Boinc/Rosetta on the Xbox 360?

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Ethan
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Message 12352 - Posted: 20 Mar 2006, 21:58:43 UTC

I mentioned this a couple months ago, but as a recap:

There are about 4 million Xboxen in the world, each with 3 seperate 2ghz processors. Within the last few days, MS has released a software development tool (geared toward games obviously, but code is code) that allows groups to develop their own xbox apps.

I\'m not a programmer. How difficult would it be to use those tools to port Boinc over to the Xbox?

12 million cpu\'s can\'t be wrong :)

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060320-6420.html

-Ethan
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Message 12356 - Posted: 20 Mar 2006, 22:30:42 UTC - in response to Message 12352.  
Last modified: 20 Mar 2006, 22:31:12 UTC

IMO gamers are one of the most promising groups for grid computing. It would be great if the console CPUs actually have the required math precision (some projects require IEEE 754 compliant FPUs)

Wired had an article last year How Gamers Can Help Cure Cancer


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Message 29120 - Posted: 10 Oct 2006, 16:13:37 UTC

Any update to this? Although, isn\'t it 3 x 3.x ghz processors in the 360?
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Tom Philippart
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Message 29124 - Posted: 10 Oct 2006, 16:59:42 UTC

normally consoles are idle for far less time than PCs... so I\'m not sure if they\'ll reach the deadline
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Message 29130 - Posted: 10 Oct 2006, 19:03:36 UTC - in response to Message 29124.  

normally consoles are idle for far less time than PCs... so I\'m not sure if they\'ll reach the deadline


Don;t forget the 360 isn\'t a console in the sense of a games console.
I\'ts also a media player (can stream from pc\'s etc, play dvd listen to music) and web brower. So they tend to be idle for the people who would actually see or bother about Rosetta@Home.
For the people that just use it as a gaming console, well they\'\'ll not be bothered either way.
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Message 29139 - Posted: 10 Oct 2006, 21:48:57 UTC - in response to Message 29120.  

Any update to this? Although, isn\'t it 3 x 3.x ghz processors in the 360?

3x 3.2GHz ;)
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David Baker
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Message 29151 - Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 3:55:33 UTC - in response to Message 12352.  

I mentioned this a couple months ago, but as a recap:

There are about 4 million Xboxen in the world, each with 3 seperate 2ghz processors. Within the last few days, MS has released a software development tool (geared toward games obviously, but code is code) that allows groups to develop their own xbox apps.

I\'m not a programmer. How difficult would it be to use those tools to port Boinc over to the Xbox?

12 million cpu\'s can\'t be wrong :)

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060320-6420.html

-Ethan


we have been discussing this idea with Microsoft quite a bit over the past several weeks; I will keep everybody posted.

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Message 29152 - Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 3:59:55 UTC - in response to Message 29151.  


we have been discussing this idea with Microsoft quite a bit over the past several weeks; I will keep everybody posted.


That is very intersting!!!
Thanks for the update!
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Message 29165 - Posted: 11 Oct 2006, 15:49:59 UTC

Now I am excited, the people over at F@H have all the fun, time for us to get a little action :)
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Message 38709 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007, 2:08:14 UTC
Last modified: 30 Mar 2007, 2:10:33 UTC

After several months of inactivity, the topic of this post has been dugg:P link Are there any updates to this story?
"Everybody seems to think I'm lazy.
I don't mind, I think they're crazy
Running everywhere at such a speed,
Till they find there's no need" - John Lennon
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Message 38718 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007, 4:01:23 UTC

I would love to see Rosetta@home come to the 360. I\'d definently run it when I wasn\'t using my 360. As long as I had access to my xbox live guide (the window that pops up when you hit the guide button on the controller) then I\'d probably run it when I wanted to open a private chat with friends, or just listen to music.

Soon I\'m moving and the 360 will be relocated to a high-traffic room. Most people in there will be wanting to watch TV (parents like TV more than games, go figure), so I could just leave my xbox 360 on running Rosetta@home, while the rest of the family checks out the boob tube. Then later I\'ll interrupt the rosetta process for some time of just me & my xbox :).
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Message 39884 - Posted: 25 Apr 2007, 23:14:33 UTC - in response to Message 29124.  

normally consoles are idle for far less time than PCs... so I\'m not sure if they\'ll reach the deadline


I run Rosetta in the background on my PC constantly with no (major) loss of speed, etc. Given the sheer processing power of the 360, surely this could be applied also?
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David Baker
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Message 39896 - Posted: 26 Apr 2007, 4:13:24 UTC

I just met yesterday with Tony Hey, the corporate vice president for technical computing at Microsoft, to discuss this possibility further. Tony and Microsoft have been incredibly supportive of our efforts so far, and he is going to help us try to make this become a reality in the not too distant future.
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Message 39900 - Posted: 26 Apr 2007, 5:15:23 UTC - in response to Message 39896.  

Great news!
I\'m happy to contribute in a project which has great goals and awesome support!

