I really want to try and run with the big boys and get some of the -bigadv points this coming year and have some questions; some may not be able to be answered currently given the state of folding points. I've so far gone beyond my good wits and lurked the [H] forums as I don't see 2P/4P farms mentioned much here, but I ain't going to post over there about folding
I have the ability to purchase the guts of a 2P SQL server after a failed work project. The offer right now is about the same cost of just the CPU so I'm considering it pretty heavily.
It's in a Dell 2U case which I don't really dig if it were at home, but think I can sneak it into another rack at work. It's working just fine with just one CPU which is a plus for me currently so I can add another CPU later to get the 12 cores. So here's where you folding gurus guide me with the plethora of questions.
1) I was watching for the E7 Xeons to be released and build my own when this just happened to pop up. So back my conscience up here a bit...there's not going to be an E7 Xeon under $2K right? The 8830 octal (Hex w/ HT) is out and I've even been given a quote of $2260 (after discounts) for one unit which is just nuts IMO. I've been snubbed on any water cooler talk of a cheaper 6 core, and sounds like the 8's are already neutered 10's. I know it's speculation on hardware stuff, but just erase that thought out of my head. If you don't shake the idea out of me, it may stick and do something stupid (imagine that).
2) I want a folding mini-monster finally, but can you justify it for me? With the CPU's at 100% 24/7, it wouldn't do much else would it? I'd like to think of something
it can do besides sit there and do those little
things like cure diseases. At home or work I have a 1M up line max, so...what can you also do with a folding machine? I can't even serve a 4-player Minecraft server with those internet speeds.
3) Memory may be pretty easy too considering the answers from "2" above and that I jump on this offer. UDIMM right
? Would registered DIMMS help with folding at all? I have speculation that ECC might technically help a project, but we're talking minutes in return times at best.
4) Cooling. 2U limits me obviously, but if I can find a 4U space would that even matter? Good coolers are towers and are at least 6U. Should I let them run hot or get into CAD and start building an H20 outfit. The chipset on this Asus board seems Presc-hott just idling. Whether I'm hosting this at work or home, the fans can NOT be at server sound levels.
5) Now the tough one: the -BigAdv speculations. I've been running "big WU" in the SMP config for the i7, but that's not the same as the -bigadv flag right? I currently get more ppd with v7 than I did with Fred's VM. If I truly want to run with the big boys I need...what? The one CPU will net 12 threads, so that's enough to qualify for the points I assume. Deadlines and points are up in the air, but will just running 12 cores boost me a bit or will it just maintain ?
6) Dump this and build a dually Oppie Hex? I'm just trying to qualify for the -BigAdv points here you see. Plans of dual AMD 16-core machines or go with and build up the Intel "12-core" starter and go from there? Will actual core counts matter in your opinion? I've read that 100K ppd is a walk in the park with a hex Opteron, know points aren't linear, and just ponder this from the folding aspect. I'll max out with 32 cores with AMD and 24 with the Intel route. As with "4", is it all about the time limits after the core qualifier?
7) Basically, what do you 11108 guys with over 100K ppd do!? How can I play with you guys? I've just been hamfisted in my folding IMO and want to really do a lot more. I'm at 50K on a usable box (Finally made top 20!) and it'd take me a full year and a lot of money to do it again. If I made another box like this, I'd be out of date by 2013. I want those 100K bonuses; so guide me please.
Thanks for reading (TL/DNR folks need not apply), thanks for pondering with me, and thanks for any advice! I know it's a set of complicated questions, but I'm a complicated individual. I remember when getting 500ppd was an epitome, I almost got there when I was gutter trash broke, and I really want this new benchmark this time. I've been sick of stagnant team top 1000, 500, top 100, and since 2004 I am now getting top 20 appearances. To get into the top 10 with this awesome team (with honest efforts) means a lot to me. Can I get a 100K ppd bump with any of this drivel?