Nvidia asks PC gamers to fight coronavirus with GPUs

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan /Getty)

Got spare GPU? Pull your shoulders back and reveal that "S" on your chest. You can swoop in and save the day for a technologically advanced coronavirus research project that's focused on demystifying its properties and developing a cure, PCMag reported.

In a tweet that linked to more info on a Reddit post, Nvidia implored PC gamers to donate extra GPU power to take down the novel coronavirus that's disrupting the world's wellness.

Nvidia joined forces with Folding@home (FAH), a disease-research organization working on creating computer simulations of COVID-19 to better understand the disease's behavior so it can develop therapeutic solutions.

"To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them," FAH wrote in a recent blog. "Our specialty is in using computer simulations to understand proteins’ moving parts."

These research-focused simulations require intensive computer calculations, which is why Nvidia is urging its gamer fanbase to relinquish some unused computer power to help FAH fight against the destabilizing virus that's interrupting the world's regularly scheduled programming.

FAH is encouraging people to download its software application in order to grab some computer power to juice up their intensive experiments. Once a user installs it, it downloads a small program on their computer, which returns results to Stanford researchers. You can even choose the disease research you'd like to donate your computer power to. By default, the software will run on your GPU.

"While you keep going with your everyday activities, your computer will be working to help us find cures for diseases like cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Influenza and many others," FAH wrote.

The response to FAH's COVID-19 research project was overwhelming, which caused some server-side issues for the organization.

"Please be patient and keep your software on while the servers try to serve everyone with their work-units for computation! Thank you for all of this! PC can save the world!" an FAH spokesperson wrote on Reddit.

FAH noted that they've seen some GPUs give their research an uptick in speed that's 20 to 30 times faster, but they were also transparent about the fact that the gift-giving PC user may have to sacrifice some system performance for their generosity.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!