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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 Jul 10, 2010, 9:06 am
  #76  
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I just got an email: we are now listed as a team on the BOINC project known as CzechNationalTeam project.

http://project.czechnationalteam.cz/cplan/

Looks...exciting!

Keep those points comin'!
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Old Aug 25, 2010, 4:02 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by mattk
It must be on fire too based on your stats! Must get myself a new graphics card...
If you can add or upgrade your RAM that will also help computations.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 2:49 am
  #78  
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Coworkers discovered BOINC on two of my computers and uninstalled it to my protests (the computers still run just as slowly without BOINC ). I now only have two machines crunching numbers, but I'm still chugging along. Looks like a couple of you are set to overtake me soon!
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 8:10 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by Italy98
If you can add or upgrade your RAM that will also help computations.
Got enough of that The pain is now my HD4870 card only does GPU with Windows and not OSX so it's not going to be fully utilised until any apps are optimised for OSX
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 8:10 am
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal
Coworkers discovered BOINC on two of my computers and uninstalled it to my protests (the computers still run just as slowly without BOINC ). I now only have two machines crunching numbers, but I'm still chugging along. Looks like a couple of you are set to overtake me soon!
Busted
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 10:13 am
  #81  
 
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Haven't seen this thread in a while..

Kremmen and I were having a discussion re BOINC via PM. We have decided to continue it here. I am posting our PMs here as well.

Originally Posted by Kremmen
Hi.

I've had computers working on scientific/medical projects on WCG for years and noticed that you joined the Flyertalk Boinc team a while back. I'm curious as to why someone with well over 100 times the computing power available that I do is spending almost all of it on a mathematical puzzle. It's interesting, but it isn't going to help find cures to cancer or do anything else that's of practical use.

- Craig
Originally Posted by debonairy

Hi!

I use my (more powerful than average) computer to do work involving architecture modelling, renders etc and play games, and let it run BOINC when I don't need the processing power.

If you are asking why most of the work is done for Collatz Conjecture, its because it is the only project that utilizes my ATI GPU, while the other projects only use my CPU. Since no other projects can use my GPU, might as well let it be used on the mathematical puzzle that can use it. At least someone is getting some work from my computer when I don't need it.
Originally Posted by Kremmen

Interesting. I didn't realise the Collatz research used GPUs. It hadn't crossed my mind. Most of those with huge computing power at their disposal seem to have multiple multi-core servers (often with little or no GPU power), but there are discussions every so often on WCG about GPU support.

- Craig
Originally Posted by debonairy

I am only running BOINC on a single computer, with a core i7 and and an ATI GPU. The GPU is currently doing about 9-10 times more work than the CPU. If I let BOINC run for about 18h a day the GPU can rack up approx 24000credits.

As I understand(rudimentary at best) it, GPUs can perform certain calculations much more efficiently than CPUs. I do wish that there were more projects geared towards GPU computing but while there are a few for NVIDIA GPUs, I only know of Collatz for ATI.

I did speak to the tech support team at my university department about installing BOINC on the (once again more powerful than usual) computers but they declined since the school would have to foot the electric bill and the heat produced by all the computers would increase the air conditioning load and also raise temperatures to unbearable when the a/c gets turned off at night and during the weekend.

P.S. We should continue this discussion in the BOINC thread as none of this needs to be kept confidential and might even be interesting or useful to others.
Originally Posted by Kremmen
Yes, some (mainly parallel) tasks can work well on GPUs.

Disadvantages mentioned on WCG include the lack of standardisation of GPUs (last I read there were 2 standards, I think?) and their access and security/stability issues.

I can totally understand the heat/power issue. I run some computers in winter (i.e. now for me) on boinc and turn them off over summer.

Originally Posted by debonairy
P.S. We should continue this discussion in the BOINC thread as none of this needs to be kept confidential and might even be interesting or useful to others.
Sure. I didn't look to see if there still is a boinc thread anywhere.

And here is my reply to Kremmen's latest PM:
I think the 2 standards you refer to are ATI Stream and NVIDIA CUDA. AFAIK they are not interoperable so the projects will need to choose which they want to use. I think NVIDIA had a larger market share till a couple of months ago, thus also accounting for a larger share of BOINC projects.

