Just some thoughts on IBM and PowerPC regarding gaming.

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Edited by Evil_Rage (35 posts) -

So, I thought I would take a break from my usual discussions of how every game should be released with a drm-free version instead of forcing you to use online drm services to play and instead have a discussion about IBM and PowerPC hardware.

I actually came about this thread by way of reading a lot of discussion about using the CELL processor under a windows operating system and re-purposing ps3 parts to create a PC. It really made me wonder, what would have happened if we could have built ourselves our own PowerPC gaming systems using the PS3's Cell and other variants of it with the ability to liquid cool, overclock and add in our own discrete gpus, sound cards, xdr ram etc; during the last 8 years?

I've been pondering this for a very long time.

A theoretical 2006 build I would have made would be as follows:

CPU: PS3/PowerPC CELL Processor 3.2Ghz (All 9 Threads active)

RAM: 1GB XDR RAM (4 256mb sticks)

OS: Mac OSX (due to PowerPC being open to home builders like us ,in this theory Mac OSX can be installed on any system)

GPU: ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB

PSU: 500W top rated power supply

HDD: 150gb WD RAPTOR

The reason I put so much thought into this, is because I wish there was more choice of hardware. I really wish we could build PowerPC gaming systems such as the above theoretical build. Instead its all just AMD, INTEL or NVIDIA. I wish there was an IBM/PowerPC line of gaming hardware. We have only 2 CPU choices (amd or intel) and 2 gpu choices, (nvidia and amd) I wish there was a third cpu choice for ibm/powerpc/cell cpus and a third gpu choice for the PowerPC gaming lineup, assuming all companies like ASUS, PNY, evga, etc; make their own designs just like we're used to, things could be golden.

#2 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15916 posts) -

Back in the 90's, there was the choice of Intel, AMD, IBM/Cyrix CPUs for DIY PCs. Plus, there was Nvidia, 3dfx, ATI, S3, Matrox, Rendition, and PowerVR for video/gaming cards.

But, only the fittest survive which is what we have right now.

#3 Posted by Evil_Rage (35 posts) -

Yeah, I was just feeling nostalgic. I still think PowerPC should have survived to be a third option for gaming systems.

So then we would have at least 3 choices for gpus and cpus. instead of just 2.

#4 Posted by Arthas045 (5100 posts) -

I still have a powerpc macbook and it holds up well for browsing and playing Halo, WOW, and Diablo.

#5 Posted by osan0 (12627 posts) -

it would be interesting to to have more competition and different varieties of insctruction sets and architectures (though developers probably wouldn't be thrilled and anything not x86 would be at a severe disadvantage).

more competition would certainly be nice. at the mo AMD are just not keeping chipzilla honest. AMD CPUs are meh at the moment and intel are so far ahead now that, really, they are just phoning it in for their current processors.

i suppose any chance of taking x86 off intel is practically 0 though and unless more x86 licences are dished out we wont see much of a battle. I would love to see more companies involved in x86 CPU development though. sony, samsung, texas instruments and so on.

the CPU side is burtal though. one bad launch can sink the company. even intel admit that they are only ever two bad releases away from ruin (note: bad release being the CPU is fundimentally flawed, broken and a quick fix cant be applied. so haswell is not a bad release for example.). very risky business.

at least on the GPU side nvidia and AMD continue to kick the crap out of each other and thats been great for us. more competition would be welcome of course.

#6 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@

@Evil_Rage said:

So, I thought I would take a break from my usual discussions of how every game should be released with a drm-free version instead of forcing you to use online drm services to play and instead have a discussion about IBM and PowerPC hardware.

I actually came about this thread by way of reading a lot of discussion about using the CELL processor under a windows operating system and re-purposing ps3 parts to create a PC. It really made me wonder, what would have happened if we could have built ourselves our own PowerPC gaming systems using the PS3's Cell and other variants of it with the ability to liquid cool, overclock and add in our own discrete gpus, sound cards, xdr ram etc; during the last 8 years?

I've been pondering this for a very long time.

A theoretical 2006 build I would have made would be as follows:

CPU: PS3/PowerPC CELL Processor 3.2Ghz (All 9 Threads active)

RAM: 1GB XDR RAM (4 256mb sticks)

OS: Mac OSX (due to PowerPC being open to home builders like us ,in this theory Mac OSX can be installed on any system)

GPU: ATI Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB

PSU: 500W top rated power supply

HDD: 150gb WD RAPTOR

The reason I put so much thought into this, is because I wish there was more choice of hardware. I really wish we could build PowerPC gaming systems such as the above theoretical build. Instead its all just AMD, INTEL or NVIDIA. I wish there was an IBM/PowerPC line of gaming hardware. We have only 2 CPU choices (amd or intel) and 2 gpu choices, (nvidia and amd) I wish there was a third cpu choice for ibm/powerpc/cell cpus and a third gpu choice for the PowerPC gaming lineup, assuming all companies like ASUS, PNY, evga, etc; make their own designs just like we're used to, things could be golden.

CELL's SPEs would have a reduced workload on fixing the GPU's design issues e.g. Radeon X1950 has full speed 32 bit floating point and reasonable shader branch performance.

The alternative PS3 would have two processors (i.e. CELL and RV570) with Fold at Home capability.

SPE is not quite a real CPU since it doesn't supervisor and user modes which is required Unix type OS.

PS3's MacOnLinux PPC is pretty slow i.e. PPE at 3.2Ghz is roughly equivalent to PowerPC 970 at 1.6Ghz.

