Team TR Folding@home: A call to arms

As you may or may not know, the TR community contributes quite a bit to Stanford University’s Folding@home project. Using spare processor (and graphics processor) cycles, TR’s team 2630 managed to reach sixth place in the global FAH rankings several months ago. However, we’ve slipped to eighth place since then.

Finding cures for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and cystic fibrosis is clearly the most important part of folding, but crushing other teams with our sheer computing might comes as a close second objective. That’s why we’re calling on all TR readers to, er, join the fold and help us take our rightful place at the top of the team rankings table.

We have more tools than ever at our disposition to advance the cause, too. Stanford recently released its GPU folding client, which allows folks to tap the graphics processors in Nvidia GeForce 8, AMD Radeon HD 2000-series, or newer cards for folding purposes. On certain workloads, GPUs can be orders of magnitude faster than modern CPUs. And of course, Stanford also offers software folding clients for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X 10.4, and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

Check out our folding FAQ page and Stanford’s official Folding@home website to learn more about folding and see how you can join Team TR.

Comments closed
    • StuffMaster
    • 11 years ago

    I enrolled my work computer. All Hail TR!

      • tfp
      • 11 years ago

      Just make sure it isn’t against company policy, people have been let go for things like this.

    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    The GPU2 folding client was very easy to install and runs very well with my ATI 3850. The systray icon permits me to pause it when playing games and the graphics look great!
    Great job F@H!
    And thanks TR for putting this on the front page!

    • emorgoch
    • 11 years ago

    I just installed the 6.20 beta client, and I’m still getting the “Core is not running” message. I can’t even tell if it’s actually working or not. Anyone else seeing this problem?

      • Flying Fox
      • 11 years ago

      Did you run install.bat? Could you post more details in the forum so we can help you more?

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 11 years ago

    I was Folding, using the GPU client on my HD3850, but after a few hours of doing so I get visual corruption (odd banded lines on the screen) that doesn’t go away unless I reboot. Anyone know a fix for that, because I would like to help.

    Edit – after some investigation, I noticed that the GPU temps were getting rather high (85

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 11 years ago

    I had no idea I could fold on my 8800GTS. W00t! indeed.

    But I’ll only leave it on for a few hours a day. Elektra don’t come cheap.

      • Ragnar Dan
      • 11 years ago

      I did a test with a Kill-A-Watt meter and found my 8800 GT (256 MB – this one: §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125089<]§ which was $107 - $30 MIR) was using about 46 watts before I started overclocking it. Pretty small amount of power for the tremendous amount of calculations being completed (1175 teraflops at present: §[<http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype=osstats<]§ ). But any help is welcome, and will be appreciated. And because your video card type is presently getting so much work done compared to all other processors (including the PS3's which are more than 4 times as numerous but only producing less than 4.26% more output), you'll rapidly rise up our team's ranks.

    • matic
    • 11 years ago

    If you don’t mind I’ll keep the brutal power of my Sempr0n 2600+ on socket 754 attached to another minor and forgotten group. But I will consider joining this massive 2630 group in the future, if it will keep losing positions… 🙂

    • Pachyuromys
    • 11 years ago

    Do tell, Cyril, what’s your folding name and rank? Oh, /[

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Don’t try making it look like that’s a sin.

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe he’s folding for the [H]?

      • Cyril
      • 11 years ago

      No, I’m not. Does that mean I’m not allowed to recognize and encourage the efforts of those who are? I’m sure /[

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      You also don’t like him reporting on products he doesn’t own, I bet.

        • Ragnar Dan
        • 11 years ago

        Give him a break. It was a gentle prod, and every processor counts (though currently multi-core CPUs and nVidia G80 or G92 GPUs produce many more points). And since he’s living in France (last I heard, anyway), his electricity should be fairly cheap given they’re getting over 80% of their power from nuke plants.

        And by the way, thank you, Mr. Wasson and Mr. Kowaliski, for the front page help.

    • PerfectCr
    • 11 years ago

    I am not saying it isn’t a worthy cause, but has anything actually ever been cured by the research done in Folding @ Home? Has anyone done the “cost/benefit” analysis to see if the damage done to the environment by using more energy to have all these CPUs folding outweighs the benefits of discovering something while folding? Serious question.

      • 5150
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve wondered this too. I used to be big into this, every computer at my workplace had a client on it, including a few servers. Anymore though, I think it’s more important to be energy conscious.

      Would I still feel that way if my grandpa had Parkinson’s? Probably, the health of the world is more important than the health of any person. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just the way I feel about it now.

        • srg86
        • 11 years ago

        Our utility company has just put their prices up by nearly 20%, so I definatly can’t afford to fold, plus my machine heats the room up enough already.

        • just brew it!
        • 11 years ago

        q[

          • CB5000
          • 11 years ago

          Even coal is getting to be much cleaner than it used to be…. well for the new coal fired plants anyway. If F@H energy usage is a concern then we should be much more worried about the energy being wasted from over-airconditioning… i mean does it really have to be 68F? How about leaving the lights on all the time? Poor insulation leading to even higher energy costs…

          Oh and how about mass accelerators designed to collide sub atomic particles? Or test fusion reactors… they use immense amount of energy! Yet for some reason F@H’s energy costs seem non-trivial despite the fact that millions of PC’s around the world are just sitting and doing nothing, eating up 50-100W of energy for nothing.

          If something needs to be done… If you need basic research to advance… you need to spend a lot of resources to continue. Our lab burns through 5000$ worth of supplies and reagents every month for breast cancer research and we only have 8 people in our lab. Our neighboring lab burns through 1 million dollars over 5 years for research on the bone. Energy costs aren’t trivial either. 2 -80C freezers, 1 -20C freezer, 1 4C refrigerator, 1 -197C liquid nitrogen freezer, constantly running hood blowers, PCR machines, computers, electrophoresis machines, ultra-centrifuges, water distillers, R/O water filter systems all add up to quite a sum of wattage.

          Some people complain that all this money and energy is better spent on sending food, drugs and other aid to Africa… Yeah for the immediate returns that seems reasonable but without basic research everything stops. No new drugs, no new technology, no new cures or higher understanding of anything. Economically this would be a death sentence for the entire world, and we will descend into the dark ages.

            • GodsMadClown
            • 11 years ago

            “Clean” coal plants still burn coal that is still very dirty for the communities around and downstream of the mining operations. Did I mention that coal is the most carbon polluting source of electricity in use today?

            Of course, it would certainly be *[

            • Ragnar Dan
            • 11 years ago

            A coal-powered plant in Baltimore? And what did you do there? You appear to have a view of things that sounds especially like a particlar interest-based idea rather than scientifically-based ones.

            Carbon, as opposed to what almost every ignoramus thinks, /[

            • CB5000
            • 11 years ago

            Coal fired plants, even the more efficient ones still release a decent quantity of uranium and thorium but then again diluted in the atmosphere it poses much less of a threat than UV rays from the sun. Uranium 238 is MUCH less radioactive than the media will lead you to believe. The same goes for Thorium. Then there are particulates…. yes, new plants are much much better at that now, and even old plants are equipped with scrubbers. Probably the biggest concern of coal fired power plants is mercury which IS as toxic as people say but that can be alleviated by using washed coal or “clean coal” and this alleviates a lot of the heavy metal contamination problem.

            Right now the primary source of pollutants in America comes from passenger and commercial vehicles. They are by far much much much less efficient than power plants and the fuel is very dirty. Diesel still contains a lot of lead, and all gasoline, even unleaded gas still contains mercury and other heavy metals.

            Finally whether we like it or not, Coal and fossil fuels are essential for our overall energy supply at least for the next 10 years. Renewable sources of energy just hasn’t caught up technologically, to replace the vast amount of power that coal produces… especially since America and most other countries seem to have a phobia about nuclear energy even though it is much cleaner than even clean coal…. if America recycles the spent nuclear fuel instead of burying it into Yucca mountain that is…

      • willyolio
      • 11 years ago

      Pure science is something i wholly support. did anyone really benefit from, say, spending money on a huge space program? or spending millions on testing the accuracy of the theory of relativity?

      at the time, probably not. nowadays, you wouldn’t have GPS without it.

      lots of times, people can’t see any immediate benefit, and they believe it’s not worth the investment. what they tend to forget is that, after you have the knowledge and techniques available, people will begin to think of creative ways of using them.

