Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Portables Quake Ubuntu United Kingdom Hardware

Raspberry Pi Running Quake 3 102

First time accepted submitter phonewebcam writes "Here's something to liven up your weekend: a video of the Raspberry Pi running Quake 3. We're still working on ironing a few kinks out (specifically, there seems to be a library issue which means our framerate, while good, isn't quite as spectacular as we know it can be; we're working on it as I post this) – but this is what test boards are for, and we're making great progress getting the boards running smoothly."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Raspberry Pi Running Quake 3

Comments Filter:
  • by rotide ( 1015173 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:48AM (#37233366)

    From their FAQ.. I had no idea what this device was, so I figure a bunch of others don't either.. Essentially an ARM based tiny computer that can apparently play Quake 3 among other applications. Lots of Linux support too. (This is not the full FAQ)

    When will the device be available to purchase?
    We anticipate the device will be available to the general public later in 2011 – at the moment that looks like November.

    How much will it cost?
    We hope to be selling the Model A for $25 and the Model B for $35.

    How do I connect a mouse and keyboard?
    Mice, keyboards, network adapters and external storage will all connect via a USB hub.

    What display can I use?
    There is composite and HDMI out on the board, so you can hook it up to a digital or analogue television or to a DVI monitor.

    What about audio?
    There’s a standard 3.5mm jack, or you can use HDMI. You can add any supported USB microphone via a hub.

    Does the device support networking? Is there Wi-Fi?
    The Model B version of the device includes 10/100 wired Ethernet. There is no Ethernet on the Model A version (which we expect to be taken up mostly by the education market), but Wi-Fi will be available via a standard USB dongle.

    What are the power requirements?
    The device is powered by an external AC adapter, and the Model A consumes around 1W at full load.

    Holy Crap I want one! Or a few!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I had no idea what this device was

      You never [] heard of [] this before? []You must not come here often.

      • by Lifyre ( 960576 )

        Sometimes you need a reminder. I'm glad to see it is looking to be a very useful computer. Maybe someday they'll be giving these away in cereal boxes.

        • Well, I'd hope some charitable foundation dedicated to education would buy a few million and give them away to high schools.

          Eric Schmidt recently (rightly IMHO) criticised the UK education system for its lack of computer science - here's an answer for him.

      • I'd heard of the project, but not of the name. A simple mention of Braben somewhere in the summary would have helped...
    • $25? $35? REALLY?! Holy cow, that's cheaper than most video games!

  • by tp1024 ( 2409684 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:02AM (#37233450)
    And people barely notice. This computer is as powerful than anything I had 10 years ago. It can do almost anything you could need - and what it can't do is mostly down to bloated software. Sometimes I have a hard time shaking off the feeling that we've almost stood still for the last decade - but then again, that's a good thing, because it allows the rest of the world to catch up to the high-income countries, by benefiting from ever lower prices.

    The real question, as after any dream that has become true, is: what's next? And I have no idea.
    • by DrXym ( 126579 )
      You can buy media players for under $100 which are basically computers. They have firmware, some ARM / MIPS derived SoC which does accelerated video decoding, flash and some ports. Indeed the Roku 2 (priced from $60) apparently has the same Broadcom BCM2835 as this Raspberry Pi does. I guess therefore the Pi is capable of video decoding too but it really depends on the amount of flash it has and other factors.
      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        Hit submit too soon. The main other factor is just because the hardware does video accelerated decoding doesn't mean its available through software. Most SoCs are loaded with IP tokens which enable / disable certain patented / licenced tech such as h264. It may well be that the Pi does not ship with those tokens. Wait for confirmation I guess.
        • From the website:

          Provisional specification
          1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode

          If this thing will run XBMC and play MKV files, I'll be on it like white on rice.

          • If it doesn't have fancy shaders it won't run XBMC because (as one of the primary authors schooled me on here long ago) the interface was drawn with shaders on the xbox because otherwise it would be agonizingly slow to do all that fancy alpha stuff. At least, it won't run it as it is today... But mplayer ought to do the right thing, so you just need a file mangler.

      • by tp1024 ( 2409684 )
        But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.
        • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:49AM (#37233706)

          I don't know where you get that idea - it has hdmi for video output, and it has usb for everything else. My work Dell has usb for all inputs, so I can't see why you think its not a full-blown computer like all the big black boxes we use today.

          It even has full software support as it runs Linux.

        • by DrXym ( 126579 )

          But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

          Most media players are just cut down Linux dists running a media player application of some sort. If the box was hackable and you external storage you could enable swap, slap a few more apps on an external path and do pretty much anything you felt like - performance permitting.

        • by Nyder ( 754090 )

          But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

          That is the stupid post I've seen on slashdot in awhile.

          I know you didn't RTFA, but even then, you shouldn't of came back with such a stupid post.

          So, let me educate you.

          A computer isn't the peripherals attached to it, the computer is basicly, the main board with cpu, memory, and connections to interact with it. Which the Raspberry Pi has. It has usb ports, HDMI/composite port, memory, cpu. Guess what genius? It's a fucking computer.

          You want software? They got linux running on it yet, which is clear

        • But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

          What? Did you really just assert that the raspberry pi is not a computer because it doesn't have software support or peripherals? Did you even look at the video? I saw a keyboard, mouse and monitor plugged into it, and some of my favorite software *ever* running on it at triple digit framerates. I know some people don't read the actual articles here, but seriously, dude -- at least most people here know what a computer is.

        • But it has neither the software support nor the peripherals to be a computer, rather than just another media player.

          A computer is a device which runs turing-equivalent stored programs. This does that. It's a computer. It's several thousand times faster and has several hundred thousand times the storage of the first computer I worked on, and that one supported eighteen simultaneous users. Add a display and a USB hub linking keyboard, mouse, backing store, and you have a 'personal computer' or 'workstation'. What more do you want?

          Personally, I want a beowulf cluster of these!

      • The Raspberry Pi is using an unknown Broadcom SOC. Broadcom hasn't announced it yet, so the R-Pi team hasn't been able to give out the model number yet.

        The only thing they've confirmed is that it has a nice GPU and its media capabilities are greater than everything currently available.

        • by somersault ( 912633 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:56AM (#37233754) Homepage Journal


          Obviously, the Raspberry Pi isn’t intended as a gaming platform, but it’s very satisfying to let the Broadcom BCM2835 application processor off the leash (yes, I’m allowed to give you the part number now) and see what it can do in this sphere nonetheless

          • by mounthood ( 993037 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:17AM (#37233856)
            Unfortunately the BCM2835 is not on the Broadcom website, but the BCM2763 is:

            Full HD 1080p camcorder capabilities in a cell phone with significantly improved quality over current generation handsets (which generally have VGA or lower resolution camcorders)
            Up to 20 megapixel digital camera with advanced features such as multiple shots per second, image stabilization, face and smile detection and panorama mode
            The ability to render mobile games natively at up to 1080p resolution, which in combination with an on-board HDMI output, allows a console-quality gaming experience on large screen HDTVs
            20% to 50% power reduction in comparison to the prior generation VideoCore® III multimedia processor
            4 to 6 hours of 1080p video recording and 8 to 10 hours of mobile playback, with up to 16 hours of full HD playback over HDMI given sufficient handset storage

            From the "VideoCore® III" page:

            Support for 8 mega pixel camera modules enables a picture quality superior to most digital still cameras, while MPEG-4 video capability at VGA resolution offers state-of-the-art video technology for tape-less camcorders. In addition, support for the H.264 video compression standard enables next-generation cellular phones to incorporate DVB-H mobile TV capability.

            • by DrXym ( 126579 )
              The thing to be aware is that just because the hardware can decode AVC output doesn't mean every device with the chipset will enable it. It's patented technology and these chipsets often require you preload them with a token to enable certain patented / licenced stuff. No token = no support. On top of that even with support you need to know which APIs to hit which decode in hardware. These APIs may be in the SDK or BSP but it doesn't mean end users will have access to them.
            • by tramp ( 68773 )
              The BCM2835 is not on the website but the BCM2820 is, take a look at [].
        • by lmnfrs ( 829146 )
          The other informative thing to check is their previous post [] - scroll just past the pictures.
    • by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:22AM (#37233536) Homepage

      We haven't stood still. There are two significant factors at play - performance and miniaturization.
      The bulky CPU that came with a heat sink assembly that took up the space of a small toolbox now fits on the tip of your thumb. The storage is now small and cheap enough that couple with the CPU and mainboard you can put small, powerful computers all over your home -- cheaply. And without having to buy it locked down and as a loss leader for a corporation's accessory market.
      I can't wait to see what's available in 2020.

    • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:42AM (#37234022)

      And people barely notice.

      Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"

      • And people barely notice.

        Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"

        Back in the day, that was known as terminal face (the expression a customer made when told that his $200 computer would require a $1200 terminal to run).

      • More like "What good is the thing if i gotta program it, build a box to use it, and then buy the crap to hook it up?". Now if you were to build it into say a Sega Nomad style case with 2Gb of NAND onboard and a microSD slot along with a basic Linux with web browser pre installed? I bet you could get the BOM under $50 and so could sell it for $75 and make an absolute killing as a portable emulator/media player/ browser in a box.

        Load in Genesis/MegaDrive, NES, SNES, Master System and just for fun Atari/Col

        • Haha, I was just imagining someone playing quake3 in the lineup at the bank and their headphones fall out, activating the external speaker* and gunfire suddenly being heard :P

          * Of course the board only has 1 audio output, but I'm assuming a pre-fab box would include a speaker as well
      • by Nyder ( 754090 )

        And people barely notice.

