XBox360 100% CPU + 100%GPU = ‘Ring of Death’ : Why Folding@Home will not be released for the 360

The Folding@Home project has benefited immensely from the addition of the online network of user’s PS3’s running the Folding@Home client – 124,758 PS3s has added 555 TeraFLOPS of processing power, compared to the 187 TeraFLOPS contributed by 1,697,764 PCs running the client on Windows. This clearly shows the raw processing power that the PS3 is capable of in comparison with your typical home PC.

So where is the XBox360 and it’s contribution to science? Well, according to this article which describes a critical flaw in the design of the XBox360, if the 360 runs at 100% CPU and 100% GPU for a sustained period of time, the amount of heat generated warps the motherboard inside the case (which apparently is part of the design of the system) to such extent that the solder holding the chips to the board will fail… leading to the infamous 360 ‘Ring of Death’ (2 red quadrants indicates the machine is overheating, 3 red quadrants indicates the hardware has completed failed).

So if this is to be believed, don’t expect to see a Folding@Home client running on the 360 anytime soon, not unless it is handicapped to run at anything less than 100%, since doing so will do nothing but accelerate and increase the failure rate of the 360, which according to current (disgruntled) owners is in excess of 10%.

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