That $25 Computer Can Run Quake III

Remember the $25 (£15) Raspberry Pi bare-bones computers intended for cheaply teaching programming and for low-cost computing in the developing world? The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a video of the computer running Quake III from an SD card snapped into the computer’s included SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot. They ran the game at 1080p (1920×1080) at 4x anti-aliasing and were able to get a playable (albeit barely) 10 to 30 frames per second. Not bad considering how much you’d have to spend for the same performance power when the game was released in December 1999 (which was eleven and a half years ago, in case you didn’t already feel old today).

Here is the product spec list we posted last time, now with an important addendum:

  • 700MHz ARM11 processor [for comparison, I thought the 400 MHz laptop I paid $1,500 for 12 years ago was boss.]
  • 128MB of SDRAM [definitely slow, but in line with a cheap 700 MHz computer]
  • Likes big butts and cannot lie.
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 [enough graphics power to display 1080p videos]
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Slices, dices, and thinks the moon landing was faked.
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0 [which is guarded by a mystical troll named Steve]
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot [In other words, you can load a cheap memory card with Ubuntu and free software and snap it in there.]
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)
  • Does not run Crysis.
  • Does run Quake III.

Video below, via TechCrunch: