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Folding@Home on Xbox – a possibility

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Posted May 11, 2007 by admin in Consoles

Peter Moore, vice-president 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?. “If we believe we can add value to solving a gnarly problem such as the medical problems and the health problems that Folding@home seems to be doing, then we?ll certainly look at that very strongly,? Moore continued. ?But I?m not quite sure yet whether we?re seeing real tangible results from the PlayStation 3 Folding@Home initiative.?

Vijay Pande, creator of the Folding@home project, told Pro-G that ?We are simulating key processes in protein folding and misfolding in Alzheimer’s Disease. PS3’s are performing aspects of these simulations, and doing so about 20 times faster than a typical PC,? Pande said. When asked if the Xbox 360 could be of use to the Folding@home program, he answered, ?Possibly, although the cell processor in the PS3 is much more powerful for our calculations than the CPU in the Xbox 360.?

At risk of advertising the fact that the PS3’s Cell Broadband Engine is faster than the Xbox 360?s Xenon processor, Microsoft of course has their doubts about joining the Folding@Home program.

While the Xbox 360 CPU may not be tops in terms of Folding@home, its ATI-developed Xenos GPU could possibly eclipse PS3?s CPU. ATI Radeon GPUs currently running Folding@home are outperforming the PlayStation 3 on a per capita basis. Though whether or not the Xbox 360 will ever get its crack at helping to cure a disease remains to be seen.

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