Tuesday, June 12, 2012

BOINC Update

It's been a while since I talked about BOINC so here's a quick update post regarding what it's been going. So I used boinc extensively for the first few months but then I stopped for a couple of months. I stopped because I just couldn't get the settings right, where I wanted two processor settings for when the computer was in use and idle. This just wasn't possible with the BOINC manager so I got frustrated and stopped using BOINC. But about two months ago I restarted my BOINC journey, where I tried to only participate in one project that I cared about. Initially I thought it would be the World Computing Project but then I realized the times were just too variable and I went to rosetta@home, where the project times are user configurable online at their website here. Before I also tried to run BOINC only when my computer was idle for a set number of minutes, but I found out this time that I could actually run BOINC as I was using the computer unless I am on youtube or another flash site. I also refined my processor and memory usage configurations, which I will also talk about. But, first for the screenshots. At this point GPU computing using AMD graphics cards on the mac is still at its infancy, so I do not use my GPU to do any computing.

So this is how my project page looks like at the moment. Pretty simple, I removed all the other projects and used rosetta@home for my main project.

Theses are the current active tasks I have, there's a good number of them because I can potentially run 8 tasks at once. Some are "waiting to run" because I've restricted my memory usage, but when the computer is idle there should be 8 tasks running at the same time.

Just a quick screenshot with my credit statistics on a daily basis.

Memory Configuration
So now a quick look at my BOINC settings. When I first ran BOINC I tried to run it even when I was using the computer, and I found out that BOINC was just using too much memory at once (plus I was using firefox), even when the memory at idle was restricted to 50%. Perhaps this was fixed in the latest release (or I just didn't notice it before) but I set memory restriction to 40% at idle and it's been running far better, where if I start using the computer the application would give back some of the memory, where more tasks would be "waiting to run" as compared to "running."

CPU Configuration

Memory configuration was pretty simple, it actually took me a while to figure out the optimal CPU settings, since it had a direct relation to temperature. I would have to change the CPU settings depending on the computer temperature (which I monitor with istat menus). Right now I have BOINC to use 100% of the processor at a 15% run time. I no longer need to change the processor settings, though I do snooze BOINC when I go on youtube because flash is still quite processor intensive. At this point, even with all my usual apps open (WEb browser, Sparrow, Flux, iStat menus, Radium) the processor is at 67 degrees celsius and the fans are at 2000 rpm, with the enclosure being 334 degrees celsius. Previously I thought it was imperative to have the CPU temperature at low 60's at night but over time I realized it didn't matter as long as the fans were at the lowest setting (I do not run SMC fan control). I do monitor the temperature over time, hwoever, and snooze BOINC if necessary.

So there you have it, a quick update on my BOINC status. Happy Computing!

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