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Raspberry Pi Running Quake 3

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the your-coffee-mug-is-your-computer dept.

Portables 102

First time accepted submitter phonewebcam writes "Here's something to liven up your weekend: a video of the Raspberry Pi running Quake 3. We're still working on ironing a few kinks out (specifically, there seems to be a library issue which means our framerate, while good, isn't quite as spectacular as we know it can be; we're working on it as I post this) – but this is what test boards are for, and we're making great progress getting the boards running smoothly."

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102 comments

Excerpts from their FAQ (4, Informative)

rotide (1015173) | about 2 years ago | (#37233366)

From their FAQ.. I had no idea what this device was, so I figure a bunch of others don't either.. Essentially an ARM based tiny computer that can apparently play Quake 3 among other applications. Lots of Linux support too. (This is not the full FAQ)

When will the device be available to purchase?
We anticipate the device will be available to the general public later in 2011 – at the moment that looks like November.

How much will it cost?
We hope to be selling the Model A for $25 and the Model B for $35.

How do I connect a mouse and keyboard?
Mice, keyboards, network adapters and external storage will all connect via a USB hub.

What display can I use?
There is composite and HDMI out on the board, so you can hook it up to a digital or analogue television or to a DVI monitor.

What about audio?
There’s a standard 3.5mm jack, or you can use HDMI. You can add any supported USB microphone via a hub.

Does the device support networking? Is there Wi-Fi?
The Model B version of the device includes 10/100 wired Ethernet. There is no Ethernet on the Model A version (which we expect to be taken up mostly by the education market), but Wi-Fi will be available via a standard USB dongle.

What are the power requirements?
The device is powered by an external AC adapter, and the Model A consumes around 1W at full load.

Holy Crap I want one! Or a few!

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233436)

Good old Braben. I want this all the more simply because there is a Model A and a Model B [wikipedia.org]

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#37233748)

I have it on good authority that Acorn sold virtually no model As. Apparently it was possible to upgrade the RAM, so it's likely that any that were built wound up being upgraded before they left the warehouse.

(This authority isn't written, it's someone who worked for Acorn at the time. I believe him, mostly because most software required a model B - the RAM was shared between every component in the system so by the time things like video had been included, there was nothing like 16/32K available to programs).

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#37236338)

(This authority isn't written, it's someone who worked for Acorn at the time. I believe him...

It's a fairly well documented fact...people weren't as poor as Acorn had expected.

A lot of graphics modes needed 20k of the 32k RAM - Model A owners only had text mode games (ie. Acorn text adventures...)

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233516)

On this scale you can expect the box for it to cost more than the electronics unless you are going for a very getto-style computer.

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233518)

I had no idea what this device was

You never [slashdot.org] heard of [slashdot.org] this before? [slashdot.org] You must not come here often.

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

Lifyre (960576) | about 2 years ago | (#37233610)

Sometimes you need a reminder. I'm glad to see it is looking to be a very useful computer. Maybe someday they'll be giving these away in cereal boxes.

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#37233636)

Well, I'd hope some charitable foundation dedicated to education would buy a few million and give them away to high schools.

Eric Schmidt recently (rightly IMHO) criticised the UK education system for its lack of computer science - here's an answer for him.

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#37233688)

I'd heard of the project, but not of the name. A simple mention of Braben somewhere in the summary would have helped...

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (1)

DaVince21 (1342819) | more than 2 years ago | (#37239758)

$25? $35? REALLY?! Holy cow, that's cheaper than most video games!

Re:Excerpts from their FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246432)

Hmm, I want $500/$25 of them in an array! Can you say supercomputer?! :-)

Huh? I though Pi was 3.14, not "3" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233368)

What is this, Indiana USA? It should be Quake 3.14159265

Re:Huh? I though Pi was 3.14, not "3" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233424)

you're a retard

Re:Huh? I though Pi was 3.14, not "3" (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233474)

you're a retard

I think you mean: "your a moran"

Re:Huh? I though Pi was 3.14, not "3" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233558)

Or maybe: "your a returd"

Re:Huh? I though Pi was 3.14, not "3" (0)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about 2 years ago | (#37233818)

The Bible says = 3 [abarim-publications.com] . Who are you to question the scripture!?

