Weekend Warriors - aka: not crunching Seti 24/7

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Profile Tom M
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Message 2016709 - Posted: 26 Oct 2019, 13:00:19 UTC

In order to reduce/get a better handle on my power bill I have been running one of my boxes https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/show_host_detail.php?hostid=8684146 from local Saturdary morning to local Sunday morning. While this has lowered its production a lot, my power company claims I am using 42% less power this month than last month. :)

I have read mention of various people who are NOT running their machines 24/7 and are instead running them after the power cost goes down. Only when they are home. After the day cools down. Etc.

So I thought I would start a conversation so we can tell each other our stories.

Tom
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Message 2016735 - Posted: 26 Oct 2019, 16:13:19 UTC - in response to Message 2016709.  

I crunched 24/7 for over 15 years with 6 or more machines. Since becoming a pensioner I've dropped back to off-peak weekend crunching with 4 machines.
...
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Message 2016744 - Posted: 26 Oct 2019, 17:34:37 UTC

For awhile I was crunching numerous low to mid range PCs 24/7. But when the power bill came and was close to $200, I had to back off. I shut down most of them for the remainder of the summer while the AC was running, but now I have my best 2 PCs (or most power hungry PCs) running on opposite schedules (more or less 1 crunching at night and the other during the day) - this way only 1 is crunching at any point in time.
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Message 2016833 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 5:51:59 UTC

I am running 3 PCs 24/7, two Windows, one Linux plus a Linux Virtual Machine on one of them. I am paying 115.13 euros for a two months period, this in Italy with electricity costing 0.21 euro/ kWh. My PCs are standard PCs, no home built supercomputers. I am also running Science United on one of them, plus the Virtual Machine.
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Message 2016841 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 7:33:18 UTC
Last modified: 27 Oct 2019, 7:34:34 UTC

I have a number of rigs that I am limiting due to heat. While we have air conditioning we don’t use it often, so the PCs only run when it’s cool enough.

I try to keep the modern kit but lower wattage. All my current CPUs are 65 watt TDP and GPUs I try to keep at or under 120 watts. It also helps to sell older kit while it’s still worth something in order to upgrade every couple of years.
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Message 2016844 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 9:24:25 UTC

My concept is to keep 24/24, but it's 2700 + 1060
Trick is not to use boost. It gives + 20% computing power, but takes +50 % more power from wall. I consider it's not worth. Other positive thing is that heat produced is low, so it can work even summer.
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Message 2016845 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 10:01:55 UTC - in response to Message 2016844.  

My concept is to keep 24/24, but it's 2700 + 1060
Trick is not to use boost. It gives + 20% computing power, but takes +50 % more power from wall. I consider it's not worth. Other positive thing is that heat produced is low, so it can work even summer.


Thank you. I am experimenting with that non-boost issue now.

Tom
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Message 2016862 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 15:09:31 UTC

Any 10xx card is going to be more power efficient than any 9xx card. Just the matter of process size and lower voltages.
Seti@Home classic workunits:20,676 CPU time:74,226 hours

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Message 2016916 - Posted: 27 Oct 2019, 23:36:15 UTC

Yes, crunching 24/7 with Seti as the primary boinc project but 3 other projects also running at lower resource committments. It's a modest system, GTX 1060, with 8-core Ryzen 1700. Power consumption averages 180 watts. It's not "free" but I have 3600 watts of solar panels in a grid tied mode (i.e. excess watts feed back to the utility and I get them back at night) which very closely matches my home usage averaged over a year. So, rationalizing a bit, my Seti compute cycles are "free" and I pay the minimum meter connection charges most of the year, which I would be paying anyway. Winter is a little different - solar power does not match real home daily useage and the utility bills go up. The good news - the computer heat goes to good purpose in home heating; the bad news - electric "resistive" heating is the most inefficient, and expensive, home heating one can use.
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Message 2016958 - Posted: 28 Oct 2019, 11:39:59 UTC - in response to Message 2016946.  

Two of my twin card rigs are in the outhouse/garden room. In the past, I had to have the electric heater switched on. in winter. As I write it is 31F in London, and the temp in there is 65F just with the computers.


You have read about the "Seti Toaster"? Maybe your's are looking to pickup that title? Warm as toast in there....

<grin>

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Message 2016963 - Posted: 28 Oct 2019, 12:12:32 UTC - in response to Message 2016946.  

Two of my twin card rigs are in the outhouse/garden room. In the past, I had to have the electric heater switched on. in winter. As I write it is 31F in London, and the temp in there is 65F just with the computers.

I hear that. I used to use a heater to keep my basement warm. I started my farm back up a little over a week ago and my basement went from 62F to 75F and it's dropping to freezing outside at night now.
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Message 2017062 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 2:39:17 UTC - in response to Message 2017003.  

