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PC as a console?

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November 16, 2003 8:11:08 PM

Wouldn't it be great...
I have an XBox and a PC. My PC is ten times more powerful than my XBOX, yet most games (not all) look better on my Xbox instead of my PC. This got me thinking about the reason for this. It must be because WINDOWS is HUGE!!! and is hogging all my sys resources and takes away from the potential my system has for incredible graphics. I'm wondering what is stopping some company from creating an OS that would boot instead of Windows(you'd have a choice which one to boot when you powerup your system), that is optimized for games, like the OS for XBOX. I read somewhere that the XBox's OS is a scaled down version of Windows 2000 and is less than 3 megs in size!!! Imagine the possibilities graphically if there was no huge overhead from Windows, it would be amazing!!!

My Computer
AMD Athlon 2100+
512 ddr2700 RAM
Radeon 9500 Pro

My XBOX
Pentium 2/3 733mhz
64 Megs of shared RAM
GeForce 3/4

More about : console

November 16, 2003 8:38:35 PM

actually, the chipset and GPU in the X box is a bit different then the ones on the computer...............
In Taiwan a companies is mass producing what they called
X-Box "2"
which replace the 700mhz P3 with a 1.4Ghz Celeron, 40Gb HDD and something else i dont remember.

the new Phantom console coming out sounds interesting too.

Of courese in the end PS3 will PWN ALL

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
November 16, 2003 10:40:34 PM

actually those "X-box 2" systems are illegal modified Xboxes. All they do is increase the power of an original one. Which is pretty useless seeing as all games work great with the original hardware. The Phantom does look cool, except that it doesn't look like any good games would work with it.

As for your comments about PS3... it's a pretty ridiculous statement and doesn't really belong on this board. That's like me saying the Radeon 10000 will be better that NVidia's whatever!!!

I don't think you understood the point of what I was getting at...
I just think that as powerful and great my computer (and all graphic cards) are, they are still extremely limited by the design of the software for today's PC and the XBox is simply proof of that. There is certainly a huge advantage for a company, especially a game developer, to make an OS specifically for gaming so that developers would have a better idea of how to maximize the hardware available to them and not have to worry about gamers that don't have the technical know how to optimize their PC for gaming.
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November 16, 2003 10:40:38 PM

actually those "X-box 2" systems are illegal modified Xboxes. All they do is increase the power of an original one. Which is pretty useless seeing as all games work great with the original hardware. The Phantom does look cool, except that it doesn't look like any good games would work with it.

As for your comments about PS3... it's a pretty ridiculous statement and doesn't really belong on this board. That's like me saying the Radeon 10000 will be better that NVidia's whatever!!!

I don't think you understood the point of what I was getting at...
I just think that as powerful and great my computer (and all graphic cards) are, they are still extremely limited by the design of the software for today's PC and the XBox is simply proof of that. There is certainly a huge advantage for a company, especially a game developer, to make an OS specifically for gaming so that developers would have a better idea of how to maximize the hardware available to them and not have to worry about gamers that don't have the technical know how to optimize their PC for gaming.
November 16, 2003 11:44:51 PM

HEY STRANGER! don't tell me what i can say and can not say.

FYI, PS3 OWNING ALL is not "pretty ridiculous statement" Have you seen the Cell architecture? Have you seen what the whole Cell concept? The only thing we know about Crap-Box 2 is that ATi and IBM will be making chips for it = =

Do you even understand the "gaming console process" They're not just PC parts put into a box. The whole game progamming, Hardware progamming is different. That's maybe why nVidia spent alot of time developing X-Box's graphics? They didn't just shrink GeForce 3 and stuck it in there = =
Also that maybe why PS2 only have a 300mhz CPU yet it performs amazing graphics?

Also, do u know why PC graphics are crappier than Console graphics? Because when u buy a PS2, X-Box, GC THERE IS ONLY ONE TYPE OF SPECIFICATION! you can't get a 800mhz PS2 nor a 200mhz X-Box. For PCs, There are millions of Variation of SPEC and setups. For PC games u can't make it so only High-end computer can play it. You have to design it so it fits all types of SPEC etc. Therefore they can't design amazing graphics because 80% of the computers out there can't run it!

It's not the OS that's bring the Graphics down, it's the whole market that is!

