Processor question

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Processor question

Postby Smurfcorpse » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:35 pm

I have a folding PC with XP home and a 1.8Ghz AMD Duron CPU. Someone gave me an AMD Athlon XP1700 (1.4 Ghz).
Which one would do better in a dedicated folding PC running XP home w/512 MB of ram?
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Postby Pette Broad » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:29 pm

Yeah, stick with the Duron. You would need an XP2200+ to match an 1800 Duron. The Durons smaller cache makes no difference at all when running Gromacs or Ambers.

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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:13 pm

Guess the F@H instruction sets aren't complicated, then. The Duron has only a 64 Kb L2 cache, while the Athlon has a 256 Kb L2 cache.
Normally, the higher level of L2 cache means the CPU doesn't have to backtrack to the programming for instruction sets as often.
Just recently submitted WU p897_NIFKcomplex_p897 which was due in 60 days.. it took me less than 7 days of 18hrs. to submit, with my P4 3.2e.
More memory, at least a full gig total, would equate to preferred WU processing.
The F@H core may require up to 256 Mb of memory for working.. then add the WU itself, and the OS. That quickly gobbles all the 512 Mb memory.

But I ran a P III 600 Mhz with Win 98 for almost a year, and never had a problem meeting deadlines!
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
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Postby Pette Broad » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:04 pm

I think having a larger cache comes into its own when folding big Double Gromacs, I noticed that my 3700+ with 1mb cache was considerably quicker than a 4400+ with 512mb. Of course you need a CPU with sse2 to take advantage of Double Gromacs an Athlon or Duron would have to fold one of these units using no assembly methods as DGromacs dont support sse or 3DNow instructions. As far as memory goes. 512mb is O.K for a while yet. Ordinary units use a lot less than this. If you specify big WU's and you don't have enough memory you won't be sent a big unit as Stanford Servers can detect each machines memory. When I came into this over 5 years ago, the minimum spec was a 400 Celeron with 256Ram. There are units that can still be done with that spec machine but I'd say a 1.2Ghz with 512mb would get a more reasonable return these days.

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Postby Smurfcorpse » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:30 am

Sorry it so long posting back.
Turned out to not matter. I was given a bad mother board in a case. I just wanted the case cause it's larger than the one I am using. It still had the CPU in but that was it. I got curious and put in a PSU and some ram and the darn thing POSTED!!! So I'm gonna throw some parts in and build another folder or just replace old that 433 Mhz K7 that's been cranking out WUs at about 3 a month.
:D
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:36 pm

Smurfcorpse wrote:..just replace old that 433 Mhz K7 that's been cranking out WUs at about 3 a month.
:D

Heh! I know the story! My oldest system had a P II 533 that took more than a week to do one WU, which my P4/3.2e can crank out the same one in a few hours!
The 'upgrade' from that old system was a P III 600, which did improve matters a lot.. but I was still on DU.
There is a song called "Toyland". Part of one passage notes, "Once you leave its borders, you can never return again". Guess that rings true about DU service vs. DSL.
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