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Announcing new combined topic for F@H. Official LTT F@H FAQ & Guide.

GPU Folding Facts and Fiction - Configuration and Settings

To draw on my experience, on how to get the most out of Folding:

As already stated earlier in this thread, when folding with CPU as well as GPU, this will yield lower results.  If using NaCl, You will definitely chew though more WU's per day but overall your PPD will be reduced, as this is hurting the GPU folding.  For me this was definately noticeable on my system, with my 8 core CPU and folding with either one or two GPUs - Not in SLI  (I also had the odd BSOD with Chrome/NaCl)

 

Another thing I've noticed, which I don't think has been mentioned yet is torrents.  I noticed when I had uTorrent running at the same time (usually overnight as I have peak and off peak data quotes - Aussie inet is stupid) is this also reduced my PPD. 

 

And my 3rd tip/observation is: When folding on a maxwell GPU(s) the card will be placed into P2 state, with the mem clock sitting at 3300Mhz, instead of P0's state of 3500+. There's some speculation as to whether this even affects folding or not, who knows.  To correct this, You can either custom flash your GPU's BIOS ..or something like nVidia Inspector.

 

 

 

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My totally unofficial testing on my rigs, so your mileage may vary, but here is what I saw.

 

On my GPU rigs I decided to see what kind of impact NACL/Chrome Folding would have. 

Rig 1 - Dual 780's water cooled

Rig 2 - Dual 560's

Rig 3 - 960

 

On all three I saw a noticeable drop in my GPU PPD when NACL folding at high or even medium, but only a vary minor drop when at low.

 

Again this will all depend on your CPU, etc. If you have a GPU Folding and a core i3, then NACL folding will probably hit you harder then it did me. All my CPU's are i7's.

 

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  • 3 months later...

@Whaler_99

I read something in the latest white-list that certain Tesla's and Quadro's are supported. Did I read this correctly or am I wrong?

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If so you may want to update the FAQ to include this info.. *shrugs*

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Quadro cards and FireGL and such have always been supported, they run on Windows with the normal drivers. Tesla and Phi and such are not, they are custom cards. The reason you see it listed in the whitelist is because it uses the same chipset as some Quadro cards. Just because cards are listed in the whitelist doesn't mean they are supported. They are just there. A lot of older cards that are not supported are still listed as well. It's mostly based on chipset than specific models and such.

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On 6/4/2016 at 9:25 AM, Whaler_99 said:

Quadro cards and FireGL and such have always been supported, they run on Windows with the normal drivers. Tesla and Phi and such are not, they are custom cards. The reason you see it listed in the whitelist is because it uses the same chipset as some Quadro cards. Just because cards are listed in the whitelist doesn't mean they are supported. They are just there. A lot of older cards that are not supported are still listed as well. It's mostly based on chipset than specific models and such.

Gotcha.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had my 4770k with my 780 and a g3258 on it's own. I swapped the cpus so the 4770k woould be folding on linux on its own and produce more ppd overall in that way. The g3258 is now with my 780. Should I run nacl, native folding or no folding at all on the cpu to get the most ppd? (The cpu is folding only on one core of the two)

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I was half expecting to find some form of report on potential gains from solves, but after reading all 3 pages, nothing about it.

There's something cool here - you just can't see it.

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/4/2016 at 7:25 AM, Whaler_99 said:

Quadro cards and FireGL and such have always been supported, they run on Windows with the normal drivers. Tesla and Phi and such are not, they are custom cards. The reason you see it listed in the whitelist is because it uses the same chipset as some Quadro cards. Just because cards are listed in the whitelist doesn't mean they are supported. They are just there. A lot of older cards that are not supported are still listed as well. It's mostly based on chipset than specific models and such.

I guess we should make hay while its sunny then (while gpu is supported) I would guess at least a 3+ years after a new card comes to market.

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/23/2015 at 11:14 AM, Whaler_99 said:

CPU Impact

This is primarily a NVidia issue, mostly attributed to NVidia drivers. So, the rule of thumb when folding with a NVidia GPU and CPU folding, is to leave one core free per GPU to maximize your GPU Folding performance. In the case of AMD, it is simply recommended to leave a single core free for one or more cards as the impact isn't as great.

