Guy Builds Folding Farm With 51 NVIDIA Video Cards

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 13, 2008
Updated • Dec 26, 2012

Folding@Home is a distributed computing project to better understand disease development and currently under supervision of Professor Vijay Pande at Stanford University's chemistry department. Everyone can join by donating free computer cycles to the project. To make it more competitive users can form groups that race, just like in an online game, for the top spot and the fame associated with it. To get to the top, it is important to either have a large group of users who donated their spare cpu cycles to the project, or very powerful machines instead.

One guy seems to have decided that his team, which currently ranks 16th, could need a boost and build a server farm that combines 51 8800 series NVIDIA video cards and 13 MSI P6N Diamond motherboards which can hold four PCI video cards each to boost the teams processing power significantly.

What do you think? Is that an overkill?

Update: The user has upgraded the system in the meantime and plans to combine 30 Nvidia GeForce 9800Gx2 graphics cards in the a server rack to the Folding At Home project. The photos and videos made in the original forum thread over at the Overclock forum are unfortunately all gone so that we only have the photos here in the article and the textual information provided by the user on the forum.

You can check out the current team standings over at Folding@Home. The folding team is currently placed in third position in the standings. You can also check the individual standings if you are interested in a particular user for instance, or download the Folding @ Home client to start donating cpu cycles to the project as well.

While I would not go overboard with that like this user did, I can understand that it may sometimes be a matter of the hard if a loved one or close friend died because of cancer or is fighting against cancer.


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  1. fpsasm said on December 4, 2009 at 12:38 am

    GPU farm.. with windows.. windows is ur bottleknekc :P

  2. Brian said on April 14, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Well, in the meantime, let’s just go back to when medicine was practiced with dirty hands and Joseph Lister was mocked…or polio before the Sabin and Salk vaccines…

    Just maybe, F@H won’t amount to much, but better we burn a little power on Folding At Home, compared to how much absolute TRASH is hosted out there on the Internet!

  3. dwarf_toss said on August 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Only because he did it to get better than 16th place for his “team”.

    I admit, I’m a cynic. I just don’t see this project as being all that justified when you factor in the power consumed and the resources needed to generate said power. Power generation can be a pretty good source of carcinogens, and all that.

    To do any REAL good with this, seems to me you’d have to devote just a wee bit more than your “idle cycles”, a misleading selling point, to be sure. Maybe the fact that it’s on PS3 has me thinking it requires serious horsepower, not certain.

    Has an in-depth study been conducted to determine the real benefit versus possible environmental cost of this project? Not that I’m much of an “environmentalist type”, at all.

  4. Rico said on August 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Definitely overkill even for the average PC enthusiast, but if you read the creator’s reasoning you understand why he did it:

    “I fight cancer on two fronts, my business and folding.

    I own a Home Care Business where I send nurses to homes to care for the elderly AT THEIR homes. One aspect of my business is we take care of Chemo-Therapy patients at home also. We take care of their ailments while on Chemo.

    In Miami, my parents own a Hospice Company, where they send Nurses to take care of patients on their last months of life. Those deemed to have less than 6 months to live.

    This is where I get my passion for Folding from. Seeing/hearing/talking and interacting with people who suffer from all these diseases makes you want to do something about it.”

  5. SlimDan22 said on August 13, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Jeez that is overkill

    I run folding at home on my PS3 from time to time and it takes about 4 hours for one project

    The 8800’s have about 100 stream processors (depending on the model)

    So that should get a lot done haha

  6. Olli said on August 13, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    What do you think? Is that an overkill?

    Are you kidding me? Of course this is absolute overkill for an ordinary home user. It looks like a hobby that got way out of hand, hope it’s all worth it :D

  7. Rarst said on August 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    PC components manufacturers really struggle to make stuff cheap… So if you actually have software to run on it – must deliver nice flops per bucks.

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