PlayStation 3s to start folding on March 23

All the way back in August of last year, Stanford University announced that it had partnered up with Sony to port its Folding@Home distributed computing software to the PlayStation 3 console. The folks at Joystiq have now learned that a Folding@Home client for the PlayStation 3 will finally come out next week, on March 23. The client will harness the console’s Cell Broadband Engine processor, leaving the integrated Nvidia G70-based “RSX” graphics processor to display folding in real time with high dynamic range lighting and other graphical goodies. A map of other PS3 users currently running the client will be displayed in the background, and according to Joystiq, users will even be able to manipulate the 3D view of simulated proteins using the PlayStation 3’s controller.

So what’s the point of folding on a console? Well, an article by the San Jose Mercury News states that if 10,000 PS3 users—just 1% of those who own the console in North America—run the software, it will double the amount of computing power the project currently receives worldwide. If you happen to own a PlayStation 3 and feel like, er, joining the fold next week, feel free to join team 2630 to fold for TR!

Comments closed
    • wierdo
    • 14 years ago

    I didn’t know they were gonna make the console that flimsy *ba dum bish*

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 14 years ago

    Surely you people attacking Proesterchen realize his first comment was meant in jest – ?

      • willyolio
      • 14 years ago

      given his usual fare, i’d say he was serious.

      • Krogoth
      • 14 years ago

      It was a rather poor attempt at sarcasm if that was the true intent.

      However, from past history and his previous stance on distributed computing. I doubt that was the case.

      • indeego
      • 14 years ago

      Jest or not, his post is correct. Folding and maxing out CPU 24×7 uses energy. Lots of itg{<.<}g

        • SPOOFE
        • 14 years ago

        It just seems like a trivial thing to choose to criticize, and a little out of left field…

        I guess when I think of “pollution” I think of things like… cars. Or factories. Or power plants. Maybe even cow flatulence. Video game consoles are pretty far down on that list.

          • TheTechReporter
          • 14 years ago

          Yes, exactly. Video game consoles _should_ be far down _everyone’s_ list, since they have such a small environmental impact. If you want to help the planet, you’d be better off getting a hybrid car, or compact fluorescent light bulbs, or heck, just about _anything_ other than turning off your console when it’s not in use.

          If you still can’t sleep at night knowing your console is wasting electricity, then fine – turn it off when you’re not using it. Remember, “Folding” and “leaving your console on 24/7” are 2 completely different things. You can always have your PS3 fold in the background while you’re doing other things.

          Also, I don’t think any sane person would argue that folding wasn’t worth it if it finds a cure for cancer. Something to think about.

        • flip-mode
        • 14 years ago

        That’s not what he said though. You see, you made a very objective statement. His statement was the rather subjective “it’s a waste”.

          • SPOOFE
          • 14 years ago

          Perhaps Proest wants people to die of cancer.

          Hey, I’m only left with assumptions unless he chooses to clarify.

    • mmp121
    • 14 years ago

    While the PS3 might not excel at gaming quite yet, seems that at least ONE college professor has found a good use for them…

    §[<http://www.physorg.com/news92674403.html<]§

    • Vrock
    • 14 years ago

    HS. I may actually fold.

    • leor
    • 14 years ago

    dats my birthday!

    • DaveIsFera
    • 14 years ago

    And how much better would it have been if they used the graphics card to do folding too? But maybe it can’t pull it off or something.

      • Shintai
      • 14 years ago

      It cant be used. Its a 7900GT basicly.

    • Proesterchen
    • 14 years ago

    Just think about the extra CO2 output caused solely by that stupid waste of electric energy.

      • eitje
      • 14 years ago

      you’re stupid! 😛

      [edit]
      or:
      think about the CO2 output caused solel by you opening your stupid mouth! 😛

      • flip-mode
      • 14 years ago

      Proest, never have I heard an edifying word come out of your mouth – why are you such a terribly unhappy person?

        • Spyder22446688
        • 14 years ago

        He’s probably right. If people took half the money they spent on extra electricity and excess computer hardware to fold and instead donated that money directly to cancer research, far more would be gained both in terms of research breakthroughs AND environmental gains.

        I understand that people fold for a variety of reasons (fun, competition, recognizing the fact that they’ll never flat out donate money, and that folding does help at least a little bit). However, I have to question the program just a bit.

          • flip-mode
          • 14 years ago

          And yet it’s far better than all the electricity Proest has wasted bitching, moaning, wailing, and gnashing his teeth in every single post he bothers to make.

            • Spyder22446688
            • 14 years ago

            Sometimes the nastiest of cynics provokes the greatest thoughts of logic and compassion in the rest of us.

