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The Handheld Steam Machine With Linux & AMD SoC Moves Ahead

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  • The Handheld Steam Machine With Linux & AMD SoC Moves Ahead

    Phoronix: The Handheld Steam Machine With Linux & AMD SoC Moves Ahead

    Smach Z, the portable/handheld Steam Machine powered by Linux, is moving ahead and hopes to launch to market this time next year...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...ro-Moves-Ahead

  • #2
    Choosing AMD for a portable Linux gaming device makes no sense.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
      Choosing AMD for a portable Linux gaming device makes no sense.
      It makes a lot of sense to me... An intel-only solution makes no sense due to the lack of GPU power. A intel+nvidia solution isn't physically realistic for such a small device. ARM platforms can't run Steam.
      Modern AMD CPUs are plenty good enough for gaming and they have pretty decent performance for low-power GPUs. The open source radeon drivers are already usable for most linux games, and by the time this device is released the performance will be more than adequate.

      The only mistake they made was going for Jaguar cores. They should've done for Carrizo, since that would've been much faster and more power efficient. I also think that doing a 720p screen would've been a safer option for both affordability and performance. At 1080p, that's 440PPI, which to me is overkill.
      Last edited by schmidtbag; 10 December 2015, 12:46 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
        Choosing AMD for a portable Linux gaming device makes no sense.
        When you know then circumstances it does actually make some sense.

        SteamOS and games for it are only available as x86 binaries - So you're stuck with Intel and AMD

        Intel SoC's have terrible graphics - So you're now stuck with AMD SoC's

        It's not an optimal solution remembering the state of AMD's Linux drivers, but the only other option is considerably worse. Making it an Android device would open up a lot of ARM hardware options, but remembering the fate of the Ouya past it's Kickstarter campaign, that would doom the device from the get-go.
        "Why should I want to make anything up? Life's bad enough as it is without wanting to invent any more of it."

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        • #5
          Will this be using the open source radeon driver or the proprietary Catalyst driver? (I also asked on their FAQ page)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by M1kkko View Post
            Choosing AMD for a portable Linux gaming device makes no sense.
            I would think AMD is much more open to custom or semi-custom designs than intel is, and Steam and most games are still bound to x86, so I'm not surprised.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gQuigs View Post
              Will this be using the open source radeon driver or the proprietary Catalyst driver? (I also asked on their FAQ page)
              Might be neither. Open source drivers may or may not be mature enough by then. And the standard off the shelf catalyst driver may not be a good fit. The ideal solution would be to get AMD involved, and have them author a custom driver for the device. Just like they did for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, which both use AMD graphics to great success.

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              • #8
                Handhelds are awesome! Would've never expected a handheld Steam Machine though.

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                • #9
                  It's nice, I'd like it but I'm not really prepared to pay over 200 E for a game console.... Maybe if we get more of these and they'll be cheaper. As someone here said 720p would have been just fine.

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                  • #10
                    Damn. Why am I bankrupt in the silliest moments? This thing looks kinda interesting. Okay, one needs to attach some screen since 5" is ... oh, well. A handgeld, I know, I know. But AMD is of course a good choice. Of course it won't be a huge numbercruncher but then, it's meant to be a handheld. And AMD works well with Linux, has power in terms of GPU and especially with SoC-style things and semi custom designs. So I really hope that it will magically rain money so I can fund this. And all the other great things out there.
                    Stop TCPA, stupid software patents and corrupt politicians!

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