Problems and Technical Issues with Rosetta@home

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Peter Hucker
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Message 97733 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:12:59 UTC - in response to Message 97729.  
Last modified: 27 Jun 2020, 23:14:42 UTC

Peter Hucker wrote:
24/7. Up to 2.5kW
That’s ≈£4,000 p.a. on electricity? Ouch indeed…


I guess my tariff is lower than yours, because it's about half that. I do remember saving 30% by changing supplier a long time ago.

Mind you, I'm on one of those direct debit things that, like Boinc, never manages to settle down. So I could be racking up a massive debt....

What I'd love is Economy 7. My friend has it (he's still got storage radiators!) and only pays 5p a unit at night!
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Peter Hucker
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Message 97735 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:19:27 UTC - in response to Message 97732.  

I would still recommend reducing Store up to an additional to zero, though in my experience that setting doesn’t seem to influence the amount of work downloaded in any event.
It does, just in very odd ways- It is best to have it as low as possible.

Having a large value for Additional days will result the cache running down significantly below the Store at least value, before it then gets more work to build it back up to the Store at least + Additional days value (and the larger each of those values, the greater the run down before it rebuilds the cache again). If people really feel a need for a cache, set it in Store at least value. The Additional days value should be as small as possible.
Weird things are much less likely to occur that way.


It seems a very simple setting to me, and it should obviously do the following (although Boinc is never sensible):

I set 6 hours + 12 hours. The queue falls to 6 hours, then it downloads an extra 12. That's a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 6+12. It can't mean anything else.
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Message 97736 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:28:51 UTC - in response to Message 97733.  
Last modified: 27 Jun 2020, 23:31:24 UTC

Peter Hucker wrote:
I guess my tariff is lower than yours, because it's about half that. I do remember saving 30% by changing supplier a long time ago.

Mind you, I'm on one of those direct debit things that, like Boinc, never manages to settle down. So I could be racking up a massive debt....

What I'd love is Economy 7. My friend has it (he's still got storage radiators!) and only pays 5p a unit at night!
Good point – I’m in a rented flat and still on the supplier and tariff I inherited when I moved in. It’s unlikely that’s the best deal I could get…

In another place I neglected the direct debit discrepancy for so long it ended up with the supplier owing me £2,500!

Is the average cost still cheaper on Economy 7, despite the higher daytime rate? You can still change, can’t you? Though I suppose you’d have to pay £££ for a new meter…

But you’re really pulling 400 W per machine? I know the X5600s were not reknowned for their power efficiency, but they’re only 95 W TDP.
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Message 97737 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:36:54 UTC - in response to Message 97720.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:30:20 UTC

EricM,

Thanks, @Robert and @Grant. I've never received such prompt and good input in a forum before.
Grant, I suspect the only program I use that might tax the processor at times would be ArcGIS, which might have moments when it could be considered heavily multi-threaded. I'm out of my depth trying to determine whether I'll regret giving BOINC more resource access.
Robert, I think I'll try your 51/100 settings tip. I wonder if I should alter the memory settings?
Eric

Many of us have much more free time than usual to help due to the COVID-19 warnings about going out in public.

Also, there are many more than usual new users that need the help we know how to provide.

I'd observe what Task Manager says about how much memory is is use, and how close it is to the maximum amount BOINC is allowed to use, before changing the memory settings. It's been at least months since I found a good reason to change the BOINC memory settings on my computer.

Assume that Windows 10 uses about 1 GB of memory, so don't allow BOINC to use so much that there isn't 1 GB left if you are using Windows 10. Earlier versions of Windows use less.
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Message 97738 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:47:37 UTC - in response to Message 97721.  
Last modified: 27 Jun 2020, 23:48:34 UTC

That would interfere with the way it recovers from times when one of the projects has no tasks available to send.

Instead, it looks back over the last few weeks, and tries to get tasks from whichever project would move it toward the new weighting.


I'm not sure I follow you. If I've made a choice that I want different weightings, I obviously want past history forgotten. I want from now on to have the ratio I set. Anything else is just confusing.

Imagine you ran project A at 10 and project B at 1. Then you decide one day that you want the reverse, A=1 and B=10. The way it works now, the history shows it's been doing way too much A, so it will consequently do B exclusively, which is not what you just asked it to do.

How do you want that plan adjusted to handle times when one of the two projects had no work to download for the last few days, or very little work like it's happened on Rosetta@home recently? Many people do not agree that the adjustment should take effect immediately, without even waiting for several tasks to be reported and receive credits.

Many people just don't have enough spare time to frequently adjust their project setting, like you appear to want to do.
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Message 97739 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:54:47 UTC - in response to Message 97720.  

EricM wrote:
I wonder if I should alter the memory settings?
In my recent observation, tasks are allocating anything from 300 to 3000, and averaging around 700, MB of memory each. At a limit of 75% of 8 GB for 4 cores, most tasks will be fine. But if nothing else is using the computer while BOINC is active, you could increase that to, say, 93%. (I don’t recommend 100% because the operating system will always need some memory for itself.)
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Peter Hucker
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Message 97740 - Posted: 27 Jun 2020, 23:56:39 UTC - in response to Message 97736.  

Good point – I’m in a rented flat and still on the supplier and tariff I inherited when I moved in. It’s unlikely that’s the best deal I could get…

In another place I neglected the direct debit discrepancy for so long it ended up with the supplier owing me £2,500!

Is the average cost still cheaper on Economy 7, despite the higher daytime rate? You can still change, can’t you? Though I suppose you’d have to pay £££ for a new meter…

But you’re really pulling 400 W per machine? I know the X5600s were not reknowned for their power efficiency, but they’re only 95 W TDP.


I used uswitch to find the cheapest. EDF was 30% less than Scottish Power (which came from the previous house owner). For some reason I never thought about changing until I'd been here for about 10 years.

They should have given you that earlier, I thought they had to by law. I get money given to me automatically if I'm owed more than a hundred or so. But they let me build up a much bigger (interest free) debt and just keep increasing the direct debit to try to pay it off. I'm paying a fraction of it just now due to the coronavirus, I asked them if I could lower it temporarily. And they let me off with a missed payment now and then as long as I tell them. One day I'm going to be hit over the head with a huge bill.

Economy 7 hasn't been available from any supplier I know of for years. You can only have it if you already had it. I already have a dual rate meter, EDF used to do "Eco 20:20" which was 20% off evenings and weekends, but the price of that increased so I was better off with a single tarriff. The meter gives two readings, but they're charged at the same rate. If I could get Economy 7, I'd tell the computers to only run at night, and get more computers to compensate. I love finding old hardware and connecting it together. Cheap to buy, but expensive to run.

It's not the CPUs that eat the juice, it's the GPUs. I have four AMD Radeon R9 280X cards. They were only 50 quid each, and they have very fast double precision, which is good for Milkyway. And there's all the cooling, including some 40 year old very loud Torin TA450 fans https://www.ebay.ca/itm/362032760647. I think they used to be used on mainframes or something. They're 115V, but two in series are happy off UK mains. I dunno why he's asking that much for them, I got a pack of 10 (used) for about 15 quid 30 years ago.
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Peter Hucker
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Message 97741 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:02:24 UTC - in response to Message 97737.  

I'd observe what Task Manager says about how much memory is is use, and how close it is to the maximum amount BOINC is allowed to use, before changing the memory settings. It's been at least months since I found a good reason to change the BOINC memory settings on my computer.


I generally set Boinc to 80%. And that's just a request, Boinc has been known to use more or less than that, a work unit doesn't always know how much memory it will need, and Boinc doesn't seem to be able to monitor it very well.
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Peter Hucker
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Message 97742 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:03:46 UTC - in response to Message 97738.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:05:29 UTC

How do you want that plan adjusted to handle times when one of the two projects had no work to download for the last few days, or very little work like it's happened on Rosetta@home recently? Many people do not agree that the adjustment should take effect immediately, without even waiting for several tasks to be reported and receive credits.

Many people just don't have enough spare time to frequently adjust their project setting, like you appear to want to do.


