energy saving , processor clock cycle frequency , environmentally harmful

Message boards : Questions and problems : energy saving , processor clock cycle frequency , environmentally harmful
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carypt

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Message 77378 - Posted: 15 Apr 2017, 13:12:38 UTC

in windows (7/64bit) energy-saving-option you can chose the percentage of power being used by processor .
but power saving also means the processors clock cycle frequency can be reduced , normally done by using an other multiplier for the clock , thus the switches operations clock pulse can drop from 2,5 ghz to 0,7 ghz .

boinc uses for energy saving the idle-time only , saying only e.g.10% of processor time will be used , while not saying on what frequency . the result is processes run short time per second (10%) on full clock cycle speed , causing the heat fan to spin up , causing higher energy costs . i call it environmentally harmful for a idle time gadget . idle time could mean unused resources time instead too , i would understand it that way .
higher energy cost will cause people uninstall boinc , and a company will forbid using boinc on their computers , because its stealing energy from them . so boinc hurts itself and its goals by doing so .

a process has a need for switching operations at a time , normally these will be operated on one core . if the number of operations will fit into the reduced clock cycle there would be no reason to speed the processor up . i dont know how the number of switching operations needed by a programm is generated , but i believe the priority of a process is included here , it can be realtime or idle priority .

so i wish boinc would calculate its needs added to other programs needs in total to not exceed the lowest clock cycle frequency . it could be easy to use 100% of cores , but on lowest power state .

here is an other thread (2012) to this theme : https://boinc.berkeley.edu/dev/forum_thread.php?id=7590
sry for bad english . greets carypt
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HAL9000
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Message 77392 - Posted: 16 Apr 2017, 18:39:40 UTC

Running BOINC on a CPUs lowest power state is easy to do. At least in Windows.
Define a power policy with the CPU maximum set to the desired value, such as 25%, and then only have BOINC run applications when that policy is active.
I actually use this method on one of my notebooks.
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carypt

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Message 77451 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 16:30:35 UTC

boinc forcing me to change my power settings because it makes use of my idle resources , doesnt sound like a modest takeover but more of a heavy use .
raising my energy consumption doesnt seem reasonable if one of the goals of boinc is to "study global warming" (as written on the homepage) . ( does it study the impact of boinc on it ?)

and no ! i dont want think about to tame boinc on my computer , it should do this itself .
i understand boinc is meant to be an application for grid computing , but that has nothing to do with an idle time use .
so as far boinc isnt reduced to idle calculations only it does harmful impact on the environment . ( afar from the benefit of calculations equals the consumption )

i just dont like the higher energy intake boinc does .
greeting carypt
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SekeRob
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Message 77468 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 18:32:35 UTC - in response to Message 77451.  

There's ample settings to not crunch when the system is not in use, which then allows a system to go to sleep... but you have to configure it. Net, when in use allow BOINC to crunch, and when walking away, have BOINC go limp after N minutes and not spend energy. BOINC is not aware of CPU energy saving modes... it's always taken all spare cycles when allowed to run, to which the modern CPU then responds to clocking up, to standard or turbo... not BOINC's fault.
Coelum Non Animum Mutant, Qui Trans Mare Currunt
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carypt

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Message 77473 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 19:41:21 UTC

so it might be a solution not to use all spare cycles in full broad , to have an option to reduce the cycles amount instead of reducing just processor time ?
would it be difficult to code into the program ?
greet carypt
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Message 77474 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 20:21:09 UTC - in response to Message 77473.  

Most of us aren't as concerned about the energy use as you, and, as the coding is now only part time, and only by anyone who feels inclined to do so, it's unlikely that your idea will get implemented.

Plus the climate aspect of this was investigated way back in 2004 by the climateprediction.net project, and the benefits of the research far outweigh the climate effects. Fossil fuel burning is far worse.
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carypt

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Message 77475 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 21:51:46 UTC
Last modified: 18 Apr 2017, 22:07:12 UTC

ok , thank for your answers , the situation is drawn clearly and i resume . there are lots of well done options to fit the users preferencies but lots of spare processor-cycles remain unused because boinc has no real throttle option inbuilt . use of boinc does inrease energy consumption in any case , except user throttles his overall energy setting to lowest .

in excluded programs dialogue i find link to more advanced text line options by editing the config file : here : <lower_client_priority>0|1</lower_client_priority> or <no_priority_change>0|1</no_priority_change> or <process_priority>N</process_priority>, <process_priority_special>N</process_priority_special> or the command line options : --no_priority_change .

i could manage to create a batchfile to run boinc on priority 0 , will any of these options allow the computer to run on idle energy as before ?
greet carypt
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Message 77476 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 22:18:43 UTC - in response to Message 77475.  

