SHIELD Gets Portal and Half-Life 2

by Jarred Walton on 5/12/2014 4:49 PM EST
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  • nathanddrews - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    "In theory, today’s Tegra 4 GPU should be faster than those old chips, but I haven’t seen anything on HL2 benchmarking on SHIELD yet and other elements certainly come into play. I doubt SHIELD is going to be able to run at 120+ FPS at 1280x1024, which is what our old 800 XT/6800 Ultra were able to achieve way back when, but then SHIELD also isn’t going to use a few hundred watts of power."

    Sounds like a test worth undertaking, no? ;-)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    I've asked for a game code, but I'd be very surprised if the Timedemo feature is still present. We'll see.... Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    If you do a benchmark comparison please do a quick image quality comparison too.

    "Then again, a state-of-the-art PC at the time HL2 first launched consisted of either ATI’s Radeon X800 Pro/XT or NVIDIA’s GeForce 6800 GT/Ultra. The latter sported DX9-level hardware, with sixteen pixel shaders, six vertex shaders, and sixteen ROPs; ATI’s hardware had a similar 16:6:16 arrangement but with higher clocks generally giving them the edge in terms of performance."

    I'm guessing you meant SM3.0-level hardware for the GeForce 6800 since the X800 was a DX9 GPU as well, just SM2.0b.
    Reply
  • ozzuneoj86 - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Just FYI, Portal (and the orange box) came out in October 2007, not 2008.

    It is amazing to think how far mobile devices have come since those days though. I remember getting an incredibly good deal on my eVGA Geforce 6800 GT AGP because BestBuy had them briefly marked down from $399 to $299 on pre-order. Such an impressive card at the time... now you can a cell phone with comparable graphics performance. Though I doubt that they really compare with regard to memory bandwidth. The 6800GT managed 32GB\sec using 256bit 1100Mhz GDDR3... there's no way that current mobile solutions come close to that with their dual channel 64bit (at best) memory controllers... though the newer GPUs probably make better use of what they have.

    Truly fascinating stuff to think about... as long as you don't think about how much money you spent on parts back then, compared to how useful they are now.
    Reply
  • ozzuneoj86 - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Correction... the Tegra 4 only has a dual channel 32bit memory controller. The most recent QualcommSoCs have quad channel 32bit controllers.

    Still way behind GPUs from 10 years ago... and its shared by an entire SoC.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    But it also only has to drive 1280x720 in most cases (unless connected to a display via HDMI), and other caching "tricks" might help out. But 16 PS and 6 VS from DX9 era you could probably multiply by 4 to get the modern unified shader equivalent performance (minus new features, of course). (Disclaimer: rough estimate may be very off. LOL) Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Note that Tegra 4 is not a unified architecture though. It's a rather direct descendant of NV40/6800. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 12, 2014 - link

    Ah, I used the Portal release date from Metacritic -- forgot to look for a different date on the Orange Box. Updated! Reply
  • darkich - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    That memory bandwidth was an overkill at the time. In terms of GFLOPS though, even the most powerful desktop GPU from 2004 wasn't comparable to today's smartphone counterparts.

    Think about the fact that even a Mali 400MP4 (Galaxy S3) is able to run graphically improved(draw distance, real time dynamic lighting, enhanced character and car models etc) GTA San Andreas version at maximum settings.
    Granted, the frames are pretty low, but again, to run a much lighter version of the same game in 2014 at max settings you needed a beasty desktop machine.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    I bought both! i'm installing them now. Half Life 2 comes in at 2.16GB, and Portal is around 1.XX GB, forgot to look. For $200, you really cant find a reason not to own shield. With all the Console Emulation, + More Source Games Incoming, and lastest version of Android running on amazing hardware, it's hard to find something that will beat it's value.

    Console Mode turns this thing into a Amazon Fire TV Box basically. Plus there are several features that only Nvidia shield can do. It's been my go to N64 Emulator, and i take it into my room-mates room in console mode to stream Game Of Thrones on HBO GO and Netflix. He also plays Titanfall in console mode streaming from my gaming PC

    I cant wait for the Tegra K1 Version. I hope they wait for Denver and use shield as a launch platform, with bigger screen, and possibly 2 camera's for Hangouts/Skype. Even if you dont buy shield for gaming, its basically a portable Roku 3 with a screen + tons of extra's for $100 more. Great Value
    Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Except that I can do everything you're describing -- console emulation, media player, etc. -- on my DV8P (Windows Tablet) just as well, with the exception of streaming PC games, which isn't terribly important to me. I can play Mirror's Edge (and Portal and Half-life 2, without even having to pay for them again) and other older titles just fine on the tablet itself anyway. Plus I've got a bigger screen and probably much better battery life to boot.

    So really, I can't think of a good reason to own a Shield, myself.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Try taking that setup into a doctors office waiting room, or barber shop, hell even bringing it in a car. Lets count it up. Tablet + USB OTG Cable + Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter or Wired Controller + something to prop your tablet up on. It'd be a mess of wires, plus the speakers are crap (i have one). Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Uh, use a Bluetooth controller, like I do. And the speaker is fine, if not anything spectacular. Use headphones/earbuds if you want good sound. I doubt the sound coming out of the Shield's speakers is amazing either. Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Oh, and while sure, the tablet may not be quite as convenient for gaming on the go (but it works fine for me), it's certainly nicer to have a larger, nicer screen and no built-in gamepad when I'm using it for streaming, web browsing, or just about anything else.

    Anyway, if you love the Shield, that's fine. I just think it's overstating things to make it out to be the ultimate device for everything, or that it's even worth it for anyone who already has a decent tablet.
    Reply
  • darkich - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    And where do you place that tablet while gaming over the controller?
    Put it on the table?
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    What about the person that cares more about having a decent tablet experience than a streaming device. I play my PC games on a nice 27" high Hz monitor, why should I stream something to a small hand held device? I already have a dedicated HTPC set up for my movie and youtube needs in my living room, why should I replace it with an inferior product? I have a Nexus 7 with 3G that provides me with great mobile tablet experience as well as all the emulation I need combined with a GameKlip and a PS3 pad.

    I'm glad you like the device, but to say that it is the be-all-end-all of mobile and consumption devices is highly ignorant.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    now your putting words into my mouth. I'm just saying its one of the most versatile devices money can buy Reply
  • TheJian - Saturday, May 17, 2014 - link

    ROFL...How much did all that cost you? You're naming device after device. A person who wants a decent tablet experience should buy...wait for it...A tablet :) I'm glad you have a GROUP of devices that fit every need you have. Many people don't even have a PC. There are ~2Billion devices running some version of windows (server etc). Most of those are stuck in businesses etc. So I'd say there are 6Billion this device might be well worth looking at.

    Sad you don't want your PC games on your TV. CONSOLE MODE. I prefer 60in+ for many PC games. I would only intend to use shields screen out of the home or if the TV was occupied. Most people don't even have an HTPC (6.5billion-7Bil? Do 100mil even have them?), same for roku, etc), so many would like a device that is a portable HDMI movie player, PC to TV game player, android game player, now streaming OUT of the house from your PC to your shield (just keeps getting better features right?), etc etc. It's a very handy product that can even serve as a poor PC hooked to a 24in ($100?) monitor+key+mouse while in the house. Anyone looking at Vita/3DS would seem to be making a bad mistake if they go with those two vs Shield, never mind rev2 is coming in about 45 days probably. A decision for either of the handhelds becomes moronic at that point considering what is coming out on android these days or shortly.

    What Morawka said is correct. IT has many uses. You overstated his comment, and worse attempted to show Shield's worthlessness by using 5 devices. That is not ignorant, but rather stupid. "I have these 100 devices that can do what your ONE device can do, so why would I want that?"...LOL. You seem to not understand the whole point of this thing. I want R2 (maybe R3? 20nm version) just to get out of buying a next gen console and still have tons of games coming that are probably not always on PC. If I buy a console there are very few things I can't already get on PC so kind of pointless (and I already have devices that do everything else those do anyway). I can't play EVERY single game that comes out anyway, or even have time to play all the ones I DO have access to on PC now so I won't miss exclusives I don't have time to play. So I'm after gaming out of the house, portable movie player with HDMI out, and PC games to TV when at home or Android games output to the TV also. If I can get a great way to use it as a TV browsing tool I'll do that too as a bonus.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    We should see a lot more "real games" being ported or built for Android soon. The hardware is finally getting "PC/console-like" for that to happen. Reply
  • djc208 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - link

    Like I'd want to give them $10 to play a game that would just lead me to the abyss again! But that might be just because I'm still bitter that there was never a HL2 EP3.

    Not a big FPS player but I really did like the story arc in HL, such a shame they dropped the ball.
    Reply
  • Manch - Sunday, May 18, 2014 - link

    Yeah, how long has the next EP of HL and a proper 3rd installment been MIA? Bad enough that valve continues to use that tired engine for "new" games but come on, at least finish the HL2 epsiodic story. People will buy it so WTF. Reply
  • Manch - Sunday, May 18, 2014 - link

    Yay...Cant you already stream these games using the shield? Plus it's 10$ and everyone has that game by now. I dont see the point really. Where's HL3?! Work on that instead of port fro decade old games.

    The only thing I see this is useful for is like other people have mentioned, comparing it to the GPU's from when these games came out and see how they stack up.
    Reply

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