Pages: [1]
Guest

2006-03-31 03:35:13
last modified: 2006-03-31 03:40:04

Hi,

Recently I replaced my Apple G4 dual 500MHz with a G5 dual-core 2.3GHz. I have been running SETI, Einstein, and SZTAKI on the Mac (and PC’s). After the upgrade, I decided to register with ClimatePrediction, and give it half the processor time (on one core, the other core runs Folding@Home).

As some may have noticed, CPDN has dropped support of Mac OSX. The official statement says that there have been too many problems with stability, and they have enough data from the projects that run on Macs that they will not be releasing work units in the foreseeable future. CPDN’s “Applications” page no longer lists the OSX applications for any project, and none of the spin-off’s support OSX.

So… I disconnected from that. I have too much running on the PC side to properly run CPDN, and I don’t want the work units taking 6 months because of switching from Malaria Control, SIMAP, and FightAIDS@Home (and LHC, when there’s work).

Also, I’ve noticed that SETI doesn’t have nearly the performance increase as Einstein or SZTAKI. I was expecting the project to run at about 25-20% previous speed (about 4.5x the clock-speed, plus improvements in the processor). I saw that amount of improvement in Einstein and SZTAKI. In SETI, the reduction in speed is only about 40%.

Now, on to my point….

I was wondering if any BOINC site has a list of “Mac friendly” BOINC projects. By “Mac friendly”, I mean not just “there’s an OSX client”, but also that there’s regular work for the clients, support is reasonable, the clients are stable, and the client’s speed scales with the power of the processor.

The new BOINC Wiki lists the following established projects as having Mac versions.

*CPDN - *(just officially dropped)
Einstein - (always worked well for me, performs well)
Predictor
Rosetta
SETI - (not expected performance increase going from low G4 to high G5)
SZTAKI - (always worked well for me, performs well)

After a little digging among the alpha projects, I found:

Leiden Classical - (only “classical” engine, one of five project engines, on OSX, and it apparently requires the XFree86 subsystem be installed.)
RALPH - (Rosetta’s alpha testing project)
SIMAP - (OSX client "on the way", but not really. See below.)

So, does anyone have any good information on BOINC’ing on the Mac? I’ve heard mixed reviews of Predictor and Rosetta, but I’d like a life-sciences project on my Mac.

Is there any information on upcoming OSX clients on other projects? SIMAP says an OSX client is “in the works”, but when I asked about it in early February, the moderator said the OSX client is "somewhere down the pipes", but could not say how far down, with no updates since. (I run SIMAP on Windows and Linux, and would like it on my G5.)

And, please, no “buy a real computer” comments. I actually have BOINC running on a Windows XP PC (AMD Athlon XP 3200+) and a Fedora Linux PC (Athlon XP 2200+). My G5 stomps the 2200+, and runs Einstein at about the same speed as the optimized client for Windows on the 3200+. SZTAKI is a bit faster on the 3200+ (the G5 seems to have traded some FPU power for increased integer power), and SETI is notably faster on the 3200+.
Lee Carre
 
BAM!ID: 41
Joined: 2006-04-19
Posts: 262
Credits: 299,581
World-rank: 394,422

2006-04-06 17:09:05
last modified: 2006-04-09 02:37:56

a quick way to find out is to view the apps.php page for a project
eg if you're viewing your account, replace the home.php in the address/location bar with apps.php

so if you want to see SETI's apps, you'll want http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/apps.php

also even if a project doesn't distribute a mac app itself, as long as you can make one you can use it, by using the "anonymous platform" mechanism, this has happened mostly with SETI because the sources are available and because of all the optimised apps around, but there's no reason you can't do it with other projects as long as you can get your hands on a mac version of the app, or make a mac version yourself (if you do you could submit it to the project for them to review and add to their own app collection for other users)
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats, or various BOINC forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
Guest

2006-04-07 02:44:06


a quick way to find out is to view the app.php page for a project
eg if you're viewing you're account, replace the home.php in the address/location bar with apps.php

so if you want to see SETI's apps, you'll want http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/apps.php

also even if a project doesn't distribute a mac app itself, as long as you can make one you can use it, by using the "anonymous platform" mechanism, this has happened mostly with SETI because the sources are available and because of all the optimised apps around, but there's no reason you can't do it with other projects as long as you can get your hands on a mac version of the app, or make a mac version yourself (if you do you could submit it to the project for them to review and add to their own app collection for other users)


Thank you for the answer, I do appreciate your time. The first part I already found. Actually, the new BOINC Wiki has a very nice page here:

http://boinc-wiki.ath.cx/index.php?title=C...Powered_Project

The list I made started with the information here, and then I dug around the alpha projects. The list still has a Mac app for CPDN. Technically, they have one, but they have said they do not plan on releasing work for it in the future. CPDN is dropping it.

http://climateapps2.oucs.ox.ac.uk/cpdnboin...ead.php?id=3962
http://climateapps2.oucs.ox.ac.uk/cpdnboin...ead.php?id=4273

I double-checked the rest to see if they have Mac apps, and if for all or a subset of projects if applicable (like Lieden, and Pirates, which I didn't mention).

