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Message boards : Number crunching : Best Backup Boinc Project that Gives Highest RAC?

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Larfy Hu
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Message 44479 - Posted: 11 Sep 2016 | 15:17:34 UTC
Last modified: 11 Sep 2016 | 15:19:38 UTC

Hi all,
I'm suffering from not getting new tasks, thus I'm thinking of setting up a backup Boinc project that could make use of the idle time. Any advice on which Boinc project can be the best in terms of giving the highest RAC for GPU tasks?
Thanks a lot!

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Message 44480 - Posted: 11 Sep 2016 | 17:14:06 UTC - in response to Message 44479.

Hi all,
I'm suffering from not getting new tasks, thus I'm thinking of setting up a backup Boinc project that could make use of the idle time. Any advice on which Boinc project can be the best in terms of giving the highest RAC for GPU tasks?
Thanks a lot!


You're only interested in credit so I'm not interested in helping you.

You are aware that credit is worthless aren't you? The point is to contribute to science although sometimes I wonder whether that's what I'm doing.

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Message 44481 - Posted: 11 Sep 2016 | 18:31:10 UTC - in response to Message 44479.

I quite agree with Betting Slip on the credits. They are useful to me only for comparing GPU cards and drivers. Otherwise, you can't buy anything with them, and I don't look at them.

But to give you something to do, try POEM. They are having a bit of a server problem at the moment, and don't give out much information on what they are accomplishing, but it will be an educational experience.

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Message 44485 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 3:31:47 UTC - in response to Message 44480.
Last modified: 12 Sep 2016 | 3:34:38 UTC

Hi all,
I'm suffering from not getting new tasks, thus I'm thinking of setting up a backup Boinc project that could make use of the idle time. Any advice on which Boinc project can be the best in terms of giving the highest RAC for GPU tasks?
Thanks a lot!


You're only interested in credit so I'm not interested in helping you.

You are aware that credit is worthless aren't you? The point is to contribute to science although sometimes I wonder whether that's what I'm doing.


Thank you for giving out your options, but I think that you've misunderstood me.
I believe we're holding the same goal, and that's why we're here, contributing to GPUgrid although this might not be the project which gives the most credits. Meanwhile, it's not even able to deliver enough work units all the time which is definitely not a good news for those who only care about credits. If I'm that kind of person, then I believe I won't at all choose the GPUgrid as my main project.
The reason I love GPUgrid is the fact that it contributes to the medical science which can probably save lifes. The reson now I suffer is that the idle time makes my GPU power wasted which can definitely contribute more.
Thus, my main point is to find a project that can take use of the idle time when there's no work available for GPUgrid, but not to find a high-credit-gaining project to replace the GPUgrid.
The reason I chose the RAC as a reference for choosing the backup project is because the fact that it may be the simplest measure. Because of the limitation of my knowledge on Physics and Astronomy, I personally am not able to judge the importantce or the level of contribution of other projects such as Einstein or SETI. If I just post a question asking "what's the project that makes the most contribution to science", I don't think people are able to provide an specific answer since every people have their own opitions or judgments on the relative importantce of different fields of science and I do believe that all boinc projects have their own unique contribution to their field of science. That can be such a subjective problem that is not able to yield a simple objective answer.
Thus, to make the question specific and easy to reach an agreement, I picked the RAC as benchmarks since generally a higher RAC means more contribution of computing powers, which I believe is the set-up of the credit system for.
In short, yes, I'm interested in credits, but not for the purpose of my own joyfullness of seeing those huge amount of credits going into my accounts. I just take the RAC as a measurement of whether the use of my GPU computing power is maximized.
Correct me if I'm wrong, and thanks again for sharing your thoughts with me. Sorry for the misleading of my original post!

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Message 44486 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 3:48:06 UTC - in response to Message 44481.

I quite agree with Betting Slip on the credits. They are useful to me only for comparing GPU cards and drivers. Otherwise, you can't buy anything with them, and I don't look at them.

But to give you something to do, try POEM. They are having a bit of a server problem at the moment, and don't give out much information on what they are accomplishing, but it will be an educational experience.


