XDR rambus on the PS3: faster is better

Many argue over the relative power put into the Playstation 3 entertainment system with out fully grasping the technology that has gone into this monumental hardware giant.

The most common issue that people take into account with the system is the seemingly small 256MB of dedicated video and 256MB of system memory.

Click the link for more the jump on what it all really means.

(video is quite long, but informative)

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Iamback3974d ago

Ok i "approved" this story but really this isnt that important.

GutZ313974d ago

Agreed, but then again it hasn't been posted, and it allows people to debate a little more.

Thank you for the approval also :)

JsonHenry3974d ago

I still hold that if they had added a unified memory architecture and used the Rambus RAM that is currently in the system that there would be no doubt as to which is the stronger of the two systems.

But that is not the case. The PS3, while having much faster system RAM compared to the 360, is unfortunately starved for RAM due only 256 megs being directly available to the CELL.

But I am not a system engineer, so what do I know? (about the same as the rest of you?)

actas1233974d ago

PS3 has 2 thats two 256 ODR memory chips, and according to the video ODR is much faster than DDR (used in 360)--------> Ps3 ram is way faster than 360 ram. And if you want to disagree don't disagree with me, instead go get a lawyer and sue Rambus.

EZCheez3974d ago

You said it all right there. What do we know?

I'm sure that a simple 512mb was an option at some point in designing the PS3. But someone smarter than all of us about designing consoles decided it would be better to split it in the way that they did. Considering the way everything else in the PS3 is designed, I'm pretty sure they not only knew what they were doing, but they were REALLY good at it.

We can argue about it until the cows come home and no one will care except us. So I guess a better question would be why do we care?

Dareaver13974d ago

because if you go to the sony official website, the ps3 has 1 256mb GDDR3 VRAM and 1 256mb XDR RAM, so some of you guys need to stop trying to change things. The XDR ram is impressive, but the GDDR3 Ram is the same as the one in the 360.... So someone should maybe sue sony for putting the wrong type of ram on their site....

LJWooly3974d ago

Jason Henry, you hit the nail right on the head, my friend. We don't know anyhitng compared to the engineers who actually made the damn thing, and the fact that they aren't on N4G arguing with the fanboys who seem to think they know better, just goes to show how little it actually means to argue about it.

I know that neither Sony or Microsoft would stand up for any of us in a fight, so why should we waste our time defending them?

JsonHenry3974d ago

I think the addition of the 7800GTS style video card in the PS3 (which means no unified memory or unified shaders) had more to do with the CELL not performing as well as the GPU as they originally intended.

Look at the new 8800-9800 cards from Nvidia. They all use a unified shader model. At the time it was just not an option for Sony. (at least not a cost or time effective option)

The CELL was originally in development as the next GPU, right? I think I remember reading that somewhere a long time ago.

Anyway, it does not matter. The PS2 was supposedly "superior" by the numbers last gen and it never showed in the video games. Even the gamecube was more powerful.

So fanboys can scream about their platform being better all they want. But I choose to look at games. And this gen the two big guns look so similiar it is not worth griping over one way or the other.

LJWooly3973d ago

I don't know, Jason. When we look at the games, the PS3 seems to actually be showing it's worth. Uncharted already started to widen the gap between the 360 and PS3, and I'm sure things can only get better. For both conosles.

Yeah, it's a great time to be a gamer, regardless of what console you happen to own.

ruibing3973d ago

The PS3 actually has a unified memory architecture, it was proven in a white paper on deferred rendering through emulation of a gpu on the cell.

ravenguard883973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )

Rambus, a company unable to properly break into mainstream computer memory, it going to milk this for all they can.

Anybody who knows computers will tell you more memory is better than faster memory every time. For the cost of that "superhightech" Rambus chip, you could have put 2gb of DDR2.

Any PC gamers in the house?

