Just Friday we were gushing that the [email protected] project, with the help of a few Spartanesque PS3s, had topped 500 teraflops. Apparently, that was too good to be true. Just now, as approximately 30k PS3s were about to push Folding over a PFLOP (1000 TFLOPS), Folding staff at Stanford seem to have reestimated the PS3's power of calculation to be about 50% less than previously thought. No matter. We're not that far off from PFLOPing, according to the FAQ, if you all get off your asses and buy PS3s for Folding.
Basically, If we can get another 20k of the 2 million PS3's out there now to start folding, the Stanford distributed computing project can still be the first to hit the Petaflop level. That's more crunch than the fastest super computer we know of, the MDGRAPE-3 in Japan. For now, Folding is merely the most powerful distributed computing system in the world...never mind the only system capable of playing HD games and movies.
While we wait for the PS3 to make history, Stanford's put an FAQ up that answers some of the mysteries we'd be wondering about.
*The Cell processor's strength is in crunching small sets of data -- the PS3's 512MB of RAM limits
*The PS3 uses 200w per hour while folding.
*The PS3's GPU is being used by the Folding client.
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