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I am not all that code literate, and other than maintainence I don't know all of what the OS does, other than allowing me to use my computer.

 

I do know that the reason consoles are able to put out such impressive graphics with some pretty crappy hardware is because of both the proprietary hardware allowing for more pre-production tweaks, and the comparitively tiny OS which allows the game to take up a lot more system resources than it would be able to on the PC.

 

There is no way to homogenize PCs as a platform without getting rid of half of the fun of owning them, but a scaled down bare bones OS seems more feasible.

 

Basically what I am envisioning is something that would be installed on a separate partition to be used in conjunction with Windows, it would run only things neccessary to keep the computer, and games functioning, as well as internets, but not webbrowsers and IM programs.

 

Could someone who knows more about internal workings of a computer than me tell me if this is feasible?

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Yeah, I've had the exact same idea. I've been dreaming of Microsoft releasing a 'Windows Light', with only the OS in the package. No browsers, no firewalls, no ftp, cd-burning, telnet, paint, messengers, notepads and other crapola's Microsoft forces onto me. Just a pure, clean OS.

 

I'd buy it.

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The game performance improvement would still only be marginal.

 

 

 

..the actual secrets opf consoles is the very low resolution that they can get away with by using a TV, it also means they dont have to concern themselves with Antialiasing that is a huge resource-hog to run

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Guest Fishboot

Depends on how abstract you're willing to go. A barebones Linux install with a graphics driver and an OpenGL game (for instance) and a few odds and ends like mouse support, sound, networking, etc. would have very little taking up system memory and clock cycles besides direct gaming infrastructure - no big GUI, no resident preloads to launch IE quickly, etc. In practice that won't work, because nothing is ever optimized for Linux, but that's essentially how the console OSes work.

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That isn't helping you to optimise for one specific machine configuration, though, so I'm guessing their would be some benefits but nothing like the same scale as a console. My guess is more optimisation comes from being able to code at very low levels to the specific strengths of the hardware rather than simply a light OS.

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The game performance improvement would still only be marginal.

 

 

 

..the actual secrets opf consoles is the very low resolution that they can get away with by using a TV, it also means they dont have to concern themselves with Antialiasing that is a huge resource-hog to run

 

I guess that's why almost every Xbox title used FSAA to a great degree, and all X360 games will use it 100% of the time, while displaying everything at a 720p minimum resolution.

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I'd be willing to go as barebones as a command line interface if it wasn't my main OS (other than for gaming).

 

You could hand optimize OpenGL at the souce level for your particular hardware, assuming you have a full schematic understanding of all of your components and OS. And then you hand optimize each game for your implementation of OpenGL, of course.

 

Easy.

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Depends on how abstract you're willing to go. A barebones Linux install with a graphics driver and an OpenGL game (for instance) and a few odds and ends like mouse support, sound, networking, etc. would have very little taking up system memory and clock cycles besides direct gaming infrastructure - no big GUI, no resident preloads to launch IE quickly, etc. In practice that won't work, because nothing is ever optimized for Linux, but that's essentially how the console OSes work.

 

Exactly. Quake 3 for Linux, using either Nvidia or ATI drivers, tends to run more slowly than Quake 3 for Windows on identical hardware (said the chap who owns both). Why? Because the drivers are generally pretty poor. Various system processes occupying miniscule amounts of memory and even fewer CPU cycles has effectively nothing at all to do with the relative 'efficiency' of Windows as a gaming OS. Nor even does the Hardware Abstraction Layer really do a substantial detriment. This is a myth that started in the DOS days and has bafflingly survived to the present day, despite the odds, and despite all evidence to the contrary. Compare Windows 98 performance (missing the HAL's overhead) to Windows NT/2000/XP performance assuming equivalent driver optimization under the same DirectX version and you get an essentially negligible performance hit from the stability the HAL provides. And no, making the Start Bar look all shiny does not cause a hit to game performance, in case anyone was wondering.

 

90% of game performance consists in high quality code utilising efficient and full-featured APIs supported by high quality drivers well-optimised for those APIs. As far as PC game performance goes, the major failing is in driver quality and in the consequent inability of game coders to support the quirks of multiple variously flawed driver implimentations while pretending to write for the API itself and not for the screwed up proprietary manifestations of it that gamers are really using on their home gaming PCs in practice. We've come a long way since 3DFX short-sightedly decided to kind-of-sort-of support just the parts of OpenGL that it determined were necessary to rendering GLQuake. But there's a ways to come yet.

 

And it has nothing to do with getting rid of a GUI in favour of a command prompt. Absolutely nothing at all.

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I remember playing duke Nukem, using some kind of boot  disk that only installed the basics for DOS.  It made Duke Nukem fly.

 

Dude your like old :D

 

Gaming OS wouldnt work on a PC. You still have too many variations, where as a console is a standard unit with everything written around that standard. You could probably streamline it a bit, but if your going to remove the extra function most people are going to go for a

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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The game performance improvement would still only be marginal.

 

 

 

..the actual secrets opf consoles is the very low resolution that they can get away with by using a TV, it also means they dont have to concern themselves with Antialiasing that is a huge resource-hog to run

 

I guess that's why almost every Xbox title used FSAA to a great degree, and all X360 games will use it 100% of the time, while displaying everything at a 720p minimum resolution.

 

It's not going to work on standard televisions?

