BOINC Noob - What to start with?

Message boards : The Lounge : BOINC Noob - What to start with?
Message board moderation

To post messages, you must log in.


Send message
Joined: 18 Feb 20
Posts: 1
United States
Message 95887 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 7:34:49 UTC

Hello fellow....Boincsters? Is that what they call us?

Anyways, I was digging through some stuff from years ago and ran across my old PC that has long since been forgotten about. FX-8350 and a HD 79x0 (I THINK 7950 but I didn't open the case). It booted to Windows 7 and I shut it off because I had to get to bed. Either way, what projects should I be looking at that would get me the best bang for the computing power? Yeah, this system sucks compared to a Threadripped and 2080 TI but it is literally sitting there, worth practically nothing, and electricity is $0.068/KW. So I might as well do something useful with my time.

I was considering running SETI@Home (as I love astronomy and space in general) on Linux (I've also NEVER ran Linux, perfect time to start? Too cheap to buy a Windows license). Probably going to OC the FX-8350 as well (have a 212 EVO coming) and replace the thermal paste on everything.

Any suggestions on what to do next? Just stick with SETI or is there something better suited to my setup? Any problems with Linux and BOINC I need to be aware of? Never ran Linux so that's an adventure in and of itself.

I do plan on a Threadripper build later this year and a nice GPU (or two). Have to finish grad school first.
ID: 95887 · Report as offensive
Profile Dave
Help desk expert

Send message
Joined: 28 Jun 10
Posts: 1864
United Kingdom
Message 95889 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 7:45:27 UTC - in response to Message 95887.  

When you say, "bang for buck" do you mean credits, good to science or good to humanity/the planet? I am not at all up to date when it comes to best bet for credits.. For the latter, my personal favourite is but I know others have their favourites.

As to the collective noun for BOINC users, crunchers is the one I see used most and what I use myself.
ID: 95889 · Report as offensive
Volunteer tester
Help desk expert

Send message
Joined: 25 May 09
Posts: 1178
United Kingdom
Message 95915 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 15:54:24 UTC

SETI@Home is one of the projects with the biggest scope of hardware coverage, so is a good place to start with, and also one of the most active sets of forum. That said it does have more than its fair share of server issues, and as some of the applications are getting a bt long in the tooth, in particular the ones for AMD/ATI GPUs they don't always work well with combinations of lod hardware and new drivers.

Overclock that old FX8350 with great care (don't), They run hot enough as it is, and if you want it to survive until you get through grad school....

While that rig of yours may not be capable of getting onto the front page it has the potential to be be a good solid one if you treat it with respect, keep the coolers clear of dust, and, as you've already planned, replace the heatsink paste every couple of years.

I mostly run SETI (for fun) and use Climate Prediction as a lower priority project along with a couple of others if I'm trying to work out an answer for someone.

Oh, the collective noun most used, for both us and our computers is "crunchers".
ID: 95915 · Report as offensive

Send message
Joined: 8 Nov 19
Posts: 714
United States
Message 96043 - Posted: 24 Feb 2020, 23:31:29 UTC

If you're going to do GPU crunching, for biggest points, go for Collatz, or second Primegrid or GPUGrid.

If you're doing CPU crunching, and want to support projects that don't support GPUs yet, try QuChemPedIA.
It's something I like to invest resources to.

If you're going with compatible hardware (one that works for both GPU, CPU, and a plethora of other hardware), SETI and Einstein are great.
They have the largest userbase, together with Rosetta.

My recommendation is to go to
There you can see a list of active projects, though some active ones might have no tasks available.
You can visit each project's personal website, and apply for the ones that suit your fancy, so to speak.
ID: 96043 · Report as offensive

Message boards : The Lounge : BOINC Noob - What to start with?

Copyright © 2022 University of California. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.