$35 computer - dream come true (4, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37233450)

And people barely notice. This computer is as powerful than anything I had 10 years ago. It can do almost anything you could need - and what it can't do is mostly down to bloated software. Sometimes I have a hard time shaking off the feeling that we've almost stood still for the last decade - but then again, that's a good thing, because it allows the rest of the world to catch up to the high-income countries, by benefiting from ever lower prices.

The real question, as after any dream that has become true, is: what's next? And I have no idea.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#37233512)

You can buy media players for under $100 which are basically computers. They have firmware, some ARM / MIPS derived SoC which does accelerated video decoding, flash and some ports. Indeed the Roku 2 (priced from $60) apparently has the same Broadcom BCM2835 as this Raspberry Pi does. I guess therefore the Pi is capable of video decoding too but it really depends on the amount of flash it has and other factors.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#37233526)

Hit submit too soon. The main other factor is just because the hardware does video accelerated decoding doesn't mean its available through software. Most SoCs are loaded with IP tokens which enable / disable certain patented / licenced tech such as h264. It may well be that the Pi does not ship with those tokens. Wait for confirmation I guess.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37234864)

It's already confirmed that it can decode h264.1080p30

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#37236166)

If that's true then I can't wait to get one of those. I've always been wanting to build an ultra small computer to do some basic stuff.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237518)

From the website:

Provisional specification
blah
blah
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
blah

If this thing will run XBMC and play MKV files, I'll be on it like white on rice.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237942)

If it doesn't have fancy shaders it won't run XBMC because (as one of the primary authors schooled me on here long ago) the interface was drawn with shaders on the xbox because otherwise it would be agonizingly slow to do all that fancy alpha stuff. At least, it won't run it as it is today... But mplayer ought to do the right thing, so you just need a file mangler.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37239870)

It has OpenGL 2.0...that's shaders.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37233534)

But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (4, Informative)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#37233706)

I don't know where you get that idea - it has hdmi for video output, and it has usb for everything else. My work Dell has usb for all inputs, so I can't see why you think its not a full-blown computer like all the big black boxes we use today.

It even has full software support as it runs Linux.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#37234036)

But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

Most media players are just cut down Linux dists running a media player application of some sort. If the box was hackable and you external storage you could enable swap, slap a few more apps on an external path and do pretty much anything you felt like - performance permitting.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#37236838)

But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

That is the stupid post I've seen on slashdot in awhile.

I know you didn't RTFA, but even then, you shouldn't of came back with such a stupid post.

So, let me educate you.

A computer isn't the peripherals attached to it, the computer is basicly, the main board with cpu, memory, and connections to interact with it. Which the Raspberry Pi has. It has usb ports, HDMI/composite port, memory, cpu. Guess what genius? It's a fucking computer.

You want software? They got linux running on it yet, which is clear from the summary (you did at least, read that?).

But ya, you can use it as another media player. shit, it's small, it's light, don't take up much power, get the Model B version and you got ethernet. Plus it into a NAS via USB 2.0 and you got yourself a media player. oh, you didn't want another media player? my bad, you did noticed this article was about playing Quake 3 on it, right? You do know that isn't a movie or song, right? It's a game. A computer game. And guess what? It runs on the Raspberry Pi!!!!

Like i said, you have a stupid post, and well, my opinion of you now is your dumber then a box of rocks and i hope to god you don't breed, because if your kids are twice as smart as you, they are still pretty damn stupid.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237982)

But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

What? Did you really just assert that the raspberry pi is not a computer because it doesn't have software support or peripherals? Did you even look at the video? I saw a keyboard, mouse and monitor plugged into it, and some of my favorite software *ever* running on it at triple digit framerates. I know some people don't read the actual articles here, but seriously, dude -- at least most people here know what a computer is.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37242040)

But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

A computer is a device which runs turing-equivalent stored programs. This does that. It's a computer. It's several thousand times faster and has several hundred thousand times the storage of the first computer I worked on, and that one supported eighteen simultaneous users. Add a display and a USB hub linking keyboard, mouse, backing store, and you have a 'personal computer' or 'workstation'. What more do you want?