MacOS X itself is not aware of SPE. One could map MacOS X's OpenCL functions to SPE, but SPE has issues with IEEE-754 floating point standards. Modern GPUs has proper support for IEEE-754-2008 standards.

#7 Posted by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

Back in the 90's, there was the choice of Intel, AMD, IBM/Cyrix CPUs for DIY PCs. Plus, there was Nvidia, 3dfx, ATI, S3, Matrox, Rendition, and PowerVR for video/gaming cards.

But, only the fittest survive which is what we have right now.

PowerVR is still alive on PCs i.e. it powers the crap Intel GMA on Pineview/Cedartrail Atoms.

Intel Bay-Trail has practically remove the need for Windows RT/ARM based SOCs.

Most ChromeBooks are still powered by Intel i.e. Intel HD GT2/GT3 IGP is a power-house against ARM based IGP competitors.

#8 Edited by Evil_Rage (35 posts) -

@ronvalencia: Interesting points. The reason I put together such a build, is because if we had access to those parts we could theoretically be building our own versions of the 360/PS3 consoles, except with the ability to customize our parts and upgrade as we wished and devs would not have a hard time with porting, like now, (I hope, but have my doubts) with the x86/64 architecture of the Xbox 1 and PS4

If our PCs had an OS that supported the CELL (Linux? Unix? Not sure if Microsoft would let Windows have it as we would all be making superpowered versions of the 360) and all of its SPEs we could theoretically pair it with the most powerful powerpc gpu (as powerful as we can go without bottlenecking) and have a system with good longevity that has 9 threads.

I still wish I could build a powerpc gaming system with the CELL processor and XDR Ram, one can dream.

IBM just wants to stay out of the consumer market, but they would be a great addition to the competition between AMD, Nvidia and Intel. All of sudden we'd have a choice between three companies for CPUs and three for GPUs and a choice between Windows and a healthy Linux OS userbase. Competition would lead to reasonable hardware prices rather than crazy (1000 dollar Titan, needlessly expensive and soon to be outdated by cards a 1/4 of the price).

Besides that, I wish we were allowed to modify/format/entirely erase the PS3's OS and use it as a working linux or windows gaming machine with no restrictions. But things didn't work out that way.

#9 Edited by kungfool69 (2574 posts) -

@jun_aka_pekto said:

Back in the 90's, there was the choice of Intel, AMD, IBM/Cyrix CPUs for DIY PCs. Plus, there was Nvidia, 3dfx, ATI, S3, Matrox, Rendition, and PowerVR for video/gaming cards.

But, only the fittest survive which is what we have right now.

PowerVR is still alive on PCs i.e. it powers the crap Intel GMA on Pineview/Cedartrail Atoms.

Intel Bay-Trail has practically remove the need for Windows RT/ARM based SOCs.

Most ChromeBooks are still powered by Intel i.e. Intel HD GT2/GT3 IGP is a power-house against ARM based IGP competitors.

i own both a surface RT (First gen, Tegra 3) and a recent Toshiba Encore tab, running the new bay trail Quad core ATOM Z2370's at 1.33ghz. Sure, the atom is a faster smoother experience (i can even put real Steam on it!!), the RT experience isn't about performance, but rather security. Virus's cannot execute in RT due to its ipad style locked down OS (exe's do not work), with its App store only policy. I want a surface 2 to try out the Tegra 4.

#10 Edited by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

@kungfool69 said:

@ronvalencia said:

@jun_aka_pekto said:

Back in the 90's, there was the choice of Intel, AMD, IBM/Cyrix CPUs for DIY PCs. Plus, there was Nvidia, 3dfx, ATI, S3, Matrox, Rendition, and PowerVR for video/gaming cards.

But, only the fittest survive which is what we have right now.

PowerVR is still alive on PCs i.e. it powers the crap Intel GMA on Pineview/Cedartrail Atoms.

Intel Bay-Trail has practically remove the need for Windows RT/ARM based SOCs.

Most ChromeBooks are still powered by Intel i.e. Intel HD GT2/GT3 IGP is a power-house against ARM based IGP competitors.

i own both a surface RT (First gen, Tegra 3) and a recent Toshiba Encore tab, running the new bay trail Quad core ATOM Z2370's at 1.33ghz. Sure, the atom is a faster smoother experience (i can even put real Steam on it!!), the RT experience isn't about performance, but rather security. Virus's cannot execute in RT due to its ipad style locked down OS (exe's do not work), with its App store only policy. I want a surface 2 to try out the Tegra 4.

I own a Dell Venue 8 (8 inch) Pro 64GB (Quad Core Atom Z3740 (1.33 Ghz with 1.8 Ghz Turbo) and a Google Nexus 7 (7 inch) 2013 (Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 Pro 1.5Ghz).

Toshiba Encore 8" 64GB Tablet should have Intel ATOM Z3740. Intel Atom Z2xxx refers to the old Atom.

Widows RT also uses "exes" but they must have a MS certificate and they can be jail broken (I know the method to jail break a Windows RT).

Windows 8 RT is a clean Windows 8 X86 port i.e. the same kernel bug from X86 build for Windows RT (ARM build) jail break. LOL.

After the jail break, Windows RT's desktop mode acts like non-X86 Windows NT of the past. It's pretty easy to recompile code from X86 to ARM. i.e. it "feels like home" for Windows app programmers.

#11 Edited by kungfool69 (2574 posts) -

@ronvalencia: sorry, my mistake, it is identical to the Dell (which jst arrived at my shop today, why no windows button on the outside of the screen?) with the cpu Z3740.

so why is RT so much smaller then standard windows 8? u make it sound like they are so similar/