Maybe this is a little bit crazy, and I have the suspicion that it is impossible, however here is the situation. I have an old Xbox which I don't use, and I think it's a shame that all that storage, GPU, and CPU is sitting there accumulating dust. I also have a laptop with whatever specs...

Before jumping to the final question there's a couple things I want to know and I don't know where to get the information:

  • If I have two identical computers, can I blend the specs of the two to make one computer?
  • In case it is possible two do that, what do I need to learn to blend the hard disks, the GPU, and the CPU?

And the final question, formulated in the simplest way:

  • Is it possible to use my Xbox to compute with my laptop?
  • Why the downvote? I think it is useful and I'm asking for information to start researching properly. – Alberto Jul 30 '16 at 21:55
  • Your xbox could not be used as first, the hardware integrated is absolute minimum specifications microsoft could get away with, which means the performance gain would be negligible, and secondly it would have to run a different operating system to be able to receive jobs from another computer over LAN. – Matthew Jul 30 '16 at 23:45

Short Answer: No. Not without specialized software and programming.

Each system has its own resources such of CPU, RAM, Disks, etc that are "owned" by that system/OS and nothing else. It is possible for specialized software to create a command and control system where a master node sends batches of work or "jobs" are distributed to the other systems (slave nodes). These slaves complete the job, and then send back the results to the master node. These kinds of systems are also known as Beowulf Clusters.

It is described on Wikipedia as "A Beowulf cluster is a computer cluster of what are normally identical, commodity-grade computers networked into a small local area network with libraries and programs installed which allow processing to be shared among them. The result is a high-performance parallel computing cluster from inexpensive personal computer hardware."

  • Is that how BOINC works? – Alberto Jul 30 '16 at 22:20
  • It looks that way, Yes. You install a client software, and their servers send data for your computer and others to processes. Then, your computer sends the results back. – CConard96 Jul 30 '16 at 22:22

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