Gaming Possible with RDC / VNC / Timbuktu?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Computer_Phreak, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Computer_Phreak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    #1
    I was wondering if it is possible to acheive a decent framerate (ie, > 30 fps) when controlling a PC from a mac, using VNC, Remote Desktop Client, or Timbuktu.

    Also, would the responsiveness be an issue?

    As a side-note, is the Microsoft Sidewinder gamepad compatible with the mac?

    Thanks.

    Edit: While I'm on the topic of VNC, would it be possible to control a pc from a PDA, say, a palm, or pocketpc?
     
  2. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #2
    I would recommend NOT using VNC on a PC, especially if RDC is available. VNC is rather slow, and not exactly suitable for games.
     
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #3
    Nope, not gonna happen. On a fast network VNC (or RDC) is capable of pushing images to a client machine relatively quickly, but nowhere near the rate that would be required for gaming. (Pinball, maybe, on a fast network.)

    Graphics accelerators are specifically designed to throw 3D images on to a screen very fast. To take each of those, put it into whatever format VNC uses to transmit data (lossless, I think, and you'd be running at high color depth where remote clients are usually 256 max), send them over a network, and display them on another computer would require extreme hardware for the compression and decompression (which isn't going to happen), and a massive amount of network capacity (which also isn't going to happen).

    As for control of a PC from a handheld, there might be VNC clients, but I'm not sure. You could probably also get some sort of terminal session going, at least from a pocket PC, if you don't need a GUI.
     
  4. Computer_Phreak thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2002
    #4
    Thanks..

    What kind of fps, ballpark, would you expect for two computers with 100 baseT ethernet, connected via a router?
     
  5. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    #5
    From my experience, you'd be lucky to get 10 fps.
     
  6. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #6
    can i ask why you would even want to do this. too many people go to far to play a game or two on your mac. i would just recommend building yourself a little gamin box, but i can understand the all mighty dollar preventing that for some people.

    iJon
     
  7. Golem macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2003
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    Sydney,Australia
    #7
    i wondered about this myself since I set up RDC for a new PC last week. But since its a rack mount with 8mb graphics card its not exactly a games box.
     
  8. Computer_Phreak thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2002
    #8
    I'm planning on keeping a pc, but since it would be in a different room, i was wondering if i could just play the game from my mac.
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #9
    A 640x480 image, in 16-bit colour, uses 4800 kilobits (about 4.7 Mb). 100 Mb/s connection, divided by 4.7, gives us 21.33 frames per second. So that's the absolute maximum you're going to get. But there are overheads, such as the conversion of the frames into a networkable format, then decoding them again at the other end. It might be possible with gigabit, but gaming isn't going to happen over a 100 Mb/s connection.
     
  10. Computer_Phreak thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2002
    #10
    Is there a possible method of compression / decompression into jpeg or something, or would the cpu intensiveness eliminate this as a possibility?
     
  11. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #11
    you are so into this, its hilarious. maybe you could walk in the other room. nah im just playin with ya, i hope you find a solution that helps you out.

    iJon
     
  12. Computer_Phreak thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2002
    #12
    lol... looking back on what I've said, it is kinda funny... but I'm just as interested in learning about it as I am with coming up with a solution.
     
  13. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    Feb 7, 2002
    #13
    nothing wrong with wanting to do everyone on the mac and stayin away from the pc.

    iJon
     
  14. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #14
    Hey, I'd wondered the same thing (mostly as a "just for the heck of it" thing), too. Compressing the image would theoretically be possible, but the overhead would be huge, and you'd have to use lossless compression, or your gaming image would get blurry.

    Don't forget that even without compression there's a lot of overhead in preparing and transmitting that much data from one computer to another, and displaying it on the other end. So even if you did have gigabit, I'm doubtful either computer would be able to handle that much data I/O. There'd be lag, too, which would make it even harder to play effectively.

    Just for the heck of it I might try it with the pinball game that comes with NT or something, to see if motion graphics are at all possible (I believe VNC only transmits changes, so in theory only the ball and lights would have to move), though I'm very doubtful--I got artifacts just moving around files the one time I tried.
     
  15. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #15
    It could probably work if you send each frame as the change from the previous frame. But the CPU overhead may slow it down more than the extra bandwidth obtained. It might be possible for older games, but if you want to play the latest and greatest it won't be feasible.
     

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