Best operating system for crunching

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Profile karl
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Message 17853 - Posted: 6 Jun 2006, 22:13:16 UTC
Last modified: 6 Jun 2006, 22:23:29 UTC

hello people, this question to some will be simple to answer...there may be a supirior operating system for my machine to use to crunch data for rosetta.....but i do not know it! i dont have any experience with any linux.....i will try it soon but...which version of windows would anybody reccomend? the machines i have working on rosetta are just ..one celeron 2200 with 768 mb of 400 fsb ddr, one Athlon64 3400 with 512 400fsb of ddr and a laptop that i only use infrequently which is also a celeron a 2.4 with only the 256mb of ram....i will not play with the laptop lol

thank you in advance for reading this

as i only have these machines on boinc/rosetta.....i could do with making it all run that fraction faster, with my MIGHTY rac of around 300 lol i would like to crank it up a bit!

(forgot to add im using XP at the moment - this information may be usefull!)
1 x Intel Q6600 SLACR .....at the moment
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BennyRop

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Message 17892 - Posted: 7 Jun 2006, 5:58:59 UTC

Linux may actually be the most reliable OS for running Rosetta - but the credit scores are roughly 1/2 that of Windows, due to Boinc manager benchmarks coming out so low on Linux. (Definately use an optimized Boinc manager for Linux..)

The DC team that I belong to for this project (I'm a multi-team, multi-project type..) has had years worth of comparisons of which Win OS to run the DC project the forum was supporting. (The same should hold true for any of the teams running DC projects that's large enough to have a forum..) Win2k was usually considered the fastest - especially after stripping it down by unloading unneccessary services and other M$ bloatware. There are sites such as Black Viper's (if I remember correctly) that detail which services to shut down. I remember the performance difference between the stripped down version of Win2k and the normal WinXP being less than 10%; which can definately add up. There's also guides on stripping down WinXP - if you want to run WinXP on your dedicated cruncher. I don't remember the speed difference (or the benchmarks our forum used) between the stripped down Win2k and stripped down WinXP installations.

Win95 won't work at all.. Win98 and WinME will run, but generate 0 credits WUs, although the nightly run of the crediting script will actually give you credit for those WUs. 2k and XP are the safest Win OSes to use.. as that's where the programmer's main experience lays. And as Win98 is no longer supported by M$, Linux may be the route some of us take for our current Win98 dedicated crunchers..

Hopefully, someone will post Black Viper's url, or links to similar guides before I find where I have it.


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Message 17915 - Posted: 7 Jun 2006, 10:37:54 UTC

I have a Celeron 500, Win98se, 256M ram running in Ralph. I haven't had any errors lately. Here's all my listed results:

163757 145354 7 Jun 2006 5:44:48 UTC 11 Jun 2006 5:44:48 UTC In Progress Unknown New --- --- ---
154166 135907 6 Jun 2006 23:43:30 UTC 7 Jun 2006 4:09:16 UTC Over Success Done 10,279.00 5.00 5.00
152107 134029 6 Jun 2006 0:59:45 UTC 6 Jun 2006 13:00:26 UTC Over Success Done 11,782.00 5.73 5.73
151320 128850 5 Jun 2006 7:44:20 UTC 6 Jun 2006 0:59:45 UTC Over Success Done 13,805.00 6.72 6.72
150599 132927 5 Jun 2006 5:34:20 UTC 5 Jun 2006 18:05:24 UTC Over Success Done 7,576.00 3.69 3.69
149963 132447 4 Jun 2006 2:58:27 UTC 4 Jun 2006 22:16:14 UTC Over Success Done 27,478.00 13.37 13.37
149454 132032 3 Jun 2006 5:51:31 UTC 3 Jun 2006 16:34:09 UTC Over Success Done 14,206.00 6.91 6.91

I've had the win9x timer issues before with other projects, but so far it's working well with Ralph (haven't attached to Rosetta with it)

tony
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Ricardo

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Message 17956 - Posted: 7 Jun 2006, 16:56:21 UTC - in response to Message 17892.  

