Digital Foundry: next-gen PlayStation and Xbox to use AMD's 8-core CPU and Radeon HD

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by tulx, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. ChronoReverse

    ChronoReverse Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,391
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dunno, 1280x720 (and often times not even that) at only 30fps (and often spiking less) is a very low target.
     
  2. sefsefsefsef

    sefsefsefsef Senior member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why can't RTSes be multithreaded easily? What part doesn't scale out to many cores?

    Anyway, the announced PS4 specs are the best case I could have hoped for. It is now MS's game to lose.
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Messages:
    17,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Intel and nVidia money would be my guess.

    I would think that could be built in without too much extra work. 3D RTSes have been around long enough I have serious doubts that actually keeping up with unit activity is a major bottleneck, on modern computers. My guess is that they looked at user surveys and saw very few 4C, or even 2C4T, users, and figured it wasn't worth it, for SCII, compared to eeking out a little more performance from 2 cores. They can only throw so many millions of dollars at it :).

    I wouldn't go that far, but if the cores aren't too slow, if it isn't strapped for CPU cache, and/or has some special local store(s) (such as eDRAM), it aught to be pretty fair.
     
  4. Blitzvogel

    Blitzvogel Golden Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,918
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think part of the 8 core Jaguar reasoning comes from developers being so used to heavily multithreading current console titles and that it's likely the background processes planned for the PS4 (downloading while gaming, recording, etc) will likely be given either an entire core or two to keep everything nice and smooth. It's a small, power efficient core, with a decent amount of processing capability and flexibility. Background tasks are also the same reason why they went with 8 GB of GDDR5 instead of 4 GB I'm guessing. 4 GB would've been just about perfect for standard gaming console, but the background processes are going to demand quite a bit of RAM. However, I must say, even though it's unified, 176 GB/s as theorized seems a bit overly necessary for a console even in regards to the simultaneous use by the CPU, GPU, and perhaps by dedicated compression and decompression units. It might be prudent and cost effective to move down to a 192 bit bus with 6 GB which would still be about 132 GB/s.

    Right now the PS4 is looking to be an expensive machine, just by GPU and RAM alone. Supposedly is all on an APU die which certainly helps. Sony can't sell another $600 console, and loss-leader hardware is not a prudent business model. $400 is the max I would pay for a new console. If the PS4 fails, it would likely bring the entire Sony down with it. With all the social BS planned for it (and likely the Nextbox will be so social focused as well) I'm somewhat hoping it fails.
     
    #779 Blitzvogel, Feb 21, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  5. cplusplus

    cplusplus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Given the same hardware, a closed system will perform better than an open system version of the same hardware because there is/can be less abstraction/translation with the instructions. Like how writing efficient code in assembly will run faster than efficient code to do the same thing in C. In the PS4 specifically, it will be writing code in libgcm as opposed to writing code in OpenGL.
     
  6. Lonbjerg

    Lonbjerg Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    4,426
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. Skurge

    Skurge Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Messages:
    17,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    I doubt it. 4GB would make it barely as capable as a PC from a few years ago. RAM is historically cheap, so skimping out on it would be far worse than skimping out on the CPU power, or GPU bandwidth.

    Take Skyrim on the XB360, FI. It's a total joke. On a nice PC, however, not even a really expensive one, it plays fine, and eats up that RAM. It may not need 8GB, but it'll use 4-6GB all day long, and fixed HW with a minimal OS is only going to gain you a few hundred MBs. Give it 4GB, or 1GB video card (like mine :(), it gets choppy. make it fuzzy, and the choppiness goes away.

    I don't doubt there will be background tasks, but not ny that take up too much RAM, and the processor-heavy ones will surely have acceleration hardware dedicated to them (video encoding DSPs, FI, are small, low-power, and high-bandwidth).

    The last gen of consoles had too little RAM. Out of the gate we already had them beat by miles, and the gap only widened. With a shared 8GB of high-bandwidth RAM, they will be able to arbitrarily use higher-res textures, where it can make a difference, rather than having to skimp from day one. It gives them rough equivalence to a video card with 2-4GB VRAM. They might actually be able to make games that look decent, for a few years, and gracefully degrade beyond that (non-integer upscaling has always looked bad, blurry shader AA has always looked bad, bloom has always looked bad, textures have stayed too fuzzy, etc.). Much like CPUs, amount has started to matter more than its bandwidth, and GPUs have efficient caches, so IMO, it makes sense purely from a gaming standpoint. Unless you're one of those people that doesn't think bloom-laden upscaled fuzzy scenes, with uneven framerates, look like crap.
     
  9. podspi

    podspi Golden Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    1
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but won't Jaguar have around Core 2 levels of IPC? Octa-core Core 2 (even at 1.6ghz) sounds impressive enough to me. Is there any word on turbo ability? Given the fact that AMD's turbo is deterministic, it should be relatively safe to enable...

    Either way, it is going to embarrass the Wii U...
     
  10. MrPickins

    MrPickins Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    8,533
    Likes Received:
    1
    For MS, it may not make as much sense (assuming they're using a Windows variant), but I'm not sure Sony would put forth the effort on the scheduler when pinning it to one core would be so easy and cost efficient from an R&D standpoint. That, and it reminds me of how they reserved one SPE in the PS3 for the OS.

    Additionally, I would think that reserving a fixed number of cores would make for a more consistent platform for which to code. You wouldn't have to worry about your threads being preempted by OS threads. You can guarantee that your allotted cpu resources have high availability.

