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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Eh.. From what I just read, that core was not being used in Cell nor Xenon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerPC_970

    That article states what I've always heard, that Xenon's CPU's were similar to the Cell PPE which in turn were divorced from other PowerPC cores.
    Right, but the architecture had its similarities. Point is CPU power wasn't an issue for the xenon. And the cell if a developer could properly code for it.

    That isn't necessarily the case this gen, they are making up for a weak cpu by having as many cores as possible to counteract the deficiencies in that architecture. It probably won't be an issue throughout the generation, but it would have been nice to have a cpu that wasn't lacking when compared to what we have in traditional computers/gaming pc's.

  2. #27
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    PS4 will perform a lot like a mid-range PC at the time it hits shelves, which is great, because it is only pushing a single 1080p monitor and will have all of the hardware features of a modern GPU unlike the PS3 when it launched.

    All in all, it's shaping up to be a great system and there is plenty of customization as well as HUMA to keep the system relevant in the years to come. The games will look fantastic

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefein View Post
    PS4 will perform a lot like a mid-range PC at the time it hits shelves, which is great, because it is only pushing a single 1080p monitor and will have all of the hardware features of a modern GPU unlike the PS3 when it launched.

    All in all, it's shaping up to be a great system and there is plenty of customization as well as HUMA to keep the system relevant in the years to come. The games will look fantastic
    Don't know about you, but my idea of a mid range gaming pc uses an entry level intel quadcore and gtx 660/AMD 7950 or better. (though really it will be more like a gtx 760 by the end of the year)

    When the next gen consoles launch, they will be closer to entry level gaming pc's, but will have a few benefits that entry level gaming pc's lack.

  4. #29
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    Well, according to Carmack: "Consoles run 2x or so better than equal PC hardware, but it isn’t just API in the way, focus a single spec also matters."*

    So that puts the CPU at a decent Sandybridge and the GPU at roughly 3.68TF according to him.

    What I'm concerned about, honestly, is how they stack up relative to prior generations out the gate. Only aspect I'm a bit disappointed with is the CPU though, putting a low ceiling this gen on longevity.


    *https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/st...77106856370176


  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Well, according to Carmack: "Consoles run 2x or so better than equal PC hardware, but it isn’t just API in the way, focus a single spec also matters."*

    So that puts the CPU at a decent Sandybridge and the GPU at roughly 3.68TF according to him.

    What I'm concerned about, honestly, is how they stack up relative to prior generations out the gate. Only aspect I'm a bit disappointed with is the CPU though, putting a low ceiling this gen on longevity.


    *https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/st...77106856370176
    Ok, but remember, I'm comparing a mid range pc in August of 2013 to consoles that will come out in November. You can bet that within the next 3 years or so, midrange gaming pc's will easily top those specs. So this advantage will be short lived.

    As for your other question about how these consoles stack up compared to their predecessors?

    Like you said, the CPU was a bit of a concern. I think the gpu's are decent, but could have also been improved. Ram is fine. While I think these consoles could fair better than the 360/PS3 for a 7-8 year long console generation, I don't think that is what Sony/MS intended for their design.

    I think we will revert to a more traditional console generation cycle (6 years would be my guess).

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  7. #31
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    For mid range that is if you are constantly keeping up with current tech. That isn't so much the case and I'm wondering how long they plan to stick with the PS4 before coming out with another console. Technically because of the APU and the GDDR5 they've been using, it wouldn't be hard at all for Sony to have an idea on what they want for the next system. With that being said...mid range can last for a good 5 years before having to update anything at all. So the PS4 (since this is the section it's in) won't have a problem unless it plans on sticking around for as long as the PS3 did before a new system hits the shelves, in that case there will be a bit of trouble.

  8. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Well, according to Carmack: "Consoles run 2x or so better than equal PC hardware, but it isnít just API in the way, focus a single spec also matters."*

    So that puts the CPU at a decent Sandybridge and the GPU at roughly 3.68TF according to him.

    What I'm concerned about, honestly, is how they stack up relative to prior generations out the gate. Only aspect I'm a bit disappointed with is the CPU though, putting a low ceiling this gen on longevity.


    *https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/st...77106856370176
    That was tweeted in 2011. I just finished listening to his QuakeCon 2013 keynote, and if I remember right, he anticipates that the consoles' to the metal efficiency advantage won't be as great with this upcoming generation because (1) the hardware is so similar, and (2) there will be more abstraction layers in the way. He still applauds the consoles' unified memory architectures. Not only can a unified memory system help with performance, but it makes development easier, apparently.

