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Old 02-28-09, 01:27 PM   #1
late
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Some new CPUs coming, good news for gamers

Years and years ago there was a terrific bit of software called Flight Unlimited. It had a CPU intensive flight model that really made a computer work up a sweat. The company tried to develop a combat version; but even workstations couldn't do it.

It hasn't been much of an issue in recent years until decent physics models started showing up in games. Video cards started doing physics equations partly because the cpu couldn't do them all.

Intel's next gen processors should be able to pull it off. So if ATI and Nvidia ever stop slagging each other over which physics program is the best, games will be able to take a huge jump forward in the immersiveness of the environment.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/...pump-bandwidth
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Old 02-28-09, 04:22 PM   #2
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I'd like to see GPUs and PPUs (physics processing units) moved to the motherboard.

I keep thinking of a computer architecture where it had various CPUs on a passive backplane, and even though all the CPUs could do some task, weight was given to whatever the CPU was best at. For example, a floating point job would be far more likely to land on a FPU than an integer unit, but if all FPUs are in use, it would end up on that as opposed to nothing at all.

Now, apply this to modern computers. You have your CPU with 4-8 cores that can service both integer and FP operations, your GPUs for rendering and writing massive amounts of bits to dual ported RAM, cryptographic hardware just for doing AES transforms and RSA exponentiation, and dedicated physics cores for those calculations. Any job can run on any core, but obviously something dealing with array shifts and S-boxes will most likely get dropped on an AES optimized core as opposed to a DSP core.
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Old 02-28-09, 04:28 PM   #3
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I think that this is already happening, or is at least is in later research stages. Aren't some companies toying around with using GPUs for cryptography?
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Old 02-28-09, 05:36 PM   #4
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Not sure why you'd mention Flight Unlimited in this context. I ran FU3 on my old computer back then just fine. X-Plane is a lot more advanced in terms of flight model and runs well on pretty old stuff if you turn the graphics down. X-Plane could've had a combat version, but the main author, Austin Meyer, decided against it a while back.
The last good modern combat flight sim, IMHO, was EA/Jane's F/A-18, and that was ten years ago, so an X-Plane Combat would've been awesome!

It's all about online RPGs/FPSs these days.
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Old 02-28-09, 05:43 PM   #5
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Not sure why you'd mention Flight Unlimited in this context
I called the guys and talked to them. I really wanted a combat version of the sim.
They said they had tried, but the best machine they had couldn't do all the calculations.

Hey, it may never happen, but I think the processing power to offer a pretty realistic flight model in a combat environment is almost here. You have enormous power in the new video cards, and that new Intel chip isn't too shabby.

I hear ya about the death of stand alone flight sims. I keep thinking somebody has to crank one out eventually.
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Old 02-28-09, 05:53 PM   #6
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GPUs have a better FPU than current CPUs.

and who uses the inquirer as a news source? they're nearly a tabloid.


and where is the touted AI processor?
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Old 02-28-09, 07:07 PM   #7
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I called the guys and talked to them. I really wanted a combat version of the sim.
They said they had tried, but the best machine they had couldn't do all the calculations.

Hey, it may never happen, but I think the processing power to offer a pretty realistic flight model in a combat environment is almost here.
It's already here (and has been for many years), and it's called X-Plane. Doesn't get more realistic than that, and adding combat to it wouldn't take much at all. It's just that the "middle-aged child" in charge of it all has decided to keep X-Plane strictly civilian.
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Old 02-28-09, 07:26 PM   #8
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It's already here (and has been for many years), and it's called X-Plane. Doesn't get more realistic than that, and adding combat to it wouldn't take much at all. It's just that the "middle-aged child" in charge of it all has decided to keep X-Plane strictly civilian.
Problem is, with dozens of planes in the air, and you have to calculate the physics of each one, and the bullets, and the damage effects. It adds up fast.

I would really like to able to do the BoB with all the planes in the air that were there on the big day, and with good flight models, windage, the works.

My personal fave is the Spit 5b
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Old 02-28-09, 07:55 PM   #9
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ah, the silly spitfire "can't dive because it's not fuel injected" vs. Me109 "poor turning radius"
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Old 03-01-09, 04:27 AM   #10
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Problem is, with dozens of planes in the air, and you have to calculate the physics of each one, and the bullets, and the damage effects. It adds up fast.
And I'm telling you - it can be done today. X-Plane's physics model doesn't require that much computing power, and for other aircraft, you only need 1-2 flight model iterations per frame (less if they're distant) because you don't need that super smoothness that you want for the aircraft you fly for yourself. Even with a dozen aircraft around you, it would only roughly double the workload for physics, which is still only a minor part of the total workload (most of it is graphics, probably more than 90 %). X-Plane has bullets and missiles today, and they have a proper physics model already. Doesn't affect the smoothness the slightest, even on my old PowerMac (from 2004) with a crappy gfx card.
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Old 03-01-09, 07:31 AM   #11
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I think that this is already happening, or is at least is in later research stages. Aren't some companies toying around with using GPUs for cryptography?
the gub'mint has been doing, ah, stuff with GPUs for ages. that, and video game consoles.

although they've mostly been just using massively parallel processing (i remember seeing a rack around a decade ago with hundreds of PPC 7400s installed on custom cards in it).
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