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Thread: How much electricity does it take to fold?

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    Default How much electricity does it take to fold?

    I really have to question if folding@home is worth it. I know the 2 main ways that electricity is produced in the US, and they are really bad. I think $tanford should research how many diseases are caused by the pollution created by the extra power that has to be produced to run FAH.

    Folding causes a 50% increase in power consumption for my primary computer, and for me, this is unacceptable for continuous use. Added to that, is the fact that the computer is now on all the time consuming at this increased rate, and you now have a nice power bill to remind you that all this isn't free.

    Imagine you have to move across town. You can make 50 trips in you geo metro, or 1 trip in your freightliner - which will burn more fuel? Now imagine your simulating a protien(or whatever they do) and you can use 1,000,000 PC's or 1 supercomputer to do the same work. You say "but they don't have a supercomputer that powerful", and I say "they will soon enough!" In the mean time I'm not going to sell out the environment because their computer is too slow.

    Yes, the same thing happens when you play games, or do anythung that really USES the computer. The difference is that I don't leave the games running all day and night.

    Yes, it's fun to have the biggest PPD. Who doesn't like to strut around saying "My PPD is bigger than yours." When you consider that PPD could also mean "pollution per day" it takes a new meaning. I guess you would have to say "My PPD is huge, but it may cause cancer." Suddenly the girls don't want anything to do with your huge PPD.

    I'm going to be using standby, not FAH from now on. I will feel better about it too, knowing that I'm actually reducing pollution, not just waving around my massive PPD.

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    There is a whole thread over at Fah Forum that addresses the downside of folding http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1164 the front page of which I posted here too http://www.forums.pureoverclock.com/...ead.php?t=3839 . I will not set out to encourage you to continue, rather I would ask that you consider folding in the way that was first envisaged years ago ie using the spare cycles on your computer when you are for example surfing. I guess that in the circumstances described above the additional cost of folding be it financial or evironmental has an impact but one that is less of a detriment to both wallet and the planet.

    Discussions can go on ad infinitum about the cost of not finding a cure for these diseases but whether they be real or perceived I offer only my thanks for your efforts to date and wish you and yours good health
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    Doctor_Death (27-01-2009)

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    The way I see it is that you really cannot put a price on finding a cure for a disease. Ware Ternal, it's really up to you, no one says you have to fold 24/7 even 4-5 hrs a day is helping out.

    One of my machines has to much customer information, and the other two are test systems . I have been thinking about building one just for folding. I was hit by a drunk driver while I was on my Harley back in 98, and had a full blown stroke at 44 yrs old while they were operating on me. Folding can help save a lot of people, and you can be a part of that.

    Grump, do they ever list what folding has helped do so far ? if they do, maybe you should do a short story on this, it might help convince more people to join your team. How is the team doing ?

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    The way I see it is that you really cannot put a price on finding a cure for a disease.
    this from a guy called "doctor death"....kind of ironic....
    The way I see it, the things your putting a price on are the environment and you power bill. You're trading both of them for folding points! I'm afraid there won't be much material for that short story either.

    There is a whole thread over at Fah Forum that addresses the downside of folding
    Yes, there is that article, but it's very one-sided, and in my opinion, unrealistic. It says the average system uses only 120 watts fully loaded. It says "An extra 50W will not have a significant impact on either the environment or your electricity bill." Using his figures that comes out to about $50/year, that you donate not to research diseases, but to the power company to burn extra coal to power folding. He goes on to suggest that running at full load 24/7 won't shorten the life of your PC, when intel says that higher voltages and frequencies "will result in higher processor operating temperature, which may result in damage or a reduced processor life span." Idle computers often run at lower voltages and frequencies. It seems likely that idle computers have an increased lifespan compared to fully loaded computers.

    I know this has been debated before, and I have seen the charts of power usage by each GPU. They do have a list of awards, and research papers on the FAH home page. They have written 61 papers, done some lectures, and received a grant from Stanford University to design and study novel antibiotics.

    I don't want to discourage anyone from helping out. The fact is that you wont find any cures on the list of accomplishemnts for a long time. I didn't do enough research into the topic, and I bet other people didn't either.

    I was uninformed about the difference in power usage between "normal use"(browsing, playing videos/music, bittorrent) and folding. I also underestimated the impact of running additional machines which would normally be in S3 sleep. The combined effect is significant rise in kHh's used. Your CPU may have "spare cycles" when it's idle, but it can't use them to do anything without using additional power. A little testing will show that despite it's small memory usage, folding, and even GPU folding, is one of the more power hungry applications.

