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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 chochosan on 3/26/2007 6:46:48 AM , Rating: 3
I think that none of you actually went to the folding@home stanford webpage to check what they have to say about the PS3 -

"We balance the points based on both speed and the flexibility of the client. The GPU client is still the fastest, but it is the least flexible and can only run a very, very limited set of WU's. Thus, its points are not linearly proportional to the speed increase. The PS3 takes the middle ground between GPU's (extreme speed, but at limited types of WU's) and CPU's (less speed, but more flexibility in types of WU's). "

GPU's despite faster that the cell fp operations, are very very limited in what they can do. While the CELL being a CPU can run more than 20x faster implicit solvent calculations and 4x faster SMP's, GPU's can only work on implicit solvent calculations and nothing else. So, while faster in one area, overall the PS3 CPU is still more productive, and lets not forget cheaper than a PC system with a X1900XTX card in it.

... right now more than 30,000 PS3's are working FAH giving 500 TFLOPS - and the freaking client is only up (from the update) since thursday!! C'mon people you cant argue, this is a great time for Folding@home and the PS3 is doing a hell of a good job




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