Joystiq's PS3 Fanboy is urging all 15 or so PS3 owners to leave their units on tonight to help save the world. This week marks the first ever Sunday Night Foldathon donating unused computation cycles to Stanford's cancer research efforts.
"The S.N.F event is simple. On Sunday Night (March. 25th 2007) everyone who wants to participate in the S.N.F event simply turn there PS3 on and start the folding program, could be anytime you want or when you goto bed, you may let the program run as long as you want but would be great if it could at least last till 7am Monday morning, its all up to you since anything helps. This is to see how much help we (the playstation community) can be for this program and to show them that the feature is being widely used and maybe saving lives in the process."
Utilizing the computational power of idle systems to solve distributed computing problems is nothing new. From cracking encryption algorithms to finding extraterrestrial life, hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded and run these programs. Has any one of these programs every elicited a breakthrough that helped mankind? Sure some cryptography schemes have been brute forced apart, but does the actual benefits really outweigh the increased power consumption of hundreds of thousands of machine that should be off or at least idle?
You're mean, heh.
WIP news article. Comments: "You should be more objective when contributing news items. Remember that this stuff appears on the front page, and we have fans (and non-fans) of every platform imaginable".
Actually, I say go flipkin!!! We could use a flamewar or two, especially if it's gonna be against fanbois of whatever console it is. Fanbois are teh best \o/
Well, I'm pretty sure the extraterrestrial search hasn't found anything yet! :-)
I don't have the science to know how much power the PS3s would actually use; is it any worse than maybe leaving a light on all night? I would do that to further cancer research.
(Notice the bad grammar in the article, by the way? "Your" for "you're" and "there" for "their"? Who writes this stuff?!)
(Edited by WildKard (12186), Mar 27, 2007)Re: Cure Cancer, Warm the Earth
WildKard (12186), Mar 25, 2007
According to one user's comment on Gizmodo's news story regarding the PS3 and Folding@Home:
ACTUAL POWER USAGE = 211 Watts while running Folding@Home on my PS3. I measured this with Folding@Home running on the PS3 plugged directly into my trusty Kill-A-Watt. Other stats from the Kill-A-Watt regarding the power:
Certainly that's a couple of lights left on. But also comparable to other applicances and electronics. It may not in fact be worth it. As for Folding@Home running on PC's... here's what the Folding@Home FAQ says about the power needed for a PC:
Roughly, a CPU uses about as much power as a watt light bulb. Here's a report on computer power management from Lawrence Berkeley government labs, and there are other references on the web you can find. Although power supplies on most computers are rated at 400 watts, average usage is lower. On average, a Pentium-type computer uses about 100 watts (if the monitor is off). So, the daily difference between off and running F@H is about 24x100 = 2.4 kWh. At $0.15 per kWh ( from PG&E here in California), this works out to about $0.36 per day. In general, lighting and climate control use a much larger share of household power than computers do. So the best bet for cutting costs and conserving energy would be to turn off lights, turn off your computer monitors (which use more power than a CPU), and turn down the heat.
Though the cpu cells in a PS3 seem to be offering a lot more "raw power" than most people's PCs right now. Thus saving on the amount of time required for processing to arrive at the same result.
(Edited by Indra was here (14942), Mar 25, 2007)Re: Cure Cancer, Warm the Earth
Indra was here (14942), Mar 25, 2007
Against cancer research funding. Those kapitalist dogs would've found the cure by now. Hell they found a way to bomb hiroshima and nagasaki in 6 months (referring to the process of: theory --> actual result)
Modern medicine corporations are evil. Not that being evil bothers me, pretending to be good guys does though.
Indra was here Wrote:
Stanford University isn't a corporation.
The Sunday Night "Fold-a-thon" is a weekly promotion and in the short time (literally days) Folding@Home has been activated for PS3 users... they've made quite a nice dent in the amount of processing done. Guess all those cells are good for something, even if the games don't use ALL of them yet.
For those of you who don't own a PS3, but still own a computer running Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, BSD, or a few others, BOINC is the client that will cover all of those platforms. The idea is to use the processing power of your CPU that you are not using in order to do calculations on a variety of projects that need lots of math. (including Folding@Home, which is not exclusive to the PS3).
Of course due to it's nature, grid computing is best used for times when people aren't actually using the full power of their computer. So it's a lot less useful when playing the latest, greatest, 3D Intensive game than it is when doing something "light" like browsing the web, playing Solitaire or going out with friends (the user leaving the computer alone uses 0 resources! :). So if mom only uses her computer "for email" but still owns an overclocked Pentium IV, there might be a lot of spare power under the hood that could be used for grid computing. Likewise, an office building full of workers using Windows Vista who only check their email and use a database application all day. Likewise, people who are sitting at their computer all day writing new descriptions for MobyGames.
Like flipkin mentions, there's a debate over whether shutting a computer off or using power saving features is a better idea. But it's important to remember that "idle" and "power-down" features vary from device to device, and some simply don't work all that well anyway. Particularly through a lot of "minor usage". So it's important to understand what's going on in any case, for anyone considering participating.
On the other hand, this is far less interesting that discussing playing a game and using the full power of a computer system to render polygons.