CDC / NVIDIA
Want to help in the battle against the new coronavirus? You can use your PC’s graphics processor with Folding @ home. You will join an army of computers performing calculations to help scientists understand the virus.
How Folding @ home works
Folding @ home is a distributed IT project that has existed since the year 2000. It is called “protein folding. “If you install the software and join a project, it will run in the background and use spare graphics processing power (GPU) to perform the calculations. Your PC will be one of the hundreds of thousands of PCs running these calculations, all working together.
The software has already been used to help find cures for cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, flu and many other illnesses. Now Folding @ home is helping scientists understand the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. As Folding @ home director Greg Bowman explains, a better understanding of the virus could help the development of vital drugs.
In other words, you can use your PC’s GPU to help scientists better understand and fight the new coronavirus. You can read details on how Folding @ home “simulates the dynamics of COVID-19 proteins to seek new therapeutic opportunities” on the project site.
This work depends on the GPU and requires NVIDIA or AMD graphics hardware. It will work best on computers with powerful graphics hardware.
How to use your GPU with Folding @ home
To put your PC to work against coronavirus, download the Folding @ home installer and run it to install the software. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. We will show here how it works on Windows.
Once you have installed the Folding @ home software, you will be redirected to the https://client.foldingathome.org/ , where you can control the software on your PC. You can choose to fold anonymously or create an identity.
If you define an identity, you can track your work and earn points. You can even join a team with other people and compete to see who can earn the most points – just a little friendly competition.
However, you do not need to configure an identity. You can simply select “Fold as anonymous” and click “Start folding” to begin.
To ensure that you contribute to research on COVID-19, make sure that “Any disease” is selected in the “I support the fight against research” box. This is the default option. Once activated, Folding @ home will give priority to work related to the new coronavirus.
Work may not be available immediately and your client may work on other illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Huntington’s or Parkinson’s while waiting for COVID-19 jobs. Let it run in the background and it will automatically start any available work.
The Folding @ home software will remain running in the background, even when the web page is closed. It will automatically use any spare resources and move away when you use your GPU for other purposes, such as playing a PC game.
Look for the Folding @ home icon in the notification area of your computer (system tray) to find options, suspend or quit the software, and prevent it from running.
If you decide you no longer want to participate, go to Uninstall or modify a list of programs in Windows and uninstall the “FAHClient” program.
Even NVIDIA called on players to install Folding @ home and to give all the computing power they could have. Computers around the world are joining the fight.
PC players, let’s put these GPUs to work.
Join us and our friends at @OfficialPCMR by supporting fold @ home and donating unused GPU computing power to fight COVID-19!
– NVIDIA GeForce (@NVIDIAGeForce) March 13, 2020