    Folding seems like a good cause, considering that some people are "wasting" power all day to try and find the next prime number(whoopee?) If you don't breathe, then you wont care how much coal you have to burn to fold, but folding still doesn't make sense.

    My primary computer(and LCD), for example, uses about 240 watts right now. Over 31 days this equals 179 kWh, or about $19.69 on the power bill. The 8800GS is considered a power efficient folding card, yet folding on 2 pushes the power use up to 340 watts, and $27.90 on the bill. I think this is a best case scenario, with the worst case being if I counted 3 other less efficient machines that would normally be in S3 sleep using less than 10 watts each. So even in this best case scenario, I'm spending $100 a year on folding on just 1 machine. Now, wouldn't it be better to give the $100 to stanford instead of the power company?

    Why will people not donate $1 for this research, but they will spend hundreds on electricity?

    So I guess if you don't breathe, and print your own money, then go for it!

    This year shut down the folding and put your computer to sleep, then donate what you save to research and take a deduction off your taxes next year!

    cancer research charities: http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html#cancer

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    I think he's just mad I keep making fun of his PPD

    So wouldn't they still need to generate all that power for Stanford to do the research on giant supercomputers? And at Cali rates? Better that we kill a few Cali folk with the extra smog or a few salmon in the Columbia? (I know its a close call for some of you out there, but be civil)

    And hear me out on this argument: We help keep the environmental damage down by using the hardware that we would have bought anyway for our selfish selves:rolleyes: as a substitute for building, housing, staffing, powering and maintaining multiple supercomputer arrays. This advances research faster than it would otherwise and when we find a cure we can use the capacity for the next great advance that requires similar analysis.

    As for shortening the lifespan of your hardware, I think most enthusiasts don't keep their hardware in circulatioin long enough to notice a difference. And yes, I am making the assumption that most people folding are enthusiasts since, aww come on, you know we are if we are serious enough to figure out what folding is a keep at it. Most take their equipment out to pasture after a couple years or sometimes even less. Not all of it goes into rebuilds for our less demanding bretheren, plenty gets scrapped or shelved.

    Personaly, I hate S3 sleep. I want instant response and I never had good luck with it coming out of sleep right anyway.

    Oh, and if you worry about your monitor, turn it off unless you are using the machine like I do

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    It's a good cause, and that's the important thing. Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anybody that's folding.

    I had no idea that it could cost $100 or more a year. I don't know how much power it takes to run a really big computer, but I'm assuming that thousands of tiny power supplies are not very efficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco View Post
    I never had good luck with it coming out of sleep right anyway.

    Oh, and if you worry about your monitor, turn it off
    Yeah, too bad about S3...Maybe when you get that new RAM that your board likes better it will work for you. I do turn my monitor off. My monitor and computer wake up fast, but my wireless does take a few seconds to connect. By the way, a nicer system(maybe with 2 4850's:rolleyes could be using about 500 watts.

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    $100 a year ! are you kidding me, I had no idea it was that expensive. Ware Ternal I do not think you offended any one, every one has their own opinion.

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    If you are talking about me, I wasn't offended. It is simply a spirited debate and some good old fasioned . To that end:

    I have no doubt rocking 2+ high performance gfx cards 24/365 vs. just when I game increases my power bill by more than $100/year. Absolutely no doubt about it, maybe even way more than $100/year. I'm prepared to pay that cost. I just don't believe more polution is generated than if you gave the $ to Stanford and let them build supercomputers to do the research. It is at worst a push in my opinion, uninformed as it may be. And that doesn't even count the traditional folding where it actually does only use spare CPU cycles.

    I also agree that the lifespan of my hardware is shortened. There can be no doubt. It just isn't by an amount that will ever effect me in my use of it.

    I believe that folding is advancing research faster than it would otherwise, which is a good cause. Despite the lack of absolute proof of success, like a cure for cancer, there must be something to it. I may be uninformed, but do you think all those intelligent and informed scientists would keep at it if there wasn't progress being made? ...OK OK, the suposedly "intelligent and informed" in human history do have a many thousand year long track record that looks like a rap sheet of a dictator...and some dictators were looked at as intelligent and informed by at least some people out there (not me)...but there's got to be a better than average chance the Pande Group knows what they are doing.

    Finally, i still like saying "My PPD is bigger than your PPD." That always makes me smile, even when I'm on the wrong end of it. (Right here is where I need one of those ROFL smilies, why don't we have one? We may need to rethink the smilie group) Oh, and "My PPD is huge, but it may cause cancer" is going down as one of the best quotes I have seen in a forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor_Death View Post
    $100 a year ! are you kidding me, I had no idea it was that expensive. Ware Ternal I do not think you offended any one, every one has their own opinion.
    Boys and girls....I've seen poeple posting about having electricity bills over $500 a month

    Think about it, Modern gaming/power rig runs at what? 300watts Idling? then put graphics under load (my 9800gtx uses about 75-80watts) now put the cpu under load too (high estimate here 100watts) so a folding rig running 4 cards would be using maybe 700watts. The new 295's would use more

    Now do the math:

    0.7*24*30=504Kw/h per month
    Now the big question....How much do you have to pay for your electricity??
    Locally the rate is 0.1375 inc tax =$0.196

    So monthly cost would be $98.79 for an annual cost of $1185.

    Now you start to see why you might want to consider only running in the background whilst doing other things.

    Becoming a folding junkie costs a small fortune to run let alone buy.

    Who was it that asked why I stopped???

    Even though my stopping is temporary (more of a pause really) I will not be running full time in future for the reason shown above.....doing so would put back my i7 build too much toward next year


    I for one will understand anyone who doesn't fold 24/7...and...lets face it, in a battle of e peen types, to make any impression on the 'big' boys you would probably have to have at least 4 machines, as described above, running 24/7 ....probably more (the top daily production individual today is at a rate of 12 of these machines followed by a bunch running around 8)
    Last edited by grumpydaddy; 31-01-2009 at 07:31.
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    Just been reading of a guy that has built a dedicated folding rig that produces around 50k ppd and uses around 850 watts so anyone that wants to calculate on those figures...and don't forget to factor in the rig and its 3 gtx295's......It must be nice to be rich

    EDIT I make that $120/month or $1440/year and a build cost of over $2000 and you would need 6 or more to be top dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by WareTernal View Post
    I"My PPD is huge, but it may cause cancer." Suddenly the girls don't want anything to do with your huge PPD.
    o wow you are so wrong. My car is freeken polutive and the ladies all know that yet they do whatever i ask them for a ride in it. The truth is people dont care about pollution and the funny part is that the world is getting colder so to all you "scientists" that told me to stop polluting go eat some yellow snow. Cancer a a much bigger concern than hydrocarbons.
    http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/5522/881217549921tl2.png

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      • C4 NIC
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    Yo smith, I want a car like yours........makes ladies do whatever you want huh?
    Rig2: 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @2.4), Asus z9 pe-d8 ws, 32gb ripjawsz under water, rig3 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @2.4), Supermicro 7047A-T 16GB 1600 ecc reg, on air, Rig4: 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @3.1), Supermicro x9 DAi 16GB 1600 ecc reg, on air, Rig5: 2*e5-2660 (16c/32t @2.7), Supermicro x9 DRW iF 32GB 1600 ecc reg, on air

  14. #13
    Regular Member

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    smith is offline

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    honestly yea ive had grils come up to me and say is that your evo? then it all begins:cool:.
    http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/5522/881217549921tl2.png

  15. #14
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    Doctor_Death is offline

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    Grumpy, how is he running three GTX295s ? When I had the last GX2s they always showed as Quad SLI in the nvidia control panel, I have noticed with my two GTX295s that it does not say Quad SLI, just SLI which I find very strange.

  16. #15
    Folding Team Leader

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    grumpydaddy is offline

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    SLI is not involved in folding and needs disabling to get folding to work then a monitor (or dummy plug) is fitted to each output (if using Vista) and once the desktop is extended to each card they each work as an individual unit. I've read that only with a very recent bios update does the third slot work if in sli for some asus boards in fact it is still rather flakey for quite a few because of the need to re-boot ater a whole lot of changes that did not need this before. Whether this is an x58 problem or a driver problem I'm not sure but if you are needing a problem solved I can look around some answers if you want

    Have you looked at this using other software (riva and GPU-z come to mind) and have you heard of the forthcoming voltage control from EVGA
    Rig2: 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @2.4), Asus z9 pe-d8 ws, 32gb ripjawsz under water, rig3 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @2.4), Supermicro 7047A-T 16GB 1600 ecc reg, on air, Rig4: 2*e5-26xx (16c/32t @3.1), Supermicro x9 DAi 16GB 1600 ecc reg, on air, Rig5: 2*e5-2660 (16c/32t @2.7), Supermicro x9 DRW iF 32GB 1600 ecc reg, on air

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