Info 11th BOINC Pentathlon 2020

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Icecold

Golden Member
Nov 15, 2004
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It's somewhat interesting - this is the first time I've felt like any or all my machines need a RAM upgrade. I have an i7 4770k with 8GB of RAM and a 2070 which has been running other projects with no issues, but then Amicable comes along and gives a computation error on startup. Rosetta running out of memory on a couple other machines as well, etc. Amazon will have more RAM here tomorrow, but I definitely wasn't expecting RAM to be a big bottleneck going into this.
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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It's somewhat interesting - this is the first time I've felt like any or all my machines need a RAM upgrade. I have an i7 4770k with 8GB of RAM and a 2070 which has been running other projects with no issues, but then Amicable comes along and gives a computation error on startup. Rosetta running out of memory on a couple other machines as well, etc. Amazon will have more RAM here tomorrow, but I definitely wasn't expecting RAM to be a big bottleneck going into this.

Your telling me i had to be talked down by Markfw out of a 32gb kit instead of doubling down on my current 16gb kit cause my 3900x is choking on memory when i go over 14 tasks and i have to run 13 tasks to ensure i keep enough memory around.

New to BOINC/Rosetta here but these folks been real nice on helping out and offering tips and suggestions. Mark pretty much talked me into the best optimal settings for BOINC before the insane usage started and for like half a day it ran flawlessly. Not his fault its out of memory, its my fault for opting for only 16gb. :D

In my defense i got into BOINC after i ordered the stuff, i had plans of hoping Folding@Home would play nice but something gravitated me here and well now i need more ram. LOL
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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I am running a 8GB zram swap, which varies from being half full to completely full depending on the luck of the draw on Rosetta processes. I can increase the size to 16GB, but I’ve found Rosetta only reliably gets 50% compression, so that would only open up 4GB extra.
The Amicable 10^21 application originally used 8 GB RAM + 8 GB VRAM, then was soon rewritten to use 8 GB RAM + less than 2 GB VRAM. According to message 1204, the lower VRAM usage is achieved by performing the work in 8 stages. I wonder if it is feasible to have much of the memory of a task swapped out to a fast disk much of the time.
 

Howdy

Senior member
Nov 12, 2017
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@mopardude87
You will find that CPU thread count, RAM and powerful GPUs are king in BOINC. (Unless your as talented as some on the TeAm that can squeeze more points out of an 8 thread CPU than I can out of a 32 thread CPU) When it comes to BOINC competitions that is...............Oh and it is for some.............addicting.
 
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mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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@mopardude87
You will find that CPU thread count, RAM and powerful GPUs are king in BOINC. When it comes to BOINC competitions that is...............Oh and it is for some.............addicting.

You got no idea, this is actually part of what i do in my "faith" so its beyond a hobby or a addiction. Yeah its a devotion at this point for me :) I still quite enjoy it no matter what.

Edit: i use this computer as a tool and extension to take my "practices" beyond herbalism and to the digital frontier and try and heal/mend using this new tool as well. Its quite important to me. Old ancient practices meets 21st century technology i've gone digital!
 
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StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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It's somewhat interesting - this is the first time I've felt like any or all my machines need a RAM upgrade. I have an i7 4770k with 8GB of RAM and a 2070 which has been running other projects with no issues, but then Amicable comes along and gives a computation error on startup. Rosetta running out of memory on a couple other machines as well, etc. Amazon will have more RAM here tomorrow, but I definitely wasn't expecting RAM to be a big bottleneck going into this.
In 2019, the Pentathlon had NFS, Yoyo, and LHC. While all of those have projects with little RAM requirement, the ones with good credit have larger RAM footprint too. Amicable's new application is out of this world though, even compared to LHC's vbox based Atlas application.
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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@Endgame124, two more observations with the Amicable opencl_nvidia version:
  • Task durations vary a lot. On my Pascal cards, from a minute to hours. Each of these tasks loaded the GPUs to 100% whenever I looked.
  • After the initial setup phase of a task with a CPU thread fully loaded, the application goes back down to just a few percent CPU load for the rest of the task. Besides the stages thing which I mentioned in #253, this could be another sign that the application isn't accessing memory a lot too and that it therefore might be OK to let the kernel swap parts of the application out to disk during runtime.
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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Need some help or suggestions here please , i am about to either double my current ram kit or go all out on a 2x 32gb kit. I want to keep at 3600mhz but i do understand this may be a issue on such large sticks of ram? Why do i want this much ram you ask? I plan on dropping in a 4000 series chip with at least 32 threads if not more if they offer it at reasonable prices.

Can anyone on a 3950x or a larger threaded chip who can give input on how much ram BOINC/Rosetta uses when you dedicate at least 30 threads? I want dual Amperes so dedicated a thread to each of those in Folding@Home but when the rig is full tilt at end of year i need to make sure i am covered on ram. Not buying a third kit getting caught with my pants down like i did this time.
 

StefanR5R

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Dec 10, 2016
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RAM requirement by Rosetta@home changes over time.

(It was generally lower than now before they started COVID work. Then it suddenly was 3 GB/task, if I recall correctly, or something like that. And now it is as discussed here. It won't remain as-is forever, but my guess is that the tendency is more likely towards bigger than towards smaller.)
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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RAM requirement by Rosetta@home changes over time.

(It was generally lower than now before they started COVID work. Then it suddenly was 3 GB/task, if I recall correctly, or something like that. And now it is as discussed here. It won't remain as-is forever, but my guess is that the tendency is more likely towards bigger than towards smaller.)

So swapping out my current kit for a 2x32gb kit would not be insane? When i swap out mobo and cpu i will have pretty much this combo completely open to past along to a friend on his i7 8700 then that 8700 gets passed to the friend on my old 7700k. Just need to make sure its a wise purchase and not stupid, just not in mood to buy ram a third time.

Also if i fold on a 2x32gb kit 3600mhz prob won't be a issue on a x570 GB Auros Elite?
 

Howdy

Senior member
Nov 12, 2017
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Most BOINC projects 32gb is good. Rosetta and a few others need more than that as pointed out by @StefanR5R. It is all going to be dependent on the projects you choose to run.

Example of the project we are running in the Pentathlon/ Dual GPUs running:

amicable numbers.JPG
 
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mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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Alright then so its settled i will opt for the 64gb, i rather have it and not need it over needing it and not having it.The only kit on Newegg that is on the QVL list for my motherboard


 

TennesseeTony

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Aug 2, 2003
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As anticipated, our lack of participation in the 2nd Javelin Throw incorrectly drops our score in that event. We have dropped from 3rd place overall to 4th (due to the trillions of French users overtaking us in Rosetta), and then dropped to 8th soon after, due to skipping the 2nd Throw. This WILL improve. Be ye not dismayed. :D
 
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mopardude87

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Oct 22, 2018
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Ya know, that is actually not a bad price for 3600 at that capacity....sure wish I had seen that 2 weeks ago instead of price shopping....

All for the sake of dropping in the 4000 top end beast at the end of the year.

Hopefully we get some 24 core action, i got a feeling we will see 24 cores. If it costs like $900 or less i will prob hop on it. Would cost essentially twice as much as my 12 core 3900x and to me that would be a fair price. Anything less and its win. I could be wrong and 4000 just improves on what we currently got. I got a strong feeling 4000 is dropping more then 16 cores and i want to be ready for it.

A real upgrade at bare minimum to me would be a 32 thread "4950x" that clocks at least to 4ghz on all threads consistently. Anything else improved is win, anything less and well it better be cheaper or way more efficient.
 

Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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All for the sake of dropping in the 4000 top end beast at the end of the year.

Hopefully we get some 24 core action, i got a feeling we will see 24 cores. If it costs like $900 or less i will prob hop on it. Would cost essentially twice as much as my 12 core 3900x and to me that would be a fair price. Anything less and its win. I could be wrong and 4000 just improves on what we currently got. I got a strong feeling 4000 is dropping more then 16 cores and i want to be ready for it.

