Why Microsoft Hasn't Released Folding @ Home on the Xbox 360

Earlier this year, Sony and Stanford University teamed up to release a [email protected] client for the PS3. Part marketing, part philanthropy, they've managed to increase the overall processing power of the [email protected] project by three-fold. Xbox 360 fanboys have been clamoring for a [email protected] client for the Xbox 360, wanting to put it up against the PS3 in a fight to the death.

In a recent interview with Dean Takahashi, Peter Moore stated that Microsoft has been exploring the idea, with encouragement from Bill Gates. Presumably Gates, being the philanthropist he is, would love the opportunity to leverage the worldwide base of 10M+ Xbox 360s and help solve some problem of a global scale. So why hasn't Microsoft rushed to bring a 360 client to the marketplace? Two words: fatal flaw.

The design and construction of the Xbox 360 CPU, GPU, and motherboard cause the board to warp under normal operation conditions. When the board warps, the critical solder joints between the CPU/GPU and the motherboard may fail, resulting in the infamous red ring of death.

If Microsoft releases a [email protected] client for the 360, they could be facing a financial and public relations nightmare. The [email protected] client uses 100% of the CPU power, and if possible, 100% of the GPU power of the device while running. This generates tremendous amounts of heat, which places components under high stresses. It's a worst case scenario for hardware designers.

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drtysouf214481d ago (Edited 4481d ago )

And you know why i say that! You owe me!

Edit: Nevermind you changed it. LOL.

Satanas4481d ago

At least that makes sense.

"When the board warps, the critical solder joints between the CPU/GPU and the motherboard may fail, resulting in the infamous red ring of death."

I remember reading about the connection of these somewhere, but I didn't know it was caused by maximum stress on the components.

techie4481d ago

fixed for elite...and I'm guessing future models

Satanas4481d ago (Edited 4481d ago )

Was it fixed for the Elite? I remember reading it was susceptible to the same problem? I could be wrong.

I don't know how the connections work anyway.

However if it was fixed, then perhaps that model could run it.

Oh, alright. So far I don't recall reports of any failed Elites anyway so it is probable.

techie4481d ago

No. It includes the "red rings"...which is a stupid thing to say, as that just means it has the lights on the front...but I believe they have tried to tackle the problem, whether they did so very well is another debate

BitbyDeath4480d ago (Edited 4480d ago )

The Elite hasn't fixed it, the problem still exists in all consoles, hopefully when the 65nm is released it will correct it as it will be producing less heat

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techie4481d ago (Edited 4481d ago )


God of Gaming4481d ago

Oh crap, so my 360 is built for playing games? Darn my luck.

techie4481d ago

Hey GOG, just an article...and maybe in the future it can do it. I used to love GOGS when I was a kid.

frostbite064481d ago

LOL Apparently the 360 wasnt built for playing games with that many disagrees.

BitbyDeath4480d ago

yes but only in small doses.

StateofMind4481d ago

Sort of what I said in that other post. There's no way in hell I'd want to leave a 360 on overnight running [email protected] like I do with my PS3. It wouldn't last a week.

techie4481d ago

You know it prob would last...but the doubt would be in your mind, I think that's all that matters. Shame to doubt it.

TheMART4481d ago (Edited 4481d ago )


You shouldn't be running any electronic device when you're sleeping. That's insane.

Highest burnable equipment is known the washing machine and wash dryer, but also TV's on standby etc. are known to burn through and put the house on fire while you're asleep.

Are Sony fans that dumb to raise the possibility to be burned by fire while they're sleeping?

It's very nice that the PS3 helps folding. But before that, did you all let your PC's running for folding? I bet almost no one used it.

So I am just curious, why suddenly it is important to run it on your gaming device? Besides the fact that the PS3 does a very nice job on it? I mean, Sony only integrated it to get some positive attention because they knew there is so much negative buzz around the PS3 and too little content.

Actually I am glad my 360 is the optimal gaming machine. Please keep folding from it. If I would like to participate, I can run my multicore PC or that.

@ Deep (below)

No indeed, it was no one calling you up etc.

