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XBOX!!!!

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have any of yous heard anything about how fast the xbox performs floation point calculations??? cos isn''t that what makes the console perform fast 3d graphics??? well all i heard is 125 million polygon/sec but where is the power to drive it? and don''t tell me the gpu because the ps2 has one too

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Personaly I don''t care about the poly-count of the X-Box. There are too many game consoles. Between the PS2, Dreamcast and upcomming Gamecube I don''t think the public will react well to spenting any more of their well-earned income on a platform that will be dead within a year.

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and now for a relavant response.... 125 million polys is probably a little far fetched (to say the least). now when the PS2 was in development they were claiming 60 million polys (which got me excited), and that number has dwindled to 20 million polys. and no game that i have heard of the PS2 has gone over 5 million polys. the problem for the PS2 is 4 megs of VRAM. (that was a bonehead move if i ever saw one). with upcoming games using megs and megs of textures, there''s just no where to cache those textures on the PS2. so what developers have to do is to transfer some or all of the textures to the VRAM in real time. which can be a burden on the CPU (even with a 128-bit bus). not to mention the aliasing problems of the PS2. however if the developers find a way to optimize the use of the FPU, VU0, and VU1 in such a way so that all 3 can be working on something at the same time it should help increase the poly count for the PS2. now the X-BOX uses a Pentium III 7xx MHz processor with Streaming SIMD extensions. the real power of the X-BOX will depend on the NVidia graphics chip. i''m not sure (cause i don''t have underground info like that) if the GPU of the X-BOX will include an on chip graphics transform engine (i suspect it will) which would mean the FPU would not be an issue. however if a graphics transform engine is not present on the GPU then the performance would be that of the SSE instructions. where the X-BOX excels is in abundant memory (64 megs of unified memory) and on the fly texture decompression. i suspect a more reasonable number of polys would be 30 million polys (in a perfect environment).

To the vast majority of mankind, nothing is more agreeable than to escape the need for mental exertion... To most people, nothing is more troublesome than the effort of thinking.

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I think the X-BOX will solely rely on NVidia''s GPU to perform all calculations, because it''s very likely that it''ll have second (third ?) generation hardware T&L, so using the slow Pentium 3 FPU would be just plain stupid. According to currently available specs, the X-BOX CPU will be much slower than the PS2 CPU, while the X-BOX GPU will be way faster than the PS2''s (those who believe that a 733Mhz Intel CPU is faster than a first-class 128-bit custom MIPS-III RISC CPU are a bunch of fools :p).

I believe that the real polys count of the X-BOX will match more closely its projected polys count than the PS2 does, because features like multi-texturing and anti-aliasing won''t slow down the whole process like on the PS2. I believe that the PS2 can still push over 30 millions polys/sec though, because of its amazing bandwidth (48Gb/sec !!!) and raw computing power (5.5GFLOPS !!!). Of course, if only there was more VRAM that would be the utimate gaming machine, but well, it''s only a matter of time before game developers are able to overcome this "limitation" - it''s a totally different architecture, and I''m sure time will prove this solution is ten times better than the Dreamcast''s unified memory architecture (and maybe even the X-BOX''s ?).

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First, Microsoft said that their console would be able to render 150m polys/sec.. then it dropped to 120-125 and everyone thinks "wow, games with 125m polys/sec must look better than everything else". When you look at the screenshots from Malice for example, you wonder where all those polygons are.
If the console could really push these many polys, you wouldnt see all the sharp edges from the screenshots. And even better, 64mb of ram is not enough memory for 125 million polys!!!

I think that X-Box and GameCube games will look equally good.
The screenshots from both systems look like they could run on both systems. PS2 games might look slightly (but not much) less detailed than these consoles, but who cares. It all comes down to the games... and im gettin the GC cuz of Metriod!!

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It''s good to have 125Mpol. capability so you can render flat polygons with no vertex colors, textures and lightnings.
But when you add those properties to the polygons, I think it drops down to ~40 Million?

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Triangle-counting aside,

I think the XBox is the best thing for people like us because it''s based on PC architecture. If we wanted to create an XBox game, people like us, the "programming" underground, can just develop the game on a machine with somewhat similar specs, then make the transition to the actual hardware once we get picked up by a publisher, or otherwise hired into the industry.

Can''t say the same for other consoles. The next generation of games won''t be made by Nintendo, Sony, Sega, or Microsoft. They''ll be made by us. And right now, Microsoft''s model is the only one accessible to us.

As much as I Microsoft annoys me, they''ve always got the largest booth at our job fairs, they''ve always been funding academic programs, they''ve always provided free software for us (every CS student gets a free copy of Visual Studio Pro, among other things)... I don''t see anyone else doing anything to cultivate a new generation of programmers.

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Seriously, 64 meg of unified ram isn''t enough, considering its not dedicated ram and wouldn''t it be slower since its unified ram?

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Think about this magic words:

Bezier patches




D3D8 has support for them so maybe they gonna use that??

