PS3 network enters record books

Guinness World Records has recognised folding@home, a project that harnesses the spare processing power of Sony's PlayStation 3 to help understand the cause of diseases, as the world's most powerful distributed computing network. Nearly 700,000 PS3 owners have signed up to examine how the shape of proteins affects diseases such as Alzheimer's. The network has more than one petaflop of computing power - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. "To have folding@home recognized by Guinness World Records as the most powerful distributed computing network ever is a reflection of the extraordinary worldwide participation by gamers and consumers around the world and for that we are very grateful," said Professor Vijay Pande of Stanford University and a leader of the FAH project.

News source: BBC News
Link: Neowin Team #1 | Neowin Team #2 | Neowin Team #3

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft Releases Vista SP1 RC Preview on MSDN

Next Story

Outpost Firewall PRO 2008 (6.0.2168.211.415.268)

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I find it funny how many scientific data processing and computer architecture experts there are on the Neowin gaming forums. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that reading a box's specs on IGN and taking Microsoft Office classes at community college qualifies one to make assertions on the superiority/inferiority of a machine's speed or architecture.
Some have made remarks about the machines in the network not being used. I'm sure everyone plays their Wiis and XBoxes 24-hours a day, so there's no time left for Folding@Home. It would appear to me that those running Folding@Home are donating their processing power and a small piece of their electric bill to a reasonable cause, so these snide remarks are classless and petty.
As for this being a marketing ploy (Since Sony's working hard to sell $500 machines to people that are just dying for a piece of the action with Folding@Home, huh?), I think you guys should put your aluminum foil hats back on, or the government (and Sony, too!) might read your thoughts.

So you think Sony do this purely out of the goodness of there heart and marketing has nothing to do with it? Whatever you think it still doesn't change the fact that as far as gaming is concerned the PS3 is slower than the 360 and Cell isn't as amazing Sony made it out to be. I don't own, or plan on getting a PS3 and even i'm disappointed by Cell, i had high hopes for the chip when news of it started appearing on the net about how good it was going to be.

SIE said,
So you think Sony do this purely out of the goodness of there heart and marketing has nothing to do with it? Whatever you think it still doesn't change the fact that as far as gaming is concerned the PS3 is slower than the 360 and Cell isn't as amazing Sony made it out to be. I don't own, or plan on getting a PS3 and even i'm disappointed by Cell, i had high hopes for the chip when news of it started appearing on the net about how good it was going to be.

how is it marketing, hey buy a PS3 so you can solve the worlds medical problems, yeah that makes me want to buy one NOT!!.

there reast of your comments have nothign to do with the articel, and really who actually cares how much power it has if it plays all the games you want to play without issue??? i don't get it, MY thi s is more powerful than yours, even thought the games are pretty much the same. get a life, get the console that you like and has te games you want to play and forget about specs and have FUN

whocares78 said,
how is it marketing, hey buy a PS3 so you can solve the worlds medical problems, yeah that makes me want to buy one NOT!!.

there reast of your comments have nothign to do with the articel, and really who actually cares how much power it has if it plays all the games you want to play without issue??? i don't get it, MY thi s is more powerful than yours, even thought the games are pretty much the same. get a life, get the console that you like and has te games you want to play and forget about specs and have FUN

My comments were replies to comments before them, as for the marketing comment, your saying this has nothing to do with marketing? Ofcourse it does, the sole purpose of adding folding@home to the PS3 is to try and make the console appear more powerful than it actually is, they can't do that with games so they had to find other ways of doing it, and this was it.

I don't care which console is more powerful, but what does annoy me is massive billboards everywhere I look advertising complete bull**** about the PS3, I prefer facts instead, and the fact is the xbox 360 is more powerful than the PS3.

If Sony had opted to drop the bluray and put in a more powerful GPU instead of one about as powerful as a nvidia 6800 then they would have been on to a winner, but instead they were greedy and went with bluray because they thought it was a better long term investment.

Seriously, if I had the option to have a bluray player or a GPU with twice the power in a GAMES CONSOLE, I know what my choice would have been

now we know the real purpose of the ps3...

wasnt for games and movies.... governments are using it to crack the secrets of life behind our backs.

