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  1. With our new web site, we want to unify all of our web assets under the same url and same look (as much as possible). So, we've moved our blog to For now, we'll keep the old blog here, but we've moved the old posts, so eventually this site will go away as well. Voir l'article complet
  2. Looks like everything is up, except for a single server (VSP07) and its VM's associated with it. This server is serving Core11 GPU clients, so those are off line at the moment. Our sysadmins are working on this now. Voir l'article complet
  3. The networking seems to be up, but there are a few issues. They've got something basic going now and will resolve the remaining issues in the morning. We are running a stats update right now. Voir l'article complet
  4. Looks like the servers are up and healthy, but there is an issue with the networking which central IT is working on. For now, we are in a holding pattern until the networking has been resolved. Voir l'article complet
  5. The maintenance is moving along, but certain key machines are down during the move, most notably the main AS, GPU AS, and some key stats systems. We expect the maintenance to be completed in an hour or two. Voir l'article complet
  6. One aspect which has dominated FAH for a decade is the continual push for new scientific approaches. This manifests itself in terms of new scientific cores. For example, the new GPU core (Core17) has brought huge speed improvements (especially to AMD GPUs) and involved a complete rewrite. A negative consequence of this continuous push for improvement and progress is that newer cores often are restricted to more advanced hardware. To help utilize as much power as is available to FAH, we tend to continue projects with older cores, but eventually, the science they can do becomes too limiting, and we must retire them. This is the eventual fate for all cores, but is most certainly an issue sooner for certain cores, especially cores11 and 78. While we don't have any specific end dates for either, we'd like to remind donors that those cores are reaching "end of life" status, and when they are retired, certain older hardware (eg CPUs that don't support SSE2 or older GPUs) won't be supported by FAH. The bottom line is that we're working to delay that as long as possible, but this post is a heads up that our support of those cores won't last a lot longer. If I had to guess, I'd say probably within a year or so they would be retired, maybe 2 years if the existing projects need additional data. As always, we'll give donors more information as we know it and try to give a more specific end date when we know it. Voir l'article complet
  7. We will be moving many key Folding@home servers on Monday August 26. While much of FAH will be up, certain key systems will be down for a few hours starting in the morning (pacific time) of Monday August 26. We'll give more updates as we move along on Monday. Voir l'article complet
  8. A peek into Core 17 benchmarking

    Our primary goal with benchmarking is "equal points for equal work." However, making this process consistent over lots of different types of WUs and different types of hardware is tricky. We had an internal discussion about the PPD for two projects (7810 and 8900) recently and we thought donors might find these details interesting. We were working to rebalance the points to make the PPD consistent, but just doing that over the wide range of hardware is difficult. Check out the graph below which shows the PPD on the y-axis and donor GPUs sorted along the x-axis by typical PPD. The dark line shows averages and the gray area shows error bars (variation between WUs for a given project on the same GPU type). What we see is that our protocol balanced the PPD on the low end, but on the high there is both bigger variation (more shaded areas) and also bigger differences on the very highest power GPUs. In these situations, we usually go with our protocols, but this time, given all the analysis we did on it, I thought it would be interesting for donors to see these sorts of details. It's these sorts of variations which leads to PPD fluctuations, so perhaps the main lesson here is that even with our protocols and plans, it's really hard to be consistent over all the different hardware, even when we're talking about just GPUs and just 2 projects. Voir l'article complet
  9. New FAH web site

    We've been working behind the scenes on a revamp of our web site. It went live today ( This is part of our larger plan to make FAH more friendly and easy to use, especially to non-experts. With that said, we're now thinking about next steps to make FAH more fun and appealing to experts, such as computer enthusiasts and gamers. We're in the early stages of deciding what would be useful there. If you have ideas, please do give us some feedback on our forum at this thread: Voir l'article complet
  10. Welcome to FahCore 17!

    We are proud to announce that our latest GPU core, FahCore 17, was recently moved from beta to advanced testing, the last quality assurance step before a full release. As we previously mentioned, this core is a significant step for us. FahCore 17 is a complete overhaul from our previous GPU cores. It brings a cleaner and more streamlined codebase, new serialization mechanisms that allow us to set up diverse simulations, and improved stability. Its use of OpenCL has united our development, allowing the single core to run on both Nvidia and AMD cards, and theoretically any OpenCL-capable device. It is also our first GPU core to run natively in Linux, although we are only supporting Nvidia GPUs there for the time being as we wait for AMD's Linux drivers to mature a bit more. Overall, this core sets a strong foundation for the future of GPU core development. On AMD cards, FahCore 17 is about 10 times faster than the old GPU cores, and on Nvidia it's about twice as fast. This is mainly due to its OpenMM 5.1 base, which contains many optimizations which deliver a significant speedup. One optimization in particular that we are waiting for is CUDA JIT, a just-in-time compiler that Nvidia may be introducing into its drivers in the coming future. Not only will this technology allow us to offer support for the CUDA platform with FahCore 17, but the JIT compiler is likely to deliver a massive speedup. For the time being, we continue to work at finding additional optimizations on our end. We have also successfully tested FahCore 17 with extremely large proteins (500,000+ atoms), which are on par with the ones used by "bigadv" CPU projects. To run FahCore 17, you need a Fermi GPU or better and Windows or Linux, or a AMD HD5000 or better and Windows. It also currently requires proprietary drivers from these vendors. You can test FahCore 17 by adding the "client-type = advanced" setting into the extra core options in the V7 client, as in the Configuration FAQ. Another excellent resource is the GPU FAQ which describes why GPUs are so helpful to us. We'd like to thank all the alpha testers on FreeNode's #fah IRC channel, as well as the beta testers on, who have all helped us bring the core to this point! Voir l'article complet
  11. Stats system speed update

    We've been working to streamline the stats system update to minimize downtime for donors. We now are able to update stats without taking the web pages off line, so stats updates will continue every hour, but the stats web pages on our site will continue to be available. Voir l'article complet
  12. A key FAH server is down right now and stats updates have been suspended until it is back up. As always, stats are kept on the Work Servers (WS's) so even if an update hasn't been run, the points are being accumulated as WUs come in, so it's only an issue of updating the database for donors to see. We don't have an ETA on this right now, but our team is working on it. Voir l'article complet
  13. Weâve updated Core 17 with OpenMM 5.1, so checkout the release video for more info: A live Q&A is available on reddit. Some of the key highlights are: -Up to 120,000 PPD on GTX Titan, and 110,000 PPD on HD 7970 -Support for more diverse simulations -Linux support on NVIDIA cards and 64bit OSes -FAHBench updated to use the latest OpenMM and display version information Full Transcript of the Talk: Hi Iâm Yutong, Iâm a GPU core developer here at Folding@home. Today I want to give you guys an update on what weâve been working on over the past few months. Letâs take a look at the three major components of GPU core development. First off, we have OpenMM, our open source library for MD simulations. Itâs used by both FAHBench and Core17. FAHBench is our official benchmarking tool for GPUs, and it supports all OpenCL compatible devices. Weâre very happy to tell you guys that itâs been recently added to Anandtechâs GPU test suite. And Core17 is what your Folding@home clients use to do science. By the way, all those arrows just mean that the entire development process is interconnected. So letâs take a step back in time. Last year in October, we conceived Core 17. And we had three major goals in mind. We wanted a core that was going to be faster, more stable, and to be able to support more types of simulations than just implicit solvent. But because of how our old core 15 and 16 was written, it was in fact easier for us to write the core from scratch. So in November, we started rewriting some of the key parts to replace some pre-existing functionality. Over two months, in January, things started to come together. Our work server, assignment server, and client was modified to support Core 17. We also started an internal test team, for the first time ever, using an IRC channel on freenode to provide real-time testing feedback. In February, Core17 had a public Beta of over 1000 GPUs. And We learnt a lot of valuable things. One of them was that the core wasnât all that much faster it seems on NVIDIA. Though on AMD things certainly looked brighter. Things still crashed occasionally, and bugs were certainly still present. So we went back to the drawing board to improve the core. In April, we added a lot of new optimizations and bug fixes to OpenMM. We tested a linux core for the first time ever on GPUs. And our internal testing team had grown to over 30 people. And that brings us to today. We now support many more types of simulations, ranging from explicit solvent to large systems of up to 100,000 atoms. We improved the stability of our cores. We now have a sustainable code base. We added support for linux for the first time. Itâs also really fast â so Iâm sure the burning question on your mind is, just how fast is it? Well letâs take a look. On the GTX Titan we saw it from 50,000 points per day to over 120,000 points per day. On the GTX 680, we saw it go from 30,000 points per day to over 80,000 points per day. On the AMD HD 7970, we saw it from 10,000 points per day to over 110,000 points per day. On the AMD HD 7870 we saw it jump from 5,000 points per day to over 50,000 points per day. We never want to rest on our laurels for too long. We are already planning support for more Intel devices in the future, such as the i7s, integrated graphics cards, and Xeon Phis. We plan to add more projects to Folding@home as time goes on, so researchers within our group can investigate more systems of interest. And as always, we want things to be faster. Now letâs go back to the beginning again, and hereâs you guys can help us. If youâre a programmer, we invite you to contribute to the open source OpenMM project (available on github at the end of the month on If youâre an enthusiast and like to build state-of the-art computers, we encourage you to run FAHBench and join our internal testing team on freenode. If youâre a donor, weâd like you guys to help us spread the word about Folding@home and bring more people, and their machines of course. Now before I wrap things up, there are some people Iâd like to thank. Our internal testers are on the right hand side, and theyâve been instrumental in providing me with real time feedback regarding our tests. We couldnât have done it this fast without them. On the left hand side, are people within the Pande Group, Joseph and Peter are also programmers like me. Diwakar and TJ helped set up many of our projects. Christian and Robert have always been there for support and feedback. But wait, one last thing. This week, Iâll be doing a Questions and Answers session on reddit at So if youâve got questions, come drop by and hang out with us. Thanks, and bye-bye. Voir l'article complet
  14. <p><em><strong>Here's a guest post from <a href="" target="_self">Vickie Curtis</a>, a Research Student at UK's Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology.</strong></em></p> <p>I am a doctoral student at the Institute for Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. I am looking at how digital technologies are changing the way scientists interact with members of the wider public, and I am particularly interested in online 'citizen science' projects such as Folding@home. </p> <p>A few weeks ago we launched an online survey to learn a little more about why people contribute to the Folding@home community, their views about the project, and about âcitizen scienceâ projects in general. Weâve had a great response so far, but would like to keep the survey open for a couple more weeks so that we can capture the views of participants who havenât yet had a chance to take part (we would love to hear from more women who contribute to Folding@home).</p> <p>The survey should take about 10 minutes, and the feedback will eventually be shared with you via the website and blog. All the information you supply will be kept on a secure server and not passed to any third parties. If you would like to take part, please follow the link below.</p> <p> Many thanks to those who have already contributed!</p> <p><a href="" target="_self"></a></p> Voir l'article complet
  15. <p><strong><em>Today, we have a guest blog post by Vickie Curtis, a research student in the UK's Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology. She's working with the Folding@home team to glean more feedback from donors.</em></strong></p> <p><strong>Would you like to learn more about the Folding@home community and your contribution to it? </strong>I am a doctoral student at the Institute for Educational Technology at the Open University in the UK. I am looking at how digital technologies are changing the way scientists interact with members of the wider public, and I am particularly interested in online 'citizen science' projects such as Folding@home. </p> <p>Folding@home is one of the longest-running and most successful online citizen science projects, and it would be great to know a little more about why people contribute to the Folding@home community, their views about the project, and about these types of project in general. I have prepared an online survey for participants, which should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. The feedback will be shared with the Folding@home team and may help them to make improvements to the project. I will also share the findings with you via the website and blog. </p> <p>All the information you supply will be kept on a secure server and not passed to any third parties. If you would like to take part, please follow the link below.</p> <p><a href="">http:/</a></p> Voir l'article complet