You are misreading how BOINC does things.

For all projects that actively use the CPU, the project science applications will use all the left-over CPU cycles that aren't used by anything else in the computer. These processes run by default at the lowest priority. Applications running on he GPU and VirtualBox may run at a slightly higher priority, due to there being problems to have them fed correctly, if run at the lowest priority.

Then there are projects that hardly use the CPU, these are called Non-CPU Intensive projects. These gather information, e.g. read out external gadgets/sensors to see if there's radioactivity around where you are, or earthquakes happening.

BOINC itself is a managing program, it hardly uses any CPU cycles by itself. Lowering the client's priority to lowest doesn't help much as then it too will step out of the way of programs with a higher priority that want the CPU, which may cause scheduling, down- and uploads and general reaction time of everything to be slower than normal.

BOINC uses a one-source, multiple platform code, which means we cannot use certain application programming interfaces (API) to make things easier. One of those is the throttle function. Because the code builds for Windows, Linux and the Mac, it needed a simpler function that works on all. If the user then wants finer control, he can use third party applications such as EfMer's TThrottle.

Now, before you start adding configuration options without knowing what they do, please read the documentation on them: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/Client_configuration#Options
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carypt

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Message 77477 - Posted: 18 Apr 2017, 23:29:11 UTC - in response to Message 77476.  

ok . thank you much .
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carypt

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Message 77493 - Posted: 19 Apr 2017, 23:07:56 UTC

ok , i had a look on tthrottle , a well working program , dealing with the overall performance of the computer . i could do similar with the power - settings in windows , but this one has a much nicier temperature sensing system .
then i tried to option via the cc_config.xml file , i wanted to put boincs priority to zero ( same as idle-process in computer ) but the option : "<process_priority>N</process_priority>" is not able to go under the default priority value of 4 . as is written : "The OS process priority at which tasks are run. Values are 0 (lowest priority, the default), 1 (below normal), 2 (normal), 3 (above normal), 4 (high) and 5 (real-time - not recommended)."

so how could i do that ? starting it from the cmd-prompt (START/Low) sets it to priority 4 , same as default . this prevents me from using the "<no_priority_change>0|1</no_priority_change>" - option to give over the (not reached) zero-priority to the tasks .
greets carypt
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carypt

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Message 77498 - Posted: 20 Apr 2017, 8:06:14 UTC

i see here : https://msdn.microsoft.com/de-de/library/windows/desktop/ms685100(v=vs.85).aspx , only one task can have priority zero .
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Message 77507 - Posted: 20 Apr 2017, 20:23:20 UTC - in response to Message 77493.  

i wanted to put boincs priority to zero
Again, BOINC is just the managing program, it does no science, it puts no gigantic load on your CPU or GPU. If you want to set BOINC to a lower priority, you can just as well right-click its process in Windows Task Manager->Processes and choose the lower priority.

However, doing so may cause scheduling problems - where BOINC doesn't automatically switch to the next task, or try to download/upload or report work, due to it having no CPU cycles as other processes are using those.

As far as I know:
All tasks running on the CPU run at lowest priority already, and will go out of the way of non-BOINC processes that ask for more CPU cycles.
All tasks running on the GPU are either lowest priority, or below-normal priority, depending on project.
All VMs running via VirtualBox run in below-normal priority as else they don't do much science when non-BOINC applications ask for CPU cycles. The tasks inside the VMs may run at low-priority in the OS running in the VM.
Jord
Please do not private message me for tech support. Use the forums for that. Tech PMs will be ignored.

