While some ATI graphics cards are already
doing double duty crunching data for the Folding@home
project, they could soon have some competition for the gigaflop crown, with Custom PC
reporting that the mighty G80 GPU at the core of NVIDIA"s new top-end GeForce 8800
graphics card is also capable of folding. In fact, according to Folding@home's Vijay Pande, the project's GPU code was originally developed for NVIDIA GPUs, but the they shifted their focus to ATI when its cards proved more powerful than NVIDIA's. While there doesn't appear to be any major changes required to get the code running on NVIDIA hardware, Pande says it will need to be tweaked in order to get the best performance possible -- meaning you'll have to put all those gigaflops to other, less productive uses for the time being. It's also not clear exactly how much of a performance gain the NVIDIA GPU will net, although if its gaming performance is any indication, it looks like it could potentially rack up points like nobody's bizness. While the NVIDIA-ready client may not be available yet, that shouldn't stop you from getting a head start (on the Engadget team, if you chose), even if it's a bit of a slow one.