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BloodOrange1981

RISC-V architecture and it's feasibility for games?

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As someone who knows a bit about the tradeoffs of architectures and seeing how gaming is currently tethered to x86 (regardless of XBONE, PS4 or PC) what are the thoughts on RISC V and furthermore do you believe adoption of it for hardware would be beneficial in any way beyond power consumption?

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The biggest advantage of x86 (and by extension x64) is inertia.

 

Operating Systems exist, drivers exist, applications exist, and the only thing that needs to be done to keep things working is nothing.

 

Any new architecture, no matter how technically superior or otherwise advantageous, would need to get past that barrier first.

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seeing how gaming is currently tethered to x86

A billion or so mobile phones would tend to suggest otherwise. As would nearly all the previous game consoles and handheld devices.

 

x86 is PC and two console systems. 

 


what are the thoughts on RISC V

Market adoption has always been a chicken-and-egg problem.  

 

If they find a way to get it out to the public and people buy it then people will build software for it; as people build software for it the product becomes more viable and more people buy it.  The cycle repeats either to success or failure, people buy (or not) and more software is built (or not) and more people buy (or not) and more software is built (or not), etc.

 

Personally I don't care either way. If they find a way to successfully compete then good for them. Otherwise, meh.

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Just to add to what others or saying. Gaming isn't tether to any architecture per se. The current rounds of console went that route for what I'm assuming very good reasons on Sony and Microsoft behalf. Prior to that there was PowerPC and Cell for the the said 2 console manufacturer. I don't really think either think about market adoption from a hardware perspective as there are more consumers than developers. The regular consumer could care less about what architecture is driving their console. In the end the manufacturer will chose whatever benefits their bottom-line in the long-term and if you want to publish on their platform, then well, you have suck it up regardless of how you feel about the architecture.

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Game developers do not, by and large, care about the ISA. Most ISAs are boring minutae when you get into the real world of shipping software. We care about CPU architecture, which is far more implementation centric and can vary widely within the same ISA.

 

My short answer to RISC-V is: show me a chip, in working silicon, with all of the architectural and performance details laid out, and then we can talk. My slightly longer answer is, what does this ISA or architecture accomplish that I don't already get out of ARM, with regards to power consumption and performance per watt? The main purpose of RISC-V appears to be that it's a free open spec, which is very useful for research and entirely useless for game development.

Edited by Promit

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