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Stanford University tailors Folding@home to GPUs

Darren Murph
09.29.06
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Apparently the insane amount of gigaflops that your modern-day graphics card can churn out is nothing short of a phenomenon, as Folding@home's forefather Vijay Pande has tailored a new piece of software to harness to raw processing power of GPUs. Pande claimed that even the latest dual-core CPUs can't hold a candle to the floating point performance of ATi's X1900 / X1950 graphics cards. He estimated a Core 2 Duo chip could push about 25 gigaflops of folding power, while a high-end off-the-shelf ATi card could unleash a whopping 375 GFLOPS, which is about "20 to 40 times more speed" than the project has seen thus far. The team has also optimized the algorithms in the GPU-centric software, which is expected to add "10 to 15 times" more speed on top of the GPU's already impressive performance figures. Currently, the beta version is limited to the X1900 lineup, but plans are to include the X1800 variety in the near future, and Pande even mentioned that a PlayStation 3-friendly version was in the works. So if you aren't too busy tweaking your GPU-based supercomputer (or stressing over your energy bill), why not put those excessive GFLOPS to good use through Engadget's own Folding@home team, yeah?

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