Xbox 360 To Fold@Home Someday?
The Folding@Home team is constantly striving to add support for more devices to join the good fight against diseases ranging from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's. First they added support for alternative OSes, then video cards, and now a second gaming console, the Xbox 360, looks like it has a fair chance at showing its processing muscles off.
The PS3’s in the distributed computing project has Xbox 360 owners curious if and how well their consoles would work on Folding@home. Peter Moore, VP of Microsoft’s entertainment division, recently addressed that issue saying, “We continue to look at this and see whether there’s real value,” adding that Bill Gates “quite frankly has had a conversation about this” and notes that Gates is interested in applying “philanthropic processing power to big problems.”
The article points out that PS3 with its Cell Broadband Engine could very well have a major edge over the 360's CPU in this type of application, perhaps about 20 to 1 until the graphics chips get involved. Once the graphics chips are added to the equation it might be hard to pick a winner, and that figure may not be as important as the actual number of machines actually running the software. After all, Folding@Home wasn't designed to run on just one supercomputer, but rather on thousands upon thousands of 'slower' devices.