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Thread: Trainz on ARM64

  1. #1
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    Default Trainz on ARM64

    Hi all,

    Since it seems like more and more companies are switching to ARM chips (most notably Apple and Microsoft), I had been wondering - would it be possible for Trainz to natively run on ARM chips? All I mean is, would it be able to run on the Surface Pro X natively, and the upcoming ARM Macs via not Rosetta 2? I would think so, and if so, then T:ANE, TS19, and possibly TS12 (as many people still use that version) would need to be updated.

    I'm not saying "These better be updated to work with ARM-based machines alongside Intel and AMD machines!!!", rather I'm asking, "Would this be possible?" If not - or at least, for the moment - then that's understandable.

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    Surely its not the chip but the OS running on the chip (and of cause sufficient associated graphic support). Peter

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    Possible if they can squeeze a decent GPU into a Surface without melting it as ARM does run Windows.

    Watch this space as Nvidia are buying Arm Holdings https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54142567

    Doesn't seem to be very popular move in the UK as ARM is UK based and Nvidia is in Trump land.
    Malc


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    Until ARM processors become as powerful as an intel Core or AMD Ryzen, I dont think so, not a desktop version anyway. Where the ARM/nVidia marriage will get the most traction will be in the Android world of tablets, TVs and "connected home" devices like ACs, heaters, fridges, lighting, ovens, security, etc. Embedded Windows is the most likely Microsoft product to benefit from a "graphics on processor" solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grazlash View Post
    Until ARM processors become as powerful as an intel Core or AMD Ryzen, I dont think so, not a desktop version anyway. Where the ARM/nVidia marriage will get the most traction will be in the Android world of tablets, TVs and "connected home" devices like ACs, heaters, fridges, lighting, ovens, security, etc. Embedded Windows is the most likely Microsoft product to benefit from a "graphics on processor" solution.
    There is desktop and server class ARM processors already. There is even super computers using ARM. Apple’s A series CPUs already beat some Intel laptops. Apple is planning to replace all of their computers with ARM, which means they have to come out with very powerful ARM CPUs, as the pros need power.

    to the original poster, it is possible to have Trainz run natively on ARM desktops. There is already Trainz that run on ARM iPads and iPhones so it would be possible for them to run on desktops. Apple’s compiler(free) allows for programmers to write native applications for all of their line. It is a matter of resources being allocated vs what pays the bills.
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    Hmmm, a severe case of lag in my 60 year old headspace processor. I do recall reading that. Must have mice nesting in between the cogs.
    Last edited by grazlash; September 24th, 2020 at 07:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by capdiamont View Post
    There is desktop and server class ARM processors already. There is even super computers using ARM. Apple’s A series CPUs already beat some Intel laptops. Apple is planning to replace all of their computers with ARM, which means they have to come out with very powerful ARM CPUs, as the pros need power.

    to the original poster, it is possible to have Trainz run natively on ARM desktops. There is already Trainz that run on ARM iPads and iPhones so it would be possible for them to run on desktops. Apple’s compiler(free) allows for programmers to write native applications for all of their line. It is a matter of resources being allocated vs what pays the bills.
    I may have missed it , but so far Nv3 have been silent regarding this development , which possibly means they were caught flat footed and haven’t made plans to shift mac versions of trainz to arm or they have no plans to do so , they promised metal optimized versions years ago and these don’t seem to have materialized as yet, so perhaps rather than raise expectations they are reserving their options and waiting to see what apple does in future . The lack of nvidea features is already an issue that may be exacerbated by the Arm situation , if trainz moves further towards Nvidea I can’t see how the game will give apple users a decent feature set .
    WARNING! The Surgeon General has determined that the use of the simulator Trainz is highly addictive,

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    Quote Originally Posted by capdiamont View Post
    There is desktop and server class ARM processors already. There is even super computers using ARM. Apple’s A series CPUs already beat some Intel laptops. Apple is planning to replace all of their computers with ARM, which means they have to come out with very powerful ARM CPUs, as the pros need power.

    to the original poster, it is possible to have Trainz run natively on ARM desktops. There is already Trainz that run on ARM iPads and iPhones so it would be possible for them to run on desktops. Apple’s compiler(free) allows for programmers to write native applications for all of their line. It is a matter of resources being allocated vs what pays the bills.
    I'm missing something here. ARM processors are RISC and Intel use a mixture of RISC and CISC. RISC is very good at keeping the power requirements down ie smartphones is where they shine. They aren't so good at feeding a powerful GPU which is basically what a gaming machine is.

    Servers it depends what they are used for. Serving up files can run on RISC machines, you aren't doing very complex tasks after all. Currently an X86 server can be expected to cost more for electricity costs over a three year period than the initial purchase price and that's why there is an interest in ARM servers where they can meet the requirements. Same for specialised super computers, lower power requirements mean lower running costs and less exotic cooling systems but not all super computers are suited to RISC processors.

    What is critical is the GPU, in many ways the CPU isn't so critical these days. An i5 is enough for most tasks.

    From an Apple point of view running everything on ARM simplifies their operating system and an ARM processor is probably good enough computing power wise for most tasks given enough cores.

    I think at the moment until we actually see an Apple desktop running on ARM and can run some benchmarks on the GPU I think it is too early to say.

    Cheerio John

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    As promised, we've been working on Metal (and ARM64) support and been making good progress. In fact, we're nearly done. As with all these things, the devil is in the detail so there are changes to shaders, render pipelines and all sorts of stuff over my head. But I can say "it's not too far away".
    Tony Hilliam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    As promised, we've been working on Metal (and ARM64) support and been making good progress. In fact, we're nearly done. As with all these things, the devil is in the detail so there are changes to shaders, render pipelines and all sorts of stuff over my head. But I can say "it's not too far away".


    You have attracted my attention! Thanks Tony

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    As promised, we've been working on Metal (and ARM64) support and been making good progress. In fact, we're nearly done. As with all these things, the devil is in the detail so there are changes to shaders, render pipelines and all sorts of stuff over my head. But I can say "it's not too far away".
    Good to know. Thanks.
    casey

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    That's GREAT news Tony, thanks for posting!

    I'd honestly assumed that Metal support was stalled & the Mac version might die out as OpenGL eventually disappeared on the platform. Knowing that ARM64 work is also in progress gives me hope that Trainz Mac may survive the ARM transition Fingers across for usable performance.

    Diego

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    As promised, we've been working on Metal (and ARM64) support and been making good progress. In fact, we're nearly done. As with all these things, the devil is in the detail so there are changes to shaders, render pipelines and all sorts of stuff over my head. But I can say "it's not too far away".

    Thanks Tony! Guess my question has been answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dangavel View Post
    I may have missed it , but so far Nv3 have been silent regarding this development , which possibly means they were caught flat footed and haven’t made plans to shift mac versions of trainz to arm or they have no plans to do so , they promised metal optimized versions years ago and these don’t seem to have materialized as yet, so perhaps rather than raise expectations they are reserving their options and waiting to see what apple does in future . The lack of nvidea features is already an issue that may be exacerbated by the Arm situation , if trainz moves further towards Nvidea I can’t see how the game will give apple users a decent feature set .

    I never said anything to raise the hope. The original question was if it is possible. The answer to that is always yes.
    Trainz 2019 Big Sur. M1 Macs
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    2014 Air 8gb memory, Intel 1536MB
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    I'm missing something here. ARM processors are RISC and Intel use a mixture of RISC and CISC. RISC is very good at keeping the power requirements down ie smartphones is where they shine. They aren't so good at feeding a powerful GPU which is basically what a gaming machine is.

    Servers it depends what they are used for. Serving up files can run on RISC machines, you aren't doing very complex tasks after all. Currently an X86 server can be expected to cost more for electricity costs over a three year period than the initial purchase price and that's why there is an interest in ARM servers where they can meet the requirements. Same for specialised super computers, lower power requirements mean lower running costs and less exotic cooling systems but not all super computers are suited to RISC processors.

    What is critical is the GPU, in many ways the CPU isn't so critical these days. An i5 is enough for most tasks.

    From an Apple point of view running everything on ARM simplifies their operating system and an ARM processor is probably good enough computing power wise for most tasks given enough cores.

    I think at the moment until we actually see an Apple desktop running on ARM and can run some benchmarks on the GPU I think it is too early to say.

    Cheerio John
    if I may, low power usage isn’t the main thing super computers are built for. Being in the top of super computers is not for the low power. https://bgr.com/2020/06/23/arm-super...-coronavirus/#

    we have to get out of our minds that arm is strictly low power or simple tasks. 120 cores is a huge amount of computing power. Yes that is part of the general ARM roadmap. While we haven’t had a full Apple Silicone/ARM desktop, we have seen benchmarks from the developer Mac and that beats my Macs, though they are old. Those Macs of mine do run Trains, just fine, at least for me.

    Further, as Apple plans to replace all their desktops, there will be high computing power Apple Silicon/ARM Macs. You cannot expect to replace the Mac Pro with a low power chip. Just not happening. Apple is working towards high computing power and power efficiency as per their slides. Apple as been designing CPUs for a long time now. Even their iPhone and iPad CPU have a lot of computing power and GPU power. There is even part of the CPU dedicated to AI. That is very complex.
    Last edited by capdiamont; September 26th, 2020 at 03:42 PM.
    Trainz 2019 Big Sur. M1 Macs
    2014 Mac Mini 8gb ram, Intel 1536MB
    2014 Air 8gb memory, Intel 1536MB
    T Driver 2 iPhone SE2 iOS14

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