PS3 is an Open Platform

Discussion in 'Games' started by XNine, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #1
    Yes, it's true. Wii and 360, eat your hearts out. While Sony had stated thatt Linux would be installable on the PS3 (and it's true), they have left it as an Open Platform. Under the PS3's settings, it gives you an option to "Install Other OS."

    This possibly means that we'll see versions of Linux, Windows, and OS X (the latter two most likely hacked versions) installable on this machine.

    http://playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/index.html

    Just as well, the entire breakdown of the PS3's functions can be found here:
    http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/index.html

    Very interesting things they allow you to do with this console, including mass-storage devices (USB External HDD's), custom screensavers, naming the actual console itself, and many other things.
     
  2. SamIchi macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

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    #2
    I use Videogame consoles for..... that's right videogames :eek:

    But if that's your thing more power to you.
     
  3. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #3
    I have to admit, I find the Linux Clustering talk to be really exciting. I'm not such a fan of the Cell processor but that's just a silly personal taste - I'm not quite sure how well it'll be utilised by game developers. However, on the Linux side of things this could be fantastic. Its a potential number crunchinch monster!
    The Cell processors eat numbers for breakfast and with proper programming so do GPUs and the memory used is of very high quality. These could be used for some serious scientific calculations when put into a cluster. The performance per machine is exptected to be about 100 gigaflops from what I hear. Coded to utilise the GPU could bring it up to 150 with good optimisations. A cluster of about 32 of those could theoretically put it on the Top 500 Supercomputers list for a cool $16000.
    Am I the only one that thinks these things are a theoretical physicist's wet dream?
     
  4. yoda13 macrumors 65816

    yoda13

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    #4
    I just want one to play games on, but I think its very cool...:D
     
  5. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #5
    Wow.
    What did sony make? They were serious about it being a computer.
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #6
    Yeah, it really is a beast when it comes to number crunching. Folding@Home are expecting to achieve around 100 gigaflops per console. They have also been using ATI's X1800 line of cards to get substantially faster processing speeds. Although this doesn't work on nVidia cards right now it could potentially be done. Especially if developers are only trying to design software for *one* hardware platform. 100-150 gigaflops per console is actually realistic.
    To put that in perspective, a 3Ghz Mac Pro can produce just under 50 gigaflops and that's a $3219 machine minimum.

    Mac Pro: $64 per gigaflop
    PS3: $4.99-$3.30 per gigaflop

    The PS3 even has gigabit ethernet. Nice.
     
  7. Virtualball macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Of course its an open platform. It's six hundred dollars, it better let me install Linux, make me a sandwich, and stimulate me in ways more then just visual :p
     
  8. sikkinixx macrumors 68020

    sikkinixx

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    #8
    It'll knock the fat out out too!!! :D


    but seriously, I am happy that Sony got that right. I'm no Linux wiz or anything but still it peaks my interest, can;t wait to get one
     
  9. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    #9
    I don't blame Sony for making the best and bringing it to the table. The console itself is very powerful and easy to use....I might add that its a looker:)

    I can see myself putting linux on it and having a geeky good time.



    Bless
     
  10. XNine thread starter macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #10
    It's a shame your field of view is so narrow.

    This means it's a console, PC, media hub, scientific number cruncher all in one. The benefits far outweigh the "console" moniker. YOU may only use it for video games, but more and more people wills tart to install Linux on their PS3's, opening the market share for Linux just that much more. And since YDL is practically a no-configure setup, it's easier than ever for newbs to get into it.

    The mere fact that you can already link bluetooth mice and keyboards to the console is nice in and of itself.
     
  11. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    #11
    Indeed...I'm very impressed about this so theres no complaining about how long it takes to type with the controller...excellent.



    Bless
     
  12. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #12
    Excellent! I was starting to worry Sony's talk about Linux was just idle chat. By allowing the user to install their own OS they've opened it up to tons of fun homebrew...
     
  13. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Speaking of narrow... this isn't going to be at all fast. Expect it to run roundabouts a 4-5yr old PC. 256MB RAM, and an in-order proc = bad
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #14
    That's not really true now though, is it? Its a very fast system. I admit software will need to be written and compiled for it differently since its quite different from chips in the past but a 4-5 year old PC? Are you serious?
     
  15. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #15
    Normal software (i.e. not specifically re-coded from the ground up for Cell, just recompiled) will only use the Cell's main processor, the 3.2 GHz PPC...which is an in-order processor and will suck for general computing tasks. Plus the 256 MB of RAM too.