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Message 39901 - Posted: 26 Apr 2007, 5:27:16 UTC - in response to Message 39900.  

Here\'s a link to Mr. Hey\'s profile at MS:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/exec/tonyhey/default.mspx
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Message 39984 - Posted: 28 Apr 2007, 9:22:10 UTC

Hello All,

Thought I might add a slightly different spin on this topic.

I have been crunching on folding@home for a few weeks now with a PLAYSTATION 3.
The feeling I am getting is that SONY seems commited to distributed (public) computing and that the folding@home is just going to be one project.

They appear to be wanting to set up something along the line of a World Community Grid. So maybe Baker Lab should look into using the PS 3 network also.

As an owner of both a PS3 and a XBOX360. I can tell you with a high degree of certainty, that the PS3 blows the XBOX360 right out of the water as far as raw computational ability. Cell uses seven cores for heavy number crunching and one POWERPC 64 bit core for housekeeping.

Also PS3 has no hardware issues (as of yet been running 24/7 for 3 weeks now) were as my xbox360 has had issues (mainly) with heat and mainly from Gears of War.

Hope this helps, may ask MR Hey? to find a xbox builder or design with a more reliable hardware config. Really is frustrating to have the box taking a dump right in the middle of Gears.
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Message 39993 - Posted: 28 Apr 2007, 13:18:47 UTC - in response to Message 39984.  

Hello All,

Thought I might add a slightly different spin on this topic.

I have been crunching on folding@home for a few weeks now with a PLAYSTATION 3.
The feeling I am getting is that SONY seems commited to distributed (public) computing and that the folding@home is just going to be one project.

They appear to be wanting to set up something along the line of a World Community Grid. So maybe Baker Lab should look into using the PS 3 network also.

As an owner of both a PS3 and a XBOX360. I can tell you with a high degree of certainty, that the PS3 blows the XBOX360 right out of the water as far as raw computational ability. Cell uses seven cores for heavy number crunching and one POWERPC 64 bit core for housekeeping.

Also PS3 has no hardware issues (as of yet been running 24/7 for 3 weeks now) were as my xbox360 has had issues (mainly) with heat and mainly from Gears of War.

Hope this helps, may ask MR Hey? to find a xbox builder or design with a more reliable hardware config. Really is frustrating to have the box taking a dump right in the middle of Gears.

I read that sony are looking to sell processor time on the PS3s to businesses so it\'s not entirely altruistic!

As far as the PS3 being more powerful, I believe that while that\'s true in raw numbers, the xbox should be easier to program for, and I believe all 512MB of the RAM should be accessible for crunching whereas the PS3 only has 256MB available.

As for heat, I believe it\'s an issue for a lot of xboxes out there, but fortunately new xboxes are based on 65nm CPUs and so don\'t produce so much heat, but it could be an issue for the 90nm ones.

For Rosetta, where the code is continually changing, I\'d expect the xbox to be a better bet because it\'s easier to program for and the CPU architecture is PowerPC based which there\'s already a client for.
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Message 40059 - Posted: 29 Apr 2007, 18:14:36 UTC

I find it very exciting to think that game consoles could in the near future do huge quantities of heavy scientific lifting. Very cool!
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Message 40824 - Posted: 12 May 2007, 14:55:09 UTC
Last modified: 12 May 2007, 14:55:39 UTC

I think it\'s a great idea to put resources into making crunching clients for game consoles or for that matter, any consumer electronic with a processor. I just posted a HOWTO for installing BOINC on the Apple TV. The thing just sits there idling all day, and only uses some CPU power when it\'s actually playing a movie. It\'s 1GHZ, so it\'s not much, but there is power in numbers! The best part is when I play a movie, BOINC just slows down, and my movies do not skip.

In case your interested, here is HOWTO setup BOINC on the Apple TV:
http://www.appletvbbs.com/showthread.php?t=123

I don\'t own the development kit for xbox 360, but it seems trivial to compile one of the existing BOINC clients with XNA. Is there some other hardware/software limitation to stop this from happening?
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Message 40838 - Posted: 12 May 2007, 17:01:19 UTC - in response to Message 40824.  
Last modified: 12 May 2007, 17:04:27 UTC

I just posted a HOWTO for installing BOINC on the Apple TV. The thing just sits there idling all day, and only uses some CPU power when it\'s actually playing a movie. It\'s 1GHZ, so it\'s not much, but there is power in numbers! The best part is when I play a movie, BOINC just slows down, and my movies do not skip.

Good work! I believe it\'s a low voltage Pentium-M so it should be quite an efficient cruncher! I think you should post this as a self-titled thread in number-crunching so it\'s more visible.

I don\'t own the development kit for xbox 360, but it seems trivial to compile one of the existing BOINC clients with XNA. Is there some other hardware/software limitation to stop this from happening?

The 360 would be a real force if the xenos gpu could be utilised as well as the three cores which probably wouldn\'t be trivial... Although of course getting the three cores crunching would be a good start!
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