Help with setup of i5 4590 plus nvidia GTX960

Richard Haselgrove
Richard Haselgrove
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RE: My eldest spawn college

Quote:
My eldest spawn college kid does xml coding all the time.


Tell him to forget most of what he's learned!

BOINC uses a simplified, bare-bones version of XML - we usually advise people to use a simple plain-text editor, rather than a full-featured XML tool. Sometimes it's good for the soul to go back to basics for half an hour.

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: Adjusted the gpu to .33

Quote:
Adjusted the gpu to .33 and let it run. Computer seems to be happy. Woo Hoo!!


I thought we were letting this accumulate a decent number of tasks at 2x? :-).

I wondered if the sudden increase in crunch times was the result of a heavy gaming session :-).

Anyway, there appear to be about 8 results at 2x and the average per task crunch time is probably pretty close to 5,400 to 5,500 secs per task. This is really not enough to be sure of an accurate picture of the true capability at 2x.

When you made the transition to 3x, there would be a couple of tasks partly done at each setting so we will ignore those. At the moment, you have around 6 tasks (the latest 6 as of the time of writing) that are clearly part of the 3x regime. I've noticed it before that when you transition from 2x to 3x, two of the very first tasks may be quicker than average and the third may be a lot slower. You have two at 14.8K and one at 18.7K before a string of results (the six I mentioned) that have settled down to a pretty stable number averaging around 15,900 seconds. Please let this continue until you get around 20-30 results in succession so we can really see how stable this average will turn out to be.

If 15,900 secs turns out to be the average, that gives a per task value of 5,300 secs which is only marginally better than what you were (possibly) going to end up getting at 2x. To counterbalance this, take a look at what has happened to the CPU task crunch times. In going from 1x to 2x to 3x, the CPU task times have increased at each step. I didn't work out proper averages but it's something like less than 23,000 secs to close to 25,000 secs overall. So you have probably gained a little on GPU tasks and lost a little on CPU tasks but you really don't have enough results yet to be confident about it.

Quote:
I hope to get to the app_config.xml studies this week. My eldest spawn college kid does xml coding all the time. Unfortunately the college is a half a day drive away.


As Richard says, it's all quite basic and you are not going to need 'college kid' assistance at all. Have you ever used a basic text editor like Windows notepad? That's all you will need. Please let me know if you've ever used this.

Quote:
Again thanks for all your help. Hopefully with the xml fix this computer will become a crunching machine!


It's already a decent crunching machine. The gains from here will be minor. Don't think of the next step as xml coding - it's just using what BOINC provides to tweak a couple of parameters by a parameter= type mechanism. It's quite simple. You just need a simple text editor. I provided the link to BOINC client configuration so that you can see the sorts of things that can be tweaked. If you're interested, just have a browse of the application configuration stuff.

In the meantime, just let your machine accumulate some results :-).

Cheers,
Gary.

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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While we wait to accumulate a

While we wait to accumulate a lot more results, I thought I would give you my impression of what we have so far. I like looking at numbers arranged in an orderly fashion. Tables (eg. spreadsheets) are good but graphical presentation is even better. Before you freak out, I'm not intending to go further than a simple table of averages. Depending on how interested you are, please take this further if you wish. There's no requirement to do so. I'm retired, so I have the time to follow whatever interests me.

In the table below, there are two rows, for CPU tasks and for GPU tasks. There are 3 colums for the 3 different GPU task settings, 1x, 2x, 3x. In each cell is the average elapsed time based on a certain number of results. This is presented as nnnn/# where nnnn is the time in seconds and # is the number of results used. You might wonder why I'm doing this just for you. Well, it's not really for you because you've already been won over into optimising your crunching efficiency. It's mainly for the benefit of people who read these boards rather more casually - the 'set and forget' group who don't realise how much can be gained by a little bit of digging into how things work. I'm hoping that others may be encouraged to get more involved when they see how simple it is to make the changes.

[pre] X1 times X2 times X3 times
======== ======== ========
CPU Tasks 22715/24 23135/ 4 24557/ 8

GPU Tasks 7550/30 5394/ 8 5296/ 6
[/pre]
Please note that GPU task times are on a per task basis and are calculated by dividing the elapsed time by the number being crunched simultaneously.
Also note that the trends are indicative only as the numbers of results are too small at this stage.