BUT: the article you are linking to is saying the Epoxy is to cool the CPU/GPU down. Which is wrong. If we follow the link to, we can read this:

"One a side note, we all had a good belly laugh here at the shop when we saw Microsoft's most creative measures to minimize the dreaded Xbox 360 3 flashing red lights "ring of death" error caused by poor BGA connections of the CPU and GPU. It seems that that the good ol' a dab will do ya methodology applies here. Take a look at the epoxy surrounding the CPU and GPU which is intended to prevent the BGA connection from popping as the board warps. This has to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Will it do the job, we have our doubts, but it will remain to be seen. It certainly seems like taking the easy way out instead of fixing the real problem."

THUS: the epoxy is to prevent possible bad solding of the connections that could pop out of their socket. That's not directly for heat reduction.

CONCLUSION: the original 360 core/premium will be doing just fine with folding as the Elite. This article is BOGUS because the person that wrote it took the wrong conclusion. If a connection pops, that's a bad solding, not nescessarily a heatproblem. Although a very heat board could let the connections pop, I would say overall that would be a very VERY small percentage.

Thus again, a Sony droid article from a person that takes random assumptions. Sounds like a sort of DJ kind of assumption. Ah wait, the name DJ is no more... What's his freakin' name again?

@ Satanas (below)

Fine if you want to take the risc. And ofcourse, most of the time it will run just fine. But tell that to people who's house has been burned down and killed their childeren, partner or to the relatives that lost all because of a TV on standby, a PC that ran, washing @ night (because electricity is cheaper).

It's just plain dumb to let equipment running while you're asleep, period.

@ BBsin (below)

Wrong dude. The negative buzz is all around. It's mainly from large reviewers, everyone has acknowledged that the 360 is doing better in multiplatform games, has the best AAA next gen title in Gears of War, thus paying 33% for a PS3 isn't justified. For sure not at this moment and the future promisses are unknown.

Sure, the PS3 isn't getting positive buzz from me either. Because I really think it's a cheap bluray player, but not the best choice for games. Home is the promise, but the promise was also to have a XBL killer @ PS3 launch. It wasn't there. Many real PS exclusives that went to the 360, only new IP's (no former XBOX exclusives) that are said by Sony droids came over to PS where in reality only released timed exclusive on the 360 because the PS3 wasn't out/delayed.

Some things get pretty clear the PS3 can't catch up. Not in sales, not in games. And every time it can't the developer is called lazy by Sony fanboys. It's just too freakin' funny.

And now these kind of articles, where wrong assumptions are taken. All new Sony marketing. If we can't create positive buzz around our own product, we'll get fake assumptions out there to try to weaken our competitors

@ Piraat (below)

Dude, proof me wrong on the thing I am saying you shouldn't leave electronic equipment on power @ night, by having a report that says that it isn't the reason of many if not most fires @ night that burns down houses and kill people. Because it really is. You are the one sounding plain dumb by saying something like that shouldn't be said.

Satanas4481d ago (Edited 4481d ago )

"You shouldn't be running any electronic device when you're sleeping. That's insane."

My PC hasn't been turned off for months. And I didn't know what folding was until I heard about it on PS3. Not to mention it's much, much more effective on the console than my computer.

If you don't want to run it, it's fine.

Mart, what you're saying about the electrical danger is true, but I'm fairly competent in ensuring that there is no problem with my setup and that my computer will run fine under constant 'ON' time. It is built to be able to stay on for extended periods of time.

For the record I don't leave my PS3 on at night folding, I usually leave it doing so when I go out somewhere and I'm not using it (during the day). I'm not worried that anything will happen. The program went through extensive testing before being released, with some PS3s on for weeks.

techie4481d ago (Edited 4480d ago )

"You know it prob would last..." Said it right there Mart.

ps. Stop thanking me for the article! lol thank drtysouf21 who found it.

I myself find the articles tone quite lopsided, but his point is based on the past failure rate and rumours of why the 360 is failing...apparently due to warping of the boards. It is then presumed that folding would cause this warping to happen if the 360 was left on for a long time. In other words...without more proof of overheating causing warped boards, and that folding would cause this...the article is bogus. But it is an exploration of the problem which can be tackled in the comment area.

