Want a reason to buy a Sony PlayStation 3 on expenses? Of course you do. Actually, you might make a case for buying hundreds and putting them in racks in your datacentre. The first distributed computing project for the PS3, launched 23 March, has already blazed a shining trail.
In the style of the pioneering [email protected] screensaver, the [email protected] project cadged the spare computing cycles of console owners to model protein folding, to help fight disease, and has seen more than 50,000 volunteers contribute online.
What’s more, each PS3 is much more valuable to the project than a handful of dull old business PCs. According to science journal Nature, the PS3s contribute some 330 teraflops - “more than the 276 teraflops from the nearly 2 million PCs signed up since [email protected] launched in 2000”. The big flop difference is down to the console’s sheer number-crunching grunt, optimised as it is to model explosions, gunfights and car crashes in intricate three-dimensional detail.
So, can you get away with the same “it’s for work, honest” ruse if you’d rather have an Xbox 360? Sadly, nope.
[email protected] creator Dave Anderson told Nature he's already talked to Microsoft, “But that conversation didn't go anywhere.”
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