We can see that going from 1x to 2x (and changing to the cuda55 app) made a big change to the GPU task crunch time without a significant change to the CPU task crunch time. There is no real evidence that there would be any benefit from a reduced number of CPU tasks.

When changing to 3x, there were indications that this is putting pressure on CPU tasks and perhaps limiting the lowering of GPU task crunch time. It would appear to be worthwhile to investigate this by seeing if a further lowering of GPU task crunch time can be achieved by reducing the number of CPU tasks by one. I'm not sure there will be a big enough effect to make this worthwhile but the experiment needs to be done.

It's relatively simple to do the experiment. There are just 3 steps.

  • * Create a configuration file and name it exactly

app_config.xml.
* Move this file into the Einstein project directory ([BOINC_Data_Dir]\projects\einstein.phys.uwm.edu\)
* In BOINC Manager - advanced view, click the menu item 'advanced -> Read config files'.

Here is the app_config.xml configuration file you will need. You can copy and paste this content into a text editor like notepad and then save it as a text file, making sure Windows doesn't add a further .txt extension to the name. It must be called exactly app_config.xml.
[pre]


einsteinbinary_BRP6
0.34
0.33

[/pre]

The easiest way to copy this text is to do a 'pretend' response to this message using the 'Quote' button included at the bottom of the message. In the new window that opens, select the complete lines (including any leading space on each line) between the two [ pre ] tags but not the tags themselves. Paste this selection into your plain text editor. It should look just like it does above. Save it with the correct filename. Back out of the pretend quoted response if you weren't needing to post a message at this point.

If you don't know where your [BOINC_Data_Dir] is, you will find it listed in the BOINC startup messages in the event log. You can look at this log in BOINC manager. It's under the advanced menu item. If you can't get back to a BOINC startup event in the event log, you can do a search for a file named stdoutdae.txt. This contains the log spanning multiple restarts. Please realise that this directory (folder) containing BOINC data is probably hidden under Windows. You need to be able to browse to the einstein project directory under that location in order to place your new config file there.

Please don't do a 'Read config files' yet. We need more results under the current settings to get better data first. I'll let you know when it's time to do that. At least you can create the file now and ask questions if you have any difficulty.

You can interpret that file as follows:-

"For any application version whose standard short name is einsteinbinary_BRP6, please override the project supplied values for the estimated CPU and GPU resources needed to crunch tasks for this application, by these two replacement values - 0.34 of a CPU core and 0.33 of a GPU device."

As you can see, we are just tweaking two values so that when GPU tasks are crunching they will still crunch 3x but BOINC will see the requirement for a full CPU core to be reserved for support. So when you 'Read config files', BOINC will heed the request by changing one of the 4 running CPU tasks into 'waiting to run'. When one of the 3 remaining tasks finishes, this 'waiting' task will restart from where it left off. All very simple and painless - but not yet!!! :-).

Cheers,
Gary.

bzbro_000
bzbro_000
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Good Morning Gary, FOUND

Good Morning Gary,

FOUND the BOINC data files by searching using the stdoutdae.txt. My system has BOINC at C:\ProgramData

THIS is not obvious and it took me a good 10 minutes to figure out.

I totally agree with your notion that this particular message board should be to help people like me. I am hoping that others will find the messages helpful in setting up their systems.

I made the xml file as directed and placed it in the project folder as indicated. It falls 2nd below android in the file list.

I restarted and didn't see it take affect?

The file appears as a word file but I renamed it as directed?

I will restart the crunching later today and maybe by tomorrow we will see it work?

Thanks Again
Mike Brown

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: I restarted and didn't

Quote:
I restarted and didn't see it take affect?


I'm actually quite pleased about that :-).

Why are you in such a hurry to make changes before there is enough data to be sure of the elapsed time value you are changing from? Please let things continue as is for about another day.

Quote:
The file appears as a word file but I renamed it as directed?


