Optimizing your SMP client
Pretty much everyone today has a CPU with multiple cores. To make use of multiple cores for folding you need to use the SMP client. Both the GUI version 7 client and the console version 6 clients can be set to use all or a limited number of cores.
If you have an AMD graphics card and are folding with both the SMP client and the GPU client, its importnat to remember that the GPU client will use up a core of the CPU as well. So when setting up the SMP client you should choose to leave a core free for the GPU.
The reason for this is performance. IF your CPU has 4 cores and the SMP client is trying to use all 4, but one is continuously busy due to the GPU client using it, the time to finish each frame(percent) of a WU may be longer than if the SMP client was set to use only 2 cores.
Limiting the cores available for the SMP client would also be a good idea if you had another program using up a core or 2 on a regular basis.
To limit the cores available for SMP folding in the version 7 client, go to "Configure" then the "Slots" tab, select "SMP" from the list and click "Edit" at the bottom right. Under the "SMP section of the new menu change the "CPUs" value to the desired number.
For the console client version 6, instead of using the "-smp" flag, use "-smp X", with X being the number of cores you want it to use.
Due to an issue on 7500 and 7501 WUs it is strongly advised to set the SMP Client to use an even number of cores at all times.
Bigadv units reward you with bonus points for finishing them early, but there are a lot of requirements you need to meet in order to run this flag. You need a linux or OS X system, 8 cores(possibly changing to 16 cores soon) running at 2.4ghz or more, and 8 GB of RAM.
Also when you set the "-bigadv" flag make sure you also set the client to accept "big" WUs and DO NOT use the advanced methods option as it can override the "-bigadv" flag.
If you are able to meet these requirements you can rack up the points very fast!