We got owned in a two-watt Quake III deathmatch

Of all Scott's dispatches from the Consumer Electronics Show this week, the one from Imagination Technologies is the most unusual. Our editor on the ground played some Quake III Arena on the Creator CI20, a MIPS-based alternative to the Raspberry Pi. "I feel like younger me just got owned," his notes read.

The Creator is based on an Ingenic SoC with dual 1.2GHz CPU cores and PowerVR SGX540 graphics. The low-power platform pulled just 2.15W during the deathmatch.

If you're Krogoth'd by running Quake III on a MIPS SoC, perhaps you'll be impressed by Doom on Intel's tiny Edison module:

More details on that impressive feat are available here. And no, neither platform runs Crysis.

Comments closed
    • Vrock
    • 8 years ago

    Did you guys check to make sure it wasn’t using Quacked drivers?

    • Homeles
    • 8 years ago

    Edison uses i486 cores.

    • jihadjoe
    • 8 years ago

    He’s been a thing for years if you look at the old polls:

    [url<]https://techreport.com/news/22025/poll-to-which-new-chip-are-you-most-looking-forward[/url<] [url<]https://techreport.com/news/22370/poll-how-will-kepler-fare-against-the-radeon-hd-7970[/url<]

    • thor84no
    • 8 years ago

    Speaking as someone who has played Q3 in the last 3 months, the poly count is indeed *really* low. Low enough that I wouldn’t say the screenshot above looks significantly worse, if at all.

    • Generic
    • 8 years ago

    Sorry, but no.

    Fathers everywhere have been impossible to impress for millennia before Krogoth ever came on the scene.

    • djgandy
    • 8 years ago

    Q3 has hardly any polygons, even for an SGX540. I think you have just forgotten what games used to look like.

    Back in 1999 your imagination filled in all the extra details.

    • wingless
    • 8 years ago

    I’ve bought all my GPUs with my own money since 1998-99 when I was a Sophomore/Junior in High School. I’ve had to pay for my own rigs since about that time…

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    You don’t need to port ioquake3 to DC. You just need it to be net-code compatible.

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    To clarify, I’m not knocking q3 or ioq3, it’s just that the ports to things like cell phones and raspberry pi are going to hardware that’s actually got way more resources than the DC and it’s hitachi CPU and limited memory and poor old PowerVR GPU. Probably a first gen iPhone has way more power.

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    I am aware. You need quake 3 1.16N to connect to Dreamcast clients.

    Been involved with ioq3 development for years, shortly after the q3 GPL. There have been enough changes to q3 that it’s actually harder to get ioq3 working, is my understanding. There is dependency to SDL now and while some version of that has been ported to Dreamcast, that’s just a drop in the bucket of pain. Surround sound is OpenAL, another thing to port as well.

    I’d love to see an updated DC port but no one has interest in trying and most of the ioq3 coders I’ve talked to about it are pretty dubious that it can be done anymore.

    /me looks at his Dreamcast with broadband adapter.

    Yeah, it’d be cool if someone did it one day.

    • jss21382
    • 8 years ago

    I miss those days as well, this was my home page for years, back then it seemed like there was news every time I opened my browser. These days I drop by every couple days for updates. Sure technology is moving as fast as it ever has, but it’s not the technology I grew up loving.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    The original engine, yes. ioquake3 has been optimized pretty well since then, and even supports 64-bit and surround sound.
    Full list:
    [url<]http://ioquake3.org/[/url<] Also, the dreamcast version could play against PC users, and could possibly be an even match with the DC Kb/M, aside from the framerate differences. [url<]http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/article_30805[/url<] [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CH09huQOmY[/url<]

    • Laykun
    • 8 years ago

    There’s a lot more to engines then just how it runs on the end consumer’s computer. An engine has a companion toolset and codebase you have to work with to create your game, the better these are the easier it is for developers to make games for that engine, and is currently where epic has the lead over other engines barring something like Unity ( I currently develop for both). I’ve never had to work with id Tech 4’s engine toolset but I get a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t that great.

    [url<]http://www.cinemablend.com/games/IdTech-4-Dev-Kit-Works-Rival-UDK-Unity-40528.html[/url<] Simply because THIS exists is pretty much all the proof you need that despite it being a good engine in itself, it wasn't very friendly to new comers/outsiders.

