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Extra Large WU Info

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Senior Member
Jan 9, 2006
These are a new, *very* large and time sensitive WU, with a new sliding scale for points earned. Short story is:

The Computer:

1) Must have 8 cores to run them, either real cores, or hyperthreaded.

2) Must be an i7 920 or better for a single cpu system. Stanford advises other single cpu quad core systems, can NOT meet the deadline, even folding 24/7. Multiple quad core systems may meet the deadline, however.

3) Must have 4GB RAM minimum, 8GB is requested by Stanford, because the memory requirements will grow as the project continues.

4) This client requires Linux, (either virtualized or native), or OSX, as it's OS.

This is the link to the drop in binary file for PC's:

And for Apple OSX:

You can just drop this into your folding folder and replace your current fah6 file.

To Participate:

1) You must have the new client, and a passkey. Passkey info and d/l link, is here: http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-passkey

You may receive an extra large WU to fold without a passkey, but your bonus factor will be only one. :(

2) You must have folded 10 SMP WU's at least, using that passkey. 80% of these SMP WU's, must have been completed and returned by the deadline.

3) The FAH client configuration requires big WU's to be answered y or yes, and you must NOT have the advanced WU flag present. You need these flags: -bigadv -smp 8

The 8 after the smp flag can be lowered, and some have found leaving one core off their total number of cores, helpful.

Link to the forum for Extra Large WU's:


1) Points for the Extra Large WU's = base points + bonus points. (or base points * bonus factor).

The base points are approximately 25,000. These points match what the test systems yield folding regular sized SMP WU's, in the same amount of time.

2) Bonus points are calculated on a time-sensitive, sliding scale, using these formulas:

If the WU is returned after it is marked to be reissued, then the bonus factor is one.

If the WU is returned before it is marked to be reissued, and the folder used their passkey, then the bonus factor is calculated by:

bonus factor = square root(deadline_time * k / WU_time)

WU_time: time WU results are received back minus the time WU was issued

deadline_time: when the WU would expire. Also, the time between when the WU was issued, and the time when it would expire.

k: a constant factor set by Stanford. Since k is a multiplier, not a divisor, think of it as "encouragement". :D

3) A few examples of folding extra large WU's:

   CPU        Speed       Points per WU  Points per Day  Time to Complete
 1x i7 940    3.67GHz      55,000 avg.    24,000 avg.     2 days  6 hours

 2x Xeon 5420 2.5GHz       53,000 avg.    20,380 avg.     2 days 12 hours
(A 940 has the same performance as a 920, at the same speed)

Both systems are dedicated 24/7 folders, have 8GB of RAM at least, and are
running Ubuntu 9.04 natively.

For both systems, their ppd has increased by a factor of about 2.2 over what they can fold on regular SMP WU's (A2 core), using the same operating system.


If for some reason a WU can't be returned (e.g., the server for them is down), you could lose a substantial amount of points. Also, if they are out of these new WU's, you could be given a regular SMP WU, instead.


The client is stable, but folding a GPU client at the same time, causes a significant slowdown in some systems: Link to the problem:


If you have a near or dedicated folder that meets these demands, I recommend you switch to this client. In addition to the points, the science being done is a big step beyond what FAH could do previously.

This is a trial project, so how long it will last is uncertain.
Last edited:


Senior Member
Apr 12, 2004
VMware Player 3.0.0 has been shown to be stable running these WUs, Virtual Box has not (at least last I read). You must have at least 6 GB of ram to run in a VM.


Senior whose title will pier
Mar 17, 2002
8 gigs for future WU's? sounds like an excuse to upgrade to 12 gigs :D

I finished my first one of these yesterday and it's not shown up on the stats yet...

Currently using 82% of my 6 gigs with Folding and Firefox (nothing else :eek:)


Senior Member
Apr 12, 2004
6 GB probably ought to be the minimum machine spec., which also means you must have a 64 bit host OS to run these WUs in a VM.

WU value is currently 25,403 points, which is approximately 25,000 :)