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Quad-Core Arm 10W CPU Powers New Chinese Gaming Rigs

PKS Gaming PC

PKS Gaming PC (Image credit: 蚁工厂/Weibo)

A Weibo user has shared some interesting photographs of a domestic gaming PC that's being cooked up in China. The grand novelty is that the machine isn't using an Intel or AMD processor, but an Arm-powered chip, more specifically the Phytium FT-2000/4.

The China Electronics Corporation (CEC) is behind the labeled PKS gaming PC. You might not have heard of the company before, but the Chinese fabless chipmaker Phytium should ring a bell. That's because the CEC is the parent company of Phytium. Now that the connection is made, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the PKS would leverage one of Phytium's FeiTeng  64-bit ARMv8-based processors.

The FT-2000/4 is an FCBGA processor with 1,144 pins that measure 35 x 35mm. TSMC produces the FT-2000/4 for Phytium on the foundry's 16nm process node. The FT-2000/4 wields four FTC663 processing cores, which run at three different clock speeds: 2.2 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 3 GHz. The quad-core part also comes equipped with 4MB of L2 cache (split into 2MB per two cores) and 4MB of L3 cache. According to Phytium, the FT-2000/4 has a typical power consumption of a mere 10W.

PKS Gaming PC

PKS Gaming PC (Image credit: 蚁工厂/Weibo)

The FT-2000/4 processor supports dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory and delivers up to 34 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The latter allows for a configuration of up to two PCIe 3.0 x16 lanes and two PCIe 3.0 x1 lanes. As a result, the Chinese firm outfits the PKS gaming PC with 32GB of DDR4 memory and a discrete graphics card with 8GB of memory. The Chinese firm didn't specify the model of the graphics card, but it'll be interesting to see whether the FT-2000/4 at 10W will be the bottleneck.

On the storage side, the FT-2000/4 can accommodate up to four SATA III ports, which is why the manufacturer advertises support for conventional SSDs and high-capacity hard drives. In terms of connectivity, the PKS gaming PC offers one Gigabit Ethernet port, six unspecified USB ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort output. There's also dual-display support. 

The PKS gaming PC is a domestic product and will likely feature a homegrown operating system, such as UOS (Unity Operating System) or NeoKylin. The caveat with Chinese operating systems is that they are based on some kind of Linux distribution, and there aren't many native Linux games out there. Software like Wine or CrossOver exists to allow Linux users to run Windows games, but it's one of those hit-or-miss experiences. However, the PKS gaming PC could probably succeed as an entry-level gaming PC or find its way into gaming cyber cafes where MMOs and MMORPGs prevail over more graphics-intensive titles.       

  • Brian28
    I'm pretty sure WINE on Linux won't let you run an x86 binary on an ARM CPU. So it's not going to help unless you somehow have the Windows game compiled for ARM. (Which I suppose is possible if it was designed to run on Surface Pro X. But how many games will fit that description?)
    Reply
  • chills340
    Brian28 said:
    I'm pretty sure WINE on Linux won't let you run an x86 binary on an ARM CPU. So it's not going to help unless you somehow have the Windows game compiled for ARM. (Which I suppose is possible if it was designed to run on Surface Pro X. But how many games will fit that description?)

    I'm pretty sure you haven't heard of BOX86. it runs on the ARM platform and allows for the execution of x86 binaries in linux or through wine. https://github.com/ptitSeb/box86 . I also find it compelling that there has been a compatibility report for Red Alert 2 using UOS. https://github.com/ptitSeb/box86-compatibility-list/issues/44 . BOX86 should have got a mention in this article alongside Wine and CrossOver.
    Reply
  • escksu
    Brian28 said:
    I'm pretty sure WINE on Linux won't let you run an x86 binary on an ARM CPU. So it's not going to help unless you somehow have the Windows game compiled for ARM. (Which I suppose is possible if it was designed to run on Surface Pro X. But how many games will fit that description?)

    I have to say one thing. There is nothing stopping Microsoft from making windows to work on ARM..... if China is willing to pay, M$ will get it done. ITs that simple. As for drivers, again just $$$ issue.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    escksu said:
    I have to say one thing. There is nothing stopping Microsoft from making windows to work on ARM..... if China is willing to pay, M$ will get it done. ITs that simple. As for drivers, again just $$$ issue.

    Are you living under a rock ? MS Already released windows 10 ARM edition and it is indide their MS surface Pro X .

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/surface-pro-x/8qg3bmrhnwhk?activetab=pivot:techspecstab
    Reply
  • Loadedaxe
    I don't think he is living under a rock. There is a lot of people that don't know about the Surface Pro X using ARM or MS even dipping their toes in it, they were terrible at launch and no one really even talked about it.
    It is a thing, ARM will be taking over, it just won't happen very soon. Apple has introduced it with the M1, with great fan fare, the MS Surface, not so much. MS is using its own ARM design, while it is a step forward from its initial design it is still lacking in performance. Apples M1 has done extremely better and users that have them, love them. Pisser is it is Apples first one, low budget and it is doing really well. It will be interesting to see where they go with the next gen.

    Once MS gets its act together, games for ARM will take hold more and more. As of this writing, most software designed for Windows still doesn't work, or works very poorly. MS needs something like Apples Rosetta 2 to emulate x86 better than it does until software devs port more and more into ARM.
    Reply
  • RodroX
    I would love to see a review of this "PC" and find out what is capable to do, and what performance you can get.
    Reply