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Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science

The WiKi explains how to get the maximum Foldit performance on Windows (using multiple clients, minimizing etc).


Is it the same on mac OS ? Apparently not.

Here is the list of similarities/differences I noticed for Mac OS:

-The percentage of the CPU used shows more than 100% for each foldit process; it does not seem to make any problem; however, the "number of cores -1 " rule seems to apply to Mac as well (if you have 4 cores, use not more than 3 clients). What is the meaning of a 137% ??

-Only the total % CPU used by the user should remain < 100%: it seems that you can open as many clients you want until this number reaches almost 90%. This is the same rule as for Windows.

-When you open too much clients, any screen action (mouse etc) dramatically slows down, as well as your foldit scripts and actions

Here are Mac OS problems I cannot solve. Who has the answer ??

1) since I updated to the latest Mac OS version OS X 10.11.6 (12E55), minimizing a client dramatically slows down the running script. It's like if there was something in this OS that favorizes the client which is visible on screen. The only solution I found was to let all clients open, side to side (which should not be optimal !). Any tip for Mac users ? How to make any (even minimized) client running on its higher potential?

I would be happy if mac users explain here how they do to optimize their Foldit clients on mac Os.

Thanks in advance !

Joined: 06/06/2013
Groups: Gargleblasters
MAC issues

Currently many MAC users have "game dynamic" rather than "Foldit" as the client. It will not run the filter puzzles like the monomer ones and about a million other things without crashing
Actiasluna has been sustematically documenting issues and working with Inky, but so far nothing has been fixed for months. Sort of a sore subject. And it can be a problem for brand new Apple machines, old ones and random ones in between. So hard to sort this out.

Joined: 04/24/2014
Groups: None
It really is hard to sort

It really is hard to sort this out, I agree. But I do have an answer from a reliable source about "game_dynamic" (and what it IS), which I posted here. Keep in mind, this is one answer, and of course this is not the final answer with regards to the multiple issues that have been appearing since the first appearance of this label because the investigations are ongoing.

On the original post, I would be delighted if you would update the Wiki with any information you learn that would be helpful, Bruno (or give it to someone who enjoys updating the wiki)! Saves folks from having to dig through the forums in the future.
Hope you get what you need!

NinjaGreg's picture
User offline. Last seen 1 day 17 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 05/21/2010
Groups: Go Science
A little mac insight

The "CPU" that is shown in the activity screens could actually be called "cores", since what it represents is the total amount of cpu cycles being used by all threads of a program, some of which may be running on different cores. So if you had a system with four cores, and you ran a program that created four threads, each of which consumed 90% of the cycles of the core it was running on, the total CPU shown would be 360%. This is an artifact of the Unix code that underlies the mac, which was measuring cpu usage long before there were multiple-core machines.

Joined: 03/05/2015
Groups: Gargleblasters
Observations and tips on running multiple Mac Clients

First, it appears that the i7 4 core intel Mac I use has 8 "logical processors"
So I could run up to 7 clients (one of the processors is reserved - for system?)

I currently run 5, one for each of 3 running puzzles and two for evolving solutions or alternate designs. (I will probably add one more to run Devprev solutions.)

So what Bruno and NinjaGreg writes makes sense. Each "core" is actually two processors so the percentages that show up in the out-of-the-box Mac system activity monitor can show >100%. (I am going to look for an application that shows the logical cores like it does when I run Windows 10 Pro on my Mac external HD)

I'm running the build just released to Main last week (4-4-2017), '20170320-3ecbad1b35-osx_x86-main' (alongside some clients that are still running Devprev)

Possible answers for Bruno:
I am now using the Mac OS Sierra, Version 10.12.3. (I am not updating to the newest version yet... I turned off the notifications for System Updates so that I resist that urge!). So I would recommend installing (on a disk partition or external for testing) Sierra and seeing how the latest update to Sierra and the latest Foldit play together before updating. IF POSSIBLE - do this with OS Sierra 10.12.3 because it DOES work well.)

El Capitan appears to have issues running foldit ON SOME MACHINES - slow performance is the most annoying of those issues. That appears from anecdotal evidence from another Mac user to still be the case (I don't have all the details). And this only gets worse on El Capitan with multiple clients.

With Sierra (10.12.3) installed:
The multiple clients appear to me to run just as fast as single clients. This may be because I have also set up my Mac multiple clients differently from the old Automator one Foldit client running copies. (Which never seemed like a good way to run - there is one log file gathering running info from all the multiples... so what happens if it crashes? You can't untangle the log.txt info for just one client? Illogical.)

http://foldit.wikia.com/wiki/Multiple_Foldit_Clients (scroll down to the info for Mac OS Sierra to see how I set up multiple clients for Sierra (10.12.3)

Running multiple clients for days at a time without periodically closing/reopening seems to be a constant recipe for a system freeze on Macs (since I started running multiples back in 2015 or thereabouts, in El Capitan or Sierra) Good news is that this happens at a wider gap between occurrences using Sierra 10.12.3 and the 4-4-17 Main update.

So as "Housekeeping" every couple days it's a good idea to save your current clients, share with yourself, close and reopen the client. (I suspect this is a symptom of the way that foldit uses the system memory but/and it could be a yet-unsolved bug.)

Be sure to close dialog boxes that might be open somewhere on your desktop as this seems to contribute to these hangs. In fact, the latest was this morning when I forgot to close a Mac crashlog window from several days ago, and found it when ending a script hung up one of the clients (that I'd been running for almost a week contrary to my own "Housekeeping" rules).

If you experience a system freeze: Before you give up try option(alt)-Command-esc to open the Force Quit Applications window before you hard quit... and quit Safari if you have it running, then restart the finder a couple times. This has worked in several instances and can show you what might be hanging the system. If it doesn't work you can force-quit the foldit clients from this window then reopen. If it's gone too far you will be able to move your mouse around on the screen but won't be able to click anything and you won't get the Force Quit Applications window... and you'll just need to touch the power button on your mac and hard reboot. this is why saving and closing clients periodically is a good practice. Good "Housekeeping" will for the most part keep these hangs from happening.

Joined: 09/24/2012
Groups: Go Science
thanks actiasluna

I've 1 processor and 2 cores (as seen via "about this Mac - more info - system report). I suppose it's a first génération i7. This gives me 4 "logical processors" and I can thus run 3 clients (1 remains for system).

Concerning OS, I came back to an old backup and I'm now on OS 10.9.5 (Mavericks).

The speed is ok, BUT I can see from the Activity Monitor that the activity slows down dramatically when the screen saver activates. GRR. So I've to keep the computer open (not very safe).

I'm downloading Linux, with the aim of installing it on an bootable USB key. We'll see what it gives.

Joined: 03/05/2015
Groups: Gargleblasters
YW Bruno. And a NOTE on options.txt and all.macro files on Mac

It appears that another best practice regarding moving your options and all.macro files on Mac is to save a copy of the desired 'options.txt' and 'all.macro' files to your Mac user Documents Folder in order to copy and paste them into a new client.

NOTE: Copy one at a time into (as well as out of) the Documents folder and one at a time out of the Documents folder and into foldit's Resources folder. ...as I discovered the hard way, for whatever reason selecting and copying both of those files and pasting them into Resources folder will only result in the 'options.txt' actually pasting.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons