New playstation/xbox as a rendering box?

As many people know the newest generation of Xbox and Playstation are going to be made on AMD CPU. + 6 gigs of rams with is quite perfect. for normal scen. And hear is my question to the guys who are good in hardware is it possible to acctualy render somethink on those consolos or it is impossible?

Depends on whether or not it will have external OS support… And that being said… it all depends on the price… Building computers is usually the better option in terms of price / performance ratio.

When the PS3 was open to linux, could have certainly been a possibility, but I dont think that will happen anymore. Both Sony and Microsoft show a desire to close their systems further, not open them up for alternate OS or modification. Dont forget, the chances are high they will lose money on selling the hardware…and will try to recoup the loss via software sales. The last thing they will want is to take a loss on the hardware that people wont be buying tons of software for.

We have the Piston coming up along with the steambox: See Image Here

While these initially wont be as cheap as a home console, within time this kind of smaller computing might become cheaper and more common. Stack up em for a render farm.

I doubt it will be possible. Maybe if you went directly through Sony or MS like the Air Force did with their PS3 Cluster supercomputer. Even when there was Other OS support for the PS3 the Hypervisor was locked barring access to most of the hardware. And Other OS eventually led to the PS3 being cracked, which even though it took a monumental effort, could have potentially impacted sales if they hadn’t patched it up quickly. I doubt they’ll be opening up the hardware in the future.

With regards to the playstation 4 isn’t it using one of AMD low power chips due to its form factor. I doubt it will even stand up to a current i7 mid-year Intel will release Haswell opening up the gap further. I think a mid-range, low power cpu is good for a console but I don’t think it will set the house on fire with regards to rendering.

I agree with the ‘lock down’ theroy. Expect Xbox to use some version of the secure boot to prevent other OS loads and Sony will do something similar to the PS4. Neither company wants you to use that for any purpose but to play 1st purchase retail copies of games (i.e. they are trying to lockdown/kill the used game market.)

Unfortunately, serious rendering is one of those areas that really pushes computer hardware to the limit. There really isn’t a cheap way to get a beefy machine.

The future of next gen gaming isnt going to be on the consoles, which will focus more on social improvements and input options. All major development is going into mobile and PC gaming these days. If consoles want to compete with PCs and other current gen hardware, they would have to raise their prices and thats one thing the console’s target audience wont like. Console gamers are cheap, rather they expect certain price points because they generally do not see consoles as computers but toys, as such they have to be priced low for the consumer…which is silly.

If both the xbox and ps4 find ways to restrict the industry damaging used game market, it might change the landscape of gaming even more, more so with developers and publishers feeling safer on consoles… Steam will be a big player in the coming days and Linux as an OS will probably see some huge improvements from Steam’s desire to bring it up to par… Hell Android as an OS is based off linux. All it takes is one big consumer friendly alternative to windows and apple, and we are good to go.

Waste of time/ effort really.

You may as well put together a cheap render box; AMD APU, 8GB RAM, SATA HDD, small case + PSU and you’re good to go.

That will give you the benefit of being able to upgrade to more RAM should you need it, and a faster APU/ more cores. With your console you’re going to be stuck with a low-powered, highly-limited device.

It would certainly be possible. If said console had an operating system that enabled the user to run any old program they wanted and the software itself existed. With 8GB of RAM, built in mass storage and a decent level of processing power a PS4 might make a reasonable-ish rendering box for something maybe costing not much more than a mid-level Intel CPU or Nvidia graphics card.

But, as others have said, making the machines open to use for anything that doesn’t fit the programme of generating revenue, though game sales, is never going to happen. Which is unfortunate, I think, as it would give people another option for buying a fairly cheap, general purpose PC. Of course, we know it won’t come close to challenging even a present day a mid-level Ivy Bridge + GTX combination in outright power. But, I believe it likely that it will out-perform, by a significant margin, the equivalently priced Windows PC that will be retailing in stores when it’s released.

Personally, i’d like to see a modern day machine like that, I think i’d have fun finding out new ways of crashing the thing with my attemtps at progamming.



I agree it probably isn’t going to be possible, and I agree that you could build a small render cluster with cheap parts.

But I don’t agree that it would be a waste of time IF it was possible. Remember, that 8 gig of GDDR RAM is directly accessible by the video card, So as well as having very fast RAM, the video card has access to more RAM than your average high end video card that will probably cost around the same. So we could get much more stuff in memory for GPU processing

Of course it’s an ATI, and therefore wouldn’t support CUDA etc, so it’s no good anyway!

But Still, if it was possible, it would make a nice GPU rendering solution. BUT it won’t be possible, so I’m not gonna worry about.

It’s unlikely that Sony (or Microsoft) will be creating an open platform to let any unlicensed program be run on their (full) hardware, because indeed the software sales carry the market (and sometimes even subsidize hardware cost).

However, Sony has hinted at making the PS4 a more accessible platform to smaller developers, possibly closer to the AppStore model. If that happens, it seems very likely that people will find ways to use the PS4 as a compute node. (just like they did with the PS3 e.g. for [email protected])

As for GPL software, a closed platform poses certain licensing restrictions/risks, but we’d have to wait for the details to emerge.

Dude it is a waste of time. It’s using a low power processor meant for netbooks/tablets. Sony can’t shove the fastest processor and graphics card into that form factor because than you will have a big powerful machine that is as noisy as hell and cost over $1000. Most tech sites out there are speculating that the Jaguar processor will be about the same level as ivy bridge i3. I don’t think those chips are the ones AMD uses in their desktop line.

I think a better option would be picking up second hand machines with at least i5 in them

Let’s say it was possible to get the os to run blender.

It’s still a big no,no; amd drivers suck for cycles.

And from my readings, they have consistently sucked in aspects of gpu compute.

If you want a cheap supercomputer - and when I say cheap all things are relative: run 3 nvidia titan’s in sli on a i7 setup; that’s about as close as you’ll get. :slight_smile: I seem to remember are offering a system along those lines and it was about £4,500.00. So all things are relative /nod. :stuck_out_tongue:

Or wait a few months and see what new gfx cards have later in the year - more memory is going to be a given, sooner or later. Likely this year, certainly next.

Tyrant Monkey, maybe I didn’t explain myself correctly. I agree in practice it is a waste of time for many reasons. The point I’m trying to make is because it uses an APU, the graphics processor has direct access to the whole 8 gig of FAST GDDR5 RAM. That would not be a waste of time IF you could get it to work.

BUT, In reality it’s not going to work. At all, because:

  1. Sony ain’t gonna open it up and let people play with it.
  2. It’s an AMD/ATI so no cuda, and like writers block said openCL drivers are not working.

I’m not talking about using the CPU for processing.

My point is, IF we could access a cuda based graphics chipset with access to 8 gig of GDDR5 RAM for a relatively low price, that would not be a waste of time. The key word here is IF. But like I said initially, it’s not going to be possible, so I’m not going to worry about it. To be honest, it’s a bit of pointless discussion. The very fact it’s AMD based simply rules it out entirely, and like you’ve pointed out the cpu is not up to the task. I was just trying to say access to a cheap 8 gig graphics chipset would be cool.

Sorry if I didn’t explain myself well enough, I agree the points I made are based enitrely on “if’s” which renders them enitrely mute. For that I apologize.