            Besides, all the time he spends complaining is probably time spent away from his gas guzzling SUV.

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            And sometimes the nastiest cynics are just miserable people who do nothing but try to make those around them miserable too. The history or Proest’s posts is unlikely to have him viewed as one who inspires thoughts of compassion and logic. So nice of you to extend the benefit of the doubt Spyder, but there’s a point where being an understanding person crosses over into being naive.

            • Spyder22446688
            • 14 years ago

            Naive I am not. Those cynics who provoke thought seldom realize or intend it. Go read a book before you turn your insults on me, flip.

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            I’m not trying to insult you at all. When I want to insult someone I’m usually unambiguous about it, and unfortunately I’m also sometimes childish about it.

            Honestly I’m still trying to figure out what your point is. Are you a PS3 hater? A Sony hater? An environment lover? A Proest lover? Is your point that Proest’s posts have some sort of value on average, or just this post in particular? How exactly do his posts “provoke the greatest thoughts of logic and compassion in the rest of us”? His posts provoke disdain and disgust on my part – here this guy sits at his computer raging against the world with nary a positive thing to say. He opens his mouth only to take a dump on someone or something else. Yeah, that’s great – really inspiring stuff.

            • Spyder22446688
            • 14 years ago

            I dislike the PS3, but I am not a Sony hater. And of course I love the environment. Without a healthy environment, we’re all dead. And I certainly do not particularly like Proest. I am familiar with the negativity he posts and in the manner he does it.

            My point is you can learn much about yourself in your response to people who you disagree with or who make you angry. When Proest actually made a valid point about folding, albeit in a rude manner, I acknowledge his idea and shape it in my own mind to become something perhaps better. What do you achieve by simply attacking him with a wave of insults? Does that do anything other than perhaps make you feel good for a few seconds? Will it inflame him more? I hate to go Yoda on you, but cripes man ignore him or learn to deal with it better. Do not sink to his level. Maybe if you threw him a bone he’d rise to your level? Sometimes there is a lot to learn from awkward situations.

            But you’re right, this is absurd trying to have adult dialog on the freaking comments section of TR. There is a time and place for philosophy, and this place is not it. My apologies. Back to dumb and silly comments. I love boobies! Hell, I love boobies! I’m gonna drop my entire next paycheck on a PS3 for the folding ability! Yeah man!

            • Proesterchen
            • 14 years ago

            q[

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            According to my definition of “insult”, I have yet to insult you here.

            • Proesterchen
            • 14 years ago

            As if anyone would care about /[

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            Sorry, rephrase: according to my understanding of the definition of “insult”, I have yet to insult you here.

            The term “ad-hominem” is a favorite one around here. Ad-hominems have their place and at times are prudent IMO. They are not in and of themselves unjustified or even inaccurate. Sometimes they are necessary criticisms that point out that the crux of a problem may be rooted as much in a persons character as the other variables of the problem.

            As for folding being “a waste”: that is ENTIRELY your opinion. This gets back to my original point: your opinion of things is almost never positive <— there’s your ad-hominem but notice that since it refers to a pattern of your behavior that it is not some arbitrary insult.

            Straw-men? Where?

            • SPOOFE
            • 14 years ago

            Most people don’t understand the term “ad hominem”, I’ve come to believe. An ad hominem is an insult /[

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            Hmm… good point. Seems my understanding of the term wasn’t completely accurate. So were my comments ad hominems at all?

            • Krogoth
            • 14 years ago

            if you can understand Latin, then ad hominem is a very straightforward definition.

            You are attacking the person rather then the issue, stance in the debate.

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            somebody just tell me if I used ad hominem properly when I made post #72

            • ludi
            • 14 years ago

            Instead of worrying about other people’s ad hominems and strawmen, look up the definition of a “just-so” fallacy. You lobbed a nice, slow, fat one right there in that post.

            • SPOOFE
            • 14 years ago

            I must say that from your words it sounds like you think wanting to cure cancer is “a waste”. Any clarification you wish to provide? An explanation as to how pumping a few micrograms of CO2 is worth bitching about compared to the dozens of other sources that are clearly far more harmful with much less gain? Hell, I’ve taken joyrides through the Santa Monica mountains that were more deadly to the environment than a dozen folding PS3’s.

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            I know this much about myself:
            I’ll but up with a lot of BS, a lot of negativity, and try to bring about more positive tones of discussion. Then I reach a point that I consider naive to venture beyond with “compassion and understanding” – a point reached long ago with Proest. At that point I start calling it like it is. I’m not on some sort of spiritual experiment to put up with the most BS I can in order to build my character.

