Some silly questions.....perhaps.


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Message boards : Number crunching : Some silly questions.....perhaps.

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Iona
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Message 1145769 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 11:43:41 UTC

I am soon going to be doing some upgrading to my 'normal drive' PC 4735626 and given that I will be changing the CPU and (hopefully) adding a further 2 Gigs of RAM at the same time, I have, what may seem to be, to the more experienced users, some silly questions.

1. The CPU I will be changing to, is an Intel E8400, which supports, over and above my current E6550, SSE4.1. As a user of the Lunatics Optimised apps, I'd like to know if there is any real advantage in using the Win/Intel SSE4.1 app over the SSSE 3.X app. If there is an advantage, is it worth having? A Quad-core CPU would've been nice, but, when I can get an E8400 and 2 Gigs of 4-4-4-12 DDR2 RAM for less than the cost of a Q6600, there really is no contest.

2. On my present PC, due to the stupid way that BOINC works (regarding the early exit due to 'overflow' results counting as an indication of the speed of work done), my ATI GPU (a two-year-old factory OC'd HD4890) has a very enviable APR of around 1400 for ATI GPU MB tasks. I see an opportunity here, given the differences, to basically 'create' a new machine and, at the very least, rid myself of this crazy APR figure...even if it might be temporary. What do I need to do, to either, 'retire' a PC, or, ensure that a 'new' PC is 'registered'?





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Message 1145775 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 12:16:04 UTC - in response to Message 1145769.

I am soon going to be doing some upgrading to my 'normal drive' PC 4735626 and given that I will be changing the CPU and (hopefully) adding a further 2 Gigs of RAM at the same time, I have, what may seem to be, to the more experienced users, some silly questions.

1. The CPU I will be changing to, is an Intel E8400, which supports, over and above my current E6550, SSE4.1. As a user of the Lunatics Optimised apps, I'd like to know if there is any real advantage in using the Win/Intel SSE4.1 app over the SSSE 3.X app. If there is an advantage, is it worth having? A Quad-core CPU would've been nice, but, when I can get an E8400 and 2 Gigs of 4-4-4-12 DDR2 RAM for less than the cost of a Q6600, there really is no contest.

2. On my present PC, due to the stupid way that BOINC works (regarding the early exit due to 'overflow' results counting as an indication of the speed of work done), my ATI GPU (a two-year-old factory OC'd HD4890) has a very enviable APR of around 1400 for ATI GPU MB tasks. I see an opportunity here, given the differences, to basically 'create' a new machine and, at the very least, rid myself of this crazy APR figure...even if it might be temporary. What do I need to do, to either, 'retire' a PC, or, ensure that a 'new' PC is 'registered'?

The SSE4.1 app yeilds better results over the SSSEx app when you have a lot of memory bandwidth. My E8400 with DDR3 running at 1333 showed no improvement with the SSE4.1 application.

Back when I was looking to upgrade desktop system then I was planning on rotating my old machine down to be my HTPC. I was looking at the Q9650 & it turned out to be cheaper to build and i7-860 machine.

In March I bought a new laptop with an i3-390 2.66GHz processor. I ran S@H on it against my E8400 3.0GHz. The i3 put my E8400 to shame. So you might consider one the even newer i3 processors such as the i3-2120 or i3-2100. For an E8400 & 2GB DDR2 ram here I see about $170 vs about $250 to change up to an i3 with DDR3. To me that would justify going with the newer stuff, but for you I can imagine the difference could be like £200 because prices can be silly over there.
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Richard HaselgroveProject donor
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Message 1145786 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 12:48:42 UTC - in response to Message 1145769.

2. On my present PC, due to the stupid way that BOINC works (regarding the early exit due to 'overflow' results counting as an indication of the speed of work done), my ATI GPU (a two-year-old factory OC'd HD4890) has a very enviable APR of around 1400 for ATI GPU MB tasks. I see an opportunity here, given the differences, to basically 'create' a new machine and, at the very least, rid myself of this crazy APR figure...even if it might be temporary. What do I need to do, to either, 'retire' a PC, or, ensure that a 'new' PC is 'registered'?

