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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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RE: How much?
By OxBow on 3/26/2007 10:02:58 AM , Rating: 2
What part of philanthropy do you not understand?

If I'm going to volunteer at the local school/animal shelter/park/hospital etc. I drive my car, bring my lunch, even usually purchase a membership. All because I SUPPORT the goals of the organization.

I support the goals of F@H. Does it cost me to do so, yes. Am I glad to donate that portion of my time (less than five minutes to DL the program and set it to run automatically) and electric bill, you bet.

When the update came out, my wife and I talked about it and since then we've left the PS3 running constantly. It's warm, but not hot, and it is sucking a fair bit of electricity, but nothing compared to our HVAC system.

All those ATI GPU's are doing good work, but the market penetration there is no where near what the PS3 already has, let alone will become. It's cool to see all those yellow lights spread across the globe. And extra Kudo's to our servicemen down in GITMO who are running F@H.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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