Help My Computer is Running Too Hot!
This was honestly the first problem I had while running BOINC. I also feel its a common problem among users, especially laptop users whose systems by nature handle heat less efficiently. BOINC has built in settings to help people try and control this, but sadly in my experience as far as the processor usage settings are concerned they are almost useless. Maybe they just do not play nice with my OS, or Chipset, but the settings allowing me to adjust the percentage of free CPU cycles used, to flat out not crunching if my CPU exceeds a certain percentage of total usage, both things which should help keep the total heat created low. But even after taking these settings lower than I think they should ever reasonably be (do not run if CPU usage exceeds 10%, use at most 50% of the processors/ cores, use at most 25% of CPU time), at least on my computer BOINC was still happily crunching away with my computer running incredibly hot.
What worked for me, but sadly only seems to be available for windows is TThrottle. It works wonderfully, but do read the manual first to make sure you understand how it works and what you should and should not adjust. But for the most part I set the temp I want my computer to stay below, and when my computer runs too hot it throttles back everything your computer is doing to make sure the correct temperature is kept. A mild warning for this, if it is running heavily, and it needs to severely throttle down your system, your computer may seem quite laggy ( periods of freezing, and a sense your system is skipping). So if watching video, running a lot of CPU intensive programs it is best to either suspend BOINC, uncheck the box telling TThrottle to be active, or both. To aid users with this, BOINC actually comes equipped with an Exclusive applications feature, in which BOINC will suspend its crunching of projects while applications on this list are running.
Does this waste power?
I really have two answers to this question, but let me ask you this, how many of you leave your computers on all the time, often not even in standby, simply with just a screen saver/ blank screen? While yes having those computers while being idle working a little harder crunching tasks does use up more power than they otherwise would. But for the most part from a computer being idle to a computer under max load crunching projects ( not counting the additional power used by a monitor, which wouldn't be needed to crunch projects while idle), is often just a fraction more than its typically power usage while idle. As long as you are not actually turning your computer off, or using one of the settings that turns off most of the systems working parts ( which most people do not), the little bit extra power usage, can help you feel like you are contributing to something you enjoy, while helping find a cure for cancer, an easy source of clean energy, or mapping the galaxy.