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carypt

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Message 77524 - Posted: 21 Apr 2017, 11:37:53 UTC
Last modified: 21 Apr 2017, 11:42:58 UTC

yes , thank you for detailled reply . boinc uses lowest priority already normally . and again said priority zero is dedicated to windows system only . so lowering priority will not reduce the amount of calculations either. an option to cut the calculations to a fix number per clock cycle could do some energy savings .

for now i have read a little into process scheduling (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prozess-Scheduler / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheduling_(computing)) in which the priority level is used . citation from wikipedia : " The scheduler was modified in Windows Vista to use the cycle counter register of modern processors to keep track of exactly how many CPU cycles a thread has executed, rather than just using an interval-timer interrupt routine."
as you (ageless) said before : "BOINC uses a one-source, multiple platform code, which means we cannot use certain application programming interfaces (API) to make things easier. One of those is the throttle function. Because the code builds for Windows, Linux and the Mac, it needed a simpler function that works on all." that explains the more time-sliced behaviour of boinc to me . it takes little time to get things understood , sry , sure i am not scientist nor programmer , just a user .

asides i also figured out , windows can config whether background or foreground are privileged , fundamantally done in registry : Win32PrioritySeparation , but i guess it doesnt help any on this . but more important is the scheduling in windows is done by 6 possible process-threads of different priority level in which the processes are sorted by their priority . threads can have thread priority idle , lowest ,below normal , normal , above normal ,highest ,time critical . processes can have 6 priority classes :idle , below normal , normal , above normal , high , realtime . usually processes have normal priority and threads are started in normal and can be adjusted after . ( read here : https://msdn.microsoft.com/de-de/library/windows/desktop/ms685100(v=vs.85).aspx)
now i guess boincs thread priority should optional possible to be set to lowest or similar to act environmentally friendlier on many more machines (windows has a marketshare of 75%), as a suggestion of my small mind . you know it would drive me into programming code , which i am not able to do yet and maybe never will be able to . so i have to quit it here , due to my incompetency . thanks for listening me til here .

pointing out again my interest in it here (conclusion sort of ) : i am a bit disappointed by the habit of boinc . the phrase " use the idle time " causes me to think the computer will remain in lowest activity state , but thats just not the case , boinc uses extra resources . ( unfriendly said : give a little finger and get the arm ripped off ) . i would gladly give unused resources to community calculations , but it shouldnt cause me a higher electricity bill . but thats what boinc does . avoiding this drives me into config troubles , extra daily switching duties , convieniency cuts .
thanks again , regards carypt
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carypt

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Message 77538 - Posted: 23 Apr 2017, 11:38:27 UTC

my last sentences sound harsh , especially at the end , it would have better fitted in the beginning of the thread , so it is misplaced .
just want to say thank you for the time you politely spent into answering . i understand a bit more of windows now and process-scheduling , and that boinc is not specialized on windows nor intended to improve windows .
bb carypt
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Message 77561 - Posted: 25 Apr 2017, 2:48:17 UTC
Last modified: 25 Apr 2017, 2:51:17 UTC

Really modern computers don't have wasted idle time like older computers once did. Older computers, with Pentium 4 era CPUs, used only fractionally less power when not processing as they did at full load.
Since a modern desktop runs ~10w at idle and ~70w at full load there is less incentive to use a computers "idle time" for other purposes in environments outside of ones home.
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carypt

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Message 77566 - Posted: 25 Apr 2017, 9:30:02 UTC

reasonable not programmers top scope to go in that direction . programmer and user interest differ a little in home use . i can only say , boinc has a chance to run on every desktop if it causes no costs . but programmings effort has to see a valuable benefit in calculations done , i understand . ok , thank you
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Message 77571 - Posted: 25 Apr 2017, 12:43:17 UTC - in response to Message 77566.  

reasonable not programmers top scope to go in that direction . programmer and user interest differ a little in home use . i can only say , boinc has a chance to run on every desktop if it causes no costs . but programmings effort has to see a valuable benefit in calculations done , i understand . ok , thank you

Since BOINC is now more community driven development. Perhaps some kind of "green mode" could be devised?
It is unknown how desirable such a feature would be to users.
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Message 77575 - Posted: 25 Apr 2017, 14:10:51 UTC

There was some discussion in the past and funding for research that tried to find the "sweetspot" for modern CPUs where they are most energy efficient. This involved a custom Windows driver that acted as a kernel module to actively influence power modes which is normally not possible for userland processes. I remember that they tested a handful of CPUs and were able to find the power mode where the CPU is energy efficient but without the driver and user intervention it was not possible to replicate this. So in general, nowadays BOINC is causing a higher electricity bill because CPUs are getting better and better in regards to energy saving but programs do not have the ability to influence that through the operating system.
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Message boards : Questions and problems : energy saving , processor clock cycle frequency , environmentally harmful

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