Taking the science application first, this has been optomised by several people to perform the floating point calculations faster. The most recent optomisations use a clever trick of not having to re-compute calculations that have already been made. This is performed by use of a cache (not to be mixed up with the cache of workunits!). Each time the science app wants to perform a calculation it checks to see if it has been made before and re-uses the result if it has. The result is quite simply astounding. For the stock Seti science app (version 4.18), a WU on one of my 3GHz P4 used to take about 3-4 hours (for two with HT). They now run in under an hour on some machines. On my AMD rigs, I achieve run times down to 35 minutes.
Regarding the accuracy, yes they have been extensively tested (Sir Ulli has worked hard in this area and can tell you more). Also, the Seti validation process requires a close match between all results for a particular work unit before granting credit.
Now for the second piece of software:
The Boinc core client performs benchmarks (amongst many other things). These benchmarks can be optomised using specific compiler options. What this means is that with an optomised Boinc core client your benchmarks are increased and your claimed credit increases in line. This offsets the much faster crunch time achieved with the optomised science app. Claimed credit rarely matches with granted credit because of the validation process. I personally find my claimed credit is much lower than other machines crunching the same WU.
Overall the result is an amazing increase in work units processed over a given time and a corresponding increase in credit granted after validation.
Before installing, you need to know some detail about your processor that is not immediately obvious. Download and install CPU-z (about 2/3rds down the page under version 1.31). This will tell you if you have certain cpu extensions (SSE2/SSE3 etc). Don’t worry about the remainder of the detail for now. Just match the CPU config to the application on the websites below.
Be carefull when you install the Science app and follow the instructions on the various websites. There is a small file that needs to be installed alongside the optomised app. This app_info file is critical because it tells the Boinc core client to use the new optomised science app rather than the old stock Berkeley one.
The app_info and setiathome_4.11_windows_intelx86 go into your seti at home project folder (typically found on your hard drive at C:\Program files\Boinc\Projects\Setiathome.berkely.edu), as does the .pdb file if you download that version. The Boinc.exe core client goes into you Boinc directory (typicaly in C:\Program files\Boinc)
Oh, and [u]always[/u] make a backup of you entire Boinc directory before installing.
Currently the fastest aps and clients are found at Crunch3r
Slightly older (slower) versions (but with arguably more help) can be found at Testsuji
Be aware that many people confuse the optomised client with the optomised app. The optomised app does the crunching, while the opomised client re-aligns the benchmarks, but will have little effect on crunch time.
(BTW, big assumption…you are running Windows!)
Thanks to Crunch3r, Trux, Harold, Ned, Tetsuji and others for their fantastic work.:hail:
does each optimized client only work with a specific project?
for instance, the link Sir Ulli provides (boincx86.html), will that work on all projects or just seti@ home. I currently support 5 projects, and want to support all of them, but if an optimized client cant, then I will just run the basic client.
Optimised clients are a way of running a BOINC common client specific to the capabilities of your machine and operating system. There are also optimised science applications which are project-specific and affect the speed with which each result is processed, again as the application is compiled for the machine which will run it.
Optimised clients are frowned upon by the Rosetta community for obvious reasons. As Rosetta does not use a quorum system, every valid result receives exactly the credit which it claims. There is absolutely no reason why an optimised BOINC client cannot be set at the source code level to produce benchmarks many times higher than the machine should be - and as claimed credit is directly linked to benchmarks, the opportunities for “manipulation” of the system are obvious. I hesitiate here to use the word cheating, some do not and the topic has been the subject of much heated discussion at Rosetta.
The next generation of SETI clients will count “fpops” to arrive at claimed credit rather than benchmarks which have been the major weakness of BOINC since before SETI went live on it. Rosetta have also expressed an interest. Using this new method all machines claim the same credit for the same amount fi work regardless of processor speed. This is working very well in Beta and I regularly see Athlon 64s claiming within a decimal point or two of PIII 500s. The new method is also not operating system sensitive, so Windows platforms will not receive the boost they do now on BOINC projects. Faster machines and platforms simply get through more work and therefore receive more credit - as it should be.
Once more projects got a hold of this new method I can forsee most of the work on optimised BOINC clients dying out, but more effort on optimisd science applications to improve the speed of execution. The Berkeley team are also using some of this work in the standard client to make it better able to use the feature set of your processor e.g. Use SSE if the processor supports it. This will be evaluated at runtime by the client - not as good as a purpose-compiled client but better than the vanilla solution distributed now.
Before (unsure which client)
Measured floating point speed 2040.69 million ops/sec
Measured integer speed 4448.19 million ops/sec
After (i686 from crunch3r)
Measured floating point speed 3505.32 million ops/sec
Measured integer speed 10396.35 million ops/sec
Simap appears not to recognise the boinc version and is not sending work, Seti only has 12 units according to the server status page anyway. Machine is a 64bit sempron 2800 running i686 fc4.
This includes Windows, Linux and 64 bit versions [plus a few others]
Crunch3r site also has the relevant app_info.xml on getting them to work along side the 4.xx versions.
What it means is the new seti application that some of us have been beta testing is being transitioned into effect.
It has some major changes.
they will slow increase the number of 5.12 work units sent out, and decrease the number of 4.xx units sent out.
those not running optimized will auto-magically do the transition [But should upgrade the Boinc client if the are not running 5.2.6 or higher.]
those that are running optimized application need to download the new optimized application, and change their app_info.xml files to match the above posted xml. other wise the will in the nearish future run out of units to crunch.
as to your credit question it will add to your current seti credit. It is just calculated differently [hence why you need BOINC client 5.2.6 or greater]