Blender on PS3

Now, the shocking thing is this isn’t completely ridiculous, given this:

If it’s got the library support for running Blender these days then you get other little computers for rendering, and the game engine may get a new burst of life.

Assuming it’s real, of course.

You guys think it would render quickly? I’ve been thinking of adding a linux rendering farm to my house, this might be an interesting way to get started…

is linux on ps3 definitely integrated ? or is it not decided yet?

by the way I´ve heard rumors that it is only available on a extern harddrive.

But if its true that ps3 supports linux and all the applications running on it i´ll

buy one for sure

by the way ps3 has only 256MB ram :x so it has some rendertime

yes, 256mb ram isn’t much for rendering. :s

and for the price of the ps3 you can buy a macmini with core duo for example… would make a nice render node too… or you can get even cheaper self-built core duo pcs…

Well…even if it had 16GB RAM it would still suck for PPC binaries because the number crunching is not done by the crippled PPC core Cell has but by the 7 SPEs. If you’re lucky it beats an old G4 Mac, but i wouldn’t even bet on that, because possibly no existing gcc optimization scheme suits the PPE well…

Unless you’re developing Cell-specific software, this is pretty useless for quite a while IMHO, because there is no Cell-specific software for end-users yet…

psp would work just fine !
Like it would have enough hourse power for game blender and all… and would let the developer not have to make MASSIVE texture images and such…

I sent them a e-mail pretty much saying that I didn’t see Blender or Yafray in their software list. I think they’d get the point. And there’s enough people involved to make it worth while.

Ehm, the first test on povray (in linux) showed impressing results on
the cell. With unhoptimized code the 7 spe Cell of Ps3 downclocked to 2,4Ghz
outperformed a 2,4 Ghz Opteron by 4,8-9,7 times.(yep, 380% faster in the
worst case and 870% faster at max, with an average speed of 600-700%
times faster
I would like to know how much would it burn with
optimized code, then…

However the 256 Mb of the PS3 are too less for the actual blender
(which is memory pretending even when modeling) so I don’t think
there’ll be such great results, at least in the near future, unless
IBM has an ace in it’s hand and already worked with gcc developers
to start optimization-through-compilation (would mean semi-optimized
code, an average between unhoptimized and fully optimized but still a start point)

The paper doesn’t say a single word about povray, it’s about a cell optimized implementation for realtime raytracing, that is, fire as many rays as possible and only do very simple shading…

still, sounds like it might be a pretty sweet render node regardless maybe with FOSS gelato and blender… hm. maybe it IS worth $600. first time I’d ever thought that…

I am still struggling to understand the concept of the 6 SPE in relation to the ‘core’, but “total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS” seems impressive.

btw, if one can tap into the 256mb video memory and use it as sys-memory, we’ll have a 512mb rendernode.

That said, i remain skeptical that blender(render speed) on PS3 will outperform a Core2 Duo @ 3.2Ghz, assuming we manage to get it to compile/run in the first place.

I got a reply from the people Terrasoft solutions, and they said that they havn’t put up the new list, yet.

total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS
but that’s single precision floating point. i don’t know blender’s renderer but as far as i know most renderers rely on double precision and for that cell is a lot slower.

It’s 7, or actually 8 in silicon, but the PS3 will only use 7 of them to increase yield (i.e. CPUs with a defective SPE can still be used)
Anyway, the SPEs are basically co-processors with a different instruction set than the PPE. They are under the control of the PPE, so are not fully autonomous, although their architecture would basically allow it.
But you may just read the wikipedia article
All in all, you need to rewrite your software to use Cell, and not every algorithm that is parallelizable also suits the SPE architecture…

And yes, many renderers rely on double precision math a lot, i don’t know about blender internal, though yafray currently is mainly single-precision by default, and i often enough think that it was a bad idea, you need to be extra-carefully and it often enough still goes wrong…

thanks lynx3d, but what i am still trying to understand is how ‘autonomous’ is a SPE? can it be seen as a independent power-pc processor running a single thread?

Or maybe you can answer the question how much effort does it take to port the Blender code to cell? Not possible? Almost complete rewrite? Minor recode/compiler tweaks?

they said the ps3 runs yellow dog linux so I don’t know if it would be a huge issue

You wouldnt need to re-write Blender.

If you wanted it to run solely on the cell then yes you would, however from what I have been reading, the linux kernel will deal with the cell (not the program, in this case Blender). So there shouldnt be that much of a tweaking needed to get it to run on a PS3.

Yeah, it basically means the Linux PPC port should (API support willing) port very easily to the PS3.

It probably won’t be optimised to use the SPEs though, and you’d be looking at around a single processor G5 Mac level of performance I would imagine (possibly slightly better). That’s still not bad by any real stretch, considering memory usage will be far more of a problem.

Linux for PlayStation 3 Officially Announced
Terra Soft makes it official and announces release date, included software and more.
by Chris Roper

showUSloc=(checkLocale(‘uk’)||checkLocale(‘au’));document.writeln(showUSloc ? 'US, ’ : ‘’); October 17, 2006 - Terra Soft today announced that it will bring its Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 to Sony’s forthcoming PlayStation 3. This news makes Sony’s announcement of Linux support via the console 100% official and means that users will essentially be able to turn their gaming system into a fully-functioning computer, replete with whatever applications they feel like installing, be it for entertainment or business. According to Terra Soft’s website, Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 will be available in mid-November for the PlayStation 3, and then a version for Apple PowerPC systems will follow shortly thereafter.

Following the company’s standard release system, v5.0 will be made available in a three-phase product rollout. At launch, users of the company’s service (which comes at a cost) will be able to download the OS to their computer and burn a bootable disc for installation on the PlayStation 3. Two weeks later, the company will offer ready-made installation discs for purchase through the site. Two weeks after that, it will be made freely available on public mirrors. In short, if you’re willing to wait one month after the system’s release, you’ll be able to download Linux for it for free.

Yellow Dog Linux v5.0 will come with both a single-click installation mode for casual users and an advanced installer for power users. In other words, Terra Soft aims to allow even Linux novices an extremely easy entry point to the OS, while also allowing veterans the ability to customize the system to their liking.

The OS, which is based upon Fedora Core 5, will ship with the following components:
<li nd=“2”>kernel 2.6.16
<li nd=“3”>gcc 3.4.4 and glibc 2.4
<li nd=“4”>Cell SDK 1.1
<li nd=“5”> 2.0.2
<li nd=“6”>FireFox 1.5.0 and Thunderbird 1.5.0
<li nd=“7”>Nautilus 2.1.4
A number of “personal accessories; development tools; sound and video, Internet and networking applications” will also ship with the package, though the press release does not disclose any specifics.