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Thread: When is CPU technology too old? (think I'm going to retire a cruncher soon....)

  1. #1
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    Question When is CPU technology too old? (think I'm going to retire a cruncher soon....)

    I have an old (2004 vintage) P4 Northwood with HT that is still crunching at the moment. It hasn't crunched anything but HCC for quite a while because the other projects take so long to run. It takes 6+ hours to crunch two HCC work units. The other projects take probably 3 times that long. Once HCC is over I think I'm going to retire that cruncher since it does so little work and can't be cost effective as far as electricity used and the amount of heat it puts out (summer is coming - 85?F here now).

    At what point do the rest of you (that keep hardware for a long while) retire a cruncher?
    Last edited by David_L6; 05-07-2013 at 05:36 PM.

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    Whew! A P4??? Yeah, I'd be tempted to keep it for winter heating if you were further north, but any time you don't need a heater, there is no way that is cost effective. Just in electricity alone you would save money buying one of those fancy dual core atom processors... Or, my preference, get a 3770k to run - save a little electricty and get a WHOLE LOT MORE output.

    Personally, I'd probably retire anything older than Sandybridge (core2 is aging and Nehalem is just too hot, although Westmeres are still good) unless electricity is cheap or it's replacing a heater.

    Although, if you put a GPU in anything, that whole argument is negated until HCC is complete.


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    I'm still running a couple Core 2s just because I'd rather would have them do something vs sit idle (my parents' PC and my office PC). Eventually I'll upgrade my office PC but I don't see my parents' PC needing upgraded anytime soon for what they do on it (email and online shopping or bill pay, that's it).
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    Of course if you have free electricity then all bets are off.
    If power was free here I'd still be running Athlon XP machines, P4s and anything else I could lay my hands on. Since it's about a kidney per KWh here these days I'm down to running an AMD A6-3600 quad and that's it.

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    They get too old when they cant do what you want them too do. I have a Pent D 955 EE still running on a 590i board.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I'm still running a couple Core 2s just because I'd rather would have them do something vs sit idle (my parents' PC and my office PC). Eventually I'll upgrade my office PC but I don't see my parents' PC needing upgraded anytime soon for what they do on it (email and online shopping or bill pay, that's it).
    Sure, keeping older hardware that's still used for other purposes makes sense as the additional costs of running WCG on a system that would already be on are minimal, but in the US, the cost analysis that I did said any dedicated crunchers older than Westmeres were ripe for replacement as they actually have a pay back period in electrical costs. (aka, assuming you keep the same PPD, your electric bill savings would pay for the new dedicated cruncher, typically within a few years) Now that's rarely going to happen as we use the same power and just up our PPD, but that's good too. =-P


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    i recently retired my Phenom I that was running on those nvidia chipsets that whine when current is running trough them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis11 View Post
    Sure, keeping older hardware that's still used for other purposes makes sense as the additional costs of running WCG on a system that would already be on are minimal, but in the US, the cost analysis that I did said any dedicated crunchers older than Westmeres were ripe for replacement as they actually have a pay back period in electrical costs. (aka, assuming you keep the same PPD, your electric bill savings would pay for the new dedicated cruncher, typically within a few years) Now that's rarely going to happen as we use the same power and just up our PPD, but that's good too. =-P
    Is that true over a wide range of $/kWhr or just for your particular area/electric cost?
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    I retired my Phenom2 720be for now. I would keep using the Amd 790fx board but the 6 core chips are over priced on Ebay.

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    I had an Athlon X2 in 65nm at 2.3 ghz that crunched for 2 years or so... I just stopped using it a month ago.

    But yeah a P4 Northwood in 130nm, that probably uses a lot of power compared to what the output is...
    Last edited by vitchilo; 04-30-2013 at 08:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yojimbo197 View Post
    Is that true over a wide range of $/kWhr or just for your particular area/electric cost?
    I did that comparison about a little over a year ago only for my area, but as we have some of the cheapest electric rates in the country (11c/kwh) I would say it applies to the majority of places in the US. Outside the US, electric rates are typically higher, but they also tend to tax their electronic products more so I can't comment with much confidence.

    To note, I also took into consideration that SB and IB overclock fairly high without a significant increase in power consumption. I would encourage you to do the calculation yourself, but I'd be surprised if it came out differently. Might be good to wait for Haswell though and see its power numbers. At the very least it should drop IB prices.

    Edit: Important exception - I did not consider dual socket rigs at all in these calculations.


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    David: take that northwood and give it to some old lady that needs a computer.
    That is all it's good for..For someone who reads email and goes on the net for 20 mins a day.
    It just plain makes too much heat, sucks electricity and doesn't gibe back mush in return.
    To me running old equipment is counter productive.
    They do very little and cost you daily.
    Better to shut them down, save on elec twice when you add in the AC cost.
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    Old hardware is worth good money on eBay.

    I've always been an advocate of selling old stuff to fund a cheap "current" low end setup that will put out significantly more work for less electricity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tool_462 View Post
    Old hardware is worth good money on eBay.

    I've always been an advocate of selling old stuff to fund a cheap "current" low end setup that will put out significantly more work for less electricity.
    I agree with this, though I'm not paying for electricity currently. I have hit the max power on the circuit in my room in my apt with the rigs in my sig. Clear out the old stuff, sell it off, donate it and write it off. Even if you can only snag an 80+ psu for another build, it will help your electric efficiency. If you can snag a slightly better cpu/mobo combo, it will help ppd.

    ...Or you can be like me and try to burn the chips up overclocking.

    In short though, if it has a purpose, and fits the bill, use it. Otherwise get rid of it to make space for better hardware.

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    The best time to retire a rig is when the costs outweigh the benefits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desnudopenguino View Post
    I agree with this, though I'm not paying for electricity currently. I have hit the max power on the circuit in my room in my apt with the rigs in my sig. Clear out the old stuff, sell it off, donate it and write it off. Even if you can only snag an 80+ psu for another build, it will help your electric efficiency. If you can snag a slightly better cpu/mobo combo, it will help ppd.

    ...Or you can be like me and try to burn the chips up overclocking.

    In short though, if it has a purpose, and fits the bill, use it. Otherwise get rid of it to make space for better hardware.
    Yeah, hard to justify crunching on a 775 rig when the RAM, mobo and chip are probably worth more than a new FX-4130 Black Edition with board and DDR3.
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    I still run about half a dozen Core 2 Duo systems as part of my fleet. Older than that, they aren't worth the heat/space/noise for me. I'll be selling off some of the C2Ds soon enough and I hope to pick up another modern i7 in the fall to replace them. I still run a Lynnfield and a Bloomfield i7 as well--not the most efficient, but far from the worst, and the output is still pretty good IMO.
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    I still run a Core2Duo E8500 @ 3.8 GHz and Core2Quad Q6600 @ 3.6 GHz. Both run 24/7/365, but then again they are at work and I don't pay for the electricity!

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    My cut off point is

    When Hardware will not work using Windows 7 64bit its time to retire it to my junk pile for students to play with.
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    I just shut down the old socket 478 P4 Northwood rig. It returned it's first results 8/25/2006 and last result 5/8/2013. With HCC ending I just don't see the point of running it. It is way too slow for the work units that are available now.

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    I just added a P4 2.53 ghz to crunch... and WOW... yep... it's really slow. One core... 10-15 hours to do ONE CPU task... it's quite inefficient.

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    Now everything is slow vs gpu w/u times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vitchilo View Post
    I just added a P4 2.53 ghz to crunch... and WOW... yep... it's really slow. One core... 10-15 hours to do ONE CPU task... it's quite inefficient.
    Every little bit helps! (Although, if you're paying your electric bills it would make sense to upgrade...the electricity from that P4 will cost more than a new cruncher plus electricity fairly fast...)


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    Quote Originally Posted by vitchilo View Post
    I just added a P4 2.53 ghz to crunch... and WOW... yep... it's really slow. One core... 10-15 hours to do ONE CPU task... it's quite inefficient.
    I would not use that system.
    takes lots of elec for essentially nothing in return.
    Just for example that machine pulls well over 200W at load and makes app 2500WCG PPD
    A sammy system makes 7000+WCG PPD and draws 90W at full load and even those have seen their better day.
    Where are you? I have 5 sammys here and your welcome to one inc board,cpu's,HS and memory..
    All you need is a EATX case and any PSU with a 24 and 8 pin for power..
    sammy's are also nice in the summer as they are 35W cpu's that run at app 34C at full load
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    Quote Originally Posted by Movieman View Post
    I would not use that system.
    takes lots of elec for essentially nothing in return.
    Just for example that machine pulls well over 200W at load and makes app 2500WCG PPD
    A sammy system makes 7000+WCG PPD and draws 90W at full load and even those have seen their better day.
    Where are you? I have 5 sammys here and your welcome to one inc board,cpu's,HS and memory..
    All you need is a EATX case and any PSU with a 24 and 8 pin for power..
    sammy's are also nice in the summer as they are 35W cpu's that run at app 34C at full load
    What is a sammy?

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