Friday, November 04, 2005

Quotes

“While there is a lot of good documentation on the Emotion Engine, much less is known about the Graphics Synthesizer (GS) and thus while the ‘what’ of the discussion should be accurate, the ‘why’ may not.
In terms of quality features and functional complexity, the GS is very much like an extremely fast 3dfx Voodoo Graphics chipset. Although Sony has 32-bit color, 32-bit Z-buffer support, the GS only has the standard OpenGL/D3D texture blend modes, leaving out the new features such as DOT3 or EMBM bump mapping, cube reflection maps, or texture compression.
As mentioned in the specifications page, the Graphics Synthesizer has 16-pixel pipelines running at 150MHz with 32-bit color, 32-bit Z-buffer. While we would expect this to mean a fill rate of 2.4 gigapixels/sec, Sony's press release indicates that texturing cuts the fill rate in half to 1.2 gigapixels/sec. This suggests that the GS requires a full clock cycle to get the texels.”
Thus, when multitexturing, the fill rate should drop to 600Mpixels/sec. This should put the PlayStation 2 somewhere between the GeForce DDR and GeForce2 GTS. Though the 640x480 target resolution needs to be taken into account, the GS is really underpowered when compared to the X-box's claimed specs. The Dreamcast only has a raw fill rate of 100Mpixels/sec, but again the deferred rendering takes this value effectively up anywhere from 200Mpixels to even 1 gigapixel/sec.
Since the details aren't clear, it's hard to make a definite call but we suspect the answer is "no." The PS2 has a 2560-bit interface to the embedded DRAM at 150MHz. This equals a total of 48 GB/s, and yes, it is an incredible amount of bandwidth. However, only 512-bits are available for texture lookups which leaves 9.6 GB/s. The GeForce2 GTS has 166MHz DDR on a 128-bit interface which equals 5.312 GB/s.
The difference is that PS2 has to provide texture information for 16 pixels each clock cycle whereas the GTS only needs to provide texture information for 4 pixels. So, for each pixel, the GTS has 1328 MB/s of bandwidth whereas the PS2 only has 600 MB/s of bandwidth for retrieving textures. The Dreamcast has 800MB/s for each pixel. If you factor in texture compression, you need to multiply the Dreamcast's and GTS's numbers by 4. In other words, although there is more total bandwidth for the PS2, it also needs more bandwidth to reach its theoretical maximum because of its massively parallel design.
Granted, once the textures information has been provided, there is 2048-bits of read/write bandwidth for the frame buffer giving 38.4 GB/s of bandwidth. Unfortunately, there are still two lingering concerns. 16-pixel pipelines instead could ruin efficiency. Conventional 3D chips render one polygon at a time.
If you have a 1x1 polygon, then only 1 pixel pipeline could be used and 15 will sit idle, just wasting throughput. The GeForce, for example, has its four pixel pipelines in a 2x2 array. At the corners of polygons, the four pixel pipelines are rarely all used. The only way around this would be for Sony to use something completely different from PC graphics chips and "unhook" the pixel pipelines, but there is nothing to suggest that this has been done. Smaller polygons will result in poorer performance.
Unfortunately, the use of a lot of small polygons is exactly what the Emotion Engine affords. In addition, texture bandwidth is likely to be extremely important because the PS2 only has 4MB of embedded DRAM.”

Citation 3

When Sony unveiled its next-generation PlayStation last May, one of the slides displayed in the presentation showed that the PlayStation 3 GPU had the power of two GeForce 6800 Ultras working in SLI mode (nVIDIA's Scalable Link Interface multi-GPU technology). At that time, nVIDIA (the developer of the PlayStation 3 RSX GPU) has not yet unveiled its latest graphics architecture, formerly code-named G70.

But now that the GeForce 7800 GTX and its little brother, the recently announced GeForce 7800 GT graphics processing unit, have been announced, and an interesting tidbit comes from none other than the Official PlayStation Magazine.

The Inquirer reports that an nVIDIA spokesperson was quoted in the magazine saying that the RSX GPU is basically a slightly less powerful GeForce 7800.

That means that almost a year before launch, there’s a PC graphics chip that is more powerful than the RSX GPU found in the PlayStation 3. And make no mistake, this is not a crazy, speculative conclusion ; this comes straight from the company that makes both parts: the RSX and GeForce 7800 graphics processing units.

That’s not good news for consoles, being that the typical 4-to-5 year lifecycle a console must survive allows computers to catch up quickly with the technology found on next-generation consoles.
Usually, game consoles ship with hardware that is not available on personal computer at the time of launch, and a few months later, PC hardware manufacturers create hardware parts that surpass console technologies.

But launching with a technology that is already available on PC is not good at all for a “next-generation” console. By the time the PlayStation 3 launches, there will be already a new GPU from nVIDIA that will be more powerful that their current flagship GPU, the GeForce 7800 GTX.


