Nvidia Wants Gamers to Fight COVID-19

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Enthusiasts typically use their graphics cards to play games, mine cryptocurrency and use creative tools. Nvidia asked them to branch out yesterday by lending their GPU's power to Folding@home projects related to novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

So what is Folding@home? Its organizers describe it as "a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design and other types of molecular dynamics" on its official website.

Enthusiasts can help Folding@home "find cures for diseases like cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Influenza and many others." All they have to do is download the project's Windows app and then let it run in the background.

The project started working on ways to leverage its network of GPUs to assist with COVID-19 research on March 10. Two days later, PCMasterRace creator "PEDRO19" encouraged Reddit users to contribute to Folding@home's COVID-19 projects.

Nvidia then lent its support to those efforts. "PC Gamers, let’s put those GPUs to work," it said. "Join us and our friends at @OfficialPCMR in supporting folding@home and donating unused GPU computing power to fight against COVID-19!"

People shouldn't have to worry too much about Folding@home's software affecting their system's performance. The software can be customized to use a specific amount of power--or only to run when the system is idle--with just a few clicks.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • EndEffeKt_24
    Is there a TomsHardware folding team?
    Edit: yes, its #40051 just found it.
    i already signed up for this am donating pc power to combat the virus.

    does tomshardware have there own team for folding and contributing to find a vaccine iof so what is the correct team number or is what the above guy said it?

    could a toms-hardware guy or moderator confirm this?
  • cryoburner
    Nvidia then lent its support to those efforts.
    Lent its support by doing what exactly? This is just a multi-billion dollar corporation's marketing department trying to get their name out there for free advertising on gullible tech news sites. >_>
  • mdd1963
    crunching data on GPUs is not free for the consumer; I remember when I stopped crunching SETI on a pair of desktops (CPU power only, no GPU crunching back then) in mild weather months (no high electric or gas bils), and saw my already cheap electric bill drop from $75 to.....<drum roll!> $25!!!! Which likely means $50 a month of my electric bill had been SETI....for 2.5 years or so....
  • kerberos_20
    wasnt IBM Summit used few days ago?
    IBM watson health is also at disposal
  • anotherdrew
    They must just want GPUs becuase it's stuck on downloading on 2 of my CPU slots.
  • gaborbarla
    kerberos_20 said:
    wasnt IBM Summit used few days ago?
    IBM watson health is also at disposal

    So exactly, the one article said lend your GPU power to fight Corona. Then a few days later, SUMMIT was used to rapidly find a solution. Now again I must donate my GPU? What is going on here?
  • Unolocogringo
    Yes we have a folding team.
    Folding works on many diseases,Parkinson, cancers,Alzheimer, and now we add CV-19

    They Identified 77 different protein compounds that might attach to the virus to make if non infection.
    But definitely no CURE.
  • grimfox
    I have been running F@H on my GTX1070 for quite awhile. At full load with the monitor on my PC uses about 220W

    220W x 24Hrs is 5280WH

    5280WH = 5.28KWH

    5.28KWH * $0.13/KWH = $0.686/day
    ~$20/month to fold. YMMV

    I don't normally run all day, usually just during the day while I'm at work and I've turned the thermostat down. My costs are therefore actually less than $20 on average.
  • shorttack
    Thanks Intel and nVidia. The gratuitous pitch to help by folding has totally swamped and crashed the folding@home servers since Friday afternoon (it's Monday 11am now). Nobody at the server end was prepared for this. #foreseeableconsequence