What I was looking for was projects that run on a Mac well. This includes points like stability, level of support, and how well it runs on the PPC processor (effeciency?). For example, SZTAKI and Einstein both showed a dramatic improvement in performance for me, but SETI showed a much lower improvement in performance.

<Tangent> Ironically, I noticed this same lack of improvement in SETI classic on high-end Pentiums. Below about 1GHz in processor speed, the improvement was about as linear as expected. However, my P3 1.0GHz would run a work unit in about 8-12 hours, while a P4 3.0GHz would run one in about 5-6 hours. Barely half the speed, on a more powerful processor running at triple the clock speed. </Tangent>

I guess I should clarify my questions. Are my experiences with SETI normal? Can anyone running Perdictor, Rosetta, or RALPH on a PPC Mac comment one way or another on their stability? (The message boards seems a bit negative, so I don't know if I should touch those three.) Are their any resources for what BOINC projects run better or worse on the PPC G4 or G5?

As for creating an app, believe me, if I could, I would. However, I have no background in programming. In college, I was failing Fortran due to test anxiety. (I switched majors to geology, and I made all A's and B's the following semester, even in classes I took without proper prerequisites.) I taught myself a bit of Pascal, but never used it. I work in Desktop Support, so I'm not technically unsophisticated. I'm also intelligent and well educated. I have simply never written a bit of C code in my life (unless you *really* stretch UNIX batch, sed, and awk scripting). (Sorry if I seem defensive. I've dealt with many non-technical people who think all "computer people" program, and become very derisive when they find out I don't.) While I've used "make" on Solaris, SunOS, and Linux (and because I have, I pray for many blessings on the kind soul who developed .rpm files and similar packaging), actually writing the code compiled, or even debugging it, is way beyond me. I imagine that's the case for most people who use BOINC.

Now, I've also thought that if I ever had to learn to program, being able to contribute code (or even be paid for code) for a DC app would be a really cool goal to strive for.
Lee Carre
 
BAM!ID: 41
Joined: 2006-04-19
Posts: 262
Credits: 299,581
World-rank: 394,422

2006-04-09 02:52:39
last modified: 2006-04-09 02:56:32

Ironically, I noticed this same lack of improvement in SETI classic on high-end Pentiums. Below about 1GHz in processor speed, the improvement was about as linear as expected. However, my P3 1.0GHz would run a work unit in about 8-12 hours, while a P4 3.0GHz would run one in about 5-6 hours. Barely half the speed, on a more powerful processor running at triple the clock speed.

that's because CPU speed/power (however you want to measure it) is no longer the limiting factor, memory bandwidth becomes more of an issue with a fast processor


Are my experiences with SETI normal?

i can only really comment with any authority on windows versions (running on intels), i've used macs but don't have any of my own to crunch with.
But for performance, yes unless you use an optimised app the speed gain of using a faster processor becomes less and less as the processor becomes faster (faster RAM is needed, or more efficient processing such as SSE/SSE2 offered by the optimised apps)

i've heard that einstein is an exelent project for macs, i've not heard of any stability problems and the speed is pretty stunning so i've heard, using the "altivec" processing unit in macs to great advantage, i couldn't say which generation of mac would be best suited to any particular project thou, as i said, i don't crunch on any macs, so i don't know

As for creating an app, believe me, if I could, I would. However, I have no background in programming.

join the club lol, i've managed to steer clear of application programming so far, but it seems more and more like i'm gonna have to do some learning and reading in the end

I taught myself a bit of Pascal, but never used it. I work in Desktop Support, so I'm not technically unsophisticated. I'm also intelligent and well educated. I have simply never written a bit of C code in my life (unless you *really* stretch UNIX batch, sed, and awk scripting).

you've done more than me in that case, i struggle with batch files and regular expressions at the best of times lol, more of a networking, hardware and web dev person myself

<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Sorry if I seem defensive. I've dealt with many non-technical people who think all "computer people" program, and become very derisive when they find out I don't.[/quote]don't worry, i know the feeling, they expect magic or something, sadly it's not that easy lol

