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Opinion: Is the GPU holding the PS3 back?


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329w ago - Self-proclaimed veteran games industry marketer, Bruce Everiss, believes Sony's GPU is holding back the console and that it has made it a less powerful gaming machine than the Xbox 360.

Everiss uses a quote from Richard Huddy of ATI to back up the claim: "I think Xbox 360 technology is likely to outperform PlayStation 3 technology by a pretty healthy margin in the long run. It looks like the GPU is holding the PS3 back."

To quote: For the PS3 Sony wanted to have a technology advantage so they developed, in conjunction with Toshiba and IBM, the Cell processor. A clean sheet design with many innovations this took $400 million and four years to develop.

The intention was to use two of these in the PS3, one as CPU and one as GPU. However at the last minute Sony realised that the Cell GPU wasn't up to the job so they went to nVidia and bought their 7800GTX GPU. This gave them a number of disadvantages:

* It wasn't designed or optimised as a console GPU. It was designed and optimised as a PC GPU.
* The whole architecture of the console was compromised by the last minute change.
* The 7800GTX has less raw processing power than the Microsoft Xbox 360 GPU.



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rager1969's Avatar
#5 - rager1969 - 329w ago
Quote Originally Posted by talruum View Post
programmers still have problems with threads. noone is using full potential yet.

okey, 360 can runs almost games at 1080, but the physics are crap.

6 spus running in parallel can provide more power than we can imagine today. if ps3 will have a long life, someday sony can manage to make another spu work together with gpu, leaving 5 for game, pumping graphics, missing in another sides...

From what I've read, it's my understanding that:

a) Developing multi-threaded games is very difficult because of problems with predictive branching (you can't effectively split some tasks among multiple SPEs because the results of one piece may invalidate work being done on the other SPEs)

b) There is a little less flexibility on the memory architecture of the PS3. The PS3 has 256 MB of system and 256 MB of video memory, while the 360 shares 512 MB between the two. While both systems have a combined 512 MB of system and graphics memory, if the 360 doesn't need as much memory for the system, the rest can be used for graphic textures

c) The 360 employs some texture compression that allows for bigger textures with the same amount of memory space and a bump in throughput, as well.


I believe there a few other areas that supposedly give the 360 some advantages, but those are the three biggies - (plus the supposedly better/easier SDK).

That said, I've seen some really impressive games for the PS3 which makes me wonder the validity of the above.

talruum's Avatar
#4 - talruum - 329w ago
programmers still have problems with threads. noone is using full potential yet.

okey, 360 can runs almost games at 1080, but the physics are crap.

6 spus running in parallel can provide more power than we can imagine today. if ps3 will have a long life, someday sony can manage to make another spu work together with gpu, leaving 5 for game, pumping graphics, missing in another sides...

mrmiller24's Avatar
#3 - mrmiller24 - 329w ago
this article is abit confusing.. the microsoft's gpu that is suggested that is more powerful than the ps3 rsx chip is the sole cause of the amout of failed 360's. they wouldnt have put two chips into the system as that would have bumped the price up even more and made the price completely unreasonable.

i just think this article is misdirected as the 360 is currently running at maxium potential and we have been promised that games have only tapped into 20-30% of this potential.

mrhawk's Avatar
#2 - mrhawk - 329w ago
I belive the problems are the bottle necks the ps3 has, almight Cell with "poor" GPU (cell should assist at rendering?), 256+256 memory (many developers struggle here), blu-ray x2 read speeds(installs?).

Maybe there are others, maybe there are none and just bad use of the specs.

hellotonothing's Avatar
#1 - hellotonothing - 329w ago
I think firmware updates will do the job.. its kinda hard to say which is better now, cuz at least i cant find any major differences on games that are released for both systems.. maybe a benchmark would help proving this ! its wait and see

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