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PS3-X360 developer spills his experience: ATI Xenos GPU in X360 is superior to Nvidia RSX in PS3 for

Discussion in 'ATI' started by AirRaid Mach 2.5, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37033


    "I'm a programmer I assure you, been one for 12 years in the games
    industry. No, I can't say my employers name because my comments could
    be construed as representing their opinion, which would get me into

    "There are *very* few instances where one would pick the PS3 gpu over
    the 360's because the PS3's gpu is weak compared to 360's. That's not
    just my opinion, ask other devs how they feel about it. Sony chose
    poorly when they chose the video hardware. Performance wise, the 360's
    video will out render the PS3's everytime if you feed it the same 3d
    scene. The only way to make the PS3 keep pace is to leverage its spu's
    to preprocess your 3d scene."

    "I have a shader that needs 8 vertex inputs, Position, Normal, Color,
    and Texcoord1 thru Texcoord5. Assume all inputs are packed (ie, .x, .y,
    ..z and .w are all used). Further, I need this shader to be applied to a
    mass of 100 enemies that are all close to the camera (and hence using
    their best lod) and are 5000 verticies each. Or if you prefer, imagine
    that it needs to be used on a 3d scene of 500,000 verts. These
    scenarios are quite common, and they *kill* RSX performance. If you
    don't believe me, just read the RSX docs, its right in there and it
    literally says "this kills RSX performance". The only way to
    accommodate these scenarios is to precull using the spu's. If you just
    rely on the RSX to do it for you, then you will never match the xenon's
    framerate, period. This isn't conjecture or opinion, its hardware
    design fact. Again, I encourage you to read the RSX docs as well as PS3
    dev forums, I'm not the only one complaining about this."

    "I'm a 360/PS3 programmer by trade, focusing on graphics and
    optimization. It's fairly rare that I post, but I just got off a long
    crunch and have been browsing the forums more than normal to unwind
    Incidentally most of that crunch was spent trying to get the PS3 to
    match the 360's frame rate. It falls short, but it hits 30fps so we're

    The Gran Turismo image posted above is a good shot, but its a testament
    to the talent of the dev crew, not just the hardware. Vertex/pixel
    shaders are written in HLSL and can be compiled to run on either
    PS3/360 although you can tweak them to suit the console. I guess my
    point here is that if you take that same vehicle 3d model and those
    same shaders that make it look all pretty, and compile/run them on the
    360, it will look the same and run at a higher framerate than on the
    PS3. This is because the PS3's gpu isn't as good as the 360's."

    "I'm assuming you also know that the PS3's vertex processing units are
    terrible, since each extra vertex shader input ads one cycle of delay.
    Likewise, you probably also know that the only way currently around
    this limitation on PS3 is to use the spu's to preprocess all geometry
    by backface culling them first on cell before feeding them to the gpu.
    But then you are still stuck with other PS3 gpu limitations, such as
    not being able to do anti aliasing with floating point render targets
    so you can't have MSAA and HDR simultaneously."

    "The vertex pipeline doesn't matter when you have to waste one cycle
    per vertex input. In other words, the gpu stalls untill it can fetch
    all the data it needs before it can even start executing the vertex
    shader. Why is this important? Because next gen games needs lots of
    lookup maps to look nice, which means lots of u/v coordinates and other
    data that needs to be passed to the vertex shader, ie, lots of inputs.
    In RSX's case, that means gpu stalls. This is the RSX's well known
    achiles heel and is well documented. The only known work around at the
    moment is to use the cell spu's as another 'gpu', in this case a
    culling gpu, to limit the number of verts actually sent to the RSX.
    Whether or not RSX+SPU culling will help PS3 meet or exceed xenon's gpu
    performance isn't known at this point."