What text editor did you use to create the file? If it's actually a word document it will not work, period. Changing the name wont change the contents. For BOINC to understand the file it has to be plain text. A program like Windows notepad will create plain text. What did you actually use???

Cheers,
Gary.

bzbro_000
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Good Afternoon Gary, File

Good Afternoon Gary,

File is a microsoft word file. So when you are ready for me to change it I can edit it in notepad again and save it as a plain text file.

Won't edit the system again until you tell me.

Right now it appears to be doing what it was before, 4 cpu 3 gpu as per the Einstein@home preferences.

Again thanks for your help.
Mike Brown

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: File is a microsoft

Quote:
File is a microsoft word file. So when you are ready for me to change it I can edit it in notepad again and save it as a plain text file.


Before worrying about the way the file was created, let's check what BOINC thought of it. You say you restarted BOINC. That's actually not necessary. You just need to put the file in place and instruct the running BOINC client to read it using the 'Reread config files' mechanism in BOINC Manager as previously described.

However, since BOINC was restarted, there should be output in the startup messages to say that BOINC found the app_config.xml file. If it had problems reading the file, it would have noted that fact. Please open BOINC Manager - advanced view and select Advanced -> Event log ... and you will see a new window with a log of events that have happened since you last started BOINC. You should be able to scroll back to the start and see the actual startup messages. Please find any comment about finding app_config.xml and any associated error messages. If you don't understand the messages, just copy about the first 30 or so messages from the startup and paste them into a new message in this thread.

If BOINC is obviously complaining about something it doesn't like in app_config.xml, then we know there is a problem with the format of the file. I'm guessing that will be because the file contains characters that are not plain text.

You'll have to excuse my ignorance here. I last used Windows in the XP days and I didn't use the true Windows notepad but rather a more fully featured freeware clone that had far better features for editing text and code, etc. I don't remember whether the Windows notepad was a pure plain text editor or whether it could output in Microsoft Word .doc format. I don't know if notepad still exists and if so, what formats it is capable of producing these days.

So, does your comment of "microsoft word file" mean that you used Word to produce the file, or perhaps did you use the current notepad that perhaps is now capable of various output formats, including .doc format or something like .doc format? You need to treat me like a complete dummy as far as Windows stuff is concerned. I've forgotten whatever I did know and have no knowledge of how more recent versions behave :-).

You need an editor that can be configured to output plain text with no embedded gobbledygook. Perhaps one of the many more enlightened Windows users around here can suggest an appropriate app (or the appropriate settings) to create BOINC configuration files in plain text.

Quote:
Won't edit the system again until you tell me.


Thank you :-).

Quote:
Right now it appears to be doing what it was before, 4 cpu 3 gpu as per the Einstein@home preferences.


I would expect that. If BOINC finds a config file it can't interpret, it ignores it and carries on with the existing settings.

You have quite a few more results so here is an updated version of the table I published previously. There are now 20 CPU results and 18 GPU results at 3x that have been included.

[pre] X1 times X2 times X3 times
======== ======== ========
CPU Tasks 22715/24 23135/ 4 23772/20

GPU Tasks 7550/30 5394/ 8 5299/18
[/pre]

Note that the average GPU task crunch time is largely the same (incr by just 3 to 5299) but the CPU task crunch time is a lot less (decr by 785 secs to 23772). This is a classic example of how you can get a false impression of the situation if you don't wait for a big enough sample size.

Even now, the sample size is still only marginal but we can be more assured that the aveages weren't unduly skewed by a couple of rogue values early on.

Please respond with the information requested earlier. When you do, we'll sort out the issue with app_config.xml and get the changes implemented.

Cheers,
Gary.

Richard Haselgrove
Richard Haselgrove
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RE: Please open BOINC

Quote:
Please open BOINC Manager - advanced view and select Advanced -> Event log ... and you will see a new window with a log of events that have happened since you last started BOINC.


Mike is using BOINC v7.6.22, where there has been a substantial rearrangement of the menu layout. The Event Log is now listed under 'Tools', or can be opened via the key combination Ctrl+Shift+E.

Quote:
I don't remember whether the Windows notepad was a pure plain text editor or whether it could output in Microsoft Word .doc format. I don't know if notepad still exists and if so, what formats it is capable of producing these days.


