Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

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Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by Lolodachi »

Hello!

I know everyone is curious about this subject so there's loads of questions about Odroid boards and DVD/CD drives, but I've got loads of questions myself concerning the XU4 which seems the best option for my project.
Basically, the DIY console I plan to make uses DVD as storage media, just like old school consoles. And I plan to use a Linux Buildroot (sorry, I mistook "Bootloader" and "Buildroot", my bad), if it can help.

One of the goals is that the games I make for the console can be selled in physical format (and not too costly!), this way, if (I hope!) there is any dev that wants to make their own games for the system once it's possible to make one, they would just need to use Godot, make their games in it (btw, does the XU4 supports OpenGL 3D Graphics? If so, what version of OpenGL to use: 2 or 3?), burn them on DVD and play them with the console or even sell their creations if they want.

I first looked at external DVD players. But let's face it, it's not a great idea considering the drive will have to enter in the same case as the Odroid itself...

But after stumbling accross spare internal CD/DVD players which only works with SATA, I was wondering if first of all the SATA pins on the board will give enough voltage to the drive to work correctly. Also, do the planned use of the DVD format on my console would require a insane amount of power even if they just launch the executable and look for the .pck archive containing the games data when required (since that's what most computers do with disc software, unlike consoles like the PS2 who needs constant access to the disk or else the game frequently freezes a couple of seconds just to load more data)? And if it's way too power-consuming to let the Odroid or the drive run correctly, how to give the drive more juice without sacrificing the board's performances and without giving the ensemble too much voltage?

Thanks in advance for any answers!
- Lolodachi
Last edited by Lolodachi on Fri Sep 03, 2021 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by mad_ady »

XU4 supports OpenGLES version 3, not OpenGL. There is a wrapper to run OpenGL1 (and maybe 2?) and convert the calls to opengles - look for pitserb's gl4es https://github.com/ptitSeb/gl4es
Also, the panfrost triver may support xu4's gpu and may offer opengl support - I don't know.

For dvd-rom - the XU4 doesn't come with SATA onboard, but you can use a usb3-sata board with 12V input and it should be enough to drive the dvd drive.
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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by Lolodachi »

Thanks for the clarification! So, if I understood correctly, OpenGL ES is the ARM version of OpenGL for devices like smartphones or single-board computers, and it can be converted using a wrapper, pretty much like DGVoodoo for Windows, and the "usb3-sata" board you're talking about is something I can add to the Odroid so I can mount the drive, right? Does it require soldering or it depends on the model?

Edit: Godot actually uses OpenGL ES 3.0 and 2.0 in version 3.3.3, pfew! Would you recommend using OpenGL ES 3.0 or 2.0 performance-wise?

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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by mad_ady »

You can use a usb-sata board that can be found in local shops. Though its firmware has to support optical drives. This did: https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/usb3-0- ... oard-plus/, but it's EOL. You can connect it to the xu4 via USB, but to drive a DVD, it may require a 12V power supply.

Regarding opengl version, the difference between them is in the API and features provided to the target application, not performance.
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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by meveric »

On Amazon you should be able to find several USB to SATA bridges, but I'd highly suggest you get one with external power source, as they are often just meant for 2.5" harddrives which require muss less power than a CD drive.
Although there are some CD drives that can work over USB alone as well.

Aside from that make sure that the Kernel actually supports CD drives:

Code: Select all

# zcat /proc/config.gz | grep CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SR
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SR=m
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_SR_VENDOR=y
as there might be a good chance, that CD support is not even activated in the Kernel, in which case you need a Kernel that supports this.
I for example use the cdemu project on my images, which is a virtual cd driver for Linux, which allows you to mount many types of image formats, iso, cue, mds, nrg, etc.
In contrast to mounting ISO files directly in linux, where only the data part of a CD is mounted, this will act as a real CD drive with multiple tracks, for example with audio cds, or old game cds that had data and audio tracks will be mounted as such and can be used.
This in return also relies on Kernel support for CD drives, as it will not work, if the kernel has CD support disabled, which is often also a good test if overall CD support works at all.

Regarding OpenGL and OpenGL ES.
While Mali GPU drivers from ARM only support OpenGL ES "gl4es" is very good at providing a compatibility layer up to OpenGL 2.1.
The Mali T628 used in the ODROID XU4 does support up to OpenGL ES 3.1 but OpenGL ES 3.x compared to OpenGL ES 2.0 is a lot slower.
Best example is SuperTuxKart, which can run in steady 60 FPS using Legacy OpenGL or OpenGL ES 2.0 support, but when using OpenGL ES 3.x support, performance often dips way below 20 FPS, although it looks gorgeous the performance suffers a lot. (viewtopic.php?f=91&t=29366)

Panfrost and Mali T628 is not an option at the moment. Panfrost does not support the Mali T62x series, and there is a good chance it "never" will (or at least not in any foreseeable future).
Therefore "native" OpenGL support via Panfrost is also not possible.
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Lolodachi (Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:19 am)
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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by Lolodachi »

Hello, thanks for your answers and clarifications!
So, it's possible to use CD drives on the Odroid but it needs to have kernels that can make use of it. I'll need to search if Buildroot have the necessary packages to activate CD support in its kernel.
If not, I can also make use of an SD card player (without any sensitive OS data, like using another regular SD card for storing the games, the saves, but not the critical files necessary for the OS), is it as power-demanding as a CD drive or is it actually a more viable option?
As I see in the topic you linked, STK runs fine on OpenGL ES 2.X while ditching the neat graphical effects. Welp, since I'm searching to have an experience kinda similar with old game consoles like the N64 or the PS1 (especially performance-wise, not for the aesthetic itself) I'm in luck then!

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Re: Some questions about DVD-Rom playback on a XU4

Post by meveric »

There are many different options on what you can do.
I personally prefer using either an attached HDD/SSD as they can hold large data and are not wearing as SD or eMMC does or use network drivers to store data.
Both option use considerably less energy.

N64 is a bit hard to emulate and you might encounter some speed issues here and there.. PS1 on the other hand is quite easy to emulate.
Also in that case you can simply use ROMS or CD images which can be read directly by the emulator, no CD drive, or CD emulation needed.

There are plenty of ready to use emulation image out there for the XU4.

I think if you describe what you're trying to achieve there might be some people that can suggest how to do so or what alternatives to use.
Donate to support my work on the ODROID GameStation Turbo Image for U2/U3 XU3/XU4 X2 X C1 as well as many other releases.
Check out the Games and Emulators section to find some of my work or check the files in my repository to find the software i build for ODROIDs.
If you want to add my repository to your image read my HOWTO integrate my repo into your image.

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