• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Best project(s) for my "farm" of one PC

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
In the past I've had access to a moderate little farm of a dozen or so PCs running BOINC CPU projects for me (mostly at night) which made it easy for me to have those computers jump around between projects to make my "projects participated in" stats look silly and fun. However, I won't have access to those any more so I'm down to just using my personal home PC and I'm trying to decide what I should have it do.

The computer is an i5-4670 with a GTX 750ti graphics card. No powerhouse by any means, but the GPU is currently producing about 88K points per day on Amicable Numbers, and the CPU is adding around 4K points in other random non-GPU projects.

Since my CPU production is going to drop a lot, I'd like suggestions on which project(s) I should do to possibly be helpful in the FormulaBOINC races. Otherwise I'll just keep bouncing around like I normally do, but be less effective at it...
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
VGTU I can do.

dDM crashed my computer every time I tried to run it in the past, but I'll let it try again.

I've been attached to TN-Grid for a while and never get work. I'm not sure why...
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,670
707
136
I've been attached to TN-Grid for a while and never get work. I'm not sure why...
I guess I'm not alone, then. No TN-Grid tasks since January, in the meantime I'm doing LHC with limited sub-projects as ATLAS needs plenty of RAM which I don't have atm.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,849
4,183
136
@Fardringle, your ex farm did a mindboggling amount of work in a lot of projects. It will be missed.

@ao_ika_red, TN-Grid's Statistics -> Top computers -> pick one -> Tasks shows that they have work, just not for everyone who asks for work. Similar to GPUGrid, but worse. I am trying it myself now, and after 20 or 30 updates, I was just graced with a batch of 8 tasks... :openmouth: Edit: and two more batches, fetched by additional client instances on the same host.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: TennesseeTony

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,670
707
136
Your passion never ceases to amaze me, Stefan. I usually give it a try for 15 minutes a day and then if there's still no tasks, I immediately switch to another project.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TennesseeTony

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
Not so silly ... fun and unbeatable stats, at least not in the next 10+ years :) Look at how many #1s you have under "Main Mega Milestones" on your page here: http://stats.free-dc.org/stats.php?page=userbycpid&cpid=925c5a878eb0215b912cefd9328b799e I'd guess you are second on the TeAm in #1s for RankT column!!
Yep, back when I could (with the time and the computers) I loved trying to get #1 in lots of smaller/test projects before they went offline, just for kicks, and at least a few points in all tasks even if I didn't want to run them regularly. And yes, it IS silly but that's part of the reason why it's so much fun. :)
 
Last edited:

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106
I loved trying to get #1 in lots of smaller/test projects before they went offline,
In number of firsts in "Teamrank" you are definitely #1. I was talking about #1s the "Main Mega Milestones" section at the top-right part of your page :)
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
In number of firsts in "Teamrank" you are definitely #1. I was talking about #1s the "Main Mega Milestones" section at the top-right part of your page :)
Yeah, those are fun, too, but are mostly a result of trying to get top rank in lots of little projects. Either way, it's fun to see and maybe some day I'll be able to have a new farm to add to them. In the meantime I'll let my home PC keep grinding away at whatever it can manage to do..
 
  • Like
Reactions: IEC

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
I put those two in my rotation on my home PC, Rudy. I actually had accounts created but never linked my PC to the projects for some reason.. :p

Also, I just can't stand only having one computer running BOINC, so I'm looking for ways to let the three laptops in my house also contribute. One laptop is really nice and could theoretically produce quite a bit, but it gets rather warm, and it's my wife's computer, so I don't really want to make it work hard.

So...I'm looking for a list of "non-CPU-intensive" projects that these laptops can run to help satisfy my BOINC itch without melting themselves or the laps they are sitting on. These are the projects I know of so far. Have I missed any?

GoofyxGrid@Home NCI
Quake-Catcher Network (only the one nice laptop has an accelerometer, but it's a candidate for that one)
WUProp@Home (I think this one only actually does anything if there are CPU projects running)

"Regular" projects that use the CPU but don't heat things up would also be appreciated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rudy Toody

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,849
4,183
136
Last year I used a laptop during some BOINC races. It's a Lenovo Thinkpad W-series model with 4C/8T Haswell. The thing about this and many other modern laptops is that the CPU clock is dynamically adjusted according to load and environmental conditions, while having a rather constrained cooling system of course. Under sustained load, this means for my laptop that the clock is controlled by core temperature. Unfortunately Lenovo chose a temperature ceiling which was a bit too high = too close to instability, causing occasional hangs or, more likely, reboots, when I tortured the laptop with BOINC using all or most of the cores.

Two things come to my mind which I could have pursued, but did not yet:
  • The program TThrottle is supposed to help with this kind of problem. It inserts pauses into a program (IOW slows it down) when the CPU reaches a user-configurable temperature.
  • Crack the laptop open, check that the cooler is free of dust, and replace the thermal paste between processor and cooler.
What I actually did, and it helped a bit, was to put the laptop down onto the floor where the air is coldest. Not a good recipe for a laptop which is supposed to remain in interactive use...
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
15,288
2,285
55
I've found a new trick with my video card. "nvidia-smi -pl xx" sets a power limit on the card. This makes its heat output more stable, and also its temperature when manually setting the fan speed.

