Pandora Needs To Go X86 (eventually)


Phawx

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'Material Defender' said:
Astonishing.

Are you aware that Windows has been around for just a *wee* bit longer than the PS2?

Wanting to play a 2d Windows 95 game (like, say, Lode Runner Online) is a far cry from emulating the previous generation of consoles.

Also, technically speaking Wine is not an emulator. It's a compatibility layer. This means it runs at near full speed. Meaning, even modern games can be played... the only limiting factors are Wine compatibility and video acceleration requirements (vs. whatever video card your handheld is using.)

Comparing wine to gamecube or PS2 emulation is laughable.
Why are you explaining what WINE is to us? That's like telling us WINE is a recursive acronym.

What's next? You going to tell us the world is round? (Ha.)

EDIT: Just in case. What you were doing was explaining the obvious.
 
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mdefender

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'Phawx' said:
'Material Defender' said:
Astonishing.

Are you aware that Windows has been around for just a *wee* bit longer than the PS2?

Wanting to play a 2d Windows 95 game (like, say, Lode Runner Online) is a far cry from emulating the previous generation of consoles.

Also, technically speaking Wine is not an emulator. It''s a compatibility layer. This means it runs at near full speed. Meaning, even modern games can be played... the only limiting factors are Wine compatibility and video acceleration requirements (vs. whatever video card your handheld is using.)

Comparing wine to gamecube or PS2 emulation is laughable.
Why are you explaining what WINE is to us? That's like telling us WINE is a recursive acronym.

What's next? You going to tell us the world is round? (Ha.)

EDIT: Just in case. What you were doing was explaining the obvious.


Read dsleaf67 comment. He apparently needed for someone to explain wine to him.
 
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Exophase

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'Material Defender' said:
That doesn't change the fact that, at present, it is required in order to do certain things. People who blindly proclaim that flash 10 support is just around the corner are deluded at best and ignorant at worst, especially when they imply (like one person did) that developers care more about open source than proprietary platforms like Symbian and Windows Mobile.
Dude, wake up, those platforms are on their way out. But just because you completely misunderstood me, I didn't say SOFTWARE developers prefer them (although they're certainly more of a pain in the ass to develop for, probably why everyone charges money for their apps there) but hardware vendors are pretty happy to go with an alternative that they don't have to pay for.

Flash 10 for ARM is a reality, Flash for ANDROID is a reality, you said so yourself. I guess you'll have the last laugh when Adobe makes a binary blob of Flash available for ARM Linux? Even if it costs money, as far as you're concerned people would gladly pay for this anyway.

I fail to see why Flash 10 is so pivotal in the first place, it's not as if most Flash is using it (or 9).

'Material Defender' said:
EDIT: On the other hand, I am not deluded when I say that reasonably power-efficient (within 50% of ARM) embedded x86 is are just around the corner, within the next year or so. They need to work on the chipsets. Plus, when you compare full CPU loads (such as those required in heavy gaming), ARM's advantages become less pronounced.
50% ain't competitive (well, not for the rest of us)

Actually, ARM's advantages are more pronounced at full load. Why do you think that Intel is always hyping their idle or near idle consumption rates?
 
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mdefender

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Do not confuse "ARM Linux" with "the linux Pandora will running." Google seems to have gone out of their way to break compatibility with Android. Granted, there are ways around that. I just recently found out you can get GNU's C library and thus get most non-GUI programs running, which is nice... but the reverse doesn't necessarily hold true. It may be the binary blob they give Google can only run in that weird, crappy Java VM that Android uses. We'll probably be able to install Android on our Pandoras, but then we'll sacrifice a lot of compatibility with the rest of the *nix world.

Granted, I have not been keeping close tabs on Android (ever since I realized it was rather crappy), so this might not represent the current status of things.

Edit: Trust me, flash 7 sucks HARD. And it wasn't given to us out of the goodness of Adobe's heart; it was put together by hard working open source folks. There is no Flash 8-10 on ARM, to my knowledge.
 
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PoisonedV

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'PoisonedV' said:
'Material Defender' said:
Care to drop the glibness and explain what''s so funny about that? Are you anti-PC gaming? I hate to sound elitist, but most modern console games I've seen are pale imitations of their PC ancestors.

