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.