RIP Block Heater....HELLO P4~~~~~
120% nVidia Fanboy
bring it fanATics~~ nVidia PWNS all!
SCREW aBOX! LONG LIVE nBOX!!
November 17, 2003 12:13:40 AM

i dont think the consols look better than games on a pc. the difference is with a pc game you are looking at it on a higher quality display, a lot closer to the screen, a lot smaller screen, and the games arent optimised to work on specific hardware. and consols are lower resolution (dont quote me on that).

wpdclan.com cs game server - 69.12.5.119:27015
November 17, 2003 12:25:26 AM

IBM pwnz j00


Actually, I am impressed w/ IBM and hold em in great respect so they DO PWN J00!!

The one and only "Monstrous BULLgarian!"
November 17, 2003 12:59:10 AM

You're completly missing the point of my argument. All I'm trying to say is that with the way a typical PC works, there is a lot of wasted resources that are completely useless for gaming, yet take up clock cycles that could be used to make games better.

I'm also very much aware that the majority of PC gamers do not own high-end cards. Most gamers still run GeForce 2 level cards and game developers must cater to this market in order to survive. But at the same time, that's why games are programmed to run on different cards and have certain graphic features turned on or off. Halo, for example, looks great on my Desktop PC with a Radeon 9500 Pro, but looks like crap on my laptop with a Radeon 7500, it still runs, just doesn't look as good. So devs don't necessarily have to tone down the graphics for all, just for less advanced cards.
If DOOM 3 will run on a 733mhz XBOX, and still look fantastic, imagine what it 'could' look like on a Radeon 9800Pro or GeForce 5950 if it didn't have the overhead Windows creates.

Remember when Windows first came out and you could either run games in DOS or Win. Most games, if not all worked better in DOS because it wasn't the system hog Windows was. The same way XBox, PS2 and GC are capable of producing great graphics with relatively little power is also because of the design of the OS is only for gaming.

Can you really dispute the fact that PC games would run much better and look better too if they were made for a OS that was specific to running games and didn't do anything but. That's all I'm proposing here.

As for your fanboy remarks about PS3, i'd like to point out what you said "Have you seen the Cell architecture? Have you seen what the whole Cell concept?" Think about the word 'CONCEPT' You know what? the GeForce FX 5800 was a great concept at one point too. As for the PS3, it might 'own' as you say, it might not, only time will tell.
As for the 'crap-box 2' having ATI and IBM developing hardware for it gets me pretty excited, they seem to have a pretty good idea of how to make pretty good hardware, wouldn't you agree?
November 17, 2003 1:06:30 AM

Some games look better on console, some on PC. It all depends on how hard the devs work on the port. For example, I think Splinter Cell on XB has better lighting and shadow effects but the resolution obviously isn't as good as the PC version. Halo on the other hand looks better on a High-end PC in every aspect of the game, add to that the load times are exponentially quicker.
It is all game specific as to which has better graphics. I would argue though that the PC has a higher potential for better graphics.
November 17, 2003 1:21:37 AM

While Windows does hog all sorts of resources, it isn't the problem. If you need proof, try and use Linux. You'll see a marginal improvement in SOME games. I have played XBox, PS2, and GameCube, and they all leave me VERY thankful for my PC. Console games run at low resolution and with a dedicated API. If you had some way to make XBox Halo play at 1600x1200x32bpp, you'd never break 1 fps while utilizing the XBox hardware. They fill a certain market niche is all.
November 17, 2003 2:44:50 AM

Actually, XBox games can and do run in high resolutions. HDTVs support up to 1080i, that's 1900*1080 resolution. To date only a few games support that resolution, but only because it's more difficult to program for and there isn't much of a market for that, yet! True Crime, Matrix and a few others support 1080i, many support 720p and almost all support 480p.

But again, everyone seems to miss what I'm trying to say. I'm not saying that XBox or other consoles graphics are superior to PC, all i'm saying is that with the very little power these systems have, they are capable of producing incredible graphics. Which is my argument that the PCs power is completely underutilized because of Windows.

Take Halo for example, could you imagine a 733 pentium 3 with only 64 megs of Ram and Geforce 3 running it at full detail, even if it's only in 640*480? I can't see that happening.

I'm wondering if anyone else thinks that PC games would be much better if you could have a OS that is made ONLY for games, like the Xbox, where the API is pretty much the OS too!
November 17, 2003 3:57:33 AM

the only real difference between an xbox and a PC is the screen, the TV's make an image look somewhat better to a lot of people for some reason. Not sure why exactly, maybe when running a game on a monitor you can see all the tiny flaws more clearly.