Thank you for your advice!
I'm also using the credits only for the purpose of comparison, but not for collecting the credits. And yes, I agree that the credits themselves not even worth a penny, and there's no point caring how much in total it's been collected.
So you've recomended POEM, but also mentioned that some problems exist. Could you provide more details if possible? Say what's the effect of that server problem? At the time I checked their website, I found that their server also does not have any available work units to deliver. Does it relate to the problem you mentioned? And if it happens quite often, then I guess it is not albe to act as a good option for the GPUgrid since they both have the problem of not having enough tasks?
Thanks again!

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Message 44487 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 8:11:24 UTC - in response to Message 44486.

So you've recomended POEM, but also mentioned that some problems exist. Could you provide more details if possible? Say what's the effect of that server problem? At the time I checked their website, I found that their server also does not have any available work units to deliver. Does it relate to the problem you mentioned? And if it happens quite often, then I guess it is not albe to act as a good option for the GPUgrid since they both have the problem of not having enough tasks?

I think they have enough work, it is just that their upload server is stuck due to "insufficient disk space", or at least that is the error message. It should be easily resolved, but there is no one there on the weekend.

They usually have work though, so it should be a good backup to GPUGrid.

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Message 44488 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 11:22:12 UTC - in response to Message 44487.

So you've recomended POEM, but also mentioned that some problems exist. Could you provide more details if possible? Say what's the effect of that server problem? At the time I checked their website, I found that their server also does not have any available work units to deliver. Does it relate to the problem you mentioned? And if it happens quite often, then I guess it is not albe to act as a good option for the GPUgrid since they both have the problem of not having enough tasks?

I think they have enough work, it is just that their upload server is stuck due to "insufficient disk space", or at least that is the error message. It should be easily resolved, but there is no one there on the weekend.

They usually have work though, so it should be a good backup to GPUGrid.


Go it. I'll give POEM a try. Thanks for your helpful advice!

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Message 44499 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 20:54:03 UTC - in response to Message 44488.

If you only want credits and RAC, then go Collatz. It is so overpowered in credits that I changed my email there to separate my stats. Moo wrapper gpu application gives a lot credits too but it is the least useful (scientificaly) project. Then POEM@Home gives a lot of credit and does something with proteins and crystals so SCIENCE! Then PrimeGrid idk if useful, but you can actually find a prime and enter the largest prime database.
I created my own stats which project give how much credit for same work. The 3rd table is sorted by (RAC/REC*100%). Basicaly how much credit you got divided by how much you worked.
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Message 44506 - Posted: 12 Sep 2016 | 22:50:43 UTC - in response to Message 44499.

I created my own stats which project give how much credit for same work. The 3rd table is sorted by (RAC/REC*100%). Basicaly how much credit you got divided by how much you worked.

Fascinating table. I'd be interested to hear more about your methodology in due course.

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Message 44507 - Posted: 13 Sep 2016 | 4:29:52 UTC - in response to Message 44499.

If you only want credits and RAC, then go Collatz. It is so overpowered in credits that I changed my email there to separate my stats. Moo wrapper gpu application gives a lot credits too but it is the least useful (scientificaly) project. Then POEM@Home gives a lot of credit and does something with proteins and crystals so SCIENCE! Then PrimeGrid idk if useful, but you can actually find a prime and enter the largest prime database.
I created my own stats which project give how much credit for same work. The 3rd table is sorted by (RAC/REC*100%). Basicaly how much credit you got divided by how much you worked.

Thanks for your detailed answer that provides information on both credit and science. Then I'll definitely go for POEM@Home. Really helpful advice!

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Message 44510 - Posted: 13 Sep 2016 | 6:52:19 UTC - in response to Message 44499.

Moo wrapper gpu application gives a lot credits too but it is the least useful (scientificaly) project.
Although not scientifically significant, cyber security is pushed along by trying to crack the current encryption standards. So important compared to things like finding the next digit of Pi or something like that nonetheless. And since BOINC credit really doesn't matter much at all, I do the Moo Wrapper on the phone, but on PCs I do the dnet client directly because it gets more work done that way than wrapped in BOINC by a significant amount (usually the OpenCL client since the NVIDIAs and CPUs have BOINC tasks to do so the secondary onboard GOU needs something to do with no conflicts within BOINC itself).
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Message 44514 - Posted: 13 Sep 2016 | 8:27:36 UTC - in response to Message 44510.