The answer to this is quite surprising. There's no 'official' way, because BOINC is rather too good at noticing that it's really the same machine, and giving you the same HostID number back after detaching/reattaching.

One way which has worked reliably for me is to exploit one of BOINC's anti-cheating mechanisms. Stop BOINC, find your client_state.xml file, and open it for editing - usual precautions: take backup, plain text editor only, ANSI mode etc.

Find the SETI Project section, and within that, the line which says

<rpc_seqno>nnnnn</rpc_seqno>

- that corresponds to the 'Number of times client has contacted server' shown on the host details page on this website.

Reduce the <rpc_seqno> value to something lower than the website is showing, restart BOINC, and let it contact the SETI servers. BOINC will think you're cheating - maybe trying to use two computers with the same ID number to inflate your score - and will give you a new ID number in response.

You'll now have two computers listed on your account, with the same name but different HostIDs. If you merge them, you'll show the correct total credit for the original host, but other factors, like the APR you're interested in, will be re-started from default values. Watch out for the awkwardnesses around the tenth validation for each application after you've performed the surgery.

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Message 1145792 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 12:57:38 UTC
Last modified: 27 Aug 2011, 13:13:45 UTC

I'm in total agreement with all of HAL9000's comments.

My E8400 was the development machine used for refinement of all the Windows AKv8 & AKv8b builds, and I always had a fondness for very low latency, high end RAM. Under circumstances like that performance can still fall either way, toward ssse3x or sse4.1, by a percent or so due to other factors like the type of work, but indeed it becomes a splitting hairs kind of scenario, or as we say often 'your mileage may vary'. We ended up with those 2 builds trimmed from 4 variants that were very nearly inseparable in performance, though the particular variation was noticed at the time.

In the future, this style of having separate builds for every instruction set will likely yield to fewer builds with internal CPU based dispatch. In that regard, going into V7, the splitting hairs approach is unlikely to be needed, and hard settings would likely be tweakable for those that desire to do so.

As CPUs go, the E8400 Wolfdale has been an excellent workhorse, but it's starting to show its age driving the GTX 480. Contrasting with the other machine on my list, a recently built i5-2400 on Gigabyte Z68 based motherboard, well there isn't any comparison (really it's just way better in every way). If you can go to a decent i3 as HAL describes, or even scratch a bit longer toward an i5, it'll be well worth it.

Jason
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Message 1145834 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 15:16:35 UTC

Thanks for the responses so far. Yes, a newer iteration of an Intel multi-core CPU would be nice, very nice, but as HAL has correctly surmised, prices in the UK are a bit silly. They are more than silly. In the UK, we pay in pounds Sterling, what you lucky people in America, will pay in dollars. Rip-off Britain, aided by the pricing policies of manufacturers, is the problem. For example, a fairly competent Asus board with a P55 chipset, that I think might last more than 6 months and quite like (I spent some quite expensive years at the 'bleeding edge', years ago, but thats another story) costs twice the amount as the E8400 CPU and 2 pieces of 2 Gigs of nice, low latency RAM, that I've bought, used (£85 total)! So, straight away, you can see that I'd still also need to get, a CPU, DDR3 RAM and a new CPU cooler....being into my third year of a pay freeze with increasing bills, thats strictly something for a brighter future. A much brighter future. This really is, 'crunching on a budget' and I'm only upgrading (for me) because this PC is my 'daily drive' and its going to get bigger stuff thrown at it. With my other host, a quad-core, is the most likely upgrade path, since some of the RAM will come out of this one, to go into that, making two 4 Gig PCs. Like many people, I'm having to keep a somewhat concerned eye on what might be around the next corner. My wish list is getting bigger!