Personally, I want a beowulf cluster of these!

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#37233704)

The Raspberry Pi is using an unknown Broadcom SOC. Broadcom hasn't announced it yet, so the R-Pi team hasn't been able to give out the model number yet.

The only thing they've confirmed is that it has a nice GPU and its media capabilities are greater than everything currently available.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (3, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#37233754)

FTA:

Obviously, the Raspberry Pi isn’t intended as a gaming platform, but it’s very satisfying to let the Broadcom BCM2835 application processor off the leash (yes, I’m allowed to give you the part number now) and see what it can do in this sphere nonetheless

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (3, Informative)

mounthood (993037) | about 2 years ago | (#37233856)

Unfortunately the BCM2835 is not on the Broadcom website, but the BCM2763 is:
http://www.broadcom.com/products/Cellular/Mobile-Multimedia-Processors/BCM2763 [broadcom.com]

Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders)
Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode
The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs
20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation VideoCore® III multimedia processor
4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage

From the "VideoCore® III" page:

Support for 8 mega pixel camera modules enables a picture quality superior to most digital still cameras, while MPEG-4 video capability at VGA resolution offers state-of-the-art video technology for tape-less camcorders. In addition, support for the H.264 video compression standard enables next-generation cellular phones to incorporate DVB-H mobile TV capability.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#37234070)

The thing to be aware is that just because the hardware can decode AVC output doesn't mean every device with the chipset will enable it. It's patented technology and these chipsets often require you preload them with a token to enable certain patented / licenced stuff. No token = no support. On top of that even with support you need to know which APIs to hit which decode in hardware. These APIs may be in the SDK or BSP but it doesn't mean end users will have access to them.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

tramp (68773) | about 2 years ago | (#37237342)

The BCM2835 is not on the website but the BCM2820 is, take a look at http://www.broadcom.com/products/BCM2820 [broadcom.com] .

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

lmnfrs (829146) | about 2 years ago | (#37237262)

The other informative thing to check is their previous post [raspberrypi.org] - scroll just past the pictures.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (3, Interesting)

Cruciform (42896) | about 2 years ago | (#37233536)

We haven't stood still. There are two significant factors at play - performance and miniaturization.
The bulky CPU that came with a heat sink assembly that took up the space of a small toolbox now fits on the tip of your thumb. The storage is now small and cheap enough that couple with the CPU and mainboard you can put small, powerful computers all over your home -- cheaply. And without having to buy it locked down and as a loss leader for a corporation's accessory market.
I can't wait to see what's available in 2020.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233660)

Makes me wonder how they did it. My desktop computer cannot do this without a huge AGP card...
It would have been nice if the article had contained some specs on CPU / GPU &c.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#37233724)

It would have been nice if the article had contained some specs on CPU / GPU &c.

I know reading is, like, hard and stuff, but TFA specifically says that it's a Broadcom BCM2835, which is an ARM11 core with an OpenGL 2 ES GPU.

Makes me wonder how they did it. My desktop computer cannot do this without a huge AGP card.

Seriously? How old is your desktop. Quake 3 was released in 1999. It ran nicely on my VooDoo 2 (although only at 800x600). It is designed for a fixed-function pipeline. Any mobile phone GPU from the last 5 years will have been capable of running it.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#37238164)

Look at a desktop PC - first thing, it's filled mostly with air - that's the actual cooling system - although air is an insulator, blowing it around actually helps cool the components. Next thing, the actual CPU and GPU are tiny bits of silicon. An intel i-7 CPU is only 263mm^2 or about 17mmx17mm. Similarly for a Geforce 9800 GTX+ (= 260mm^2). That's about a size of a pair of standard keys on a desktop keyboard. They could fit together into a single chip die.

