NEW Pref.: Suspend work if CPU usage is > XX %


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Message 970481 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 9:37:21 UTC
Last modified: 14 Feb 2010, 9:42:09 UTC

If you use BOINC 6.10.32 you will be affected by the

new Computing preference:

Suspend work if CPU usage is above 25 %
0 means no restriction
Enforced by version 6.10.30+


The default of 25% is too low IMO and will make the apps to stop/restart very often which is time consuming overhead.

Most users will not know what happens or why.

The default have to be 0 (no restriction) or 80-90%

What do you think?
.
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Message 970482 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 9:59:22 UTC

I think default should be 0. No change without that the user really want to change it.
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Message 970483 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 10:02:29 UTC

I agree, the default was set way too low and will likely cause unnecessary problems for many users. I've seen few complaints that would indicate a need for this option or for such a low default setting.

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Message 970498 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 13:46:03 UTC - in response to Message 970483.

The only reason I could see a low default setting like that is for the odd lap-toppers that actually run BOINC.... *sarcasm*

. . . .That'd be about 4 or 5? *more sarcasm*

I wonder if it's more to give people who use their PCs for work or telecommuting the feeling that they can contribute to science and still not feel like they just "time-warped" back to the days of Windows 98 and the jittery/choppy/slow CPU experience......

That is a reason I could understand.

MOst of the people I talk to are interested in getting more BOINC WU done than anything else.

;)


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Message 970505 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 14:36:40 UTC

25% does seem low to me, but considering the very large range of computers out there it is probably a good default. On a quad core or such system 25% is 1 core at full load. So in most cases I don't see 25% coming into effect most of the time. On a dual core system I wouldn't really want BOINC to stop processing the science apps just because I was doing something that maxed out 1 core.

It's a good feature, but I don't have a use for it at the moment so to 0 it goes.
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Message 970508 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 15:02:02 UTC - in response to Message 970505.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2010, 15:02:47 UTC

25% does seem low to me, but considering the very large range of computers out there it is probably a good default. On a quad core or such system 25% is 1 core at full load. So in most cases I don't see 25% coming into effect most of the time. On a dual core system I wouldn't really want BOINC to stop processing the science apps just because I was doing something that maxed out 1 core.

It's a good feature, but I don't have a use for it at the moment so to 0 it goes.

I've also set it to 0 across my different venues, it caused my single core XP3200 to suspend computation, when i suspended a task that was running, to get a Shortie to run instead,
needs a higher value here, or it disabled, i might set it to a high value on one of the C2D's, then try some video encoding,
but i think it should have been set at 0 as default, and let the users decide their setting.

Claggy

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Message 970510 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 15:12:18 UTC - in response to Message 970508.

25% does seem low to me, but considering the very large range of computers out there it is probably a good default. On a quad core or such system 25% is 1 core at full load. So in most cases I don't see 25% coming into effect most of the time. On a dual core system I wouldn't really want BOINC to stop processing the science apps just because I was doing something that maxed out 1 core.

It's a good feature, but I don't have a use for it at the moment so to 0 it goes.

I've also set it to 0 across my different venues, it caused my single core XP3200 to suspend computation, when i suspended a task that was running, to get a Shortie to run instead,
needs a higher value here, or it disabled, i might set it to a high value on one of the C2D's, then try some video encoding,
but i think it should have been set at 0 as default, and let the users decide their setting.

Claggy

On some of my really old systems windows reports about 10-12% CPU usage when the machine is at idle just from the background processes running. So I could see 25% usage getting tripped pretty often. But since the science applications are just using idle processor cycles the new setting is a bit counter intuitive to that whole idea. Since they effective throttle when something else needs the processor.
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Message 970519 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 15:49:32 UTC - in response to Message 970481.

If you use BOINC 6.10.32 you will be affected by the

new Computing preference:

Suspend work if CPU usage is above 25 %
0 means no restriction
Enforced by version 6.10.30+


The default of 25% is too low IMO and will make the apps to stop/restart very often which is time consuming overhead.

Most users will not know what happens or why.

The default have to be 0 (no restriction) or 80-90%

What do you think?
.

I found that out the hard way also. It should be 0 as default....
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Message 970551 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 17:27:40 UTC - in response to Message 970546.