EDIT: With the obvious exception of platformers and party games.
Please shut your whore mouth.
 
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mali

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'Material Defender' said:
Edit: Trust me, flash 7 sucks HARD. And it wasn't given to us out of the goodness of Adobe's heart; it was put together by hard working open source folks. There is no Flash 8-10 on ARM, to my knowledge.
Check N8x0 for flash 9(see post above)and this for flash 10:
CODE
http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200811/111708ARMAdobeFlash.html
Google is your friend, pal ;)
 
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Chip

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I have made arguments similar to MD in the past, and I still stand by them. It is only a matter of time before somebody sticks an ultra-low-power x86 chipset into a handheld with proper gaming controls.

However, it is important to realize that this is still a MINIMUM of 18 months (more likely 2-3 years) away. I don't think that most of the people engaging in this discussion really appreciate the power envelope difference between currently available (and even immediately upcoming) x86 and ARM processors and their requisite peripherals. Here's what the always-accurate Wikipedia has to say:

QUOTE
While the Atom processor itself is relatively power efficient for an x86 instruction set chip, the chipsets used with it are currently not as power efficient. For example while the N270 chip itself commonly used in netbooks has a maximum TDP of 2.5 W, the Intel Atom platform with the 945GSE Express chipset has a specified maximum TDP of 11.8 W, with the processor only making up a relatively small portion of the total power. Individual figures are 2.5 W for the N270 processor, 6 W for the 945GSE chipset and 3.3 W for the 82801GBM I/O controller.[24][25][26][27] Intel also provides the Intel System Controller Hub US15W chipset with a TDP of less than 5 W for the Atom processor Z5xx (Silverthorne) series to be used in ultra-mobile PCs/Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).[28]


That's 4-5W ON TOP of the 2W for the CPU, and we haven't added things like RAM, wireless radios or an LCD display yet.

Compare that to the Pandora: At 900MHz, the whole device only pulls about 710mA at 5V, or 3.5W. Under normal usage, you're looking at closer to 2W for the entire device. That's about 1/3 of the lowest possible x86 system use. Probably closer to 1/5 by the time you add a display and everything else.

So until Intel actually manages to get it's total system power usage significantly under 5W, there is not going to be a x86 gaming handheld like the Pandora. That is the final answer.
 
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mali

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And ARM evolution doesn't stop now ;)
It's not only ARM, but also those licensees like TI and Freescale for example that push things forward like adding own companion processors that perfectly interact with ARM designs on their SoCs

If one day TI or Freescale decide to produce an x86 SoC, things could change.
 
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oblivioner

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100% agree with you. Gaming wise, x86 compatibility adds hundreds, if not thousands of games to be playable. Probably with everything else, ARM is more than enough or better, but for a gaming machine, lack of x86 compatibility is a great mistake.
 

craigix

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The OP should also consider the games he wants to play from windows probably exist on another platform which he will be able to emulate (look for Amiga, PS1, Jaguar etc. versions).

But then again, as has been said, as well as not running windows you can't run PS2, Gamecube or xbox games either...

I think it's best you wait somewhere else for your x86 handheld, it isn't going to be showing up here any time soon.
 
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WizardStan

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'Material Defender' said:
That doesn't change the fact that, at present, it is required in order to do certain things. People who blindly proclaim that flash 10 support is just around the corner are deluded at best and ignorant at worst, especially when they imply (like one person did) that developers care more about open source than proprietary platforms like Symbian and Windows Mobile.

This is uncommonly known (in the real world. Hi! Welcome to the real world!) as a vicious cycle. "x86 is a bad platform, but everyone uses it, so we need to use it too, despite the fact that there are better processors, until everyone else wises up" *some time later* "oh look, because we used x86, and everyone else used x86, everything written in the last little while is x86. I hope someone steps up and starts doing things right" *more time passes* "Oh, no one else has a brain! Why are they still using x86?"
Someone at some point has to step in to make the transition on behalf of everyone, and that will require sacrifices. Within time, there will be games for the ARM platform, because the platform for them exists. If everyone keeps producing x86, all software will be for x86. The software MUST follow the hardware: it's impossible to write software for a platform that doesn't exist.

