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Questions and Answers : Macintosh : boinc / Xgrid

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Profile Hugo Corte Real
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Message 1117297 - Posted: 15 Jun 2011, 13:58:17 UTC

There is some way to run boinc process using a apple X-grid?

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Message 1117304 - Posted: 15 Jun 2011, 14:20:41 UTC - in response to Message 1117297.

No, for the same reason why you can't run BOINC on a standard cluster:

1) The software has to be specifically written to support clustering protocols.

2) It defeats the purpose of using the spare CPU cycles of standard "everyday" computers. The goal of BOINC is to use the waste cycles that everyone else isn't using.

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Message 1117485 - Posted: 15 Jun 2011, 21:30:34 UTC

(1) is fine, but I don't necessarily agree with (2). With modern CPUs, there's a much fuzzier definition of "waste cycles". Power management features often throttle down CPU performance when it's not being used heavily. A lot of people run SETI or other BOINC projects on dedicated computers. I'd say the goal of BOINC at this point is to get as much volunteer computing power for scientific projects as possible, whether the cycles are "spare" or not. But the overall point that Xgrid takes special configuration is true. Xgrid is sort of replicating BOINC on smaller, more private scales. It kind of allows you to run an internal BOINC-like project on all the computers your organization owns.

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Message 1117495 - Posted: 15 Jun 2011, 21:40:31 UTC - in response to Message 1117485.

I purposely left out the discussion of Power Management features because it's largely irrelevant.

"Waste cycles" in this context, means "when you have your computer powered on and you're browsing the web or writing something in a document, the rest of your CPU power that you are not utilizing goes toward the science of your choice". While yes, many modern CPUs can turn off unused cores and throttle down the CPU, "waste" still means unused while the computer is used. Sure, there will be more "waste" donating it to science than to let it throttle down, but that's largely negligible by comparison to simply leaving it on all the time, 24/7.

Creating farms or leaving your computer on 24/7 goes above and beyond what the BOINC or any science project asks for. Its largely your choice if you wish to donate the extra, but not what is asked of you.

Ultimately, the goal is still to use the "spare" cycles when you happen to have your computer powered on and in use, regardless of power saving features. Most people simply turn off their machines when not in use, thus saving far more than the power saving features would provide.

Creating clusters is just far above and beyond the scope and intent of BOINC in terms of cost. The goal is in the theory of the idea that all the spare power in the world is more powerful than even the most expensive and powerful super computers.

If clusters were part of the original idea to get as much work done, then the scientists could simply request time (in exchange for pay) on one of those aforementioned "most powerful super computers" without the need for distributed computing, which is what most of those super computers are built for in the first place.

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Message 1122706 - Posted: 29 Jun 2011, 14:39:30 UTC

Ok, Thanks for your reply.

Questions and Answers : Macintosh : boinc / Xgrid

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