    "You don't think no msaa with floating point buffers isn't a huge
    limitation? There are other color spaces, but they are useless to me. I
    don't need 8/8/8/8 int. I need 8/8/8/8 float. In RSX's case you have no
    choice but to use FP16 (16/16/16/16), compared to FP8 on xenon. So you
    are forced to move around twice the memory on RSX if you want a
    floating point buffer, which means less framerate. Just try it! I'll
    assume your a game dev. Switch your PS3 game from FP16 to an 8/8/8/8
    int format and see your framerate jump. Of course, you'll have to forgo
    HDR on your shipping title, but you can then do msaa. Or, go back to
    FP16 since HDR looks so cool, but oh ya, you then have to turn off
    msaa. I just don't have these headaches on 360, but I have to deal with
    them PS3."


    sounds like he knows what he is talking about and is not bullshitting.
    everything he is saying fits well with what other developers have been
    saying for many months, even a year or more.
    AirRaid Mach 2.5, Dec 28, 2006
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  2. Isn't this EXACTLY what has been repeatedly pointed out by various

    Sony have concentrated specifically on the power of the Cell because A)
    They know the RSX is not all that and B) it allows them to use big
    bloated numbers to market the thing.

    All that it comes down to is that the PS3 is EQUAL in MOST senses to
    the 360, as an overall system. HArder to program, more difficult to
    tap, and the first batch of games demonstrate that aptly.
    Sammy Muttonhead, Dec 28, 2006
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  3. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Android Guest

    The relative power of a video game system has *never* been the determining
    factor for sales during the past 30 years of gaming.

    Atari 2600 vs. Intellivision vs. Odyssey 2
    More powerful: Intellivision
    Sales Winner: Atari 2600

    GameBoy vs. Lynx vs. Game Gear
    More powerful: Lynx
    Sales Winner: GameBoy

    Nintendo NES vs. Atari XEGS vs. Sega Master System
    More powerful: XEGS
    Sales Winner: NES

    Nintendo SNES vs. Sega Genesis/Sega 32X/Sega CD
    More powerful: Sega CD
    Sales Winner: SNES

    PlayStation vs. Nintendo 64 vs. Atari Jaguar vs. Sega Saturn
    More powerful: Nintendo 64
    Sales Winner: PlayStation

    PlayStation 2 vs. Xbox vs. GameCube vs. Dreamcast
    More powerful: Xbox
    Sales Winner: PlayStation 2

    Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP
    More powerful: PSP
    Sales Winner (so far): DS

    Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 vs. Nintendo Wii
    More powerful: Some say PS3, some say 360, some say 360 and PS3 are equal
    Sales Winner: ? ? ?
    (in North America, the PS3 and Wii sold out of their initial shipments, with
    Wii selling more than PS3, but both trailing the 360)
    (in Japan, the 360 is behind PS3 and Wii, despite having launched first)
    (in Europe, the PS3 is not yet available)
    Android, Dec 28, 2006
  4. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Paul Heslop Guest

    I still think it's a fear thing. Sad little people who have bought
    into something in such a big way they are scared their chosen system
    will crash and burn so they have to keep attacking the others or
    bigging up their chosen one.

    I used to think the dust would settle after a while and these groups
    would be about gaming, but the fanboy factions just can't see past
    their joypads.
    Paul Heslop, Dec 28, 2006
  5. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Roller Guest

    You're an idot. This is over 6 months old from that lazy programmer. This
    has been known for over a year. He mentions to use the SPU but he's too
    lazy. He talks about other workarounds, but he's too lazy. It's one thing
    to be an idiot like AirRaid, it's another to be an idot fanboy.

    Did you read the reviews for Fight Night or Madden? Have you played the demo
    of MotorStorm? It' release in Japan is even improved. You are seeing 1st gen
    games on PS3 and it will be better. It's obvious Sony went with a lowercost
    GPU because MS has all the money can crush most any company including all
    game companys but with all the Xbox losses, their shareholders want to see a
    profit from MS this round.
    Roller, Dec 29, 2006
  6. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Tom Lake Guest

    My son has a PS, PS2, XBOX, XBOX 360, DS, Game Boy Advance,
    Gamecube, and a Wii. The only one I actually enjoy playing is the Wii. I love
    the Wiimote. I don't care that the 360 has better graphics. I enjoy the game
    play of the Wii much more. I also have a Mii that looks just like me. But cute.