        Average consumer: "What good is a $35 PC if I have to buy a $1000 Monster(R) HDMI cable to connect it to my TV?"


        I found one of the stupidest post ever on slashdot today ( and your is probably one of the funniest I've ever seen also.

    • by Lennie ( 16154 )

      I guess a screen, a case and some other peripherals will make it more expensive.

      Maybe just a little lower than any ARM/BeagleBoard device.

      For example this is US $200 and during this summer US $150: [] (detable keyboard/touchscreen/2 batteries)

      (no this is not an ad, I don't even own such a device, just trying to make a point about the price)

    • What dream? If you keep checking the bargain-bin, you can get decent old computer parts very cheap. I remember picking-up a new but obsolete mobo and duron CPU combo for $60, about 6 years ago.

      A couple years ago, I was ordering used P4 computer en-mass to upgrade the obsolete workstations for a large company, at $70 each. That's double the price, but those were full computers, case, hard drive, PSU, etc.

      Today, an old P4 system minus HDD goes for $40 (order in pairs for cheaper shipping):
      http://www.geeks. []

  • Is it due to the video quality, or is the Raspberry Pi itself rendering Quake 3 in horrendous shades of blue and pink?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      They should re-shoot that before everyone thinks the video rendering sucks.
    • by Eil ( 82413 )

      The colors are off because it's a mediocre camera recording a crappy monitor.

  • ...does it run Elite?

  • will run on a pentium MMX and a voodoo2

    • A Pentium MMX and a Voodoo2 will not fit in your pocket and didn't cost $25 at launch. There is more than one axis for improvement.

    • at 1920x1080 at 30fps? doubt it. Most voodoo 2 cards don't even have enough video memory for a display buffer that size.

  • I'm a huge fan of this little device, It's basically a glimpse on the future of computing.

    Imagine atrix-like devices where you can just carry around a core system in your pocket, it scales down to the smaller screen and you can do all kinds of activities on it. Plug it in to an dock and get a full desktop. Imagine work computers like this.

    Also once windows 8 comes out, I see ARM really taking off. A system like this is already pretty much what 80% of offices really need for everyday tasks. A few additional

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ebenupton ( 2424660 )
      That's certainly our thinking. You can see what we're doing here as a first stab at redefining the price point and set of tradeoffs for an entry-level desktop PC. It's not perfect (the ARM11 in particular is only just good enough), but I suspect in ten years' time we'll be looking back wondering why we used to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a system unit for a machine to surf the web and run office software.
      • by Oasiz ( 1017554 )


        Tradeoffs are understandable, everything is naturally expandable in the future once you get a solid framework to build on.
        I foresee these exploding in popularity once you get these out and people realize how easily and cheaply they can build lowpower application-specific systems (A Beowulf cluster of these!), and possibly even desktop replacements in the future.
        I know that I will get a few of these for myself at least :)

        Good luck with the development!

    • run a full windows desktop. (Yes I know that ARM and x86 apps aren't compatible, but they are porting office over).


  • A fully functional general-purpose computer with decent power for $35 is absolutely groundbreaking. I can't wait to be doing productive work (and maybe retrogaming!) on a little stick of circuitry that eats less power than a freakin' christmas light. My only gripe with it is that it runs Ubuntu; I'd much prefer it to run Debian - though I guess it'll be a question of (little) time before someone makes Debian work on it.

    WANT WANT WANT. I think I'll buy two or tree $35 ones. Hell, it's the first computer you

    • by Saffaya ( 702234 )

      In the comments relative to running Quake 3 on the Raspberry Pi, they state the OS running in the video is Debian. []

      • And also the FAQ says, "What Linux distros will be supported at launch? Ubuntu, Debian and hopefully Fedora and ArchLinux will be supported from the start. "

        • Debian w/ LXDE is great for low-spec systems. Almost as convenient as Ubuntu and WAY lighter on system resources.

        • by dominux ( 731134 )
          this is incorrect. Ubuntu won't run on it as it is using ARMv6 and we build for ARMv7 now. Debian would work great. If someone wants to build a derivative of Ubuntu for v6 then that would be awesome, but the official Ubuntu builds are not going to work.
    • by dominux ( 731134 )
      It will be Debian, maybe Fedora. It won't be Ubuntu on that chip.
      • Even better. I remember reading it would run Ubuntu and haven't gotten more recent info since then. Now I want four.

  • I RTFA and I looked up the raspberry pi on wikipedia, but I must be dum cuz I still don't know if it has any special hardware for rendering. Is it cpu only?

    Wikipedia mentions only OpenGL ES 2.0 in the pi's specs.
    Does OpenGL ES imply any hardware acceleration or specific chips?

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham