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  1. 25 Jul '11 14:29
    Hi. I hope I can ask this question here, because I have no idea where else. I have just installed Arena and Stockfish on my computer and I'm a bit lost when it comes to actually using them. I have several problems, but the biggest one is that my system will shut down automatically when I let Stockfish think for too long. My CPU works at 100% when Stockfish is thinking. Is there anything I can do about it? I've found this: http://www.bookup.com/memberforum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=104 It says I should set the number of threads (whatever they are) to the number of cores my CPU has. I have AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core. I don't really know what this means, but my best guess is it means the "threads" value should be set as 2. After a lot of effort I managed to find out that this is indeed the set value. What could be the problem? I see there's 64 in the name of my processor and I remember that I once chose 32 instead of 64 while installing Stockfish or Arena. Could this be what causes the problem?
  2. 25 Jul '11 16:18
    It is possible your computer is overheating and shutting down for that reason. I had a similar problem on a single core machine a while ago. Anything that ran the processor at 100% eventually caused the machine to overheat and shut down. You might need to clean out fans, improve ventilation or even install some more cooling doohickeys to keep the temperature down.
  3. 25 Jul '11 16:44 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Hi. I hope I can ask this question here, because I have no idea where else. I have just installed Arena and Stockfish on my computer and I'm a bit lost when it comes to actually using them. I have several problems, but the biggest one is that my system will shut down automatically when I let Stockfish think for too long. My CPU works at 100% when Stock instead of 64 while installing Stockfish or Arena. Could this be what causes the problem?
    Nothing like a chess engine post to flush me out of my hidey hole. I thought I'd be able to stay away from this place for a while.

    Yeah, I agree with Diophantus, it sounds to me that your CPUs are overheating. It's easy to do if you're running all CPUs full bore. You need to find a better way to cool the CPUs (maybe not a very practical suggestion), or (easier) change the number of threads to 1. That way, you're only using 50% of your CPU capacity, but also giving up a bit of performance.

    The number 64 that you mentioned I think means that your CPU is a 64-bit design, as opposed to the older 32-bit designs. These chess engines can be compiled for either 32-bit or 64-bit CPUs. If you have a 64-bit CPU, you can run either compile version, but you can't run a 64-bit compiled engine on a 32-bit CPU.

    I'd recommend that you install the "Core Temp" utility. The link was given on page 2 of this thread Thread 139450.

    By the way, I can't help but give a plug to an unofficial version of Stockfish. (Stockfish 2.1.1 PA GTB Gran2c). A group of guys improved the hash table usage a bit (helps when analyzing), and they added Gaviota tablebase support. (If you want to use the tablebases, you'd have to download the Gaviota tablebases from the internet, about 6.5 GB in size, the link is http://olympuschess.com/egtb/gaviota/index.php -- Just download all of the tablebase files into one folder and configure the engine to look for the tablebases in that folder and to use the cp4 extensions. Note that the cp4 file extension means that these tablebase files use the number 4 compression method.) Stockfish is pretty smart in the endgame without tablebases, but I'd think adding tablebases can only help with endgame analysis.

    I did a brief test of this unofficial version, and using the tablebases doesn't seem to hurt the engine's playing strength to any significant degree. You can get the link to the unofficial version near the top of this page on the Rybka forum: http://rybkaforum.net/cgi-bin/rybkaforum/topic_show.pl?tid=22245

    Having said all that, I'm not sure Stockfish is the best engine to use for analysis. It isn't bad, though. (Some have reported the results "jump around" a bit too much for their tastes.) Other good choices are the latest versions of Critter and Houdini. (Let me know if you need the links.)

    I hope I've helped a little bit.

    P.S. Oh yeah, don't forget, if you actually want to play against Stockfish, version 2.1.1 allows you to set the skill level from 20 (full strength) down to 0 (roughly about 1200 elo, I'd guess).
  4. 25 Jul '11 19:29
    Thank you both. I read somewhere that switching to 64-bit gives more speed. Does it mean more heating as well? If not, perhaps I could switch to it together with setting 1 thread, so I would lose less speed? Does it have anything to do with the operating system? I have Windows XP, but I don't think it's the 64-bit version (although I'm not sure how to check it too).

    As for your other suggestions, I understood maybe half of that. For now, I'm struggling to make Arena a chessboard without any engine trying to make a move, so I can move the pieces freely. It seems the program doesn't want me to analyze chess myself.
  5. 25 Jul '11 20:38
    For now, I'm struggling to make Arena a chessboard without any engine trying to make a move, so I can move the pieces freely. It seems the program doesn't want me to analyze chess myself.[/b]
    Use the Edit button and the computer will not respond to your moves. I use to keep the Analyze button pressed to instantly see feedback on my variations.
  6. 25 Jul '11 21:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Thank you both. I read somewhere that switching to 64-bit gives more speed. Does it mean more heating as well? If not, perhaps I could switch to it together with setting 1 thread, so I would lose less speed? Does it have anything to do with the operating system? I have Windows XP, but I don't think it's the 64-bit version (although I'm not sure how to I can move the pieces freely. It seems the program doesn't want me to analyze chess myself.
    Ditto what Mihai said about the edit button.

    "I read somewhere that switching to 64-bit gives more speed. Does it mean more heating as well? If not, perhaps I could switch to it together with setting 1 thread, so I would lose less speed?"

    I wasn't sure about this, so I had to run a quick test. The 64-bit engine does seem to run a few degrees Celsius hotter than the 32-bit engine. (I would have guessed not, which I guess is why people run tests.) On 2 threads, the 64-bit engine tripped my Core Temp warning, while the 32-bit engine on 2 threads stayed just below the Core Temp warning, but it was uncomfortably close to the trip point. My guess is that on 2 threads, either the 32-bit or 64-bit engines would exceed the safe limit, although it would probably happen faster and more often with the 64-bit engine.

    In my opinion, as long as you only run one thread, either the 32-bit or 64-bit engine should be just fine. Just be careful about running any other applications in parallel with Arena that would add to the heat load.

    "Does it have anything to do with the operating system? I have Windows XP, but I don't think it's the 64-bit version (although I'm not sure how to check it too)."

    Uh-oh, you stumped me on this one. Now it's clear to everyone (if it wasn't already) that I'm not an all-knowing geek. You should be able to check through the XP control panel to see if your OS is 64-bit or not. (In Win 7, it's Control Panel -> System and Security -> System, but I'm not sure what the path is for XP.)

    But I'm not sure if running a 64-bit engine in Arena is dependent on the OS also being 64-bit or not. If I were you, I'd just try loading a 64-bit engine, and you'll have your answer. (You'll get an error message the second you try to load the engine in Arena is there's any incompatibility.)
  7. 25 Jul '11 22:01
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    But I'm not sure if running a 64-bit engine in Arena is dependent on the OS also being 64-bit or not.
    To run a 64-bit engine, you'll need a 64-bit OS - regardless of GUI, etc. But the GUI doesn't need to be 64-bit.
  8. 25 Jul '11 22:09
    Originally posted by Varenka
    To run a 64-bit engine, you'll need a 64-bit OS - regardless of GUI, etc. But the GUI doesn't need to be 64-bit.
    Good to know, I'll try to commit that to long-term memory. (I did know that Arena is 32-bit, but I didn't know much else.)
  9. 27 Jul '11 01:24
    Thanks for your input, guys. It seems vacuum cleaning the fans did the trick, although I was afraid to do any full-scale tests. I have some very precious data in the hard disk and I had to replace one already because of heating issues some time ago.

    Mihai, I'm sorry about being a nuisance, but could you please tell me where I can find the edit button? I've been looking for it everywhere...
  10. 27 Jul '11 02:34
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Thanks for your input, guys. It seems vacuum cleaning the fans did the trick, although I was afraid to do any full-scale tests. I have some very precious data in the hard disk and I had to replace one already because of heating issues some time ago.

    Mihai, I'm sorry about being a nuisance, but could you please tell me where I can find the edit button? I've been looking for it everywhere...
    You shouldn't be able to miss the edit button - It's just to the right of the Analyze button, in the navigation bar at the bottom of the move list window. Unless...you've disabled (or never enabled) the navigation bar. Try right-clicking the mouse inside the moves list window. There's an option for "Display Navigation Bar under Movelist". Check that option if it's unchecked, and you should be able to see the edit and analyze button.
  11. 27 Jul '11 09:48 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Mad Rook
    You shouldn't be able to miss the edit button - It's just to the right of the Analyze button, in the navigation bar at the bottom of the move list window. Unless...you've disabled (or never enabled) the navigation bar. Try right-clicking the mouse inside the moves list window. There's an option for "Display Navigation Bar under Movelist". Check that option if it's unchecked, and you should be able to see the edit and analyze button.
    Apparently, I was able to miss it. :-) It's there, I just never used the analyze button, which is a lame excuse for being an idiot. I used the gear button instead. Thank you!
  12. 29 Jul '11 18:11
    Originally posted by WanderingKing
    Thanks for your input, guys. It seems vacuum cleaning the fans did the trick, although I was afraid to do any full-scale tests. I have some very precious data in the hard disk and I had to replace one already because of heating issues some time ago.
    Well, now it's my turn to feel a bit silly. After you said that vacuum cleaning the fans did the trick, I decided to try it myself. It worked like a charm! I didn't even take the back panel off of the laptop. (With my model, it looked like that might be a major headache. I did turn it off first, though.) I just spritzed bottled compressed gas into the fan vents in both directions as best I could.

    Before the cleaning, running the engine on 2 threads (all cores) resulted in temperatures of around 85 or 86 degrees C. After the cleaning, same conditions, the cores ran at around 68 or 69 degrees C, never peaking at more than 70 C.

    I guess I'll have to clean that fan every now and then.