• 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."

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

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
I never use these options myself. Are they only pausing computation, or are they also interfering with the downloading of new work?

Edit,

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.
The suspend when in use options just pause the projects while the computer is in use. Since the laptop (for now) only has 4GB of RAM, I don't want it to run BOINC while the computer is being used by me or the kids. Network access is always available so it doesn't interfere with downloading or returning results. I use the same options on my PC since I use that for occasional resource demanding tasks outside of BOINC.

Yes, I did log in to my account on all of the project web pages to verify that they are set to use any type of GPU (they already were) and saved the settings and updated the projects on the laptop. No change..

Server issues on MilkyWay and Moo could certainly explain why I can't get work from those, but it would be nice if the client would actually report that instead of just saying "no tasks sent". I may also try SETI and SETI Beta since those do have GPU applications, just to see if they get any work. I don't like running those on GPU though because (in my experience on other computers) many of the tasks fail to validate, and the ones that do give terrible points per hour...

I'll check the settings again, try to connect again, and upload the logs here when I get home. If it's just server issues, I'll try to be patient and just let it run CPU tasks until GPU tasks are available again.
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
129
95
101
I'm not at a PC with BOINC on it right now, but the newer clients actually have a few options in the settings that will create a cc_config and add the appropriate flags as well. However, you have to actively go into the client and tick those options. I will try and remember to look when I get home. The basic install though does not create the file though. Also, if I recall correctly, it does not have all of the options possible within the client.
 

biodoc

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
5,772
1,211
136
MilkyWay requires Double precision math and according to this thread at the forum, most ATI Mobility GPUs do not support DP math.

Collatz might work since minimum requirement is:
AMD Radeon HD 5000 or later graphics card with OpenCL 1.1 support

I couldn't find any minimum requirement info at Prime Grid.
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
129
95
101
I believe PrimeGrid just requires OpenCL on AMD/ATI cards except for GFN which then may also require Double Precision depending on which one you select. They dropped CAL support due to a known bug and AMD dropped support. Collatz did the same. Moo! is the only one I know still supporting CAL. Asteroids, XANSONS (when they have work), SETI (also SETI BETA) and Einstein (also Albert) should have AMD applications (OpenCL).
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
So I upgraded the RAM from 4 GB to 8 GB and without any other changes, the laptop now has GPU work from Moo! so maybe it just wanted more RAM than the system had previously? Since Moo! gave the computer some work, I'll test other projects in a month or three when I get to the next good stats benchmark in that project.

Now I just need to find a working hard drive for the second one. ;)

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I may refer back to this discussion if other GPU projects continue to be stubborn later on.

update: I found a spare mechanical drive, installed Win7 on it with 8 GB RAM and it got work from Moo! on the first attempt, so either it was a temporary problem on the Moo! server, or the project does just want the extra RAM. Either way, I now have two heavily overpriced mobile workstations happily crunching away on my desk. I'll be interested to see what kind of results I get from the old i5-2520 CPUs and FirePro M8900 GPUs in the machines once they have been running for a few days.

I might eventually set one of them up to dual boot Linux so I can possibly add some of the Linux only projects to my silly stats list, but that's not an immediate priority...

And my farm is suddenly growing again. :D
 
Last edited:

zzuupp

Lifer
Jul 6, 2008
14,841
2,315
126
I didn't think Moo was RAM intensive.

Now that it's working it's probably worth re-checking Amicable, Primegrid & Collatz.

Also, Enigma works on red cards
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
I didn't think Moo was RAM intensive.

Now that it's working it's probably worth re-checking Amicable, Primegrid & Collatz.

Also, Enigma works on red cards
I didn't think it was either, but that's the only thing that changed, so it was either that or temporary server issues. I'm going to let the two laptops run Moo! for a while to get me to the 10 million milestone (yay stats!) and then try them on the other projects again.
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
129
95
101
I don't think Moo! requires heavy Ram. I used to have very small video cards running it when others wouldn't. Like integrated 8400 adapters in laptops that were under 128MB video memory low. And those laptops did not have even 4GB ram in them at the time. However, that has been a long while. There is a bug in some of the BOINC projects that have older server software that parameters can be set wrong to require much larger memory amounts than needed. POGS suffers this issue with their Android devices.
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
After further review from letting the two laptops run BOINC for a while, I think it would be best if I don't do it any more. Letting them run both CPU and GPU tasks, even throttled down to 50%, heats them up so much that it's almost painful to touch them. That's not good, of course..

I need to do some experimenting to see if the CPU or GPU creates the most heat (probably the GPU) and then just run one of them the majority of the time. They're only getting about 15K points per day in Moo on the GPU anyway, so it's not a huge loss, and I think my best option is to attach them to all of the CPU projects that have limited work and/or that I have limited credits in, and just let them be supplementary crunchers for those since that probably won't keep them at 100% all the time but will still help satisfy my silly stats craving. :D

They do make nice portable desktop machines, though...
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
It's the GPU. Running all cores of the CPU at 100% only just barely warms up the bottom of the laptop. Running the GPU (and not the CPU) at 100% makes the whole case hot, and the back/bottom almost unbearably so after a few hours.

So...these will be CPU only crunchers but should still produce a decent amount of results since they are i5 processors.
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
15,296
2,301
55
It looks like you can use the same command line utility in Windows that I use in Linux to cool my GPU. nvidia-smi -pl specifies a power limit that should keep your system at a consistent temperature for the same ambient temperature and fan speed. There may also be utilities to adjust your fan speed.
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,670
707
136
I wonder if Afterburner can be used to underclock it. Never had any experience on fiddling with laptop dgpu, though.
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
I used MSI Afterburner and clocked the GPU down to half clock speed and forced at 100% fan speed. Still way too hot to let it run full time. I'm happy to let them be CPU crunchers.
 

[H]Coleslaw

Member
Apr 15, 2014
129
95
101
Yeah, be careful running it that hot. Typically the coolers are attached to both chips. If one gets hot, so will the other. I honestly would either stick it on a laptop cooling pad or just run CPU only if you care about them. Those fans really aren't designed for keeping those cool 24/7. Also, make sure you leave the laptops open. Most laptops by design vent some or most of the heat through the keyboards as well. If you close the lid, you are cutting some of it off. I can tell a big difference on various models I have had dedicated to DC'ing in the past.
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,670
707
136
Considering M8900 was top of the line on its time, I reckon it consumes quite a lot of power. But, I'm still amazed that even though underclocked, it still expels quite a lot of heat.
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,854
370
126
I'm definitely only going to run the CPU projects on these laptops. The GPU and CPU both spike to around 80+ Celsius when the GPU runs at full speed for an extended period, and that's not healthy for the computer or for my hands/lap. With the GPU idle and the CPU running at 100% the laptops only get barely warm on the bottom and MSI Afterburner says the CPU temperature stays below 60 C.

Honestly, they were only looking to get about 15-20K points per day in Moo so it's not a huge loss, and breaking these toys just for a few more points in Moo would make me sad. The screens are pretty fantastic considering they are 6 year old laptops, and I want to use them for more than just BOINC sometimes. I'm more anxious to have the continued production on various CPU projects that are close to getting new milestones. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ao_ika_red

ASK THE COMMUNITY