As we approach the holiday season, the fantastic community team that’s responsible for keeping tabs on our publisher’s technology forums – the AnandTech Forums and the Tom’s Hardware Forums – came to us with a request. They wanted to organize a community activity; something fun, something for charity and, most importantly, something immensely geeky. To that end, I’m happy to announce that we’re going to be holding a friendly vicious contest with our compatriots and competitors at Tom’s Hardware in order to answer one of the most important questions of all time: which site is better, AnandTech or Tom’s Hardware?

Starting December 1st, a contest is going to be held between the AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware forums to determine whose forum and whose community was better. And better still, it will be done for charity. As part of the contest, our publisher, Purch, will be furnishing a $2,500 donation to the Child’s Play charity, which will be made on behalf of the winning team.

As for the contest itself, it seemed only appropriate given the two sites’ history that the challenge be computing related, so we decided to compete in the field of distributed computing. What we settled on is to hold a race of sorts using the popular Folding@Home client.

In a nutshell, Folding@Home is a long-standing distributed computing project organized by Stanford University that allows individuals to contribute computing time to Stanford’s research. This in turn helps the researchers in combating the illnesses that emerge as a result of proteins not folding correctly, such as Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. Folding@Home has now been going on for over a decade and a half. And along with a long-standing AnandTech folding team, we’ve even used it in GPU benchmarks for a few years now.

Kicking off on December 1st, we will be holding a one-week Folding race to see which team is better. The more computer time donated to Folding@Home – the more protein folding work completed – the more points a team will score, with the highest scoring team being crowned the winner.

AnandTech of course is no slouch when it comes to distributed computing. Our team, the aptly named Team AnandTech, has been at it since late 1998, which is almost as long as AnandTech has operated. Among its notable accomplishments is beating the likes of the Macintosh evangelists, Slashdot,, and more across over a dozen distributed computing projects ranging from computer science to biology to hunting for alien signals.

Meanwhile for reasons beyond my understanding, my colleague over at Tom's Hardware, Fritz Nelson, decided to take us on despite the fact that this is practically a home field advantage for Team AnandTech. Suffice it to say, Tom’s Hardware doesn't have team members with the experience or the dedication of Team AnandTech; in other words, they don't stand a chance. And with your help, I want to prove that while adding Tom’s to the list of teams that Team AnandTech has defeated. If nothing else, think of it as doing a favor for Tom's Hardware: after we've burned them in this race, they'll finally be able to put their thermal imaging camera to good use.

Ultimately this race is for fun, but it’s also for a good cause. Donating computing time to Folding@Home helps researchers to better understand folding-related diseases, and the $2,500 that our publisher is putting up as part of this contest is going to a wonderful cause that is the appropriately geeky Child’s Play charity. As a result I’d like to encourage everyone to take part in December.

The full details on the contest, including how to download the Folding@Home client and join Team AnandTech, our distributed computing team, can be found here. And be sure to drop on by our distributed computing forum and say hello; the team captain is keeping track of how many people sign up, and it's the best place to go to connect with the other team members and to get answers to any questions.

Source: AnandTech Distributed Computing

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  • Meteor2 - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Sigh, don't be a dork. Go read the published papers from the Pande group and others. You don't need distributed computing to build a bioweapon.
  • ddriver - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    What great, non-dorkish argumentation skills you have there. Such a valid point, and so eloquent and thoroughly substantiated. You sir are far above a mere dork, you are the dorkest of them all.
  • Meteor2 - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    F@H is effectively the largest supercomputer on earth, and doing a tremendous amount of work, particularly around dementia. I'm no medic though, so best read for yourself what they've achieved.
  • bill.rookard - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Alrighty, time to break out the guns... for Toms Hardware!!!! lol.

    I've got a bunch of cores sitting around - time to put them to use! Down goes Anandtech! Down goes Anandtech!


    Seriously I have three Xeon x3450/70 series, one with dual GPUs (main rig), two more Haswell based i3's (hyperthreaded) and some Haswell pentiums doing not much. So - I figure I have about 40 cores worth of processing... :D Plus the temp is supposed to drop about 40 degrees (F) between today and tomorrow. Yes, I live in Michigan. It's a running joke that if you don't like the weather here, give it 5 minutes, it'll change. ha.
  • TennesseeTony - Sunday, November 27, 2016 - link

    Good luck with your victory, Bill. ;) Snicker snicker.

    Great to see the enthusiasm from both sides though, and it's a great way for those approaching winter to add some 'intelligent heat' to their homes.
  • PCTC2 - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Come join us in the fun. Our statistics are available here:
  • Meteor2 - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    What a great idea. Got to put those GTX1080s to use ;)

    It's quite extraordinary what a GPU can do these days. It's not really worth torturing a laptop CPU for though.
  • LarsBars - Friday, November 18, 2016 - link

    Clearly, AnandTech is going to win this.

    All of the headlines are saying AnandTech is the likely winner, all of the most advanced forecasts, predictions, and experts are giving the win to AnandTech. Even the latest polls are showing AnandTech has an 89% chance of victory. I don't know why Tom's Hardware is even going to try.

    There's no realistic way that Tom's Hardware will come close to winning.
  • TennesseeTony - Sunday, November 27, 2016 - link

    LOL. Darned electoral college might mess up our victory!
  • SeleniumGlow - Sunday, November 20, 2016 - link

    Imma sign up for AT. I hope my dual socket Xeon v4 servers can be of some use to you guys. The only thing I don't have is an expensive GPU. I have an old Radeon 7800/2GB card in one box. The rest are just... servers. I hope that's not a disadvantage.

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