It should be exactly as it currently is, but just reset the debts when the weights are changed by the user. This would have no effect on anyone not changing the weights, but would allow a user to suddenly decide they want more time spent on a project they consider important, without having to wait a few days for it to settle. When I changed from Rosetta 1 and two other projects on 0, to 1/5/25 ratio, I did not get lots of Rosetta running, so it wasn't doing the project I considered important.
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Peter Hucker
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Message 97743 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:08:06 UTC - in response to Message 97739.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:08:29 UTC

EricM wrote:
I wonder if I should alter the memory settings?
In my recent observation, tasks are allocating anything from 300 to 3000, and averaging around 700, MB of memory each. At a limit of 75% of 8 GB for 4 cores, most tasks will be fine. But if nothing else is using the computer while BOINC is active, you could increase that to, say, 93%. (I don’t recommend 100% because the operating system will always need some memory for itself.)


I've had an 8GB computer completely lock up with a setting of 90%. Boinc using 90% (I think it had actually gone above that) and Windows using at least 10%, there were running tasks having to page constantly to the (mechanical) disk. I couldn't even get the task manager to respond it was so bogged down. I had to use the power button. I now always use 80% and that seems fine.
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Message 97744 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:08:37 UTC - in response to Message 97723.  

I've found that this will handle CPU time problems, However, the paused BOINC applications usually do NOT release any memory they have allocated, unless you shut down BOINC. Therefore, your plan does not help if the important contention is for memory instead of for CPU time, unless you use the setting for releasing memory from BOINC applications that are not running.


Surely the paused Boinc programs would be shoved in the swap file by Windows?

You might hope so, but that's not what actually happens. Many programs load memory in sections, keeping pointers to the start of those sections. If the sections are not reloaded to the same memory address where they were before, the program is likely to crash as soon as it tries to use something in an out of place section.

Instead, BOINC normally uses a method where the programs reach a point suitable for a checkpoint, write all of the memory in use but not marked as unchangeable to a checkpoint file, then go on. If there is an interruption that requires using a checkpoint, then the unchangeable part of the program will be reloaded as if the program was about to start over, then the changeable information is reloaded from the checkpoint file with suitable adjustments to pointers to where the sections are in memory, and then the program restarts from just after the point where it previously wrote the checkpoint.

Most, but not all, BOINC programs try to keep the last two checkpoint files written, so that if there was a problem writing the most recent one, the next older one can be used instead. A few BOINC projects using very big checkpoint files erase the previous one just before they write a new one. I suspect that those are projects that do not understand the structures of their programs well enough that they can separate the changeable sections from the unchangeable sections.
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Message 97745 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:10:31 UTC - in response to Message 97739.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:23:38 UTC

EricM wrote:
I wonder if I should alter the memory settings?
In my recent observation, tasks are allocating anything from 300 to 3000, and averaging around 700, MB of memory each. At a limit of 75% of 8 GB for 4 cores, most tasks will be fine. But if nothing else is using the computer while BOINC is active, you could increase that to, say, 93%. (I don’t recommend 100% because the operating system will always need some memory for itself.)
I've got my BOINC settings set for 95%
But i don't keep Tasks in memory when not active. If BOINC needs the RAM, it can use it. If other programmes need to run, then they do & the BOINC projects release the memory they were using.




I basically allow 1.3GB RAM per Task. Some use a lot more, most use a lot less, so overall as long as you allow 1.3GB per Task, set the number of cores/threads you use to match the available RAM in the system and you won't run in to issues.

eg 4 core/thread CPU 6GB min RAM.
12 core/thread CPU 16GB min RAM.
64 core/thread CPU 84GB min RAM.

The number of Tasks requiring more than 1GB are a lot less than there used to be, but they are still around & things could change back to larger RAM requirements in the future.
Given the low percentage of large RAM requirement Tasks overall, with really high core/thread count systems 1GB RAM per Task would be good enough not to run in to issues.
Grant
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Message 97746 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:17:03 UTC - in response to Message 97735.  

I would still recommend reducing Store up to an additional to zero, though in my experience that setting doesn’t seem to influence the amount of work downloaded in any event.
It does, just in very odd ways- It is best to have it as low as possible.

Having a large value for Additional days will result the cache running down significantly below the Store at least value, before it then gets more work to build it back up to the Store at least + Additional days value (and the larger each of those values, the greater the run down before it rebuilds the cache again). If people really feel a need for a cache, set it in Store at least value. The Additional days value should be as small as possible.
Weird things are much less likely to occur that way.


It seems a very simple setting to me, and it should obviously do the following (although Boinc is never sensible):

I set 6 hours + 12 hours. The queue falls to 6 hours, then it downloads an extra 12. That's a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 6+12. It can't mean anything else.

