Our New Machine, Pandora

Should this thread die?

  • Yes, kill it now!

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icurafu

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Hmm, honestly. If there is a stick included. Which I doubt there will be based on previous comments, I want it on the right side.

I see there are a few people who want it on the left side, a few people who want it on the right side, some (well, one) who wants it on both sides and quite a few who don't want it all all.

I think this would be a good poll if someone want to start it up with those four options. Atleast it would give some solid feedback to Craig and Co.
 

Tobriand

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craigix said:
Now that's an idea. :rolleyes:
Should have been very obvious really. As long as there's comparisson going on, and you don't end up choosing the weaker chipset for ~$20 difference in end unit price. Unless, of course, it's using far more power or some such and would leave us with sub-4hours battery time...

Also, that OMAP34xx series looks amazing at a glance (mostly though because of the Cortex A8, which mostly looks amazing to an amateur like me because Exophase said he'd be excited about working with one). I wonder how much more that'd boost the price by, if they'd even let you buy them.

I can't help wondering, too, just how much the price of manufacture balances off against the price of components.
 
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sam fisher

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Tobriand said:
craigix said:
Now that's an idea. :rolleyes:
Should have been very obvious really. As long as there's comparisson going on, and you don't end up choosing the weaker chipset for ~$20 difference in end unit price. Unless, of course, it's using far more power or some such and would leave us with sub-4hours battery time...

Also, that OMAP34xx series looks amazing at a glance (mostly though because of the Cortex A8, which mostly looks amazing to an amateur like me because Exophase said he'd be excited about working with one). I wonder how much more that'd boost the price by, if they'd even let you buy them.

I can't help wondering, too, just how much the price of manufacture balances off against the price of components.

It's my theory that craig wanted the chipset he has chosen from the start, whatever that may be. I believe he has gone straight for ordering that, not doing anything but briefly hcecking out the specs of others, let alone ordering development boards for other chipsets. Craig doesn't really seem like the "examine the whole market to choose the optimum choice" person but more a "That looks cool! I'll take 20,000 of them right now!" person who would choose on impulse :lol: :rolleyes:
 
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KeyboardCowboy

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I don't believe Craig has much of a hand at all in designing this machine outside of some suggestions (a la GP2X/GPH). It seems to me this is another company's project, and Craig is acting as a liason to the GP2X/GP32 community to secure an audience and help them gear the device toward it. I'm sure he's also involved in marketing and reselling the unit, just like the other GP2X resellers who have expressed involvement in Germany and Turkey thus far. Craig would be a UK reseller, of course. The idea of one person designing, building, mass-producing, marketing and selling a handheld would be pretty ridiculous. Posts of "if you don't like it build your own!!" in the prior thread really gave me a laugh. :)

This makes me wonder just who the developer is, and where they're located. I suppose we'll find out eventually.
 

Javacat

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I think it's more the case that Craig is the guy in charge of development of the whole device, but is bringing in different people to do different parts, with some of the GP2X devs (and himself) sorting out the software parts of it and probably some 3rd part company making the hardware based on specification he has provided.
 

sam fisher

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Javacat said:
I think it's more the case that Craig is the guy in charge of development of the whole device, but is bringing in different people to do different parts, with some of the GP2X devs (and himself) sorting out the software parts of it and probably some 3rd part company making the hardware based on specification he has provided.
Yep, and I still think he's picked the SoC on a whim :rolleyes:
 
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trooper

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Squidge said:
Like has been said before, the SoC has not been decided on/confirmed yet...
That`s great to hear nothing has been finalized yet, I hope you guys choose the best possible candidate for the job, Fast, Power efficient etc, But not too fussed with cost, Especially if there is only £10-£20 difference in chip price. I could get all technical and blind myself with science and specs and all, But i`ll leave that all to KeyboardCowboy. :rolleyes:

Trooper
 
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Tobriand

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Squidge said:
Like has been said before, the SoC has not been decided on/confirmed yet...
Actually, I'm not sure that had been said before. Indeed, Exophase commented that Craig had told him that the MMSP2+ was the only real choice for reasons he wasn't going to iterate unless Craig did first, iirc.

What's more, there were numerous people who said the MMSP2+ had been confirmed on the german forums, and were asking for confirmation here.

So thanks muchly for confirming that, at least for now, the SoC hasn't been finalised yet. As I say, as long as you guys are comparing several of them, I'll be happy to go with whichever one you eventually choose, though would prefer more power over a £10-£20 price gap; it'd be worth the extra in the long run. Not necessarily over battery life, though...
 
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cappuchok

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Tobriand said:
As I say, as long as you guys are comparing several of them, I'll be happy to go with whichever one you eventually choose, though would prefer more power over a £10-£20 price gap; it'd be worth the extra in the long run. Not necessarily over battery life, though...
I'm totally with you on this one. I'm certainly willing to pay the £10-£20 extra for using the best possible chip (best performance for the least power consumption). I'd be interested in seeing some examples of what the OMAP34x0 can do and at what cost it could be purchased. From what I can see, it has USB-on-the-go which would provide both USB 2.0 host and device capabilities, but USB-on-the-go hosts does not have to support hubs, so it'd be nice if anyone could confirm if this chip supports hubs (or we would be limited to one connected peripheral at a time). It also supports SDIO, IR and a lot of other nifty stuff, so far I'm liking this the most of the chipsets mentioned, but until a cost can be quoted, I'm holding off on saying we should use it.
 