A relative to a Seti Toaster :)
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Message 2017070 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 3:33:08 UTC - in response to Message 2017062.  

Used to be my favorite screensaver....with the exception of Seti of course...
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Message 2017073 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 4:28:02 UTC

Well the original idea of SETI@Home was that you ran it as a screen saver when your PC was on. but not otherwise being used. They didn't specifically ask you to run it 24/7, buy extra GPUs or set up a farm. Now I'm sure they aren't complaining if you do, but it's 100% optional.

Now I do have a small stack of older PCs that are basically a backup heating source. Some on my account, and some under Gridcoin Pool. But most of them only run when we are either using them, or the stack in the corner when I feel cold. A kW of heat is a kW of heat whether it comes out of a heater or a stack of PCs. So a lot less crunching over summer, and some will likely have "no new tasks" set and be off for a few months.

But I'm not buying hardware or extra power simply to crunch or earn GCR. If I have to buy the power to stay warm, then it can go through the computers.
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Message 2017093 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 9:34:12 UTC - in response to Message 2017080.  



As I opined the other day, distributed computing has proved it can work, but it is not cutting edge any more, and has hit its own financial brick wall.


Don't know if I'd call it a brick wall, there is a LOT more computation actually being done, and it's spread across a lot of projects. Like some posts above, people have different priorities and so choose different projects. Now a small percentage make it their hobby, and are wiling to spend significant amounts of $$ on hardware and power, just because the challenge is there. I'm just not in that group, more of the part time Weekender. I like salvaging and fixing up old PCs, stuff that can actually crunch useful, if not remarkable amounts. If I rebuild an old i5 machine, and it can run S@H for week, then I call it good, and will sell or give it away with a clear conscience and a 100 yard warranty.

But personally I'm not spending more than my car is worth on a dedicated crunching rig, then my weekly gas bill on power to run it.
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Message 2017095 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 10:04:29 UTC
Last modified: 29 Oct 2019, 10:16:00 UTC

This just gone winter I didn't plug in my 2 old workstations for extra heating as converting my 2 main rigs over to Linux got my 1060's to produce more heat so just having an electric air column heater set to 750W and only to go on at temps below 17C out in the hallway was a huge power saving for me this year (while producing more corrupted cobblestones).

But I may have to reduce that down to just 1 rig for a few months as my car needs another gearbox (that's been expected for a while as the old girl is 24yr old now).

Cheers.
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Message 2017098 - Posted: 29 Oct 2019, 10:30:15 UTC - in response to Message 2017080.  

But I'm not buying hardware or extra power simply to crunch or earn GCR

That view seems more and more the norm nowadays. Of course, there will alway be the credit hounds, but there are better paying projects than Seti. Even if I switched on everything I've got, I doubt I could get any more than an RAC of 100,000 and then I couldn't afford to eat.

As I opined the other day, distributed computing has proved it can work, but it is not cutting edge any more, and has hit its own financial brick wall.

Well, I've dropped down my contribution from now on to this computer only:
Intel(R) Celeron(R) M processor 1.50GHz [Family 6 Model 13 Stepping 8]

And it runs 50% Main, and 50% Beta.

The reason why I have almost stopping contributing, is not as much due to the cost of electricity.
It's more due to other things, which I'm not free to discuss here, if I still want to be able to post...
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Message 2017209 - Posted: 30 Oct 2019, 12:31:02 UTC - in response to Message 2016794.  


In 1999 Seti@home was used as a guinea pig to prove the concept that distributed computing using the general public's computers at home was a viable proposition. It did prove that, and so successfully that other scientific projects also wanted to take part, so along came BOINC in 2004 as a project umbrella. At the time the slogan was "we will use your unwanted CPU cycles in the background while you continue working".


We do have the settings in preferences to suspend Boinc projects if the system becomes "active". This would allow many people to emulate the original screensaver "spare cpu cycles" model.

Tom
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Message 2017327 - Posted: 31 Oct 2019, 7:00:18 UTC

I leave PC crunching mostly during off-peak hours (0am-8am), when electricity is less then a third then a peak price, and one of cheapest in EU.

But if I would crunch 24/7, then not only the electricity cost for remaining day period would triple, but I would in much bigger part slide from "green zone" into "blue zone", when additional "~30% cost penalty" is applied. I tried once, and my monthly bill for that month increased substantially.
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Message 2020607 - Posted: 26 Nov 2019, 10:15:19 UTC

Well, it looks like my "Weekend Warrior" project is on track again.

I now have a "spare" Amd 2700 cpu, cooler, motherboard, case, PSU, at least one gtx 1060 3Gb... hmmm.... where did my other DDR 3000 memory go?

The plan is to have a "warm backup" if/when my main cruncher were to hiccup and/or die.

Tom
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Message boards : Number crunching : Weekend Warriors - aka: not crunching Seti 24/7


 
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