Yes if your mean 6 hours + 12 hours of run time. No if you mean 6 hours + 12 hours of clock time.
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Message 97747 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:17:30 UTC - in response to Message 97737.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:24:25 UTC

Well, you are all very helpful! I'm happy to say that some tweaks I tried an hour ago, before I read the past several posts, are somewhat in line with your suggestions. So I'm tentatively upgrading my self-assessment from dolt to simpleton. @Brian, your first sentence there, so simply put, immensely increased my understanding of how these work units are handled. I think that concept should be presented to every BOINC user on day one. Years ago, at the inception of BOINC, if I'd be told half of what you all have imparted to me today, I would have been a much better contributor all these years. Until now, seeking guidance in the forums has been frustrating and mostly unfruitful. Thankee!

PS- As I've been writing, BOINC is processing three work units simultaneously, which I assume means it's using three cores per my new CPU setting. I still have the switch-between interval set at 1,000 minutes, so I hope that does not cause my OpenPandemic tasks to expire. We'll see.

system: up-to-date Windows 10, Intel quad-core 3.6 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM
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Message 97748 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:22:29 UTC - in response to Message 97745.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:23:13 UTC

Double post.
Grant
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Message 97749 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:25:29 UTC - in response to Message 97736.  

Peter Hucker wrote:
I guess my tariff is lower than yours, because it's about half that. I do remember saving 30% by changing supplier a long time ago.

Mind you, I'm on one of those direct debit things that, like Boinc, never manages to settle down. So I could be racking up a massive debt....

What I'd love is Economy 7. My friend has it (he's still got storage radiators!) and only pays 5p a unit at night!
Good point – I’m in a rented flat and still on the supplier and tariff I inherited when I moved in. It’s unlikely that’s the best deal I could get…

In another place I neglected the direct debit discrepancy for so long it ended up with the supplier owing me £2,500!

Is the average cost still cheaper on Economy 7, despite the higher daytime rate? You can still change, can’t you? Though I suppose you’d have to pay £££ for a new meter…

But you’re really pulling 400 W per machine? I know the X5600s were not reknowned for their power efficiency, but they’re only 95 W TDP.

Looks like you're counting only the power used by the CPU chip, but not the power used by the rest of the computer. The computer's power supply must be able to handle the surges of power used to start up various sections of the computer, plus the power it uses itself, with enough of a margin that it does not run into the inefficiency of being too close to its limits.
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Message 97750 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:27:10 UTC
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 0:29:32 UTC

Having problems with Rosetta and World Community Grid.

I signed on to WCG and the computer started crunching.
However, it removed BONIC from my computer. In the WCG client, Asteroids and WCG are shown, as are SETI@Home and POGS, which are no longer active.

But Rosetta is MISSING!!

WCG won't let me on its forum page.

I had no active Rosetta tasks, but it should still show on my computer, along with the credits it has amassed.

Moreover, when I tried to log into BOINC, it says there is no such account for my email address. I've had a BOINC account for over 20 years.

What gives? I don't like how WGC has taken over my computer. Is that a common thing?

Steven Gaber
Oldsmar, FL
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Brian Nixon

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Message 97751 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:29:50 UTC - in response to Message 97740.  

They should have given you that earlier, I thought they had to by law
This was eight years ago; I suspect the rules were different then. I do notice they adjust the payment (down as well as up) more readily these days.

It's not the CPUs that eat the juice, it's the GPUs
Ah, of course. With my Rosetta blinkers on I hadn’t thought about non-CPU work…
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Message 97752 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:30:17 UTC - in response to Message 97731.  

Easy answer to your hypothesis...the Boinc Developers made that formula and they are the only ones that can change it. Join there email group and ask them why it's the way it is, I'm sure Dr A will give you a response at some point.


Yeah ok.... they're not the listening type.


Agreed...in short it is what it is and will be for as long as the people in charge stay there, it's better to work with the settings then try to figure out why they work the way they do.
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Message 97753 - Posted: 28 Jun 2020, 0:55:41 UTC - in response to Message 97750.  
Last modified: 28 Jun 2020, 1:13:42 UTC

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Message boards : Number crunching : Problems and Technical Issues with Rosetta@home



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