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Stanford University tailors Folding@home to GPUs

Apparently the insane amount of gigaflops that your modern-day graphics card can churn out is nothing short of a phenomenon, as Folding@home's forefather Vijay Pande has tailored a new piece of software to harness to raw processing power of GPUs. Pande claimed that even the latest dual-core CPUs can't hold a candle to the floating point performance of ATi's X1900 / X1950 graphics cards. He estimated a Core 2 Duo chip could push about 25 gigaflops of folding power, while a high-end off-the-shelf ATi card could unleash a whopping 375 GFLOPS, which is about "20 to 40 times more speed" than the project has seen thus far. The team has also optimized the algorithms in the GPU-centric software, which is expected to add "10 to 15 times" more speed on top of the GPU's already impressive performance figures. Currently, the beta version is limited to the X1900 lineup, but plans are to include the X1800 variety in the near future, and Pande even mentioned that a PlayStation 3-friendly version was in the works. So if you aren't too busy tweaking your GPU-based supercomputer (or stressing over your energy bill), why not put those excessive GFLOPS to good use through Engadget's own Folding@home team, yeah?

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Wolfticket @ Sep 29th 2006 7:15PM

Top tip: Let your computer go on standby when your not using it (or, even better, switch it off) then donate the money saved on you electricity bill by not running your computer at full whack 24hrs a day to someone looking for a cure to whatever.

Ha ha, 'flops'.

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kansei @ Sep 29th 2006 7:28PM

aw man I was under the assumption that this was going to be released for like.. any ATI graphics card. I'm still rocking a 9800XT in my desktop and 9600 pro in my ThinkPad.. damn guess I can't donate more haha.

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Gamey McGee @ Sep 29th 2006 7:51PM

Well, I have 2 overclocked x1900xt's in Crossfire ... that should crank out at least 750 to 800 GFLOPS according to this. And if their 10 to 15 X optimization is true, add a zero. So are they saying I could contribute to Folding @home with 1.5 TFLOPS ?

That is awesome.

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Chris @ Sep 29th 2006 8:01PM

i, for one, welcome our new folding@home gigaflop overloards

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Robert @ Sep 29th 2006 8:38PM

bring it Core 2 Duo with quad SLI (dual 7950's) 4gb ram, 500gb HDD

soon to get new rig w/ Ati 1950's in Crossfire (core 2 also) same specs as other rig lol.

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ez @ Sep 29th 2006 9:13PM

http://www.teamhackaday.com/modules/news/
Folding, and a support forum, a winning combination(it's been proven).

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Tim O. @ Sep 29th 2006 9:43PM

I still can't get fah to run on my debian server box.. it's on anyway and I could let it fold for a while at night, however it won't run for more than five minutes before it stops for some reason. I'm not interested enough to go out of my way to get it to work. I guess I'll just save energy instead.

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leonet @ Sep 29th 2006 11:48PM

That's great. I recently joined Team Engadget with my plain old 2.0 Ghz home server. Right now we're 34th in the world!

Seriously though, I work in bioinformatics, so I've seen first hand how computing power is becoming essential to medical research. I think it's a good cause.

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E71 @ Sep 30th 2006 7:34AM

Hey Pande, you think I forked $1200 for two of these babies just to wear it down and spend thousands on electricity so you can become famous for coming up with a cure for Cancer? I mean, come on, you know that's what you're after. What I'd rather do is donate some money to a Cancer-research group.

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Chris @ Sep 30th 2006 1:47PM

Sure this is cool and all but could they maybe take a break from new and exciting features to release a universal binary client? OR at least an intel OS X client to go along with the PPC one?

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Brian @ Sep 2nd 2007 3:07PM

What about nvidia? *ducks*

Surely the measly X1950 isn't anything in comparison to say... the 8800 GTX...

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