On a desktop, to connect these two together alone (CPU & GPU), you need the die packaging for both chips, the chip boards and sockets (Socket-7 for the I-7, PCIe-2.0 for the GPU), the various glue logic, smoothing capacitors for power, plus the bus backplane. While the GPU and CPU may be clocked at the GHz speeds, PCI Express operates at 250MB/s or 500MB/s per lane, or 16GB combined, but that is shared with other cards like sound, disk drive controllers, embedded network port.

On a mobile phone, the GPU and CPU are on the same die and packaging. There is no need for the sockets, PCI motherboard, glue logic, bus backplane and everything else. That reduces power demands. The direct connection means that a trade-off between clock-speed and number of stream processors can be made against the latency of the bus connection, thus reducing the need for cooling.

ARM processors also tend to combine different operation together like DSP chips. You would have a single instruction to add and multiply vector data together as well as increment or decrement the two pointers. That also helps to reduce code size, cache and memory transfers.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 2 years ago | (#37234022)

And people barely notice.

Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#37234588)

And people barely notice.

Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"

Back in the day, that was known as terminal face (the expression a customer made when told that his $200 computer would require a $1200 terminal to run).

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#37234778)

More like "What good is the thing if i gotta program it, build a box to use it, and then buy the crap to hook it up?". Now if you were to build it into say a Sega Nomad style case with 2Gb of NAND onboard and a microSD slot along with a basic Linux with web browser pre installed? I bet you could get the BOM under $50 and so could sell it for $75 and make an absolute killing as a portable emulator/media player/ browser in a box.

Load in Genesis/MegaDrive, NES, SNES, Master System and just for fun Atari/ColecoVision emulators? i'd snatch one up for $75 without a second thought. Hell i'd probably pick up a couple and start selling them here at the shop. There are a bunch of guys like me that would like to play a little Mortal Kombat or general chaos while waiting in line at the bank.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#37235988)

Haha, I was just imagining someone playing quake3 in the lineup at the bank and their headphones fall out, activating the external speaker* and gunfire suddenly being heard :P

* Of course the board only has 1 audio output, but I'm assuming a pre-fab box would include a speaker as well

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37241340)

This will have a case when it is finished (it is still in the development/prototype stage, which is why it isn't pictured with a case). It will also have a SD slot and run Linux. Since it runs Linux you won't need to program it.

You presumably have a TV already. So extra parts you may need are keyboard, mouse, SD card and network adaptor. You can probably get all those for $15-$20.

This is designed first and foremost for educational use, that is, something that kids will be able to tinker and learn from, not for gaming. So they aren't going to put much work into enabling what you want, but for what you want look at the Dingoo A320 or A330 (the A330 is made by a different Dingoo, but has slightly better hardware (more RAM at least) and the same software), which is built for running emulators (and it also has a Linux distro made to run on it). However, if you (or anyone else) want to take a Raspberry Pi and mod it to your purposes, they probably won't have a problem with that.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#37236860)

And people barely notice.

Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"

rofl.

I found one of the stupidest post ever on slashdot today (http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2401770&cid=37233534) and your is probably one of the funniest I've ever seen also.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235766)

> The real question, as after any dream that has become true, is: what's next? And I have no idea.

Oh, I think I can give a suggestion here:

Yo, Chuck, isn't something like this that Jeff wanted? Why not play a little with this?

(*) btw, the Stout thing is great... I hate things related to war (really do!) but I grasp the lyrics' meaning and it's quite remarkable when people work together... reminds me of F/OSS...

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235842)

This is modded insightful...?

Well, the phrase "it can do almost anything you could need" is semantically empty. As for me, it does nothing I usually need. My filesystem is ZFS, native on Solaris on a host by itself, and it needs all the memory it can get, although 512 MB work perfectly, and I play with a number of virtual machines on another host, which has 16 GB. So no. pi's NIC is 100 Mbps, so no. RAM is (IIRC) about 80 MB, so no.

As a toy computer to act as a VNC or RPD terminal and nothing else, it could work but nothing else. Oh, I also like to indulge in some Mario Kart and Out Run, none of which run in this underpowered computer. So no.

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 2 years ago | (#37236872)

I guess a screen, a case and some other peripherals will make it more expensive.

Maybe just a little lower than any ARM/BeagleBoard device.

For example this is US $200 and during this summer US $150:
https://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/ [alwaysinnovating.com] (detable keyboard/touchscreen/2 batteries)

(no this is not an ad, I don't even own such a device, just trying to make a point about the price)

Re:$35 computer - dream come true (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37239642)

What dream? If you keep checking the bargain-bin, you can get decent old computer parts very cheap. I remember picking-up a new but obsolete mobo and duron CPU combo for $60, about 6 years ago.

A couple years ago, I was ordering used P4 computer en-mass to upgrade the obsolete workstations for a large company, at $70 each. That's double the price, but those were full computers, case, hard drive, PSU, etc.

Today, an old P4 system minus HDD goes for $40 (order in pairs for cheaper shipping):
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SAMBA845V-24-4-R&cat=SYS [geeks.com]

The above is just a bit light on memory, but a $4 upgrade and it will run RHEL6 just fine (KDE4 is slow), making it vastly more capable and useful than the Pi, if you don't need super low power.

There have been plenty of super-cheap systems out there, but they're always lacking in some major area that keeps them from being suitable for general-purpose work, and ruins the economics when you consider all the OTHER supporting equipment you need to make it a real, working system. Refurb x86 will continue to be the most economical options for some time to come.

Horrendous colors (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 2 years ago | (#37233564)

Is it due to the video quality, or is the Raspberry Pi itself rendering Quake 3 in horrendous shades of blue and pink?

Re:Horrendous colors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233830)

They should re-shoot that before everyone thinks the video rendering sucks.

Re:Horrendous colors (2)

Eil (82413) | about 2 years ago | (#37234230)

The colors are off because it's a mediocre camera recording a crappy monitor.

Forgive me for pointing it out but.... (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 2 years ago | (#37233644)

Have you people never heard of a Single Board Computer [wikipedia.org] before? This is hardly a technological breakthrough. Interesting pet project, but we've been using devices like this (the one we have at the moment runs CE) for years.

Re:Forgive me for pointing it out but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233738)

It's 25-35$. That's the breakthrough. You must be new here.

Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (-1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#37233656)

Quake 3 is over 10 years old. It uses a minimal amount of a modern GPU's feature set and it doesn't use the most efficient APIs to access it.

Quake 3 goes for an arcade look instead of the realism of modern games so it still looks pretty nice, so I guess it's a quick way to make a GPU seem capable. But I can't help thinking it's not representative of how people are coding games today.

Is realism still a relevant goal? (1, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37233714)

Heroic efforts for marginal improvements in graphics don't help polishing the turd that computer games have become. They barely changed, AI is still crap despite a gazillion fold increase in computing power budgets of games companies.

Your thinking is perfectly representative of the way how games ended up being they crap they are these days.

Re:Is realism still a relevant goal? (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#37233720)

... in computing power and budgets of games companies.

Re:Is realism still a relevant goal? (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#37233816)

I regretted mentioning realism the moment I clicked submit, because I knew some people would latch onto that word and forget everything else I said.

I only meant that, because arcade-style games are much easier to make good looking than realistic games, Quake 3 can easily "look" like a relevant benchmark despite not properly using a modern GPU.

Modern engines people develop new games with, like Unity or Unreal 3, work very different from Quake 3 even if you're not going for realism. These would make a much more relevant benchmark.

(And I still play Quakeworld Team Fortress to this day, so don't lump me in with the graphics-are-everything crowd. Thank you.)

Re:Is realism still a relevant goal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37237418)

Is quakeworld (tf) still alive ?

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#37233804)

This thing isn't meant for playing "games of today". It's just a nice deminstration of the power of this incredibly cheap device. They were only getting about 20fps (albeit in 1080p) in the video, but it's still cool as a hobbyist project.

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37234006)

Still, its a 1 Watt, $25 thing that apparently can render Quake3 at 1920x1080 with 4xAA. That's impressive.

If they can fix the bug they claim to have that reduces performance, it'd be a great hobbyist thing. I'd buy one to hook up to my TV, just because I can.

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (1)

cynyr (703126) | about 2 years ago | (#37234062)

make a $60 version with dual GbE and I'll by 2-5 of the things. It would make a great router. I can't seem to find a linux friendly ARM (read low power board) with >=128MB ram, and dual GbE ports. It also would have to low cost enough to pass the wife test.

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (1)

garaged (579941) | about 2 years ago | (#37233916)

Well, that means that it can run much better games since better code can be created for modern GPUs, right ?

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (1)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | about 2 years ago | (#37234042)

This is very relevant considering big Intel with their integrated GMA (graphics my ass) cards were barely capable to render OpenGL until recently. And this little thing really renders Q3@120fps ?! Hmm, that puts Intel to shame, but still kinda unbelievable...

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37234192)

I have no idea where you're getting your 120fps figure.

On the forums, they said that they've had it running Q3 at 30-35fps and 1920x1080 resolution. In the video, it's getting around 20fps, which they say they are looking into (Eben helped develop the chip, and they're the ones writing the driver, so I'm pretty confident they have the means to fix any regressions.

I could see it manage 120fps running at 800x600, so it might be impressive when connected to a tablet-sized screen, but it's not meant to be a powerhouse in the GPU department. They said the thing runs at about 24 GFLOPS, and they use it for H.264 level 4.1 decoding. I'd much rather see a GPGPU API on the thing than a locked-down but capable GPU that only gets used for games.

Re:Is Quake 3 still a relevant benchmark? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37237468)

Meh, you kids and your realism. back in my day, quake 3 was the best. While you were typing your snooty little comment about realism, I was busy fragging people in OpenArena, a quake 3 mod.

now, get off my LAN.

yes but.... (0)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#37233678)

...does it run Elite?

Re:yes but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233730)

More to the point, can it run Crysi ARGH STOP STABBING ME BLOOD BLOOD EVERYWHERE ARRGHGHHhhhghg . gg. ... h ..

Re:yes but.... (2)

zevans (101778) | about 2 years ago | (#37233864)

I reckon oolite will run on that.

Slashdot is weird (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37233718)

Some idiots sell an overpriced ridiculous box to make fragile trinkets, and the jizz flies so thick you could drown a whale. Someone makes a real product, decently priced, at enormous expense of time and skill, and what? Stupid jokes and complaints? Oh but my stupid game doesn't look good! Only a minority of good posts so far.

But then, Slashdot is not where you go when you want reality-based engineering stories. Fantasies and delusions, *especially* about space, that'll get the nerds going. I guess when it comes to deliviering actual results, most nerds and geeks prefer to retreat into their heads.

Quake 3 (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#37234138)

will run on a pentium MMX and a voodoo2

Re:Quake 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37234380)

I still say that Quake is a valuable benchmark for this board. There are quite a few $25 dev boards that would be *lucky* to render a game of Quake at 2 frames per second. Most of the dev boards in the $20-$50 range have less than 1MB of RAM, 16 bit processors(or ARM with only Thumb2 support)

This is definitely awesome. Can anyone else say homebrew gaming platform!?

Thumb2? probably a non-issue (1)

lenski (96498) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237930)

Interesting point on thumb2. I've been working with a radio module running an Atmel AT91SAM3U, whose processor core is a Cortex-M3. Totally an embedded SOC, but its lack of tons of RAM and MMU is a function of its application market positioning, not the ISA. Upon beginning the project, I was doubtful about the thumb2 ISA, but it has surprised me:

The fact that it's not the original ARM ISA has never been an impediment. In fact I would say that its code density is likely a contributor to performance, as it either runs well with small cache, or runs really well with larger caches.

Our project has been implemented using a normal GCC 4.3 series compiler, and I have not hit any compiler/ISA strangeness at any time. This includes our use of some software floating-point arithmetic (not much, though).

The Raspberry Pi would be a *fabulous* micro-server. (I am not a gamer or media enthusiast, YMMV)

Re:Quake 3 (2)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 years ago | (#37234432)

A Pentium MMX and a Voodoo2 will not fit in your pocket and didn't cost $25 at launch. There is more than one axis for improvement.

Re:Quake 3 (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 2 years ago | (#37236132)

at 1920x1080 at 30fps? doubt it. Most voodoo 2 cards don't even have enough video memory for a display buffer that size.

Hell yes! (2)

Oasiz (1017554) | about 2 years ago | (#37234612)

I'm a huge fan of this little device, It's basically a glimpse on the future of computing.

Imagine atrix-like devices where you can just carry around a core system in your pocket, it scales down to the smaller screen and you can do all kinds of activities on it. Plug it in to an dock and get a full desktop. Imagine work computers like this.

Also once windows 8 comes out, I see ARM really taking off. A system like this is already pretty much what 80% of offices really need for everyday tasks. A few additional connectors are naturally needed (plus practicality).

Imagine $60 or even sub-$50 office computer cases (Or small computers that you can carry in the pocket) that eat under 10 watts of electricity and run a full windows desktop. (Yes I know that ARM and x86 apps aren't compatible, but they are porting office over).

This time computing gets personal again, it's probably your own phone that powers your work-desktop in the future.
Sorry for the "market speech", but I am just so excited myself.

ARM is the future, plus it runs quake3.

Re:Hell yes! (3, Insightful)

ebenupton (2424660) | about 2 years ago | (#37234682)

That's certainly our thinking. You can see what we're doing here as a first stab at redefining the price point and set of tradeoffs for an entry-level desktop PC. It's not perfect (the ARM11 in particular is only just good enough), but I suspect in ten years' time we'll be looking back wondering why we used to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a system unit for a machine to surf the web and run office software.

Re:Hell yes! (1)

Oasiz (1017554) | about 2 years ago | (#37236074)

Awesome!

Tradeoffs are understandable, everything is naturally expandable in the future once you get a solid framework to build on.
I foresee these exploding in popularity once you get these out and people realize how easily and cheaply they can build lowpower application-specific systems (A Beowulf cluster of these!), and possibly even desktop replacements in the future.
I know that I will get a few of these for myself at least :)

Good luck with the development!

Re:Hell yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37236120)

Any chance to stuff it into an Altoids tin? :)

Re:Hell yes! (1)

ebenupton (2424660) | about 2 years ago | (#37237078)

Tight fit. Will your credit card fit in an Altoid's tin (sorry, don't have one to hand)?

Re:Hell yes! (1)

Anomalyst (742352) | more than 2 years ago | (#37241550)

run a full windows desktop. (Yes I know that ARM and x86 apps aren't compatible, but they are porting office over).

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Closed hardware: no deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235166)

I have finally found the info about the hardware on their info page: [to quote]

2) How open is the hardware? Is there a schematic, or at least a GPIO map?

ARM-side hardware is pretty open and standard (Synopsys USB 2.0 host, ARM UART, SDHCI SD card) multimedia side is pretty much completely closed.
  [end quote]

This is a deal breaker. So, no Raspberry Pi for me. I am tired of being locked into hardware that sadistic vendors will not release documentation for. I would rather be forced to write a new OS for the hardware that is fully open than to get a device that is completely locked down on a vague promise of support (Nokia 770 was the last straw)

Re:Closed hardware: no deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235806)

Same for me. I'd have loved to play with this if it was open.
It's kind of weird that this "little" piece of information is hidden in the comments section of a blog post. I guess it just doesn't sound too good if you want to market your " 1-Watt Linux open source quake 3 miracle" computer by saying that half of its hardware is closed down.

D.O.A.

Re:Closed hardware: no deal. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#37236238)

Sorry you feel that way. I still can't wait.

Re:Closed hardware: no deal. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237540)

Bad news, that's how it is for pretty much every mobile device in existence.

Drama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235416)

> Here's something to liven up your weekend: a video of the Raspberry Pi running Quake 3.

Yay! Awesome! No, AWESOME! To think such a small machine can pull this makes me want to cry out of joy!

> We're still working on ironing a few kinks out (specifically, there seems to be a library issue which means our framerate, while good, isn't quite as spectacular as we know it can be; we're working on it as I post this)

No sweat, dude. I'm trying to see your video on my "old" 512MB RAM Celeron 1.7GHz which has a S3 based onboard card whcich would work with XFree86 (from eons ago) but not with Xorg; therefore I installed a spare Geforce4 MX440 which has to use the Nouveau driver, which is excellent but won't pageflip without kernel>= 2.6.39.

Since I've read elwhere the difference in speed is dramatic, I went for the upgrade. Nothing changed much, which made me want to cry (of sorrow) -- so, yes, it is kinda dramatic...

Not that Quake3 would work on this Mesa-abandoned h/w...

Yes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37235474)

Quake 3? Awesome. Now, will it blend?

This is a huge deal (1)

Fallingwater (1465567) | about 2 years ago | (#37235512)

A fully functional general-purpose computer with decent power for $35 is absolutely groundbreaking. I can't wait to be doing productive work (and maybe retrogaming!) on a little stick of circuitry that eats less power than a freakin' christmas light. My only gripe with it is that it runs Ubuntu; I'd much prefer it to run Debian - though I guess it'll be a question of (little) time before someone makes Debian work on it.

WANT WANT WANT. I think I'll buy two or tree $35 ones. Hell, it's the first computer you can buy more than one of just because, hell, why not?

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

Saffaya (702234) | about 2 years ago | (#37235720)

In the comments relative to running Quake 3 on the Raspberry Pi, they state the OS running in the video is Debian.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/?p=106#comments [raspberrypi.org]

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | about 2 years ago | (#37235948)

And also the FAQ says, "What Linux distros will be supported at launch? Ubuntu, Debian and hopefully Fedora and ArchLinux will be supported from the start. "

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37237548)

Debian w/ LXDE is great for low-spec systems. Almost as convenient as Ubuntu and WAY lighter on system resources.

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37239444)

this is incorrect. Ubuntu won't run on it as it is using ARMv6 and we build for ARMv7 now. Debian would work great. If someone wants to build a derivative of Ubuntu for v6 then that would be awesome, but the official Ubuntu builds are not going to work.

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37239454)

It will be Debian, maybe Fedora. It won't be Ubuntu on that chip.

Re:This is a huge deal (1)

Fallingwater (1465567) | more than 2 years ago | (#37244822)

Even better. I remember reading it would run Ubuntu and haven't gotten more recent info since then. Now I want four.

Hardware or software rendering? (1)

md65536 (670240) | about 2 years ago | (#37236428)

I RTFA and I looked up the raspberry pi on wikipedia, but I must be dum cuz I still don't know if it has any special hardware for rendering. Is it cpu only?

Wikipedia mentions only OpenGL ES 2.0 in the pi's specs.
Does OpenGL ES imply any hardware acceleration or specific chips?

Re:Hardware or software rendering? (1)

fletto (1416865) | about 2 years ago | (#37236640)

I'm just wild guessing here, but to me it seems like the processor is some sort of OMAP3-ish device, so I'd say it's a SGX540. That'd mean it got HW vertex and fragment shaders.

Re:Hardware or software rendering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37242748)

Quake 3's engine is not capable of rendering in software at high frame rates

Re:Hardware or software rendering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37259714)

well, the broadcom chip it's using has routines for rendering built in, don't think of it like the split between CPU and GPU on a normal x86 box (in this case it's one unit that has routines for both). Pretty nifty little chip they have in this guy too, i might need to pick one up myself...

Very cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37254944)

with that said, what is up with the Linux / Open source community choosing such ridiculous names? Raspberry Pi? The community is just begging to continue to be mostly ignored.

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