(Answer) (Category) distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : (Category) the Client software : (Answer) Do you have any tips for achieving the best client speed?
A few tips for achieving optimum client performance: On all operating systems:
  • Disable fancy screen savers.
    On Windows, the OpenGL screen savers are particularly CPU intensive. If you can't do without a "cool" screen saver on Windows, use the screen saver multiplexor included with the client which forces the screen saver of your choice to run at a lower priority.
  • Try comparing all cores ('dnetc -bench' from the command line) and ensure that the client is really auto-selecting the fastest core. (If its not, please send a message to help@distributed.net to that effect)
  • For contests like RC5, request larger work units. Smaller work units require the client to spend more time saving completed work and fetching new work, both to disk (when a single work unit is finished) and to the network (when the buffer is filled)
  • Don't configure the client to fetch and flush after every work unit.
  • If your machine frequently crashes or is powered down without warning, consider using the checkpoint feature. Though the checkpoint takes time away from crunching, it preserves the work already completed.
  • Consider using a (personal) web proxy that blocks animated advertising on web pages.
  • Don't use the machine for anything else. };8)
On non-unix platforms:
  • close unused applications, because some (including MS-Word) might eat a significant amount of CPU power.
On MacOS:
  • Disable "processor cycling" in the advanced settings of the "Energy Saver" control panel (if this option exists on your machine). This option slows down the processor when the machine is left idle. Disabling it has doubled the key rate on a G4.
  • When the machine is not in use, make the client the frontmost application, which gets the most CPU share.
On Windows:
  • Disable "Power saving" features in the control panel
  • Disable animations (sliding and fading menus, Active Desktop, icon animators, mouse-tracking animations)
  • Minimize the client window. When minimized, the client does not need to update its window, and can run more efficiently.
  • Watch out for applications that steal an inordinate amount of CPU time. Some applications written using a Windows Timer event can consume all available CPU, but at a higher priority than dnetc. Other applications can get into a "spin loop" retrying a dropped network connection or other unavailable resource.
For GPU Clients:
  • Increase the client priority setting (Main Menu Option 3->Option 4).
  • Free up some CPU time to service the client.
  • Use larger packets. The client is setup by default to prefer larger packets for GPU clients, you can increase it somewhat more if desired. However if you are connecting to a personal proxy, you may also need to change it's configuration to request larger packets.
  • Run multiple clients. Some users have seen performance improvements from running multiple copies of the client on a single GPU.

Note: if you find out your client is auto-selecting the wrong core, don't write to help@distributed.net (as stated above) but go to the bug database and file a bug report.
This document is: http://faq.distributed.net/?file=210
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