How to use your gaming rig to help in the fight against COVID-19

Folding@home uses your gaming PC's idle time to map out the coronavirus currently spreading around the world.

While staying inside and playing games is one of the simplest, and most effective way for us to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, gamers do have one other tool in their arsenal to lend a hand: Folding@home.

The project, which was previously available on Sony's PlayStation 3 to demonstrate the power of the Cell processor, uses your computer's idle processing time to solve problems that can help us understand this dangerous new virus.

Currently, the Folding@home project has diverted all prioritized resources to mapping out the protein structure of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. CPUs and GPUs are extremely efficient at solving complex mathematical problems, and protein folding is simply a case of crunching numbers, such as the way certain amino acids influence the overall shape of a micro-organism or virus.

Knowing the shape of a protein is instrumental to discovering drugs that can affect the virus' function by interacting with certain binding sites that are the same shape as other molecules. If these binding sites are identified, they can then change the virus' shape, or turn off certain functions inside it, rendering it harmless.

You can find out more about how to use your powerful gaming rig to do good by visiting this page on the Folding@home forum and then letting the program run while you aren't in a game, owning noobs.

Distributed CPU and GPU calculation power is useful for a number of other applications, though most famously people have been using the combined capability to mine Bitcoins and other cryptocurrency.

Will you be joining the fight against the worldwide coronavirus pandemic by installing Folding@home? If you need any other tips on how to fight off the virus, check out how to keep your gaming gear clean.


Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing or finding him on Twitter. 

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