Memory limitation is PS3's 'biggest challenge'

The PS3's 256MB of memory, half that of the Xbox 360, is the biggest challenge developers face when making games on Sony's console, Monster Madness producer Lee Perez has told VideoGamer.com.

Perez, who has worked closely on the development of Monster Madness and upcoming DS game Ninja Town, said that while the PS3 has half the memory of the 360, its Cell processor can in theory allow developers to "offset" those problems.

Speaking specifically about the unique challenges PS3 development presents, Perez said: "The biggest thing is the memory. The PS3 only has 256 megs of memory. The 360 has 512 so you have twice the memory when you load a level. Now the offset to that is the Cell processor, so if you understand and your engine can understand how to use the multiple cores in tandem you can offset that. Theoretically you can do a lot more, especially if you have a lot of physics objects because it's very math intensive, not memory intensive. So finding that sweet spot where your game does well in both and it takes advantage of its individual skills is tough."


Update: We believe Lee Perez is talking about the PlayStation 3's GPU, which has access to 256 MB GDDR3 RAM, not the system's combined 512 MB RAM. In contrast the Xbox 360 features 512 MB GDDR3 RAM shared by the CPU and GPU. We've contacted publisher SouthPeak Games for clarification.

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jamesrocks31475646d ago

256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz

thats 512MB actually my god

SickNick855646d ago

Quote...256 system and 256 video are really better than 512 MB general and equal to ps3 video...the same difference between a PC and a laptop...

in case of necessity ps3 can take part of video memory to use for system by SPE (if a programmer can't use the spe it's a problem)...the only problem is the operative system (90mb on ps3 and 32 on 360)...but ram is better on ps3...no dubt on it...

Statix5646d ago (Edited 5646d ago )

I'm STILL reading through the article, trying to find any evidence that these guys realize that the PS3 has 512 mb of total memory, not half of 360 like they're saying. Whenever I start to read something like this, where it looks like someone got this obvious fact wrong again, I really try to give them the benefit of the doubt. But they fail me every time.

Not only that, but you see flagrant signs everywhere in that article that this guy has absolutely NO CLUE what he's talking about (stating that the 360 has "temporary cache" versus the "permanent cache" of the PS3, or that the supposed double memory of the 360 "improves the framerate"). This guy sounds like a misinformed, nontechnical fanboy rather than a real, legitimate game developer, period. Either he's a fraud, and/or the game "Monster Madness" is fake, because I've never heard of it.

Haha, wouldn't it be funny if the developers of this Monster Madness never realized the PS3 had 512 megs of memory, and only utilized 256 megs of it throughout the entire course of the game's development? Far-fetched, I know, but I would laugh my ASS off.

CrashSharc5646d ago

almost 2 years, and people still don't know that the PS3 has the same amount of ram (except the ram in the PS3 is actually FASTER) as the 360? Pathetic. The internet really has given a voice to many who don't deserve one.

edhe5646d ago

"The internet really has given a voice to many who don't deserve one. "

And there you have it, fanbois in a nutshell.

theKiller5646d ago (Edited 5646d ago )

256MB of memory is PS3's bla bla bla!!!
just look at MGS4 and uncharted and tell me who has more challenge ps3 or 360????

the author of this article is a real looser!!

Vip3r5646d ago

I think Sony reduced the OS down to 46mb on RAM usage in a FW update a while ago.

season0075646d ago

he obviously isn't smart enough to code a complex system and so he is just refer to the 256mb GDDR3 ram that he actually uses as the limitation he faces....

on the other side anyone wonder these article, sometimes they do mention the other 256mb memory for PS3 aside the GDDR3, but they never mention the MUCH FASTER SPEED of it?

addic5646d ago

"Haha, wouldn't it be funny if the developers of this Monster Madness never realized the PS3 had 512 megs of memory, and only utilized 256 megs of it throughout the entire course of the game's development? Far-fetched, I know, but I would laugh my ASS off."

exactly the same i thought! god!!! please let it be true! i hope these morons didnt know that the ps3 had 512mb ram! i would piss myself laughing like i never did before! THAT would be soooo awesome! ;)

Lifendz5646d ago

Yeah, I don't care. When I look at Uncharted, Resistance 2, Metal Gear, Killzone 2, LBP, and all the other jaw dropping games to come these sorts of articles mean less and less. You can't figure out the PS3? Can't get around the 256mb for the GPU? Fine. Step off. Do a "valve" type move. As long as I have the Sony in-house games, Insomniac, Konami, and Square I'm good.

killer_trap5646d ago

I'm with killer here, action speaks louder than words. and i haven't seen anything on the 360 that matches the MGS, uncharted and GT5P combo.

and viper is right. sony has lowered the OS footprint to 40something MB with their firmware releases.

juuken5646d ago

Um...the same people who approves bullsh*tting articles every day?

JsonHenry5646d ago

This is ecactly what i have been saying since day one. They should have unified the memory, or just given the PS3 a little extra system RAM.

And to everyone that says that the 360 and the PS3 have the same amount of memory you are wrong. The 360 has 10megs of EDRAM on top of that number. And even if it didn't the difference in the way the two systems write to and read from RAM is what makes the difference.

