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  1. #1
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    Next Gen Consoles and Partially Resident Textures (PRT)

    Forgive me if there's already threads about this, but I just saw someone post something at n4g that annoyed me, and got me thinking on this subject again.

    I've been noticing in comment sections of articles Xboners going off on DirectX 11.2 and it's "Tiled Resources" as if it's something new and only X1 and PC's will have it. When in reality, it's just based on id's John Carmack's "megatextures" that he used openGL to do through software. It has also been mentioned that a hardware version of a similar method will be on PS4 too. It's because the new AMD 28nm Graphics Core Next (GCN) allows this through hardware. So basically X1 and PS4 can use this for textures with an API that utilizes it.

    Here's an older article on it, that explains it a bit.


    And this quote below is taken directly from this AMD page.

    "Partially Resident Textures (PRT)

    Even in the latest titles, gamers may have noticed that games often re-use or repeat textures, particularly on the ground or in background scenery such as mountains or trees. This is because increasing the physical size or number of textures in a game can have a negative impact on the performance of a GPU. PRT is a radical new technology that hopes to break this cycle.
    Click to enlarge

    PRT can utilize absolutely enormous texture files, up to 32 terabytes large, with minimal performance impact. PRT accomplishes this by streaming small bits of these massive textures into the GPU as needed, giving compatible games a virtually endless supply of unique texture data it can apply to the game world. The GCN Architecture in 28nm AMD Radeon™ products is the first GPU design to feature a hardware implementation of this technology.

    Partially Resident Textures (PRT) enables future games to utilize ultra-high resolution textures with the same performance as today's small and often repetitive textures."

    So, I just wanted to put that out there, the last sentence is what makes it very exciting to see what devs do. Knowing that we can get ultra-high textures with no repeating patterns at the same performance as current gen lower quality and repetitive textures is pretty damn cool.

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    I've been looking around, but I haven't read a single article with a developer saying they are using PRT in their game.
    Last edited by Sylonious; 07-21-2013 at 04:39.

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    Don't read in to much of this tech stuff it's all PR

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    Both consoles should have it if I read the internet stuff correctly. It will definitely reduce loads times of games or possibly even eliminate them. It will be like the Super Mario days all over again.

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    Yeah there is nothing that prevents Ps4 hardware using this technology, it is entirely a software feature of Direct 3D and not a hardware issue. It a programmer wants to use this they totally can just like how mega-textures work on PC, 360 and Ps3.

    There are many issues with the technology however as it does require a heavy amount of processing requirements to do the texture transcoding and the memory through put from the HDD/Blu Ray is also a limiting factor.

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    Yeah we covered this a while back when they announced the feature in dx.

    Totally doable by PS4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mynd View Post
    Yeah we covered this a while back when they announced the feature in dx.

    Totally doable by PS4
    Yeah, this is a GREAT newer feature that I hope is used by developers on titles going forward. it can really help increase the quality of the textures used without impacting your hardware nearly as much as it would if you used textures of this size "normally." That's why Carmack pretty much invented the concept, if he didn't invent it outright (there's some debate).

    I'm really curious though if this is a HARDWARE based feature, at least in the PS4. Could be "hardware" feature in the sense that the GPU is capable of handling this (most likely) or could be some other dedicated chip or chipset (something like the 'mover' chips MS talks about comes to mind). Is anyone aware or able to confirm this?

    Either way this has some really exiting potential for us gamers. This is after all, how Carmack was able to use much larger texture files on RAGE for the PS3 even though the PS3 was, I believe, the most memory limited platform he put the game on.

    All you have to decide is what to do with the time give to you....
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    It is a hardware based feature, it's mentioned in the first article link I have up there.

    "The reason we bring this up is because there’s a great deal of GPU technology that can be directly mapped to concepts Carmack first implemented. For id Tech 4 Carmack implemented shadow volume technology, which was then first implemented in hardware by NVIDIA as their UltraShadow technology, and has since then been implemented in a number of GPUs. For id Tech 5 the trend has continued, now with AMD doing a hardware implementation of a Carmack inspired technology.

    Among the features added to Graphics Core Next that were explicitly for gaming, the final feature was Partially Resident Textures, which many of you are probably more familiar with in concept as Carmack’s MegaTexture technology."

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    Ah, ok, so it's resident IN the GPU then, not some extra hardware that was added in by Sony or AMD. I kinda figured it was. Thanks!

    All you have to decide is what to do with the time give to you....
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    Couple this with a deep Field of View and you could get some remarkable results. -Especially- in open world games.

    Wishlist: Jade Cocoon Reboot, Oni Reboot, the next JRPG, Wasteland 2 [coming soon!]
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    ...
    [South Park: Stick of Truth is pure gaming bliss!]

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    Sounds like some classic PR to me.


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    Why can't these textures get full residency?

    #IndieStation4 and proud of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by admartian View Post
    Why can't these textures get full residency?
    Because first they have to apply for temporary residency. lol

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    It's a GPU feature which allows residency of a texture with dimensions of 32k. (IE. 32k x 32k x 32k)
    GPU uses it's normal filtering methods so it's a nice feature when compared to software based approaches where you have to do your own filtering.
    We should see plenty of usage in shadow maps, lightmaps and possibly for things like Precomputed Radiance Transfer (PRT ).

    Here's pretty much first paper I found on exact implementation. (which I believe was source for the one in AMD hardware.)
    http://silverspaceship.com/src/svt/
    Virtual texturing had seen first hardware implementation years ago as well. (In part from 3D labs.(1999))

    I expect the tech to be one of the requirements for DX12 parts. (perhaps with bigger textures.)
    Last edited by jlippone; 07-22-2013 at 06:03.
    'no, no one in their sane mind uses OpenGL on PS3' - Repi
    'nope, PS3 uses a wonderful low-level API called libgcm' - Repi

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    Also, it seems the (PS4)OpenGL plugin for MegaTextures is possibly more powerful than (Xbone)DX11.2's "Tiled Resources":

    "There is already an extension for that, which is even more powerful than DX11.2 tiled resources (see AMD_sparse_texture), in fact, pretty much this time DX "borrowed" from GL, like they did with most of their DX11.1 features." ~ sleepr - bungie.net

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