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mulehollandaise
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2010-07-20 19:35:56

Hi there,

I was just wondering about a few questions about Boinc, and I have absolutely no clue about them: could you help?

The questions I'd like to know the answers of concern electrical consumption and such. First of all, is the electrical consumption of a computer linear in its UC/processor use? (if you use 100% of your processor capacities, does your computer consume twice as much as if you were using 50% of it, or slighlty less (which is better)? (or slightly more!??)) Then, are the supercomputers more energy-efficient than the swarm of computers from Boinc, and if so, in which proportions? Finally, does using your computer's processing capacity to a 100% most of the time impair the lifetime of your computer or its components, and if so in which proportions?

Thanks a lot !
STE\/E
Tester
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2010-07-20 21:14:41
last modified: 2010-07-20 21:15:21

Running your Processor 100% of the time does consume more Energy than if it sat Idle, not twice as much but about 60 Watt's Per Hour more for a Quad Core Box. Also running BOINC will find any faulty hardware in your Computer, that doesn't mean BOINC is the Cause for the hardware to fail as it would have failed earlier than expected even if you didn't run BOINC. I've run a lot of the same equipment for years now without failure but have had some hardware go bad after only a few month's too. So you basically take your chances, no different than running a car around a race track 24/7, things on the car will fail sooner than if you just drove the car to work and back ...
noderaser
 
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2010-07-21 01:20:33

Power consumption depends a lot on your computer and its components; my desktop Athlon64X2 consumes around 200 W running at full load, whereas the Mac Mini uses less than 40 W. The largest source of component failure you're likely to see from BOINC will have to do with heat; if you don't have a good cooling system, it's worth the money to make sure your computer doesn't melt. Alternatively, you can limit BOINC's CPU usage to keep heat at a manageable level. I do this on my laptop (at 60%), since there isn't a lot of air movement through it.
rroonnaalldd
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2010-07-21 18:40:15

If you want to limit your cpu usage, better don't try the boinc way. There are many problems known and the solution was ever the same in the past, reset the processor usage to "Use at most: 100% of CPU time" inside your boinc preferences.
Use eFMer's BOINC TThrottle instead. This little tool is easy to use, no bugs are known and has also temperature regulation for cpu & gpu inside.
noderaser
 
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2010-07-22 03:10:09

Would you elaborate on these problems? I have been using BOINC's throttle for over 4 years without any ill effects. On the other hand, Tthrottle caused some pretty nasty crashes on my system. It is also only available for Windows, and does not support older processors.
ebahapo
 
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2010-07-23 21:29:15
last modified: 2010-07-23 21:34:34

Many moons ago I measured the effect of BOINC applications on two server systems, a relatively new dual Opteron-based one and an old dual Athlon-based one, as you can see here. In the former, total system power went from 82W to 107W (+30%) and, in the latter, from 201W to 238W (+18%).

Now I just used the battery charge monitor on my dual-core laptop to measure power out of the battery. While running a WU from CAS and another from dDM, along with three NCI WUs that shouldn't use significant power, the total system power went from 19.4W when BOINC is suspended to 24.3W (+25%) at 100% of CPU or to 21.8W (+12%) if telling BOINC to use only up to 50% of CPU.

Or roughly somewhere between 20 and 30%, or some 25% in the average, more power because of BOINC, depending on the system type. And it seems that BOINC can be used effectively to limit its own impact on power consumption.

HTH
mulehollandaise
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2010-07-23 22:13:20

Thanks to you all for your answers! That's exactly the kind of infos I was looking for
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