    Of course, this all hinges on my belief that both manufacturers plan on having many simultaneous background tasks running for a large percentage of play time (streaming shared video, downloading, voice chat, Kinect/Move, etc).
     
  11. MrPickins

    MrPickins Diamond Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    8,533
    Likes Received:
    1
    Using high res texture pack mods, I assume?

    I never see that much system RAM used when playing unmodded Skyrim.
     
  12. Olikan

    Olikan Golden Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    0
    nop...it's ends up in the middle of K8 to a K10.... just a bit lower of bulldozer's ipc

    didn't found anything about turbo... but turbo is a waste if developers can use all the resources easily
     
  13. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Messages:
    17,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, it's not technical issue in itself, but there also that: stock Bethesda games miss the point of playing Bethesda games :).
     
  14. lopri

    lopri Elite Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2002
    Messages:
    11,589
    Likes Received:
    1
    Anything can be multi-threaded. I thought we're talking about degrees. I will reiterate: RTS isn't as suitable for multi-threading as other genres of games are. Vastly so. I don't feel like explaining why because I thought it had been a well discussed topic. (hint: human interaction) Every other game can be multi-threaded beautifully and I believe that's the way to go moving forward.

    As for that Supreme Commando BS, that's what it is - BS. At that time I downloaded demo, bought the game (didn't even like that game), and applied "performance-enhancement" patch only to learn the whole propaganda was BS. And I kept some screenshots. Dug them out and here is one. Try yourselves - you should be able to find the game cheap in a bargain bin somewhere.

    [​IMG]

    Spec: Q6600 OC'ed + 8800 GTX.
     
  15. itsmydamnation

    itsmydamnation Senior member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    12
    so where are these benchmarks of jaguar?
     
  16. Roland00Address

    Roland00Address Golden Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,724
    Likes Received:
    1
    Jaguar hasn't come out and it has not been previewed by any reliable source.

    Right now any numbers are pure speculation based on AMD marketing slides (in other words the info is completely unreliable.)
     
  17. IntelUser2000

    IntelUser2000 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,057
    Likes Received:
    1
    At 1.4GHz, it gets 1.4 in Cinebench R11.5.

    In comparison, the Core 2 Quad Q9000 running at 2GHz gets 2.4 in that same benchmark.

    I'd say its now maybe 5% above the original Athlon 64 in terms of "IPC".
     
  18. itsmydamnation

    itsmydamnation Senior member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    12
    again links to benchmarks please?
     
  19. podspi

    podspi Golden Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    1,880
    Likes Received:
    1
    Are you referring to Bobcat or Jaguar? If Bobcat, after adjusting for clock speed and projected IPC gain (heh) that puts it around Core 2 IPC (though still a bit slower than Core 2).

    I still stand by my statement, I think the CPU will be fine. Obviously if you are a hardcore PC gamer these specs will disappoint, but for most console gamers this is a huge step up. Hopefully the machines will be both cheaper and have shorter lifecycles. Moving forward, backwards compatibility should be much easier if they stick with x86.
     
  20. IntelUser2000

    IntelUser2000 Elite Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Messages:
    4,057
    Likes Received:
    1
  21. poohbear

    poohbear Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's not true at all, it might have the same "GFLOPS", but that does NOT mean it translates to the PC equivalent video card. Crysis 3 is rendered on an 8 year old PS3, i don't know any 8 year old PC video card that can play Crysis 3 with the same amount of detail as the PS3. These GPUs are in a console using software that is optimized strictly for gaming, so the results are very different and far superior than the PC video card "equivalent" in GFLOPS. If anything it would probably have the same performance as a 7950/7970 card on a PC in terms of performance.

    Software optimizations are a huge part of how a game can be rendered, just look at BF3's improvement in the AMD 79xxx series with driver updates, it got a 30-40% increase in performance with optimized drivers because the engineers focused solely on that game due to its popularity.
     
    #796 poohbear, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  22. 2is

    2is Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,960
    Likes Received:
    8
    HIGHLY unlikely it's anywhere near a 7970, optimizations only go so far. Lets not forget many games are rendered at very low resolutions then up converted. I'd say the sun going nova this year as about as likely as an APU matching 7970 (most powerful GPU around until titan is available) performance.
     
  23. inf64

    inf64 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,249
    Likes Received:
    6
    5% in integer tasks(remember K10 was 10-15% faster in same scenario than K8 ;)). In SSE/fp intensive tasks Jaguar will be ~2x faster than Bobcat/K8 since it has 128bit fp pipelines vs 64bit in the case of former two.
     
  24. krumme

    krumme Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,471
    Likes Received:
    3
    How is the gaming workload for fp/integer vs. normal office use? - i would guess its more FP heavy but thats just an assumption?

    They question is also, why have an 128bit fp pipeline in jaguar, as its quite a shift to bobcat? (still the core is 3.1mm2 sans l2, but isnt the FPU power expensive too?)
     
  25. poohbear

    poohbear Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2003
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    1
    if a PS3 that's 8 years old can play Crysis 3 and look that good, yes a 7970. In 8 years (2020) can a 7970 play a state of the art game? Probably just barely if at all, hence why i'd say a PS4 is as powerful as a 7950/7970. Think about it, a Geforce 7900GTX or a Radeon X1900 XTX were state of the art in 2006, but no way can they play Crysis 3 @ the same level of detail as a PS3.
     
    #800 poohbear, Feb 22, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013