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From a pure efficiency standpoint, would running 8 VMs on a 8 CPU core system, one in each of 8 1 CPU VMs be more efficient at processing the F@H data, or just running one instance on a dedicated machine with 8 CPU cores?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

No,
the overhead of running the VM's could be used better to run F@H directly.

Check out the Folding@home SMP client.

We are also releasing another type of client, the Folding@home SMP client. SMP means "Symmetric Multi-processing" and it is a term that generally refers to the situation where a computer has more than one processor core. Dual core CPU's are pretty common and even 4-core boxes (currently implemented as dual socket dual core computers, such as Apple's Mac Pro) are becoming common. With advances from Intel and AMD, quad core processors are on the horizon, with 8-core and even 16-core boxes soon to become common.

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that was my gut feeling, and that was the info I couldn't find on the f@h site :) –  warren Aug 4 '10 at 20:30
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