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The Handheld Steam Machine With Linux & AMD SoC Moves Ahead

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  • juno
    replied
    I did some research and yes, at least the GPU part is GCN, still only supporting OpenGL up to (including) 4.0. So the claim it will be able to run all the games on the market is definitely wrong, as there are games on steam that require 4.1 or even 4.3 (not to mention it is not anywhere near being powerful enough to run many games on steam w/ this SoC).
    By the way: the GPU has 2 CUs (making 128 Shader processors). Now let's better not compare this to the Carrizo solution w/ full GCN 1.3 and 8 CUs...
    The claim on the diagram 2 in update 2, suggesting the GPU has it's own memory/memory controller is also definitely wrong. The SoC has one single channel DDR3 controller (up to 1600 MHz), nothing more.
    SoC is a GX-415GA with 15 Watts TDP, equal to the Kabini APU A4-5000, if you like to validate.

    Originally posted by L_A_G View Post
    Also, the display will only be 1080p if they reach the stretch goal of 1.25 million euros
    Well it's not really a good argument to say the gaming experience will only suffer, if they reach their stretch goal
    Last edited by juno; 14 December 2015, 10:19 AM.

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  • L_A_G
    replied
    Well seeing how all new GPU's introduced by AMD over the last couple of years have been GCN based it would be really odd if this was based on something completely different. Kind of in the league of Intel suddenly starting to sell MIPS CPU's.

    Also, the display will only be 1080p if they reach the stretch goal of 1.25 million euros when their goal is 900.000 euros (which I doubt they'll actually reach). Otherwise it'll be 720p which should be quite enough when the screen is about the same size as on the regular iPhone 6/6S, Galaxy S 3, 4, 5 and 6, Lumia 930 and 950.

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  • juno
    replied
    What GPU does this SoC contain, is it even GCN so it will be supported by amdgpu? And how 'big' is it (in CUs)? How should this Jaguar SoC be able to provide a smooth experience in 1920*1080 w/ this ultra low end graphics and single channel DDR3?

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  • L_A_G
    replied
    Originally posted by Hamsterkill View Post
    I'm not sure that's true for SteamOS, anymore. Isn't the Steam Link ARM-based? So Steam and SteamOS must at least be capable of running on ARM. The games obviously still need x86, though.
    The Steam Link is not really a proper SteamOS device, it's basically just an in-home streaming box that you use to stream gameplay from your Windows, Mac or Linux box. However even if Valve starts providing ARM builds of proper SteamOS that can actually run games locally, there aren't any Steam games with ARM binaries out there.

    Originally posted by Mama Luigi View Post
    ....
    PassMark is not a GPU bench, it's mostly a CPU benchmark and I wasn't able to find any GPU tests for cherry trail chips in the PassMark listings (according to ark.intel they don't use one of the common graphics). AMD has vastly superior GPU's and Intel's Linux driver's aren't anything stellar ether, so if AMD can get their Linux drivers sorted out at least somewhat an embedded R-series would stomp on Intel's offerings from a GPU performance standpoint. If AMD can get some 14nm parts out by then (which isn't so far out there remembering that they're already supplying Apple with 14nm chips) I wouldn't be the least surprised if AMD was able to do a really good job at providing them a high performance and low power part.
    Last edited by L_A_G; 12 December 2015, 02:58 PM.

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  • Kano
    replied
    Looks like standard hardware that could run any OS. Basically if you use the Steam streaming feature all you need is hardware accellerated H264, that should be possible. I don't know if it would be fun to play directly on the gfx chip. For streaming only maybe a Shield tablet K1 combined with the gamepad is today a better alternative as you could buy games as a service if your Internet connection is fast. Steam streaming from a Linux host seems to be a bit buggy - does that work fine for somebody?

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  • HenryM
    replied
    Originally posted by Ardje View Post
    Ok, I will do some prediction from past experiences: it will not launch next oktober. Don't get me wrong, I might throw money at it, but it will not be finished in time. You have to have a lot of experience to get this thing in commercial prototype phase at that date.
    probably. many crowd-funded projects massively underestimate the time and money required to finish and distribute a software or hardware thing. and the PR stuff is a job in itself.

    still, it looks pretty far along already. it looks like a neat concept! and compared to a mid-to-high-end phone, it's not that expensive.

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  • Hamsterkill
    replied
    Originally posted by L_A_G View Post

    SteamOS and games for it are only available as x86 binaries - So you're stuck with Intel and AMD
    I'm not sure that's true for SteamOS, anymore. Isn't the Steam Link ARM-based? So Steam and SteamOS must at least be capable of running on ARM. The games obviously still need x86, though.

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  • Ardje
    replied
    Ok, I will do some prediction from past experiences: it will not launch next oktober. Don't get me wrong, I might throw money at it, but it will not be finished in time. You have to have a lot of experience to get this thing in commercial prototype phase at that date.
    Since it is supposed to be a gaming rig, I hope they will acknowledge that, and make sure they can easily upgrade APU's before production really starts.
    I am an openpandora and ouya veteran. Actually, the ouya was pretty on time.
    Oh wait, I am also still waiting on D:OS, but at least that hasn't been delayed as long as the openpandora.

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  • Revan
    replied
    I doubt the performance will be okay for any modern game at 1080p.

    Judging by the list of embedded processors in the G-series they will most likely choose the dual-core 9W or the 6W version considering the thermal constraints within such a small device. I haven't managed to find any benchmarks on the 9W skew, but NotebookCheck says that the 6W SKU has the same performance as the A4-1200. Judging by the benchmarks they made it's graphic performance in any 3dmark benchmark with or without physics the processor if behind any Intel Bay Trail sold today in the same thermal envelope (for example the N2805) and that's horrible in graphic performance. I don't know what these people where thinking when they said "it can play any modern game" but this thing will be dead on arrival because it will be able to play only some 2D indie games (like Fez, which they show running) and that's it. All of the other games where streamed over Wi-Fi if you ask me.

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  • Mama Luigi
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    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.
    Yes. If they had opted for something like an RX-216GD with a lowered cTDP or even an RX-418GD in the "Pro" model. It would be significantly faster than any Jaguar-based solution that they could get with their constraints.

    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    ‚ÄčI 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.
    For a low power APU, 1080p wouldn't be usable for gaming. You'd have to lower the resolution to get decent performance levels. I honestly don't care about the resolution as long as it's larger than 1024x600 and the display quality is good.

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