    But, yeah, there's no question that you can make up for less raw power with a fixed platform that doesn't have the OS and abstraction layer overhead.
    Last edited by sneezymarble; 08-14-2013 at 02:47.
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  9. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demi_God View Post
    For mid range that is if you are constantly keeping up with current tech. That isn't so much the case and I'm wondering how long they plan to stick with the PS4 before coming out with another console. Technically because of the APU and the GDDR5 they've been using, it wouldn't be hard at all for Sony to have an idea on what they want for the next system. With that being said...mid range can last for a good 5 years before having to update anything at all. So the PS4 (since this is the section it's in) won't have a problem unless it plans on sticking around for as long as the PS3 did before a new system hits the shelves, in that case there will be a bit of trouble.
    Where are you getting this from?

    This is what I consider mid range:

    1080p or 1920 X 1200 resolution.

    Medium settings

    No AA/AF or 2x AA/AF

    FPS's never drop below 30 and the average is around ~45 if not higher (60fps being ideal).

    There is no single card setup that will do the above for even the majority of games for 5 years.

    Perhaps 3 years or so at the most. But nowhere near 5.

  10. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneezymarble View Post
    That was tweeted in 2011. I just finished listening to his QuakeCon 2013 keynote, and if I remember right, he anticipates that the consoles' to the metal efficiency advantage won't be as great with this upcoming generation because (1) the hardware is so similar, and (2) there will be more abstraction layers in the way. He still applauds the consoles' unified memory architectures. Not only can a unified memory system help with performance, but it makes development easier, apparently.

    But, yeah, there's no question that you can make up for less raw power with a fixed platform that doesn't have the OS and abstraction layer overhead.
    True about the tweet. Still, though, the abstraction layer concern does not apply insofar as I can tell to PS4 but it does with Xbone at least according to what I remember hearing.

    Doesn't it have to go through some kind of juggling in order to interface with the hardware? (VM's and so on?) Certain API's?

    PS4 doesn't have that problem iirc, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    That was the general impression I was getting from B3D (which notably has taken a reputation hit in my eyes) and other places like Neogaf on the issue.I cannot really imagine what abstraction layers the PS4 has to deal with.
    Last edited by Vulgotha; 08-14-2013 at 03:12.


  11. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    True about the tweet. Still, though, the abstraction layer concern does not apply insofar as I can tell to PS4 but it does with Xbone at least according to what I remember hearing.

    Doesn't it have to go through some kind of juggling in order to interface with the hardware? (VM's and so on?) Certain API's?

    PS4 doesn't have that problem iirc, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    That was the general impression I was getting from B3D (which notably has taken a reputation hit in my eyes) and other places like Neogaf on the issue.I cannot really imagine what abstraction layers the PS4 has to deal with.
    I believe that was discussed here:

    http://www.psu.com/forums/showthread...for-developers

  12. #36
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    So this HSA needs unified memory ?

    The PS4 has 8 gig Gddr ram unified memory .

    Is the xbone's 8 gig ddr3 ram plus 32mb esram considered unified ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MATRIX 2 View Post
    Right, and the vibe I'm getting from that thread and information presented resonates with what I had been hearing earlier. It does sound like developers will have to interface with various layers to touch the hardware.

    Is the PS4 not doing this, though? I've not heard anything like this suggesting it was. Need Mynd up in here.

    Edit: Or not, Mynd was saying that this is an optimal solution for a developer from an ease point of view. I'm presuming by his tone that there is no perf hit for this either.

    I need to go and reread what I read before about the Xbox One and API's it has to jump through. Swear to God I remember reading something about this.


    Edit Edit: Ok, so apparently this was at one point true.. But not anymore. There was a very recent patch to the Xbox One devkits that alleviated this problem.

    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=642427

    So I guess I dunno what carmack was talking about.
    Last edited by Vulgotha; 08-14-2013 at 15:31.


  14. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    So this HSA needs unified memory ?
    The PS4 has 8 gig Gddr ram unified memory .
    Is the xbone's 8 gig ddr3 ram plus 32mb esram considered unified ?
    The public descriptions have not been clear. If the esRAM is integrated into cache, that would of course be unified. Even if not, it would be just yet another bump of "imperfection," and hardly the only one in either system. If the esRAM is reserved for special things, for normal purposes memory would be "unified."