    So for most regular software the PS3 will probably perform as a slower PC would (realisticly somewhere around the level of a couple year old Celeron w/256 MB of RAM and a RIDICULOUSLY powerful GPU). Except for software written SPECIFICLY for the PS3 (like homebrew), which should run very quickly.

    And in all honesty, we'd all want to find PS3-designed homebrew anyway so we'd get better performing apps. But ports of stuff like OpenOffice won't run too fast.
     
  16. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #16
    Ah yes. I was about to post "whoa, good going Sony", but if it's hindered by that then I don't know what to say. A mate just upgraded his PC (named Cranky) from 256mb to 1gb RAM, it's funny. the 256mb version just wouldn't well at all. Unless we're talking Wii style functionality of web browsing, maybe a bit of word processing.
     
  17. XNine thread starter macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #17

    Correct me if I'm wrong, (cos I'm not a programmer) but wouldn't it be possible to compile apps to use the other cores of the processor? At 3.2 GHz, it'll be fast in and of itself, I would think. The RAM? yeah, it's small
    but couldn't a fully utilized cell processor pick up the slack pretty well?
     
  18. islandman macrumors 6502

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    #18
    So what's the big deal? I don't think people will buy a PS3 JUST for this reason. If someone wants a PS3, they will buy it regardless. Same goes for the XBox or the wii.
     
  19. Haoshiro macrumors 68000

    Haoshiro

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    #19
    Unfortunately the answer to both those questions is no.

    A simple recompile wouldn't help an app spawn no threads onto other processors. Especially in the case of the Cell, parts of the application (possibly siginificant parts) would need rewritten and modified to have specific sections of an application run on the SPEs (Cell isn't a multi-core processor, so this should be even more complicated).

    The problem with the RAM is that you'll end up having to use virtual memory off the harddrive, no amount of CPU speed is going to make up for that. You will need the OS loaded in main memory, and applications will also need plenty of RAM to operate at optimal speeds. There just won't be any way around using virtual memory, and that is going to be extremely slow.

    Very specifically crafted game software designed in very specific ways should be able to deal with these "limitations" because of the type of software they are, and because so much of their work is visual they will really be taking advantage of the GPU. Standard computing apps won't even care about the GPU though, so that won't help.
     
  20. XNine thread starter macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #20
    Very interesting indeed. Thank you.
     
  21. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #21
    Er... how does it behoove Sony in ANY WAY to sell PS3s for the purpose of being used as Linux boxes or nodes in a supercomputer network? Sony's already taking a huge loss on each console, and if people are buying them NOT to be used as gaming machines, then the attach rate on those sales will be ZERO and Sony will hemorrhage even more money.
     
  22. mkaake macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I don't think Sony cares much about the attatch rate just yet, or how much money they're loosing, just yet. What they're after is getting blu-ray into as many homes as possible, before HD-DVD gets a similar chance to take hold.

    It's all about the format war, nothing more, IMHO. They could have easily done the PS3 with other formats, but this was by far the easiest way to try and help blu-ray succeed as the 'next gen' format.

    Really not a bad business tactic, other than the extremely high cost required to pull it off. But if it does work, the payoff will be larger than the estimated $250-300 loss per console they're suffering right now.
     
  23. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #23
    Let's put that in perspective: The 4 million PS3s Sony claims to be shipping before the end of the year therefore translates into a loss of $1 BILLION. Sony can't afford to lose money at that rate for very long...
     
  24. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040

    gadgetgirl85

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    #24
    Why would I buy a console to use it as a computer? I think most people are in the boat that they buy their consoles for games not computing
     
  25. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #25
    The Cell processor's extra processors only can do certain types of work, so it's not just a matter of recompiling, you have to re-write the program to assign the right tasks to the Cell's extra processors.

    Remember the MHz Myth? GHz isn't a measurement of speed.

    The 3.2 GHz processor in the Cell is the same as one of the three in the 360.
    http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/cpu/xbox360-2.ars/7


    So we'll use the 360's processor as an example:
    (since the Cell's mini-processors lack branch prediction it's about the same as the 360 for applications that can't utilize the mini-processors)

    For general computing tasks (non-graphics), without a developer SPECIFICALLY optimizing the software for it, the processor is a lot slower than a normal processor (say, a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4).

    However, homebrew written specificly for the PS3 should go blazing fast. But just recompiling regular programs will be slow. *regardless*, don't view me as PS3 bashing- I think it's awesome that you'll be able to recompile OpenOffice and use it on a PS3. Even if it runs at the speed of a 2 GHz Celeron, it'll be sweet to be able to do all your PC tasks hooked up to an HDTV. And when PS3-specific homebrew is written (say, an N64 emulator, or server software), it'll run blazing fast.

    I applaud Sony for making that option available.
     

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