ViGHaL – Video Game Hardware Laboratory
The Klaus 1446 ECE computer lab contains some high-performance hardware geared
towards real-time 3-D graphics and/or scientific computation. These resources
may be used for classwork and also for “extracurricular activities” such as
the Indie Games Club (Georgia Tech ACM
SIG on Game Development,
the Entertainment Software
Producers, and various ad-hoc student
teams that have formed around various indie game contests. Of course,
students needing these resources to complete class assignments should have
priority over other activities.
ECE students (and
any student currently enrolled in an ECE class) should have buzz card access to
this lab and be able to log into the PCs. If you need buzz card
access (for instance, a CoC student who needs to use
the Xboxes) but do not have it, please contact
Many thanks to the
Computer Support Group,
especially Peter Huyhn, for
helping get all this hardware and software set up.
The lab contains the following goodies:
- The PCs are Dell Precision T3400s with Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo 3 GHz
CPUs running Windows.
These PCs were purchased using “Technology Fee” funds, so they should
be primarily devoted to classwork (broadly including UROP and Special
Problems) and student-driven projects (for instance, for
indie game clubs).
Some of the PCs (but not all) in the back two rows have
high-end GPU cards kindly donated by NVIDIA or AMD/ATI.
The back two rows have 8 PCs each, containing:
ATI 2900 ATI 2900 GeForce 8600 GeForce 8600 NVS290 NVS290 NVS290 NVS290 ATI 2900 ATI 2900 GeForce 8600 GeForce 8600 GeForce 9800 GX2 GeForce 9800 GX2 NVS290 NVS290
The leftmost entries in the table are by
the door and the second line is the back row.
The 9800 GX2 cards have 1 gig of RAM; the other card have 512 meg of RAM (I
think). CUDA will only run on the NVIDIA cards. The 9800 GX2s are capable of
double-precision floating point, but the rest will only do single-precision.
Note the NVS290 are not fancy 3-D cards; they are the standard graphics cards
for the machines in that lab. I am including them as placeholders.
- The PCs with the good graphics cards are equipped with the following
- DirectX 9 SDK
- NVIDIA SDK 9
- Cg Toolkit 2.2
- XNA Game Studio 3.1 (works with Visual Studio 2008)
- CUDA (only runs on the machines with NVIDIA cards)
- Additional software might potentially be
made available for the PCs:
- The Unity engine and
(Unreal Development Kit) may be installed
upon request; contact Prof. Lanterman if interested
- Georgia Tech has a campus-wide
site license for the C4
Engine. Although the
license strictly limits
its use to Georgia Tech research and education efforts, students who use it
are eligible for a 50% discount on purchasing their
indie license after graduating.
Contact Prof. Lanterman
to learn more about using the C4 Engine.
- There is the possibility of obtaining a relatively inexpensive
licenses for Valve’s
along with assets from much of Valve’s catalog (3-D models, animation
data, sounds, level data structures, C++ script code, etc.), for
use in a class.
Lanterman to learn more.
- If you need any other software, contact
- The Unity engine and
- Four Xbox 360s (kindly on loan from
Blair MacIntyre of the
Interactive Computing are on the table by the door.
Each Xbox has a gamertag/profile
titled “mpglabx” where
x is an integer number from 1 to 4 (inclusive).
These gamertags have “Creator’s Club” memberships.
Students may log into Xbox Live using these gamertags and hence be able to
run Game Studio Connect on the Xbox, which allows the user to
load and run
XNA games on the Xbox. The PCs in the lab with good graphics cards have
XNA Game Studio 3.1 installed, and can be used as host PCs for the Xboxes.
(Both the PCs and the Xboxes are on the same subnet, which is necessary
for the connection to work).
Alternatively, users can bring in their own ethernet cable, disconnect
the ethernet running from the wall to the Xbox at the Xbox, hook their
laptop to the Xbox, and “share” the wireless connection on their laptop
with the Xbox to be able to connect to Xbox Live. (If you do this, please
reconnect the original ethernet cable when you are done!)
Please direct questions to
- A Playstation 3 loaded with
will appear next to the
Xboxes once we figure out how to secure it. This is to support research
with the Cell processor that would benefit from a graphical display. (For
batch-type jobs, we recommend getting an account on
CellBuzz, which is a
cluster of IBM QS20 dual-Cell blades).
Unfortunately, Sony has not released a Linux
the RSX graphics chip in the Playstation 3, so Linux users are stuck with a
relatively slow framebuffer graphics mode – you can see the machine stutter
when you move a window. 🙁
Contact Prof. Lanterman
about getting an account on the Playstation 3.
This page was last updated on 1/19/2010.