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It is be fully possible to make a 100% PC compatible console. Why anyone hasnt done this beats me, you would increase the sales by an enourmous amount while making development much easier.

 

 

..almost every Xbox title used FSAA to a great degree, and all X360 games will use it 100% of the time, while displaying everything at a 720p minimum resolution.

 

The Xbox used an FSAA setting of 0 most of the time :huh:

Edited by Kaftan Barlast

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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It is be fully possible to make a 100% PC compatible console.

 

Putting a PC in a stylish box does not make it a console. It makes it a PC in a stylish box. I suppose you could put the word 'console' on the box. But I don't see what difference it would make. Windows, DirectX in its current version at any given time, along with the ability to access the web and all Windows system settings to manage game patching and driver updates as needed are fundamental to even the basic functioning of the PC gaming platform. A PC 'console' would just be a gaming PC under another name.

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I remember playing duke Nukem, using some kind of boot  disk that only installed the basics for DOS.  It made Duke Nukem fly.

 

Dude your like old :D

 

Gaming OS wouldnt work on a PC. You still have too many variations, where as a console is a standard unit with everything written around that standard. You could probably streamline it a bit, but if your going to remove the extra function most people are going to go for a

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I understand what your saying and it makes sense. but i think its based on a false premise.  true there are many variations,  so in turn it would take alot of software to make sure the game was customized to our liking. but once that is done, and we start the game, the operating should be able to de-evolve itself to how we customized it.

 

I don't need extra programs in the background running. Especially Windows Longhorn that will eats up my graphic card. Or a antivirus program. I have 38 processes running in the background as i chat online. I'm sure a good 26 are useless to a game. Windows is notorius for eating up processes and i am getting tired of this. I do not want to buy my next graphic card because windows says so. I want my praphic card to be used by games, and games only, so i can get the max out of it. Similar to my processor.

 

I see, your talking about something like an advanced boot disk of sorts which you could choose to load only relevent things into (rather than all that crap windows keeps running).

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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It is be fully possible to make a 100% PC compatible console. Why anyone hasnt done this beats me, you would increase the sales by an enourmous amount while making development much easier.

 

Do you mean a console that was completely inter-compatible with the PC? Because the whole point of a console is a closed environment that requires developers to pay licensing fees - that's how the console maker gets their money. In an open PC environment, there's no way for the console maker to make an income.

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Guest Fishboot
It is be fully possible to make a 100% PC compatible console. Why anyone hasnt done this beats me, you would increase the sales by an enourmous amount while making development much easier.

 

Do you mean a console that was completely inter-compatible with the PC? Because the whole point of a console is a closed environment that requires developers to pay licensing fees - that's how the console maker gets their money. In an open PC environment, there's no way for the console maker to make an income.

 

Agreed, it's ludicrous in a market where you have corporations going initially subprofitable on their console sales (pre-licensing). I could see it as a sideline for a publisher that wanted to build up a future stab at a traditional console organically (this EA

Edited by Fishboot
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I see, your talking about something like an advanced boot disk of sorts which you could choose to load only relevent things into (rather than all that crap windows keeps running).

 

But there's absolutely nothing stopping anyone from shutting down every single Windows process they don't like or even forcing Windows to boot without them. What anyone bothering to check would inevitably find, to their disappointment, though, is that things like file indexing, network management, print servers and other potentially non-game-related services occupy effectively no system resources whatsoever in the final tally these days (I simply can't justify any desperate need for those 708KB spoolsv.exe is occupying) and their presence or absence will not change the game experience one measurable iota.

 

The reason people used boot disks in the DOS days was to allow for compatibility with application-specific memory management settings. They were used to allocate memory to function according to an application's expectations, not to increase system performance. This was not done because any given memory settings were the most efficient way to get the most out of your system in any general sense. It was necessary because late 80s and to some extent early 90s DOS memory management was extremely crappy. And it was certainly not even because particular memory settings were in "faster for gaming" or any such thing. In fact, in the vast majority of cases, boot disks were used for backwards compatibility with games using outmoded and inefficient memory allocation schemes. Allocating 2MB to Extended Memory didn't make sense when running a game which had no idea what the Extended Memory area was. The game you're playing might just want to use your 640KB of Conventional Memory and expect to fit everything else into the 384KB Upper Memory block. So what do you do, because your game can't conceive of computing over the 1MB memory barrier? Create a boot disk.

 

Boot disks were a way of coping with either extremely stupid memory management or applications expecting extremely stupid memory management. They made things neither faster nor slower. They made things compatible. If you were loading a pile of strange proprietary DOS services occupying lots of Conventional Memory, then you could free that up by loading them to Upper Memory or XMS. Skipping them completely if you didn't need them, or loading them to UMA or XMS on boot would allow your Really Dumb Application to boot up with Really Dumb Memory Management. Dealing with Upper Memory Blocks stands for D.U.M.B. in my books, at any rate.

 

Boot disks were a solution to a problem we no longer have. And it's a problem we have no reason to want back. Without the inherent constraints of early PC memory management, we can just terminate system services at will and leave only the bare bones running, should we wish it. But usually, system services don't use enough system memory in the present to really be a meaningful concern. So even that's superfluous. Hardware Abstraction Layers are good for system stability. A strong set of APIs is good for game development. Wishing them away is a wish for a gaming platform inferior in every way to our present one.

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