The Folding@home project has just hit an impressive figure of 470 petaFLOPS – over 3x the raw processing power of the worlds most powerful individual super computer (“Summit” @ 148 petaFLOPS). This is all thanks to the multitude of people that have gotten involved in recent days/weeks to help with the coronavirus project.
I first started Folding@home around 8 years ago. I had just installed a graphics card in a machine I was using at work and realised that it wasn’t being fully utilized. I didn’t want the compute to go to waste, so after a bit of research I found the F@h project and immediately installed the client.
Unfortunately, over the past couple of years, I haven’t had a machine that has had much in the way of extra/spare/useful compute power. So unfortunately, the project fell off my radar and my contributions ceased.
About a week ago, I (along with many other people) saw the announcement from the F@h team that they were releasing Work Units to help combat the on-going Coronavirus pandemic. Upon seeing this, I immediately redownloaded the client on my main laptop and started contributing.
Further to this, I’ve also now downloaded and installed the F@h client on machines that don’t have loads of compute power, because every little helps!
I’ve only been able to contribute around 30,000 points worth so far, with a mixed workload of while working (the fans on my main laptop are annoyingly high-pitched – the coil whine is real!) and while idle (the laptop I use doesn’t stick to high power in idle – fans turn off and it goes in to passive cooling mode and gets very very hot).
I’ve also just set up a budget Windows tablet (review coming soon on willstocks.co.uk) to start 24/7 folding as well. I don’t anticipate this particular device will do much difference at all, simply due to the fact that it’s fairly old tech now, but again – hopefully, every little helps.
So, if you’ve got a computer/server/laptop going spare and you don’t mind paying a little extra on your electricity bill, please do think about getting involved in Folding@home sooner-rather-than-later. See how high up you can get on the donor leaderboard! Or, if you want to, join one of the many teams that are contributing compute time to the F@h project on an on-going basis.
And finally please remember: wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, keep at least 2m (6ft) away from other people, cough & sneeze in to your elbow. Whilst coronavirus may not directly affect you, but there are so many people in the world that could be severely affected. Please be considerate of those around you!