We fired up Folding@home on our PS3 today to see just how much damage that Cell processor could do to one of them work units. The app is a separate download from that of today's 1.6 firmware, thought the update did land the Folding@home icon inside the "Network" section of the PS3 XMB menu without us having to do a thing. The 50MB download took a few minutes, but after that we were up, running and crunching a work unit in no time. It was also quite easy to join up with Team Engadget -- which is incidentally ranked #32 right now, go team! All the stats and info menu options launch the PS3 browser, which feels a little inconvenient, but at least doesn't get in the way of the Folding@home app doing its thing. Sony predicted the average work unit would take an our to complete, but ours says it's got a good 6-7 hours to go on its first unit, so we're not sure who's in error here, Sony or the prediction algorithm.

Update: Added some shots of the new onscreen keyboard brought by 1.6, you can peep 'em with the rest of the shots in the gallery.

Update 2: Also for the inclined, this weekend is the unofficial Sunday Night Fold-a-thon, to get PS3 users to flip the switch and start crunching numbers. You get power from renewable energy, right? We hope so, because we've got some disease to bust. That link for SNF and for Team Engadget again. [Thanks, Ostego; via PS3 Fanboy]

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Folding@home PS3 hands-on

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Folding@home PS3 hands-on