Pentium II too weak?

Bryan and Soosi Siegfried
Bryan and Soosi...
Joined: 2 Mar 05
Posts: 1
Credit: 828,643
RAC: 0
Topic 190231

I have two Pentium II's which are still in service. In fact, one of them is my old computer, and it was an early contributor to SAH.

They are both ~300 MHz machines. Are they too slow for Einstein at Home? If so, does anyone have suggestions of other projects that might make use of their extra cycles?

Thanks, Bryan

Walt Gribben
Walt Gribben
Joined: 20 Feb 05
Posts: 219
Credit: 1,645,393
RAC: 0

Pentium II too weak?

I have a dual 450MHz Pentium II, it crunches a workunit in a little more than 37 hours. That would be like 55 hours at 300MHz. You'd see better times that that on a uniprocessor, I saw a definite slowdown back when I first added the second processor.

Thats more than enough for Einstein@Home, although you'd have to watch out that you don't overcommit them with too much work by joining a lot of other projects. Definitely use a low "connect every..." preference setting at first, until BOINC figures out how close the estimated CPU times are.

Walt

tullio
tullio
Joined: 22 Jan 05
Posts: 2,067
Credit: 43,832,328
RAC: 28,220

RE: I have two Pentium II's

Quote:

I have two Pentium II's which are still in service. In fact, one of them is my old computer, and it was an early contributor to SAH.

They are both ~300 MHz machines. Are they too slow for Einstein at Home? If so, does anyone have suggestions of other projects that might make use of their extra cycles?

Thanks, Bryan


I have a Pentium II at 400 MHz running both Einstein&home and Seti&home. Einstein has a 300 priority and Seti a 100 priority, which means that Einstein runs for three hours, then Seti one hour and so on, An Einstein WU is completed in 50 hours and Seti takes about 14 hours (CPU times). Both comply with a 14 days deadine with turnaround times of 4 days for Einstein and 3 days for Seti.
OS is SuSE Linux 9.3. Cheers.
Tullio

Rockytop
Rockytop
Joined: 8 Nov 04
Posts: 2
Credit: 1,481,621
RAC: 0

I have 15 older PII machines

I have 15 older PII machines cruching Einstein. However, they have limited RAM. I had to set my Page file size to >1024 MB in order to prevent running low on vrtual memory for the newer S4 workunits. It takes about 2 days to complete each workunit.

Winterknight
Winterknight
Joined: 4 Jun 05
Posts: 482
Credit: 178,481,244
RAC: 239,862

RE: I have a dual 450MHz

Message 20011 in response to message 20008

Quote:

I have a dual 450MHz Pentium II, it crunches a workunit in a little more than 37 hours. That would be like 55 hours at 300MHz. You'd see better times that that on a uniprocessor, I saw a definite slowdown back when I first added the second processor.

Thats more than enough for Einstein@Home, although you'd have to watch out that you don't overcommit them with too much work by joining a lot of other projects. Definitely use a low "connect every..." preference setting at first, until BOINC figures out how close the estimated CPU times are.

Walt

Walt,
I know you're a dedicated Einstein fan, but I have a Dual P3, that chunches two projects, by using the coonect too parameter to ensure I have no spare units cached, it crunches each project on the separate cpus. I've found that it improves the performace for both projects, those that know about these things say it reduces memory contention.

Walt Gribben
Walt Gribben
Joined: 20 Feb 05
Posts: 219
Credit: 1,645,393
RAC: 0

RE: RE: I have a dual

Message 20012 in response to message 20011

Quote:
Quote:

I have a dual 450MHz Pentium II, it crunches a workunit in a little more than 37 hours. That would be like 55 hours at 300MHz. You'd see better times that that on a uniprocessor, I saw a definite slowdown back when I first added the second processor.

Thats more than enough for Einstein@Home, although you'd have to watch out that you don't overcommit them with too much work by joining a lot of other projects. Definitely use a low "connect every..." preference setting at first, until BOINC figures out how close the estimated CPU times are.

Walt

Walt,
I know you're a dedicated Einstein fan, but I have a Dual P3, that chunches two projects, by using the coonect too parameter to ensure I have no spare units cached, it crunches each project on the separate cpus. I've found that it improves the performace for both projects, those that know about these things say it reduces memory contention.

My dual processor systems crunch multiple projects. But thats not where the problem comes from.

It comes from the processes switching from one CPU to the other, that causes massive "cache hits" as data gets moved from the cache on the old processor to the cache on the new processor. It has to go thru main memory first. BOINC doesn't support "CPU affinity" for the applications.

If you have a machine that _just_ does BOINC, then its likely that the two processes will stay where they are. Especially if one of the science applications runs at a slightly higher priority than the other one (like Einstein 4.79).

I've tested this by setting the affinity for each BOINC application running, watching the CPU times over a 24 hour period, restoring everything back to how it was and testing again without setting CPU affinity. Moving from one CPU to another as Windows does its stuff in the background adds like 20-30% to the CPU time used. And also tested it by booting with only one CPU and rerunning a workunit. That second processor costs more than just money.

Perhaps its more of a problem on my systems because the dual processor systems are also servers - they handle my database, news and email.

Paul D. Buck
Paul D. Buck
Joined: 17 Jan 05
Posts: 754
Credit: 5,385,205
RAC: 0

I have also seen it "switch"

I have also seen it "switch" projects even when it should not. THis is especially bad on multi-CPU systems where one CPU finishes a WU, then ALL of them seem to get reschduled because at this time the debts have changed.

Again, a little wastage with starting and stopping the models, but it adds up over time. Heck, I set "Don't change project" to 3 hours, most of the WU should complete in that time on my systems, but I still have 20-30 WU in progress, many frustratingly at 10 minutes or less to complete. Which means I am micro-tasking and wasting significant amounts of time.

I doubt we will see a change for this either as it would require tracking which CPU needed a change instead of the "simpler" do them all ...

Winterknight
Winterknight
Joined: 4 Jun 05
Posts: 482
Credit: 178,481,244
RAC: 239,862

Must admit my dual P3 does

Must admit my dual P3 does nothing but crunch for Einstein and Seti 99% of the time, and therefore the application probably stay on the same cpu's almost constantly.

NikolZ
NikolZ
Joined: 31 Dec 05
Posts: 6
Credit: 4,741
RAC: 0

My 24/7 mobo works 2h.30min

My 24/7 mobo works 2h.30min on one work

Warhawk
Warhawk
Joined: 20 Dec 05
Posts: 58
Credit: 7,297,367
RAC: 0

One of my machines, my old

Message 20016 in response to message 20013

One of my machines, my old laptop, is a PII 300 and it does fine... The little ol' guy has 128 megs of RAM and produces a result in about 40 hours...

From the 'Computers on this account' list:

Remote3 4.68 69.37 GenuineIntel x86 Family 6 Model 5 Stepping 2 298MHz Microsoft Windows XP Professional Edition, Service Pack 1, (05.01.2600.00)

Unless your machine is highly RAM limited it should work!

Good luck!

It's easier to beg for forgiveness that it is to ask for permission...

-AFFTC

DanNeely
DanNeely
Joined: 4 Sep 05
Posts: 1,343
Credit: 2,062,609,306
RAC: 1,298,562

On the subject of decrepit

On the subject of decrepit PCs, any thoughts on how or if a P1-233 with 64MB of ram would perform? It's currently got winME on it, but I've got a win95 disk available to upgrade it with. *nix might be an option as well, but I'm not overly familiar with it, and I fear that distros targeting something that lowend would lack all the tools deisgned to make it less painful to use.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.