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Squidge

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Tobriand said:
As I say, as long as you guys are comparing several of them, I'll be happy to go with whichever one you eventually choose, though would prefer more power over a £10-£20 price gap; it'd be worth the extra in the long run. Not necessarily over battery life, though...
I think everyone would, but unfortunately, thats not the end of it. There's a lot more things to consider than just unit price, performance and power consumption. I'm sure Craig will explain the reasons for the choosing whichever one.

cappuchok said:
it'd be nice if anyone could confirm if this chip supports hubs (or we would be limited to one connected peripheral at a time).
HUB's are supported by software, not hardware. It would be pretty daft if it didn't support multiple downstream ports however (since we know the mmsp2+ does)
 
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moxie

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Tobriand said:
As I say, as long as you guys are comparing several of them, I'll be happy to go with whichever one you eventually choose, though would prefer more power over a £10-£20 price gap; it'd be worth the extra in the long run. Not necessarily over battery life, though...
You have to remember that prices at least double through the manufacturing process. A difference of £20 at the buying price of a component will translate to a price difference of at least £40 to the end user.
 
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cappuchok

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Squidge said:
cappuchok said:
it'd be nice if anyone could confirm if this chip supports hubs (or we would be limited to one connected peripheral at a time).
HUB's are supported by software, not hardware. It would be pretty daft if it didn't support multiple downstream ports however (since we know the mmsp2+ does)

What I was referring to was this:
Wikipedia said:
USB OTG devices are backward compliant with USB 2.0 and will behave as standard USB Hosts or Peripherals when connected to standard (no OTG) USB devices. The main exception is that OTG hosts are only required to provide a small amount of power, which may not be enough to connect to a non-OTG peripheral. This can sometimes be worked around by connecting the non-OTG peripheral through an externally powered hub ... if that OTG host supports hubs. (Such support is not required.)
Dunno if this refers to hardware (downstream ports?) or software, though. Insight would be appreciated.
 
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Eolair

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I'm mostly interested in what the choice between the different SoCs would mean for specific emulators and games. 10% faster or 100% faster doesn't do much for me if it doesn't give us any added emulation or gaming value.

For example will all or any of the SoCs be able to provide for full speed Amiga AGA emulation? .... Will we have full speed PSX no matter what SoC is chosen? Full speed SNES with SuperFX? Will the choice between this and that SoC mean the choice between N64 emulation or no N64 emulation?

That's the kind of questions I'd like to know the answers too...
 

Alex.

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Since all potential chips presumably have good 2D acceleration, perhaps the most important thing is energy consumption. 6+ hours would be great to have!
 

Exophase

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KeyboardCowboy said:
Exophase said:
I constantly hear this claim and I see little to really back it up. I've read the white papers, I've seen the instruction cycle timings, I know the cache specs and I simply can't imagine how it could possibly perform on average half as many instructions per cycle as a typical ARM9 (say, what's in the GP2X).
I've seen benchmarks to indicate it however I do not have them here in front of me. It's pretty apparent in any kind of thorough testing though. I've had a PDA with a 624 MHz XScale which I was able to overclock to 730 MHz. It performed slower than my current PDA at those speeds (which has a Samsung S3C-series SoC w/ a true ARM9-300 MHz part, overclocked to 410 MHz) in numerous tasks, including rendering web pages, playing video, running emulators, and even the interface itself is snappier on the ARM9.

Bear in mind, XScale is based on a much older iteration of ARM microarchitecture than ARM9 that Intel won quite some time ago, and from there, it would appear all they did was tack on more controllers and ramp up the clockrate. As a result performance is pretty poor until you get to very high speeds, and then the power consumption is terrible. My aforementioned XScale-based PDA struggled to operate more than 3 hours with WiFi/Bluetooth disabled and a low backlight level, while the S3C/ARM9-based unit manages nearly 11 hours with a brighter backlight setting. The PDA with the XScale also got uncomfortably warm, enough to make my hands sweat.
Ever think that maybe other components in the PDA could have been a factor (ie, slow memory)? All this crap about "not a true ARM9" and "won it in a legal battle" is just that, crap. It fully implements ARMv5, no it isn't ARM9 (neither are a lot of other modern ARM CPUs), and it isn't a "much older iteration", I don't know wtf you're talking about. It also has extensions that other ARM ISAs don't (such as WMMX). And battery life has nothing to do with this conversation, neither do any of the other things you've mentioned. Prove that the CPU is that much less instruction efficient or stop talking. At the very least give convincing technical reasons.

Furthermore, it's pretty likely that the GP2X (with its "true" ARM9, hur hur, also only an ARMv4 part) also performs worse than these OMAP based chipsets at similar clockspeeds.
 
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Squidge

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cappuchok said:
What I was referring to was this:
Wikipedia said:
USB OTG devices are backward compliant with USB 2.0 and will behave as standard USB Hosts or Peripherals when connected to standard (no OTG) USB devices. The main exception is that OTG hosts are only required to provide a small amount of power, which may not be enough to connect to a non-OTG peripheral. This can sometimes be worked around by connecting the non-OTG peripheral through an externally powered hub ... if that OTG host supports hubs. (Such support is not required.)
Dunno if this refers to hardware (downstream ports?) or software, though. Insight would be appreciated.
If not connected to another OTG device, HUBs would be done in software. However, you'll find most of the new SoC's support multiple downstream ports which means they can support several devices at once without the need for a hub.
 
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