IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

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IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

Postby bdwilson » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:25 pm

I've learned the PS3 is already crunching many more numbers than a typical quad core, so the 900-1k ppd is not really an accurate representation of what is being accomplished, however this doesn't matter to me because all I care about is helping with the science. I've been reading on several forums that even with the most recent folding client, the PS3 processor is really not being utilized to it's maximum potential.

One commenter said this:

"I have to remind you that the client is not THAT optimized. The theoretical performance for EACH SPE in the Cell processor is 25GFLOPS on single precision numbers."

What does that mean? I'm thinking of buying 3 more PS3s with broken blu ray drives to use exclusively for folding. If I knew that a more optimized F@H client for PS3 was on the way (something that unlocked the full "beast" power of the processor), it would make my decision easier. :)
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Re: IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

Postby Zagen30 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:12 pm

The PS3 client hasn't been updated in years now, and I don't think it will get another update. Sony played a fairly large role in coding the client, and apparently they have expressed no desire to work on it more.

What exactly do you mean by "crunching more numbers than a quad-core?" Total number of WUs? That's not a good metric of how much work is being done, because length of WUs is somewhat arbitrary.
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Re: IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

Postby bdwilson » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:22 pm

Just in terms of the raw calculations being done, I've read that the Cell outpaces most quad cores (with the exception of the newest i7s). So if this PS3 were sent the same type of WUs as normal PC's, it should be getting several thousand PPD. From what I've read though, the PS3 is sent a different type of WU due to the unique capabilities of the cell processor. Or am I wrong about that?
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Re: IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

Postby ChelseaOilman » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:56 pm

Part of the problem is the PS3 is a game console and as such Sony only put the least amount of memory inside to save costs. The small amount of memory limits the types of WUs the PS3 is capable of processing. PG is going to larger WUs as time goes on, so things are only going to get worse.
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Re: IS F@H using the full power of the cell processor?

Postby fortiz1973 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:17 pm

I think either way the PS3 is doing a good job in processing the WU in less than 8 hours. At least that's what I've been getting since I've started folding. The WU I've been getting are 300,000 (which I think are steps, I'm not sure what the number means), but it finishes within 6 hours, so I think that's ok for now.
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