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Nvidia's calling on gaming PC owners to put their systems to work fighting COVID-19

Folding@home has new projects for the study of coronavirus

(Image credit: Nvidia/CDC)

If you have a gaming PC, you can lend your graphical power to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. That's not a thing I ever thought I'd write, but it turns out 2020 is occasionally weird in good ways too.

Nvidia is putting out a call to PC gamers everywhere to download the Folding@home application and start putting their spare clock cycles toward advancing humanity's scientific knowledge of coronavirus. The program links computers into an international network that uses distributed processing power to chew through massive computing tasks - something that gaming-grade GPUs are quite good at, as it turns out. You can still turn the application off and reclaim your GPU's full power for playing games whenever you want.

Folding@home has been around for years - it was also available on PS3 back in the day - with users lending their distributed power to all kinds of research. A new wave of projects "simulating potentially druggable protein targets from SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and the related SARS-CoV virus (for which more structural data is available)" were made available on the service earlier this week.

These projects could help researchers better understand coronavirus, and eventually even develop effective therapies against it. If you've been grappling with feelings of helplessness in the face of the worldwide outbreak, this is a small but real way you can lend your aid to the world without any medical experience. It also doesn't hurt that you don't need to leave your house to do it, since we're supposed to avoid that as much as possible anyway.

Pokemon Go is making some changes to help players keep enjoying the game while allowing for social distancing. Staying at home this weekend? Maybe you need a Disney Plus bundle to pass the time. Or if you've been thinking of upgrading your gaming PC check out our picks for the best graphics cards or best gaming laptops.

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