From what I understand...
The scientists at Stanford are trying to understand how proteins arrange themselves under certain circumstances. They have many different types of proteins that they want to study and, I assume, many different situations and conditions that they want to study them under.
So they hand out WUs or Work Units to your computer. Your computer chews on them for a little while, runs the necessary simulations, and then spits them back out with information that the scientists at Stanford can then read and add to their databases. Your contribution of processing power slowly advances our human knowledge of how proteins behave.
-Larger/more complex proteins require much larger amounts of processor power to simulate. Furthermore, simulating them over a greater timespan requires even more processing power. Therefore, it is possible to declare what kind of WUs you want to receive (Unicore, SMP, bigadv and hugeadv). Selecting the right WUs (most likely SMP if you fold on your 950) can take advantage of your system's superior processing power, and basically get more done.
-Here at OCN, folding is a sort of competition - we work to see who can complete the most WUs (each of which is assigned a point value) and gather the most points - and it's all for the sake of greater human understanding, but we have fun with it too
-Collectively, the entire Folding@Home network exercises about 4.9 petaFLOPS of processing power - just over half of the K-Computer's (the most powerful supercomputer in the world's) peak output.
-"In addition to producing ninety-five scientific research papers, more than all other major distributing computing projects combined, Folding@home has caused significant paradigm shifts in protein folding theory." In other words, it's done a lot to clarify how proteins fold - something very important, considering that we wouldn't be alive without them, and that their misfolding can lead to serious diseases such as Alzheimer's and Mad Cow Disease.
Stats from Wikipedia... sorry if any of it is incorrect. Please correct me if anything is wrong.Edited by Escatore - 10/13/11 at 7:24pm