MicroServer/Client Concept


#1

Okay. I am beginning a project to build a little block of solid computational power and as one of its functions will be running both VR server and client, I am putting it out here for comments. This isn’t any sort of commercial venture - just something I am doing for fun. Basically an over-elaborate case-mod.

I am hoping to get the device into a 4-inch cube (not counting PSU, fans, or heat-sinks. - It will be passively cooled via a large heatsink I have designed which has enough space to mill a 4" cube into the middle of it). So I am looking at using something in a NUC-like formfactor. I need it passive-cooled as it will be located near the head of my bed (ultimately integrated under the head of a hospital-grade recliner bed).

Ideally (though it is less-than-likely my ideal will be available in any form I can use) a nice beefy multi-core server-class CPU with a good integrated GPU on-board (on die or on-module). Maybe a next-gen Xeon with an iris-pro 6.1 GPU (ideally one with that 128MB fast ram on-die)?? Or the AMD equivalent?

I know people have been having some issues with integrated-level graphics, so is this likely to ever not be an issue?

A non-integrated-GPU is also still on the table, though I would likely have to go up to mini-ITX formfactor and 8x8x4" dimensions to achieve that - doable, but not as neat as what I can do with the smaller unit.


#2

All I can suggest is Intel IGP is the way to go from the form factor you’re talking about. Intel has a better chance of working in a playable product than AMD offerings due to heat power draw and your passive cooling requirements. You may be better off trying to work with an old smart phone…


#3

Yes. My preference would be for Intel IGP - mainly for the fully-open-source drivers, but so far I have heard of people having serious issues with Interface rendering on these. (Though I am not interested in HMD at this stage so as low as 12fps under heavy render load is an acceptable low-end for my uses - and good for anyone who visits my domain, since I will be forced to keep my content extremely optimised for my own use! :smiley: As long as the render is accurate, speed is non-critical within reason). The things I have heard from IGP users so far indicate problems getting scene elements to render fully or at all in some cases.

Passively disapating the heat of one of the newer low-power Xeons (up to about 60W) is within my thermal envelope capabilities. Though a nice fat chunk of ARM processors would also be nice provided one with a decent OSS-supported graphics backend is available (one of the things I like about being fully OSS is that CPU arch is not locked-in).


#4

Someone is testing raspberry PI and posted on the forum. Not sure it has the horsepower though.