BBsin4481d ago

TheMart: the negative buzz on the PS3 is mainly from fanboys and Sony haters like you. Some people don't have much of a life (fanboys) and get all religious with their opinions about a console or company. There wouldn't be all this negative buzz if people would just either buy the product they liked or not buy the product they didn't and just left it at that, but fanboys are inclined to run their mouths and belittle another person just b/c that person decides to spend their hard earned cash on what they want to (which happens to be the very prooduct that the fanboy "hates" so much). Either way there would always be negative buzz from Sony, no matter what they do. They can release a powerful more expensive console and be hated, they can release a cheap low end console and be hated, they are hated when there are many PS3 on shelves, they are hated there are no PS3s on shelves, they are hated for having a free online service, they are hated when they discluded rumble, they are hated when they revealed rumble, they are hated for releasing a cheaper option for a console, they are hated for having a console thats too expensive, they are hated for showing a concept of a new controller style, they are hated for reusing a controller that no one complained about for the past generations, they are hated for not releasing any AAA titles in their first months and now they are hated for having a folding client on their console..... It seems sony can NEVER do anything right, but to me it sounds like all this negative buzz from fanboys is mainly jealousy.

San anto4481d ago

runnin [email protected] on 360 is like puttin a 2 ton weight on a horse n tellin it to walk, just incapable. ID probly say in contrast [email protected] on ps3 is like puttin a 2 ton weight on a african elephant then tellin it to walk.

hfaze4481d ago (Edited 4480d ago )

"You shouldn't be running any electronic device when you're sleeping. That's insane.

Really? So should I unplug my alarm clock, air conditioner, TV, Cable box, etc. when I go to bed? =P

I've been running my PC 24/7 for YEARS, and I haven't burned down one place I lived in yet... What you're saying may have been true for 70's and 80's electronics, or REALLY poorly made electronics, but anything fairly recent and of good quality is of no concern.

Anything that's been UL (Underwriter's Laboratories) certified (and in good working order) will not spontaneously burst into flames...

Keep putting that spin on it Mart... At least your propaganda is amusing... ;-)

BBsin4480d ago (Edited 4480d ago )

Mart: That's fine with the PS3fanboy bashing, i dislike PS3fanboys as much as you, as a matter of fact i think ALL fanboys needs to get a life for change. But think about what you're saying man, you talk about all these "promises" that sony has made in the past or recently and you're already bashing them for not delivering them.... the stupid part in all of this is that Fanboys like you feel that sony has to bring everything out the moment the PS3 gets released. Look at your statements, you already think the PS3 will never catch up and it's only been out for how long???? what was the xbox360 doing around this timeframe last year??? did the 360 have that blockbuster title yet??? was it a cheap system?? No and No. Yet the same thing is going on for the PS3 and you are ALREADY nailing in the coffin for the PS3. It's like you dont want Sony to succeed b/c you know if they do succeed, you will have a VERY VERY hard time swallowing the stuff you've said. So what you do in your free time is try to take the negative buzz and make it worst than it sounds then you take any GOOD news from sony and downplay it as much as possible. Think about it Mart: you are no better than the PS3 fanboys. and the reason why you hate sony so much is b/c of fear, why else would you be willing to say that the PS3 is done without even being out in the market for more than ONE YEAR??. It is VERY EASY to PREDICT the outcome of a system 5-6 months after it gets launched, and alot of people are falling for the negative buzz. This has happened for the PS1 and the PS2 b/c both systems had weak starts. There's no question that the Xbox360 is the best nextgen console right now, but each of the systems are not even 2 years old yet. Look at the history for how much a console usually sells ina life cycle, a 10 million difference can change within a year. I just want to see your response IF/when the PS3 happens to a have a great year and actaully surpass the 360 in sales, whether it's 2 years or 5 years down the road. I certainly hope you don't switch sides or hide like most other fanboys, and instead just gracefully eat your words when or if that happens. And don't get me wrong theMart, unlike some people in this forum i don't "hate" you or take your opinions personally. I just think it's ridiculous that you are so quick to judge Sony and annoucne their failure, while puting yourself over PS3 fanboys even though you (a xboxfanboy) say and act the same.

and BTW: i have not heard any big name reviewers or magazine announce the doom of the PS3. If anything they all say the same. "IT'S TOO EARLY TO SAY WHO THE WINNER IS" heard that one b4??? the only ones saying that the PS3 is going to fail is A. finance "analyst" B. fanboys.
you clearly said that the future is unproven .... now how stupid does that sound when you say the PS3 will clearly never catch up in games and sales???

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