Chromebooks have the stigma of being low-cost, low-power computers designed to cater to the limited needs of offices and schools. That’s despite the existence of some models that rival high-end Windows laptops in specs and even in prices. One computing segment that Chromebooks still don’t sufficiently address is gaming, but that could be changing soon, at least on the hardware side, thanks to NVIDIA’s efforts to push its RTX technology to Arm processors.
To be fair, it’s definitely possible to use Chromebooks for gaming, particularly with web apps and some Android games. The arrival of Google Stadia on some Chromebooks also removes the need for hardware requirements, especially the difference between x86 and ARM CPU architectures. Still, it’s quite a different matter when a Chromebook is able to run games natively, especially titles with heavy graphics needs.
NVIDIA seems to be working towards making that possible by bringing its ray-tracing and machine learning graphics technologies to the ARM platform. Although there are plenty of Intel-based Chromebooks, ARM still offers one of the best combinations of performance and power efficiency.
In a demo it showed off earlier this week, NVIDIA ran id Software’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood on MediaTek’s new
Kompanion 1200 processor. What makes this demo impressive is that it also utilizes an NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics to feed the graphics-hungry game. The result is an impressive display of power that you’d only expect from gaming laptops and PCs.
NVIDIA also announced SDKs that bring its latest technologies, including DLSS super sampling, to Linux and Chrome OS. Of course, hardware is just one part of the equation, albeit an equally important one. Google does seem to be collaborating with other partners like Valve to make Chrome OS a more gaming-worthy platform, just like its peers.