 

So, what is going on? Well, it turns out when Folding on NVidia there seems to be a lot of polling. If you watch the CPU, yes, you can see it pegged pretty high, but if you look at something like the heat output, it actually isn't generating much. The CPU isn't actually working that hard, just being consumed with polling queries. Apparently not having the core free can greatly increase processing time, which in turn affects the QRB bonus. But, the CPU isn't actually doing a whole heck of a lot. The GPU is still doing all the work, just there seems to be this polling mechanism for some reason. 

 

I'd just like to point out how important this really is.  I recently was having an issue where my GPU was not being fully utilized (it was at about 50% give or take) and I was about to make a thread about it before I realized what was wrong and solved it myself.  There was a rendering task that was choking off the F@H process.  Setting F@H to a higher priority resolved it and it is now running at full speed again! :D 

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  • 1 year later...

umm but how do we enable the thing :D I get a GPU option but the circle next to it is yellow

 

Nvm just needed a restart

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/23/2015 at 1:14 PM, Whaler_99 said:

With the new Cores and the release of new GPUs, there is a lot of information floating around from various sources. Not, if any, is official unfortunately. So, in this thread I am going to post some info I have found to be pretty trustworthy as well as results I know from my own tests.

 

I invite other users to post their findings. NOTE!! Do not simply post PPD results and the like. This thread is for posting config examples that you know to work based on your testing. Yes, testing, meaning you have multiple systems, GPUs, whatever, to back up your claims. Or you have read, post links if possible, trusted sources.

 

This will hopefully allow you, the average user, who might be considering some GPU upgrades, to get some information that may pertain to your environment. Also, NOTE, all this info is very subjective to the testers environment and settings. Mileage will always vary. Most of this directly effects multi GPU configs. 

 

General Information

Unfortunately most of the info you see on the Stanford site is out of date. Much of the information is from 2013 when the new website was launched and has not been updated much. So, when reading things there, take it with a grain of salt. There have been a lot of upgrades and changes over the past two years.

 

Supported GPUs

There is a file, called the GPU White-list, that contains a listing of all supported GPUs. This does NOT mean that because your GPU is in there, it is supported. This list is updated with new cards but never has old cards removed.

 

As per the Folding Forum, the somewhat official information source, here are the currently supported cards:

 

Officially Supported GPUs
AMD -> HD 5000 Series or higher
Nvidia -> GTX 400 Series (Fermi) or higher

 

That was from 2013. I think the minimum's supported have now gone up, but I am not positive. 

 

Also the equivalent Quadro, FireGL and such cards are also supported.

 

The dedicated GPU compute cards, NVidia Tesla, Intel Phy and others, are not supported.

 

PCIe Slots

You can use PCIe x1 size through x16 sized slots for folding with GPUs. There are various types of expanders that allow your x16 card to plug into a x1, for instance, slot. Also, v1 through v3 of the PCI Express specifications is also supported. Now, here is where is gets complicated. Different Cores and Projects need differing amounts of bandwidth. 

 

In my testing, and some others, about two years ago, we found no PPD decrease when using x1 slots versus x16 slots (PCIe v2). Back then though Core17 was just coming out and there was no Core18. This has changed somewhat. If you get Core15 and some Core17 assignments, this still won't make a difference. But, on Core18 it can. Some have seen up to a 20% drop on PDD when going from x16 to x4 slots. At this point though, v2 or v3 slots don't seem to make much of an impact. So, where does this leave you?

 

If planning to make a multi GPU folding system, try and get/use as many x16 slots as possible. You can use x4 and x1 with the use of expanders, but depending on the work you get assigned, you might notice some PPD decline now on those cards.

 

CPU Impact

This is primarily a NVidia issue, mostly attributed to NVidia drivers. So, the rule of thumb when folding with a NVidia GPU and CPU folding, is to leave one core free per GPU to maximize your GPU Folding performance. In the case of AMD, it is simply recommended to leave a single core free for one or more cards as the impact isn't as great.

 

So, what is going on? Well, it turns out when Folding on NVidia there seems to be a lot of polling. If you watch the CPU, yes, you can see it pegged pretty high, but if you look at something like the heat output, it actually isn't generating much. The CPU isn't actually working that hard, just being consumed with polling queries. Apparently not having the core free can greatly increase processing time, which in turn affects the QRB bonus. But, the CPU isn't actually doing a whole heck of a lot. The GPU is still doing all the work, just there seems to be this polling mechanism for some reason. 