A real upgrade at bare minimum to me would be a 32 thread "4950x" that clocks at least to 4ghz on all threads consistently. Anything else improved is win, anything less and well it better be cheaper or way more efficient.
A few thoughts / notes

Ram:
There are some benefits to running 4 sticks of ram instead of 2 sticks of ram (fully populating the board). The really high level is that going with 4 sticks means you're less likely to be able to overclock the ram / hit the highest speeds, but you'll see better throughput at stock speed. See this article, which explains it way better than I can: https://www.techspot.com/article/1971-more-ram-modules-better-for-gaming/. That said, if you buy 2 Sticks now, you can always buy another 2 sticks for an upgrade later and not have any left over dimms.

I personally had 16 GB (2x 8GB sticks) of low latency 3200 ram in my 2700X, so I picked up another 16GB of CL 14 3200. I intend on upgrading this host to a better CPU but I'm waiting to see what my options are. If I can't do Ryzen 4000 on my X470 board, I'll likely pickup a 3900 when I buy the components for my entirely new rig that I'll also be building.

Zen 3 / Ryzen 4000:
With the 3000 series, the 3900X dropped first - we didn't get the 3950 until a few months after, so we may not see the 4950x at release. For number of cores and threads, there are 8 cores per chiplet in zen 2, and 3950x gets 2 fully enabled chiplets. I don't think the number of cores per chiplet will change in zen 3, so the place for expansion would be if they include a 3rd and or 4th chiplet option in Ryzen 4000. If they went up to 4 chiplets, that would allow for a 32 core / 64 threads option on the top end Ryzen 4000, but I haven't seen any rumors that say there are any increases in core count. What I have seen rumors for is increasing the clock speed and instructions per clock on the 4000 series, so you may see the same product stack (4 cores all the way to 16 cores), but closer to 5ghz this time around.
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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A few thoughts / notes

Ram:
There are some benefits to running 4 sticks of ram instead of 2 sticks of ram (fully populating the board). The really high level is that going with 4 sticks means you're less likely to be able to overclock the ram / hit the highest speeds, but you'll see better throughput at stock speed. See this article, which explains it way better than I can: https://www.techspot.com/article/1971-more-ram-modules-better-for-gaming/. That said, if you buy 2 Sticks now, you can always buy another 2 sticks for an upgrade later and not have any left over dimms.

I am kinda wanting just to double down on the current kit but i would hate the damper BOINC/Rosetta gets if suddenly i need more then 32gb of ram. I would have to limit the usage and i would hate having to do that. Given you all been running this a while i honestly am a bit clueless on what option to really go for. In regards to a 4x16gb kit i did find this.

 
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Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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I am kinda wanting just to double down on the current kit but i would hate the damper BOINC/Rosetta gets if suddenly i need more then 32gb of ram. I would have to limit the usage and i would hate having to do that. Given you all been running this a while i honestly am a bit clueless on what option to really go for. In regards to a 4x16gb kit i did find this.

2x 32GB shouldn't be a problem at all, especially at the price you found and double(?) especially that its on your QVL list. I probably complicated the situation by giving you yet another option :D. 64GB on a 12 core 24 thread processor gives you 2.6GB per thread. On my 2700X (8 core, 16 thread, currently 16GB memory) I'm seeing between 22GB and 26GB of ram used in total (max 1.625GB per thread), and I'm having to work some magic in linux to keep it running 15x Rosetta threads and 1 Folding at Home slot for my 1080Ti.

TLDR; I think you would end up running out of ram with 32GB, so 64 GB is a good choice. Worst case, we could help you find something to do with extra ram in Boinc (climateprediction.net uses 2-4GB per process if I remember correctly).
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
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TLDR; I think you would end up running out of ram with 32GB, so 64 GB is a good choice. Worst case, we could help you find something to do with extra ram in Boinc (climateprediction.net uses 2-4GB per process if I remember correctly).

Keep in mind i also game as i crunch sometimes, i had issues already with 50% cpu usage in BOINC and BF4 due to ram. I have devoted my 3900x to at least 50% cpu usage as tribute as part of my half work/half play theme of the build but anymore usage is dependent on what i am doing but for the most part i wanna contribute 95% of the cpu to BOINC when not gaming and 90% when i dual gpu. I hate any restraints that get in the way of me and my "practices" and overall beliefs so i rather be safe then sorry. The addition of threads at end of the year means i put less time into the games cpu usage wise and even more into BOINC.