But if someone was really being honest - BOTH consoles suffer from lack of system RAM. Not just the PS3. It just happens the PS3 is not reaching its full potential because it is being bottlenecked due to lack of system RAM.

SaiyanFury5646d ago (Edited 5646d ago )

The PS3's amount of physical RAM is limited I admit openly. The system does not have DDR3 RAM as many people believe. The PS3 has 256MB of Rambus XDR DRAM that is designed for very high CPU/GPU interface speeds. The interface speeds I've cited are absolutely insane when compared to regular DDR-type RAM.

Of course, what that "Update" above is talking about is the PS3's GPU memory, not the actual system memory.

If you're interested in reading up on the PS3's internal memory, please click the link below.


DJ5646d ago

The PS3 runs off of 3.2Ghz RAM for its CPU, which is much faster than the 700Mhz GPU RAM used for the 360's CPU (bad decision by MS). Unifying the memory is actually horrible for performance because either the CPU becomes starved, or the GPU becomes starved. And both end up eating into each other's bandwidth.

Unified Memory Architecture is used in low-end PCs, Xbox, and Xbox 360 because it costs less to manufacture than Dedicated Memory Architecture, i.e. what high-end PCs and the PS3 use. Also, the 10MB ED-RAM chip doesn't make a difference in overall RAM storage since it only does Anti-aliasing and framebuffer functions. If Microsoft had put in 32MB of ED-RAM for such functionality, Xenos would actually have a HUGE advantage over RSX since RSX does all of this in GDDR3 memory.

*32MB is the size needed for 1080p frames with 4x Anti-aliasing.

jaysquared5646d ago

When did N4G become a hang out for intelligent people like game developers and computer engineers? I thought it was just full of fanboys who don't have nothing better to do..

lsujester5646d ago

Just because people can copy and paste speed numbers, that doesn't mean they know what they're talking about. And I'm talking about these comments, not the author of the article.

What the author said makes a lot of sense, but how he said it makes him look kind of dumb.

If you look at the performance charts of the 360 and PS3, you'll see that the RAM bandwidths are actually very similar, even with the huge difference in clock speed. Here is why:

XDR transfers 8 bits per clock. So at 3.2Ghz, it transfers 8x3.2Ghz = 25.6Gb/s.

GDDR3 is clocked at much lower 700MHz, BUT it is 64 bits wide, and so, delivering 11.2 Gb/s bandwidth per channel. The two channels in the 360 gives us 22.4Gb/s.

So, you see, the XDR inside the PS3 doesn't give it much of a performance boost, and even with the little it has, is irrelevant when it comes to graphics, because the GPU can't touch it.

The PS3 memory IS limited when you think of it in computer part needs. Games are much more graphically-intensive than they are CPU-intensive. This means that the GPU will need more memory than the CPU does, and therefore having 512 divided amongst the two is actually beneficial because of the bonus of the GPU being able to use a higher percentage of the RAM.

ThanatosDMC5646d ago

If they're the same or on par with each other, how come we havent seen a game even close to Uncharted or MGS4?

GT5P = looks nice and all but i wouldnt touch it cuz i hate racing games

potenquatro5646d ago

I own THREE laptops, all of them have dedicated memory for the GPU, not shared. Idk where you see "... the same difrence between PC and laptop..."

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Condoleezza Rice5646d ago

Ps3=512 memory.One look at MGS4 will confirm this.

The Lazy One5646d ago

you so did not get in before the flame war :-p

player9115646d ago (Edited 5646d ago )

The PS3 ONLY has 256mb memory. It also has a graphics card with 256mb memory. You can't combine the two and say, the PS3 has 512mb. Thats ridiculous.

Thats like saying my PC has 1gb RAM and a 756mb RAM Graphics card = 1.756Gb.

The PC is the PC and the graphics card is the graphics card.

The 360 is shared memory, so its graphics card can have full access to the memory during gameplay. The OS can also have full access to all 512mb when in menu's, upconverting DVD's, etc.

People always "assume" shared memory is bad and compare to laptops which is not a good comparison here. Laptops suck because their video cards are weak. You can't put 2gb RAM on Matrox video card and expect it to perform. Also what ram is shared is SYSTEM ram... which is typically DDR or DDR2. Normal video card ram is much faster, DDR3 and XDR. So laptops sharing their SLOW SLOW system ram between memory hungry Windows and a "graphics card" is not how a 360 works.

First off the Xbox's OS has a tiny footprint compared to a full blown install of XP/Vista. The memory isn't cheap value ram like your laptops either. And the video card isn't a budget value $35 video card.

Most of the work while playing games is done directly on the graphics card. So the GPU having access to 512mb allows for much larger textures. The fact the memory is shared allows each the GPU and CPU to access the memory directly for faster access instead of having to make requests for files be sent to them.

m91058265646d ago

Actually, the 256 allotted to the GPU can be used for CPU purposed, and vice-versa. Not to mention that each core of the Cell has it's own memory store + its cache. It takes clever programming, but if you have a good programmer is pretty simple to pull off.

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cellypower5646d ago (Edited 5646d ago )

4 words Medal Gear Solid four.

ThaGeNeCySt5646d ago

that's 3 words (one of them being wrong) and a number!!!