The heat is a big issue for many people IMO. I can use my laptop exhaust as a makeshift cup warmer
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 10:50 am
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by debonairy
The heat is a big issue for many people IMO. I can use my laptop exhaust as a makeshift cup warmer
It's not just a heat issue for a laptop. Replacing a desktop fan is nothing. Running a laptop fan a lot means it'll probably fail, and replacing a laptop fan can be tedious job, as well as way more expensive. I run my laptop at its lowest possible speed which means it almost never runs the fan at all, even at 100% CPU usage. (... which in turn means that it won't get worn out and wouldn't matter much if it did.) If you replace your laptop every 6 months, or whenever you burn the CPU out, that may not matter to you.


BTW, it was suggested on a recent WCG thread that Collatz is (possibly dramatically) exaggerating the amount of BOINC credit it hands out.

Last edited by Kremmen; Aug 26, 2010 at 11:04 am
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:32 am
  #83  
 
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Good point about fan and other parts failure. My laptop has a 2 year warranty and I plan to replace it before that runs out, mostly because a faster computer means I can do work faster.

Are you capping your fanspeed? Wouldn't that increase the likelihood of heat failure? I had 1 laptop GPU fried due to dirty fan. Are you monitoring the processor temps?

Can you please post the link to the WCG thread re Collatz cooking the BOINC books? I'm really curious about why.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:56 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by debonairy
Are you capping your fanspeed? Wouldn't that increase the likelihood of heat failure? I had 1 laptop GPU fried due to dirty fan. Are you monitoring the processor temps?

Can you please post the link to the WCG thread re Collatz cooking the BOINC books? I'm really curious about why.
Surely everyone monitors laptop temp, or just lets the BIOS do it? My laptop usually runs at ~30-50oC (idle-100% CPU) without the fan running. If the ambient temp is high, it can get to 60, at which point the fan will come on.

WCG link: here
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 12:36 pm
  #85  
 
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I only monitor temp/processor load when I'm doing something new like running a new program/game. I'm sure there are people who don't monitor at all.

Regarding the Collatz link, one poster 'TylerChris' mentioned his test showing 26min per work unit for GPU vs 15h for CPU so that's about 30x difference. IIRC somebody mentioned somewhere in this thread about the RAC being on a logarithmic scale, which might account for the high credits?
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 1:11 pm
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by jackal
Congratulations, Team FlyerTalk--we've passed the two million credit mark! This puts us in 3,836th place out of 87,498 other teams. And believe it or not (largely thanks to debonairy's willingness to use a GPU-enabled project--hint, hint!), we are #549 out of 87,555 teams in recent credit. If even one more person adds a GPU-enabled project, we have a shot at getting into the top 100!
I will be replacing my nearly 10 year-old Gateway desktop in a couple of moths. I do believe that I will see a noticeable difference processing results with a better processor, video card and more ram.
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 11:59 pm
  #87  
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Thumbs up

Thanks to Kremmen and debonairy for sharing their very enlightening conversation.
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Old Aug 27, 2010, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by Italy98
I will be replacing my nearly 10 year-old Gateway desktop in a couple of moths. I do believe that I will see a noticeable difference processing results with a better processor, video card and more ram.
If you're going the Windows route then as long as you get a machine with an Nvidea or ATI card you should be fine to do GPU as long as it's spec'd up and compatible with some of the projects. I think the Wikipedia article on BOINC and also Nvidea & ATI has some pointers as to what cards are GPU enabled and what there performance stats are.

If you're going Mac then be aware that there is limited support for GPUs and only the NVidea cards are supported under CUDA, AFAIK there are no ATI (CAL) enabled projects for Mac.
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Old Sep 7, 2010, 8:09 pm
  #89  
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Just in!

*Team FlyerTalk has been chosen as the BOINCstats/BAM! team of the day!*

- thanks jackal


I think I'll need a new computer before continuing on this project, as my laptop is either loosing its HD or a fan (more have been ordered)
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Old Sep 9, 2010, 3:38 pm
  #90  
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Originally Posted by beckoa
*Team FlyerTalk has been chosen as the BOINCstats/BAM! team of the day!*

- thanks jackal


I think I'll need a new computer before continuing on this project, as my laptop is either loosing its HD or a fan (more have been ordered)
I got the alert while driving over mountain passes in Colorado, so I didn't really have a chance to post about it. But congratulations, Team FlyerTalk!
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