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Joined: 05/10/2008
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I'm thinking of upgrading my PC. Can anyone suggest a good PC for folding or what I should focus on?  Please tell me that multi-cores make a difference

Guyoni's picture
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I can tell you it runs just fine on my computer, I have a quad core intel 2.40GHz, with 4 gigs of DDR400 ram, and a GeForce 8800 GTS, I never have to turn down any of the settings no matter how big the protein is.

Joined: 05/10/2008
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Foldit benchmark

Guyoni -
I guess it doesn't make a lot of sense to talk about folding speed without some data to guide us. So I've created a foldit benchmark to measure my PC speed on a benchmark protein with the following results:

Protein: Halorhodopsin
Final Score:  12677
default *          2:29
show stubs      2:28
don't show      2:28
show voids     3:13 (definitely slower)
zoom way out 2:29
zoom way in   2:28
Full screen      2:30  
Tiny window   2:27   
Structure removed (changed to all loop) 2:35, 2:32

* default is - show clashes [on], show hydrogen bonds [on], Glow sidechains [on], show voids [off], use relative scoring [on], show guide [off], show all [on]

From the results above, you can see that "show voids" is the only thing that really matters much.

To benchmark your PC running foldit, follow the procedure below:

  1. Open an online stopwatch window from [[http://tools.arantius.com/stopwatch]]
  2. From the File menu, select "Switch Puzzles', check "Show old puzzles" and open 62:Halorhodopsin.
  3. From the Actions menu, select 'Reset Puzzle"
  4. From the Actions menu, select 'Wiggle Backbone" and immediately click Start on the stopwatch
  5. wait for the score to stabilize and clock Stop as soon as the score crosses to 12,677 points.
  6. record the time and the conditions.
  7. note your PC speed, number of cores, speed and RAM and GPU. (hold the "windows" key and press "pause/break")

My PC is 2.1 GHz, 2G RAM, Intel Core 2 CPU 6400, GE Force7300 GS

Guyoni's picture
User offline. Last seen 12 years 29 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 05/10/2008
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on an intel core 2 quad, q6600 @2,40GHz (4CPUs), Geforce 8800 GTS, with 4G of DDR400 ram, it wiggled out at 1:58 with everything on 1:56 with everything off, although my CPU never went above 50% (I don't think it takes advantage of multiple cores but I don't know), and neither did my ram, so I would say the 30 seconds I shaved off your time was prolly due to the video card, upgrade that and you should be golden, for now

Joined: 05/26/2008
Groups: Hold My Beer
I've got a few different

I've got a few different PC's I've run FoldIt on

2.0GHz P4 - 1GB RAM - Sloooooow, takes forever to do anything, and it's difficult to wait for things to finish (junk $20 video card)
1.83GHz C2D Laptop 3GB RAM - Decent, but still kind of slow. I can work with it much easier than the P4 though.
2.4GHz C2Q (Q6600) 3.3GB RAM - Works great, even with other programs running, and Boinc on in the background. (GeForce 8800)
2.66GHz C2Q (Q6700) 3GB RAM - same as Q6600, don't notice any difference. (Onboard Intel junk graphics chipset)

I can't say for certain whether or not FoldIt takes advantage of multiple cores, but I seem to recall it using 2 of them. Only looked once, and that was quite a while ago, might even be confusing it with something else. I will check tonight when I get home though.


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