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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  • alpha754293 - Monday, November 21, 2016 - link

    "Kicking off on December 1st, we will be holding a one-week Folding race to see which team is better. "

    You say one week.

    The forum thread says one month.

    Please clarify.
  • alpha754293 - Monday, November 21, 2016 - link

    n/m. Sorry...misread the forum post.
  • TennesseeTony - Sunday, November 27, 2016 - link

    Please stop by, no matter which side you are on and get some helpful hints here:

    We would be thrilled if you 'signed up' to race with us for the whole month, but the only signing up you really need to do to participate, is to ensure you enter the correct team number...198 for AnandTech, when you install the Folding at home software.

    Please get an early start, to make sure you don't miss the start of the race! :)

    In the last week AnandTech has had at least 109 new users on the Folding@Home project! Our daily output has already doubled! Thanks so much to all! No matter the amount of contribution, it's needed and appreciated!
  • HighTechJoe - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    Anyone know if NVIDIA's 376.09 driver works with folding@home? I had to roll back to 373.06 to get my GPU folding to work.
  • TennesseeTony - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    As far as we know, 373.06 is the best choice right now.
  • TennesseeTony - Monday, November 28, 2016 - link

    I'd stay away from this one, breaks SLI for one. Way to go Nvidia, again. ;)
  • bill.rookard - Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - link

    I'm not sure which driver set I'm running - but it appears to be working fine with one of my two 960s - I keep the other for actually being able to use my desktop... :)

    And I have about 14 cores online test folding while I get the other machines online. All in all I should have two GPUs and about 30 cores folding...

    FOR THE COMPETITION. Muuuhahahhaha. :)
  • TennesseeTony - Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - link

    The race will start December 1, 18:00 UTC. That's VERY SOON!

    Start crunching NOW if you haven't already!Here's a UTC clock for ya:

    Give us a hollar if you have any questions!
  • lordken - Monday, December 5, 2016 - link

    Did anyone manage to get their GPU working on demand? I must say that settings of F@H are worse then boinc...
    Even when I click "while I'm working" only job that is running is on CPU , GPU never starts, it only works when screensaver starts. That's pretty lame as my PC rarely goes to screensaver.
    Tried both webcontrol and that other control panel but I just cant find a way how to force GPU to work...its always "waiting for idle"
  • TennesseeTony - Thursday, December 8, 2016 - link

    Well, we beat Tom's Hardware mercilessly, out-scoring them about an (utterly stunning) 10 million points PER DAY.

    Just today, in fact, TeAm Anandtech has overtaken Tom's Hardware in all time points too!

    The TeAm started out in 27th place (globally) about two weeks ago and shortly after the race was announced, the TeAm began to bludgeon it's way up the charts, where we now sit in 21st place globally, climbing over the 6 teams above us in just two weeks!

    Looking to the future, there are two more teams that we may be able to pass before the month is over. So a huge thank you to all who contributed, and who will continue to contribute (a smart way to produce some heat after all, if you are currently in a cold climate).

    It has truly been an exciting ride, and we hope to repeat next year!

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