Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 23 May 2016.
There are catches, mind.
Not really any catches beyond those which already exist in using SteamOS...? (Other than you need a not-updated PS4...)
Still, that's rather cool. Sadly with both modern consoles having moved to x86 arch, it's difficult to see how any real advantages could be created - back in the early days of the PS3, for example, the Cell arch was quite good at some specific number-crunching... weren't various scientific groups and the USAF using PS3's for clusters?
You mean aside from the advantage of being able to have an eight-core machine with reasonable graphics and 8GB of RAM for under £280? I'd be interested to see a performance comparison betwix a £280 general-purpose PC (sans OS, of course) and the PS4 - I can't see the PC leading on anything other than, possibly, single-thread performance.
The PS2 and PS3 were both popular for cluster use; while the PS4 doesn't have the unique advantages of the Cell architecture from the PS3, it certainly delivers on bang-for-buck - and if Sony had made Linux an officially-supported feature, like it used to, I reckon we'd have seen plenty of university projects building HPCs out of PS4s by now.
While there are some games that like more than four cores... they aren't that many right now... (at least that you'd try playing on a PS4-GPU-level system) I do understand your point, however.
As for university clusters of PS4's... possibly but I don't think it's had the interest of the PS3 with the Cell, which was interesting for architecture reasons. The current darling of the 'cheap 'n' cheerful cluster' are Raspberry Pi's (as I'm sure you well know) the ODROIDs (which are awesome if they'd just support them a little better) and ARM SBC's in general (the ODROID-C1/C2 wins for me due to gigabit ethernet... but I found support for the C1 somewhat lacking). For x86 compute in high-density, the Intel NUC would be much more interesting if it was about half the price...!
Who's talking about gaming?
Except they did the very same thing with PS2s, which were a fairly boring RISC architecture. Hell, they did it with Xboxes, and they were just Pentiums IIIs.
No, they're not. They're used to teach cluster *concepts*, but nobody's doing actual, serious computation on ARM SBCs. The performance just isn't there.
My point, which I apologise for having apparently very badly got across in my post, is that the PS4 is tempting for cluster use *because it is cheap* for the specifications you get. The NUC? Not cheap for the specifications you get.
Like I said: compare the performance of a £280 PC with the performance of the £280 PS4, both working at general computation tasks. Now image a cluster of a thousand £280 PCs compared to a cluster of a thousand £280 PS4s. Which is going to have higher performance?
The advantages of selling hardware at almost cost prices and making your money from the sale of software, at least I'm guessing the new console hardware doesn't generate much in the way of profits in the same way previous gen didn't.
So if they got SteamOS going, does that mean it will also run regular Arch for general purpose computing?
They didn't get SteamOS going; they got Arch going then installed Steam for Linux on top. So, yes: Arch itself runs fine.
Now, if they could get Oculus exclusives running on Steam Linux with HTC Vive running on the PS4 .....
Just to p off the Oculus bods even more. The sad sacks.
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