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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 16:57   #1
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Minimum recommended hardware for FAH.

Hi,

I'd like to build a Folding@Home rig but to be honest really do not know where to start. Think the research into cures for cancer and Alzheimer's is a really worthy cause and I'd love to be able to contribute towards such research.

Can anyone on here make any recommendations on minimum hardware requirements please?

Am of the understanding that the choice of GPU is most important where building a FAH rig is concerned (don't know that for certain though).

I've thought about buying an off the shelf server and fitting a GPU / GPUs as required but think that I'd prefer to build my own rig but having said that don't know what is and what is not cost effective.

I'm not really into 'gaming' therefore don't know what GPUs are great value for money and which one's aren't. Likewise I'm not sure what GPUs are best for FAH rigs.

Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 17:28   #2
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Hi there. Great that you want to give Folding a go

You are correct - GPU Folding is the current preferred means of Folding (over the CPU) for being the most productive (in terms of PPD - Points Per Day). The sweet spot at the moment is the nVidia GTX 970 - reasonable in terms of cost, temperature and power. I guess it depends on the depth of your pockets though, as the GTX 980Ti would be even better

Note, however, that both of these GPUs are based on the Maxwell architecture, and nVidia is due to launch the Pascal architecture in the coming months. It is likely to be some months after that before these get properly into the Folding arena though.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 17:50   #3
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Originally Posted by DocJonz View Post
Hi there. Great that you want to give Folding a go

You are correct - GPU Folding is the current preferred means of Folding (over the CPU) for being the most productive (in terms of PPD - Points Per Day). The sweet spot at the moment is the nVidia GTX 970 - reasonable in terms of cost, temperature and power. I guess it depends on the depth of your pockets though, as the GTX 980Ti would be even better

Note, however, that both of these GPUs are based on the Maxwell architecture, and nVidia is due to launch the Pascal architecture in the coming months. It is likely to be some months after that before these get properly into the Folding arena though.
Hello, Thanks for your prompt reply. I'd initially thought that a FAH rig would need to run on a single core better still dual core XEON based server but think that it's still possible to put together a reasonably powerful FAH rig using an X58 Core i7 CPU on the proviso that the GPU is up to spec' so to speak. Is this correct or am I barking completely up the wrong tree so to speak? Should this be the case though I'd like to get started on FAH using a Core i7 920 rig.

Unfortunately I've not got deep pockets and to be honest have never bought a really expensive GPU previously as first of all I'm unable to afford such a thing and secondly I'm not into gaming. Although I'd like to get into gaming (starting with something like Battle of Tanks at a guess!). Was thinking of buying one possibly two GTX 750Ti GPUs as opposed to anything more expensive but am open to suggestions such as the one's you've made. Are GTX 750Ti GPUs considered 'okay' for FAH please? Does the amount of onboard RAM have any bearing on whether the GPU is up to the workload furthermore would two GPUs make any difference?

Thanks again for your input/thoughts.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 20:01   #4
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A Core i7 920 would be fine - I'm running i7 930's and 980's, and even older Core 2 Quad Q6600's!

It is worth noting that, ideally, each GPU used for Folding likes to have a CPU core to play with, so quad core machines (and above) are best for possible multi GPU Folding machines.

A GTX 750Ti would be fine, and should give you about 80k PPD - two cards would give you double this. On-board RAM (assuming you mean on-board the GPU) is not a main key for Folding.

Hope that helps with the initial questions.
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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 22:22   #5
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Originally Posted by DocJonz View Post
A Core i7 920 would be fine - I'm running i7 930's and 980's, and even older Core 2 Quad Q6600's!

It is worth noting that, ideally, each GPU used for Folding likes to have a CPU core to play with, so quad core machines (and above) are best for possible multi GPU Folding machines.

A GTX 750Ti would be fine, and should give you about 80k PPD - two cards would give you double this. On-board RAM (assuming you mean on-board the GPU) is not a main key for Folding.

Hope that helps with the initial questions.
Hello, Thanks for confirming that. Glad to hear that something like a 920 is considered 'okay' for a FAH rig. Interesting to hear that each GPU should have its own GPU core to play with. Yes was referring to GPU RAM. Was just uncertain whether this played a big part in folding ability so to speak. FAH sounds like an interesting subject - A worthy one too.
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Old 23rd Mar 2016, 18:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocJonz View Post
A Core i7 920 would be fine - I'm running i7 930's and 980's, and even older Core 2 Quad Q6600's!

It is worth noting that, ideally, each GPU used for Folding likes to have a CPU core to play with, so quad core machines (and above) are best for possible multi GPU Folding machines.

A GTX 750Ti would be fine, and should give you about 80k PPD - two cards would give you double this. On-board RAM (assuming you mean on-board the GPU) is not a main key for Folding.

Hope that helps with the initial questions.
Hi, Thanks again for your replies. Whilst some 750 Ti's are on their way through the post I've powered-up a 965X rig that I'd built quite a while ago now and installed the Standord.edu FAH client. Granted it's only got two GeForce 280's installed but everyone needs to start somewhere at a guess. Probably an exceptionally inefficient setup using 280 GPUs but I'd like to think that a 965 CPU is more than adequate. Best Regards.
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