            • SPOOFE
            • 14 years ago

            Aristotle’s cynicism would have been a lot more interesting to read.

          • just brew it!
          • 14 years ago

          Hmm… but if you donate money directly, how much of that money will end up being used to purchase computers and electricity to run computer simulations anyhow?

            • flip-mode
            • 14 years ago

            Heh, that’s not the half of it. Think about this silly thought a little further: it’s a waste of electricity to fold with a PS3.

            Is it a waste compared to the “20 computers” that it would take to replace it with?

            Is it a waste compared to using it to play video games?

            Is it a waste compared to using it to watch a blue-ray movie?

            Is it a waste compared to all the lives that would otherwise be lost if folding does end up leading to some breakthrough in cancer treatment?

            • Proesterchen
            • 14 years ago

            q[

            • ludi
            • 14 years ago

            If someone’s got the PS3 and wants to trade a few watts of energy consumption for munificient medical research, I say go for it. The results of cancer research, uncertain though they may be, are still a lot more certain and immediate than the results of any feasible change in the CO2 production habits of western residential electricity consumers.

            • Shintai
            • 14 years ago

            I´m quite sure 50W quadcores fold faster than a PS3. Phonys numbers seem to reley on 2000 gear and only fold for a short time.

            Anyway lets wait and see some result Cell has been anything but living up to its expectations. Just like the entire PS3.

            • TravelMug
            • 14 years ago

            Really? Could you explain how to reach that conclusion based on the following stats data?:

            §[<http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/ps3s-folding-at-home-is-the-cell-proc-30-times-more-powerful-at-folding-than-a-pc-244528.php<]§ Hint - compare the Mac OS X Intel numbers with the PS3 numbers.

            • Shintai
            • 14 years ago

            No compare GPU numbers with PS3. And you see the MAJOR FLAW. Since I doubt everyone got x1950XTX running as GPUs. (And thats 15-20x faster).

            Also the PC is “poluted” with old HW aswell. People folding on Athlon XP/P3s etc. Onlime times and such, do you think all the Mac users got their PCs on 24/7? Somehow I

            • TravelMug
            • 14 years ago

            q[<"No compare GPU numbers with PS3."<]q Why? Let me remind you of your original comment: "I´m quite sure 50W quadcores fold faster than a PS3". This has nothing to do with GPUs. q[<"Also the PC is "poluted" with old HW aswell. People folding on Athlon XP/P3s etc. Onlime times and such. "<]q Again, how many Mac OS X Intel machines are running AthlonXP or P3? None. Those will be the Core and Core 2 based machines after the switch. Based on the performance of those you can clearly see your original comment is porkies.

            • Shintai
            • 14 years ago

            How many of those Macs are Core Duo/Solo and not Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quadro? How many of those Macs run 24/7? Or even laptops.

            • TravelMug
            • 14 years ago

            q[<"How many of those Macs run 24/7? Or even laptops"<]q Now even though this proves nicely that you have no clue what you`re talking about (makes no diff for that perf number if it runs 24/7), just for the heck of it - give me the numbers. If you are so sure the quad core 2 would be faster you are surely have a basis for that claim. Cause I can`t see that on those stats. Hope it`s not only your good old intel faith, then I`m just wasting my time...

            • Shintai
            • 14 years ago

            Its you who base Quadcore performance on Mac numbers. And yes, if you noticed some folding posts and such. You would know I do have quite a large potion of quadcores.

            • TravelMug
            • 14 years ago

            So it`s faith then. Thought as much…

            • poulpy
            • 14 years ago

            Dismissing the Cell as being under performing is being short-sighted or ignorant. It has clearly a lot of potential when used properly and folding seems to be one of its strong points.

            Waiting for actual numbers before getting too excited though but contrarily to what has been said by the OP a few hours of PS3 folding could very well be one of the best result/watt you could get and certainly worth more to Humanity than a few hours of any game with a 30′ screen and a 8800GTX..

      • Krogoth
      • 14 years ago

      STFU, if you bitch about CO2 output then do not even use computers or practically any modern convenience. Grow your own food, weave your clothing etc.

      I am not saying it is easy, but electricity used by electronics are hardly the worse offender of air pollution. Far more energy used and pollution is generated in the raw materials, processing them and manufacturing of the said electronics.

        • Proesterchen
        • 14 years ago

        q[

          • ludi
          • 14 years ago

          Seeing as how the ‘numbers on a website’ in this case correspond to useful work done, you’re a long way from showing that your use of electricity to sneer on this forum is somehow the moral better of electricity consumed for the folding project.

