PC gaming on Arm is already a reality, thanks to Ampere

Ampere releases a guide for gaming on its 192-core Altra Max CPUs under Linux, helping users set up Steam AArch64 platforms and Steam Play (Proton).

PC gaming on Arm is already a reality, thanks to Ampere
Published by Noah @ PC Game Spotlight 9 months ago


Ampere releases gaming guide for Altra Max CPUs

Ampere, the Arm chip maker, has published a gaming guide for its 192-core Altra Max Aarch64 server CPUs. Arm has made huge strides in recent years, and Proton has already made Windows gaming on Linux possible. Ampere's efforts to create a gaming package and tutorial guide are unexpected.

The guide, which can be found on Ampere's website, walks you through setting up Steam AArch64 platforms and Steam Play (Proton) on Ampere's CPUs. As you might expect, you'll still need a GPU, as the company notes that graphics calculations are currently handled by the GPU. The company maintains a GitHub repository for configuring systems based on its CPUs, and the instructions may work for other 64-bit Arm platforms.

Ampere Altra Max Aarch64 gaming specs

The GPU used by Ampere's guide is the NVIDIA RTX A6000. This 11GB Arm GPU performs slightly worse than the flagship GeForce RTX 4090 in both gaming and professional workloads. The A6000 is comparable to the GeForce RTX 590, which is somewhat embarrassing for the Arm GPU.

However, Proton has already made Windows gaming on Linux possible, even with an emulation layer. Because Arm's performance ceiling is higher than x86, and Ampere's CPUs have more cores, I'm not surprised that it could handle gaming requirements. The emulator also helps to smooth out performance, and the overhead from the translation layer is likely lower than on x86.

I think this shows that PC Gaming is possible without Windows or native x86, which is something I never thought I'd write. I don't think Ampere's efforts will take off, as its server CPUs aren't designed for gaming, and its GPUs are underpowered compared to their competitors. However, this could be a ploy to get people to use its Linux-based server products. I haven't heard of demand for an Ampere-based gaming solution on mundane days, but stranger things have happened.

Check out our guide on the best gaming graphics card for a list of top picks. You might also want to try one of the best free games, which are often available for Linux.

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