Folding@Home puts your home computer processing power to use, helping researchers work towards a cure. Folding@Home has taken off in the last few months with the recent COVID research and people wanting to help out. So much in fact that the project had to secure more servers to handle all the new clients that came online to process jobs. The processing power grew so much that job queues were emptied, which was an unusual problem to have for the project. This ranked Folding@Home computing power at 470 petaFLOPS or faster then the World’s Top 7 Supercomputers combined, during March 2020! More servers have come online, and jobs are queued back up and ready to be processed.
Getting started is easy, head to the Folding@Home Install page and download the installer. Its a quick and straightforward install. Default settings will get you going and help researchers work towards a cure. Advanced settings allow you to change how much of your system resources go to processing and adjust what causes you want to devote your system to. They include Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s, or you can choose to run any job. During setup, you can choose to join a team where the points you earn from completing a task go towards that overall team score. The points are digital bragging right. HobbyTech team number is 265363 if you want to join.
It’s important to note that donating your computer power does increase your electricity use. Your CPU and graphics card (GPU) load will increase and, in turn, use more electricity. Your room temperature the system is located in will also go up, especially true if you have a higher-end CPU and GPU. Depending on the energy cost of your area, you could see about $33 increase a month if you run your system 24/7 or if you only devote 8 hours a day $11 a month. (Again, this all depends on the system hardware you have and the average cost of energy in your region.)
If you believe your system is not powerful enough to help or want to donate directly, you can do so to Washington University. This link points your donation directly to Folding@Home by helping in server system cost, engineers, and lab cost.