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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

Windows

151

159198

1624934

Mac OS X/PowerPC

7

8716

95341

Mac OS X/Intel

8

2716

7216

Linux

42

24971

215703

GPU

41

700

2188

PLAYSTATION®3

367

14971

15914

Total

616

211272

1961296

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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By saratoga on 3/24/2007 6:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Why was this rated down? Its actually a pretty fair question. The Xenon CPU may be fairly unappealing for this sort of work, but the tightly coupled GPU would be a great choice.

IMO MS should offer to help with something like this, both for PR and because its the right thing to do.


By Lord Evermore on 3/24/2007 11:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
Since when has morality been an issue with Microsoft? :)

But seriously, that makes it sound like not running F@H is as bad as eating babies.


By OxBow on 3/26/2007 10:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
While I'm no MS fan, I do believer that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does a couple things to help out here and there.


By Hawkido on 3/27/2007 1:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
I think I stepped on some PhanBoise toes. anyway following the link I found this at the bottom of the page:
quote:
Active CPUS are defined as those which have returned WUs within 50 days. Active GPUs are defined as those which have returned WUs within 10 days (due to the shorter deadlines on GPU WUs). Active PS3's are defined as those which have returned WUs within 2 days.


So the PS3 figures are only from the last 2 days? and the GPU figures are from the last 10 days? and all else from the last 50 days?

Am I readying this right? Can someone confirm this?


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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