      • CB5000
      • 11 years ago

      We are studying protein folding because it is poorly understood and protein “mis-folding” causes and leads to all kinds of diseases like alzheimers, parkinsons, etc. In order to reverse the effects of mis-folding or even stop it from happening we need to intimately understand how the whole process works. Without that knowledge no one can do anything. folding at home is just one of the projects aiming to solve that puzzle.

      If you are wanting a cure then it will likely take at least a decade before a drug design can be made for parkinsons, etc. Research is slow and finding a cure isn’t an overnight process or even a decade long process. Even a drug design can be made it will probally be another 10 years before it reaches the market as it needs to be tested, other analouges to the drugs, tested and the safety and efficacy needs to be verified.

      In basic research there is no such things as a “cost/benefit” analysis… at least it would be difficult to do as the benefit usually comes dacades later.

        • Gerbil Jedidiah
        • 11 years ago

        This reply is worthy to be displayed all on it’s own. Very nicely said.

      • grantmeaname
      • 11 years ago

      §[<https://techreport.com/discussions.x/14815<]§ Why should we care about F@H?

      • cobrala
      • 11 years ago

      I’d seriously wonder if you’re considering the potential breakthroughs to medical science if you’re weighing the environment over a lost loved one due to Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, etc.

      Side note: Holy dirty this site’s Comments technology is bass ackwards… I’d probably join the fold if it were easier to commune on the news…

      • just brew it!
      • 11 years ago

      I challenge you to do a reasonably accurate cost/benefit analysis for /[

      • Ragnar Dan
      • 11 years ago

      q[

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      Thomas Edison commercialized the incandenscent light bulb by trying hundreds of different filament types before settling on carbonized bamboo.

    • MaxTheLimit
    • 11 years ago

    Once I get off the heavy work shift I’ll get the new GPU client for this….and I replaced a crap old card for a 2600PRO just so it’s worthwhile to fold on…

    • P5-133XL
    • 11 years ago

    Sorry,

    Already folding for a different team §[<http://www.storageforum.net<]§ Team 10047. For all you that believe I should quit the team and move over here: Storage forum will welcome you all with open arms because what is good for the goose is good for the gander

      • Fighthouse
      • 11 years ago

      No thanks, but maybe I’ll come over to your forums and try to recruit people for our team 😉

        • LiamC
        • 11 years ago

        Well, a pre-emptive strike then 🙂

        Fold for team 10047! SF FTW

        §[<http://www.storageforum.net/<]§ Seriously, we could use some new blood if you don't want to be Borged by Team TR

    • yfital
    • 11 years ago

    Ho well, Ill see if it doesn’t bother me while i’m on the comp.
    Activated both GPU and CPU Fold at 75% more or less, 4870 n Q9450 helping :] ( At least for now )

    • Gerbil Jedidiah
    • 11 years ago

    WOOt! WOOt!

    I will turn my PS3 on. It’s good for 900 points per day. Team 2630 gets the credit of course!

      • Pegasus
      • 11 years ago

      Awesome. I just started my PS3 folding for TR this past week. Now all my boxes are humming.

    • Fastfreak39
    • 11 years ago

    The Tech Report wants YOU!!! Join the fight!!!

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Power bills < Folding
      All the people on this site who suddenly care about “green” stuff and undervoltaging and low-power boxes and other inane accessories do the exact opposite when they practically do an endless burn-in on their systems.

        • yogibbear
        • 11 years ago

        Not that any half decently engineered (last 15 years) power plant has any detrimental environmental affects anymore… well unless you believe everything you read.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          It depends on the type of the plant, always has, always will.

            • Fastfreak39
            • 11 years ago

            Oh Meadows, stop being a negative nancy. Party pooper…

            • CB5000
            • 11 years ago

            The majority of the power we have in Idaho is hydroelectric so it has practically an non-existant level of CO2 emissions and we also have the nation’s cheapest power as well. Our Hydro power can total up to 1.9 gigawatts of energy.

    • Flying Fox
    • 11 years ago

    Nice, a front page mention!

      • Jigar
      • 11 years ago

      its about time now…

        • tfp
        • 11 years ago

        I’m sure posts like this make them want to do even more for the team…

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 11 years ago

    W00t!

    <obligatory “but can it fold” comment…oh wait>

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