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WCG - 16th Birthday Challenge

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Icecold

Senior member
Nov 15, 2004
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Hey, Icecold. Can you give some background on team Planet 3DNow! ? I have not been apart of these events before.

So you are saying that they are sandbagging still? If so, any idea by how much?
I'm fairly new to a lot of this as well and I'm actually not super familiar with Planet 3DNow. I know they're a very strong competitor, though, so I'm assuming they have a bunch of tasks waiting to upload closer to the end. Vietoz is participating under the Scottish Boinc Team in this race who, while they're in 10th place right now, are also a very strong competitor that we frequently compete with in Formula BOINC(a separate competition that runs year round and has occasional 'sprints' based on the Formula 1 race schedule). Based on experience competing against the Scottish Boinc Team, they will not end up in 10th place but definitely much higher.(hopefully not higher than us though :p ) Just like a lot of people bunker before the race, though, bunkering during the race to drop tasks at the end(to ideally surprise your competitor before they have time to react) is a totally acceptable practice done by a lot of teams, if not almost all.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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Almost 30 hours into the challenge, we passed 100 M points. :-)
The same took us 4 days 4 h last year.
That's some progress.
Well, last year I had like 100 cores. This year I have 1,000 ! And I did not bunker last year, and this year I did. Not saying I did it all, but I did have a 14 million point bunker.
 
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Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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I'm fairly new to a lot of this as well and I'm actually not super familiar with Planet 3DNow. I know they're a very strong competitor, though, so I'm assuming they have a bunch of tasks waiting to upload closer to the end. Vietoz is participating under the Scottish Boinc Team in this race who, while they're in 10th place right now, are also a very strong competitor that we frequently compete with in Formula BOINC(a separate competition that runs year round and has occasional 'sprints' based on the Formula 1 race schedule). Based on experience competing against the Scottish Boinc Team, they will not end up in 10th place but definitely much higher.(hopefully not higher than us though :p ) Just like a lot of people bunker before the race, though, bunkering during the race to drop tasks at the end(to ideally surprise your competitor before they have time to react) is a totally acceptable practice done by a lot of teams, if not almost all.
I have to say, I don’t understand the end of race bunker. You generate the same score dropping at the end as you do with continuous production, and you risk not validating the entire bunker if you drop too much too late.
 

Icecold

Senior member
Nov 15, 2004
544
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I have to say, I don’t understand the end of race bunker. You generate the same score dropping at the end as you do with continuous production, and you risk not validating the entire bunker if you drop too much too late.
There are other competitions that overlap sometimes, such as the Primegrid race starting tomorrow, Formula BOINC Sprints often overlap or at least their bunker period does, etc. The idea being that the other competitors may back off a bit, focus on other competitions, etc. if they feel like they are solidly in the position they are in. As an example I have a couple older or lower core machines I powered on for this competition specifically that I'd normally not run, so if I thought for sure we were going to get a specific position I may power those down(but I know nothing is guaranteed so they remain running). Some teams have members that are friendly across multiple teams as well and may switch mid competition to elevate another team, so it keeps them guessing as well. It also can make a heck of a finish when a team that seemed like they were way behind throws down a ton of points at the end to jump towards the top or ahead of another team. There are probably other reasons, but those are the main ones I can think of.

Edit - it also keeps people guessing enough to help prevent people from trying to BORG hardware, recruit more resources or members, etc. For example - if I knew we just needed say 12 more fast cores or 24 slow cores to beat Planet 3D, I would throw it on every laptop I have in the house, be firing up every piece of hardware I have in the old parts pile, etc. to make sure we had enough. Not knowing what will drop in the end keeps everybody guessing.
 
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Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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Well, one thing I can say... This covid makes me stay at home all the time, the only thing I can do is buy more EPYC processors. My power bill went DOWN this month to $550, and I have had to close up the house, with EVERYTHING running ! They run cooler, and take less electric $$. I can get a system up for $3000 or so for 128 cores, and turn off 2 that create so much heat, and use so much power ! I am GIVING my brothers church a dual X5675 24 core (thread) system, to get it out of the house and save power. It got replaced by the 7B12.

The next to go are the 14 core Xeons.....
 

cellarnoise

Member
Mar 22, 2017
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What motherboard are you using again? And heatsink? The Noctua?

Here is an EPYC that looks like yours?

I need to look up a version of windows (cause of software) that could run that 64 core monster fully!
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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What motherboard are you using again? And heatsink? The Noctua?

Here is an EPYC that looks like yours?

I need to look up a version of windows (cause of software) that could run that 64 core monster fully!
Well, thats not what I usually get. This is what I get:

The motherboard is EPYCD8-2T ($469 last I got it) and 128 gig 2666 ECC ram (8x16 gig) for ~$500. So about $3000 total.
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
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www.google.com
Slim to GREAT! lol

We are pretty sure P3D will have a surprise or 3 for us, before it is all said and done....but we are absolutely rocking and rolling on this one, so who knows!? I could not be happier with our performance to date!

