Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a grid computing platform that lets you contribute the unused compute power of your PCs and mobile devices to various research and scientific projects. The client software is available for Linux, Windows, Android, macOS and other platforms and it supports GPU computing on NVIDIA, AMD and Intel GPUs.
The amount of compute power you contribute is publicly tracked and you can compete in various leaderboards. Some projects also award badges for milestones like time served contributing to the project, credits accumulated, or research goals achieved.
I initially began contributing to the SETI@Home project (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). Here’s the national leaderboard for Guyana for SETI@Home. Compute power you contribute to SETI@Home is used to analyze data from radio telescopes all over the world looking for low bandwidth radio waves from space that could signal the existence of technology capable of creating such waves, which we assume would be developed by an extra-terrestrial alien intelligence.
However, I’ve since discovered quite a few other projects that reward far more credits per work unit than SETI@Home does and I’ve been spending more time contributing to those projects instead. Of these, Collatz Conjecture is the most rewarding. Admittedly, I don’t concern myself much with the science of particular projects. For better or worse, I’m really just in it for the credits.
My BOINC Combined Stats
My Cross-Project User ID: 9754cbbd443591123a47c80fe0405762
Amicable Numbers | Project ID: 11834
Collatz Conjecture | Project ID: 1588851
MilkyWay@Home | Project ID: 1336945
Einstein@Home | Project ID: 264726
PrimeGrid | Project ID: 305672
SETI@Home | Project ID: 9987619
The remaining four of the top five BOINC contributors in Guyana are:
pmc_gy | BOINCstats | Free-DC
Niaz Ally (niazally) | BOINCstats | Free-DC
John Da Silva (johnldasilva) | BOINCstats | Free-DC
Gavindra Ramnarain (GavinR) | BOINCstats | Free-DC
Here are some useful tips from the message boards of various projects and elsewhere. These threads have helped me put together my current BOINC config.