Less than a week after Sony shipped firmware letting PS3 owners contribute computing power to Stanford’s Folding@home project, the consoles have already eclipsed the horsepower from home PCs.
The project lets computer and console owners share unused computing cycles with researchers trying to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Sony upgraded the software last week so PS3 owners can sign up from the console’s menu bar. When the consoles are idle, the research project taps into their processing power.
As of today, more than 31,000 have signed up, delivering more than 493 trillion floating point operations per second, according to a Sony press release. It also noted that’s “over 300 trillion more per second than the active Personal Computer participants, which total over 162,000 users.”
It’s a great project and it’s neat that Sony’s helping out.
You could read the release in several ways.
The PS3 is powerful, but what does all this spare computing power say about the new console? Are the machines idle a lot because their owners are still waiting for more games?