Sex is like a card game, if you dont have a good partner you had better have a good hand.
November 17, 2003 4:37:23 AM

You're kinda right. TVs don't show as much detail and unless it's HD, they run at much lower resolutions and that's why it may look better sometimes on a TV.

Really though, I didn't start this post to argue which has better graphics; PC or console.

I want to know if people think that a OS specifically for games would be beneficial. I think that an OS for gaming would exploit the power of today's graphic cards because there would be no overhead and games could run smoother and look better than ever before! Anyone agree or disagree with this? prove me right or wrong!!
November 17, 2003 12:08:55 PM

I dont understand why you cant put the OS on a dedicated memory stick or something....that way you can plug it into a PC and get instant on features. I understand the drivers are different for all configurations but they can be installed traditionally on the HD. If MS releases a patch all u need to do is flash it.

thoughts??

EC


<font color=red> Quantum Computers! - very interesting </font color=red>
November 17, 2003 1:04:36 PM

I don't understand why they can't do that either. I'm pretty sure that that is what the Xbox does, has the OS on each game disk.
If PCs could do that, they would only have to load the necessary programs and access only certain files to play games and then, like you said, get instant on features. I think that is a great idea.
Is there any reason this wouldn't work???
November 17, 2003 1:38:49 PM

my only thought is that current chip readers require the OS to be up and running before the memory reader. Manufacturers will need to hard wire the flash memory readers directly into cmos/bios. But this would require a new standard. But I think it should happen. Simply replace the outdated floppy drive with a card reader.

MS will be able to eliminate alot of piracy by adopting this idea. You need your own chip to run your PC. plus you should be able to integrate security and user features. Plug in your chip and its instant-on and configured for you the user.

If you lose the chip????? get a new one, flash it and your data is still on the HDD.

EC


<font color=red> Quantum Computers! - very interesting </font color=red>
November 17, 2003 4:09:56 PM

Exactly. Most TVs are 640x480 or all the HDTV resolutions that follow (I'm pretty sure that consoles don't run at those resolutions, however). Computer games look good at 1280x960 or 1600x1200 (due to how close you generally are to the screen and because monitors aren't built to display great quality images at 640x480). That is four to six times as many pixels!! Also, PS2 doesn't antialias, making their processing power requirements even less. Also, as you said, trying to hit the movie target that the computer industry is is tougher than hitting the stagnantly SPECed Why?-boxes and PS2s. People are trying to write emulators for both xbox and ps2, but with little sucess. Even people with an OCed FX-51 and an OCed 5950 (since emulators run best in OpenGL generally) supposedly don't have the power to run the games at decent quality on a computer monitor. This is probably because the software simply isn't there yet.

Damn Rambus.
November 17, 2003 5:52:23 PM

Actually, I *do* use my second PC as a console, and it performs much better than you'd think.

My old parts go into something I call my "XPC"... Right now it's running an Athlon 1.2 Ghz Thunderbird, 512 megs of sdram, and my old Radeon 8500.

Add to that a cordless mouse, keyboard, Ati remote wonder, and two logitech wingman rumblepads... and this thing ROCKS the kazbah.

I guess it's because I run games at 640*480, but I get no lag of anytime. Pro race driver with 4-player split screen? No problem, smooth as silk. The Return of the King 2-player mode? Once again, smooth as a baby's bottom.

I only wish they made more multiplayer split-screen games for the PC...

By the way, the Radeon does an awesome job of playing DVDs with the remote wonder. Sounds good too, I paired it up with some Logitech z560's... yum.

BTW, Televisiosn produce a MUCH brighter image than a monitor. That's why colors on an XBOX game seem so vibrant.
Add to this the low resolution of most televisions, and you've got a natural pseudo-antialiassing effect... also why Xbox games sometimes appear more attractive.

------------------
Radeon 9500 (hardmodded to PRO, o/c to 322/322)
AMD AthlonXP 2400+ (o/c to 2600+ with 143 fsb)
3dMark03: 4055
November 17, 2003 6:21:30 PM

Do you use a TV or a regular monitor for display? I'm thinking of doing that for my old system (once I get better graphics for this computer so I can swap-down) if I can fix it--ouputting @ 640x480 someAA and some Aniso (thought I still don't see any difference between non-aniso and 16x), man, that'd be cool.

Damn Rambus.
!