 

SLI and Crossfire

If you have two cards with either of these enabled, no fear. There is minimal impact on Folding from having these technologies set.

 

 


 

Hopefully some of you find this useful and as mentioned, feel free to add your findings. 

 

Just remember, I will remove posts not on topic and specifically containing config info.

 

 


 

Update October 2015

 

Drivers

As many have seen, sometimes updating to the latest version, especially when folding, is not always the best thing. One of the more current versions for NVidia is simply crushing folding. If you are on a version and everything is running tip top, pay close attention to what those new updated version are doing. 98% of the time, you don't need them as they have zero performance gain for most things. What they are doing is adding specific support for games, fixes, etc. If you don't play those games, then you don't need the update. :)

Just pay attention before updating drivers and be prepared to roll back if things don't go something and wait for the next round.

 

Minimum Support Cards

Officially Supported GPUs
AMD -> HD 5000 Series or higher
Nvidia -> GTX 400 Series (Fermi) or higher

 

Looks like they has been tweaked a bit, nothing official, but looks like these are now the minimum needed to get most WU's completed:

AMD -> 6000 series or higher

NVidia -> GTX 620 or higher

17

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  • 8 months later...
On 6/23/2015 at 1:14 PM, Whaler_99 said:

CPU Impact

This is primarily a NVidia issue, mostly attributed to NVidia drivers. So, the rule of thumb when folding with a NVidia GPU and CPU folding, is to leave one core free per GPU to maximize your GPU Folding performance. In the case of AMD, it is simply recommended to leave a single core free for one or more cards as the impact isn't as great.

Is this still true (2019-07). How can I do this? (OpenSUSE, new user, Ryzen 9, NVidia 2080Ti.)

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8 hours ago, Steev43230 said:

Is this still true (2019-07). How can I do this? (OpenSUSE, new user, Ryzen 9, NVidia 2080Ti.)

yeah ths is still the case. mostly we just don't use cpu folding becuse the power draw and heat output vs the ppd isn't worth it. the 2080ti can get 3.2mppd on it's own so that's orders of magnitude more than your cpu will get

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7 hours ago, Steev43230 said:

Is this still true (2019-07). How can I do this? (OpenSUSE, new user, Ryzen 9, NVidia 2080Ti.)

Open SuSE can be challenging from what I’ve seen but not impossible. I’m using Ubuntu 18.04 with 1060s through RTX 2070s.

 

I believe there’s some folks over at foldingform.org who run SuSE and I’ve see it recorded as an OS on the Folding Performance Database.

 

You will want to run a current binary NVidia driver and you’ll need to figure out how to get the client installed as folding at home only supplies information for RedHat and Debian-based distros.

 

Googling “Folding at Home SUSE” provides a few links from 2016 which are likely still applicable as the client is still of that vintage.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder if you can fold on an old Quadro FX 4800... surely it would be slow, but I wonder if it is possible... time to find out!

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The Quadro FX was a nope, but I've run into another issue. I'm only averaging 25-35,000 points per day with my 1050 ti, supposedly I should be able to hit at least 100K, if not upwards of 150k. Am I doing something wrong?

 

things to note:

 

- The GPU core is pinned at 100%, but the core clock is staying around 400mhz. temps are below 30 degrees

- I am leaving two cores free from CPU folding, dedicating both of them to this GPU. However, all cores still show as pinned 100% regardless of how many I allocate to folding.

- stopping CPU folding and just folding on GPU doesn't help.

- moving GPU to another slot didn't help

- restarting client did nothing, nor did restarting my PC

- updating drivers did nothing, downgrading also did nothing.

- GPU core may be at 100%, but memory stays at 7%-ish and stays at minimum clock speed. it appears the card is stuck at idle state? 

- running a game in the background helps a lot, folding gets up to 45,000 points per day, but once I close the game it drops back down

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On 8/23/2019 at 3:42 PM, Kitsep said:

The Quadro FX was a nope, but I've run into another issue. I'm only averaging 25-35,000 points per day with my 1050 ti, supposedly I should be able to hit at least 100K, if not upwards of 150k. Am I doing something wrong?

Are you using a Passkey? Passkeys enable Quick Return Bonuses after you complete 10 Work Units.
 

On 8/23/2019 at 3:42 PM, Kitsep said:

- GPU core may be at 100%, but memory stays at 7%-ish and stays at minimum clock speed. it appears the card is stuck at idle state? 

