systray and just plunked my work stuff and cores into the new folder. Faster to most of us is a definate ppd change, and I've never read anything difinitive. A service maybe, being at a different level of the exe level.. doln't know.

Another thing is mAYBE to remind to not put stuff into the program files areas as it causes some read write issue with Vista and maybe win7.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Slap it together and PM it to me. I'll add it in. The edit window is forum-wide.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

Nice guide . I can't find my stats yet though, how often does the stats site update? I just finished my first WU about an hour ago, is it just because the stats haven't updated yet?
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Folding at Home Guide!

you entered your username/team number in the client settings right?

it should show up on the next update (in about an hour and a half)
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