Goldfish 27/12/05: This needs updating! Please stand by! Folding@Home 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 Graphical "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 ClientInstallation : 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 clientThe 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 : Code: [settings] username=Username team=12072 asknet=no machineid=1 [http] active=no host=localhost port=8080 usereg=no [core] cpuusage=100 checkpoint=15 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. TWEAKS! Okay, this is the part that EVERY geek loves. 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 -forceasm 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!! -betateam 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!!. Conclusion Well, I hope this has helped someone, and that we can all get FOLDING FASTER!