Folding@Home is now equivalent to an exascale supercomputer

(Image credit: Folding@Home)

The Folding@Home network is now running with over an ExaFLOP of distributed computational performance. That's more than 5x the theoretical peak operations per second of the world's fastest supercomputer, ORNL's Summit—or equivalent to over 150,000 RTX 2060s strapped together, y'know, just to properly quantify it for us PC gaming folk.

Folding@Home is an amorphous mass of interconnected PC and server racks kindly donated by the public and private companies. It's based out of Washington University, and a number of research labs across the globe ensure it's kept busy and working on incredibly important and up-to-date simulations. It's currently tasked with combating some of the world's prevailing diseases and viruses, including the new coronavirus, via huge quantities of simulations (pictured above).

Anyone can join, too, that's what makes it scalable to a supermassive size. All you have to do to get started is download the Folding@Home client and donate your PC's power to the cause—be that fighting the new coronavirus, cancer, or Alzheimer's Disease. Alone your PC just won't cut it, but collectively our gaming PCs can form supercomputer scale.

For an idea of the scale we're talking about here, Folding@Home is now equivalent to 312,500 AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X CPUs at single-precision, or 62,500 Nvidia Titan RTXs. It's similarly creeping closer to the planned Frontier supercomputer that AMD is building for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which will run at a peak of 1.5 ExaFLOPS. 

AMD recently announced it is working on another supercomputer, El Capitan—expected to become the world's fastest at over 2 ExaFLOPs of double-precision compute when it is switched on in 2023. We might need a few more powerful gaming rigs to hit that colossally mighty performance figure.

The distributed Folding@Home network has seen a surge in computational power over the last few weeks—perhaps even an overwhelming amount—including an outpour of support across PC gaming subreddits and brands. But there's always room for one more. If you'd like to join in and lend your gaming PC to the cause, you can do so alone or as a part of a team—who better to join than the PC Gamer Community?

Head over to the PC Gamer forums for more information on Folding@Home, how to get started folding, and how to join in with our community efforts. Together we really can make a difference.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.