Yeah i will go for the 4x16gb kit. Also thanks for making sure you can help me find a use for the spare ram if need be, with my customs and beliefs i hate the idea of wasting any resources when they can go towards the greater good. A project for cures would be preferable as that is why i am in this to begin with as part of my beliefs and practices.
 
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deskjet

Junior Member
Apr 1, 2020
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I'm going to allocate the following gpu's from f@h to amicable for the pentathlon.
  • RTX2070super
  • GTX1080ti
  • GTX1070
  • 2 or 3 GTX1060's
With the help of StefanR5R's guide, I have multiple clients of boinc running on a windows 10 pc.
However I could use some advice in regards to bunkering. :)
How many days of tasks do I need to download and when do I suspend network activity?
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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@deskjet, do you have enough RAM? (8 GB per running task, but you have certainly seen this in this thread already.)

In general, when I prepare a bunker for GPU tasks, I first suspend GPU computing, then [Allow new tasks], see to it that the respective quantity of tasks finished downloading, then suspend networking, then resume GPU computing. (This process can be automated and typically works out well unattended then.)

Amicable Numbers has tasks which may be quick or slow, but it also responds to work requests quickly and downloads quickly. Therefore these two extra steps of suspending GPU computing before and resuming after aren't necessary.

But more importantly: The server grants only 20 tasks in progress to a host, per GPU. (E.g., 60 tasks in progress for a triple GPU computer.) So the answer to your question of how many days to set the buffer size to: This doesn't matter all that much at Amicable Numbers, unless you had a very slow GPU. You won't get more than these 20 per GPU even with a large work buffer setting.

This is similar to a limit which SETI@home used to have. Their limit on tasks in progress was OK for computers with slow GPUs, but not for ones with modern GPUs. In addition, SETI@home had regular maintenance periods during which no new work could be fetched. Therefore, a few SETI@home users modified their boinc clients to show an inflated number of GPUs present when requesting work at the SETI server. This allowed them to have a reasonable amount of tasks in progress.

The required modification is arcane but not all that hard to do. The mentioned circle of SETI@home users were open about that they used this workaround, but kept the precise recipe to themselves, because inexperienced/ uncaring/ malicious users might make bad use of it.
 
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deskjet

Junior Member
Apr 1, 2020
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@deskjet, do you have enough RAM? (8 GB per running task, but you have certainly seen this in this thread already.)

In general, when I prepare a bunker for GPU tasks, I first suspend GPU computing, then [Allow new tasks], see to it that the respective quantity of tasks finished downloading, then suspend networking, then resume GPU computing. (This process can be automated and typically works out well unattended then.)

Amicable Numbers has tasks which may be quick or slow, but it also responds to work requests quickly and downloads quickly. Therefore these two extra steps of suspending GPU computing before and resuming after aren't necessary.

But more importantly: The server grants only 20 tasks in progress to a host, per GPU. (E.g., 60 tasks in progress for a triple GPU computer.) So the answer to your question of how many days to set the buffer size to: This doesn't matter all that much at Amicable Numbers, unless you had a very slow GPU. You won't get more than these 20 per GPU even with a large work buffer setting.

This is similar to a limit which SETI@home used to have. Their limit on tasks in progress was OK for computers with slow GPUs, but not for ones with modern GPUs. In addition, SETI@home had regular maintenance periods during which no new work could be fetched. Therefore, a few SETI@home users modified their boinc clients to show an inflated number of GPUs present when requesting work at the SETI server. This allowed them to have a reasonable amount of tasks in progress.

The required modification is arcane but not all that hard to do. The mentioned circle of SETI@home users were open about that they used this workaround, but kept the precise recipe to themselves, because inexperienced/ uncaring/ malicious users might make bad use of it.

Thank you for the response @StefanR5R :)

Yes, I have enough ram installed in the systems that will run amicable.