    • alexvoica
    • 8 years ago

    2.5W was total board power consumption; if you take away USB, Ethernet/Wi-Fi and HDMI, the SoC power consumption is getting close(r) to what you would be impressed by.

    • alexvoica
    • 8 years ago

    I was the one who has shown Scott the demo. What you are seeing in the photo is OpenArena running at 1080p resolution under Debian 7.

    • Delta9
    • 8 years ago

    I saw GL Quake and Twisted Metal at my friends house and I was out the door and on my way to the mall. I rolled into Babbages, yes I am old, bought a Diamond branded Voodoo card for my overclocked pentium. At that time the graphics were jaw dropping, especially when compared to an original PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. No contest. During the mid 2000’s I saved a pair of voodoo 5500s from the trash heap, one agp, and the bizzaro pci version. Good times.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    Indeedy. It’s plainly visible from the photo that the game runs at a fraction of normal detail. Look at the gun in the player’s hand, for example.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    Orchid Righteous 3D (Voodoo I) bought with my own money at 22. Bargain price of $89 (off the original $299) because a retailer thought they might be defective and offloaded them through a bulk reseller. Was working at a mom-n-pop shop back then.

    My tech-colleague friends were so impressed after seeing Quake patched to GLQuake that two of them immediately bought other Voodoos at full price. I think I had a P120 with 24 whopping megabytes of RAM at that point. Good times –I miss the 90’s when it seemed there was a quantum leap in computing every six months to a year.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    i’m not THAT old! I’m only 36. Some of the guys that joined TR a long time ago could be my dad, if they had kids in high school. 😀

    I actually really wanted a Savage 2000, but they were like 2x as much. I was also really drawn to the stability of a Win2K setup, and I wanted to keep my old system ruso I decided to get the OS and the cheaper card rather than stick to Win 98SE (which I kept on the old system as a secondary box) and get a nicer card.

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    Translation: funk is old!

    What, no savage 2000 with its hardware t&l that did so well?!? 😀

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    If anything, it shows that the SoC has decent embedded graphics with OpenGL support. That’s the main difference between q3 and the earlier doom or q1 demos. Q3 takes more resources in general, sure, but now I can get 256gb on a freaking USB stick. Makes sense that the resource issue (ram and CPU cycles) is also solved at this point in time.

    I wonder if they used ioquake3. It’s had some work to compile nicely on other CPUs and I think it works with MIPS for the QVM dynamic recompiler thanks to the efforts of some SGI enthusiasts.

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    Dreamcast had special media packs that had assets that fit into the lower memory of the console. If not for that I bet it could have run the full game. I think ps2 had a q3 port as well? Of course no online multiplayer against PC users.

    Multithreading doesnt do as much as you’d hope as the engine isn’t really designed for it. You had that multi processor patch for macs back in the day but in some instances it slowed fps down. Even if depreciated it in later releases. The engine is just not designed with that in mind to take advantage of a MP system.

    • Scrotos
    • 8 years ago

    Even maxed it wouldn’t do more than 20k triangles on the screen at the same time. The engine started to die after about 45k triangles onscreen. Even on modern hardware you had to keep tri count down until the renderer rewrites in ioquake3 or xreal. Those basically offloaded renderer duties from the CPU to the GPU.

    I could go into more detail but I’m writing this on my phone with one hand while trying to rock my kid to sleep with the other. 😉

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    If you maxed out the settings, it did. The geometry engine had a dynamic lod / curved surfaces.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    UE3 is extremely dated, and has been long plagued with AA and performance issues. The recent Batman series would be my only UE exception. Games like Bioshock infinite looked terrible, and ran slower than Crysis3. id Tech 5 with The Evil Within has IMO surpassed UE3. Good game or not, it looks amazing for an idtech5 game. I think idtech5 with a little work could easily be the next quake3 engine.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Quake 3 doesn’t have that high of a poly-count even in its heyday.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    Do also note how dumbed down the graphics need to be in order for it to run well. Polygon count is far down, for example.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 8 years ago

    Doesn’t Edison have Silvermont core(s)? I’d be impressed if it was running on a Galileo though.