- running a game in the background helps a lot, folding gets up to 45,000 points per day, but once I close the game it drops back down 

Try using Nvidia inspector to see what P State it's in. @Gorgon might be able to provide a bit more insight in to P states.

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6 hours ago, Spotty said:

Are you using a Passkey? Passkeys enable Quick Return Bonuses after you complete 10 Work Units.
 

Try using Nvidia inspector to see what P State it's in. @Gorgon might be able to provide a bit more insight in to P states.

On Windows with a Pascal or Turing Card the Power State should be displayed in the NVidia Control Panel. I do set the P-State on start-up in Linux but I’ve not noticed that it makes much, if any difference to the performance.

 

A 400MHz GPU clock with low temperatures would make it appear that the GPU is not doing anything so the GPU slot is likely failing.

 

Can you please paste the log for the GPU slot into a spoiler section or a screenshot of any error messages.

 

Have you tried running DDU in safe mode and a driver reinstall yet?

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I'll check out those suggestions when I get home. I have not done DDU in safe mode to reinstall the drivers as I have only ever updated the drivers once since the system was put together, but I'll give it a shot. As for the GPU slot, again, everything works flawlessly in games, it shoots up to around 1400 MHz while in games. I get no error messages, but I'll have a look at the log when I get home. Thanks for the suggestions!

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On 8/24/2019 at 11:42 PM, Gorgon said:

On Windows with a Pascal or Turing Card the Power State should be displayed in the NVidia Control Panel. I do set the P-State on start-up in Linux but I’ve not noticed that it makes much, if any difference to the performance.

 

A 400MHz GPU clock with low temperatures would make it appear that the GPU is not doing anything so the GPU slot is likely failing.

 

Can you please paste the log for the GPU slot into a spoiler section or a screenshot of any error messages.

 

Have you tried running DDU in safe mode and a driver reinstall yet?

I can't say anything about Windows power states.

In Linux my GTX 1070 has same gpu clock speed reported on power state 2 and power state 0, but memory is 400MHz slower on p2.

I had the impression that memory speed is less critical in fah, is that true?

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3 hours ago, Rusted said:

I can't say anything about Windows power states.

In Linux my GTX 1070 has same gpu clock speed reported on power state 2 and power state 0, but memory is 400MHz slower on p2.

I had the impression that memory speed is less critical in fah, is that true?

Yes, that’s been my experience under Linux. Ran at +1200 on the memory for a few weeks and observed no discernable increase in PPD though some others claim they have seen a difference

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Fold8: Fractal Define S; Gigabyte ax370 Gaming K7; Ryzen 7 2700; Hyper 212; 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold7: Fractal Meshify S2; Gigabyte Aorus ax570 Pro WiFi; Ryzen 9 3900x; Noctua NH-D15; 2 x 16GB DDR4-3200; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA RTX 2060 XC Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold6: Fractal Define C; Gigabyte Aorus ax570 Master; Ryzen 9 3950x; EVGA 240 CLC; 4 x 16GB DDR4-3200; 512GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA GTX 1070 SC Gaming; Corsair TX750M

Fold5: Fractal Define R4; Gigabyte ax570 Pro WiFi; Ryzen 7 2700x; DeepCool 120 CLC; 2 x 8GB DDR4-2400; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA GTX 1660ti XC Ultra Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold4: Fractal Core 1100; Gigabyte b450 Aorus m; Ryzen 7 2700; 4 x 4GB DDR4-2400; 128GB SSD; Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB; Corsair CX500

Fold3: Supermicro SC731; Asus H170m Pro; i5-6400; 2 x 4GB DDR4-2400; Cruical 64GB SSD; SuperMicro 300W Bronze

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  • 5 weeks later...

i know my 1070 founders is doing well in my opinion. i have it folding full tilt with no issues but i havent went to run a game since i've been dealing with school 

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  • 3 months later...

I have an interesting question...

I do my folding on laptop (MSI GS63VR 6RF with GTX 1060 6 GB and 6700HQ). In order to keep temps as low as possible I use Eco mode and undervolting, so basically my CPU runs at base clock (2.6 GHz, no Turbo Boost activated) and GPU runs at lower P-state (core clock fluctuates between 1500-1650 MHz and memory effective clock is 1620 MHz). That way I ensure that with custom fan profile my CPU and GPU don't get too hot, in fact, they don't reach 80°C at all.

