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The FlyerTalk BOINC Team: Donate your computer's idle time for research!

Old Apr 19, 2014, 1:50 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: jackal


:-: Donate your unused processor cycles for research! :-:

Get started:
  1. Download BOINC here
  2. Find one or more projects whose goals interest you from this page* (here's another, more comprehensive, page with some descriptions, and here's a Wikipedia page as well--pick from the projects with the green "yes" under the "BOINC based" column)
    • *If you have a compatible ATI or NVIDIA graphics card, choose at least one project with the appropriate logo to take advantage of your GPU's extra horsepower
Then:

Without an account manager
  1. In BOINC, click "Add Project" and choose the project from the list. If a project is not listed, enter the URL of the project's website
  2. Log in to your account on each project's website, search for a team named FlyerTalk, and click join
  3. Repeat for any additional projects you have joined

OR: with an account manager:
(An account manager allows easier control of multiple projects and/or multiple computers)
  1. Register with an account manager (BAM, GridRepublic)
  2. Log into the account manager and select projects to join (detailed steps for BAM, GridRepublic)
  3. Join the FlyerTalk team for each of your projects in the account manager
  4. From within BOINC, click "Add Project" and choose to add an account manager. Enter the details of your account manager, and everything else will start automatically!
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The FlyerTalk BOINC Team: Donate your computer's idle time for research!

Old Apr 30, 2010, 2:56 am
  #46  
 
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After a bit of research I've answered my own question about MacPros and GPU processing. So if anyone else is scratching their head then check out this link:

http://boincfaq.mundayweb.com/index....age=1&view=471

Now a result!

NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GT 120 (driver version unknown, CUDA version 3000, compute capability 1.1, 512MB, 90 GFLOPS peak)
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Old May 1, 2010, 7:51 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mattk
After a bit of research I've answered my own question about MacPros and GPU processing. So if anyone else is scratching their head then check out this link:

http://boincfaq.mundayweb.com/index....age=1&view=471

Now a result!

NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GT 120 (driver version unknown, CUDA version 3000, compute capability 1.1, 512MB, 90 GFLOPS peak)
Sweet! And thanks for the link.
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Old May 1, 2010, 8:15 am
  #48  
 
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After runnung with the GPU enabled yesterday I couldn't see a noticable difference on SETI. does anyone have any benchmarks of their own? My quad core, 2.66Ghz is pushing out a SETI run in about 5.5hrs (albeit 8 at a time). Jackel, what about yours?
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Old May 1, 2010, 8:46 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by mattk
After runnung with the GPU enabled yesterday I couldn't see a noticable difference on SETI. does anyone have any benchmarks of their own? My quad core, 2.66Ghz is pushing out a SETI run in about 5.5hrs (albeit 8 at a time). Jackel, what about yours?
Is SETI a GPU-enabled program? It isn't with my ATI, but if you have an NVIDIA, it may be. Also, completed work units are not always immediately reported. Give it a few days, or open BOINC manager, select the SETI project, and click "update." Give it a bit for your work unit results to be processed and credit granted, and then you'll see a difference.
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Old May 8, 2010, 1:18 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal
Is SETI a GPU-enabled program? It isn't with my ATI, but if you have an NVIDIA, it may be. Also, completed work units are not always immediately reported. Give it a few days, or open BOINC manager, select the SETI project, and click "update." Give it a bit for your work unit results to be processed and credit granted, and then you'll see a difference.
You know I don't think it is a GPU enabled task, either that or it can't pick up a suitable job:

Sat May 8 18:39:46 2010 SETI@home Reporting 1 completed tasks, requesting new tasks for GPU
Sat May 8 18:39:51 2010 SETI@home Scheduler request completed: got 0 new tasks
Sat May 8 18:39:51 2010 SETI@home Message from server: (Project has no jobs available)


It seems to pick up jobs for the CPU easily.

Question for you jackal, what projects are we linked to with the team?
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Old May 8, 2010, 8:46 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by mattk
You know I don't think it is a GPU enabled task, either that or it can't pick up a suitable job:

Sat May 8 18:39:46 2010 SETI@home Reporting 1 completed tasks, requesting new tasks for GPU
Sat May 8 18:39:51 2010 SETI@home Scheduler request completed: got 0 new tasks
Sat May 8 18:39:51 2010 SETI@home Message from server: (Project has no jobs available)


It seems to pick up jobs for the CPU easily.

Question for you jackal, what projects are we linked to with the team?
This is a BOINC-wide team, so there should be a FlyerTalk team on any BOINC project you want to join. Some BOINC projects may not be importing the BOINC-wide team list from Berkeley's servers, but the vast majority are. If you try to locate a FlyerTalk team on a project and can't find one, post the name of the project here and I'll look into it.
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Old May 9, 2010, 4:13 am
  #52  
 
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Once again I've answered my own question about GPU enabled projects:

From the website: http://boincfaq.mundayweb.com/index....age=1&view=471

Projects with CUDA
GPUGrid
Seti Beta *
Seti@Home *
Aqua@Home *
Einstein@Home
Milkyway@Home
Collatz Conjecture

Projects with ATI Stream (CAL)
Collatz Conjecture
Milkyway@Home

* Windows only, Linux and Macintosh require 3rd party applications or are not available.