    Tom Lake
    Tom Lake, Dec 29, 2006
  7. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Tomcat (Tom) Guest

    You're right it hasn't, but I can't recall when a console has been
    boasted as such a superior pixel pusher as the PS3. The PS3 marketing
    strategy has been based around its supposed greatly superior processing
    power and if word starts to get around that it isn't as powerful as the
    hype Sony was trying to sell, then the whole imagine of the console and
    Sony will suffer. In fact it's already starting to happen as reputable
    news sources give it negative reviews because it hasn't lived up to
    Tomcat (Tom), Dec 29, 2006
  8. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    RMZ Guest

    Sony put all their focus into the cell processor, it may be "bleeding
    edge", but how much better than the 360 is yet to be determined. The
    first run games look no better than 360 titles. The processing power
    alone is nothing without a quality real-time rendering engine to
    utilize that power. It's up to Sony to meet that challenge and give
    developers the tools to tap into the power of the PS3, so far it sounds
    like they have not. That will be a challenge for them, because it takes
    some really brilliant minds to push the envelope with 3D engine
    technology and in order to do that the engineers must first fully
    understand the hardware.

    But In a recent interview one Playstation representative said
    "developers will never fully tap the power of the PS3...", with that
    comment I'm thinking. great, then you'll never need a PS4. There's a
    lot of this kind of arrogant, bullshit talk coming out of Sony Computer
    Entertainment these days.

    PS3 will continue to be unimpressive. XBox 360 and Wii will steal a lot
    of Sony's market share over the next few years. Assuming Sony survives
    all their mistakes with PS3 (wouldn't be surprised if the company is
    done for by 2008 with their PS3 mistakes). At best Sony will share
    equal space at the top, PS3 will never hold a #1 spot as the PSOne and
    PS2 have.
    RMZ, Dec 29, 2006

  9. Did you mean the 360 was trailing???
    Brenden D. Chase, Dec 29, 2006
  10. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    GT-Force Guest

    GT-Force, Dec 29, 2006
  11. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Paul Heslop Guest

    But the fanboys would use that as a stick, doesn't matter how exact it
    is, as long as it backs up their arguments. Pity some of them can't
    spend more time playing and less time searching for tidbits on the
    net. (Note is used the tidbits spelling in case any of them got any
    funny ideas and we had to put up with shaky writing?)
    Paul Heslop, Dec 29, 2006
  12. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Roger Guest

    Didn't one of the computing magazines recently say that PC gaming
    systems had finally passed consoles in sales?
    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    Roger, Dec 29, 2006
  13. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Tomcat (Tom) Guest

    Also, if I'm reading the article right, it looks like it's only
    Japanese sales that are being reported. Everybody knows sales in Japan
    for the Wii and PS3, especially sales shortly after launch, are going
    to be much higher than the 360.
    Tomcat (Tom), Dec 29, 2006
  14. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    CroduXman Guest

    You're an idot. This is over 6 months old from that lazy programmer.
    And I guess you are lazy to erase some text when you reply?
    CroduXman, Dec 29, 2006
  15. Oh look, Paul Floppyflop jumping into yet another flamewar.
    What a surprise.
    Sammus McMouldenus, Dec 29, 2006
  16. Sammus McMouldenus, Dec 29, 2006
  17. Wasn't that the point of the Cell architecture? He sounds like a bit of
    a whiner.
    Quiet Desperation, Dec 29, 2006
  18. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Unmutual Guest

    I agree that it hasn't been the determining factor. However, the 360
    also has a current sales lead, cheaper price point and better games at
    the moment. Sony is losing exclusives fast and the major 'system
    sellers' (Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy) are all still
    some way off. They definitely still have the image lead with the average
    man in the street.....but I'm not sure they're going to be buying a PS3
    until the price drops.
    Unmutual, Dec 29, 2006
  19. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Unmutual Guest

    It only shows pre-christmas sales in Japan!!
    Unmutual, Dec 29, 2006
  20. AirRaid Mach 2.5

    Unmutual Guest

    He was just talking about the respective GPU's. His workarounds don't
    use the GPU.
    Unmutual, Dec 29, 2006
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