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Thread: Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

  1. #1

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    I've been on the search for the cheapest yet best [email protected] machine for my home.
    One particular reason why I am so interested is because I've been affected by losing my mother to cancer, its probably the nastiest diseases I know of, it honestly takes to many lives, this is why i'm so interested in building a rig just for [email protected]

    Now down to business, My research lead me to various sites and resources and found some very useful articles, one thing is certain Nvidia is by far the top performers of all graphic cards.

    There seems to be older articles about farming and building the best folding rig but nothing to recent, they all date back to 2009 and I found one from 2010. So this leads me to building a rig gives me the most points for money, I understand watts can be a factor but for me its the points in the end so I've put together a rig that puts out the most points per day with staying under budget.

    Before I get into things lets make this clear, there are many options to building a [email protected] rig but this particular build I will state what hardware I would choose over some of the higher priced hardware.


    One piece of information I couldn't let go and that was... building a multiple GPU folding rig is very different from building a gaming rig with multiple graphics cards, you’ll need a motherboard with multiple PCI-E slots, as each GPU runs an individual folding client, it isn’t necessary to buy a CrossFire or SLI-certified motherboard. Reason for this is because SLI and CF cannot be used to make a dual GPU card or cards perform like one super GPU. The SLI and CF link does not have enough bandwidth to support that functionality. Run one [email protected] GPU client for each GPU your graphics card has.

    In addition, because folding isn't as bandwidth intensive as gaming you can also run folding on a graphics card installed in PCI-E slot with eight PCI-E lanes or fewer without a loss in performance, this means you can run graphics card on every PCI-E slot available.


    CPU performance isn't necessary for a GPU folding client, however, if you're planning on installing more than three to four graphics cards (or cards with multiple-GPUs) you'll need a more powerful CPU. Keep in mind that each CPU core can run 2 GPU cores, so an eight GPU system will require a quad-core CPU to run optimally. Make sense?


    First off, you need to make sure the PSU has sufficient PCI-E power plugs of the right type (6- or 8-pin) for your graphics cards. In my case I'm using graphic cards that done use PCI-E plugs.

    Other Hardware

    You will also need to invest in some RAM and a hard disk for your folding rig and an optical drive to install Windows, but as none of these components has a direct effect on folding, you may as well buy the cheapest one you can find, or recycle components from an old PC.

    Graphics Card

    Here is where its gets tricky, picking the right card (cards) for your particular build may differ from me but in my case I'm going for the cheapest yet highest point given card to date.

    There are many graphs online which explain what card performs better ppd vs by the total power consumption.

    The Rig:

    This is just a personal choice I made for "as is" This isn't meant for upgrading for newer versions of GC but rather keep this tucked away and just keep as [email protected] rig.

    My Hardware Choices and why.

    I chose this motherboard because its AMD and had the 790FX chipset which I know can handle multiple GCs with out causing errors.

    The CPU, this was a no brainer. I chose AMD Athlon II X2 250 for obvious reasons CHEAP and its all this rig needs.

    These Graphics Cards seemed to perform the best for the money, the Nvidia GeForce 9600 GSOs average 4100 ppd EACH so a combined total of 16400 ppd. Not bad for the price, I'm not 100% certain that this is the best choice because of the older articles I had read.

    If anyone has something to add please do, I'm planning on building this at some point this year, its going to be one of goals so please any input and advice or corrections would be GLADLY appreciated.

  2. #2

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Looking forward to seeing your results. I definitely agree on the motherboard choice. If you can pull that many points a day on that system that would be very cool!
    Hmm if your CPU calculation is right I should be able to run 12 GPU's lol. I'm hoping to add another 5870 to my system in a month or two to see what the results are. The Crosshair has 4 PCI slots but only the first two can run at 16x and then it begins to drop off considerably. You're saying though that the second GPU on this system really isn't going to add much?

  3. #3

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Yes you should be able to run 12 GPUs but not 12 cards motherboard just don't support that many cards lol, some cards run dual or quad core GPUs. The one mobo I would suggest is the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer Motherboard it has 7 slots and you can run 7 single slot GPU cards in this rig so meaning 7 GPU clients for one mobo. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

    As for adding a second card it will indeed add to your score or ppd if you set up to run 2 GPU [email protected] clients, I think I may have confused you with the SLI and Crossfire, I was trying to explain if you set up your graphics cards in a SLI or Crossfire it will act as ONE BIG GPU but in fact there just not enough bandwidth to do so. Check my post below.
    And the only way you could lose or run less efficiently would be from your CPU, or lack of CPU cores. Example: 2 of the GTX 295 cards you would need at least a dual core CPU.

    One article I read up on was at bit-tech and they ended up making a couple supercomputers one that ran 7 single slot Nvidia GeForce 9600 GTs on the ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer Motherboard, and there other was running four Nvidia GeForce GTX 295s on a MSI K9A2 Platinum mobo. Both pushed out great numbers or (points per-day) ppd.

    Some of those routes are pretty expensive though, so I went for a mobo that could run 4 cheaper cards, as my budget will only allow for this. Plus I wanna save for a new gaming rig. hehe 8-)

  4. #4

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Ok understood, thank you for the explanation. Asus P.......that implies Intel, no can do lol. Severe allergic reaction!
    That makes sense then that it would only see one large GPU and wind up becoming ineffective versus two individual GPU's.
    Now that it makes a little more sense it makes me want to try it even more lol.

  5. #5

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Yes in fact I wrote the wrong info, and fixed the posts, here is a quote from the Standfords site:

    SLI or Crossfire does not have to be disabled to run the GPU client. However, SLI and CF cannot be used to make a dual GPU card or cards perform like one super GPU. The SLI and CF link does not have enough bandwidth to support that functionality. Run one FAH GPU client for each GPU chip.
    If you are running multiple GPU cards with SLI or Crossfire, you may need to extend the desktop for the client to recognize multiple GPUs.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Plano, Texas

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Can you combine ATI/AMD and NVidia cards for folding?

  7. #7

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    Oooh hybrid, that would be interesting. I would think that if your running two different clients it shouldn't matter or am I wrong?

  8. #8

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    You know -=TD that is a good question, I read that it is possible but you might get mixed results and may be unreliable, another thing is when using different cards but keeping to the same brand ATI for instance, if you have a 5570 and then you buy a 5870 and use them in the same rig, ALWAYS put the card with more steam processors closest to the CPU.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator tech-daddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Plano, Texas

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    good to know, thanks!

  10. #10

    Cheapest yet highest ppd [email protected] Machine.

    After reading an article Kordova sent to me, they too asked the same question you asked tech-daddy and they seemed to advise against it although they didn't come right out and say it.
    Still, it would be interesting to see what the results would be just out of curiousity and if there is still some unfound way to tweak things a little? I find it hard to believe that despite the software and some possible inherant limitations of that, things cannot be tweaked slightly.

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