EDIT: Wow, I like their claim that an XDR chip is able to support resolutions of 1080p for video... Hrm, I wonder why every new budget video card with "craptacular" ddr3 can handle 1080p video just fine with their little cheap hardware decoders that don't even use the GPU...

JsonHenry3973d ago

I am sorry, but that is NOT the definition of Unified Memory. The fact that the GPU and the CPU both have 256megs of RAM a piece is quite the opposite of a unified memory setup.

Just because the CELL can access the GPU RAM does not mean it is unified.

JsonHenry3973d ago

Dude, you might want to save your breath on this crowd. While I agree with your statement 100% - most of the people on here have NO IDEA what they are talking about and surely have no idea what you or I talk about.

I am a PC gamer first and foremost. And yes, I know that more RAM is better than less but faster RAM.

There is a reason that the CELL and Rambus have not broken into the mainstream, you and I both know why. There is also a reason that Sony is using an Nvidia GPU as well.

But trying to explain to people who do not live and breathe PC components is hard to do.

LJWooly3973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )

While I agree that the majority on this site don't know what they're talking about, you shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that you're more clever than others, because anyone can be clever when they're sitting behind a keyboard. Everyone's been wrong at least once in their life.

I'm not saying you are wrong, it's just a wee bit presumptive of you to imply that you're too educated for people to understand you. If trying to ake people understand was truly a waste of your time, you wouldn't have been on this site for as long as you have.

mikeslemonade3973d ago

PS2 on paper was not as strong as the Gamecube or Xbox. Xbox was up to 7 times more powerful than the PS2 and the Gamecube was almost as strong as the Xbox however due to PS2's unique archetecture games like God of War 2 were able to be done. I challange you to find any xbox 1 game that surpasses God of War 2. Now PS3 has that unique archetecture like the PS2 so only time will show. As a PC gamer you're short sighted and you only care about what's happening now. Some of us don't want to spend so much money on games so we stick to the system that doesn't need more money thrown at it and power of the system will be discovered over time. Like PC the same goes for 360. It's no coincidence that Gears of War 1 is still the best looking xbox 360 game from more than a year ago. Why would you want a system that peaks and then plateaus after one year?

ruibing3973d ago

Here's the white paper that was published awhile ago:

"The system's unified memory architecture allows
the Cell/B.E. and GPU to exchange data through shared textures."

"This system combines the
Cell/B.E. with a state of the art GPU in a unified memory
architecture. In this architecture both devices share access to
system memory and to graphics memory. As a result they can
share data and processing tasks."

DethWish3973d ago

With that reasoning.. would you be ok with a 10gb page file on the HDD? Would that be working better than 2GB DDR2? :p

CrazedFiend3973d ago

It was posted a LONG time ago. I think b4 the PS3 was released. I've already seen the video, but for a moment there I thought the topic was going to be about improving the technology in the PS3.

But honestly, I didn't bother to watch the video because I could care less about the technology that is already inside the box. No matter how amazing that technology is (and I do think it is amazing, to say the least), what matters is how the games are that come out on the system.

If the developers are not using it, then the technology is not really there, right? Kind of a "if a tree falls in the forest" kind of thing.

Now, if this post was about new technology being implemented into the system, then I would consider that something worth looking at.

2Negativecool3973d ago

The expression is, "I COULDN'T care less."

Honestly, why do so many online dumbf**ks screw this up when it is so f**king elementary!

ravenguard883973d ago

Sorry, but God of War 2 may have looked and played great on PS2, but it was NOWHERE near the graphical quality of Xbox titles. Again, it is taste, the same taste that makes people say Killzone 2 is graphically superior to Crysis, or the taste that makes people say COD4 is the best looking game of 2007...

ravenguard883973d ago

This is the first time I have owned a high-end PC in YEARS. I PREFER console gaming, and you are making an incredible assumption to think pc gaming has "blinded me". The PS2 was an over-engineered, over-thought, over-complicated machine, and the PS3 follows in it's footsteps. Sure, there's potential, but the Xbox launch games weren't as good as the final generation games... Same goes for the PS2. Same will go for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Just because PC hardware is so above and beyond that of consoles does not mean it can not be properly utilized, with a PC customization is key. I can take Crysis, and spend an hour messing with the configuration files to make it run like a charm on MY specific hardware. Because I am a PC gamer does not mean I am a rich spoiled brat that tries to best everything with brute force. If anything, it helps me remain objective when speaking about consoles because I don't need to deal with the easily realized fact that console hardware is (rightfully so) nothing special next to expensive PC systems.

Finally, I have owned all systems mentioned above less the PS3, and I have owned them for their games. But, not for a second will I EVER say that ANYTHING on the PS2 could best a well made Xbox title. It's as simple as you have less to work with, PERIOD. 32mb of RAM can't do as much as 64mb, a graphics chip with a lower potential can't suddenly explode outside of it's technical boundaries... I'm almost awestruck that people continue to argue that good PS2 titles could possible ever be as graphically complex as good Xbox titles. Consider this: The Xbox supported 480p and even 720p in some circumstances.

Raw horsepower and lots of RAM will ALWAYS beat "unique architecture" every single time. And, I'd like to know where you got the idea that the Xbox was supposedly 7 times stronger than the PS2? Are you aware that the PS2 in fact (theoretically) outperformed the Xbox in floating point operations?

Oh, and the Gamecube did actually have a better GPU than the Xbox, I heard something about this earlier but I'm too lazy to check who mentioned it.

sonarus3973d ago

WTF lol. Who cares about this $hit all i care about are games. If rambus being faster gives me a better game then fine. I really don't see why i should believe you over the next guy telling me ps3 has unified architecture. All i can believe are good looking games period

AuToFiRE3973d ago

I am an extremely advanced user of electronics, let me clear this up. More RAM is good - to an extent. thats why in the first place they switched to dual core processors, because at one core the heat generated to produce higher speeds was actually killing the transistors and slowing the processor down, so they split the processor into 2 yet both processors are at a slower speed than 1. now they are doing the same thing with the RAM in the PS3 instead of getting lots of heat generating RAM they are narrowing it down to smaller amounts at faster speeds which is still equal if not faster to more RAM at slower speeds. The PS3 uses RAM differently than a home computer, a home computer uses RAM as swap space, it loads the program/image/movie/etc into RAM for it to play smoothly. for the PS3 there is so much processing power there is no need to do that, instead the PS3 can calculate the game in real time and not need to cache the data beforehand, the RAM in the PS3's case is more like a blackjack table if you will, you lay your cards out and sort them for each player and hand (each player can be the equivalent to each CELL processor) and at the end of the hand the cards are discarded(clearing up the table or in this case the RAM) for the next hand to be played

sonarus3973d ago

@ Au To fire. How do you know this. What are your credentials? Not trying to knock you or discredit you but no matter how you argue this everyone will have a point of view on it and everyone will be right.

AuToFiRE3973d ago

I agree with you on that one, everyone does have their own views, but if you look at the PS3 at this way it makes more sense than that of conventional electronics especially with Linux and even more so with windows, for all of you on windows do you ever remember getting those messages "low on virtual memory" well thats because with windows and linux it uses a portion of the hard drive to act as an extension to that of the memory, and to do that you need to access the hard drive, well on the ps3 the only time the hard drive is being accessed is when the game is saving so that is showing it is not using virtual memory or as linux calls it "swap space" so that shows there is enough RAM in it to work properly.

AuToFiRE3973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )

just on top of this note, the xbox 360 uses regular dual layer dvds(8GB), it is still plausible to use larger amounts of RAM to store the disc onto, with the PS3 it is highly impractical to use the same methods of RAM usage for 50GB of disc

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InMyOpinion3974d ago

I'd rather let the games talk. Both the 360 and the PS3 have great games so we don't need this empty tech talk anymore.

