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Sega Announces New 'High End' Arcade Hardware

Sega has announced two new hardware platforms that will power its next wave of coin-operated titles. The so-called RingEdge and RingWide platforms are - similar to its last two arcade boards - based on PC architecture, and offer two separate and distinct performance levels. RingEdge is what interests us as all of Sega’s top-tier arcade releases will appear on it.

CPU

  • Intel Pentium processor E2160 @ 1.8GHz

Main memory:

  • 1GB 800MHz DDR2

GPU:

  • Powered by nVidia
  • 384MB with GDDR3 memory
  • Shader Model 4.0 support
  • Dual screen output (maximum resolution 1920×1200)

Sound:

  • High Definition 5.1 output

Storage

  • 32GB SSD

Hardly a powerhouse, and definitely geared to cheap production, the board initially looks like a downscaled version of the Europa-R hardware that ran its most recent Sega Rally coin-op, which boasted a similar dual core CPU and an nVidia 8800GT, albeit with a whopping great 4GB of RAM.

So what is the mystery nVidia hardware in the RingEdge board? The 384MB video RAM package gives the game away - nVidia only make one card with that memory configuration and that would be the 8800GS, recently rebadged as the 9600GSO: In short: a poor man’s 8800GT, let down somewhat by a 192-bit bus and limited RAM, but still a pretty useful piece of graphics hardware.

In terms of the RingWide platform, that’s much the same, albeit running with a 2GHz Celeron and a bargain-basement low end ATI GPU (we’re not sure which, but being that it has only 128MB of RAM, it’s going to be a really awful chip). No SSD for the RingWide either - its games are crammed onto 8GB compact flash cards.

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About the author

Richard Leadbetter

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry  |  digitalfoundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.

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