A couple of months back, the world was busy comparing the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) with the Xbox Series X in terms of computing power, and we saw KFC also join the mix with its KFConsole with a built in chicken chaber inside, now Tesla has come up with a gaming console on wheels. The updated Tesla Model S for 2021 and beyond is essentially an entertainment powerhouse on wheels.
It can play Cyberpunk
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 28, 2021
Tesla is by far the most important and best-selling player in the electric vehicle market. While the Model S was its first breakout hit, the Model 3 and the Model Y have recently been the volume sellers for the company. Given that the Model S hasn’t seen significant visual updates since it launched in 2012, it’s not a surprise that sales have been lagging. Thankfully, Tesla has addressed this with a redesigned Model S.
Tesla Model S updated
Along with changes to the car power train, the American Electric Vehicle (EV) company announced that the updated Model S (which wasn’t updated since 2012) would feature a new infotainment system with the Tesla Arcade gaming platform. Updated on its website, Tesla says this system will have 10 teraflops of power.
On the performance front, the Model S Long Range has seen its range boosted to 412 miles, and if you go for the more performant 1,020 horsepower “Plaid” trim, range drops to 390 miles. But the big new addition is the “Plaid+” trim that will deliver over 520 miles of range, which is quite incredible for an EV. Both the Model S Plaid and Plaid+ feature a triple motor setup (instead of dual motors) and can reach a top speed of 200 mph (instead of being limited to 155 mph). While the Model S Long Range can go from 0-60 in a lighting quick 3.1 seconds, the Plaid does the deed in just 1.99 seconds. According to Tesla, the Plaid+ is in sub-1.99 second territory.
Tesla Model S interior
There are significant changes to the interior, which has been completely redesigned. Instead of the portrait-style display on previous versions, the new Model S has a horizontal central display measuring 17 inches across (2200×1300). Unlike the Model 3 and Model Y, the Model S retains a display screen for the instrument cluster (12.3 inches). New for the Model S is a central 8-inch display for the rear passengers that is mounted at the back of the center armrest/console. There’s also a rather odd-looking U-shaped steering wheel which gives you an unobstructed view of the instrument cluster.
Tesla Model S Gaming console
In addition to the already impressive list of entertainment features on the Tesla Model S—including music and media streaming, 960-watt UHF sound system with 22 speaker setup, karaoke facility, and internet browser—now you can play PC games from the comfort of your car.
Today Tesla announced a new infotainment system and some people thought I was kidding when I said they were going to use the Navi 23. 😏 pic.twitter.com/9rYHi1HK7J
— Patrick Schur (@patrickschur_) January 28, 2021
An image from Patrick Schur had shown a block diagram of the Navi 23 GPU, and it could be more powerful than previously expected. As it turns out, Navi 23 would have access to 4x 2 GB GDDR6 VRAM chips produced by Samsung. Memory speed is set to 14 GT/s and the memory bus is 128-bit wide, which would translate into a total VRAM bandwidth of 224 GB/s, matching the Xbox Series S console in this regard. Tesla’s specs mention that the infotainment system powered by the Navi 23 GPU can deliver 10 TFLOPS of FP32 compute performance. Navi 23 is rumored to integrate 64 MB of Infinity Cache and 32 compute units, so that FP32 performance would translate to a core clock of around 2.44 GHz. The compute performance is also very close to what the PS5 can deliver.
The diagram does not show this, but the infotainment system is most likely still powered by a custom Intel Atom CPU. There are 2x DisplayPort and HDMI 1.4 video outputs that connect the Navi 23 GPU to the onboard displays, and the board to board connection is limited to PCIe 3.0 x8. It is entirely possible that this SKU is custom-made for the Tesla cars, so the laptop / desktop versions could get slightly better specs.
There are two screen options for use with the gaming rig: a 17 inch, 2200 x 1300 (potentially touchscreen) display in the middle of the dashboard, and an 8-inch panel jammed between the two front seats, for use by backseat passengers.
if the above spec is anything to go by, it should just about outperform the Radeon RX 5700 XT in raw TFLOPs, which tops out at 9.75 TFLOPs. It’s likely to be in the same performance class as the 10.28 TFLOP PS5, which utilises a custom RDNA 2 GPU with 36 CUs running at 2.23GHz.
It is reported that you can actually game on the drivers seat in stationary mode or from the back seat.
From the looks of it, the Navi 23 would probably be in short supply as majority of the units will be heading to the Tesla Model S rather than PC gamers who will need it most. Lets hope the supply issues are sorted out at the earliest!