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Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Tweaking!

Discussion in 'Software' started by goldfish, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. goldfish

    goldfish Lt. Sushi.DC

    Goldfish 27/12/05: This needs updating! Please stand by!

    Client Types Rounup & Tweaks

    This is a little guide made to help people new to folding, or current folderings, aware of the different types of client and their advantages and disadvantages, and how to maximise your production rate! This will only deal with Windows clients, as I've not had any experience with Linux or Mac OS X clients, and as fas as I know, they are exactly the same as the Windows console version (they use the same switches, configuration etc.).

    Anyway, if you havn't yet, now is probably a good idea to check out the Download Page at Stanford. You'll see there is a list of clients, including:

    Screensaver only
    "No-nonsense" Console ;)

    Screensaver only Client
    This is exactly the same as the graphical client, but it does not install the main body of the client. This means you need to have the graphical/console client installed before you use the screensaver only client.
    A screenshot of the Screensaver Client
    Installation :
    Easy peasy. Download the client, and install it. The go to Display Properties (right click the desktop, properties) and click the screensaver tab, and set it up through there.
    As a quote from the readme :
    And another image stolen from their installation process:
    You can find the installation process outlined on the stanford website HERE.

    Graphical Client
    This is the "standard" client, which runs in the system tray, and can give you real-time visualisations of what exactly it is doing. It has a configuration wizard, which allows you to put in your username (whatever username you like) and a team name (12072). You can also change the configuration from here as to how much processor time is used (as a percentage) and whether to wait before it dials up/connects to the server for new work.

    A screenshot of the graphic client, showing configuration window

    This client is good for the standard user who isnt too worried about steaming through the work, but hopefully we don't have any of those here! ;)

    Console Client
    This can be downloaded as a single executable which does not install itself. To install it, you either copy it to a new directory and run it, and it will automatically set itself up in the new directory, OR you can copy it to a current Folding@Home directory and the configuration files and core files will already be present, so it will require little/no setup. So, for example, if you had the graphical client installed already, you could copy this executable to the directory the graphic client is currently in, and run the console client, which would retain the same settings as the graphic client.

    Comparison between the graphical client's folder, and the folder the console client creates on first run
    NOTE : The graphical folder may be missing a couple of files, as I only ran it once (e.g. fahlog-prev.txt)

    You can set up the configuration of the console client on the first run, and says "yes" to chaning Advanced Settings.
    Running as a 2k/XP Service

    The real beauty of the console client is that you can have it run as a service. This means that it is running from the moment you start the computer to the moment it turns off, maximising your production rate. In benchmarks, its also been seen to take a whole 2 seconds off frame time compared to having the console client run normally! That might not seem much, but in a Tinker Work Unit, there are 400 frames... and 400 X 2 seconds is 800 seconds, which is nearly 13 minutes off the whole work unit time!

    If you want to install FAH as a service, I suggest you download FireDaemon. This makes the whole process MUCH easier, and less hassle.

    Simply install FireDaemon, and set up a new service which points to the FAH4Console.exe executable. Make the working directory the F@h directory.
    Settings for my F@h service client
    The main important part of the configuration is to have the -service parameter!!! This is very important!!!! It's also recomnended you check the console client box.

    Once you have the service installed and running, its completley invisible! You may way to use somthing like Electron Microscope III to monitor your clients progress. If you are running a network, you can also set this to monitor other machines running F@H using EM III. You can do this by sharing the F@H directory on the networked computer, and "add a box" pointing to the network share on that machine.

    The client.cfg file
    In both the graphical and the console client folder, you will notice a file called client.cfg .... this is the configuration file for the clients. It's contents will look somthing like this :
    The settings in this file will apply to whatever client runs it, console, screensaver or graphical. When you go through the configuration wizard in the graphical client, you will create one of these files. If you want to use the same settings for the console version as the graphical, simply copy this file across.

    Okay, this is the part that EVERY geek loves. :D

    SSE (Streaming SIMD Extensions) is an enhancment for x86 processors, which is useful for multimedia applications. It is basically an extension for the normal x86 instruction-set which allows for faster execution of low level commands.

    Most modern processors support this... but if you need to check, then download CPU-Z

    In the "Instructions" field, you can see if your processor has SSE. If it does, then add "-forcesse" to your command line parameters. (so, in FireDaemon, for example, your Parameters box should contain -service -forcesse). This will force the client (graphical or console) to use SSE optimisations. If you are having any problems with the program/computer crashing/locking up, then remove this parameter.

    There are two types of cores currently in use by the F@H project : Gromacs and Tinker.

    The Gromac core is a highly optimised computing core which comes from the contribution of Gromac and Stanford. The WU's which use the Gromac core typically have 100 frames, and they complete quite quickly. The Gromac core is optimised for modern processors, and will give you the best speed and points. In short : to get points fast, you WANT these WU's

    The Tinker core was made specifically for Folding@Home... and was the original core. The WU's consist of 100 to 400 frames, and typically take a few days to complete. The Tinker core is in the process of being optimised, but most new computations are done with the faster Gromacs core. But certain calculations cannot be done with the Gromacs core, and so the Tinker core is continuing to be used.

    In order to get mostly Gromacs WU's, you should pass the -advmethods parameter to the console client.

    Other parameters
    This forces optimised assembly code to be used, and used to be the same as forcesse. However, since the seperate forcesse parameter has been made, this only affects other optimisations. Seems to bring some sort of speed increace, but USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!

    Tch! This parameter gets "beta" WU's from the server, which apparently give you more points per WU. But these WU's, as they are beta, are more often buggy, and do not complete. Again, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!.

    Well, I hope this has helped someone, and that we can all get FOLDING FASTER! :D
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2005
  2. goldfish

    goldfish Lt. Sushi.DC

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!