<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->actually writing the code compiled, or even debugging it, is way beyond me. I imagine that's the case for most people who use BOINC.[/quote]
same here, there's a vast difference between knowing how something works, and being able to troubleshoot and fix it when it's not working, most people don't even get as far as knowing how it works, they don't care as long as it keeps working

<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Now, I've also thought that if I ever had to learn to program, being able to contribute code (or even be paid for code) for a DC app would be a really cool goal to strive for.[/quote]well yes, that would be one of the better things, helping the "greater good" and all that
after all, that's why we're all here isn't it?
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats, or various BOINC forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
Guest

2006-04-09 22:44:56


that's because CPU speed/power (however you want to measure it) is no longer the limiting factor, memory bandwidth becomes more of an issue with a fast processor
i can only really comment with any authority on windows versions (running on intels), i've used macs but don't have any of my own to crunch with.
But for performance, yes unless you use an optimised app the speed gain of using a faster processor becomes less and less as the processor becomes faster (faster RAM is needed, or more efficient processing such as SSE/SSE2 offered by the optimised apps)


That actually makes sense. I've only been working with Macs in the last two years, but have been running projects on wintel platforms for at least five years. For SETI classic on the PC, with Windows / Intel Pentium, the best speed gain was at around the 1GHz mark. Because of this, I removed it from my P4's and ran F@H.

My G5 and Windows computers both use ECC memory, which is slithtly slower.


i've heard that einstein is an exelent project for macs, i've not heard of any stability problems and the speed is pretty stunning so i've heard, using the "altivec" processing unit in macs to great advantage, i couldn't say which generation of mac would be best suited to any particular project thou, as i said, i don't crunch on any macs, so i don't know


I've already given away my G4 and I'm now running BOINC on a G5. I must say, Einstein rocks quite mightily.
Lee Carre
 
BAM!ID: 41
Joined: 2006-04-19
Posts: 262
Credits: 299,581
World-rank: 394,422

2006-04-13 17:08:32
last modified: 2006-04-15 23:35:22

Because of this, I removed it from my P4's and ran F@H.

My G5 and Windows computers both use ECC memory, which is slithtly slower.
well obviously you'll still get a speed gain with a faster processor, just not as much as improving the memory (and memory interface) speed
and ECC is great for workstations and essential for critical servers to avoid corruption and only has a 1-2% performance drop, a rather good trade-off i'd say

optimised apps (and optimised code) certainly help with that, for windows rosetta and einstein are both good and get more out of a faster PC than others do (i use BoincView which can tell me the actual processing speed of a WU, some apps are surprisingly slow (rosetta is much faster than WCG even thou WCG is using the rosetta app too, hence why i only crunch for rosetta now, no point in flogging a dead horse unless said dead horse (WCG) improves their app efficiency))

The G5 2.3GHz was significantly faster until I started using an optomized client in Windows.

oh yes, i've been using the einstein optimised apps for a bit now, much much faster!
had a nice smile on my face when i saw the tiny CPU time for my first optimised WU lol
how does it compare to a mac thou? is a mac still faster due to being more natively writen for the mac (using altivec and better coding)

Anything written for the Mac will, by its nature, be somewhat optomized. ..... In particular, the processors are designed around processing SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) data, so SSE-like optomizations are essentially built in.
that's interesting to know, i've only used macs, and never really got into the innards of them, i'm from a more x86 background

I was once offered a job as a Visual Basic developer, because I offered so much good advice on dealing with a malware infection. When I said I don't know anything about VB, everything I said about the malware infestation suddenly became suspect. It somehow made sense to her that you *have* to be highly skilled in VB interface design to know *anything* about virues, spyware, and trojans, as well as TCP/IP.
to me that shows what little employers know, but when has it ever been any different?
if you know anything about the web, i'll just say web standards lol but that's an issue with the whole comercial world, not just employers

but yes, "malware" authors are very talented, and some say "computer guru's gone wrong" which i'd agree with, but that's getting into psychology and sociology, which is rather off-topic, so i'll stop there

and being a networking person i can say that to write something which makes use of any form of networking takes a lot of skill, networking is a whole little universe on it's own, more complicated than hardware (and possibly software) i'd say, many abstract concepts involved, especially when troubleshooting the cause of a problem
Want to search the BOINC Wiki, BOINCstats, or various BOINC forums from within firefox? Try the BOINC related Firefox Search Plugins
Pages: [1]

Index :: BOINC :: Mac-friendly Boinc'ing?
Reason: