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Old 01-30-2017, 09:15 PM   #1
daywalker03
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Back again and ready to build a folding system

Hello again everyone. Been away a while and am considering getting back into folding again. Any hints on the best, low cost options for it?
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:21 AM   #2
mimart7
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Give us a budget, and will you be reusing any parts from a previous build(s)?
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:41 AM   #3
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The GTX 1070 is the current PPD per $ king last time I checked.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:44 PM   #4
jimh425
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Welcome back! I'd say definitely focus on video card folding.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:24 PM   #5
daywalker03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimart7 View Post
Give us a budget, and will you be reusing any parts from a previous build(s)?
No to reusing parts, as the systems I had it on are totally dead. I hadn't yet decided on a budget, either to be honest.
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:38 PM   #6
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GPUs are definitely the way to go.

In addition to the 1070, consider looking at used previous generation GPUs. In my area on Craigslist there were two 970's for sale for $260 ($130 each). That's ~700k PPD right there. A few months ago I picked up a 980 Classified for $275; it regularly gives me 500k PPD.

I buy motherboards that can accommodate 2 GPU's (easier to fund a second GPU than have to build another system), large case for great airflow (I favor the CoolerMaster 912 HAF; great airflow, plenty of room, and $59 on Amazon), a left side panel 120mm intake fan, a front panel 120mm intake fan, a 200mm exhaust fan on the top of the case, a decent 750-850w power supply, small cheap ssd, 4gb cheap ram, Win10 (I really wish I could get some strain of Linux to work as you'll get more PPD on Linux, everything else being equal).

The one system I have with a single 980 was built from leftover and a few new parts.

I try to balance each system with a more and lesser powered GPU so I don't overburden the power supply (I don't game at all so I'm focused on optimizing for folding). So I have three 970/960 systems, a 980/750ti system, and the aforementioned single 980.

The two GPU systems run ~ $500 (case, mb, fans, ps, ram, ssd, OS) plus whatever GPUs I can find on sale or lately on Craigslist. Subtract $100 if you know how to run Linux.

I don't go cheap on the case or power supply because these systems work very hard 24x7. I don't need a mishap because of cheap hardware.

Last edited by gregaber; 01-31-2017 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:35 PM   #7
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Well, here is a link to a build I am thinking about based on the feedback so far: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/dhfKkT

Any comments would be appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:33 AM   #8
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Are you going to use this setup for anything other than folding? Otherwise you'd be better off redirecting the CPU cooler $ to a better gpu. GPU folding gives you at least 10x more PPD than CPU folding, even if you're overclocking the CPU. Also an aside - with GPU folding, each GPU will automatically grab one core of the CPU.

I did not spend too much time investigating CPU folding because the folding performance difference is levels of magnitude, added more heat to my office, and cost is in the same range as a decent GPU, but my recollection is:
i3: ~10-12k PPD
i5: ~15-20k PPD
i7: ~25-35k PPD

This is what I typically see from my GPUs:
960: ~160-180k PPD
970: ~300-350k PPD
980: ~435-500k PPD

The range of PPD above varies on the work unit, any overclocking, etc.

So that's why I don't bother with CPU folding. Four of my machines are 100% dedicated to folding; three have i3's, one has an i5 my son discarded after an upgrade. The fifth machine is 90% folding and has an i7 because I use it for CAD and also as a media server.

Will you be folding 24x7? If yes, you may consider a better power supply that will put up with the stresses of constant work. I had an el cheapo power supply catch fire on my first folder and luckily I was there to deal with it! Scared the hell out of me. After that, no more cheap power supplies.

Last edited by gregaber; 02-01-2017 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:29 AM   #9
digitaldd
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If you are looking into the AMD GPU space I am folding on a single i5-6600k Skylake system with an Radeon RX470 4GB. so figure I'm getting 15-20k on the CPU and 260K on the RX470 which was onsale for $180 around Thanksgiving.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:00 AM   #10
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I agree with gregaber, get a CM hyper 212 Evo or something like that, and put more money into the GPU, 1070, and a beefier PSU, EVGAs are good, just get a bigger one, 650 or so.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:47 PM   #11
daywalker03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregaber View Post
Are you going to use this setup for anything other than folding? Otherwise you'd be better off redirecting the CPU cooler $ to a better gpu. GPU folding gives you at least 10x more PPD than CPU folding, even if you're overclocking the CPU. Also an aside - with GPU folding, each GPU will automatically grab one core of the CPU.

I did not spend too much time investigating CPU folding because the folding performance difference is levels of magnitude, added more heat to my office, and cost is in the same range as a decent GPU, but my recollection is:
i3: ~10-12k PPD
i5: ~15-20k PPD
i7: ~25-35k PPD

This is what I typically see from my GPUs:
960: ~160-180k PPD
970: ~300-350k PPD
980: ~435-500k PPD

The range of PPD above varies on the work unit, any overclocking, etc.

So that's why I don't bother with CPU folding. Four of my machines are 100% dedicated to folding; three have i3's, one has an i5 my son discarded after an upgrade. The fifth machine is 90% folding and has an i7 because I use it for CAD and also as a media server.

Will you be folding 24x7? If yes, you may consider a better power supply that will put up with the stresses of constant work. I had an el cheapo power supply catch fire on my first folder and luckily I was there to deal with it! Scared the hell out of me. After that, no more cheap power supplies.
Well, the build I linked to is based on the Media/Backup server build I had started, so I can adjust as needed. I also do some pretty intensive image rendering, so I did think about possibly using the machine for a remote node for that, though not on the GPU when folding.
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