Since the launch of Folding@Home for Playstation 3, people have been awestruck in its apparent performance advantage over PCs that cost up to 2 or 3 times as much as a PS3, and consumes more power.
However, this article at Ars Technica explains that not everything is as it seems. They point out that the PS3 is doing somewhat specialized calculations that take advantage of the Cell processor’s capabilities, while the more robust CPU does more complicated calculations. The GPU client is even more specialized.
They go on to say that comparing the PS3’s folding performance to the PC is not even ‘apples to oranges’ but more like ‘apples to citrus’ because of the wide variety of processors being used in the “Windows” group.
That’s not to say the PS3 isn’t a wicked Folder; it’s just not as ridiculously fast as you might think just by looking at the numbers.