I'll rejoin one of the other GPU enabled Mac projects and see what the performance is like. Will report back.
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Old May 9, 2010, 4:28 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal
This is a BOINC-wide team, so there should be a FlyerTalk team on any BOINC project you want to join. Some BOINC projects may not be importing the BOINC-wide team list from Berkeley's servers, but the vast majority are. If you try to locate a FlyerTalk team on a project and can't find one, post the name of the project here and I'll look into it.
I was having trouble before with Einstein but that seems to be fixed now I've detached for a week or so and rejoined. It's now reporting I can join the FT group.
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Old May 10, 2010, 7:00 am
  #54  
 
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So an update for anyone running a Mac and Cuda. Based on what I found yesterday it's very difficult to actually find a Mac enabled Cuda project and work unit. I've had to update my Mac Boinc client to 6.10.51 (which is a beta) to get Einstein to stop barking about my client being out of date and for it to finally throw down a work unit (which is going well). When you're attaching to a new project be careful as you'll see which projects are enabled for GPU support however I've found a few of them do not support a Mac yet. Check out their websites before starting. The list I posted earlier from another site highlighted this but when I connected to Collatz I found there were multiple Mac problems and had a number of computation failures.
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Old May 10, 2010, 6:11 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by mattk
So an update for anyone running a Mac and Cuda. Based on what I found yesterday it's very difficult to actually find a Mac enabled Cuda project and work unit. I've had to update my Mac Boinc client to 6.10.51 (which is a beta) to get Einstein to stop barking about my client being out of date and for it to finally throw down a work unit (which is going well). When you're attaching to a new project be careful as you'll see which projects are enabled for GPU support however I've found a few of them do not support a Mac yet. Check out their websites before starting. The list I posted earlier from another site highlighted this but when I connected to Collatz I found there were multiple Mac problems and had a number of computation failures.
My Mac is an ancient PowerBook G4 that most definitely doesn't have a compatible graphics card, so that one is stuck chugging along with normal workunits.

I had to throttle back the GPU processing on my work machine, as others use it when I'm not there and were complaining about its sluggish feel.

I'm sure others here have compatible graphics cards--if they were to take the 5 minutes to research and join a project that works with their machines, Team FlyerTalk could easily end up in the top 100 teams!
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Old May 10, 2010, 11:58 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal
I'm sure others here have compatible graphics cards--if they were to take the 5 minutes to research and join a project that works with their machines, Team FlyerTalk could easily end up in the top 100 teams!
Good point which raises another question (I'm good at asking questions and with my recent track record I'll probably answer my own question in about 5-10mins). Q. How does BOINC calculate RAC/rankings? Do some projects give a higher credit than others? For instance are some projects worth more than others relative to the time spent? Looking at the stats some of RAC coming through Collatz seem to get really high scores (debonairy!).
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Old May 11, 2010, 3:50 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by mattk
Good point which raises another question (I'm good at asking questions and with my recent track record I'll probably answer my own question in about 5-10mins). Q. How does BOINC calculate RAC/rankings? Do some projects give a higher credit than others? For instance are some projects worth more than others relative to the time spent? Looking at the stats some of RAC coming through Collatz seem to get really high scores (debonairy!).
The doling out of credits should be relatively consistent per processing unit between all projects.

Theoretically, 10 hours of processing on S@H should give you the same credit as 10 hours of processing on E@H or MW@H or any other project.

However, some projects' applications are written to take advantage of extra things on processors or are optimized for more efficient calculation. Some applications use extended featuresets (SSE2, SSE3, etc.) to process more data per processing cycle. Any of these will give you a bit more credit per unit of time.

And then, of course, there are GPUs, which are phenomenally efficient at certain types of processing (GPUs are massively parallel processors). 10 hours of GPU processing can process a LOT more data than 10 hours on a CPU--if it's the right kind of data. That's why Collatz gives such a huge amount of credit.

As for how BOINC calculates RAC, I'm not sure, but I'm sure it's explained on the BOINC website or in some forums somewhere. I do recall reading that if your computers are completely inactive, your RAC drops by 50% each week, so it may be some sort of logarithmic scale...
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Old May 11, 2010, 8:47 am
  #58  
 
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Thanks for the description ^ I've managed to leave the Mac on for a couple of days now so things are moving up here but I'll be out soon and the wife will kill me for leaving it on so things will dip off for a short while...
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Old May 11, 2010, 7:29 pm
  #59  
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Originally Posted by mattk
Thanks for the description ^ I've managed to leave the Mac on for a couple of days now so things are moving up here but I'll be out soon and the wife will kill me for leaving it on so things will dip off for a short while...
Turn the screen off.

Or attempt to convince her that leaving it running all the time actually reduces wear and tear on the machine, since the parts are not repeatedly expanding and contracting from constant heating up and cooling down. (Hey, there is some truth to that! )
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Old May 11, 2010, 8:16 pm
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Jumping in on this. Starting w/ SETI, s/b adding a few others later on this week.
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