Edit: Oh, we're talking laptops? I use ThrottleStop. It's not very precise on temperature, but setting a maximum turbo is usually effective.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StefanR5R

Orange Kid

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,953
1,699
146
I use a cooling pad under my laptop. A plastic thing with a couple of fans built in and plugs in a USB port. Blows air into the underside to help keep it cool.
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
On a related note, I scored two "retired" Dell Mobile Precision Workstation M6600 from my work today, which is a significantly more powerful machine than the kids' laptops, and they also have decent cooling and ATI FirePro M8900 graphics so I can put them both to work as soon as I track down a hard drive for the second one (first one is up and running on a spare 256GB SSD that I already had). :)

The machine has an ATI FirePro M8900 graphics chip in it, which as far as I can tell should be supported by several of the GPU capable projects, but I haven't been able to get any of them to send GPU work to the laptop. Any ideas why? I installed the newest drivers available from AMD and I've tried Amicable Numbers, Collatz Conjecture, GPUGrid, MilkyWay, MOO!, and PrimeGrid so far...
 
  • Like
Reactions: zzuupp

biodoc

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
5,770
1,209
136
Maybe a cc_config.xml with

<use_all_gpus>0|1</use_all_gpus>
If 1, use all GPUs (otherwise only the most capable ones are used). Requires a client restart.

GPUGrid doesn't support ATI/AMD GPUs. It's a cuda-only project.
 

Kiska

Senior member
Apr 4, 2012
791
200
116
Any ideas why? I installed the newest drivers available from AMD and I've tried Amicable Numbers, Collatz Conjecture, GPUGrid, MilkyWay, MOO!, and PrimeGrid so far...
Can you copy and paste here the first 30 lines in BOINC Event log?
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | cc_config.xml not found - using defaults
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | Starting BOINC client version 7.8.3 for windows_x86_64
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | log flags: file_xfer, sched_ops, task
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | Libraries: libcurl/7.47.1 OpenSSL/1.0.2g zlib/1.2.8
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | Data directory: C:\ProgramData\BOINC\Data
2/28/2018 1:55:53 AM | | Running under account Michael
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | CAL: ATI GPU 0: AMD Radeon HD 6790/6850/6870 series (Barts) (CAL version 1.4.1848, 2048MB, 2015MB available, 2611 GFLOPS peak)
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | OpenCL: AMD/ATI GPU 0: AMD Radeon HD 6790/6850/6870 series (Barts) (driver version 1573.4 (VM), device version OpenCL 1.2 AMD-APP (1573.4), 2048MB, 2015MB available, 2611 GFLOPS peak)
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Host name: M6600-laptop
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Processor: 4 GenuineIntel Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz [Family 6 Model 42 Stepping 7]
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Processor features: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss htt tm pni ssse3 cx16 sse4_1 sse4_2 popcnt aes syscall nx lm avx vmx smx tm2 pbe
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | OS: Microsoft Windows 7: Professional x64 Edition, Service Pack 1, (06.01.7601.00)
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Memory: 3.96 GB physical, 7.91 GB virtual
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Disk: 232.79 GB total, 197.62 GB free
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | Local time is UTC -7 hours
2/28/2018 1:55:54 AM | | VirtualBox version: 5.1.26
(skipping the project attach lines)
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | Host location: none
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | General prefs: using your defaults
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | Reading preferences override file
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | Preferences:
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | max memory usage when active: 2026.53 MB
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | max memory usage when idle: 3039.79 MB
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | max disk usage: 10.00 GB
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | don't compute while active
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | don't use GPU while active
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | suspend work if non-BOINC CPU load exceeds 25%
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | (to change preferences, visit a project web site or select Preferences in the Manager)
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
Maybe a cc_config.xml with

<use_all_gpus>0|1</use_all_gpus>
If 1, use all GPUs (otherwise only the most capable ones are used). Requires a client restart.

GPUGrid doesn't support ATI/AMD GPUs. It's a cuda-only project.
You're right about GPUGrid. I just tried it as well when the projects that specifically list AMD GPUs didn't work...

I searched and this laptop actually doesn't have a cc_config.xml file in the BOINC data folder or anywhere else on the hard drive, so it might have not installed the BOINC manager properly or something like that. I'll try reinstalling it when I get home from work tonight since I have to leave now or I'll be late. :)
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
129
95
101
Fardringle, BOINC does not create the cc_config.xml when it is installed. That is something that is manually created by users. I recommend using Notepad in windows. Inside just copy and paste the following:

<cc_config>
<options>
<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>
</options>
</cc_config>

When you save the file, you need to change the file type from .txt to all file types. Then name the file cc_config.xml and place that in your BOINC data directory. However, I don't think your event log info above was complete enough. Please copy/paste the info all the way down to where the projects report as well as the issue is sometimes explained from the project servers.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,849
4,183
136
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | don't compute while active
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | don't use GPU while active
2/28/2018 6:21:14 AM | | suspend work if non-BOINC CPU load exceeds 25%
I never use these options myself. Are they only pausing computation, or are they also interfering with the downloading of new work?

Edit,
tried Amicable Numbers, Collatz Conjecture, GPUGrid, MilkyWay, MOO!, and PrimeGrid so far...
GPUGrid, apart from being CUDA-only, wants to be asked many times before it sends GPU tasks but seems eager to offer CPU tasks...
MilkyWay has server troubles which are being worked on.
Moowrapper is down since more than half a day.

That doesn't explain the other projects though. Regarding PrimeGrid, I suppose you double-checked which applications you have activated, and if you changed them, you remembered to click "Update preferences" deep down at the bottom of the page.
 
Last edited:

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,853
367
126
Interesting. I have a rather large cc_config.xml file on my main home PC (that has attached to pretty much every project ever created) and I know for sure that I never created that file or added anything to it. Some of the projects must have done that.

I'll create the file with that line on the Precision laptop when I get home, and give you the full BOINC log if you want it, although there's nothing helpful there that I saw. It just says "no tasks sent" after requesting work for the AMD/ATI GPU.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY