Bungie: Halo games "grossly under-utilised" Xbox 360 CPU

OXM UK: "Bungie's work on "future proofing" its new multiplatform game engine has allowed it to squeeze more juice out of the Xbox 360, according to senior graphics engineer Hao Chen."

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marison2271d ago (Edited 2271d ago )

I would like to know if any exclusive game used procedural synthesis of geometry.

The Xbox 360 CPU could create or modify geometry on-the-fly using the L2 cache as a buffer to the GPU. A percentage of the L2 cache could be blocked for that function, not interfering in that way with the rest of CPU functions.

I think this is a way to use more one of the powerful aspects of the Xenon GPU, your triangle texturization ability and shading, increasing the fidelity of the scenes.

Bundi2271d ago

None of that made any sense to me.
This is pretty much how you made me feel http://www.luisescobarblog....

marison2271d ago (Edited 2271d ago )

You should read:
Inside the Xbox 360, part I: procedural synthesis and dynamic worlds

In other words: the Xbox 360 CPU could create all vertex of a geometry composition on the fly and pump that to the GPU using a ultraspeed channel.


Bundi2271d ago

Got nothing to do with your English, just my technical ineptness

gamingdroid2271d ago


I agree with Bundi here... it isn't your English, but the technical content.

marison2271d ago

Read the article on my second post. It's very useful to understand that Xenon CPU is a beautiful thing for the gaming needs of a console.

LostDjinn2271d ago (Edited 2271d ago )

I'm going to have to call BS marison.

It is indeed possible to generate geometry on CPUs and an unmodified Xenon could do it (with a reasonable FSB array) to a certain degree. The problem lies in the fact that MS removed any ability coders had to access Xenons' SRAM. They filled it with Bitlocker. Which means the internal bandwidth of the Xenon is only as great as the FSB array (21.6gb/s. 10.8 gb/s each way) will allow (No local Load/Store means it's all limited to the speed of the FSB).

As such the memory required to decompress the rudimentary geometry comes straight from the system memory pool and drains the FSB bandwidth to boot. That sort of negates any benefit to memory management you might gain from handling the geo this way on the 360. The L2 cache wont help either as it's effectively the start and end point of the cycle (when partitioned off for use this way) until the geo is complete and passed to the Xenos.

When you add to this that using the DX9 toolset limits your CPU register use to just 4 (DX9 only recognizes that many). On a CPU with 6. A much simpler method of extracting more power from the chip becomes obvious.

Code in OpenGL.

More power with fewer compromises. Even on the pass through system MS has turned Xenon into.

marison2271d ago


Do not call BS so soon. But you could call later...

Before anything, I do not so sure if procedural synthesis was used or it's avaiable in the present by a API call or something.

Coders do not have to access SRAM directly if they could only produce geometry from RAM data and use API calls to store them for the GPU to consume.

Geometry could be a monstruous RAM user, but if used properly, procedural synthesis could change RAM use to a minimum amount, using more CPU instead.

Imagine this:
They use a simple circle on RAM to be transformed on various polygons. The RAM use could be:
2 bytes to circle radius.
2 bytes to X coordinate.
2 bytes to Y coordinate.
2 bytes to Z coordinate.

Transformed to 16 triangles, will be per triangle:
4 bytes to X coordinate.
4 bytes to Y coordinate.
4 bytes to z buffer.

Circle as high order primitive: 8 bytes.
Triangles to feed GPU directly: 576 bytes.

You could use CPU to transform primitives, changing circle to elipses, using 3D primitives. Anything could be useful. Only is needed analyse the tradeoffs: CPU/RAM/Bandwidth.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2271d ago
otherZinc2271d ago

I dont care what Bungie says; they wont be able to make a big co-op game like Halo unless they do it on next gen platforms. The PS3 with limited RAM cant do a game like Halo in co-op through a sandbox style of play.

I know I'll be hated on, but Bungie wont release a co-op game the way they want, This Gen! You can bet on that!

3GenGames2271d ago

I don't really like the idea of Halo adding too much though. It did under-utilize the CPU (And did it wrong sometimes, like when using the HDD as a cache when loading and making on-HDD maps load _SLOW_) but still, one thing you can't say they didn't do is produce a great game with Halo 3 and get everything right with it. Halo reach, ehh, I'm not a big fan, but they make good games. Under-utilize it all you want, I don't care, just make good games. If I wanted the best utilization of the CPU I'd just jump onto BF3 and call it done.

gamingdroid2271d ago

In Bungie's defense, the decision to use the HDD as a cache for faster map loading was prior to Xbox 360 introducing the installation feature that is causing the problem.

How could Bungie possibly guess what features MS would introduce in the future?

BF3 was also intentionally under-utilized on the Xbox 360 unfortunately to favor the PS3 version.

3GenGames2271d ago

While I agree, Microsoft knew to not let them do that but they let them slip because it was a 1st-party company and that hurt. Although IMO they just need to compress them better instead as H3's maps shouldn't take more than 10 seconds on the 360. The only excuse IMO is bad coding and compression. I wonder if they were even compressed.... :P

galmi2271d ago

okay, then utilize the cpu more

richierich2271d ago

I think they also grossly under utilised the GPU too Halo 3 was one of the jaggiest games Ive played this gen. Surely they could have added anti-alaising

just_looken2271d ago

dont 4get reach/odst it seemed like gow2/halo3 tapped out 360 also i like to add the hdd recruitment for halo reach remember get a hdd for halo 4.

gamingdroid2271d ago

What HDD requirement for Halo: Reach?

MorbidPorpoise2271d ago

Lol OXM - ''The former Microsoft studio is working on an unannounced new IP for EA Partners.''

dirigiblebill2271d ago

/hangs head

Confused Bungie with Insomniac, I admit.

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