Sony Cell and 360 CPU are Equals

While fans of the Playstation 3 love to talk about the power of the Cell processor, according to the leading man behind both (PS3 and 360) system's CPU's, they are equals!

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
dan881233462d ago ShowReplies(59)
Playa79703462d ago

Hmm 8 Cores...or 3 Cores.... yea that sounds very equal...ok example here, soo your telling me that 3 core AMD is as powerful as a intel Quad core stupid article

xwabbit3462d ago

I know, that's y i stayed with dual core cus it was the same as quad core ..... "Sarcasm"

JOLLY13462d ago

8 cores-1 for os means 7 cores... or (3) dual cores (that mean 2 cores) that means 6 core. Those are actually processors, not supplementary processors.

Elven63462d ago

....the CELL doesn't have 8 cores to begin with! And the architecture is different, nothing transitions across those processors 1:1.

drewdrakes3462d ago

Wow i accidentally agreed with you. Do you understand what Hyper Threading is? Look it up. Your CPU uses it everyday and it greatly improves performance.

altimako023462d ago

most newer core 2 duos are more powerful than most amd quads. all I can say is more dosent alyways mean better. and I guess the man who worked on both processors dont know as much as you DA fanboys.

40cal3462d ago

"I think they are fairly equal. The interesting thing is that the PowerPC that's common in both is used in completely different ways. If you look at the CPU chip for the 360 and PS3, and the programming models and architecture, they came up with completely different solutions. And yet they use this same common core."

The only thing this guy said is that they share a common core. The Cell is and has always outperformed the Xenon.

Xbox 360 - 115.2 GB/s theoretical peak performance

Playstation - 204.8 GB/s theoretical peak performance

Those are the numbers from IBM.

krouse933462d ago

What are you even talking about of Course the Cell has 8 Cores Toshiba and Sony developed it and it has 8 Cores.

what i find ironic though is that Toshiba and SOny Competed on HD DVD and Blu Ray but they Both Worked Together with IBM on the CELL and if you Open up the PS3 Controller the Chip inside it even Has Toshiba On it it Doesn't really make much sense to me but what even i think Toshiba and Sony should Just merge and Create a Super Powerful Company.

xwabbit3462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

lol your r truly a fan boy. Your so blind to see what people wrote. Some 1 bashing any console ? No, Second some 1 above 6th grade would be smart enough to know that having 7 cores if a lot better than having 2 cores because they can run diff things at the same time. Y do u think killzone 2 can have all those light effects ? You call fan boy to any 1 who doesn't agree with u about the 360, now that's being a fan boy. I have looked at ur comments and u obviously love your box. SO go back to Bill's arms. BTW what new core 2 duos are you talking about ? because from what i know. They stopped making newer core 2 duos when they released core 2 extreme then came quad core, then they went to i7.

altimako023462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

look up the info for games before you make an uneducated kindergarten comment. intels core 2 duos do consistently outperform amds quads. so more cores dont always make it better, even at the same clock speeds. so your kindegarden education has served you very well.e8400 e8500 outperform most amd quads

xwabbit3462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

When did i say anything about that lol ? When did i talk about amd quads ? when did i say that some core 2 duos didn't outperform some amd's quad cores? Some people r just 2 smart this days

Pennywise3462d ago

@altimako......... Do you realise how dumb it is to say something as mean and bold as: “your an idiot” and not spell you're right?

Anyways people can preach all night about sales and metacritic.... I want to hear about the GAMES.

altimako023462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

your   /yʊər, yɔr, yoʊr; unstressed yər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [yoor, yawr, yohr; unstressed yer] Show IPA Pronunciation

–pronoun 1. (a form of the possessive case of you used as an attributive adjective): Your jacket is in that closet. I like your idea. Compare yours.
2. one's (used to indicate that one belonging to oneself or to any person): The consulate is your best source of information. As you go down the hill, the library is on your left.
3. (used informally to indicate all members of a group, occupation, etc., or things of a particular type): Take your factory worker, for instance. Your power brakes don't need that much servicing. AND BUY THE WAY IM NOT A 360 FANBOY BECAUSE ALL I HAVE IS A PC

Ju3462d ago

8 cores... Well, 8 SPUs, 1 disabled, 1 OS, 1 PPU. What I haven't figured out yet, why the Xenon can refer to 2 HW threads and then simply multiply the cores by two, while the CELL using the same powerpc core can't. Or can it. So, what, means the CELL has two ppu cores, too. No ?

