“There are dozens of other massively multiprocessor projects – known alternatively as distributed computing, grid computing, or volunteer computing – that can take advantage of your otherwise unused CPU cycles in an effort to do things like predict global climate change, calibrate particle accelerators, or develop drugs to combat cancer and AIDS. We decided to look into whether these projects have actually accomplished anything or were just spinning CPU cycles unnecessarily and making their users feel virtuous.”
Volunteer Distributed Computing Results
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2006-05-19 1:02 amumccullough
TeamHaiku also participates in other projects – including Folding@Home, a couple of distributed.net projects, D2OL, etc.
We’re always looking for more members to boost the visibility of our favority OS!
It seems like these things keep the CPU pegged near 100% at all times. Can the newest machines with seemingly-inadequate cooling solutions cope with this over very long times?
2006-05-18 6:20 pmaaron
Can the newest machines with seemingly-inadequate cooling solutions cope with this over very long times?
I have two systems. A intel Imac and a Generic Pentium D820.
The Imac copes very well with a small increase fan speed. (so it seems from what i can hear)
The other system came in a badly designed case. The CPU was hitting 70*C and HDD 64*C after 24 hours on. The CPU fanning was loud @ 4100 RPM. After a change of case and Heat sink the cooling was much better (and quieter).
What’s with all this garbage being spread about these applications using UNUSED CPU cycles for the greater good of humanity? ‘Unused’ would imply the processor is crunching useless math and consuming the same number of watts when it doesn’t have enough to be fed, which is complete and utter BULLSHIT.
These applications do nothing more than put MORE load on a CPU.
The FPU units are sitting completely idle on a typical x86 processor (for example) most of the time, with little electrial flow. Run one of these apps, and you’ll quickly notice the power consumpion of your processor double/triple and so does the HEAT OUTPUT. How could of these been ‘unused cycles then’ if it wasn’t ever PROCESSING AT ALL?
It isn’t free, you’ll pay for it in your electricity & hence burnt coal… and you’ll pay for it because if you don’t have adequate cooling, you’re CPU *will* die an earlier death.
2006-05-19 1:49 amumccullough
Well, technically, your CPU cycles regardless… it’s on a frequency clock afterall – it just makes more “productive” use of the cycles when you’re actually executing instructions on each cycle.
In the end, it’s really just making better use of “unused CPU potential” if anything.
I always caution people to not run these types of apps on their laptops (or other small-form-factor cooling-impaired machines) – unless they intend to step down the processor speed.
In the end, it comes down the power consumption and heat production. I find that I can keep my machine cool enough while running Seventeen or Bust 24×7, but the room my computers are in tends to get hotter. I seriously doubt I will fry my adequatelyc-cooled P4 this way – even if I may shorten the lifespan by a couple of years…
I am also not concerned about the additional energy usage as it does not increase much beyond what the machines already use 24×7 anyhow.
A fairly comprehensive look into distributed computing, but I’d like to know what made them choose electricsheep over, say SeventeenOrBust (an effort to solve the SierpinskiProblem). Maybe that helps their balance of useful/unuseful projects?