I have imported this in its entirety from the Folding Forum. My thanks to John Naylor for the work

Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H.

by John Naylor on Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:10 pm
Common reasons people give for not installing F@H, and the counterarguments...

Will F@H reduce the security of my computer?
The Folding@home client and distributed computing system is no less safe than other programs that you can download from the internet and run on your computer. Because security of the F@H client is very important to the Pande Group, they have designed the F@H system to be as secure as feasible through encrypted downloads/uploads, file checksums, etc. F@H should not reduce the security of your computer. But, to ensure maximum security of your computer, never download a client or purported client update from anywhere other than the official download page.

Can’t they just use a Supercomputer? /They already have 300,000 processors, how is my one processor going to make any difference?
F@H is more than twice as powerful as the world’s current most powerful supercomputer, in terms of operations per second, so using a supercomputer would be a massive step backwards for the project. Even with that in mind, the project is still restricted by the power available to it and needs all the extra silicon it can get.

Screensavers can help cancer/protein research? What?
It’s not the screensaver that matters, it’s the “Core” that runs while the screensaver runs which does the processing. These cores are all modified versions of respected open source analysis programs.

I’m worried about the environment, won’t running this program increase greenhouse gas emissions?/ Won’t running my computer at full or near full usage all the time make my bill skyrocket?
F@H needs only to be run when your computer is running. The average system uses maybe 70W at idle, and 120W fully loaded (i.e. when CPU folding - either uniprocessor or SMP). An extra 50W will not have a significant impact on either the environment or your electricity bill. [Of course, Overclocked, or GPU machines will have a much greater disparity between idle and load, but if you overclock your machine something tells me this question will not bother you so much ]
Cheers to Ren02 for approx. power figures
Cheers to Tarx:If you look at the other side of the argument, F@H can actually reduce bills elsewhere - as the computer produces more heat from working harder, the computer will warm the room it is in and quite possibly the rooms surrounding it too, which will reduce the amount of heating needed and reduce bills that way. There is also the fact that treating all the diseases which this project can and probably will help find cures for, has a significant environmental cost (i.e. to power all the necessary machinery), and also a significant financial cost should you become a victim of the diseases. The comparatively small extra outlay for running F@H is peanuts compared to the cost of treating these diseases.

Won’t running my computer at full usage/100% all the time damage it?
Modern computer chips are precision instruments, they are designed to be able to operate continuously at full speed without degrading. A typical example of this would be the humble web server. These serve thousands, maybe tens of thousands of connections a minute and are fully loaded for long periods at a time, yet hardly ever fail due to hardware faults. For the more technically minded, it is usually a good idea to clean out any heatsinks though (this applies to both desktops and laptops).
Good point by kikimarie:You may wish to install a temperature program and watch the temperatures if you are using a laptop to run F@H. Well designed laptops should stay within their defined operating temperatures but will almost certainly get noisy, and the temperature monitor program should ensure peace of mind about the noise. However if your laptop cannot cope with the extra heat then the monitoring program will alert you to its' overheating and the need to buy a cooling pad or similar device, to enable continued running of F@H.

This is pointless; you can’t solve something like this without lab work!
This is correct, however Folding@Home uses independently tested and proven techniques to advance and work alongside the work done in laboratories across the planet.

F@H is irrelevant now due to [Company X]’s research. Why bother?
As long as we lack complete knowledge about how and why proteins misfold, the work of the Folding@Home project will remain relevant. Maybe the project will render itself irrelevant by solving these problems, we don’t know. But for the foreseeable future, the project will not be rendered irrelevant by the research of any one company or group of companies.

How can I be sure that my resources, "loaned" for free, will not be used to generate research that will then be sold for profits, e.g. like United Devices?
Folding@Home is a project run by Stanford University, and they release all of their findings into the world free of charge, in the form of peer reviewed papers. See here for more. Anyone in the world can then use the results to further their own research without the need to redo these computationally intensive simulations.

I have an internet usage cap, using F@H will use more than I am allowed, will it not?
Put simply, no. The uniprocessor clients use up to 10MB each way at their normal settings (assuming use of v6 clients), but most computers if run just during the day will only finish a Work Unit every 2 or 3 days. Over a 30 day period that is an absolute maximum of 300MB (if a WU is completed every 2 days, so 15 WUs at 10MB each way), or well within any usage cap. Most Work Units are far smaller than that limit anyway, and the v5 and v6 clients can be set to limit Work Unit downloads to 5MB each way.
WARNING: Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the GPU clients if run on higher-end GPUs - if run for ten hours a day internet usage can be as high as 30MB... which over a thirty day period is 900MB. Please consider this if you have a high- or top-end GPU and want to run the client, but have a bandwidth cap.

Please feel free to tell me where I have gone wrong or the answers could be improved... or indeed copy this elsewhere (on or off this forum) if you feel the need... just please attribute it back to me/this forum if you copy it onto another forum
Any more reasons, type them up and I/we will try and counter them here

The further questions and answers are available over at Folding Forum but I would have to say are mostly discussing Global Warming