As far what I read, the core was the exact same for the CELL and the Xenon, except the VMX units. But I haven't seen anything which says Xenon has hyperthreading and CELL (PPU) does not. In fact, both do issue two instructions in parallel. Haven't seen any details, though. Some say it must be integer + float, but not two ints. So, 6 HW threads on the 360 only if the compiler can generate code (optimizes instructions in a way they can be reordered and issued in parallel). If it can't, no 6 threads. CELL: 6 HW vector units (no matter how bad the compiler is - unless you feed scalar code into the SPU), plus a hyper threaded scalar core. I also would like to know the raw vector performance compared between (Xenon) VMX core and SPU. SPU ISA was designed from scratch, and had all bottlenecks removed. It also can operate in SRAM and can issues full bandwidth waterfall DMA within the CELL using the EIB only (no RAM access).

I don't know. I just can't see how the Xenon can keep up. But I don't know enough about this in a real world case, to be honest.

uxo223462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

It is unbelievably amazing how much knowledge your typical gamers on N4G has, yet they sit at home playing on the PS3s, 360s, and Wiis.

Here we have a man that is directly involved in the technology, of both the Cell and 360 processors (According to the article). Yet these brilliant gamers on N4G call him a liar that doesn't know what he is talking about. Some people even go as far as to tell you what the article is talking about clearly without that information being given. Wow, incredible intelligence.

The funny thing is, two comments later you read the same gamers telling a friend that they are only going to be able to buy one game this month because they can't afford the 120 bucks to buy two.

With the knowledge they possess one would think that they would be somewhere creating new CPU technology.


SkyGamer3461d ago (Edited 3461d ago )

the cell is NOT 8 cores! It is a single core power pc chip with 8 spe's (not cores), one which is disables for more yield and another is used by the system os so in general they have one power pc core with 6 spe's to work with. The Xenos has three identical cores with DUAL THREADING EACH CORE which is essentially 6 PROCESSORS at work with more memory to transfer the data. So now you have more even horsepower although the cell has a little more power. The Xenos has better general purpose power as the cell has more floating point power.

I mean if the cell was all that and a bag of potato chips, why hasn't IBM make PC's or macs out of the cell? Why hasn't Toshiba place them in their electronics? Just some food for thought.
Kind of like the new battle between Core i7 and the Phenom 2.

Ju3461d ago

I think the main reason why Apple doesn't use this chip is because IBM ditched OOE. But I doubt they would have used the CELL, more likely a version like the Xenons with multiple cores.

But why are the SPUs no cores ? Well, they got no memory controller, like the ppu, and don't map the system ram into their address space, and they got no cache logic. They got a sophisticated DMA system though and they can issue transfers on their own without the PPU involved, they can run on a full 32 address space, though (AFAIK, its 32 bit addressing). Pretty much looks like a CPU core to me, heck, I have simply run a common C code thru the spu-gcc and that runs on an SPU - incl. C runtime lib (well, it was a scalar png decoder - not even vectorized). I don't know why it wouldn't qualify as a fully functioning cpu if it can run code designed for a standard cpu.

Not coherent cores, sure, and thus not like a traditional multi core processor. BTW, and even if you say, it has only 6 usable SPUs, there's still a PPU in there.

And I stick to my question. I am serious about this. I have not read anything which states the hyperthreading in the CELLs PPU is any different then the hyperthreading in the Xenon. If there is, maybe someone can point me to that source. But it raises the question for me, why is the Xenon fully 6 HW threads, but the PPU in the CELL is not 2 ?

BTW, one more. I don't think people say Shippy is a liar. He certainly is not. He knows his stuff for sure (and more). He might even be right. I just don't think he is seeing the whole picture.

AAACE53461d ago

You are basing your opinion off of general PC knowledge, which applies, but not entirely. PC processors are made so they can fit in almost any PC. A processor for a console is like those, but is custom made to whatever specs the company wants, in order to draw out power and handle the different functions that will be the main DNA of the console.

Consoldtobots3461d ago

very interesting posts Ju, I had my suspicions about the Cell's EIB being crucial to achieving real time rendering speeds through and SPU pipeline. The question is wether this is a consecutive or concurrent pipeline meaning you could have two SPU's rendering the scene and the next two doing post processing. There's really all sorts of ways you can go with this and thats without even handing off to the RSX's internal shaders and vector cores. A properly designed engine utilizing both the Cell's and RSX's shading,lighting,vector processing can produce visuals we have yet to see. This is what took Guerilla 4 years to perfect to a playable and presentable form. The exciting part is the room for optimization is as high as the sky.

NOTHING AND NO ONE is touching the Cell for quite sometime, get used to it fanboys.

edgeofblade3461d ago

First, that's seven cores... the chips that come off with eight working cores go to aerospace and medical equipment.

Second, could you possibly believe that 7 vastly slower cores COULD as a whole be slower than 3 faster cores? 7 might be bigger than 3... until you multiply them by their actual clock speeds.

