277w ago - Last we heard, it was still up in the air somewhat as to whether upcoming PlayStation 3 consoles would house the elusive 65-nanometer RSX graphics processor.
According to couch21, a curious buyer of Sony's newest 80GB unit, there is a smidgen of data that hints at a 65nm chip actually being under the hood. By using the oh-so-scientific Kill-A-Watt, he discovered that his older 40GB PS3 sucked down 125.8-watts when idle, while the fresh 80GB edition ate up just 111.9-watts.
The findings were similar when looking at power draw during DVD playback and while spinning Metal Gear Solid 4. Unfortunately, this mighty fine fellow is planning to return the new unit after being disappointed by the minimal energy savings, so he's not apt to rip the thing open and prove once and for all what kind of GPU is in there.
Meanwhile, we heartily suggest that someone do just that and put this question to bed.
287w 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.
315w ago - CNLohr shared this video of the recent PS3 Linux 3D Graphics access progress. This is an example of code running on Linux, under the hypervisor talking to the Nvidia RSX (video card) on the PlayStation 3. This is done entirely without proprietary drivers.
Shown is 3 animated quads, drawn in immediate mode as well as a series of triangles in the background drawn using an index buffer. This demo is a modified version of IronPeter's libps3rsx running via patched 2.6.24 experimental, unofficial kernel on Gentoo Linux.
Until recently, not enough was known about how to use the RSX to make any headway to usable, free access to the 3D contexts on the GPU on the PS3. With some work, homebrew developers may soon be able to write their own 3D applications.