Hopefully, someone will post Black Viper's url, or links to similar guides before I find where I have it.



http://majorgeeks.com/page.php?id=12

Another interesting site: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/services.htm

Regards
Ricardo

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Message 17958 - Posted: 7 Jun 2006, 17:04:15 UTC - in response to Message 17956.  
Last modified: 7 Jun 2006, 17:14:00 UTC

Hopefully, someone will post Black Viper's url, or links to similar guides before I find where I have it.



http://majorgeeks.com/page.php?id=12

Another interesting site: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/services.htm

Regards
Ricardo


thank you all for your ideas and input......i will be dedicating just a single machine to crunching, that is the celery 2.2 machine with 768 mb ram, i may also be getting rid of some bloatware on the other one the athlon machine, and thank you ricardo for the links...i will read them now! those sites are good...i like the one telling you the services and their application names....i allways stop alg...once i actually got rid of it by deleting it from the registry...but ive never tried it with other services...
1 x Intel Q6600 SLACR .....at the moment
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Keith Akins

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Message 17997 - Posted: 7 Jun 2006, 19:48:53 UTC

Hello.

Glad you decided to crunch with us!

As far as trying to strip down bloatware from Win.X I would strongly recommend a good Win registry scanner-fixer-thingy. Any time you uninstall from Win.X your registry becomes garbled with junk and orphaned registry entries left by what ever you remove.

Think of the Win registry as the entire system map. Everything that Windows must find to run must have a valid entry. Every enrty Win.X finds it will look for that Program, Driver, Software Location, Custom Controls or what ever. As invalid and orphaned entries build up, Win.X becomes sluggish and increasinly unstable. Microsoft has yet to fix this problem so we're left with third party solutions.

I scan/fix mine with a neat little prog. from PC-Tools Reg. Mechanic. I'm sure that there are others, but it will keep your Win.X machine crunching away. Just scan and fix after you de-bloat. DON'T YOU LOVE MY GRAMMAR!!!
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Message 51649 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 9:18:40 UTC - in response to Message 17997.  
Last modified: 26 Feb 2008, 9:18:57 UTC

Bump.

I am interested in this topic. I will soon have 4-5 boxes up and running just for crunching Rosetta@home.

I have searched elsewhere, but have so far only found this post.
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Message 51656 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 13:39:08 UTC

Be aware that credit granted on Rosetta is no longer dependant directly on your BOINC benchmarks. It is based on work completed. So taking a given machine and replacing Windows with Linux should not have any adverse impact on credit. Any variation should only be due to the relative overhead and memory contention with the operating system. So I would expect the two to be within about 5% of each other.
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Message 51658 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 16:25:23 UTC - in response to Message 51656.  

Be aware that credit granted on Rosetta is no longer dependant directly on your BOINC benchmarks. It is based on work completed. So taking a given machine and replacing Windows with Linux should not have any adverse impact on credit. Any variation should only be due to the relative overhead and memory contention with the operating system. So I would expect the two to be within about 5% of each other.


That may be the intent, but my numbers show Linux does much better than Windows.
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Message 51668 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 22:56:24 UTC

I ran some tests on my "dual boot" machines and the results are that linux is 18.95% faster than windows using the same machines, same hardware, but just switching operating systems. You can view the test in this thread note: all my test machines are AMD.
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Message 51669 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 23:42:49 UTC

Astro/ j2satx:

How much memory on these machines? I can see that since Linux typically uses less memory then Windows, there might be a bigger difference on a machine that is basically memory constrained when running Windows.
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Message 51670 - Posted: 26 Feb 2008, 23:53:13 UTC - in response to Message 51669.  
Last modified: 27 Feb 2008, 0:08:34 UTC

Astro/ j2satx:

How much memory on these machines? I can see that since Linux typically uses less memory then Windows, there might be a bigger difference on a machine that is basically memory constrained when running Windows.

off the top of my head:
the AMD64 2800 clawhammer has 768M ddr400
the AMD64 3700 939 socket Sandiego 1 G ram (OCZ gold)(2x512)
the AMD64 X2 4800 939 socket has 2G OCZ enhanced latency (4x512)
the AMD64 X2 5200 AM2 socket has 2G corsair XMS2 (2x1)
the AMD64 X2 6000 AM2 socket has 2G corsair XMS2 (2x1)

the 9600 black arrives tomorrow via the "big brown truck of happiness" (UPS)(4G corsair XMS2 DDR2 1066 (4x1).

note: from the 2800 up to and including the X2 4800 use winxp, the 5200 and 6000 use winxp pro 64. The 9600 will be linux only.
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Message 51671 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 2:11:35 UTC - in response to Message 51669.  

Astro/ j2satx:

How much memory on these machines? I can see that since Linux typically uses less memory then Windows, there might be a bigger difference on a machine that is basically memory constrained when running Windows.


The machines I referenced are virtually identical: two are Intel E4500 with 2Gb RAM, one W2K and one Ubuntu; two are AMD 4400+ with 2Gb RAM, one W2K and one Ubuntu.