Moo wrapper gpu application gives a lot credits too but it is the least useful (scientificaly) project.
Although not scientifically significant, cyber security is pushed along by trying to crack the current encryption standards. So important compared to things like finding the next digit of Pi or something like that nonetheless. And since BOINC credit really doesn't matter much at all, I do the Moo Wrapper on the phone, but on PCs I do the dnet client directly because it gets more work done that way than wrapped in BOINC by a significant amount (usually the OpenCL client since the NVIDIAs and CPUs have BOINC tasks to do so the secondary onboard GOU needs something to do with no conflicts within BOINC itself).


My bad. I thought they trying to crack MD5 hash algo, that would be useless becouse MD5 is already deprecated and 'broken'. They try to brute-force find a key for RC5 encryption algo. A predecessor of RC6 a candidate for AES that was rejected in favor or Rijndael (used today). I worry more about someone cracking RSA asymmetric chipper, because that is the weakest link in current cybersecurity.

And the tables are generated with XSLT template from client_state.xml, I also put link on bottom of page.
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Message 44526 - Posted: 14 Sep 2016 | 19:11:52 UTC - in response to Message 44510.

Moo wrapper gpu application gives a lot credits too but it is the least useful (scientificaly) project.
Although not scientifically significant, cyber security is pushed along by trying to crack the current encryption standards.

No, they're not. There is this old encryption standard and we know a certain password exists for the one encrypted message they're trying to decrypt. We know that by the point they have tried all possible ones matching the given bit size (I think it's 55 - noone uses this anymore), they will have decoded this one message. Which tells us nothing, except that it might take equally long to brute-force decrpyt the next message of this type. But that's an information which we could easily deduce from the trial rate of the current algorithm. We don't have to actually do it to know it. Real attacks on encryption standards use other vulnerabilities, though.

So I second Tomas in this regard and have personally running GPU-Grid and POEM.

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Message 44638 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 7:20:24 UTC - in response to Message 44526.

So I second Tomas in this regard and have personally running GPU-Grid and POEM.

Both GPUGrid and POEM are out of work now. Should we search for prime numbers now?

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Message 44641 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 11:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 44638.

So I second Tomas in this regard and have personally running GPU-Grid and POEM.

Both GPUGrid and POEM are out of work now. Should we search for prime numbers now?

The long queue is filled on a regular basis (even on weekends) here at GPUGrid to give work for the active hosts in order to achieve the shortest turnaround time possible. So don't expect thousands of unsent workuntis sitting in the queue.

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Message 44642 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 14:15:28 UTC

I know that the queues here are filled from time to time but...
POEM is officially retired since 4th October. Let's discuss what will be the next backup project.
There seem to be no other BOINC projects in the field of chemistry or biology utilizing GPUs.


  • PrimeGrid
  • Milkyway
  • Asteroids
  • Einstein
  • Moo! RC5
  • Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence



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Message 44643 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 15:53:30 UTC - in response to Message 44642.

Though not in the field of biochemistry, the Universe project is developing a GPU app using OpenCL. It will be first for AMD cards on Linux, and later on Windows and Nvidia cards. Hopefully a Beta will be out shorty. It is a very nice project in my opinion.

Otherwise, you can do Folding.

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Message 44645 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 16:22:39 UTC - in response to Message 44638.

So I second Tomas in this regard and have personally running GPU-Grid and POEM.

Both GPUGrid and POEM are out of work now. Should we search for prime numbers now?


As far as GPUGrid is concerned you've only had one task recently which, you aborted.

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Message 44655 - Posted: 8 Oct 2016 | 19:21:11 UTC - in response to Message 44642.
Last modified: 8 Oct 2016 | 19:38:12 UTC

I know that the queues here are filled from time to time but...
POEM is officially retired since 4th October. Let's discuss what will be the next backup project.
There seem to be no other BOINC projects in the field of chemistry or biology utilizing GPUs.

  • PrimeGrid
  • Milkyway
  • Asteroids
  • Einstein
  • Moo! RC5
  • Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence



  • Albert
  • Asteroids
  • BURP
  • Collatz Conjecture
  • Einstein
  • Milkyway
  • Moo! Wrapper
  • PrimeGrid
  • SETI

There may be other projects with NV apps and some Alpha/Beta/Test/Dev GPU projects too.
Previously/years ago/now depricated The Lattic Project occasionally had some CUDA work, ibercivis had some and for a few months (a couple of years ago) WCG had GPU tasks for NV cards. Bitcoin Utopia also had some GPU work as did GPUGrid's similar fund-raising venture.
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Message 44665 - Posted: 12 Oct 2016 | 12:36:51 UTC - in response to Message 44655.
Last modified: 12 Oct 2016 | 12:41:15 UTC

I'm focusing my "backup GPU project" efforts on both Einstein@Home and SETI@Home. And I may do research into seeing how I can get Folding@Home to play nice with BOINC, when I have no work from GPUGRID, though I don't expect it to work.

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Message 44711 - Posted: 15 Oct 2016 | 14:47:22 UTC - in response to Message 44665.

And I may do research into seeing how I can get Folding@Home to play nice with BOINC, when I have no work from GPUGRID, though I don't expect it to work.

I have been doing Folding on GPUs while running BOINC on CPU projects for years, on everything from WinXP through Win10 and now Ubuntu 16.10. In general, it is not a problem. However, Folding often has problems on multiple GPU cards (in spite of their propaganda to the contrary), unless they are of identical GPU chip types. But if you have only one GPU, then I don't expect that you will have a problem running both Folding and BOINC.

On my main PC, I run Folding on a GPU card in the PCIe slot, while using the internal Intel adapter to run the monitor. That allows you to Fold continuously and avoid any lag on the desktop you might get from the Folding projects. (That works on some motherboard/GPU combinations, but not all as I have found.) But I don't do games, so don't need the GPU for that. If you do need the GPU for games, you can run Folding in screensaver mode, so that it shuts down while you are using the GPU for the desktop.

About the only trouble I have seen is when running some VirtualBox projects on BOINC. That sometimes causes some crashes on Folding, but even though were short duration and did not interrupt the work units much. I always caution against overclocking the GPUs though; that can cause problems on either BOINC GPU projects or Folding.

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Message 44712 - Posted: 15 Oct 2016 | 14:50:11 UTC - in response to Message 44711.
Last modified: 15 Oct 2016 | 14:50:30 UTC

Thanks. What is the easiest way to make the GPUs work on BOINC/GPUGrid when GPUGrid work is available, but work on Folding@Home when GPUGrid work is inavailable? If the only way to do that is by manually suspending/resuming both, then that's a showstopper for me.

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Message 44713 - Posted: 15 Oct 2016 | 14:55:49 UTC - in response to Message 44712.

Thanks. What is the easiest way to make the GPUs work on BOINC/GPUGrid when GPUGrid work is available, but work on Folding@Home when GPUGrid work is inavailable? If the only way to do that is by manually suspending/resuming both, then that's a showstopper for me.

That is the hitch. They don't talk to each other, so you have to do it manually. I usually devote separate machines for each GPU type. But if there are long outages on a given project (not to mention any names), doing it manually may be better than nothing.

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Message 44729 - Posted: 16 Oct 2016 | 18:08:01 UTC - in response to Message 44712.

Thanks. What is the easiest way to make the GPUs work on BOINC/GPUGrid when GPUGrid work is available, but work on Folding@Home when GPUGrid work is inavailable? If the only way to do that is by manually suspending/resuming both, then that's a showstopper for me.


I've folded with a 570+980Ti in one system and a 1070+970 in another system just fine. Different generations work fine.

Running BOINC and FAH at once just requires limiting BOINC tasks to certain GPUs. FAH stays on certain slots/cards but BOINC will run on whatever is available unless configured. But there are options to limit BOINC to certain devices via config files. I've ran FAH on the 1070 and Asteroids@Home on the 970 at once and they were fine with each other.

My 1070 is the 1st NVIDIA GPU in the system so it is Device 0 and Asteroids would not run on it.

<cc_config>
<log_flags>
</log_flags>
<options>
<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>
<exclude_gpu>
<url>http://asteroidsathome.net/boinc/</url>
<type>NVIDIA</type>
<device_num>0</device_num>
</exclude_gpu>
</options>
</cc_config>

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Message 44733 - Posted: 16 Oct 2016 | 20:24:48 UTC - in response to Message 44665.

I'm focusing my "backup GPU project" efforts on both Einstein@Home and SETI@Home. And I may do research into seeing how I can get Folding@Home to play nice with BOINC, when I have no work from GPUGRID, though I don't expect it to work.


