AMD has just confirmed as much during its Computex 2021 keynote. The latest generation of Tesla infotainment systems will be powered by one of the chipmaker's Ryzen processors and an AMD RDNA 2 GPU.
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The GPU is interesting because it’s not there to run the infotainment system itself. AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that it only kicks in when the user is trying to play a AAA game in their car.
Elon Musk has previously revealed that the new Tesla Model S has up to ten teraflops of processing power, which is almost enough to rival the 10.28 teraflops you’d get in a PS5. In other words, this is a pretty powerful machine, and now it has the chip pedigree to make Elon’s weird vision a reality.
The chips are due to come with the Tesla Model S and Model X, though we haven’t actually seen them playing any AAA games. We know that Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the games coming to the new system. Given the issues the game had running on older consoles at launch, seeing how well it runs on a Tesla will give us an idea of what the car’s computer is capable of.
Sadly we can’t say the same about The Witcher 3. That game is several years old at this point, and can run on Nintendo Switch. It’d be more surprising if a Tesla couldn’t run the game particularly well at this late stage.
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Tesla has also been hiring new talent for game development, specifically game devs who know how to work with Linux. That suggests Tesla will be going all in on gaming in the near future.
Of course, there is the question of whether there’s any need for Tesla to turn its cars into roaming gaming PCs. You can’t play while you’re driving, and there aren’t going to be many situations when gaming in a car is more appealing than gaming on a console or PC.
Those systems are also significantly cheaper than the $75,000 it costs to buy the cheapest Model S. Even if you end up buying a PS5 from a scalper and paying far more than the $500 retail price.
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