I can't speak for Windows 10, but certainly up to and including Windows 8.1, Notepad was/is a very basic tool with no word processing capability - ideal for the job in hand here. There are only two settings to worry about when saving the file:

'Save as type': This will show as "Text Documents (*.txt)". Change this to the only other option, "All Files (*.*)". This doesn't change the contents in any way, but it prevents Notepad adding the (usually hidden) extra '.txt' on the end of the file name, which Windows subsequently uses to choose which program to use when viewing the file. Here, we want the file name to end with '.xml', and we want Windows (and BOINC) to know that.

'Encoding': this determines the character set used in the file (things like accented letters and other multilingual support). This should be set to 'ANSI'.

Quote:

So, does your comment of "microsoft word file" mean that you used Word to produce the file, or perhaps did you use the current notepad that perhaps is now capable of various output formats, including .doc format or something like .doc format? You need to treat me like a complete dummy as far as Windows stuff is concerned. I've forgotten whatever I did know and have no knowledge of how more recent versions behave :-).

You need an editor that can be configured to output plain text with no embedded gobbledygook. Perhaps one of the many more enlightened Windows users around here can suggest an appropriate app (or the appropriate settings) to create BOINC configuration files in plain text.


It's unlikely that any program except Microsoft Word will have created a file that Windows thinks is a microsoft word file. And if Word was used, it is absolutely certain that the file contains embedded gobbledygook which will confuse the hell out of BOINC.

But nothing is lost. You can open the file in Word, select all the text, and copy it. Then, open Notepad (the easiest way might be by creating a new 'Text Document' by right-clicking in your document library, and selecting 'New' from the menu), and paste the existing text into that. Then, save it as 'app_config.xml', using the settings given above.

One final wrinkle: if you get that right, Windows will describe the resultant file as 'XML Document' (that's the acid test - if not, back up and try again). If you doubleclick on that file, Windows will open the Internet Explorer web browser and attempt to display it - with sundry warnings, and with some extra characters in the display. Don't worry about that - it doesn't damage the file in any way - but you won't be able to make any changes, and the extra display characters have caught people out in the past when they want to copy a file and make changes elsewhere. If you want to change the app_config.xml file after you first make it, right-click on it and choose 'Edit'.

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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RE: RE: Please open BOINC

Quote:
Quote:
Please open BOINC Manager - advanced view and select Advanced -> Event log ... and you will see a new window with a log of events that have happened since you last started BOINC.

Mike is using BOINC v7.6.22, where there has been a substantial rearrangement of the menu layout. The Event Log is now listed under 'Tools', or can be opened via the key combination Ctrl+Shift+E.


Thanks very much for the above and for the detailed instructions for using notepad. I still use the recommended BOINC version for Linux, 7.2.42, so am unaware of the changes in more recent versions.

Hopefully, with your kind assistance, Mike will be able to create a config that BOINC will be happy with.

Cheers,
Gary.

bzbro_000
bzbro_000
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Good Morning Gary And

Good Morning Gary And Richard,

1/4/2016 11:17:33 AM | Einstein@Home | Finished download of PM0083_03131.zap
1/4/2016 11:49:59 AM | | Re-reading cc_config.xml
1/4/2016 11:49:59 AM | | cc_config.xml not found - using defaults
1/4/2016 11:49:59 AM | | log flags: file_xfer, sched_ops, task
1/4/2016 12:14:44 PM | | Suspending GPU computation - user request
1/4/2016 12:14:47 PM | | Suspending computation - user request
1/4/2016 12:21:07 PM | | Resuming computation
1/4/2016 12:21:09 PM | | Resuming GPU computation
1/4/2016 1:35:43 PM | Einstein@Home | Sending scheduler request: To fetch work.

I originally copied your xml into notepad. I did not use the settings for plain text and ansi as noted by Richard. DAH! I knew that but it didn't occur to me.

THANK YOU Both for your time and patience.

As before I will update the project with the correct xml when you direct me to!

Don't know anything about linux, been in windows all my life.

HAVE A Blessed Day Gentlemen
Mike Brown

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