Non-x86 support

Discussion in 'Ideas and Suggestions' started by vmlinuz, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. vmlinuz

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    Mar 2, 2014
    With Linux and Vulkan support planned, BeamNG is set to enter a new dimension of compatibility. What is the next step?


    Apple's new line of ARM-based desktop and laptop CPU's raises the possibility that x86 may have serious competition again. High-end RISC is making the comeback it deserves, largely thanks to lower cost, better performance per watt and lower thermal dissipation. Once BeamNG supports Linux, and since the code base is largely CPU architecture independent (mostly C, C++ and Lua from what I understand), porting to other architectures should be considered. Here are some platforms to consider in the future:
    • PowerPC - yes, that PowerPC, marketed simply as POWER nowadays. Contrary to popular belief, it didn't die out in the 90's but continues to be developed by IBM to this day, now supporting little-endian operation for better software compatibility. It is now commonly found in high-performance computers, making it an obvious choice for BeamNG as a platform for research.
    • ARM - Apple will not be the last company to introduce consumer-grade ARM PC's. As more powerful ARM CPU's are developed, it is only a matter of time before they hit the enthusiast market. BeamNG will probably need to be updated to support ARM at some point.
    • RISC-V - Watch this space. There are no RISC-V chips that can come close to x86 in performance right now, but there may be eventually.
    The CPU wars may not be as over as we thought - it would be interesting to see BeamNG running on RISC, which cycle for cycle is usually better for compute-intensive research applications anyway!
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  2. jakelooker

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    Aug 31, 2013
    It would definitely be interesting to see a one off build of the game done to run on ARM. I can't see any current processor apart from the M1 being playable though. That doesn't seem I don't want to try running it on a RPi though :D

    I bet a lot optimisations lean towards x64 architecture and wouldn't transfer well to other architectures.
  3. zazaman

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    Sep 2, 2020
    there are plently of fast ARM processors, like the Snapdragon 888+.
    In terms of Snapdragon ARM processors, a 665 could probably run BeamNG, at lowest settings.
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