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Old 2006-06-15, 15:41   #1

4,637 Posts
Question PS2 could be a PCruncher?


I've searched the forums and I can't find anything on the PS2 so... the burning question is: "Could a PS2 be a good prime cruncher?" I dunno if you have to hack it or just use a CD or whatever, I know you'd at least need internet access using the network expansion adapter to allow communication between PrimeNet and stuff...

I thought about it because I read the topic about a hacked XBOX 360 possibly being a good cruncher, and I have a PS2 here doing nothing, so why not use it as well as possible?

Any ideas? Cheers.
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Old 2006-06-15, 16:12   #2
hhh's Avatar
Jun 2005

22×3×31 Posts

I don't know whether it should be a relatively good cruncher or not, but it would be a slow cruncher in absolute terms, given it's 300MHz rate. The 32MB of RAM could be a limiting factor, too. There are Linux distributions for the PS2 available for download, so you might want to try out perhaps some projects where slow computers can make a reasonable contribution, such as sieving for PSP or SOB, or DC for PSP.
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Old 2006-06-16, 00:20   #3
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

232 Posts

Agreed, I have two ps2 here.

If you have the net adaptor and install a harddrive in it, you can use an exploit on certain PS1 game disks like (I used the Viper game) in conjunction with a memory card (programmed a special way like a gamesave or borrow one already done) and usb transfer cable to take over the ps2 and install a free linux. (cheaper than buying sony official linux if still available). Then can plug in a usb keyboard like my microsoft one.

You can compile programs in the linux and run them. Was an interesting exercise, you will find full how-to on the internet.

You can also send the ps2 programs to execute on demand over the ethernet or the usb cable, depending on techniques. The ps2 with gamedisk in will try to look at memory card and due to special contents will execute the code ie a bootloader you have on the mem card. From then you can load things to run, transfer files to format the hard drive etc, transfer more files to put content on the hard drive etc. This can only be done on the old "fat" ps2 not the new slimline which can't accept a hard drive. Linux requires a hard drive, whilst you can run your own ps2 exectables from the mem card without a hard drive present. You can make neat patterns and small apps on screen this way, but if doing useful processing work, would they communicate over the net or save results to the memory card or usb - not totally easy to code without linux.

However, it will only contribute SLOWLY for applications like prime finding. You would have to find and compile your own software, and even then it will not integrate with the primenet server.

It might make a small contribution to trial factoring using your own software but only small.

To take advantage of the EXTRA power of the other parts of the ps2 architecture is very complex and I don't think your skills are up to speed on this.

Nice idea, but not very useful. Doesn't take long once you have the right things, but would not really recommend investing the time to learn and do, because it's pretty old now.

The money I spent to make it happen was
Sony network adapter
spare Maxtor hard disk drive
Memory card
usb to usb filetransfer dongle cable and "gamesave" software package eg blaze
spare usb keyboard
secondhand copy of a suitable exploitable game from the list of suitable ones (in my case viper)

For the price of the above components you could probably build a barebone pc which was better at priming properly.

PS2 is however still a great gaming console ;-)

Even a lan full of xbox (celerons) will not make THAT big a contribution compared to a modern dualcore cpu. I suspect that for equivalent processing power the xboxes will also eat up more power (multiple gpus all being powered too).

With the PS3 however, there are distinct possibilities for the cell to help some projects, and sony have said this will make linux available on it.

And if the x360 can be hacked to run programs, then it may be good also (difficult).

Last fiddled with by Peter Nelson on 2006-06-16 at 00:38
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Old 2006-06-17, 14:29   #4
moo's Avatar
Jul 2004

809 Posts

no they dont support double precision floating points only single thats why they havnt been exploted yet.

msn tv2 has a 700mhz celeron and there is linux for it tho

Last fiddled with by moo on 2006-06-17 at 14:29
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