    • curtisb
    • 8 years ago

    No doubt the engine was, and still is, solid. There were so many first-person shooters based on that engine that it’s almost impossible to count them all.

    There are even some games that originally started out as mods or total conversions that still use the engine, and still have decent followings. [url=http://www.urbanterror.info/home/<]Urban Terror[/url<], for one, is still seeing active development and releases.

    • curtisb
    • 8 years ago

    Sure, you could tweak the hell out of the graphics settings and make it run at higher frame rates, but it’s obvious from the screenshot above this wasn’t done on the system they demoed it on. It even looks like they’re using lightmap, dynamic lighting, and the higher texture detail setting. I realize those are nothing for a gaming system to handle by todays standards, but they could kill frame rates when the game was originally released. It’s definitely not an accomplishment to get the engine running at the highest graphics settings today. The accomplishment comes in getting all of the features to run at such a low power envelope…which, admittedly, you did allude to in your original post.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Quake 3 engine was very solid and well designed. It is no surprise that it was Id’s best selling engine to license. It took Epic Unreal Engine 3 to undertake Id Software. (Their misstep with Idtech4 a.k.a Doom 3)

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Voodoo 3 and RIVA TNT with a Pentium 3/Athlon (Slot A)was handling Quake 3 fine at 1024×768 around 1999. Geforce 256, ATI RAGE 128 and Voodoo 4/5 were on the horizon. They could effortlessly handle it at 1280×1024/1280×960. It took the next generation (Geforce 2/ATI Raedon) to handle 1600×1200.

    Quake 3 wasn’t really that demanding when compared to Unreal Engine 1. It was actually one of its large selling points.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 8 years ago

    quake 3 is more flexible than people think, after all they got it to run on the Sega Dreamcast. What might be difficult is getting a constant 120fps for optimal bunny hopping. I’m sure it runs fairly smooth on SOC’s as long as they’re using multithreading and other optimizations.

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    What’s this ‘we’ stuff??!?!

    You mean YOU got OWNED!! 😉

    • curtisb
    • 8 years ago

    It may not be new, but it’s usually DOOM or the earlier, less hardware intensive, version of Quake. This is Quake III and I remember back in ’99 when the test versions and the RTM version first came out that getting 40FPS was a Good Thing[super<]TM[/super<], and that took some quite decent hardware for that time frame.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 8 years ago

    Yawn, wake me up when it’s under 0.50mW/FPS.

    • internetsandman
    • 8 years ago

    Is this Krogoth saying that he’s Krogoth’d?

    • dodozoid
    • 8 years ago

    Two orders of magnitude increased efficiency in 20 years… Dont know if impressed or disappointed

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty neat, but running old games on system-on-a-chip platforms with minimalistic boards/ports is hardly new.

    That tiny bugger has about the same computing power as a mainstream desktop system from the late 1990s while consuming 1-2% of the power.

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    YOU’RE JUST SAYING THAT BECAUSE YOU’RE JEALOUS OF US!!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 8 years ago

    I bought my own because in 1999 I was 21 years old and had a job. :p

    For reference it was a Pentium 166MMX overclocked to 208MHz on some Shuttle socket 7 motherboard with 32MB of RAM and a Voodoo Banshee at that point. Windows 95B still, I think, but not 100% sure on that. I don’t think I got 98SE until a couple months before ME came out, and I am pretty sure that was in 2000.

    Eventually in summer 2000 I started working at a local PC parts shop. The Duron was released, I got Windows 2000 and a Socket A setup with 256MB RAM and a Savage 4, for some reason.

    • UnfriendlyFire
    • 8 years ago

    I’d imagine convincing your parents to buy a GPU card (Voodoo anyone?) was also a challenge.

    • 5150
    • 8 years ago

    Yawn, let him know when they can do it under 1W.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    They’ve referenced him in the past but it never catches on.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    I am! 🙂

    • Firestarter
    • 8 years ago

    to think that we used to overclock our desktops to try and squeeze a few more fps out of Q3A

    • the
    • 8 years ago

    And I am not impressed.

    • Peter.Parker
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]And no, neither platform runs Crysis.[/quote<] .. awww

    • dodozoid
    • 8 years ago

    wow, Krogoth is now officialy a thing

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!