So, what about the Xbox 360? In the case of the graphics processing unit designed for the Xbox 360, ATI has included technology on the Xenos GPU that won’t be available for PC graphics chip in the next twelve months, including the unified shader architecture and the embedded DRAM daughter die.
A so called R600, which might debut towards the launch of Windows Vista, in the fourth quarter of 2006, might incorporate the special technologies ATI put into the Xbox 360 GPU.


With a three-core processor and its state-of-the-art GPU, the Xbox 360 hardware won’t be matched by PC until late 2006, when quad-core processors from AMD and Intel arrive and Windows Graphics Foundation 2.0-compliant GPUs, featuring unified shader architecture, arrive.

The next-generation begins with the Xbox 360. Don’t you forget!



PS2 Info

Graphics

While there is a lot of good documentation on the Emotion Engine, much less is known about the Graphics Synthesizer (GS) and thus while the "what" of the discussion should be accurate, the "why" may not.

Image Quality
In terms of quality features and functional complexity, the GS is very much like an extremely fast 3dfx Voodoo Graphics chipset. Although Sony has 32-bit color, 32-bit Z-buffer support, the GS only has the standard OpenGL/D3D texture blend modes, leaving out the new features such as DOT3 or EMBM bump mapping, cube reflection maps, or texture compression.

Performance
As mentioned in the specifications page, the Graphics Synthesizer has 16-pixel pipelines running at 150MHz with 32-bit color, 32-bit Z-buffer. While we would expect this to mean a fill rate of 2.4 gigapixels/sec, Sony's press release indicates that texturing cuts the fill rate in half to 1.2 gigapixels/sec. This suggests that the GS requires a full clock cycle to get the texels.

Thus, when multitexturing, the fill rate should drop to 600Mpixels/sec. This should put the PlayStation 2 somewhere between the GeForce DDR and GeForce2 GTS. Though the 640x480 target resolution needs to be taken into account, the GS is really underpowered when compared to the X-box's claimed specs. The Dreamcast only has a raw fill rate of 100Mpixels/sec, but again the deferred rendering takes this value effectively up anywhere from 200Mpixels to even 1 gigapixel/sec.

Will the PS2's insane bandwidth save it?
Since the details aren't clear, it's hard to make a definite call but we suspect the answer is "no." The PS2 has a 2560-bit interface to the embedded DRAM at 150MHz. This equals a total of 48 GB/s, and yes, it is an incredible amount of bandwidth. However, only 512-bits are available for texture lookups which leaves 9.6 GB/s. The GeForce2 GTS has 166MHz DDR on a 128-bit interface which equals 5.312 GB/s.

The difference is that PS2 has to provide texture information for 16 pixels each clock cycle whereas the GTS only needs to provide texture information for 4 pixels. So, for each pixel, the GTS has 1328 MB/s of bandwidth whereas the PS2 only has 600 MB/s of bandwidth for retrieving textures. The Dreamcast has 800MB/s for each pixel. If you factor in texture compression, you need to multiply the Dreamcast's and GTS's numbers by 4. In other words, although there is more total bandwidth for the PS2, it also needs more bandwidth to reach its theoretical maximum because of its massively parallel design.

Granted, once the textures information has been provided, there is 2048-bits of read/write bandwidth for the frame buffer giving 38.4 GB/s of bandwidth. Unfortunately, there are still two lingering concerns. 16-pixel pipelines instead could ruin efficiency. Conventional 3D chips render one polygon at a time.

If you have a 1x1 polygon, then only 1 pixel pipeline could be used and 15 will sit idle, just wasting throughput. The GeForce, for example, has its four pixel pipelines in a 2x2 array. At the corners of polygons, the four pixel pipelines are rarely all used. The only way around this would be for Sony to use something completely different from PC graphics chips and "unhook" the pixel pipelines, but there is nothing to suggest that this has been done. Smaller polygons will result in poorer performance.

Unfortunately, the use of a lot of small polygons is exactly what the Emotion Engine affords. In addition, texture bandwidth is likely to be extremely important because the PS2 only has 4MB of embedded DRAM.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Citation2

Dang, Alan. "Playstation2 Technical Overview." FiringSquad. 28 Nov 2000. 03 Nov. 2005 .
Parenthetical Within Text
(Dang)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Citation1

Smith, Tony. "Playstation 3 Graphics Chip To Crush PS2 Version ." The Register. 08 2001. 02 Nov. 2005 .
Parenthetical Within Text
(Smith)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

My Question

With all next-gen consoles coming out I want to know something. So I want to know How much the graphics improve 4 the Playstation3. So I need to know what kind of graphics the Playstation2 had.So that is my question.

The Beginning of a Legacy

This is the beginning of a new legacy. I plan to be known arond the country as one of the best athletes. I plan to go either to The Georgia Institute Of Technology or The University Of Tennessee. So keep an eye out for me in the near future.