The BigAdv units

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A new category of work units was recently released, dubbed the "BigAdv" (short for Big Advanced Methods) units. These units for the SMP A2 core are tested under public beta, just as their smaller brethren, but due to their massive size and short deadlines (25,403 points with a 4-day deadline at the time of writing), they cannot be run on quad core machines. It is recommended to use an 8-core (or more) machine with at least 0.5GB (preferably 1GB) of RAM per CPU core to fold these units.

To reward these large hardware demands (and to discourage the use of multiple clients on a machine) a new points system is being trialled with the BigAdv units. This new system is designed to reward the fast return of units by awarding a bonus which increases in size the quicker the unit is returned. The formula for the points is as follows:

Points awarded = square root (K * Deadline Time / Time taken to process) * WU point value
where K is an arbitrary multiplier, initially set to 2.

To be awarded the bonus at least 10 units using the A2 core must have been returned with a passkey, and at least 80% of these must have been returned within the deadline. This count continues whilst running bigadv units, and both normal and big A2 units count towards the 80% statistic. If less than 10 passkeyed A2 units have been returned, or the reliability factor is less than 80%, only the standard point value of the BigAdv unit will be awarded.

To fold BigAdv units (using an 8-core machine as an example) the 6.29 (or later) Linux or Mac OS X client is required, and should be started like so:

./fah6 -smp 8 -bigadv -verbosity 9

Adapted from the BigAdv release notes.