Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

GEC: Discuss gaming, computers and electronics and venture into the bizarre world of STGODs.

Moderator: Thanas

Post Reply
User avatar
SolarpunkFan
Jedi Knight
Posts: 550
Joined: 2016-02-28 08:15am

Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2020-03-23 04:00pm

Via TomsHardware
Propelled by average enthusiasts in their shared quest to defeat COVID-19, the Folding@Home network is now pushing out 470 PetaFLOPS of raw compute power. To put that in perspective, that's twice as fast as Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer, making the network faster than any known supercomputer. It's also faster than the top seven supercomputers in the world, combined.

It's impressive that the Folding@Home network is now more than twice as powerful as Summit's 149 PetaFLOPS of sustained output: ORNL announced two weeks ago that Summit had also joined the coronavirus fight and has already found 77 different small-molecule drug compounds that might be useful to fight the virus. Summit employs 220,800 CPU cores, 188,416,000 CUDA cores, 9.2PB of memory, and 250PB of mixed NVRAM/storage for the task.

But Summit is far faster than the other supercomputers further down the Top500 list. That means the Folding@Home network is also now faster than the world's top seven supercomputers, combined. That's equivalent to the horsepower of 27,433,824 CPU/GPU cores that are being used in the most powerful systems in the world. These leading supercomputers are typically only used by nation-states for decidedly more nefarious purposes, such as nuclear research, so seeing this type of compute power unleashed for the common goal of defeating the coronavirus is certainly encouraging.

As promised, here is our first glimpse of the #COVID19 spike protein (aka the demogorgon) in action, courtesy of @foldingathome . More to come! pic.twitter.com/iD2crCMHcXMarch 16, 2020

Here is a view of the enemy, stunning in its complexity, and deadly in its intentions. This virus may be sweeping the globe, pushing large portions of the world into isolation at both the national and personal level, but the global community is coming together through the Folding@Home network to fight back by furthering research into possible cures or vaccines. This consists of using your computer to complete small chunks of much larger problems, thus giving researchers access to an unprecedented amount of compute horsepower.

Distributed computing has always been a great hobby because of the detailed stats compilation and the dizzying number of teams involved, but Folding@Home's addition of coronavirus research to its normal pursuits, like cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's research, has led to an overwhelming amount of new users. Folding@Home reports that it has seen a 1,200% increase in contributors, with Bitcoin miners also joining the fight, and over 400,000 new volunteers have joined over the last two weeks.

Unfortunately, that massive surge in demand has led to a shortage of work units (the small chunks of larger workloads sent to each user), but Folding@Home has expanded its capacity to serve units to speed production. Work units are still being issued and many more are in the pipeline.

You can help, too, by simply installing the Folding@Home application and turning over some of your spare CPU or GPU horsepower to help defeat the virus. It only takes a few minutes to set up the program, and then it's effortless as the program runs in the background.

We're contributing, too. Tom's Hardware and our arch-enemy/sister-site AnandTech are currently embroiled in a month-long contest for folding supremacy, which you can join by following the simple steps outlined here.

Since @PaulyAlcorn asked, contributing an 8x Tesla P100 system (more here https://t.co/hbiXRj5CQ3 @NVIDIADC ) to @foldingathome #COVID19 efforts. Also a fun note, I saw that I am still a top 6000 contributor after having been a top 20 years ago in the quad @AMD Opteron G34 era pic.twitter.com/OrFzAwzYbeMarch 21, 2020

ServeTheHome recent joined the Tom's Hardware team with an impressively-fast Gigabyte G481-S80 server armed with a whopping eight Nvidia Tesla P100-SXM2's running for the cause.

But you don't need that type of horsepower to make a meaningful contribution – every single bit helps. It's entirely possible that some old-school Pentium somewhere will calculate the bits that serve as the final piece to solving this deadly puzzle. We're issuing a call to arms to our readers: Any additional help to battle the coronavirus, not to mention AnandTech, would be appreciated. You can join the team here.
Nice to see there's still some good in humanity.
People are a lot like cows.

This user is more interested in the sky than your voice.

My spirit animal is Ralph Wiggum.

User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3864
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Jub » 2020-03-23 04:56pm

I wish I could hook my PS4 into it as well as my gaming rig, but alas my PC shall have to do for now.

User avatar
Galvatron
Decepticon Leader
Posts: 6327
Joined: 2002-07-12 12:27am
Location: Kill! Smash! Destroy! Rend! Mangle! Distort!

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Galvatron » 2020-03-28 04:19pm

Imagine if they made the app for all of the current-generation gaming consoles.

User avatar
Zwinmar
Jedi Knight
Posts: 971
Joined: 2005-03-24 11:55am
Location: McPherson, Kansas

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Zwinmar » 2020-03-29 03:40pm

They are running out of work units as it is.

User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3864
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Jub » 2020-03-29 04:03pm

Yeah, their ability to assign new tasks to each user wasn't designed for the support they're currently getting.

User avatar
Soontir C'boath
SG-14: Fuck the Medic!
Posts: 6525
Joined: 2002-07-06 12:15am
Location: Queens, NYC I DON'T FUCKING CARE IF MANHATTEN IS CONSIDERED NYC!! I'M IN IT ASSHOLE!!!
Contact:

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2020-04-17 03:36pm

A few years ago, I used to run Boinc to do these kind of things. Good to see a team putting this up. I leave my computer on at night anyway.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

User avatar
Ace Pace
Hardware Lover
Posts: 8403
Joined: 2002-07-07 03:04am
Location: Wasting time instead of money
Contact:

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by Ace Pace » 2020-04-18 05:33am

Hi, random HPC person jumping in.

It's important that while the compute power available to Folding@Home and other projects is impressive, the raw numbers aren't all that matters. In many cases, you'd still prefer an HPC over such a distributed computer for two technical reasons.

1 - It's far harder to split up work units for tiny home PCs. Dividing a working unit to say, 2-8GB so it can run on your home PC takes a lot of work. It also requires building a mechanism for running repeat simulations, dealing with mistakes, frauds and abuse.

2 - You have no reliable indicator of how long the process will take. If Covid-19 happens, suddenly you have more compute power, but it can also go away inside a week.

This is still awesome and I used to participate, when I didn't have to pay for power bills.
Brotherhood of the Bear | HAB | Mess | SDnet archivist |

User avatar
The Infidel
Jedi Knight
Posts: 789
Joined: 2009-05-07 01:32pm
Location: Norway

Re: Folding@Home Now More Powerful Than Top 7 Supercomputers, Combined

Post by The Infidel » 2020-05-20 06:19am

About a month ago, it was 2.43 x86 exaflops, making folding@home the world's first exacomputer, according to Wikipedia. I wonder what it is now...
Image
Image
Where am I at in the post apocalypse draft? When do I start getting picks? Because I want this guy. This guy right here. I will regret not being able to claim the quote, "The first I noticed while burning weed, so I burned it, aiming at its head first. It wriggled for about 10 seconds. Too long... I then fetched an old machete [+LITERALLY ANYTHING]"
- Raw Shark on my slug hunting

Post Reply