Cloud computing and willingness to spend money for points and victory skew the competitions these days. I know a lot of us have upgraded many times over the last 12 months. It is just amazing to see how much more the community at large is able to advance science due to newer hardware! :) edit: ( I do not mean to insinuate that any team is relying on cloud services, only pointing out that momentary cloud instances can influence the outcome of any competition. Others have done it. WE have done it. Science wins in the end! )

P3D, if you are watching, please understand we have the UTMOST RESPECT for you, a true power-house of a team when you all align your resources! It is always amazing to watch you do your thing! :D
 
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cellarnoise

Member
Mar 22, 2017
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TTony, every pro competition in life is based upon resources and at the very tip of the top it gets back into skills. Often top 5 of anything after some basic rebalancing expectations come into play as peons paying for a seat in the theater don't really care to watch the same top 5 win all the time. It is that easy....

How does DC get better over time, without it being about $ in the end? Maybe it does not, but it does not make these competitions that much fun in the end...
 

cellarnoise

Member
Mar 22, 2017
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41
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I should add that natural gas is cheaper heat that these electric room heaters at the end of the day... And they have relatively automatic heat generation features.

Playing around with puters all the time can get old if it does not really mean anything on simpleton competitions in the end.

I am sure I am not the first to complain, and I applaud all of your donations to at least the health sciences.

I struggle to look for aliens, but maybe they will appreciate being searched for and save us in the end? Or just end us for our? :)
 

cellarnoise

Member
Mar 22, 2017
83
41
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Well I will finish up. As I have been reading up. If these "completions" don't really have many rules in the end, I won't spend much time on them or "rooting" for a team in the end.

D.C. appears to be much more about contributing about something greater in the end and not about any "team". I am fine with that and think it is great. I just won't spend much time "preparing" for "competitions".

Hope you all continue to be safe and healthy!
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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Well I will finish up. As I have been reading up. If these "completions" don't really have many rules in the end, I won't spend much time on them or "rooting" for a team in the end.

D.C. appears to be much more about contributing about something greater in the end and not about any "team". I am fine with that and think it is great. I just won't spend much time "preparing" for "competitions".

Hope you all continue to be safe and healthy!
I only do if they are about medical research. I don't care about finding prime numbers or aliens.

Pick your projects and support them, That what I do.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,728
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@cellarnoise, some are a lot into these competitions, others couldn't care less. Speaking for myself, there are competitions like this one which I like, with teams of comparable strengths and mindsets, and at the same time it's a project with goals which I certainly like to support.

Incidentally, a similar competition was the reason for myself why I got into Distributing Computing in the first place – the December 2016 Folding@home race between Tom's Hardware and TeAm AnandTech. I had two idling dual-socket computers for engineering projects at that time, saw the announcement of the race at the anandtech.com frontpage, joined anonymously at first, then continued with a proper account because it turned out to be a lot of fun to be with the TeAm. :-)

They warned me that there is a risk of addiction. It didn't take very long for me to realize they were right. ;-)
 

Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
435
269
136
I resumed DC for the covid research, joined TAAT for the F@H race vs Tom’s, and now I’m kind of into the whole thing. I likely won’t ever go in for more than 3 PCs (gaming desktop, HTPC, FreeNAS) and a stack of raspberry pis, but it gives me a good reason to upgrade my PCs on a regular basis that I didn’t have before.
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,941
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www.google.com
Once all of the work units for the EWSR1 have been completed, the project will pause while the research team finalizes their decision on another new target and builds new work units.
About 200k wu remain, 2-3 days worth, estimated.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
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I have to say, I don’t understand the end of race bunker. You generate the same score dropping at the end as you do with continuous production, and you risk not validating the entire bunker if you drop too much too late.
@Icecold answered this, but here are some more basic considerations:

Many Distributed Computing competitions are about getting as much work · credits/work as possible validated between the points in time T1 and T2. Among else, there are these four characteristic approaches a user can take:

/1/ Start computing at time T1, let the client report results until time T2.

/2/ Start computing before T1, let the client report results until T2.

/3/ Start computing before T1, let the client report results between T1 and T2.

/4/ Start computing before T1, report results at the latest opportunity between T1 and T2.​

Given the same computational throughput, the final score achieved by these approaches is circa /1/ < /2/ < /3/ = /4/.

So far, so good. You already noted one risk at /4/ compared with /3/, and I add to this that /4/ generally requires more work, and deferred validation means deferred feedback to yourself on your performance. Not quite desirable.

However:

/1/ results in a deferred, then circa linear, production history.

/2/ results in a circa instant and circa linear production history.

/3/ results in an overall decelerating production history.

/4/ results in an overall accelerating production history.​

Now let's assume for a moment that users cannot influence the performance of teams anymore after the start of the competition.
  • What is more satisfactory, a competition in which all teams have circa constant production rate, or a competition in which some teams decelerate, other teams accelerate?
  • In a competition between teams with constant, decelerating, or accelerating production, on which kind of team would you prefer to be?
Of course the answers will be subjective and differ between individuals.

But in reality, users can influence teams performances still after the start of a competition.
  • They always can reduce initially active computer capacity, thus save costs.
  • Sometimes they are able to increase performance by optimization, which generally requires knowledge and skill and work.
  • Sometimes they can activate initially unused computer capacity, thus increase cost but increase performance. This can be capacity they own, capacity owned by friends, or capacity which is for rent.
  • They always can switch teams, thus improve performance of another team while removing performance of their former team.

Now, as Icecold and myself already pointed out, deferred validation does not only withhold information to yourself, but even more so to others. Having information early enough influences whether the above steps to influence teams performances are taken, and how successfully.
 

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