xbox 360 for rendering

I was reading about the Xbox 360 today and I found that its CPU has a performance of 115 GFLOPS. That is very respectable for a box that costs $199 esp since a quick google search turns up 70 GFLOPS for a Intel Core i7 965 XE in double precision.

Any way I know that for some amount of money you can write your own xbox games through their XNA system and then you can distribute it through the xbox live indie games channel. How hard would it be to write in C# a renderer that runs on the xbox that could save image files. How much of the xbox’s power would be available?

Anyone feel up to churning out a simple ray tracer? ha ha

Doesnt Gaystation 3 have a performance of 204 GFLOPS? I have seen people run linux on it.

a good graphics card does over a teraflop. so a graphics card gives about 10X performance for the same price if you are willing to write your own app for it, and you dont have to pay ms $100 per year to use it. (xna developers club)

when you look at the cost of a ps3 I think at about $350 and 6/7 processors available to Linux the flops per dollar isn’t really that different. It could be that programming on the crazy cell setup is harder. I would be very interested to find out.

sure video cards have really high flops but they aren’t easily programmable, we’ll see what happens with opencl, so that isn’t really the same. It’s true that with all aspects of the GPU the xbox has about 1 TFLOPS but writing software for is well i don’t know but more difficult anyway.

also only one person would have to pay 100 bucks for xna developers club. They could then distribute it for $5

The main problem I see is between C# being a managed language and the 360 having (iirc) 512mb of memory (graphics memory, shared between the video card and processor) I suspect there would be some pretty significant limitations due to memory. It’s probably entirely possible to do, but I wouldn’t expect it to be spectacularly quick even with a good processor.
I know with XNA you can have up to 31 (no, not 32) players in a network session, perhaps it’d be better to write a distributed rendering system and have an Xbox renderfarm? But then you hit the problem of getting things onto the Xboxes … I’m not sure, but I don’t think you can have PC and Xbox in the same network session with LIVE. I suppose you could have a server with some sort of queue and the necessary files that the host Xbox could check for jobs… but that seems clunky

Not sure about most of the system, but it has three cores that can run two threads simultaneously each, for six threads. XNA reserves two, so you can use four at a time.

I just read that through the dreamspark program students can get a year of free community reators club along with gratis XNA game studio. That would mean that if it were developed or published by a student a renderer would only have a $5 delivery cost per person. Not bad for the possibly 76 GFLOPS, That is like a good core i7 i think. (I could be very wrong)

as to getting it to your xbox, it can read off of a flash drive, at least for videos music and pictures so I’l bet you could make it read it for other things like scene files.

edit: min price for an indie program is 80 Microsoft points, I think that is 1 dollar.

Or you can throw all that money hungry gaming crap away and just install linux on it. Compile blender for that architecture and presto. We’ve been running Gentoo Linux on two boxes for some time now. Rendering is noticeably faster than on a PC but sadly our dept. doesn’t consider rendering jobs a priority, they have a Beowulf cluster on top of the stack running large scale simulations of darwinian evolution.

As opposed to intelligent design evolution simulations?