Don't get me wrong, I actually love watching tech demos(although they don't always represent what game graphics will look like).

If they want to show how good their XDR rambus is, make a demo of it so we all can see it with our own eyes.

InMyOpinion3974d ago

Ok, empty tech talk rules then. At least give me some feedback.

If there's anything more annoying than achievements it's those damn 'agree'/'disagree' buttons lol!

The Wood3974d ago

but there are still misconceptions about BOTH systems and not everybody was on sites like this from 'your' beginning so its still fresh for some.

Some people still to this day quote and use bd fud as truth and articles like this dispel some of those false truths

I didn't disagree by the way

LJWooly3974d ago

Exactly. We play games, not consoles. A lot of poeple seem to be forgetting that.

ravenguard883973d ago

The fact that you received a disagree for that causes me to lose all my faith in N4G and, quite possible, humankind.

macalatus3973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )


Even though we have had some fights in the past, strong political differences, and you're pro-360, I must admit that you're one of the better people in this site. Your comments are a welcome change of fresh air in this "console war".

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3973d ago
Guwapo773974d ago

...what was she talking about? I had to skip to the PS3 section. I was all kinda lost.

How many gigs per second can Sony's competitor produce? I need some contrast here.

ravenguard883973d ago

It doesn't matter.

Neither system is dying from bandwidth issues and PCs get by with much worse stats... Yet, outperform the consoles.

Guwapo773973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )

You are looking on the now my friend. You need to look at tomorrow and beyond. Yes it matters. You are correct neither system is maxed out with today's games. As we all know, as the Devs become more comfortable with the system the further they push it.

So according to the slide it showed the PS3 capable of pushing a max of 50gig/s. I would like to know for comparison sake is the 360 more or less with 512 megs of unified ram.

I'll make sure to write a more lengthy question next time.

*edit* PCs get by with much worst stats and outperform consoles? Are you serious? My PS3 smokes my PC in every which way.

-Athlon 2500+Barton overclocked 3000+
-Western Digital Raptor x 2 10,000 rpm in Raid0
-1 gig Corsair TWINXP1024-3200C2 2-3-3-6 lat
-ATi x800pro 256mb

Not even in the remotely close...

morlac3973d ago (Edited 3973d ago )

You ask how much bandwidth 360 has compared to ps3 look at the system specs. System Bandwidth PS3

Main RAM 25.6GB/s
VRAM 22.4GB/s
RSX 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
SB< 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)
System Floating Point Performance

XBOX 360

* 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
* 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
* 21.6 GB/s front-side bus
System Floating Point Performance

So more power means the CPU has to do less work to accomplish the same task. Yes there is less memory in the ps3, but it process the same tasks the XBOX 360 does faster. Which means it can handle extreme gaming with no problem. Both systems are similar and both are high definition graphics. They both have the same titles with the same graphics from what I seen. One other thing Xbox 360 just lost out on the HD DVD market haha. Ps3 is Blue Ray and is the only thing the market is going to make in the high definition format race. BOOYA MAD MONEY.

GutZ313974d ago

For a little contrast, which this wasn't meant to be a 360 vs ps3 post, you can look at this link for info to your liking.

Again, this is basically just talking about the shear power behind the XDR ram. The PS3 is brought up because it uses it.

Guwapo773973d ago

I didn't want to make this into a PS3 vs 360 conversation. When a person does not understand how/why the PS3 was made a certain way...I need a contrast to an archetiture I know and understand which is the 360. I was always curious to know why only 256mb system ram was used. The 360 is a traditional platform that almost everyone knows and understands. PS3 well very very few. Hence the request of the contrast.

GutZ313974d ago

Its really best to watch the full video, because it doesn't tell everything if you just skip to the PS3 section of the video.

The video as a whole is relative to the over all performance of the system.

Guwapo773973d ago

Cool. I'll check the video out again. Thanks.