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Guide for the Newcomers to the Folding @ Home Race

Pokey

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 1999
2,661
246
106
Welcome to the race!

The original links in this post have died because the FAH guide pages have been revised. This edit (3/21/20) is an attempt to salvage some of this guide.

This is a basic getting started guide. For more complex scenarios and for help with the advanced side of the Folding at Home Control please ask questions and someone will try to help. Please be as concise as possible when asking a question.

Go to this page of F@H (https://foldingathome.org/support/faq/installation-guides/) and pick your poison, Windows, Linux or Mac, then follow the various links.

You will need to create a user account, and get a passkey. You do this in order to get bonus points after crunching ten work units. See Passkey FAQ on the bottom left of the main guide page above.

When starting up the first time be sure and enter your Folding Name and Team Number and Passkey or your points won't be counted properly.

Team Numbers:

Team Anandtech > 198

Tom’s Hardware > 40051

Most beginners should choose Express Install which automatically starts with Web Control. If you wish to see behind the curtain and have more control over everything you can switch over to Advanced Control after F@H starts by right clicking on the system tray icon and choosing Advanced.

Miscellaneous Issues:

It is important that you pay attention to your GPU drivers. Make sure you have drivers suited to your equipment, and in the case of Windows, try NOT to let Windows automatically update the driver once you get things working properly.

It is highly recommended that you start at least a week or even two ahead of time in order to work out any problems and to let the first ten work units process before the race starts.

There is a lot of good info on the Folding@Home web site but occasionally you may run across old info, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if things don’t go as expected.

Often when you make a change it is applied right away but it is usually best practice to stop the client and restart it after a change, especially if it does not behave as expected.

Good luck to all.
 
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Titillating

Assistant Community Manager
Sep 9, 2014
423
70
66
Thanks for getting this up! All of the staffers at AT and TH are looking forward to the showdown. AT's Ryan Smith is supremely confident in you guys pulling out a win :)
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
9,088
136
First of note, the CPU client is far worse in PPD than the GPU client, like 10 fold. My 24 core server was getting 50k ppd, while my average video card (a GTX 980) was getting over 500k ppd.

Also note: Make sure after installation that you check CPU utilization. I just checked it on my newest box, and that poor E8400 dual-core was at 100% with NO CPU client running, just the GPU. and my PPD is under what is expected. I am upgrading it to an X3360 quad core Xeon. There is another thread with 6 different video cards and the approximate PPD to expect.(it differs by the unit number you are running).

And as for the 10 work units, make sure you get a passkey and use it on all of your computers before starting anything. I see mention of that above, but here is a good page to get directly there:
https://folding.stanford.edu/home/faq/faq-passkey/

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

And last, if you have ANY questions, please ask. We have a lot of expertise in this area. I am currently 63rd in the world and climbing, and many others here have as much knowledge as me ! (or more)

And last, if you are curious how the team is doing, look here : http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/user_list.php?s=&t=198

Or all the teams : http://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/team_list.php?s=
 
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Marakai

Junior Member
May 29, 2016
11
2
6
My apologies for asking this here, but I couldn't seem to find that info:

Is there a recommended minimum network/broadband bandwidth to meaningfully participate? I'm asking from the broadband (or fraudband as it's sometimes know here) wastelands of regional Australia.

It would be of little use for the competition if my beefy workstation was starved of data because my pipe simply couldn't up/download sufficient amounts.

Cheers!
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
9,088
136
Well, since I don't know how slow "slow" might be, all I can say, is that once you download a unit, its all internal until its time to upload. Hre is a sample log file if that helps. It uploaded and downloaded all in one minute (18 seconds to be exact):

22:51:00:WU02:FS00:0x21:Folding@home Core Shutdown: FINISHED_UNIT
22:51:00:WU02:FS00:FahCore returned: FINISHED_UNIT (100 = 0x64)
22:51:00:WU02:FS00:Sending unit results: id:02 state:SEND error:NO_ERROR project:11407 run:4 clone:44 gen:107 core:0x21 unit:0x0000009e8ca304f25686b26d8204a192
22:51:00:WU02:FS00:Uploading 9.03MiB to 140.163.4.242
22:51:00:WU02:FS00:Connecting to 140.163.4.242:8080
22:51:00:WU01:FS00:Starting
22:51:00:WU01:FS00:Running FahCore: \"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\FAHClient/FAHCoreWrapper.exe\" C:/Users/Mark/AppData/Roaming/FAHClient/cores/web.stanford.edu/~pande/Win32/AMD64/NVIDIA/Fermi/Core_21.fah/FahCore_21.exe -dir 01 -suffix 01 -version 704 -lifeline 7732 -checkpoint 15 -gpu 0 -gpu-vendor nvidia
22:51:00:WU01:FS00:Started FahCore on PID 4516
22:51:00:WU01:FS00:Core PID:2892
22:51:00:WU01:FS00:FahCore 0x21 started
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:*********************** Log Started 2016-11-18T22:51:03Z ***********************
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:project: 11709 (Run 2, Clone 80, Gen 59)
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:Unit: 0x000000528ca304f357ed33f49343fe86
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:CPU: 0x00000000000000000000000000000000
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:Machine: 0
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:Reading tar file core.xml
22:51:03:WU01:FS00:0x21:Reading tar file system.xml
22:51:04:WU01:FS00:0x21:Reading tar file integrator.xml
22:51:04:WU01:FS00:0x21:Reading tar file state.xml
22:51:04:WU01:FS00:0x21:Digital signatures verified
22:51:04:WU01:FS00:0x21:Folding@home GPU Core21 Folding@home Core
22:51:04:WU01:FS00:0x21:Version 0.0.17
22:51:06:WU02:FS00:Upload 39.44%
22:51:12:WU01:FS00:0x21:Completed 0 out of 7500000 steps (0%)
22:51:12:WU01:FS00:0x21:Temperature control disabled. Requirements: single Nvidia GPU, tmax must be < 110 and twait >= 900
22:51:15:WU03:FS02:0xa7:Completed 20000 out of 80000 steps (25%)
22:51:18:WU02:FS00:Upload complete
22:51:18:WU02:FS00:Server responded WORK_ACK (400)
22:51:18:WU02:FS00:Final credit estimate, 76634.00 points
22:51:18:WU02:FS00:Cleaning up
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,965
2,949
136
www.google.com
My apologies for asking this here, but I couldn't seem to find that info:

Is there a recommended minimum network/broadband bandwidth to meaningfully participate? I'm asking from the broadband (or fraudband as it's sometimes know here) wastelands of regional Australia.

It would be of little use for the competition if my beefy workstation was starved of data because my pipe simply couldn't up/download sufficient amounts.

Cheers!
You have asked in the right place friend! The short answer is that your internet should not have much effect on Folding. As Mark said, it downloads, then crunches for a few hours, then up/downloads again.

I have noticed large variations in the file sizes, as Folding@home has several different sub-projects. Some tasks are as small as a few hundred kilobytes (up and down), and I once caught one task that was a 80MB download. Even with a stable, fast internet connection, my download speed seemed to depend more on the server than on my connection speed. It was slow. :)
 

Pokey

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 1999
2,661
246
106
Thanks for that! Looks like I should be able to add my cycles to the mix! :D
Welcome Marakai,

Petrusbroder may not see this here. post your intentions to race over on the 3-way race thread, or PM Petrusbroder.

Good to have you on board.
 

petrusbroder

Elite Member
Nov 28, 2004
13,312
1,045
126
I see you, Marakai, and have added you to the racers' list!
Please change your team affiliation to team #198!
 

QuintLeo

Junior Member
Nov 26, 2016
1
2
16
Good luck to both teams - if I wasn't busy with Team Curecoin (if you want a REAL challenge, y'all should combine and try to match one of us BIG teams for a week) I'd have to consider getting ALL of my "built to fold" rigs pointed one way or the other (right now most of them are working Ethereum).

I'm pretty sure 12 x GTX 1070s that are already set up to fold would have a bit of an impact - and that's not counting the various 9xx, 750ti, and AMD GPUs I've got doing various other stuff (I'm also active in distributed.net, though mostly of late via Project Moowrap in BOINC, and used to do some Mersenne Primes on the side).
 

Ej24

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2016
6
1
36
My gtx 1080 was having driver crashes the moment FAH started. Never had issues with BOINC. Strange. Had to roll back two versions to find one that worked. Even so my gpu is only running at 50% tdp. Am I missing something? I saw on the fah page they recommend openMM. Is that necessary?
 
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TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,965
2,949
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www.google.com
LarsBars, if you are already setup and running, could you repost that you are joining up in this thread? And welcome to the TeAm!! ;) And when you repost, let us know, will you be racing for just the week, against Tom's Hardware, or for the whole month (internal race for fun, plus racing Hardware Canucks also).
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,965
2,949
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www.google.com
Ej24, make sure the driver version is 373.06 or older. Not sure about what openMM is but I didn't have to install anything special to run my 1070s.
 

Ej24

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2016
6
1
36
Ej24, make sure the driver version is 373.06 or older. Not sure about what openMM is but I didn't have to install anything special to run my 1070s.
Ah ok thank you. I usually have Afterburner running in the background too, is that a problem? Luckily 373.06 doesn't look too old. Only game ready tweak missing that far back that could hamper my fun is for Battlefield 1, but I don't think it'll be that big of an issue. How often does FAH update their driver compatibility? Will I have to stay on 373.06 for a long time or will FAH catch up soon? Windows 10 is kind enough to update my driver occasionally. Hopefully I can fend off impending driver updates.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
20,903
9,088
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Ah ok thank you. I usually have Afterburner running in the background too, is that a problem? Luckily 373.06 doesn't look too old. Only game ready tweak missing that far back that could hamper my fun is for Battlefield 1, but I don't think it'll be that big of an issue. How often does FAH update their driver compatibility? Will I have to stay on 373.06 for a long time or will FAH catch up soon? Windows 10 is kind enough to update my driver occasionally. Hopefully I can fend off impending driver updates.
I have never heard of Stanford updating their software for Nvidia drivers. Its always Nvidia updating their drivers.

I could be wrong.
 

Ej24

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2016
6
1
36
I have never heard of Stanford updating their software for Nvidia drivers. Its always Nvidia updating their drivers.

I could be wrong.
I'm not sure which way it works, it'd seem like the niche use case (FAH) would update their side of things to be compatible with the driver that's released for people that number in the millions. Either way I hope FAH doesn't fall too far behind.
 

Pokey

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 1999
2,661
246
106
I have never heard of Stanford updating their software for Nvidia drivers. Its always Nvidia updating their drivers.

I could be wrong.
You are right. It isn't Folding that is broken, it is an Nvidia driver problem (or AMD). In their effort to accommodate the new gaming tech, they break OpenCL or some other part of the driver and it takes them a while to get it rectified. We had the same problem with AMD when the R9 290s came out................. and maybe even when the GTX 9xx series came out. It seems as though the DC community is the last in line for driver fixes.
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,965
2,949
136
www.google.com
To the top!

@Pokey , could you check that the links and info are still valid and edit if not?

All 3 links fail for me, and we need to change/delete Hardware Canucks Forum > 54196 and see if we can find PC Gamer's team number.
 
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