[At-Large] A geek's way to give back (off-topic)

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Thu Dec 30 04:45:07 UTC 2010

On 12/27/2010 09:20 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> Some of you may be already aware of the project known as
> "SETI at Home<http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/>",
> which has been using the power of hundreds of thousands of under-used PCs in
> homes and businesses worldwide...

I used to run dozens upon dozens of machines with BOINC/setiathome...

One thing, depending on your point of view, that is either 
"interesting", "amusing", or "appalling" is that modern computers can 
burn a lot more electrical power (i.e. have a greater carbon footprint) 
when doing things like SETI computations.

I've been running a power monitor on one of my AMD 6-core machines and 
it goes from about 65 to 70 watts during normal use to about 125 watts 
when it is thinking mildly hard.  I haven't pushed it really hard but I 
anticipate that it will be well above 175 watts.  (High-end graphics 
cards can show the same kind of changes in power consumption when they 
are working hard.)

I ran some tests on a laptop and BOINC/SETI made a real difference in 
heat (the laptop got positively hot).  I'd suggest thinking twice about 
running it on a laptop.


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