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VIDEO: Quake 3 Running on Tiny, Little Raspberry Pi

By - Source: Raspberry Pi | B 32 comments

In this video, id Software's classic Quake III Arena is shown maxed out at 1080p resolution via the card-sized Raspberry Pi mini-computer.

For the uninitiated, Raspberry Pi will be a $25 to $35 Linux-based "mini-rig" crammed with a 700 MHz ARM11 SoC, 128 MB or 256 MB of RAM, composite and HDMI video output, USB 2.0 and even an optional integrated 2-port USB hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller – all within a credit card-sized form factor.

Now imagine this little device – which is actually smaller than most smartphones and could easily fit in your pocket – outputting Quake III Arena at 1080p resolution with 4x anti-aliasing enabled, and lighting and geometric details maxed out. As seen in the video demo below, id's classic shooter is churning at a not-too-shabby 20 to 30 FPS which is likely due to a "a floating-point library issue," but Raspberry Pi Foundation trustee Eben Upton claims that he's seen better framerates on other Raspberry Pi builds.

"Obviously, the Raspberry Pi isn’t intended as a gaming platform, but it’s very satisfying to let the Broadcom BCM2835 application processor off the leash (yes, I’m allowed to give you the part number now) and see what it can do in this sphere nonetheless," reads the Raspberry Pi blog.

It was also noted that the card-sized rig didn't show any real signs of overheating when running the demo several times using the high-graphics settings. "We feel you should be fine with the sort of thermoplastic cases that some of you are hoping to make using 3d printers: the chip doing all the work in this clip was still under body temperature after I’d filmed this demo four times, and feels surprisingly cool to the touch," the blog reads. "This is also, of course, great news for power consumption."

Eventually the team wants to demonstrate both its game-playing and networking capabilities in the coming weeks by releasing a new video showing them all playing Quake III Arena Deathmatch on several networked Raspberry Pi devices. In the meantime, the first Q3A tease is embedded below.

Someone is a rocket junkie too...

Raspberry Pi - Quake 3 demo

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  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 31, 2011 5:21 AM
    Why not? AFAIK, Quake 3 can run on SGS 1. I ran it on my old Celeron 500 MHz w/ 384MB RAM. It's not a resource hog or something... but a fun shooter for sure. Still nothing like it.
  • 3 Hide
    michalmierzwa , August 31, 2011 5:40 AM
    Epic! the Quake 3 legend lives on :-)
  • -3 Hide
    freetheweed , August 31, 2011 5:48 AM
    ummmm derrr my dreamcast was able to play this lol.
  • Display all 32 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , August 31, 2011 5:59 AM
    damn, all i can say.

    now that being said, i would love this thing if it can be used as a network device, to stream video to a tv over wifi, would be nice for a cheap device like this to be able output video without all the constraints that are on the current ps3 and 360.
  • 5 Hide
    dalauder , August 31, 2011 6:00 AM
    You guys make a good point. Something that can run that game doesn't need much of hardware, but the fact that it can be sold for $35 is amazing. It really begs the question: Why these new handheld consoles aren't looking at being handheld media powerhouses?

    Can a PS Vita stream my PC's shared media to input on any TV nearby or play plenty of fun games to wireless PS3 controllers? It should.

    The price of capable hardware is almost in a freefall the last few years. My family paid $2000 for a midrange laptop in 1999. Now it's $550 for a midrange laptop. Soon it'll be $50 for a handheld that satisfies all my computing needs.
  • 1 Hide
    ProDigit10 , August 31, 2011 6:22 AM
    I still prefer a little more expensive, but also a little more powerful.
    Many complained about the Atom processor, but this is about 1/2 to 1/8th the speed of an Atom processor
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , August 31, 2011 6:39 AM
    nice, wouldn't buy one myself, but nice!
  • 3 Hide
    mattmock , August 31, 2011 6:57 AM
    I am a bit skeptical about that price. Smartphones with similar power to this still cost way more to build. It is a cool little device though.
  • -1 Hide
    fixxxer113 , August 31, 2011 7:08 AM
    I played Quake 3 on a PII 400Mhz CPU with an Nvidia TNT 16MB PCI graphics card, with framerates around 70-90... So this is not at all impressive. I think even mobile phones now would run Quake 3 maxed out...

    It's natural that nowadays, all that power would fit in a single chip.
  • 3 Hide
    aznshinobi , August 31, 2011 7:12 AM
    This is defiantly going to be a positive for developing countries. A cheap computer that can do your basic usages, word docs, browsing internet and what not. Certainly not crazy performance, but enough performance. For a low price too!
  • -2 Hide
    cypeq , August 31, 2011 7:18 AM
    quake 3 is so light I hoped to see sth like 60 fps...
  • 0 Hide
    DSpider , August 31, 2011 7:32 AM
    I bet the 4x antialiasing slows things quite a bit. I'm more interested in 1080p HD video! If this thing can play BluRay movies I'm so ordering one.
  • -3 Hide
    aaron88_7 , August 31, 2011 8:13 AM
    But can it run Crysis?
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , August 31, 2011 8:33 AM
    ProDigit10I still prefer a little more expensive, but also a little more powerful.Many complained about the Atom processor, but this is about 1/2 to 1/8th the speed of an Atom processor


    but a completely different kind of processor...
  • 3 Hide
    beayn , August 31, 2011 9:46 AM
    fixxxer113I played Quake 3 on a PII 400Mhz CPU with an Nvidia TNT 16MB PCI graphics card, with framerates around 70-90... So this is not at all impressive. I think even mobile phones now would run Quake 3 maxed out... It's natural that nowadays, all that power would fit in a single chip.


    It would probably do much better without 4xAA. I also remember running Quake 2 on a P2-450 with dual Voodoo2 at 90fps and that system couldn't run Q3 at more than 30 fps. I upgraded to a P3-800 with a TNT2 32mb to get the 90 FPS you speak of. I'm pretty sure you're getting your games mixed up.

    Also, don't forget you paid a shitload for your computer. If this thing is really $35, then it is very impressive. Especially considering the failed $100 laptop project.


  • 1 Hide
    memadmax , August 31, 2011 10:42 AM
    aaron88_7But can it run Crysis?


    Just had to eh?
  • -2 Hide
    DSpider , August 31, 2011 11:19 AM
    aaron88_7But can it run Crysis?

    Technically, it could VNC into another computer over LAN or the internet (OnLive?) and play it.
  • -2 Hide
    jacobdrj , August 31, 2011 1:18 PM
    Unreal Tournament > Quake III Arena
    More vibrant color. Better textures. Better AI.
    I am sure they could run Unreal Tournament on that thing too if they wanted...
  • 4 Hide
    aaron88_7 , August 31, 2011 2:05 PM
    memadmaxJust had to eh?

    I just couldn't resist ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 31, 2011 3:02 PM
    @beayn

    if your referring to the OLPC project that was sabotaged by intel so they can sell their slightly more expensive version to developing countries, it didn't quite fail, just did not shift as many units as expected, but the good news is they have learned a little form their experience and version 2 is on the way (albeit it tablet flavor)
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