PS3 -- The Cheapest Consumer Level SUPER Computer?

Discussion in 'Games' started by bobber205, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    Let's all face facts. I could easily, via ebay or here, get a ps3 for < 500. :D

    I have been craving the processing power of a mac pro for months. But today I thought "Why not get a ps3, put linux on it and go that way". Of course it can't run OS X legally, but it's still an uber fast machine.

    Is this reasonable? What do you guys think? Would it be a good video editing machine w/ a upgraded HD? I'm thinking so. ;)

    Any comments? Am I stupid?
  2. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    I thought the whole thing about the PS3 was that it was insanely powerful for video games but as for processing power in terms of straight computing output it falls short because of its cell architecture... :confused:
  3. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006
  4. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    Your logic works but it has a few flaws, first video editing is a highly resource and ram intensive task, the PS3 is limited to 256MB which makes even regular tasks clumsy. Second not many apps are geared for use in the CELL architecture so in general it will feel slightly slow.

    A Mac Pro loaded with RAM and a nice videocard will be a lot faster than a PS3, hell if you chuck a 8800GTX in it even games will look better on the Mac Pro...
  5. n-abounds macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2006
    ^Load it up with RAM (if possible?) and it would be a lot better than similarly priced computers. I mean, the Mac Mini starts at $600...
  6. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I can tell you first hand Linux is dog slow on the PS3.
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    It's not upgradeable, at least not by conventional means.
  8. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    lol....people really bought into the PS3 being a super it won`t be fast, not a useable desktop computer IMO
  9. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    If you think the PS3 even approaches the power of a Mac Pro, you're insane.

    The PS3 is capable of performing very well at extremely specific types of work. If you wrote a video editing application tailored SPECIFICALLY for the Cell processor, re-written from the ground up, you could theoretically achieve extremely good performance, though probably not eight-core Mac Pro level...

    But Linux isn't written to use the Cell's SPE's, nor is any Linux video editing software written to. You'd have to develop a new OS and video editing software from the ground up to take advantage of it. Anything you run now will only use the Cell's main core, which is a slow stripped-down G5-based processor (like one of the three in the 360), on its own. With only 256 MB of RAM, as well (+ 256 MB of VRAM).

    It'd be like using an AppleTV with a souped-up graphics card as a video editing machine. Before fanboys get all riled up, remember that I'm talking about a PS3 without any of the Cell processor's SPE core or advantages, using only a tiny piece of its power.
  10. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    Well there goes that idea. ;)

    Guess it's time to start thinking about selling my macbook and upgrading to a iMac 20" once again huh?
  11. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You could put the $500 towards buying a PowerMac G5 off ebay, they are still quite powerful computers. I've seen single processor G5s go for around $500 before, so duals may be a bit more, but it would give you an upgradeable desktop computer.
  12. EM87 macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    The PS3 is not good for Linux, it is slow as a snail. Would this be because Sony do not let Linux use the RSX chip at all and everything has to be done by a stripped down G5 CPU with only 256MB RAM?

    PS3 is a great gaming console, well if it had some games it would be, but it is far from a computer replacement.
  13. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I'm in the same boat, but I wonder if there will be any performance improvement?

    iMacs use the same Merom-based processors...the Core 2's in the iMacs are the same as in the MacBooks. I'm not doing any heavy video editing (just some iMovie), so outside of gaming, will I see any significant difference between a MacBook with 2 GB of RAM hooked up to a 20" display, and an iMac?

    Since my 2 GB upgrade my MacBook feels like a new machine. 'tis beautiful.
  14. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2005
    On the moon.
    For computer uses, the 256MB of RAM and the odd Cell processor as well as the GPU being locked out of Linux makes it a very poor computer for the money.

    You can get an Mac Mini for the same price that would be faster.

    Game consoles should never try to be computers until they have similar hardware and upgradeable memory.
  15. Nicolasdec macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2006
    São Paulo
    512MB, thats the problem. not enought to run a good pc.:) :) :)
  16. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    256, actually - even worse (512 is actually 256 [CPU] + 256 [GPU])
  17. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    WEll FYI, I got $900 cdn for my macbook, same specs as yours just like 4 days ago that only had a week of applecare left and a missing remote so get while the going is good!

    And just like others have said, Yellow Dog ain't all that fast. They are pushing Sony to open up the RSX to them though but I don't think Sony wants to for security/whatever reasons.
  18. Dagless Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    I was planning on getting a PS3 for Linux, but the ram limitations and reports of it being slow sort of stubbed that idea out. I just built a linux computer from left over components around the house and realised I don't need linux for free instead.
  19. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2006
    What about the xbox 360, would that run linux better than the PS3? And would it run fast? lol
  20. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    The porgrams have to be able to use all the cell processors. I have Yellow Dog Linux and it runs VLC, Openoffice and Firefox no problem. There is a little lag opening it but once opened, its fine.

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