And what is the point? With Boinc tasks all running at lowest priority, anything else a computer is likely to be doing should take over CPU usage anyway.


Considering there's already an option of "Do work while computer is in use" that seems to compete with this option.

Not really sure what this was intended to do.


My only guess is so that BOINC does not compete with other low-priority apps that may need large amounts of power in spurts. Something like maybe an XBox media streaming box. Or maybe some server apps that only kick in once in a while. Video rendering could be another class of apps.

I can see a use for this option, but I think it competes too closely with "Do work while computer is in use".
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Message 970553 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 17:39:25 UTC

David Anderson, Alpha email list wrote:
The major complaint about BOINC among new users is "it slows down my computer" (and typically they uninstall).
E.g. games don't play as fast, streaming video has glitches.

I think the default should be to eliminate slow-down as much as possible.

-- David

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Message 970619 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 22:01:20 UTC - in response to Message 970553.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2010, 22:02:48 UTC

David Anderson, Alpha email list wrote:
The major complaint about BOINC among new users is "it slows down my computer" (and typically they uninstall).
E.g. games don't play as fast, streaming video has glitches.

I think the default should be to eliminate slow-down as much as possible.

-- David

So they are making default settings so that people that don't know how to change settings will not be effected as much it looks like. Which makes sense overall. People that don't have idea what they are doing will be less effect & other that know what to change will most likely disable it. It may lead to more science getting done if it can be shows to have a lower impact on users.
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Message 970625 - Posted: 14 Feb 2010, 22:30:12 UTC - in response to Message 970619.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2010, 22:31:42 UTC

David Anderson, Alpha email list wrote:
The major complaint about BOINC among new users is "it slows down my computer" (and typically they uninstall).
E.g. games don't play as fast, streaming video has glitches.

I think the default should be to eliminate slow-down as much as possible.

-- David

So they are making default settings so that people that don't know how to change settings will not be effected as much it looks like. Which makes sense overall. People that don't have idea what they are doing will be less effect & other that know what to change will most likely disable it. It may lead to more science getting done if it can be shows to have a lower impact on users.

I don't think it's for people who don't know how to change settings as much as it is for people who may not have even thought that there might be settings.

After all, BOINC is supposed to be load-and-go, with tuning left to those who want to tune.

Edit: I think there is a large percentage of users out there that see their system running at 100% and think "OMG!! There isn't anything left for me" without realizing that everything is fine, except BOINC "counts" against the CPU percentage, and the trivially lower "idle" task doesn't.
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Message 970674 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 8:09:59 UTC - in response to Message 970505.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2010, 8:13:47 UTC

HAL9000:
25% does seem low to me, but considering the very large range of computers out there it is probably a good default. On a quad core or such system 25% is 1 core at full load. So in most cases I don't see 25% coming into effect most of the time. On a dual core system I wouldn't really want BOINC to stop processing the science apps just because I was doing something that maxed out 1 core.

It's a good feature, but I don't have a use for it at the moment so to 0 it goes.


This preference will not work this way.

My understanding is that if something outside BOINC uses e.g. 30% CPU
(AV scan in progress; you start Firefox; Almost any program at start will use > 25% CPU)
all the processing stops on all CPUs (cores) & on all GPUs (as if you choose "Snooze" from the tray icon).

After the CPU usage becomes < 25% the processing resumes.

This implies many stops/restarts of the WUs (big overhead especially on CUDA).
And if it occurs every minute the apps have no chance to checkpoint?

.
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Message 970675 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 8:31:49 UTC - in response to Message 970551.


And what is the point? With Boinc tasks all running at lowest priority, anything else a computer is likely to be doing should take over CPU usage anyway.


OzzFan:

Considering there's already an option of "Do work while computer is in use" that seems to compete with this option.

Not really sure what this was intended to do.


My only guess is so that BOINC does not compete with other low-priority apps that may need large amounts of power in spurts. Something like maybe an XBox media streaming box. Or maybe some server apps that only kick in once in a while. Video rendering could be another class of apps.

I can see a use for this option, but I think it competes too closely with "Do work while computer is in use".



