Please help me optimise things

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Please help me optimise things

Postby Daft Ada » Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:33 pm

I'm running a single instance of the client console as a Windows Service, but things are so slow! In fact according to FAHMon I'm only getting 33 PPD :( Here is an excerpt from my log:
[18:14:32] - Ask before connecting: No
[18:14:32] - User name: Its_Only_Me (Team 33258)
[18:14:32] - User ID: E0CC02E41972C48
[18:14:32] - Machine ID: 1
[18:14:32]
[18:14:33] Loaded queue successfully.
[18:14:33]
[18:14:33] + Processing work unit
[18:14:33] Core required: FahCore_78.exe
[18:14:33] Core found.
[18:14:33] Working on Unit 03 [February 23 18:14:33]
[18:14:33] + Working ...
[18:14:34]
[18:14:34] *------------------------------*
[18:14:34] Folding@Home Gromacs Core
[18:14:34] Version 1.90 (March 8, 2006)
[18:14:34]
[18:14:34] Preparing to commence simulation
[18:14:34] - Looking at optimizations...
[18:14:34] - Files status OK
[18:14:38] - Expanded 1643747 -> 8391665 (decompressed 510.5 percent)
[18:14:40]
[18:14:40] Project: 2451 (Run 113, Clone 48, Gen 2)
[18:14:40]
[18:14:41] Assembly optimizations on if available.
[18:14:41] Entering M.D.
[18:15:05] (Starting from checkpoint)
[18:15:05] Protein: p2451_Fragment-Receptor HDQ
[18:15:05]
[18:15:05] Writing local files
[18:15:05] Completed 21470 out of 400000 steps (5)
[18:15:07] Extra SSE boost OK.
[19:18:47] Writing local files
[19:18:49] Completed 24000 out of 400000 steps (6)


I answered all the config questions correctly such as BIG WU's etc but I am sure I must be missing some flag arguments. But what flags do I need and how do I add flags to an already installed and running Windows Service instance?
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Postby Pette Broad » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:35 pm

P2451 is slow, but not THAT slow. I don't see anything in the log that would lead to it taking an hour+ per frame. You have the extra sse boost so the only thing I can think of is that something else is hogging your CPU. Have a look in your taskmanager to see if anything else is running.

Flags are not that significant in getting work done faster they really just give you a small amount of control as to what WU's you get. Here's a quick summary.

-local.....needed with more than one instance
-advmethods....obsolete, does exactly the same thing as requesting scientific units under the advanced setting
-config....configuration flag
-configonly....the same as above but quits after configuration is set
-forceasm...forces assembly methods, useful in case of an unexpected shutdown
-delete xx...deletes units, xx is from 00-09 depending on the unit you want to delete
-sendall........forces upload of any completed units
-oneunit...closes down folding when unit is completed


There are also some documented and undocumented flags for various testing and information purposes, I've figured out most them but the -art flag doesn't seem to do anything.

Can't help you with setting flags in service mode so someone else will have to step in.

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Postby Daft Ada » Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:43 am

As things stand without using any flags, things are quite strange!

Looking at Task Manager my CPU Performance is NOT always 100% it's hovering between 70% and 100% I thought Folding would utilise anything that wasn't used, keeping it at 100% all the time :?

There is no other process stealing from Folding because the only other process taking what Folding isn't using is Idle System Process :?

Unless the flags are needed to boost the CPU usage, something is very strange here!

I'll play with the flags and see if it makes any difference, but some more advice would be appreciated.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:50 am

View the Task Manager listings to see what is actually running.. and how many processes total. May be a background program that is hogging the CPU cycles needlessly, such as a 'system monitor' or 'guardian' program.
The F@H process cores should have the lion's share of CPU cycles.. by at least a 4x margin over the next most intensive process. The listings will be in "real-time" as actually occurring.
When setting the priority of the F@H process, go with a minimal of 90% or greater.
Refer to the Console Command user's guide for setting up.
http://folding.stanford.edu/console-userguide.html
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Postby Daft Ada » Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:43 pm

This is weird but it worked!

I added the flags: -verbosity 9 -forceasm -advmethods to the registry entry pointing at my Folding service. And set the Process Priority for Folding to "Normal" instead of "Low".

I'm now getting a PPD of 48 as apposed to the previous 33.

My remaining question is why was the Folding Process Priority set to "Low" and not "Normal"? :?
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Postby wullger » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:57 pm

It's set to low by default so that if anything else needs to run, it will take priority :)
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Postby Pette Broad » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:19 pm

Daft Ada wrote:I'm now getting a PPD of 48 as apposed to the previous 33.


That still seems very low. The benchmark figure for a 2.4ghz Intel is something like 120ppd, unless your CPU is somewhere around 1ghz then this needs further investigation :)

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Postby Daft Ada » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:36 pm

Pette Broad wrote:
Daft Ada wrote:I'm now getting a PPD of 48 as apposed to the previous 33.


That still seems very low. The benchmark figure for a 2.4ghz Intel is something like 120ppd, unless your CPU is somewhere around 1ghz then this needs further investigation :)

Pete


It's a 3.06Ghz CPU :o

Even though the Priority is "Normal" and the Affinity is set on both CPU threads (this is a HT CPU), I still cannot get my CPU to a 100% usage as I always thought Folding did i.e. use everything other process didn't use therefore always maintain a constant 100% usage. It's barely at 70% at the moment :?

Any advice would be appreciated. :(
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Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:16 am

You may want to edit the [client.cfg] file to add some of the following, if not present..
[core]
priority=96
cpuusage=97
disableassembly=no
checkpoint=15
ignoredeadlines=yes

But first save the original file as [client-cfg.bak] so you can restore it in case there are problems! make changes only when the program is not operating.
My 2.8 Prescott with HT setup runs both logical cores at nearly 100%.. and memory use is down around 40% of 1 Gb. And this is with an active Web link.
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Postby thomas_w_bowman » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:47 am

Verify that "File Indexing" is disabled in Services.
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