limiting cpu usage to less than 90%?

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Astro
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Message 22180 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006, 9:25:05 UTC - in response to Message 22167.  

why doesn't boinc just integrate the threadmaster functionality? Going on and off constantly sounds somewhat stressful to the cpu.

Hi, Why would one want to use Threadmaster? Boinc is designed to use the "cpu cycles" that would have otherwise been wasted when you're not doing something with your computer. It's set to the "lowest" priority, so when you want to use your puter, boinc is supposed to stop using the processor and get out of the way. I've heard some say they want to use it to reduce the heat emitted by the cpu/ram, That may be a valid use, But if they'd service/maintain their puter, then it wouldn't be a problem. If this is the reason, then the dust on the heatsinks will eventually kill the cpu anyway, and you could view it as a notice to "service the machine now" indicator.

The real reason why is probably closer to the fact that everything installed in boinc has to be free, free to all institutions/business/individuals that may use the boinc software. For example, there are better forum software available, but boinc designed their own so they could give it away free. Not all software you and I can get for free can be gotten free by businesses and institutions. Licensing restrictions change from software to software. What might be free this month, might not be next month. Not to mention, some software has security concerns that can't be controlled by boinc if they adopted the use of others' software.

Does this sort of help?

tony
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Message 22218 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006, 21:43:44 UTC - in response to Message 22167.  

why doesn't boinc just integrate the threadmaster functionality? Going on and off constantly sounds somewhat stressful to the cpu.


...have you ever watched the CPU withOUT BOINC running on a machine?? Tasks kick in randomly using small amount of CPU, redrawing their pane as you move windows or whatever, then go back idel... if you really feel on and off is a problem for a CPU... then BOINC keeping it at 100% would certainly resolve that :) ...but it's not a problem. Happens millions of times an hour already.
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Alan Roberts

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Message 22225 - Posted: 10 Aug 2006, 23:58:08 UTC

Hi, Why would one want to use Threadmaster?


First case: I have a laptop that wants to volunteer time for Rosetta. Running unthrottled takes the CPU temp up to 80C or more, and kicks the cooling fan up to its highest speed. That is too much noise, and too high an operating temperature. Sure, I checked and Intel's specs for the CPU rate it for 100C, but over a long run time in this laptop the hard drive approaches the CPU/ACPI temperature ... It is just too close physically to the CPU and cooling hardware. Recommended maximum operating temperature for the hard drive is 55C. It will exceed that doing full backups (which have to be done), or sitting around while Rosetta cooks the box (which doesn't have to happen). Probably explains why I've already lost one hard drive.

Threadmastering down to the point where CPU temp reads 50-53C keeps the fan at lower speed/noise and perhaps avoids an early death on the replacement hard drive. CPU cooling hardware is clean, this machine is just amongst the many (most?) laptops that weren't really designed to cool at full CPU load.

Second case: A customer's IT group is allowing Rosetta use on their business desktops ... A herd of new, Pentium-D equipped Dell boxes. Problem is, they are small-form-factor boxes, with a variable-speed blower on the CPU cooler and another variable-speed blower for the box. Doing desktop tasks they are effectively silent. A largeish compile/build effort spins the fans up to audible, but it quiets back down once the build is done. Launch unthrottled Rosetta using both cores and you'll quickly start looking for the aircraft that must be landing near by.

So far I've been able to avoid Threadmaster for any of these desktops. Users who are tolerant of fan noise seem okay with the intermediate fan speed that I get if I limit Rosetta to only using one CPU (core). Users who dislike any noise have chosen the path of: not doing work while the computer is in use, keeping the application in memory, and set a high enough idle time so that they are gone for lunch/meetings/the evening before Rosetta resumes. In the conference rooms where fan noise would degrade audio teleconferencing and meetings, we've got off-hours only operation with scheduled tasks to override the prefs so we get 24 hour operation during weekends.

