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Old 07-14-2007, 01:01 AM   #11
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I had to discontinue folding as well for much the same reasons as stated above. I was just slowing down my computer too much and I have lots of Ram, but it still was taking way to long at startup and when accessing things on the internet.
I shut it down to see what affect it would have and it did make a significant difference.
Sorry to let anyone down, but over all it just seems like I've made the right decision.

Len
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:07 AM   #12
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That's too bad, you were folding along there so well, one of our best team members.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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Yes, I know and I really love this forum and the people on it. Probably because they are dog lovers and very nice.
But this computer is definitely running faster since I stopped folding.
Wish it could be different.
Thanks for understanding.

Len
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:28 PM   #14
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That's really odd that you experienced slowdowns with sufficient RAM (perhaps 1 GB or more). I've folded on probably 15-20 different setups over the years and never saw problems with slowdowns except on systems with below 512 MB of RAM and even then it was rare.

One thing to check is the priority assigned to the folding program. It should be left on the default, which is low. Most programs (very nearly everything) is assigned a priority of normal, and very few programs receive anything higher than normal. What that boils down to is that Windows divides up the work for all of the progams at the highest priority (again, which is usually the "normal" priority) as best as it is able. Obviously faster system with more RAM and possibly extra CPU cores (dual and quad core systems are more common now and Intel systems with HT technology simulate a second core to help with multitasking) can split up the workload better than older, slower systems. Any leftover computing power is made available to lower priority tasks.

As an example, say you have two copies of Internet Explorer, and e-mail program, and a music player open all of which should have normal priority. If they require 80% of the system resources, 20% would be left over for low priority tasks such as folding. As you close some of those programs, more resources are available for folding, and if you open something else up, it'll take resources back from folding.

The issue with low RAM is that Windows, particularly XP and Vista, requires a fair amount of RAM just to run. Once the physical RAM (the actual sticks of RAM installed on the computer) is used up, Windows will use virtual memory, which is simply a chunk of space on the hard drive. RAM is extremely fast, much faster than hard drives, which is why systems that have a small amount of RAM, particularly with a newer operating system are very slow. While folding scales back CPU usage based on the priority of tasks described above, it does not "give RAM back" for lack of a better term. Essentially that means that Windows takes its chunk as does folding, and whatever is left over goes to all of the other programs. Once the system is forced to make heavy use of it's virtual memory, performance will go down hill fast.

This is definitely more info than in needed for this situation, but I wanted to provide some additional info for those who might be interested.

The morals of the story are -
1) If you have 512 MB of RAM or less and are running Windows XP or Vista, you may see slow downs while folding. To remedy this, only run the folding application when you're not doing other things.
2) Do not fiddle with the setting for priority unless you really know what you're doing. Leaving it on "idle" in the config (which equates to "low" in Windows) will ensure that folding with not interfere with other programs except on systems that fall under case 1.
3) Not stated above, but use the console version instead of the graphical version if you notice any strange problems. The graphical version uses some additional system resources as compared to the console version, which can cause issues with programs that use some specefic resources (not all that common but it does happen).
4) Also not stated above, but ask questions whenever you're having a problem. As of now, there are nearly 133,000 people actively contributing to the folding project, so if you're having a problem, it's very likely that someone else has had the same problem. If we can't find the solution to you're problem, we can probably get you set up with someone who can.
5) While theory is great, actual experience is what matters. If a system is running slow, it's annoying regardless of what should be happening. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of any such matters.

To everyone who is contributing or has contributed to this great project, I want to reinforce my thanks. Hopefully our team will continue to grow and with it, our contribution to the larger project.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:54 PM   #15
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Every problem I've had with it was minor & was solved when I finally got around to asking the right question.

I've never had any problems with it that caused me to think I should consider stopping. When playing games, I pause or quit work as one time my screen went haywire & I had to reboot but that was a simple fix. I don't notice any slowdowns whatsoever & if I did, I'd just pause/quit work for the time being.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:21 PM   #16
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I have occasionally encountered slowdowns when I had a lot of windows and tasks going simultaneously, and I just shutdown folding until I'm not using the machine so heavily. I can't say that it doesn't slow things down, some, because it does, but overall, it hasn't been inconvenient. Incidentally, I am running a Pentium M under Windows XP sp2, with 512mb of RAM. Very soon, I will be adding a dual core processor with 4gb of RAM, at home. I can't wait!
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Old 07-16-2007, 09:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagreys View Post
Very soon, I will be adding a dual core processor with 4gb of RAM, at home. I can't wait!
Be sure to let me know when you're going to start folding on it, so I can let you in on the secrets of really tweaking out a high end machine. Every time we think we have it optimized, we find some little trick of tweak to make things run faster.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeric View Post
The other team I manage is 32nd in the world, so there's a lot of action in our folding forum plus I've done a fair amount of it myself.
Actually #24 now!!

Sorry to resurrect but I just had to throw that in there. Hopefully we can do some type of recruitment drive with the other 5,000+ members and get more people onboard with folding. It really is for a good cause and only takes a few minutes to set it up and let it run.
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