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
    • 13 years ago

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

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 13 years ago

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

      • willyolio
      • 13 years ago

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

      • Krogoth
      • 13 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
      • 13 years ago

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

        • SPOOFE
        • 13 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
          • 13 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
        • 13 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
          • 13 years ago

          Perhaps Proest wants people to die of cancer.

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

    • mmp121
    • 13 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
    • 13 years ago

    HS. I may actually fold.

    • leor
    • 13 years ago

    dats my birthday!

    • DaveIsFera
    • 13 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
      • 13 years ago

      It cant be used. Its a 7900GT basicly.

    • Proesterchen
    • 13 years ago

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

    • droopy1592
    • 13 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
      • 13 years ago

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

        • HiggsBoson
        • 13 years ago

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

          • Shark
          • 13 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
            • 13 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
            • 13 years ago

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

            • SPOOFE
            • 13 years ago

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

            • Toasty
            • 13 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
        • 13 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
      • 13 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
        • 13 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
    • 13 years ago

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

    • Kef
    • 13 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
      • 13 years ago

      It’s funny because it rhymes.

        • albundy
        • 13 years ago

        hehe, agreed. Sony Baloney at its best.

    • Inkedsphynx
    • 13 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
    • 13 years ago

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

    • marvelous
    • 13 years ago

    I want a PS3. :*(

    • PRIME1
    • 13 years ago

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

    How about a research grant?

    • titan
    • 13 years ago

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

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