Richard.....why am I not surprised? BOINC gets the APR wrong, based on false assumptions and it just seems to continue to make false assumptions. Correction. The programmers made assumptions that were wrong. What would've been simpler than a 'Retire Machine' button? After all, one's total credits would be the same as would be one's total RAC. Maybe I spent too many years as an engineer, believing that keeping things simple, was best, at least for longer production runs. Well, I'll try the method you've described. I hope The Force is with me! lol



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Message 1145841 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 15:37:52 UTC

Ok I have my own silly question. I need to reformat the old P4. Some how the grandkids have droped and dragged my start up menu all over the place. My silly question is can I save my 3 xp service packs on a dvd? I sure dont want to download all 3 of them again. And thanks Iona.
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Message 1145845 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 15:47:28 UTC - in response to Message 1145841.
Last modified: 27 Aug 2011, 15:58:00 UTC

Ok I have my own silly question. I need to reformat the old P4. Some how the grandkids have droped and dragged my start up menu all over the place. My silly question is can I save my 3 xp service packs on a dvd? I sure dont want to download all 3 of them again. And thanks Iona.


And you want to reformat just because of messed up start menu???!

These are only shortcuts - move them back by hand, you will spend less time.
And all your data and installed programs are still there - why you are so concern where are the shortcuts used just for easy start of programs?

To easy move the shortcuts back by hand - Right-Click the Start button and choose:
Explore All Users
(or just "Explore" if you want to move the shortcuts to the current-user's Start menu)

It really doesn't matter where you decide to move them.

Only if you uninstall some program the shortcuts for it will maybe remain where they are.
But it's OK, no harm in that, if you want you may delete them (the shortcuts of the uninstalled program) manually.


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Message 1145858 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 16:08:02 UTC

Not just the start files, I have files all over the place. It would take to darn long to find each one and drag it back. There is nothing on the p4 but seti that is worth anyhting.
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Message 1145874 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 16:21:59 UTC - in response to Message 1145841.
Last modified: 27 Aug 2011, 16:22:26 UTC

Ok I have my own silly question. I need to reformat the old P4. Some how the grandkids have droped and dragged my start up menu all over the place. My silly question is can I save my 3 xp service packs on a dvd? I sure dont want to download all 3 of them again. And thanks Iona.


I had similar problem where grandkids missed up my computer I fixed a disk on which I put in the service packs into a new burned disk so when I reinstalled the service packs where in the reinstalled os plus service packs it is called a slipstream cd or dvd and here is the link to tell you how it is done

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/how_to_slipstream_windows_xp_sp3_and_vista_sp1
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Message 1145887 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 16:35:27 UTC

good suggestions from all. I will ponder what I will do.
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Message 1145905 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 17:01:20 UTC - in response to Message 1145887.

Mark gave you the best advice, IMO, system restore and it will be done in 10 min and life will be good.
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Message 1145928 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 17:47:42 UTC
Last modified: 27 Aug 2011, 17:48:32 UTC

When you are done, James, get a free download for a program called Fences and work from there. I think you'll find it at CNET amongst the Windows utilities free downloads (XP?). I use it and its simple, but good, with some very useful tricks up it's sleeve, but its not quite as good as PC Tools for Windows V2 was....that was Windows V2, as in Win 3.1! Use System Restore carefully - I've known it to make things worse and only use it as a last resort (the stage before format and reinstall).
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Message 1145939 - Posted: 27 Aug 2011, 18:19:22 UTC

I have done two system restores allready. Its no big deal to do a format, I had win ME im used to it:)
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Message 1146313 - Posted: 28 Aug 2011, 15:32:55 UTC - in response to Message 1145939.



James....and don't forget the 103 patches Windows Update will want to install after the service packs are done.

Even after all that, XP is still easier than Win 7 to get setup and running the way I want it.

Lt

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Message 1147207 - Posted: 30 Aug 2011, 13:16:22 UTC

I bought a Win XP sp3 cd from microsoft for £6. Has saved me hours of work when re-installing Windows.

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