I'm not saying that's true or not... I don't know the actual clock speeds for each core... but don't try and talk about what you don't know.

N4g_null3461d ago

@40cal do you even know what that performance can be used for?

I mean that's a big number right? If the PS3 is that much more powerful then why has it not really out preformed the xbox 360 with multiplatform games?

Seriously you should excuse some thing just because it's new or different. If it can't get the job done in two years some thing is wrong. I mean find our what people use floating point performance for before you hand over the crown as most powerful.

To save you some head ache it is used for security, and web servers mostly to stream stuff. Now if you think a web serve even has a chance at beating the 360 then put your money where your mouth is.

Now blue ray needs both of these- Security so the torrent kids don't hack it and streaming data slowly and sequentially off a large optical disk.

Another thing is find out how many Gflops are in most video cards along.... You will see the cell is really out preformed.

Oyeah IBM was paid to make this chip, yes it cost a lot of money but this is what SONY wanted. Had IBM had more of a say so the chip would have been better yet would have cost even more.

DaTruth3461d ago

"Bu, bu, bu, but, teh multiplatform gamez!""

Electricear3461d ago

Has a total of 9 cores on it. 1 PPE core, and 8 SPE cores. All PS3's use only 7 of the SPE cores because it allowed for higher yields for the console market, which ultimately reduces the price of the cell processors used in the PS3. PS3's have a total of 8 cores 1 PPE and 7 SPE. A SPE is a core as it can process specific tasks given to it; however, it is not a general purpose core like the PPE unit. Just because a SPE is not a general purpose core does not mean it isn't a core at all as some people seem to be trying to suggest. I hope this helps clarify why people are saying the PS3 has 8 cores in it.

40cal3461d ago

"If the PS3 is that much more powerful then why has it not really out preformed the xbox 360 with multiplatform games?"

HaHaHaHa, did you really just ask that? Come on bro, multiplatform games are made for, you guessed it, multiple platforms. Devs would have to put the development time in to get the extra performance out of the cell. And if they did that, then we would have more 3rd party exclusives only possible on the PS3.

You can go to a vast number of sources to get performance test results out of these two chips. The cell just outperforms the Xeon. You can start at IBMs site.

olivia3461d ago

lol lmao 3 plus years and the best the 360 as is gears 1 and 2 with way easier to develop for system
lmao funny how just two days till killzone2 gets release world wide sh*t news like this comes up

N4g_null3461d ago (Edited 3461d ago )

@40cal.... Then why are Core duos in Apple laptop right now? Do you even know what you are talking about? Apple only put the best in their systems.

Those cell PC you speak of have opterons in them, Yep go look them up... the opterons are there for general purpose code LOL. Also every one knows opteron where AMD's last stand for chip market in servers.

Try running crysis on that system and then get back to me ok? What is funny is each platform has it's own library of compilers you can optimize for different code or build the code for different set ups. The truth is PS3 can not handle 360 code at all because SONY though it was smart to hype a blu ray encoder LOL rather than a CPU that could actually get the job done.

Every CPU that has came out preformed the way it was suppose to with in two years time... The fact that you guys are waiting for the cell to get better is hilarious. Keep on hoping but the hype will kill your system. Remember the xbox 360 has a whole extra processor that developer can not use because of MS. Then on top of this only art choices will be the thing that makes each game different now.... the ceiling has pretty much been reached... just go look at PC GPU cards from 6 years ago... your console lacks ram no matter how fast it is!

I don't remember any one saying the SPE where not a core... yet they are not well suited for gaming code or graphics as in the kind that run in modern games.

You can say the core are general purpose but that does not mean they will run the code any better. No type of coding can replace stuff like branch prediction. This is why intel consistently kills lots of developers of chips. Their kit was so good that it simple had what it needed in the cache with out dumping and having to re-read a certain memory address. If you do that a 1,000 times that adds up to a way faster speed.

Then on top of that you don't really have enough to do real coding on the cells cache. Some thing like this would have been great for PS2 ear graphics yet the HD stuff need way more.

Their are a number of Cores and extra processing units that where added to chips to make them more powerful but none of those chips out did or replaced the true core of the general CPU chip.

By the standards of the PS3 fans the Cell could easly be put into the PSP right? The Cell should be able to out do an arm processor right? Why hasn't SONY done this? Will the PSP2 have a cell in it?

Or better yet why hasn't SONY released a PC GPU with the cell on it for me to buy since it is so powerful? I mean seriously they need the money and I would happily go and pick up one.

So if the cell is so powerful why is it not competing with the current chips on the market? Why has it not be incorporated into PC parts? This is a potential revenue stream SONY is missing?

