Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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Airshifter
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Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:20 pm

Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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TL:DR version

Folding@Home is a distributed computing project that allows normal people to donate some of their computer resources to advance science, including the fight against COVID-19. Most people with reasonably modern computers can contribute as desired, with minimal time and effort. If you have questions, ask. If you are moderately to severely tech challenged, ask more before considering it. :?:



The longer version.....


https://foldingathome.org/ has been around for quite a while. People download and process work units, and essentially create a supercomputer for research use. This supercomputer has been used for years in research on Alzheimer's, cancer. Hep C, ebola, and others. Most recently it is being involved in the COVID-10 research, with many various types of projects involved.

At the current time, this supercomputer is by far the most powerful on earth, with recent peaks exceeding 2.5 ExaFLOPS of power, making it more powerful than the worlds top 500 supercomputers combined. Never at any point in humanity has so much computing power been focused on so few isolated goals. The user base increased so quickly that major infrastructure changes had to be made, but thankfully a lot of hardware and time has been donated to help do so.

Most of the actual research involves the folding of proteins, which are large and complex molecules that have a lot to do with us humans. The computer power is used to simulate folding of the proteins, which in a nutshell is how they form in a repeatable way. On the science side of things, there is much more information out there, and it depends on how deep and "sciency" you want to get. From basics to over the heads of most of us, the information is available.


What does this mean to most of us? It's simple. You can install some basic software, allocate resources from a personal computer based on your desires, and contribute to the science that might solve some of the most horrendous diseases on the earth. You can help a little, or you can help a lot. The ability to process the work units is well within the reaches of the average home computer. If you are a serious gamer, overclocker, etc, type, you probably have systems with a lot more horsepower and can process work units much quicker. Many graphics cards are more powerful for these simulations than CPU's are, and as such there are work units designed for GPU power alone.


From what I know of the history, most of the contributing user base in the past was the gamer, overclocker, computer tweaker type. But now this is changing somewhat, and those less tech savvy are getting in on the game. There is a points system for those that contribute, and you can also form teams. The spectrum of people involved is huge... from those with barely modern enough systems to run the stuff, up to people with specialty setups involving servers, multiple high end GPU's, and running 24/7.

I can't help but think of all the high end hardware the teams have sitting around mostly idle right now. They could form a team with the fans, and help promote the sport while doing it.



I did some folding years ago, then quit doing it as things changed in my life. In hindsight, having lost family members to cancer, I wish I would have kept up with it. It's easy to do, you contribute what you want as you want, and you might be the person to help make a major breakthrough in research.

I've been folding almost 24/7 since the COVID-19 crisis started hitting us all. And I'll be doing it long term this time around.

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bluechris
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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Yeap i am doing it since the outbreak started. Its cool to help somehow if you can with any means we have in our hands.
I plan to continue to do it.

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RZS10
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Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 12:23 am

Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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tried it for a few days, saw how much power the PC was pulling, did the math how much that would be per month and stopped ... friend of mine switched his multi gpu crypto machine to it tho

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bluechris
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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RZS10 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:25 am
tried it for a few days, saw how much power the PC was pulling, did the math how much that would be per month and stopped ... friend of mine switched his multi gpu crypto machine to it tho
You can have it in low and you still can help without much power consumption. Also configure it in slot and delete the CPU since its too low what its giving and leave only the GPU.

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Airshifter
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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bluechris wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:12 pm
Yeap i am doing it since the outbreak started. Its cool to help somehow if you can with any means we have in our hands.
I plan to continue to do it.
It looks like you've been doing this for quite some time. Thanks for your contributions!

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Airshifter
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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RZS10 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:25 am
tried it for a few days, saw how much power the PC was pulling, did the math how much that would be per month and stopped ... friend of mine switched his multi gpu crypto machine to it tho
But any contribution is greater than no contribution. Even if you never turn it on again, what you already did helped.