Most of the remaining personnel at this customer site have laptops, so if any of them volunteer their machines for Rosetta work I expect to have to train for Threadmaster use (until BOINC supports throttling), for noise control if nothing else.
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Message 22226 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 0:25:10 UTC

sounds reasonable, I've sent a developer an email. I await his reply. (PS, I suspect something similar might be in the works) I'll respond back when I hear.

tony
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Message 22250 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 5:47:17 UTC - in response to Message 22218.  

why doesn't boinc just integrate the threadmaster functionality? Going on and off constantly sounds somewhat stressful to the cpu.


...have you ever watched the CPU withOUT BOINC running on a machine?? Tasks kick in randomly using small amount of CPU, redrawing their pane as you move windows or whatever, then go back idel... if you really feel on and off is a problem for a CPU... then BOINC keeping it at 100% would certainly resolve that :) ...but it's not a problem. Happens millions of times an hour already.


True, but its not going from 0->100% usually. The higher use generates more heat being generated.

On my dual core laptop, the touchpad and everthing seems to get hot when rosetta is running for a while. Maybe I should limit it to one core..

Incidentally, the dell optiplex gx 520 small form factors run hot when doing.. nothing. When runnign boinc on both hyperthreads, it comes out... very hot. Anyone else use these machines?
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Message 22257 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 8:43:31 UTC - in response to Message 22250.  

True, but its not going from 0->100% usually. The higher use generates more heat being generated.

On my dual core laptop, the touchpad and everthing seems to get hot when rosetta is running for a while. Maybe I should limit it to one core..

Incidentally, the dell optiplex gx 520 small form factors run hot when doing.. nothing. When runnign boinc on both hyperthreads, it comes out... very hot. Anyone else use these machines?


My laptop runs 24/7 on Rosetta since I bought a laptop cooler to help with the heat issue. It adds two cooling fans underneath and gets rid of the heat quite nicely. I would invest a touch on one of these if I were you with your heat problem. Price range is $20 - 50, and usually at the middle of that range for most. BTW, I would buy a four-fan cooler if I had to do it again, but the two works well too.

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Message 22258 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 8:54:57 UTC
Last modified: 11 Aug 2006, 8:55:11 UTC

Alan, in a future version of boinc there might be something like what you might want. It's a "cpu Throttle". It's not exactly Threadmaster. This is what I was told:

It at least sort of emulates thread master. The BOINC version uses whole seconds. EG 1% means run for 1 second followed by 99 seconds off. 50% means 1 second on followed by one second off.

It is in 5.5, but I am not certain which projects allow setting it.
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Message 22286 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 15:44:59 UTC - in response to Message 22258.  

...I am not certain which projects allow setting it.

It shouldn't be project-specific. BOINC controls which threads run and when. This is just an excercise is exerting that control at a more granular level... and presumably NOT removing the application from memory for this form of preemption :)
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Message 22293 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 16:36:20 UTC - in response to Message 22286.  
Last modified: 11 Aug 2006, 16:37:16 UTC

...I am not certain which projects allow setting it.

It shouldn't be project-specific. BOINC controls which threads run and when. This is just an excercise is exerting that control at a more granular level... and presumably NOT removing the application from memory for this form of preemption :)

I don't know enough about it comment further. I remember seeing one or two email alluding to "cpu throttle" but haven't seen any request to test it. To save everyone time, I can't even find where on 5.5.X that one could try this. I searched 300 previous Boinc Dev and Boinc Alpha subjects trying to find it for Alan and my own curiosity. But failed. It must be buried in a subject title not even closely related to it. LOL

Oh, feet1st, It is probably a first edition kludge, I mean you can't have it shutting boinc on/off, so the only thing left is the projects. That's the way I think it goes anyway, could be wrong.
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Message 22297 - Posted: 11 Aug 2006, 17:09:31 UTC

If your beeps are going off, you might want to start thinking about the life of your PC: Beeps are not a good thing here.

I know it's been a while, but for completeness, I should sy the beeps come from a monitoring program, not the BIOS: The monitoring program allows me to choose when it starts beeping. I had set it to 70C as an arbitary value which sounded high enough never to be reached!

I have searched Intel's site for a definitive "the CPU should not exceed nC" but have never found a straight forward answer.


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Message boards : Number crunching : limiting cpu usage to less than 90%?



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