The third annual Chimp Challenge kicks off today, in which Maximum PC's Folding at Home team will once again try to claim victory in the race for more points than the competition. If successful, this will mark the third victory in four attempts, but it won't be easy. More teams have entered this year and it's going to take a massive effort if we're to claim back-to-back bragging rights.
For those of you not familiar with Stanford's Folding at Home distributed computing project, you can get up to speed here. In short, the project relies on the computing horsepower of many in hopes of finding cures to common diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and many more. Stanford's Folding client taps into your PC's unused CPU and/or GPU cycles, and can even be run on a Playstation 3 console.
Three years ago the MaximumPC Folding Team challenged the team ranked above us in the global folding ladder to a race. Each team picked a folding name and tried to get as many folders as possible to fold for it. The race was to a set amount of total folding points, and team Maximum PC won that first contest. In the contest’s second year, the number of points required to win went up and we lost to the third place team. But as winning points went up again last year, we rose to the challenge and won the Chimp race, as it is called today.
This year, 8 or 9 teams may enter, so the Maximum PC team faces some stiff competition. Each year the race stimulates new interest in teams across the world (Russia, Australia and England joined recently, for example). Two top teams from EVGA and overclock.net are loaded with new members and challenging our daily production total. In addition, the top ranked team right now, Horde, produces a million more points a day than any other team.
But we still have plenty of time to build our troops before the race begins in early May.