Google Stadia uses a custom AMD chip to offer 10.7 teraflops of cloud gaming power

The beauty of a cloud gaming service is twofold: 1) theoretically you can play any game, anywhere you have an Internet connection good enough to transmit it over the network, and 2) even if When you play it on a weak smartphone, you can take advantage of the power of a large server located in a data center.

But What type of server matters a lot when it comes to graphic fidelity and keeping the service affordable, considering how many players may need their own servers, and it turns out that the newly announced gaming service in Google's Stadia cloud may have achieved a balance between power and price by partnering with AMD to obtain a new customized piece of silicon. [19659003] According to Google, each Stadia server will contain a custom AMD x86 processor running at 2.7 GHz, 16 GB of RAM and, most importantly, a GPU with a capacity of 10.7 teraflops of performance. They are running Linux, not Windows.

google stadia uses a custom amd chip to offer 10 7 teraflops of cloud gaming power

And Google did not waste time comparing that with the Xbox and PlayStation competition, where Xbox One X manages only 6.0 teraflops, and the PS4 Pro around 4.2 teraflops.

Of course, that comparison conveniently omits that the main graphics cards for today's PC games can easily exceed 10.7 teraflops, but it is much closer to being a high-end PC than consoles in general. In fact, AMD already had a GPU with approximately 10.5 teraflops of simple precision computation and the same 56 units of computation: the RX Vega 56, which was launched as a $ 400 graphics card in 2017.

And it's a moment convenient for Google considering that we are expecting a PS5 and a next generation Xbox as early as next year, whose chips will undoubtedly be faster.

What does 10.7 teraflops mean in practice? Google says that at launch, you can play games at a resolution of 4K, 60 frames per second with HDR and surround sound, while simultaneously sharing a 4K stream, 60 fps of your live game for your YouTube followers. And Google says it will improve it to 8K and 120fps in the future, although it is not clear how far we are talking about the future.

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Look, the main PC gaming cards of today are already struggling to play some of the latest 4K games with the maximum graphic configuration, but Google may also have a solution for that: if you're only taking advantage of the power of a Only server, you may not see the most beautiful effects like realistic water in your games. But take advantage of two GPUs and, suddenly, things look much better:

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Theoretically, game developers could design their games to use many distributed GPUs to get more impressive graphics than a single computer would be capable of on its own , but then there is the economy to think about.

One of the biggest problems with the first cloud gaming services like OnLive and PlayStation Now has been the economy: if each player needs a dedicated computer that lives in a server farm, can he pay a low enough fee? as for Are players really tempted to pay? (Originally, PlayStation Now had real PS3 consoles in their server farms, it is not particularly profitable).

But Google did not address that economy a bit during his presentation today, he did not even suggest a price for this Service. Hopefully, the AMD agreement is a step in the right direction.

What we do know is that Google will have those servers configured in 7,500 different locations around the world, which could help ensure that their games do not fall behind their Presses button: traditionally, cloud games services You can have that problem if the servers are too far from your home.

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