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The Cell Broadband Engine tears it up when Folding@home
Sony's console dominating all other clients at Folding@home

Along with the release of PlayStation 3 in Europe, gamers in Japan and North America updated their Sony monoliths to system software version 1.60. Along with the much needed background downloading, the update brings to the PS3 the ability to help find a cure for cancer with its Folding@home client.

Although Sony hasn’t thus far been able to prove the power of the PlayStation 3 through first generation games, Folding@home may be offering the first glimpse at the new console’s much touted muscle.

According to the most recent Folding@home client statistics sorted by operating system, the PlayStation 3 leads all other platforms by a huge margin. The PS3 has 367 current TFLOPS, while the next closest is Windows with 151 TFLOPS and more than ten times more CPUs.

When it comes to pure performance though, the PS3’s Cell Broadband Processor is still no match for ATI GPUs for protein folding. The GPUs on Folding@home sit at 41 current TFLOPS, which come from only 700 processors. If there were as many GPUs folding as there are PS3s on the network, it can be extrapolated that GPUs could reach 876 TFLOPS.

Below are the current stats at time of publication:

OS Type

Current TFLOPS

Active CPUs

Total CPUs





Mac OS X/PowerPC




Mac OS X/Intel




















The version 1.60 firmware update is now available through Sony’s Web site or via the PlayStation 3 system update feature.

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RE: How much?
By FITCamaro on 3/23/2007 9:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what the guy above me said. Even a quad SLI machine likely won't use up the 1kW power supplies out there.

And a high end PC does not cost $4-7,000. Only the extreme high end comes in around $4000-4500. I priced a friend a PC and with a QX6600, 4GB RAM, 640MB 8800GTS, 250GB hard drive, 74GB Raptor, 2x500GB hard drives, X-Fi sound card, $115 case, $200 power supply, 2 DVD burners, Tuniq tower heatsink, 20.1" widescreen LCD, and keyboard and mouse it was $3300.

RE: How much?
By SunAngel on 3/23/07, Rating: -1
RE: How much?
By FITCamaro on 3/23/2007 9:46:21 PM , Rating: 3
I don't shop at Dell. Therefore, I could care less about their prices. You can build the PC for that. From where, it doesn't matter.

RE: How much?
By CascadingDarkness on 3/28/2007 7:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
I was bored at work so I priced this out at Dell. Couldn't configure exact same system, but close was $5772.

But when it comes down to it, isn't two years of great Dell offshore tech support worth the cost? =P

RE: How much?
By Zoomer on 3/24/2007 9:57:13 AM , Rating: 2
250GB hard drive, 74GB Raptor, 2x500GB hard drives

How are you planning to config that?

RE: How much?
By KillerNoodle on 3/24/2007 1:48:30 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that though a PSU says 1KW You really don't want to be anywhere near the 1KW barrier, ESPECIALLY for extended periods of time. The best way to get a PSU for a setup is to purchase one that is actually about 1.6-1.7 times higher then the power requirement of your computer. This is beacuse the PSU is more efficient at about 60-70% it's peak and it will not cause as much stress on the PSU by running it at only 60-70% load instead of 100%. The full 1KW should only be reached at certain times if at all (Startup of a device/system being one of them.).

No I am not in the PSU industry and yes the math is not exact like shown.

RE: How much?
By RobFDB on 3/24/2007 8:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
For a high end PSU you would expect efficiency around the 80 - 85% mark. Certainly that's what my Enermax Galaxy 850w is quoted at.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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