      • Dirge
      • 14 years ago

      He has a point about wasted energy. I remember reading some where that we use about half a ton of fossil fuel in the manufacture of a new computer. The PS3 is essentially a PC which will require additional electricity to fold.

      Folding is great as its for a good cause, but I wish CPUs were more efficient.

        • ludi
        • 14 years ago

        There aren’t many things we do in the modern world that don’t somehow require a substantial amount of energy input.

        As for CPU efficiency…what, exactly, are you arguing for? “Efficiency” isn’t a useful parameter unless it is presented in relation to something. In this case, the CPUs that consume the most energy are also the ones that do the greatest amount of work while occupying the least amount of physical space, so…?

    • droopy1592
    • 14 years ago

    So wait… ur telling me 10k PS3s will match all of the current PCs/Macs running F@H already? I find that hard to believe.

      • Shintai
      • 14 years ago

      Ye same..Even then you would imagine 10K X1900 folders would balance it in worst case.

        • HiggsBoson
        • 14 years ago

        I third that. I’d be very interested in knowing how they came up with that statistic.

          • Shark
          • 14 years ago

          Here -> “in 2000, the Folding@Home project began distributing portions of the software simulations to home computers, so that an international group of volunteers could complete work units and go online to send back the results. At the moment, 200,000 computers are running the software.

          But they are a mish-mash of different hardware, and Sony estimates that the computational power of one PS3 equals that of 20 to 30 typical home computers. Moreover, the uniform nature of the PS3’s processing system allows Stanford to slightly simplify its folding software. “

            • provoko
            • 14 years ago

            $500 for a console thats 20-30 folding machines, OWNED!

            I still love my super OCed PC and Xbox 360. But for people that care about Folding, 500 dollars for 30 folding machines should be really tempting.

            • Shintai
            • 14 years ago

            Lets see when the hype cools down. The PS3 aint known to forfill the expectations lately.

            • SPOOFE
            • 14 years ago

            Oh, it fulfills expectations. In spades. Just not game-oriented expectations…

            • Toasty
            • 14 years ago

            Finally, some moral justification for buying a PS3. Not that I mind, seeing that it will probably let me blow by that rat-bastard moose1507. 3000ppd, grrr…

        • SNM
        • 14 years ago

        They may not be counting the video card client in that statistic, but the Cell processor is very good at some kind of things, and this seems to be one of them. Remember it’s got, what, 7 working cores? They’re all simple, but they can all do their own floating point math and that’s basically all they have to do.

      • ludi
      • 14 years ago

      Think of it this way…a conventional PC is like a spork with a serrated edge. One tool can do the job of all three common utensils. But, if the only thing you plan to do today is eat soup, the guy with the soup spoon wins.

        • poulpy
        • 14 years ago

        Interesting although I have a hard time believing IBM designed the Cell with soup in mind -or folding for that matter- 🙂

        Edit: On a more serious note I’d rather wait for proper scores of retail PS3 units before getting too excited. I know the Cell can be a beast at specific tasks when carefully programmed but still.

    • SNM
    • 14 years ago

    Somehow I suspect that the PS3s will either fold for team 0 or a Sony team. Though I could be wrong.

    • Kef
    • 14 years ago

    Listen SONY… Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass about you anymore. I bought my first Sony product in 15 years (a dvd player with hdmi and upscaling 1920i bla bla bla) because it was supposed to be the best at the time… and I’m not happy… The hdmi & upscaling was great, if it would work properly, but it’s not… Naturally you (SONY) waited long enough for the hardware upgrade to hit the market, so my guarantee is no longer valid and of course you would not change the hdmi output adapter for free. The model is DVP-NS92V.

    Since you “care” so much for the European market I hope not a single soul will by your PS3 crap. I rather sell my soul to the devil and by an XBOX360… Oooops… already did. Not that that it’s a great machine, but at least, it not a PHONY!!!

      • zqw
      • 14 years ago

      It’s funny because it rhymes.

        • albundy
        • 14 years ago

        hehe, agreed. Sony Baloney at its best.

    • Inkedsphynx
    • 14 years ago

    I really wanted to fold on a PS3, but at this point in time, it’s simply not something my wallet will afford.

    I want a PS3 for a few games, just like I want an X360. It will have to wait though until, if ever, the PS3 drops in price by a hundred or two dollars.

    • jehurey
    • 14 years ago

    Alright. Time for me to actually turn on my PS3.

    • marvelous
    • 14 years ago

    I want a PS3. :*(

    • PRIME1
    • 14 years ago

    Now if I could just write off the purchase of a PS3.

    How about a research grant?

    • titan
    • 14 years ago

    Now I have TWO reasons to get a PS3. This, and FFXIII.

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