Discussion in 'Technology' started by cmdrmonkey, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Folding@home is a distributed computing project used to study protein folding. It may prove useful in developing new treatments for many diseases, including various cancers and Alzheimer's. It's currently available for the PC and PS3.

    Keep in mind that it's quite computationally intensive, and will increase your energy consumption, so I probably wouldn't run it 24/7.

    I created a PVCF team if anyone wants to contribute.

    Team number: 209249

    F@H Website:

    GPU and multi-core CPU versions:

    PS3 version:
  2. I don't do it but I can see the interest in it. Teams compete against each other and those with the fastest hardware win.
  3. The GPU version gets exponentially more work done on my setup. But that's not surprising. I had heard the Fermi cards were quite good at folding.
  4. I'm not sure I understand the premise.
  5. The human genome project was actually only a small part of the puzzle of understanding how the human body functions on a molecular level. Understanding how proteins function is the next step. Folding@home uses distributed computing to simulate protein folding. All of the computers working together function like an extremely powerful supercomputer. The results could one day prove useful in treating various diseases.

    SETI used a similar distributed computing model a few years ago, but folding seems more likely to yield something useful than SETI.
  6. It's distributed computing. It takes a complex problem and spreads the work load over multiple machines. Folding maps proteins or something like that to help doctors find the cures to diseases. When you fold you're helping find a cure.

    Now the real reason most people fold is for the points. The more you fold the more points you get. It turns into a competition. Groups of people compete against each other for the highest score. So PVC might compete against other forums each month for bragging rights.
  7. On another note, the PS3 is supposed to be quite powerful for folding. So you could still contribute even if you don't have a top end PC.
  8. I think I'm gonna put my chromebook to the test.
  9. I started folding earlier with the simple client but I don't think it uploaded any info. I didn't get any points. How long would it take to finish one block? My CPU is only at 13% utilization.
  10. It refreshes the stats on the team site every few hours.

    It took me a couple of hours to complete one work unit, but I'm running the high performance/gpu3 version for nvidia cards, not the cpu version. I'm not sure how long it would take in your case. I would imagine it would be faster since you have a more powerful setup. I think I read somewhere that you have a two day deadline to complete a work unit before they pass it on to someone else.

    You have an i7 with an ATI card if I'm not mistaken, in which case you should try running either the GPU2 or SMP version.
  11. Okay. Managed to get it running off the HD5850. I'll try to run it on a multicore CPU setting later and compare the two. I'd rather not shorten my GPU life. Temps are at 51C on water.

    Performance is about 330 - 340 iter/sec
  12. I'm not seeing performance in iter/sec.

    Mine shows around 700-750 ns/day. Or when I run FAHMON, which is a folding@home benchmarking tool, it shows 9868 PPD.
  13. I assume iter stands for iterations. I duno. When I drop the display and bring it back up the performance goes to 900 iter/day. I guess watching the little molecules dance around lowers performance .
  14. Do you understand achievement points?? yeah... It's like that.
  15. Turns out the GPU2 only uses 300 of the 1440 shader units on my HD5850. That explains the low scores I was getting. I guess the nvidia clients are much better.

    I've managed to get all 8 cores folding on my i7. It's the highest CPU utilization I've ever seen. I've also registered my name which is supposed to provide some kind of bonus points.

    And my office is getting really hot. This might be a better winter activity.
  16. It's supposed to be good for stress testing overclocked CPUs and GPUs. And yes, I've read about people using it for an additional source of heat in the winter.

    I don't know if I'd leave it running all the time, but I don't think setting it up to do a work unit here or there would hurt anything. My GTX 460 seems to chew through a unit in about two hours.
  17. I can choose the number of cores it uses So I could drop it down to 2 or 3 and maybe it wouldn't get so hot.

    I notice our team score jump from 190,000th place to 39381st. Kick Ass.

  18. I'm not sure why it's giving me a higher score per unit. Odd. The GPU client seems to be really skewed towards nvidia cards, and Fermi cards in particular.

    Would be nice if some of the people with PS3s would contribute. It's supposed to be quite good at folding.
  19. I'm trying it on one of my PS3s now. It's getting around 230ns/day.
  20. It's the client itself. From what I've read the Nvidia client has been tailored for new Nvidia cards. The ATI client is several generations behind and 300 shaders is the limitation. I even had to use a special command to force it to us my GPU. So basically it's only using 1/3 of the cards computational power. I assume the score is based on the work-time it took to finish and the ones on my GPU are taking a few more hours than yours are.