And beyond what bluechris mentions, you also have the option to do it occasionally, once in a blue moon, etc.

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Andres125sx
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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I´m going to install it and see how it works

I just wish there would be a spanish version of the site so I can send the link to my family. For example my parents are retired pharmacists who would really enjoy it, but they can´t read english

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Andres125sx
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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BTW, there are some positive results thanks to FAH?

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bluechris
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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Andres125sx wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:58 pm
BTW, there are some positive results thanks to FAH?
You can read here in general, and here for Covid-19 in specific

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RZS10
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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bluechris wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:43 am
You can have it in low and you still can help without much power consumption. Also configure it in slot and delete the CPU since its too low what its giving and leave only the GPU.
The main issue is that the folding power setting only affects the CPU ... the GPU will always run at full pelt and leave nothing to other software, a large number of which is running hardware accelerated and thus will run like dogsh__ ...
In order to lower power consumption i tried undervolting (even further) and underclocking but at some point you just lose performance but don't lower power draw by much and the PC will still be laggy.

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Airshifter
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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Andres125sx wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 5:53 pm
I´m going to install it and see how it works

I just wish there would be a spanish version of the site so I can send the link to my family. For example my parents are retired pharmacists who would really enjoy it, but they can´t read english
Awesome. Let us know if you run into any snags, have any questions, etc. Though I've found the software to be really easy, I have a somewhat "geeky" background. Some have had install and setup issues with the newest client, but it seems easy fixes for those that did. Maybe once you get familiar with it you can help your parents get set up.


I'd also like to add that in addition to the links bluechris provided concerning your question, the research done at F@H is all kept open to the public and all other institutions. It isn't locked away to be used by only one entity in any way. They are more concerned with the science and making it available to all that might be able to do something positive with it.

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Airshifter
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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RZS10 wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 7:09 pm
bluechris wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:43 am
You can have it in low and you still can help without much power consumption. Also configure it in slot and delete the CPU since its too low what its giving and leave only the GPU.
The main issue is that the folding power setting only affects the CPU ... the GPU will always run at full pelt and leave nothing to other software, a large number of which is running hardware accelerated and thus will run like dogsh__ ...
In order to lower power consumption i tried undervolting (even further) and underclocking but at some point you just lose performance but don't lower power draw by much and the PC will still be laggy.
For the most part the power used and WU's performed is a matter of the GPU hardware and how efficient it is. But since you are familiar with undervolting and such you are probably already aware of all that.

But also keep in mind that you could easily work out how much power your GPU consumes, and then just contribute as you wish within your budget. If you have a newer high throughput card you might easily be actually more efficient in terms of contribution to science per watt. Some of the newer high end stuff will do 15x as much work as my onboard graphics, and though they do consume a lot of power when used, they can do as many WU's in a day as I can do running for half a month or more. So in the long run, they are more power efficient.

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PlatinumZealot
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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Folding at home... Has it ever lead to any breakthroughs yet? Knew of this thing since i got into building game PCs.. But.. Havent.. Heard of breakthroughs... Hmm
Not driving a Mercedes? Work harder!

3jawchuck
3jawchuck
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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PlatinumZealot wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:26 am
Folding at home... Has it ever lead to any breakthroughs yet? Knew of this thing since i got into building game PCs.. But.. Havent.. Heard of breakthroughs... Hmm
Work done using it has been involved in many papers. Their site has quite a lot of information on this.

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subcritical71
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Re: Is anyone else Folding@Home for COVID-19 or other causes?

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PlatinumZealot wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:26 am
Folding at home... Has it ever lead to any breakthroughs yet? Knew of this thing since i got into building game PCs.. But.. Havent.. Heard of breakthroughs... Hmm
I can only think that the folding would allow the breakthrough, or at least enable researchers to focus on the areas that will lead to a breakthrough vs the areas they would statistically be wasting their time on. I do participate, but only occasionally. I was involved in SETI@home at one point also.