Do you have spare computer power now that we are in lockdown? Your processing power can be used to fight COVID-19. Please read and then share this message.
First off all, chapéu to our friend Tim Rahman at NEP for letting us know about this very worthwhile use of his group's 'furloughed' GPUs.
Creative Technology (Part of the NEP group) has many media servers with GPUs that normally provide services to clients at live events. With the sporting calendar almost completely wiped out between now and September, they would have been sitting there doing nothing.
Now they are helping in the fight against COVID-19. Controlled by a new Mac Pro, the server farm is now part of the Folding@Home project run by Stanford University.
We have used our Macs to mine cryptocurrencies in a syndicate before, but signing up to the Folding@Home project is going to save lives. The organisers are especially after high powered GPUs to help fight the virus. (See note below)
By downloading Folding@Home, you can donate your unused computational resources to the Folding@home Consortium, where researchers working to advance our understanding of the structures of potential drug targets for 2019-nCoV that could aid in the design of new therapies. The data you help us generate will be quickly and openly disseminated as part of an open science collaboration of multiple laboratories around the world, giving researchers new tools that may unlock new opportunities for developing lifesaving drugs.
Image Credit: Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM available at https://phil.cdc.gov/Details.aspx?pid=23311
If you haven't followed the link, the FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19 webpage is well worth a read as it goes into detail on how computing power can help model the structure of the 2019-nCoV spike protein and thus develop help to find an antibody.
Please can we ask our readers to share this page, the CT or the Folding@Home page via any means, directly or by social media, to help get the message out that your Mac can help the fight against COVID-19.
It took us two minutes to download the installer and get processing, it is really that simple. You also get a cool graphic representation of what is going on.
If you would like to be part of the Creative Technology group's capacity, use the number 240907 when prompted.
After an interesting chat online, it looks like the app 'out of the box' only utilises the CPU. We will investigate further and see if there is a way of forcing it to compute using the GPU.
We would imagine that Creative technology were running the app on the Mac Pro and then adding 'slots' of the other computers into that. Will this work if users have an external GPU or is it down to the drivers?
Are there any Mac nerds out there that can get this working? Would bootcamp be the only way?
What a rollercoaster of a day - We are currently trying to use Rosetta under BOINC which does use the GPU!