BOINC Client 6.2.15

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Message 8615 - Posted: 20 Aug 2008, 21:36:26 UTC

Ever since I upgraded to client version 6.2.15 (from 5.10.45) on my Intel C2D laptop, it has been ignoring the \"On a multiprocessor system, use at most 1 processor\" rule set by my preferences. I\'ve checked my prefs in all projects, and they are all set to 1 for this machine. Is this perhaps a mistake in coding, or a new \"feature\" that treats multicore processors as a single processor? Unfortunately, this is the only multicore/multiprocessor computer I have at the moment, so I don\'t have any other machines to run checks on.
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Message 8616 - Posted: 21 Aug 2008, 7:09:13 UTC

It is a new feature. Instead of using a number of processors it uses a percentage. You would want to set that preference to 50%. You may also want to upgrade to the latest version there were some problems found in 6.2.15.
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Message 8617 - Posted: 21 Aug 2008, 22:57:26 UTC

I\'m not sure that I like the way the new preferences handle multicores; on my C2D, running at 50% means running a task on each core, using 50% of the CPU time on each. On my G4 and Athlon64, it is spiking the processor, between 0 and 100% every other second. I am also seeing some spiking on the C2D; it will run 50% for a while, and then do the 0-100 spiking for a while.

Anyone heard of plans to include a client auto-update feature for BOINC? It would make keeping my team up-to-date a lot easier.
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Message 8618 - Posted: 22 Aug 2008, 3:29:47 UTC

You may have adjusted the wrong setting. There is one for percentage of processors and one for percentage of CPU time. BURP does not have a recent enough version of the server software to adjust the percentage of processors. The spiking you are seeing sounds like the expected behavior of the CPU time percentage.
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Message 8619 - Posted: 22 Aug 2008, 5:27:06 UTC

Looks like BAM! doesn\'t support it yet, either... I\'ll set it manually on one project and see if it carries over. I liked the old way better, where you can have one entire core dedicated to BOINC--results got done much faster.
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Message 8620 - Posted: 22 Aug 2008, 6:18:32 UTC - in response to Message 8617.  

Anyone heard of plans to include a client auto-update feature for BOINC? It would make keeping my team up-to-date a lot easier.

You should have seen the storms that appeared when this feature was first suggested back in ~2004.Personally I\'ve always thought that it would be a nice idea to have an option that you could switch on that would do just that - but a lot of people got very paranoid even about that.
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Message 8621 - Posted: 22 Aug 2008, 19:34:10 UTC
Last modified: 22 Aug 2008, 19:35:17 UTC

I should think that any security concerts for such a service would have been taken care of by now... Heck, antivirus programs, firewalls and operating systems have been doing it since before 2004 without any major reported issues. Having to manually update can become a chore, and I don\'t manage that many clients. I\'m sure for some people (xPOD, others) who have tons of clients, it\'s just not practical to keep them updated past the initial install.
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Message 8624 - Posted: 24 Aug 2008, 19:42:21 UTC

I too have wondered why setting BOINC to one single core results in work being distributed to both cores on an C2D to about 50% each (varying) - instead of actually using one single core. Does that offer any advantages for crunching or for the OS?
Theoretically crunching 50% on 2 cores should be less effective than crunching 100% on one core due to the sync overhead. But maybe the OS can handle other tasks better if one core is not overloaded.
The only possibility to force a single core seems setting the affinity in the task manager - but that only applies for the duration of 1 WU.
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Message 8625 - Posted: 25 Aug 2008, 2:10:19 UTC

The preferences page has always said \"On multiprocessor systems, use at most x processors\" since before multicore processors existed in consumer-grade computers. It would appear that the new version of the software interprets this as physical processors, and not cores. It doesn\'t appear that you can specify how many cores are used anymore. Using one full core would certainly be more efficient in terms of each specific task, but maybe running two tasks at 50% on each core is more efficient than running two back-to-back on a single core?

Perhaps the redefinition of \"multiprocessor\" is to get ready for tasks that are optimized to use more than one core?
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Message boards : Number crunching : BOINC Client 6.2.15