Stop BOINC from slowing down your computer too much

Posted by Flo in Tech, Tricks on June 22nd, 2008.
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Lending your computer to science is a good thing to do, but you don’t want to have any consequences. If you disable the BOINC screensaver, the BOINC manager will even run if you are using the computer. This can slow down your computer pretty much. Luckily there’s a simple trick to prevent this, and still let BOINC run when you’re using the computer.

The basic idea of this trick is to adjust the settings of BOINC manager in a way that it won’t use all the CPU time and memory, because your operating system needs some of those too. What the best settings for your system are, will depend on how fast your computer is. I can only tell you what worked for me, and I will tell you what you should change if this doesn’t work. Let’s get started.

  1. Open up your BOINC manager (double click the boinc icon in the lower right corner).
  2. In the upper left corner of the manager, select "Advanced" and then "Preferences…"
    You will now see a window that looks like this:
  3. Most of the settings will be obvious, and you should change them if you want, but for this trick, you only need to change the lowest text field from "Use at most 100 % CPU time" in "Use at most 80 % CPU time" like in the image above.

    NOTE: depending on your hardware, 80% can be still too much usage or a little bit too less usage for BOINC, you should experiment a little bit to find the perfect settings for your case.

  4. Now open the tab "disk and memory usage". The window opening should look like this:

  5. Just like the other tab: you should change the preferences you will find here to your own liking, but you’ll only need to change the following settings in the "Memory Usage" section:
    First, change "Use at most 100 % when computer is in use" to "Use at most 50 % when computer is in use"
    Next change "Use at most 100 % when computer is idle" into "Use at most 90 % when computer is idle"

    You can find these settings in the image above. The NOTE from step 3 also applies to these settings: you should experiment a bit to get the perfect settings.

  6. Press "OK" to safe the settings, it can take a little time before these settings will be applied, so don’t worry if  you don’t see the effect of the new settings instantly.

    If you won’t see any speeding up on your computer after waiting a bit, redo step 3 and 5 and lower the % a bit.

FINAL NOTE: Don’t change any settings on the project websites after this. The settings you’ve made above will be overwritten.

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