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Old 2009-03-15, 04:07   #1
nonxcarbonx
 

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Default New-Nervous about program

I just joined gimps, and I'm just a bit nervous about using the program. I'm on a family windows xp, and I set my nighttime memory to 20mb. I'm just a bit nervous concerning power consumption cost, and if gimps will do anything bad to my computer long term, like degrade the hard drive or something along those lines. I don't know if it's bad to have CPU Usage at 100% for so long.

I know my hesitation is probably unfounded, but can you reassure me?
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Old 2009-03-15, 13:41   #2
pegaso56
 
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Default For a new Gimper

Hi.
Don 't be afraid. Nothing happens to your HD, and the bill does not move a lot
What you have to be conscious about is that prime95 push your hardware to the limits. I`ve been using the program for more than ten years now in differents CPUs (from 486 DX 100 MHz to Dual Core) and never, never the hardware suffers any injury, except two or three times with low cost, generic brand memory which did not pass the torture test. So i went to vendor and replaced them.
to George, Scott and all the good fellows who join this forum
Regards, Carlos
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Old 2009-03-15, 17:32   #3
Prime95
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You should be aware of the power costs. If, before installing the program, the computer was on all the time then it will consume an extra 40 watts or so. At my 12 cents / kwh, that is about an extra 12 cents a day. If, before installing the program, the computer was not on all the time then you can expect to consume an extra 200 watts or so -- that's about 60 cents per day. There will also be a slight increase in your air conditioning costs too (but a reduction in your heating bill).
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Old 2009-03-15, 17:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
You should be aware of the power costs. If, before installing the program, the computer was on all the time then it will consume an extra 40 watts or so. At my 12 cents / kwh, that is about an extra 12 cents a day. If, before installing the program, the computer was not on all the time then you can expect to consume an extra 200 watts or so -- that's about 60 cents per day. There will also be a slight increase in your air conditioning costs too (but a reduction in your heating bill).
Note that this all assumes that you will leave the computer on all the time once you install Prime95. By the way, 12 cents/day is $3.60 a month and 60 cents per day is $18 a month.
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Old 2009-03-15, 18:26   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonxcarbonx View Post
I'm just a bit nervous concerning power consumption cost, and if gimps will do anything bad to my computer long term, like degrade the hard drive or something along those lines. I don't know if it's bad to have CPU Usage at 100% for so long.

I know my hesitation is probably unfounded, but can you reassure me?
Let me start off with this:

None of GIMPS's software does anything that is outside the manufacturer's specifications for your computer or its components!. If your computer can't perform all the way up to its specifications, that's not GIMPS's fault -- it's just that GIMPS software may be the only thing that will expose the flaw.

Having said that:

I don't recall anyone having posted a complaint that their computer had been damaged by running GIMPS software. (Maybe it's happened, but I forgot.) All I remember is lots of folks asking questions such as yours, with none of them coming back later to report that the sort of assurances you see made by the previous posters were wrong.

I myself see a noticeable difference in my apartment temperature (comparing full 24/7 GIMPS use to having system idle for much of day or switched off), or rather, what the temperature would be if not regulated -- in the winter the furnace runs less often, but in the summer the air conditioning is on more.

There have been times in the past when some of us have claimed, basically, that GIMPS software has no noticeable effect, but someone came back to point out either:

1. It increases power consumption, by an amount that some folks consider significant.

2. It sometimes causes noticeable swapping delay as a low-priority GIMPS program is swapped out to make room for higher-priority programs. This would depend on how fully-used the system RAM normally is by other software, and whether Prime95 was doing high-memory-use Stage 2 of P-1 or ECM.

3. If one watches the (Windows) Task Manager or other system monitor, one will see constantly high CPU use by GIMPS software, so it's not "unnoticeable". (OTOH, if one refrains from watching those displays, one doesn't normally notice anything extra happening because of GIMPS software.)

I think we're more careful nowadays to point those out to newcomers.

What we _do_ see frequently are reports that when the GIMPS torture tests are run, they reveal system flaws such as memory errors, calculation errors, or overheating. But that's because the flaws are actually there whether they're detected or not, and _any_ software that exercises the hardware fully could find the same flaws.

It happens that the characteristics of GIMPS that make it good for performing certain mathematical computations also make it good for finding system flaws that might not show up when running anything else. It wasn't deliberately designed for that; that's just a side effect of the demanding nature of GIMPS's computations and the excellent optimizations by George Woltman and others for using the CPU circuitry as usefully as possible in computations. Almost no other software, aside from some games and some test programs, is optimized like that, and none of them exercise the CPU in the same pattern that GIMPS software does.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-03-15 at 18:30
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Old 2009-03-15, 19:35   #6
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
There will also be a slight increase in your air conditioning costs too (but a reduction in your heating bill).
"Air conditioning"? What does "air conditioning" mean?.

Anything that reduces my heating bill, on the other hand, has to be a good thing.



Paul
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Old 2009-03-15, 20:04   #7
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
"Air conditioning"? What does "air conditioning" mean?
Last two initials of HVAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HVAC)
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Old 2009-03-16, 01:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonxcarbonx View Post
I set my nighttime memory to 20mb.
You need to allocate 200MB or more to do high-memory work for GIMPS.

For low memory work, the memory setting is ignored. Currently first-time tests will use about 50MB of RAM, while doublechecks use about 25MB. If this is too big a memory footprint, take factoring assignments.
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Old 2009-03-16, 01:58   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
I don't recall anyone having posted a complaint that their computer had been damaged by running GIMPS software. (Maybe it's happened, but I forgot.)
I would consider it an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence, that GIMPS software damaged a computer. Any fault which manifests shortly after installing or using the software is most likely to be a coincidence.

As already noted, GIMPS could impact the running stability of a less-than-rock-solid machine, or its resource use could impact upon performance. In either case, removing GIMPS will alleviate the symptoms, though not, in the first case, the underlying cause.
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Old 2009-03-16, 03:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. P-1 View Post
I would consider it an extraordinary claim, requiring extraordinary evidence, that GIMPS software damaged a computer. Any fault which manifests shortly after installing or using the software is most likely to be a coincidence.
Or an existing defect in the computer.

But since most computers anymore are equipped with thermal-protection functions (CPU shut off before it fries itself), there is little to worry about as far as actually wrecking a computer permanently from using it.

In any case, running this program can give an early indication of problems. You should run it before your limited warranty expires!
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Old 2009-03-16, 05:44   #11
Uncwilly
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I have had Prime95 expose a memory problem with a laptop.

I think that the heat of the processor on a different laptop may have killed off the HD.
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