[rescue] OT: Games and workstations (was OT: Linux and USB on Intel)

deanders at pcisys.net deanders at pcisys.net
Mon Apr 21 20:08:33 CDT 2003

At 02:55 PM 4/21/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>> Do you really -need- 16MB of TRAM, though?
>I don't know how much is really enough.  I'd say that the N64 definately
>had too little, but then, it didn't actually have TRAM, it was a unified
>machine like the O2 was, and had 8 megs I believe (after having the
>expansion pak installed).  I think it is quite likely that 16 megs is a
>good number to have.  Less than that would probably be rather limiting
>in a bad way.

16MB isn't much for a consumer video card (I haven't seen anything (new)
with less than 32MB in years); most current PC games seem to require at
least 32MB, sometimes 64MB (higher-resolution textures, etc.). Of course,
I'm not sure how much of that is used for textures and how much is
geometry, but I'd assume that it's mostly textures. 

Game systems usually have less video memory (4MB on the PS2 and something
like 3MB total on the Gamecube (I think it's like 2MB for the framebuffer
and 1MB for the texture cache?); the Xbox uses UMA, but it only has 64MB of
RAM to start with, so it probably isn't using more than 16MB), but they
also don't have to do much better than 640x480 (textures don't have to be
nearly as high resolution). 

Given that my PS2 cost about $300 (more like $200 now) and my Win2k gaming
system (if I didn't play games, I wouldn't need this...but I do, and I'm
not willing to put up with the headache that is gaming under Linux/Wine)
was only about $500, I don't think there's really any point to worrying
about gaming on 'real' hardware.  

As it is, I'll buy an SGI (or Sun, or IBM, or whatever) system to use as a
Unix workstation or server, and I'll buy a commodity x86 system running
Windows to use as a game system. Different operating systems and platforms
work well for different things; I no more believe that Windows is the One
True Operating System than I believe that any of the Unices would be able
to fulfill all of my computing needs.


Derek Andersen

(Quake II on Irix
(http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/quake2bench.html): more reasons why
gaming on high-end workstations is a losing proposition.)

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