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Valve, Xi3 Show Off Mini Linux Gaming PC "Console"

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  • phoronix
    started a topic Valve, Xi3 Show Off Mini Linux Gaming PC "Console"

    Valve, Xi3 Show Off Mini Linux Gaming PC "Console"

    Phoronix: Valve, Xi3 Show Off Mini Linux Gaming PC "Console"

    Making the rounds today is word that Xi3 and Valve have partnered up. Xi3 is a computer hardware manufacturer known for making small PCs and now in conjunction with Valve they are working on a "Steam Box" that's codenamed Piston...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI2OTY

  • johnc
    replied
    Ok I just dug up the AT article and there's an update:

    "Update: Intel has clarified and informed us there is no cloud aspect to binary translation, it is 100% done on the device for ARM NDK applications."

    So it looks like you download an app, it's translated to x86 on the device, and then when you go to run it it's already a native x86 app so there's no dynamic binary translation.

    Interesting. I wonder how efficient the binaries really are.

    Leave a comment:


  • curaga
    replied
    One-time redirect when you download the app.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnc
    replied
    Originally posted by curaga View Post
    Intel's solution is software, but they do it before-hand on their servers. So the Atom is getting a genuine x86 binary, pre-translated by the Intel cloud with much time to optimize it.

    They detailed it in an article on Anandtech, IIRC.
    Yikes that sounds like an awful solution. Does it require a network connection just to use an app? Or is it just a one-time translation deal that occurs after the app download?

    Leave a comment:


  • curaga
    replied
    Intel's solution is software, but they do it before-hand on their servers. So the Atom is getting a genuine x86 binary, pre-translated by the Intel cloud with much time to optimize it.

    They detailed it in an article on Anandtech, IIRC.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnc
    replied
    Originally posted by curaga View Post
    It's called "qemu-x86_64" or "qemu-i386", depending on if you want 64- or 32-bit.

    Intel is late, we had translation layers both ways for years here
    Yeah but that's a software solution with a pretty big performance impact. Intel is claiming near zero performance impact on their Atom SoCs. Maybe they are using a software solution as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • curaga
    replied
    Originally posted by johnc View Post
    It's interesting that Intel claims to have an ARM binary translation layer for their x86 CPU. Too bad the reverse can't be had.
    It's called "qemu-x86_64" or "qemu-i386", depending on if you want 64- or 32-bit.

    Intel is late, we had translation layers both ways for years here

    Leave a comment:


  • benmoran
    replied
    Originally posted by Krysto View Post
    While this seems based on AMD, I think Valve's "real" Steam box will be based on Nvidia's GPU's and I guess Intel CPU's. .....
    I dunno, I think the AMD APUs would be a perfect match for both third party and Valve's own Steam box. I own the current best, the a10-5800K, and it's at least on par (or arguably much better due to OpenGL 4.2) with the current generation consoles. This is if you run it at 720p or slightly less, like all current consoles do. If the next generation APUs that come out this year are a big enough jump in performance, I think that there is a high possibility that Valve would go with them. The reasons are simply cost and size constraints. Having a single CPU/GPU is a huge plus for simplicity, power usage, and cost. Everything can be smaller and cheaper.

    Gabe already said that they will likely have multiple versions: a "good", "better" and "best" version. The APUs make perfect sense in the lower end versions for sure. Not needing space for a graphics card is a huge plus. I guess it all depends on if AMD can manage to produce a powerful enough chip, that people will be happy with performance wise.

    Leave a comment:


  • gamerk2
    replied
    Originally posted by Krysto View Post
    Wouldn't it be great if the Steam box would be ARM-native and based on Project Denver? It's unlikely, and the fact that it will be based on Linux offers them enough limitations, and they probably don't want to take on the ARM one, too (all the porting, etc). At least I'm glad they went with Linux, as that will help even more game developers decide on OpenGL for their games, as both Steam box and PS4 will use it. And they can also use the games on tablets.
    The PS3 had OGL too (PSGL was essentially OpenGL ES 2.0), but devs don't use it because its too slow. They typically used the native libgcm library instead. I don't expect the PS4 to be any different in this regard.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnc
    replied
    Originally posted by Krysto View Post
    While this seems based on AMD, I think Valve's "real" Steam box will be based on Nvidia's GPU's and I guess Intel CPU's. I think that since both Sony and MS are going with AMD in their consoles, they want a bit of differentiation against them, and there are probably other reasons, too. I think it's smart of them. I think they will use a Maxwell GPU.

    Wouldn't it be great if the Steam box would be ARM-native and based on Project Denver? It's unlikely, and the fact that it will be based on Linux offers them enough limitations, and they probably don't want to take on the ARM one, too (all the porting, etc). At least I'm glad they went with Linux, as that will help even more game developers decide on OpenGL for their games, as both Steam box and PS4 will use it. And they can also use the games on tablets.
    Yeah you'd have to port all the games over to ARM which would be difficult for all the publishers. It's interesting that Intel claims to have an ARM binary translation layer for their x86 CPU. Too bad the reverse can't be had.

    But it does seem like Maxwell is in play and might be used for other things:

    Originally posted by Gabe
    The Steam Box will also be a server. Any PC can serve multiple monitors, so over time, the next-generation (post-Kepler) you can have one GPU that?s serving up eight simultaeneous game calls. So you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers and everybody getting great performance out of it. We?re used to having one monitor, or two monitors ? now we?re saying let's expand that a little bit.

    Leave a comment:

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