I was off to Folding@Home with my GTX 1060 since POEM quit about 2 weeks ago.

I still had the GTX 970 running GPU-Grid. Since 2 GPUs are taxing my case cooling quite a bit, the 970 is throttled to ~ 110 W. This makes it run at 1.00 V, the lowest supported active voltage. For GPU-Grid I highly underclocked its memory, yielding about 1.2 GHz core clock and 30 - 40% memory controller load. With stock memory clock I'd only get ~1.00 GHz, i.e. a lot slower. POEM as my backup project was fine with that and needed even less bandwith (<10%).

Now the problem arose: without POEM my remaining choice would be Einstein, which needs all the bandwidth it can get. I couldn't figure a mechanism to switch OC profiles based on which project was running. And given the recent shortage of GPU-Grid work I'm switching this card to Folding as well, because I like neither idle nor inefficient setups. Or baby-sitting the machine.

And to answer your question: I have not even tried to configure Folding as backup. A few years ago they tried to create a BOINC project, but got lost in all the changes they'd have to make...

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Message 44735 - Posted: 16 Oct 2016 | 20:58:25 UTC - in response to Message 44729.
Last modified: 16 Oct 2016 | 20:58:47 UTC

My 1070 is the 1st NVIDIA GPU in the system so it is Device 0 and Asteroids would not run on it.

You can disable a card from boinc in this alternate way.
This option applies to all projects.

<cc_config>
...
<options>
<ignore_nvidia_dev>1</ignore_nvidia_dev>
<ignore_intel_dev>0</ignore_intel_dev>
...rest of config file...

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Message 44793 - Posted: 20 Oct 2016 | 15:09:05 UTC - in response to Message 44735.
Last modified: 20 Oct 2016 | 15:09:57 UTC

My 1070 is the 1st NVIDIA GPU in the system so it is Device 0 and Asteroids would not run on it.

You can disable a card from boinc in this alternate way.
This option applies to all projects.

<cc_config>
...
<options>
<ignore_nvidia_dev>1</ignore_nvidia_dev>
<ignore_intel_dev>0</ignore_intel_dev>
...rest of config file...


Ah, thank you. I haven't had to setup more than Asteroids (which now has Pascal support) but this would make it easier. I have plans to put 1 card on FAH and 1 on BOINC in the same machine so I'll have to remember this.

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Message 44795 - Posted: 20 Oct 2016 | 16:52:30 UTC - in response to Message 44733.

And given the recent shortage of GPU-Grid work I'm switching this card to Folding as well, because I like neither idle nor inefficient setups. Or baby-sitting the machine.

That is more or less my situation too. I don't mind intermittent GPUGrid work so much on my GTX 960s, since they are not great (only good) on Folding, due to the Quick Return Bonus. However, when the weather gets colder, I will need a continuous supply of work. Maybe GPUGrid will supply it by then and I can leave two cards on it all winter. Otherwise, ...

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Message 44798 - Posted: 20 Oct 2016 | 19:11:03 UTC - in response to Message 44711.

I have been doing Folding on GPUs while running BOINC on CPU projects for years, on everything from WinXP through Win10 and now Ubuntu 16.10. In general, it is not a problem.

That's interesting; because when I tried to run Folding on WinXP (a few months ago, when there were no GPUGRID task available for a few days), it did not work. So I asked in the Folding Forum, and I was told that Folding won't work on XP.

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Message 44800 - Posted: 20 Oct 2016 | 19:14:58 UTC - in response to Message 44798.
Last modified: 20 Oct 2016 | 19:53:03 UTC

That's interesting; because when I tried to run Folding on WinXP (a few months ago, when there were no GPUGRID task available for a few days), it did not work. So I asked in the Folding Forum, and I was told that Folding won't work on XP.

There was a previous version of the Folding client that worked on XP. It might still be around if you look hard enough, though they are trying to wean people off of it. It required more manual intervention to set up, but worked in a lot of cases where the later versions, with their more automated setup, often would not work. Two different GPU cards was such a case (sometimes), but there were others.

EDIT: Here it is, but I think they changed how they communicate with the servers in the later versions, so the earlier one might not work, though you could try. Also, that was back in the days of Core 15 and earlier, and may not work with the current ones at all. It has been years since I used it.
https://folding.stanford.edu/home/faq/faq-v6/

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