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CPUsage: Let Your PC Earn Money for You

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I’m sure many of you have heard about distributed computing projects like Folding@home and SETI@home, which asks for people to donate some of their computers’ processing power to help accomplish tasks that would otherwise require the use of expensive supercomputers. A new company called CPUsage wants to become the commercial version of distributed computing – it will offer to take on high compute tasks and will pay people who lend their computer’s unused processing power.

cpusage logo

But before you start hoarding computers and drooling at the prospect of earning money without doing anything, know that CPUsage will “only” pay you $10 (USD) a month for every four hours of daily work – or about $10 for 120 hours monthly – that your silicon slave does. I’m pretty sure that that’s not even enough to cover the cost of electricity that your computer will consume in that same time period.

Edit: CPUsage co-founder and CEO Jeff Martens corrected my assumption in his comment below, saying, “I’d like to address the electricity usage. In our analysis, the most power hungry Dell dekstop would consume about $7/month in electricity if the CPU was pinned at 100% utilization for the entire month…every minute of it (depends on your state’s electricity costs, of course). While it is unlikely that CPUsage would utilize your computer every minute of every day for an entire month, that same Dell desktop would earn you in the area of $75 in rewards. For $7 in electricity.” Learn more in this shaky-cam interview with Martens:

YouTube Preview Image

As Martens said in the video, the longer you lend them your computer’s power, the more money you’ll earn. Also, the more power you lend, the more money you’ll earn. But still, I don’t think people should expect to earn big money from being a CPUsage participant. Speaking of earnings, it’s not clear yet whether CPUsage will pay people with actual money or with gift cards.

Still, if you frequently use your computer anyway, then it would be nice to get the most out of it and earn a few bucks or items. Then again I’m no computer expert – who knows, there might be a way to game this system and earn lots of money from it. Check out the CPUsage website for more information.

[via The Next Web]






Comments (17):

  1. Jmartens says:

    Jeff Martens here, thanks for writing about us and posting the video.

    I’d like to address the electricity usage. In our analysis, the most power hungry Dell dekstop would consume about $7/month in electricity if the CPU was pinned at 100% utilization for the entire month…every minute of it (depends on your state’s electricity costs, of course). While it is unlikely that CPUsage would utilize your computer every minute of every day for an entire month, that same Dell desktop would earn you in the area of $75 in rewards. For $7 in electricity.

    Really though, what CPUsage is going after are the computers that are on anyway, but unused. We are not asking anyone to turn their computer on just for us. For many computers, having the computer on but idle is about 2/3 of the total electricity usage of a fully utilized computer. In other words, it takes more electricity to have the computer on than it takes to go from idle to 100% CPU utilization.

    For most people, the incremental electricity expense will be less than $1 per month and the MINIMUM earnings will be around $10.

    Thanks again for the post!

    • Technabob says:

      Jeff: Thanks for doing the math. For those of us who leave our computers on all the time anyhow, this makes perfect sense.

    • “I’d like to address the electricity usage. In our analysis, the most power hungry Dell dekstop would consume about $7/month in electricity if the CPU was pinned at 100% utilization for the entire month…every minute of it (depends on your state’s electricity costs, of course). While it is unlikely that CPUsage would utilize your computer every minute of every day for an entire month, that same Dell desktop would earn you in the area of $75 in rewards. For $7 in electricity.”

      Wow. That’s definitely way more than I expected. Thanks for clearing things up! I hope your company takes off.

  2. JohnDoe says:

    I love BOINC and my computers consume electricity for more than $25 / month working 24/7.

    • Jmartens says:

      You must be running very high performance gaming machines, or very old and inefficient machines.

      If it’s the former, you’d earn a ton of money with CPUsage.

  3. AdamBast says:

    i hope they aren’t harvesting email addresses. i gave them mine but they didn’t contact me so far

  4. Richard says:

    Another unthought of use for CPusage Is nearly free home heating!

    Every watt of electricity your computer uses doesn’t just vanish…. It comes out of the back of your computer as heat, warming the room it is in.

    Providing CPusage pays enough to cover atleast most of the electricity bill, its nearly free home heating as well as performing a usefull task, Getting twice the work out a given amount of energy!

    A good CPU power to cost ratio quiet PC giving out heat 24/7 in every room would likely be more than adequete for keeping the chill from the air in an entire home, providing it is well insulated and not drafty…

    And likely would not cost much more than a good central heating system.

    You could take this concept to the extreme, as an alternative heating system…

    all you would need for each machine would be a cheap compact case, a couple of quiet case fans, a good value Motherboard, a high end high wattage but good price vrs performance CPU, a basic reliable powersupply, Linux operating system to cut costs, The minimum amount of value ram to run the OS and the program. And no need for even a real hardDrive, just a cheap usb flash pendrive with enough room for a lite distro of linux and CPusage…

    Each machine would not even need it’s own Keyboard/mouse/ monitor as they would be controlled through the network.

    I’ll certainly be building a low cost quiet heater/PC running CPusage to cover the electricity costs and trying out the concept personally.

    • Greyson says:

      Are you planning to run this only during the colder months? Because if your A/C is forced to put in overtime to keep temperatures down, then this will severely erode the gains you get from dual-usage.

      In fact, the heating problem may increase your operating costs when averaged across the year, depending on the climate you live in.

  5. Chris says:

    $7 power costs for the best Dell available? That is utter nonsense, sorry. You have to pay at LEAST more than $60-80 for the most expensive Dell if it is running at 100% CPU utilization for a complete month. Unless you pay 3 cents for energy and have a 98% efficient PSU ;-)

  6. CpuKing says:

    If you go to
    http://www.electricity-usage.com/Electricity-Usage-Calculator.aspx?Device=computer&Watts=1000&CostPerKWH=0.10&HoursPerDay=24
    I put in 1000 watts as that’s my gaming rig’s PSU
    That’s 68$’s a month vs the 10$ you get paid…
    I wan’t to get paid on the amount of data manipulated, not by the day.
    No reason John should get 10$ running a P3 when I’m running an current I-7

    • Crosility says:

      That’s what I was thinking CpuKing. I’m running a higher end desktop, and higher-end upload/download speed connection. Making money is fine and dandy, but.. if I’m going to make the same as a person running a cheap, but efficient cpu, and low upstream.. then why bother? If I process 100x more data, and in result my processor takes a small hit due to that, I rather make at least a portion more. 100x more maybe is extreme, but if I’m running it, why not?

  7. Raheed Washington says:

    I think http://www.eobot.com pays out quite a bit higher than CPUsage does…plus you can download and it tells you immediately how much you will make

  8. Jmartens says:

    Thought I’d provide a quick update and let everyone know that we have discontinued this program. We are no longer supporting the software and no longer taking signups.

    More info here: http://www.cpusage.com/blog/corp-comm/the-future-of-cpusage-and-our-provider-program/

  9. casualsteve says:

    Here is one I use:

    http://www.ipuservices.com/user/signup/?referred_by=IPU058294

    It’s free and incredibly easy to sign up. They are going live Oct 15th, 2013 and will start paying out. I would highly recommend it.

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