One final counter-argument, one that you cannot possibly refute:
A) The Cortex-A8 is on the cusp of being able to emulate the x86 to a degree that most of the games you mentioned in your other thread would at least be viewable, though not necessarily playable at only 1 or 2 frames per second.
B) Your arguments are to show that a theoretical "Pandora 2" should have an x86.
C) You yourself have said that that would be several years away still.
D) At the rate of expansion, that puts x86 emulation at about 30 frames per second in 4 years (though probably less)
Therefore, in five years, around the time that a Pandora 2 would be coming out, you'll easily be able to play these games on it, even assuming it uses an ARM. Your argument that it *needs* to be x86 is dissolved.
 
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palmertech

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My $0.02:

My N800 runs Flash 9 perfectly. I can watch youtube at full speed, no problems. And this is with NO hardware acceleration, and only 400mhz to work with. The pandora will run Flash 9/10 EASILY.

Also: If you want an X86 gaming handheld, you are right. The Q1s and the Wibrain's of the UMPC world asre only getting smaller. Add a dpad and 4 buttons, and you have exactly what you are describing.

Except with 1.5-2 hours of battery life at full speed. ;) I agree that that SOMEBODY will make an X86 handheld gaming machine, and pretty soon, but the Pandora team is NOT the right place to look, especially looking where it came from: An ARM based, low powered handheld game console running Linux.

Good day.
 
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Username

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From a gaming standpoint, no other (current) handheld uses x86. Nintendo DS? Arm. PSP? MIPS. First and foremost, the Pandora is a gaming console, and while it is not meant to compete with the PSP and DS, it only makes sense to use what is best. There are no technical advantages to using x86.
 

Phawx

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Would it be possible to double up on OMAP 4 series? Have 2 SoCs of whatever OMAP 4 flavor is nice and only make use of it if you need it. It shouldn't really sap any energy if its not being used right? I would suppose you need a fast memory interconnect to really make use of it though.

Still the Cortex A9 looks like a beast of a CPU.
 
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Exophase

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'Phawx' said:
Would it be possible to double up on OMAP 4 series? Have 2 SoCs of whatever OMAP 4 flavor is nice and only make use of it if you need it. It shouldn't really sap any energy if its not being used right? I would suppose you need a fast memory interconnect to really make use of it though.

Still the Cortex A9 looks like a beast of a CPU.
Why do you suggest such a thing? Distributed systems are really hard to program effectively for (harder than multithreaded programs). They'd also both need their own memory, only one could be connected to the LCD, etc. If you're trying to suggest something to improve resources for x86 emulation then this idea isn't going to help.
 
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Phawx

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'Exophase' said:
'Phawx' said:
Would it be possible to double up on OMAP 4 series? Have 2 SoCs of whatever OMAP 4 flavor is nice and only make use of it if you need it. It shouldn''t really sap any energy if its not being used right? I would suppose you need a fast memory interconnect to really make use of it though.

Still the Cortex A9 looks like a beast of a CPU.
Why do you suggest such a thing? Distributed systems are really hard to program effectively for (harder than multithreaded programs). They'd also both need their own memory, only one could be connected to the LCD, etc. If you're trying to suggest something to improve resources for x86 emulation then this idea isn't going to help.



If only one could drive the LCD than there would be no point. Basically what I was hoping for would be this:

<opens front hood> "Nice! You got a V8 in that sucker" Me: "Check out the trunk"

Yes, I was looking at it like a distributed system. Not so much for x86 emulation. Just to have more Horsepower.
 
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Raz

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Why can't someone just work on an x86 port (putting all legalities aside)..

Forgive me if I sound n00bish, but a person could technically install x86 from an SD card through service mode.
 
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Phawx

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'Raz' said:
Why can't someone just work on an x86 port (putting all legalities aside)..

Forgive me if I sound n00bish, but a person could technically install x86 from an SD card through service mode.
:blink: Could you rephrase that?
 
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Raz

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I knew it, I sounded n00bish....

Can't a team of people decide to just work on Windows for the Pandora and one day people will be able to install it through an SD card or some other method.
 
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