Big Advanced

v6: -bigadv
V7: client-type     bigadv

Sets a client preference to request extra large work units for multi-CPU socket class server systems.  A minimum of 16 CPU cores is required for Assignment Server access, and to meet the extremely short deadlines.  This is only a request for a specific type of work unit, and is never a guarantee the client will received this type of work unit.  If none of these work units are available, and regular work unit will be downloaded instead.

In 2009, Dr. Kasson introduced a an experimental WU category called “bigadv”, intended for some of the most powerful computers participating in FAH. The initial core count requirement was 8 cores.  Currently, bigadv WUs require a minimum of 16 CPU cores and have very tight completion deadlines, although that minimum requirement has been known to change over time. These WUs have a high scientific priority, and are so computationally demanding they could not run anywhere else on Folding@home. They also consume much more RAM and Internet bandwidth, but in return a 20% increase in point value was added on top of the existing Quick Return Bonus points system.

Note: BigAdv work units are only available to Linux operating systems at this time.  However, Windows availability may return in the future.

  • July 2009 – Experimental BA program introduction, with 8 core minimum
  • July 2011 – BA points curve adjusted downward, 50% to 20% target
  • January 2011 – Core minimum raised to 16, deadlines shortened.
  • May 2014 – Core minimum raised to 24, deadlines shortened.
  • January 2015 – BA Experiment scheduled to end.