17
Apr
08

Folding@Home GPU Client for ATI Radeon HD 2XXX & HD 3XXX Series


Until now, the only graphics cards supported by the Folding@home GPU Client were ATI’s Radeon 16xx, 18xx and 19xx series cards. However, a new beta version is now available from HERE which will allow owners of HD 2xxx and 3xxx cards to contribute some of their graphics processing power to the project. Even if you do not own a supported graphics card, you can still download the standard CPU client and contribute your idle processing power – all you need is an internet connection.

Folding@Home (also known as FAH or F@H) is a distributed computing (DC) project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics (MD). It was launched on October 1, 2000, and is currently managed by the Pande Group, within Stanford University’s chemistry department, under the supervision of Professor Vijay Pande. Folding@Home is the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world, according to Guinness, and one of the world’s largest distributed computing projects. The goal of the project is “to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases.”

How it works

Folding@Home does not rely on powerful supercomputers for its data processing; instead, the primary contributors to the Folding@Home project are many hundreds of thousands of personal computer users who have installed a small client program. The client will, at the user’s choice, run in the background, utilizing otherwise unused CPU power, or run as a screensaver only while the user is away. In most modern personal computers, the CPU is rarely used to its full capacity at all times; the Folding@Home client takes advantage of this unused processing power.

The Folding@Home client periodically connects to a server to retrieve “work units,” which are packets of data upon which to perform calculations. Each completed work unit is then sent back to the server. As data integrity is a major concern for all distributed computing projects, all work units are validated through the use of a 2048 bit digital signature.

Contributors to Folding@Home may have user names used to keep track of their contributions. Each user may be running the client on one or more CPUs; for example, a user with two computers could run the client on both of them. Users may also contribute under one or more team names; many different users may join together to form a team. Contributors are assigned a score indicating the number and difficulty of completed work units. Rankings and other statistics are posted to the Folding@Home website.

DOWNLOADS

To find out more, why not take a look at techPowerUp!’s Folding@home team which I have joined.

Sources: Wikipedia, TechpowerUp!

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3 Responses to “Folding@Home GPU Client for ATI Radeon HD 2XXX & HD 3XXX Series”


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