But before I settled on this mode, I made custom "comfort" which turned off Turbo Boost and core clock is basically the same, too, but memory clock is restricted to only 7600 MHz. Which adds good 10°C to GPU temp.

Question: How much PPD do I lose because of lower memory clocks? I have no idea how to correctly test it myself. With as less variables at hand as possible (aka some sort of consistent benchmark that is launched on "purified" from telemetry, Indexer and Defender Windows 10 that I currently have on my laptop).

Purify your Windows 10, don't give Microsoft anything that you don't want to share.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZwVs9zrM493rjD42E2Pf0YcOkaW92ZUo

BTW, I am folding on laptop now, are you? https://stats.foldingathome.org/donor/Spakes

Tips for folding on laptop:

Lazy man wants upgrades from the sky.

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2 hours ago, Spakes said:

I have an interesting question...

I do my folding on laptop (MSI GS63VR 6RF with GTX 1060 6 GB and 6700HQ). In order to keep temps as low as possible I use Eco mode and undervolting, so basically my CPU runs at base clock (2.6 GHz, no Turbo Boost activated) and GPU runs at lower P-state (core clock fluctuates between 1500-1650 MHz and memory effective clock is 1620 MHz). That way I ensure that with custom fan profile my CPU and GPU don't get too hot, in fact, they don't reach 80°C at all.

But before I settled on this mode, I made custom "comfort" which turned off Turbo Boost and core clock is basically the same, too, but memory clock is restricted to only 7600 MHz. Which adds good 10°C to GPU temp.

Question: How much PPD do I lose because of lower memory clocks? I have no idea how to correctly test it myself. With as less variables at hand as possible (aka some sort of consistent benchmark that is launched on "purified" from telemetry, Indexer and Defender Windows 10 that I currently have on my laptop).

In my experience memory clock has no impact on folding as the folding client uses only a tiny amount of VRAM.

 

You can use FAHBench to benchmark Folding with various adjustments to clocks but it outputs in units more relevant to scientists than enthusiasts (I.e. not in points per day)

FaH BOINC HfM

Bifrost - 6 GPU Folding Rig  Linux Folding HOWTO Folding Remote Access

Systems:

Fold9: Fractal Meshify S2; Gigabyte z370 Gaming 5; i9-9900K; EVGA 280 CLC; 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA RTX 2060 XC Ultra Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold8: Fractal Define S; Gigabyte ax370 Gaming K7; Ryzen 7 2700; Hyper 212; 2 x 8GB DDR4-3200; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold7: Fractal Meshify S2; Gigabyte Aorus ax570 Pro WiFi; Ryzen 9 3900x; Noctua NH-D15; 2 x 16GB DDR4-3200; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA RTX 2060 XC Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold6: Fractal Define C; Gigabyte Aorus ax570 Master; Ryzen 9 3950x; EVGA 240 CLC; 4 x 16GB DDR4-3200; 512GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA GTX 1070 SC Gaming; Corsair TX750M

Fold5: Fractal Define R4; Gigabyte ax570 Pro WiFi; Ryzen 7 2700x; DeepCool 120 CLC; 2 x 8GB DDR4-2400; 128GB NVMe; EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Hybrid; EVGA GTX 1660ti XC Ultra Gaming; Corsair TX650M

Fold4: Fractal Core 1100; Gigabyte b450 Aorus m; Ryzen 7 2700; 4 x 4GB DDR4-2400; 128GB SSD; Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB; Corsair CX500

Fold3: Supermicro SC731; Asus H170m Pro; i5-6400; 2 x 4GB DDR4-2400; Cruical 64GB SSD; SuperMicro 300W Bronze

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7 hours ago, Gorgon said:

In my experience memory clock has no impact on folding as the folding client uses only a tiny amount of VRAM.

 

You can use FAHBench to benchmark Folding with various adjustments to clocks but it outputs in units more relevant to scientists than enthusiasts (I.e. not in points per day)

I guess that would work, too, thanks!

Purify your Windows 10, don't give Microsoft anything that you don't want to share.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZwVs9zrM493rjD42E2Pf0YcOkaW92ZUo

BTW, I am folding on laptop now, are you? https://stats.foldingathome.org/donor/Spakes

Tips for folding on laptop:

Lazy man wants upgrades from the sky.

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