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Message 51675 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 10:48:35 UTC - in response to Message 51656.  
Last modified: 27 Feb 2008, 10:52:16 UTC

.
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Message 51676 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 10:51:58 UTC - in response to Message 51675.  
Last modified: 27 Feb 2008, 10:52:27 UTC

[quote]Be aware that credit granted on Rosetta is no longer dependant directly on your BOINC benchmarks. It is based on work completed. So taking a given machine and replacing Windows with Linux should not have any adverse impact on credit. Any variation should only be due to the relative overhead and memory contention with the operating system. So I would expect the two to be within about 5% of each other.


If we can't rely on the benchmarking, then how do we figure out what O.S. runs Rosetta@home the best? Five percent, relating to computers, is a pretty drastic number.

Is there an OS that runs the best; overall based on speed, reliability, and ease of use? I want to make sure I am maximizing every bit of potential out of my computers. I would also like to make sure I don't have to spend hours installing updates and thrid-party software just so I can safely run BOINC 24/7. Most importantly I would like an OS that is actually simple to use. I really wish a Linux Distro could just have the same type of "ease of installation" that Windows uses. You know what I am talking about; I can download any file, then double click said file, follow the on-screen instructions, and then I can start using the program.

So far based on what people are saying, it looks like Linux is the best. What is the best distro for BOINC?
Has anyone created a distro just for BOINC? If not, how about we get something started?

Thank you.
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Message 51678 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 14:08:30 UTC

Part of the challenge of having choices is that it's up to you to decide which is best for you and your situation. They've both shot my theory about memory contention out of the water and said Linux still makes a measurable difference. From here I can only tell you I believe they used RAC or credits (GRANTED) per hour of CPU time in their measurment.

We don't care how well the machine runs the benchmark, we want to know how well it runs Rosetta, and so that's what they would have done. I don't know about you, but I can tell when the benchmarks are running because my cooling fan slows down because the load on my machine is so light. So it's obviously not as intense as doing real Rosetta crunching.
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Message 51679 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 14:54:24 UTC - in response to Message 51676.  

{...}
Most importantly I would like an OS that is actually simple to use. I really wish a Linux Distro could just have the same type of "ease of installation" that Windows uses. You know what I am talking about; I can download any file, then double click said file, follow the on-screen instructions, and then I can start using the program.
{...}


There are at least three Linux distros that meet your requirements: Linspire, Ubuntu, and gOS.

Using the synaptic package manager in gOS, I had BOINC installed, and Rosetta attached and running on my little linux box in less time than it has taken to make this post.
Rosie, Rosie, she's our gal,
If she can't do it, no one shall!
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Message 51683 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 15:57:02 UTC - in response to Message 51678.  

Part of the challenge of having choices is that it's up to you to decide which is best for you and your situation. They've both shot my theory about memory contention out of the water and said Linux still makes a measurable difference. From here I can only tell you I believe they used RAC or credits (GRANTED) per hour of CPU time in their measurment.

We don't care how well the machine runs the benchmark, we want to know how well it runs Rosetta, and so that's what they would have done. I don't know about you, but I can tell when the benchmarks are running because my cooling fan slows down because the load on my machine is so light. So it's obviously not as intense as doing real Rosetta crunching.


To clarify what I'm saying: on my machines, Linux gets more credit per cpu time than Windows on a virtually identical machine. I do not know if that means it runs Rosetta (Ralph actually, as I don't run Rosetta) better than Windows, only that it gets more credit. On Ralph, I still run machines with both OSs regardless of which gets more credit for testing and comparison purposes.


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Message 51696 - Posted: 27 Feb 2008, 21:41:49 UTC
Last modified: 27 Feb 2008, 21:47:24 UTC

here's the last post with LOTS of charts.

Since all compared examples were wus from the same "job type" you can just look at the "cpu seconds per decoy" to tell the tale. In all but two examples, linux was faster. see the above linked charts.

OH, and UPS has left my PSU's and vid card to perculate in West Columbia SC for the last 28 hours.....GRRRRRRR Why they'd do that is beyond me, but I'm not very happy with them right now. My last big order with Newegg they(UPS) "lost" both my 20" widescreen flat panel displays. took nearly two months for Newegg to reimburse my loss.
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Message 51791 - Posted: 4 Mar 2008, 8:44:47 UTC
Last modified: 4 Mar 2008, 8:45:45 UTC

Has anyone tried a Virtual PC? Running windows and linux at the same time? Could this give a more accurate assessment of which is faster?
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Message boards : Number crunching : Best operating system for crunching



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