This doesn't make sense, there are 100's of 1000's of PC's that have been connected to the Folding network for nearly 10 years now and SONY want to take all the credit for 6 months worth of work !

solardog said,
Typical Sony "BS/propaganda/marketing" technique. Its what they do. Why is this a surprise?

the cell proccessors in these 700,000 PS3's can compute way more data than all the computers in the past 10 years

PermaSt0ne said,

the cell proccessors in these 700,000 PS3's can compute way more data than all the computers in the past 10 years

I understand that and its excellent and awesome and it underlines the fact that they aren't being used for gaming. Xbox 360 would have even bigger and way more impressive stats in this area if they weren't being used as the gaming consoles that they are.

By the way, I don't own either of these consoles at the moment so I have no dog in this fight.

PermaSt0ne said,

the cell proccessors in these 700,000 PS3's can compute way more data than all the computers in the past 10 years

Said who? My Q6600 is about 30% slower than a PS3 at folding@home, considering the PS3 version is allot more optimized, i'd have to say a quad core core 2 at 3+Ghz is quicker than cell in the PS3, add to that new ATI and nvidia cards all the PS3's to date wouldn't come close to the proccessing power of the all PC's made over the last 12 months.

Just for comparison, the cell has 2x the floating point performance of the xenos in the xbox 360, BUT, the xenos has 3x the performance of the cell's general purpose processing performance which gives it allot more performance for games, not to mention the xbox having a more powerful GPU aswell as 5 times the memory bandwidth of the PS3. So I think it's fair to say the folding performance of the PS3 is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Damn, just imagine the power we could save buy TURNING OFF those PS3's....

And everyone complaints about global warming and oil prices

Raa said,
Damn, just imagine the power we could save buy TURNING OFF those PS3's....

And everyone complaints about global warming and oil prices :rolleyes:

Hehe :)

Sometimes with all these things, I think you can never win huh?

So what this record really proves is that there are no good games for PS3 so they all have lots of idle time?

Ogmius said,
So what this record really proves is that there are no good games for PS3 so they all have lots of idle time?

no, it means the "network" of PS3s is the most powerful network whether or not 100% or 0% of the PS3s are being used at any given time

dev said,

no, it means the "network" of PS3s is the most powerful network whether or not 100% or 0% of the PS3s are being used at any given time

but if 0% of PS3's are being used... then there is no network of ps3's.... .... .....

... ... ... and if people hand good titles to play.... there would be no CPU left for data folding... .. ..

dev said,

no, it means the "network" of PS3s is the most powerful network whether or not 100% or 0% of the PS3s are being used at any given time

Like I've said before, the only way they could get that much power out of a PS3 is if all those PS3's connected aren't being used to play games or watch movies AT ALL. You know, what it was made for. Throw a game in and there goes that PS3's CPU usage in the folding project. Don't say it's putting out the same amount of CPU power even when it's playing a game because that's not true at all. That's just a flat out lie.

If any of you plan on replying to call me a fanboy, I don't even own any of the current gen consoles so I don't prefer one over the other. But I will call BS on anything I see that is just flat out lies.

Cryingcure said,

Like I've said before, the only way they could get that much power out of a PS3 is if all those PS3's connected aren't being used to play games or watch movies AT ALL. You know, what it was made for. Throw a game in and there goes that PS3's CPU usage in the folding project. Don't say it's putting out the same amount of CPU power even when it's playing a game because that's not true at all. That's just a flat out lie.

If any of you plan on replying to call me a fanboy, I don't even own any of the current gen consoles so I don't prefer one over the other. But I will call BS on anything I see that is just flat out lies.

When you're folding you can't do anything else on the PS3 (unless there's a hidden option that I haven't discovered)

So essentially all of the PS3's that are folding can ONLY be folding.

Other than an hour of playing Motorstorm my PS3 has done nothing but fold since I bought it.
Quite a nice folding machine it is as well.

Now on the other hand I might play something if I can find a decent game. Motorstorm is fun though, but the lack of force feedback just ****es me off.

Does anyone know if Folding@home has been responsible for any recent medical breakthroughs? Or is it too early to tell?

Kushan said,
Does anyone know if Folding@home has been responsible for any recent medical breakthroughs? Or is it too early to tell?

No shared research program has EVER shown palpable results.. it's all a PR con job, and Guiness are only after the notoriety for including it.. they realise that they are completely irrelevent now and that no one cares about their half chewed "records". It's pointless.. just forget it and move on.

The Walker said,
No shared research program has EVER shown palpable results.. it's all a PR con job...

Man I sure hope you've got a SOURCE to back that one up!

Raa said,

Man I sure hope you've got a SOURCE to back that one up!

You don't have to prove that there is a lack of proof for what F@H is doing. The theory that it's a con job has more credibility than claiming that it's curing anything.