Maybe the answer is that the cell was a great idea that was not executed as well as it should have been. The cell was suppose to be the HD4780 or Nvidia new chip with less ram. this is why I say if the next playstation does come out maybe they can actually do the name justice, yet MS is sure to use the same idea since they actually make graphics API for this type of tech.

The cell was a good try but it's flawed to the point it will never out shine the 360 in most multi-platform games. You can move your code and write it differently all you want but you will never get what the fans are believing the PS3 can do.

I am glad people are impressed with killzone2 but what if you don't see any more games that go higher than this game? At that point hype will kill your system as it did PC gaming...... So be careful what you hype!

Shepherd 2143461d ago

oohhh well look at this, you guys must be programmers and game devs to really know which CPU is better, right? i mean you just know because you favor a console over the other huh? Bunch of retards

40cal3461d ago

Way to go way out into left field buddy. Its real simple bro, the test have been done, the results are in, and the Cell is more powerful then the Xenon.

I am going to choose to believe IBMs test results that place the Cell at almost twice as fast as the Xenon.

Either way bro I really don't care, I was just stating the results of the research that someone else did.

popup3461d ago

I refuse to get involved in this but some people are spouting an awful lot of waffle. Many struggle to push the spell check button let alone know what they are typing about. My advice, don't read crap articles that have no detail in them even if they are written by 'experts'. Go find the answers yourselves...

+ Show (26) more repliesLast reply 3461d ago
dan881233462d ago

He said they were fairly equal, he didn't say they were equal.

Powertesties3462d ago

That tomato is red and someone else saying that tomato is pink. Funny. I equal and fairly equal is within the same ballpark.

I do think you guys have a good point. How can more cores equal the same power? Dave (the IBM guy) must be looking at the independent features of each CPU and coming up with his statement.

Interesting none-the-less!

Carbide73462d ago

Umm yeah. It's so misleading, I mean they wished that the 360 was right up there with the ps3 in terms of raw processing power, but it's not. They need to face it

Cell = 4-5 times faster than 2xQUAD CPU single percision

Xi3462d ago

hyper threading, clock speeds, even position with one another can all speed up a system.

Kleptic3462d ago

the article is taking the architecture of the two chips out of context...period...

he is referring to the PowerPC based core of the 360 and Cell CPUs...and that they are fairly equal, but designed to do different things...

that is irrelevant to the SPE's of the cell...there is not one shred of evidence showing the 360's CPU being able to crunch calculations like that of the Cell...they are both pretty equal at base code sets, as they share the same PPE...

what this guy is saying is that the PPE of each processor is nearly identical...however the Xenos processor lacks the 7 SPE's of the Cell...while the two processes are nearly identical at general purpose code, the Cell will absolutely murder it at specific calculations...

not the best place for info, but half way down the page under the descriptions of the PPE's, it clearly shows what this guy is referring to...and it has nothing to do with the processors overall...

remember...40% of a single killzone 2 frame was said to be rendered entirely by the Cell processor at any given time; confirmed by the tech director at GG...the CPU in the PS3 is a beast at specific tasks...but pretty normal at base instruction sets...

MNicholas3462d ago

He said the PowerPC cores are fairly equal. The Cell chip has been shown (by IBM) to massively outperform the Xenon chip.

This article is meant to create controversy and confusion. How did it make it to N4G?

phosphor1123461d ago

"This article is meant to create controversy and confusion. How did it make it to N4G?"

Reread the first part of your statement.."This article is meant to create controversy and confusion."

Thats how.

cherrypie3461d ago


Who is this "They"? What do "they need to face"?

Your ARGUINING against a man who was the lead designer on BOTH projects? What *the heck* are you talking about?

He's not the marketing department at Sony, he's an Engineer at IBM. What is your malfunction?

He knows what the hell he's talking about.

DaTruth3461d ago

LOL!!! That's what "THEY" want you to believe!

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3461d ago
TheHater3462d ago

Let the games do the talking.

ThatCanadianGuy3462d ago

Wow..that was the most incredibly informative paragraph i've ever seen...

""I think they are fairly equal. The interesting thing is that the PowerPC that's common in both is used in completely different ways. If you look at the CPU chip for the 360 and PS3, and the programming models and architecture, they came up with completely different solutions. And yet they use this same common core."

Man..i wish i knew about this before...this is seriously high-tech stuff...


morganfell3462d ago (Edited 3462d ago )

I would comment also but I am too busy snickering. As soon as developers grasped the PS3 architecture and parallel processing, any sort of equality went out the window.

It is laughable as we enter the first season of the PS3 stretching it's legs and beginning to EASILY out perform the 360, the MS backers will grasp at any blade of grass as they head over the inevitable cliff.

Multiplatform titles are the last hope 360 fans have left and fairly soon developers will stop crippling the PS3 versions of such games for the idiotic sake of equality.