"Do work while computer is in use" is about "in use" by the user (user is moving the mouse and/or types on the keyboard)

"Suspend work if CPU usage is above XX %" is about "in use" by a program (e.g. AV scan starts automatically - no user at the computer)

I see usage for this preference to suspend GPU work (CUDA, CAL) in situations as watching DIVX movie or TV program
(user is NOT moving the mouse and/or typing on the keyboard for a long time but "uses" the computer)

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Message 970676 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 8:58:17 UTC - in response to Message 970553.


Ageless:
David Anderson, Alpha email list wrote:
The major complaint about BOINC among new users is "it slows down my computer" (and typically they uninstall).
E.g. games don't play as fast, streaming video has glitches.

I think the default should be to eliminate slow-down as much as possible.

-- David



As we know this "slow down" occurs only if GPU (CUDA) is used.

So:
1) this preference have to be intended/used to stop only the GPU work
2) it has to be set (by default) to 25-75% only for new users
3) all "old" accounts which are still at (the default) 25% have to be changed to 0 (no restriction)
[those set to different value (NOT 25%) are set manually by the user and need no change]

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Message 970682 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 10:00:45 UTC - in response to Message 970674.

HAL9000:
25% does seem low to me, but considering the very large range of computers out there it is probably a good default. On a quad core or such system 25% is 1 core at full load. So in most cases I don't see 25% coming into effect most of the time. On a dual core system I wouldn't really want BOINC to stop processing the science apps just because I was doing something that maxed out 1 core.

It's a good feature, but I don't have a use for it at the moment so to 0 it goes.


This preference will not work this way.

My understanding is that if something outside BOINC uses e.g. 30% CPU
(AV scan in progress; you start Firefox; Almost any program at start will use > 25% CPU)
all the processing stops on all CPUs (cores) & on all GPUs (as if you choose "Snooze" from the tray icon).

After the CPU usage becomes < 25% the processing resumes.

This implies many stops/restarts of the WUs (big overhead especially on CUDA).
And if it occurs every minute the apps have no chance to checkpoint?

.

On older systems, mostly single core CPU's, I could see that as an issue. With the newer processors that have more cores the load on the processor is less. Percentage wise at least. On my i7 system with 4 cores & HT. Loading 1 core to 100% is 13% processor load. Which I do not think should cause BOINC to stop processing with the value set to 25%. So for newer multi core systems I don't see 25% as an issue. Just the large number of older single or dual core systems.

On my Core 2 Due launching apps like Firefox, IE, & such only shows 3-6% load. Th highest load I could find for launching was winamp with 8%.

I do wonder how they came up with the value of 25% tho.
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Message 970700 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 14:39:18 UTC - in response to Message 970675.


And what is the point? With Boinc tasks all running at lowest priority, anything else a computer is likely to be doing should take over CPU usage anyway.


OzzFan:

Considering there's already an option of "Do work while computer is in use" that seems to compete with this option.

Not really sure what this was intended to do.


My only guess is so that BOINC does not compete with other low-priority apps that may need large amounts of power in spurts. Something like maybe an XBox media streaming box. Or maybe some server apps that only kick in once in a while. Video rendering could be another class of apps.

I can see a use for this option, but I think it competes too closely with "Do work while computer is in use".



"Do work while computer is in use" is about "in use" by the user (user is moving the mouse and/or types on the keyboard)

"Suspend work if CPU usage is above XX %" is about "in use" by a program (e.g. AV scan starts automatically - no user at the computer)

I see usage for this preference to suspend GPU work (CUDA, CAL) in situations as watching DIVX movie or TV program
(user is NOT moving the mouse and/or typing on the keyboard for a long time but "uses" the computer)


Thanks, but I'm fully aware of the acute differences between the two options. But ultimately, they do the same thing. I understand that one at least keeps processing going until the CPU hits a certain threshold, but the goal of both options is to reduce user frustration with the BOINC experience.
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Message 970712 - Posted: 15 Feb 2010, 15:27:01 UTC

I've always thought instead of this "CPU usage" monitoring, there should just be a "# CPUs when computer in use" and "# CPUs when computer idle" as separate settings. We have 8 and very soon 12 cores per die; managing many processes is now very important for machine to run smoothly.

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