    The point of unified memory is to allow a single pointer value to address the same memory object to both the CPU and GPU. This allows a structure to be built in memory, then handed off for processing with a single pointer, instead of having to copy the whole thing back and forth, WHILE CHANGING INTERNAL POINTERS EACH TIME. In essence, unified memory makes pointer-related structures practical for sharing by CPU and GPU for the first time. Note that PC's do not and can not have unified memory, no matter how fast they are.

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    Thanks RandSec , this is tech slightly over my head.

    Next questions.

    How much of a performance advantage does unified memory give over a traditional PC setup?

    What ram will have a advantage in a unified memory setup Gddr5 ram in the PS4 or the ddr3 ram in the xbone ?

    Will PC's in the future be more like a next gen console in there architecture ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    How much of a performance advantage does unified memory give over a traditional PC setup?
    The consoles are basically backward compatible for PC code. But simply porting a PC game to one of the consoles probably would not exploit the architectural improvements much at all. To gain an advantage, code must explicitly do things in different ways, and it is not yet clear what all those ways might be. But we will eventually see various games optimized for console and PC independently, and they will be directly compared.

    As a guess, a factor of 1.5 in GPU advantage may be available by efficiently exploiting GPU cores when they become idle.

    As another guess, a factor or 2 or more in overall performance may be available in designs which exploit pointer-linked data structures for flexible CPU / GPU computation.

    There may be a surprising amount of extra computing available simply by avoiding now unnecessary copying between what were separate CPU and GPU memory areas. This also might allow the use of larger data sets than practical on any PC.

    There should be some performance improvement available from using the 8 CPU cores better, but it is not clear how.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    What ram will have a advantage in a unified memory setup Gddr5 ram in the PS4 or the ddr3 ram in the xbone?
    I keep wondering if the 32MB esRAM is part of some secret software goal for that particular machine. If so, the RAM might end up being obvious in retrospect, but so far I do not see it. As I understand it, that is 6-transistor STATIC RAM, which is very big, thus very, very expensive, and very hot. It just seems like such an obviously bad choice for SoC implementation that there might be some overpowering reason for it which I still do not see.

    My guess is that the gddr5 RAM is both the best and the cheapest approach, especially for exploiting the new architectural advantages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Terror View Post
    Will PC's in the future be more like a next gen console in there architecture ?
    Yes. Serial execution on a few cores can improve, but not much. Statically allocating tasks among a known number of cores is never going to be particularly efficient. Future performance improvements require efficient ways to use the many CPU and GPU cores we know how to make. However, fitting HSA hUMA into the conventional PC architecture may be more problematic than one might expect. A fundamentally new vision may be required.

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    The most interesting thing for me this generation is just seeing what developers can do with advanced API libraries already built from minute 1 and having enough RAM to do whatever they want in all honesty. This is really the first generation of consoles where it seems the developers will finally have enough RAM. Each console cycle since the beginning of the 3D age the consoles always seemed to be severely skimped on RAM. Even when Sony announced the PS3 way back when, I gawked and laughed at the 256/256 split RAM decision. I would LOVE to see what the PS3 architecture and Cell could really do with say 2GB of fast RAM to work with, I really think it would blow minds, but nah ... Sony skimped.

    Which is why I was floored when they announced 8GB of GDDR5. The architecture of the system itself is not very astounding or groundbreaking, the only thing groundbreaking is the fact that it is built like a PC even down to the dual pipelines of the Garlic/Onion design. So really, Sony listened to the developers they went to and said ... alright .. you want easy development? Here, have a PC with a ton of GPU RAM!

    Can you imagine what Naughty Dog can do when they do not have to skimp on the art? Holy ....

  18. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    But will it be a bottleneck? I mean apparently Xenon and Cell were, all told, exceedingly below average when compared to the PC space for practical computing applications and x86 has made leaps and bounds in the interim (thus Cerny's opinion it is viable now).

    Will the Jaguar be worthless?
    In terms of launch performance it was very hard to determine where they stood in general-purpose performance for whatever that means. They where fairly decent in that respect as they didn't have any real major deficits and nor do these new machines. Xenos and Cell where much more focused on vector processing and in some respects it worked fairly well, Cell is still a leader in terms of some algorithms compared to modern x86 chips but only barely, it's not really a big factor.

    X86 hasn't really made much in roads in terms of effciency in recent years beyond additional cores and power efficiency. Trust be told almost all CPU technology in terms of ISA's don't really have much to gain in terms of performance in recent years as there are not many innovations at the lower level.

    The biggest move in recent years has been where to focus processor resources since GPU's have finally caught up and are no longer deeply dependant on the CPU's to handle the lower level features of the system. With that Jaguar should be a fairly good match for this generation, more focus on game code.

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