PS3's Folding at Home: Is the Cell Proc 30 Times More Powerful at Folding than a PC?

Illustration for article titled PS3's Folding at Home: Is the Cell Proc 30 Times More Powerful at Folding than a PC?

Yes, and the PS3 is going to make a big impact. According to that chart, from the Folding at Home by OS stats:

1 Gigaflop per PC

3 Gigaflops per Intel Mac

30 Gigaflops of Folding Power per PS3

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On average, of course. A researcher I spoke to said that the basis for the 30x folding power, a very math intense process, is a $1000 PC you'd buy today. Impressive. Since the Tflop rating is the capable power, measured by units per time, the 826 PS3s doing Folding in beta are already doing 1/6 the processing of all the active Folding PCs out there, over 155k of them. Good job Sony!

Just imagine what'll happen to the folding project once the app goes public, and 2 million PS3 users get involved. Do it!

Mock Prediction: Ps3 will cure Alzheimer's faster than you can get all the special weapons in Final Fantasy XII. - B.L.



PS3 Folding at Home [Gizmodo]

DISCUSSION

I think the trouble with the xbox360 *might* be that the system is more locked down than the PS3 in terms of running things that aren't games.

Anybody know for sure on this? Isn't home-brew code very easy to get working on a PS3 and near impossible on the 360? And ought this apply to running folding on a 360?

Also, given that the 360 has 3 PPC cores while the PS3 has 1PPC core plus 7 working SPE's, I think the PS3 is supposed to be better at maths and physics and such. The SPE's are very mathy-specific cores...while the PPC cores are very general, so much of the silicon is wasted/unuses/used inefficiently if you're only doing mathy stuff. In terms of gaming, though, which involves more than just math, Microsoft could be correct that their processor has similar capabilities to the Cell. Anybody with more knowledge than me on this topic want to weigh in?