HD problems in Xbox 360 and PS3

Zenji Nishikawa has uploaded the latest issue of his article series about 3D game technologies. The subject of this article is the concern about sub-HD rendering in the next-gen consoles. It also contains anonymous developers' quotes, all of which has been translated by One.

* The RAM bandwidth of Xbox 360 GPU is almost equal to RADEON X1600 XT and shared with CPU by UMA.
* Without the eDRAM pixel processor doing 4xMSAA, the fillrate of the GPU core itself is 4 billion texel/sec and almost equal to GeForce 7600 GT.
* While the Xbox 360 has a 3.5 times broader bandwidth than the original Xbox, 720p pixels require a 3 times broader memory bandwidth. It leaves only 0.5 times headroom which is insufficient for multiple texture lookups by complex shaders.

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markfield3647d ago (Edited 3647d ago )

only about 0.01% of readers of this site are qualified to comment on this article (me not included of course). Look at Bioshock, look at Halo 3, etc: it's not about raw HW stats, it's about what the devs can do with it to put out a great game (case in point - Madden 08 on PS3 at 30fps, 60fps on the 360)..... so lets see the uninformed fanboy airheads roll with this tech story...

WaggleLOL3647d ago (Edited 3647d ago )

OMG, did you just use Mass Downgrade and Gaylo as two examples of games we are supposed to be impressed with?


Here's a summary of the article so you don't have to waste your time:

The Dreamcast 360 has the single worst graphics hardware ever designed for a console. It is a 480p system being forced to try to put out 720p graphics and that is why 360 games look so bad, have horrid/unstable framerates, jaggies everywhere, and neverending texture filtering problems.

There is only 10 megs of EDRAM for 360 games to fit their frame buffers into. A 4xAA 480p framebuffer fits perfectly, a 720p does not. Microsoft was dumb enough to build their graphics system with only enough memory for 480p and decent AA.

So developers are faced with the nightmare of having to split their framebuffers up into multiple parts(tile rendering) or give up decent AA and put out bogus marketing shots with fake AA the actual games doesn't have, PGR3,Forza 2,Gears of War, and on and on.

Writing a tile based renderer is tedious and a massive pain in the ass for developers. And it hurts performance because you end up having to render twice everything that crosses tile boundaries. Almost every developer stuck doing 360 games either can't spare the performance hit for a tile renderer or don't want to waste their time with a massive rendering engine rewrite just for the 360.

A complete and utter disaster of a rendering system and a complete nightmare for developers.

Oh, yeah, and the article makes some vague attempts at claiming the PS3 has trouble handling 720p and 1080p graphics - to be fair I guess.

PS3 games:

GT Prologue - 1080p 60fps 16 cars on screen - looks a full generation ahead of every other racing game

Ridge Racer - 1080p 60fps - 360 can only handle 720p

Dirt - 1080p PS3 - 360 can only handle 720p

Lair - 1080p 30fps - and that is with a unbelievably large number of objects on screen at once with amazing levels of detail

Oh yeah, the Dreamcast 360 has that one little tennis game that they got to run at 1080p...LOL!

dantesparda3647d ago

I've been bringing up some of these issues about the 360 for a long time here. Im no developer, but i do know computers (I fix em, both hardware and sofware) and do understand alot of this stuff. And if you's want a quick and simple way of seeing what they are talking about, just put in COD2 or RSV (or just about any 360 game for that matter) and set it to 640x480 (480p) and then set it to a higher res like 1280x720 (or heck even a lower res like 1024x768) and you can clearly see, that it is being more anti-aliased (AA) at the lower-res than at the higher-res (640 does the best AA, although dont do this on a HDTV, cuz the unscaling/upconverting will only blur the picture and therefore not give you an accurate representation of what i am talking about).

I've been arguing these point here for a while on this site, that AAx4 at 1280x720 is not "free" as MS says. That's bullsh!t! i can see it for a fact with my very own eyes. And the list of inferiorities to a PC doesnt end there. If that wasnt bad enough, then theres the lack of real "trilinear-filtering" ; going on (looks more like "bri"linear to me), thats completely and utterly unacceptable in this generation! And how bout the lack of Anisotropic filtering? I've also said many times in the past how the R500 chip (that's supposedly based of the R600, because of the Unified pipes) in the 360 is far inferior to a X1900XT. But fanboys wanted to doubtd, cuz god-forbid if their beloved 360 is actually inferior to the PC. Heck the list of inferiorites goes on and on, because there is the "in-line" processing, instead of the far superior "OoOE" (out-of-order execution processing that has been used in all processors since the Pentium Pro days over 10 years ago). And the "Asynchronous" L2 Cache, instead of being the "synchronous" cache used in all processors since the Pentium II (which was also out over 10 yrs-ago). And the cache of the 360 runs at half the speed of the core, which is 3.2GHz (the core), so the cache runs at 1.6GHz. Do you know what kind of "latencies" that causes/creates?. Then if that wasnt bad enough, that 1MB of L2 cahce is "shared" amongst all 3 cores! That may be fine if they are using on 1 or 2 cores, but once you add the 3rd core into the mix/equation and you bust 2 "threads" per core. Then 1 MB becomes way too small for such tasks! And while all the fanboys are all stupid enough to think that a "shared" memory architecture is such a great thing. Its not! This is a far inferior architecture to dedicated memory of most modern day PCs (a design which has been being used in the PC for over 15 years!). That kind of architecture, "unified" [memory] is used for inferior/cheaper priced systems in the PC world. And "unified pipes, has yet to prove itself in the real world as superior to the more traditional "specialized" pipes. Yes, MS is going to tell you its better (cuz its what they got in there system) and yes ATi is going to tell you that too (they made it) and yes in theory its supposed to be better. But in the reality, its not truly proven yet. I can tell you this much with certainty. 1 "specialized" pipe, IS SUPERIOR to 1 "unifed" pipe. Its just so far, "unified" pipe cards have put more unified pipes into their cards to make up for this. And let me not even get into the "18-bit" bus from the graphics chip to the RAM (completely unacceptable!) i would never buy a graphics card like that for my PC

And the list goes on and on, but quite frankly, i am getting tired of typing, so i'll leave it there. But know that your beloved system is not the technological powerhouse that you's think it is. And btw, almost all of these issues apply to the PS3 also, so dont go thinking you's are much better

PS3n3603646d ago

mean a damn thing when you sit down and play one of many games on the 360 or PS3 that make me say "holy sh*t that looks awsome" Why do people look to specs to see what looks better. We have eyes. Alot of what the devs do is like magic or illusion. I dont care how they get there I just want to be entertained and so far its working.

dantesparda3646d ago

I agree, my post was "exhaustive", and i'll even say, not very well written. And i agree that alot of the games on these systems look good and that most of what the developers do is "magic/illusion". But you're missing the point. The point is, that the 360 is not the PC killing powerhouse that many fanboys think it is. As a matter of fact, its more equivalent to a mid-range to lower-range PC. Thats just fact! However, there are some caveats to that, like for example, even though the 360 may be inferior to the PC, it would still outperform a equally matched (or close to) PC, simply because of the fact thats its a "closed" architecture.

WafflesID3646d ago

Huh. Interesting.

I think Bioshock, GOW, GRAW, rainbow six, forza, all look pretty damn good.

Who cares. It's a console. Of course it is going to be limited in performance compared to a PC. IT DOESN'T COST AS MUCH.

WHO CARES? It is an interesting conversation if you are a developer, but...for gods sake to keep going "I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SO I TOLD YOU SO" (imagine as being said by Lewis Black) is just retarded.

dantesparda3646d ago (Edited 3646d ago )

Waffles, are you talking to me? Dont get upset. And i can put together a system for $500-600 that can outperform the 360. And for the extra money, i can do a hell of a lot more with it then with a 360

WilliamRLBaker3646d ago

except dante...its fact that with a close architecture the 360 with less can do more then the pc with more, This is a proven fact just based upon computer history, Current graphical updates to pc are lowly in the fact that with each update its...basically a 1% upgrade over the last. With consoles each jump is much bigger then the pc version equivilent.

P.S: the only time we get a more then marginal upgrade on the pc arena is when a new Open GL,and or direct x version comes out.

dantesparda3645d ago

I already said that (about the closed system thing). But the only reason why the 360 would outperform a similarly configured PC is because developers would never design a game to fully exploit the ahrdware of that PC's hardware, whereas on the 360 they sort of have to. But all in all, it could look just as good as the 360, should they develop for it,

And the reason the systems make a 2 or more fold jump, is because they come out like 5 years or more apart! you get the same jump on the PC and more in the same time span. And you get more than just 1% increase in performance from one generation of hardware to another. There is no way around it. The PC is the superior architecture and it always will be. I told you fanboys, that the PC was more powerful than the 360 when it 1st came out. An you's wouldnt listen, cuz you's are all to busy being "in love" with your systems to listen to the facts

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3645d ago
Premonition3647d ago

Developer F: As for resolution I think if it’s modest it’s OK. Since RSX in the PS3 is a shader monster, adding more information to a pixel by executing ultra-advanced shader and then antialiasing it completely must make it look more real. I’d like to give priority to the reality charged in one pixel rather than to HD resolution.

WafflesID3646d ago

Quick! Everyone put on your Helm of +12 Fanboy retardant

AllroundGamer3647d ago

"Even 2xMSAA is not required by Microsoft anymore." this is pretty sad, jaggies everywhere...

bootsielon3647d ago (Edited 3647d ago )

How about not trolling? Good.