Evergreen/DX11 tessellators vs XBox 360's

SemiAccurate: ONE OF THE FEATURES of the upcoming ATI Evergreen family, also known as the 5-series, is a tessellator. While this might be old news to graphics card enthusiasts, this time it really is different, mainly because Microsoft is finally backing the technology.

ATI has been putting tessellators in its hardware for generations. The 2000 series was one of the first, but there have been bits and pieces like 3D normal map compression long before. Depending on how you count, Evergreen is either the fourth or fifth generation of the technology.

Most people count ATI's 2xxx, 3xxx and 4xxx as its first three generations of graphics cards with tessellators, but they forget the most important one, the Xenos/R500 in the Xbox 360. Tessellation was roundly ignored on the PC side of game development because it wasn't ubiquitous and lacked standards. Now with the Xbox 360 and DX11 both having the technology, it should mean an easy port from the Xbox 360 to the PC and back, right?

Read Full Story >>
Oculus Quest Giveaway! Click Here to Enter
The story is too old to be commented.
deadpoole3709d ago

I knew it, ive been carryin out research about tessellation implication over texture detail and Im impressed, expect Xbox 360 games in future with realistic graphic and better frame rate.

IaMs123709d ago

I sure hope so, maybe this is the reason they said the 360 is not even at its Half life.

deadpoole3709d ago

With tessellation feature itll first of all reduce disk space requirement and second graphics will be having much more depth and detailed. Sandbox games are really gonna get benefit cuz of this feature ... well future FPS games, well they are all gonna be photorealistic. I believe Halo Reach is gonna be the first to truly utilize Xbox 360 tessellation feature.

ShabzS3709d ago (Edited 3709d ago )

i thought the gfx card on the 360 didnt have tesselation capabilities ... but here the Sr. manager of developer relations from amd has written something about tesselation:

thanks to dx 11 and tesselation - "Where artists previously had to trade off quality for performance, now artists will have the freedom to create naturalistic scenery. We’ve gotten used to seeing strangely blocky ears and noses on our opponents. But the new generation of games should allow those opponents to scare the heck out of us instead. The tessellator represents a natural next step in gaming hardware (in fact the Xbox 360 graphics chip that AMD designed already has a tessellator, and AMD graphics hardware has featured tessellator technology starting with the ATI RadeonTM HD 2000 series right up to the latest ATI RadeonTM HD 4000 series cards today"

is this for real? for the most part i've read that tesselation is only partially compatible with the 360's gpu r500?
[email protected] kionic below: lol... easy now... we'll have to wait and see

KionicWarlord2223709d ago


aaron greenburg was right .

Major_Tom3709d ago

This doesn't sound accurate lol.

GameOn3709d ago

Would you call it semi-accurate?

Xi3709d ago (Edited 3709d ago )

tessellation provides 2 major benefits.

1 - an increase in the model quality
2 - optimized performance.

Think about a large mountain in the background that's a polygon. Normally when you create a model or terrain you have a control for the level of detail, as you move away the LOD decreases, as you get closer it increases. Currently what happens when you move away is that the entire model decreases, so that the further away you are the more blocky the object is. With tessellation and the appropriate shaders you can have the edges maintain a higher polygon count but still drop the level of detail to increase performance but also maintain the visual fidelity of a high polygon (optimization).

Same goes for character models and even textures.

one of the best examples was the occluded parralax mapping vs the same texture tessellated. There was less of a drop in frame-rate and the overall look was better.

As for what the 360 can do, and what tessellation on current cards can do is mainly down to how each performs the task. They want a very standard set of instructions and hardware. Otherwise they perform to roughly the same degree.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 3709d ago
3709d ago Replies(1)
Xi3709d ago (Edited 3709d ago )

Recently there was a large shift in what the 360 was capable of, all of which can be dated back to the advent of the new xbox development SKU's that were released.


prior to gdc 2009, Microsoft announced that it was giving studios dev-kits that provided more ram so that developers weren't being physically limited by the original amount. The original kits provided 512 ram, similar to what is currently available in consumer 360s. This is problematic for developers because developers HAVE to run other background code on a dev-kit for compiling and debugging routines. This created a physical ceiling which is often credited for the pop-up in prior games like mass effect, and GeoW1/2.

The effects of releasing the new dev-kits have also led to a reduction in these problems, such as ME2 being 'free' of said popup. However it also gave developers higher textures to work with. This new dev-kit is likely the reason for the increase in graphics for recently announced games such as forza 3, alan wake and splincer cell V.

But that's not all.

after the announcement that MS was creating larger dev-kits for developers, developers also received something called the 'X-engine' which is rumored to be a set of tools.

What was odd, was that the X-engine became available near the advent of DX11, which had recently had it's requirements solidified for the release of windows 7. What else was odd is that MS constantly referred to the relaunch of the 360 for natal.

I personally believe that the X-engine is a set of tools that allow developers to take advantage of the 360's dx11 features which include the tessellator and the memexport function. As well as a set of tools for natal. And the timing of the recent tools, dev-kits and dx11 all would provide a rough timeline for a re-launch sometime next year that would coincide with the relaunching of the 360 and natal.

What I expect is that sometime next year you'll see a jump in visual fidelity for the 360, however I think it'll be about the same as the jump from the game-cube to the wii. And I think it'll start with halo:reach and an untiled rare project.

Hellsvacancy3709d ago

Jesus - i gotta clue wot any of u r talkin about, i taught my Dad yesterday how 2 copy/paste sentences he was TOTALLY blown away in how i knew how 2 do that lol

He should meet sum of u lot