    Some additional links
    Console Client Guide - shows all the options you can have.

    Parameters recomendations
    AMD Single processor: -advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9
    Intel Single processor: -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9
    AMD Multiprocessor rig: -local -advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9
    Intel MP/HT: -local -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9

    Liquid Ninja image:
  3. OverCooked

    OverCooked <a href="http://www.acrodata.com/fun/waaa.jpg">Hop

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Good Job Goldfish!

    Very helpfull info!


  4. goldfish

    goldfish Lt. Sushi.DC

  5. jarcher

    jarcher I can't handle a title


    so what does this mean?
    it will not go away. . .

    Attached Files:

  6. mgrist

    mgrist Private Weapons

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    That's the commands you can use for the console client just click OK
    The console is Goldies realm so if clicking OK doesn't get rid of it wait on him.
  7. jarcher

    jarcher I can't handle a title

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    it wont
  8. jarcher

    jarcher I can't handle a title

    Re: Goldfish

    so what do I do then
    just what it says. . . .
  9. Njal

    Njal Private E-2

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    I don't run the console, but I imagine that message is coming up because you are trying to run the console with a bad flag.

  10. jarcher

    jarcher I can't handle a title

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    define " bad flag"
  11. Njal

    Njal Private E-2

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    if you run a program with options like:

    fah4console.exe -advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9

    if you mistype one of the flags (-advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9) it may cause an error as the program doesn't know what option you were trying to use. From my experience with programs when they respond with a list of options it means you selected something that wasn't correct.
  12. goldfish

    goldfish Lt. Sushi.DC

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Yes that error screen is because you passed an invalid parameter to the client. What is devinatley supported by the client no matter the version would be -advmethods. I don't THINK the graphical client uses verbosity 9 so I'd try dropping that param.

    As a general note, -forceSSE no-longer takes an effect on the client as of version 5. -advmethods will enable that optimisation anyway.
  13. mgrist

    mgrist Private Weapons

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Almost got it :D
  14. jarcher

    jarcher I can't handle a title

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    so thats why I keep getting that damn pop up. . . . . .?
  15. Jamiko

    Jamiko Sergeant

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Yes, take the -forceSSE out of the command line and you should be ok. That popup shows the valid paramaters you can use and you can see that -forceSSE is not one of them. I got the pop up too so I changed -forceSSE to -forceasm and it works fine now.

    Here is my command line for the GUI client from the startup folder:

    "C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\winFAH.exe" -advmethods -forceasm
  16. rmsubasic

    rmsubasic XP-38 Spacemodulator

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Is it worth mentioning to anybody that the least likely to be interrupted and most likely to produce non-stop results client is the no-nonsense client? If you use the no-nonsense client, it starts when the machine starts and does not stop unless you stop it, it crashes, or you shut down the machine [oh, or if the net is not available when it tries to post finished work]. I suggest that anyone who wants to get max production out of their machine(s) use the no nonsense client. It has worked for me.

    Does anybody else have an opinion on this?
  17. glennk721

    glennk721 <a href="http://www.acrodata.com/fun/bacteria.gif"

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    My 2 cents LOL,,,Glenn:)

    Thanks for the input !!!, To the avarage or beginning user, the no nononsence panel can be confusing, granted it does run from startup untill shut down and runs a tad faster then the graphical client LOL I in my opinion would say the the so call no nonsence panels may be best off for the experianced user, that knows where in the file system the log and client files are kept, that average user or begining users may opt for the easy to use system programs....kind of like the user interface of AOL is creature feature friendly,,VRS , dial up or adls account with a SIMPLE browser,,,and outllook express,,,the AOL user is lost,with out the little friendly click here for this buttons,,LOL,,some entry level users, find the easy way first,, then as the become more familiar and skilled with there computers, they could transition to the more ROOTED programs,into the system files ,,Also the production with the graphical panel since revision, runs work units quite efficiently,The general Windows Graphical clients are more(user friendly) , They have made many improvments to the software brining it to the 5.03Beta version, that I have been running without a glitch, also the graphical panel, be it user friendy, you can very easily see the progress and the approximate completion time of a work unit.without having to enter the system file area,, ,, Glenn
  18. rmsubasic

    rmsubasic XP-38 Spacemodulator

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Good point about the no nonsense client probably being best for the more advanced users. If anyone wants the slight performance advantages I would be happy to (try to) help with any installation running issue with the no-nonsense client that people run into.
  19. rmsubasic

    rmsubasic XP-38 Spacemodulator

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    Watch out for CPU stealers that slow down your folding. I have just loaded the latest version 1.0 of the Firefox browser (which I like very well and have been using since many betas ago) and I was using the tabbed browsing feature. I went away from my computer while it still had several pages in tabs on the minimized Firefox browser. When I returned about 7 hours later and checked my folding progress, I noticed that I was making VERY slow progress on my current folding session. As it turned out, Firefox was using up quite a bit of my CPU time even though I wasn't actually doing anything active (like viewing) with it.

    For those who don't know who to check such things (probably very few of you) I use the Windows Task Manager which I bring up by hitting the CTRL ALT and DELETE keys all at once, and then clicking on the "processes" tab and looking down the CPU column to see what is happening. If anything other then one of the folding processes (those starting with the characters “FahCore_”) is using more than a few percent of CPU time, it might be worth your while to investigate what else is using time. If it is something that you don’t want running, investigate how to safely stop it as stopping other CPU using things will increase your folding speed.

    Please use caution when making any changes, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it may be best not to make any changes. As always, change your PC at your own risk. Have fun folding! :)
  20. Corporal Punishment

    Corporal Punishment Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Folding@Home - Client types Roundup & Wweaking!

    interesting -- fyi, I do got get that same behavior with maxthon.

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