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quote:
Original post by jenova

and now for a relavant response.... 125 million polys is probably a little far fetched (to say the least). now when the PS2 was in development they were claiming 60 million polys (which got me excited), and that number has dwindled to 20 million polys.



Realize, for the PS2, that both the numbers (60/20) still hold. They apply in different situations. IE, 60 million if no effects are used. It''s not an important number as far as real games are concerned, but it gives developers an idea of what they potentially can achieve.

Also realize that no game on any console has fully utilized that console in the first few generations of games. This applies just as well to the PS2.

quote:

the problem for the PS2 is 4 megs of VRAM. (that was a bonehead move if i ever saw one). with upcoming games using megs and megs of textures, there''s just no where to cache those textures on the PS2. so what developers have to do is to transfer some or all of the textures to the VRAM in real time. which can be a burden on the CPU (even with a 128-bit bus).



Wrong. The PS2 contains a 10-channel DMA controller. It does the work of transferring data across the bus to the various chips, not the CPU. The CPU is free to continue working on real code while data is moving about.

While the VRAM is only 4mb -- leaving about 2mb about dual-screen buffers and Z buffer -- it is ON the GPU making it extremely fast. If you efficiently stream textures into VRAM, it can work just as well as any other system.

quote:

not to mention the aliasing problems of the PS2.



It''s only a problem if developers don''t implement it, just like any other platform. (No, it''s not automatic anywhere, not even Dreamcast, where I''ve seen some horribly aliased games.)


I''m not trying to put the PS2 above the XBox in tech specs; just clearing up some facts.


---- --- -- -
Blue programmer needs food badly. Blue programmer is about to die!

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The extra ram on the XBox makes it easier to program for imo. Licensing fees for non-Microsoft consoles suck. Of course, if MS ever gains market in the console sector I''m sure they start charging. But it''ll never happen. Not with the easily hackable XBox (ie hard drive).

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I heard this morning that the XBOX can really display over a trillion polygons per sec. and that it can even supposedly display colours that we have never seen before (that sounds crazy but it''s meant to be true)



Can I have any confirmation on this guys?


Dark Star


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Whoever said that is about as wrong as it gets. It'll be a little while before we see a console that can pump that many triangles per second... ( especially if they have textures and other effects applied to them! )

Edited by - ShaneParker on January 15, 2001 4:44:09 PM

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I''ve heard that the NV20 has support for 64 Bit color.
Don''t know if it''s true but since the XBOX does also have a nVIDIA GPU....

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I thought the human eye, could only see 16.7m colors.

Does the XBOX come with a new eye implant?

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Well, I think the human eye can only see something like 1 million of colors, so true-color video modes are already way enough. But maybe what they meant by 64-bits color is like the usual 8-bits R, G, B channels, with something like a 48-bits alpha channel, or more likely some other kind of channel to do color modifications not seen before... still, that sounds kind of odd, because the framebuffer and textures would take a lot of space just for some probably unnoticeable (and therefore unused) features.

And well, as a programmer, I''d be way more interested to develop for the PS2, which is a new and innovative system that forces you to develop new and cutting-edge programming techniques, rather than for the Dreamcast or X-BOX, which have nothing really fancy in their architecture... I program for the fun of it, and I don''t see what''s so fun in developping for the same hardware I have on my PC... of course, being able to display over 100 millions polys on the screen would be pretty cool, but mastering the dreaded Emotion Engine would be way more cool, and I think the PS2 programmers might have much higher salaries because of its complexity, so that''s what I would go for if I had the choice (even though I''m not anywhere near to buy that $15000 PS2 devkit ).

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quote:
Original post by Lamtd
X-Box...which have nothing really fancy in their architecture...


Do not judge until you have seen.

Continue to think that ''fancy'' means a bunch of parallel processors as in PS2. It''s good at what it does, but everything ''fancy'' still has to be programmed in software. Ignorance is bliss.

Don''t tell me...someones going to start arguing that the PS2 has a physics engine or something else untrue again?

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ok. i would like to state that i am very interested in the PS2. i really like MIPS architecture. i have been working on MIPS architecture over the past 4 years and see plenty advantages over Intel x86 CISC architecture, however 4 megs of VRAM is still a ridiculously small amount. i don''t care if you had 20 DMA channels it would still make more sense to have 8/12 megs of VRAM to cache textures, or have hardware decompression schemes right now, because you still have to either transfer the data from the system ram to the VRAM in real time or use the VU0/VU1 transform engines for decompression schemes, where it would make more sense to use those engines for AI and other stuff. either way THE CPU OR VECTOR UNITS IS STILL BEING USED TO TRANSFER TEXTURES WHERE IT COULD BETTER FITTED DOING SOMETHING ELSE. in the future when the poly count is high enough that the use of textures will not be necessary then such a scheme would be useful. and 60 million polys with no lighting and effects isn''t a really relavant number because when i play a finished game or develop a game, i''m not playing it with no lights or effects. and like i said 5 million polys is still a long way from 20 million polys.

To the vast majority of mankind, nothing is more agreeable than to escape the need for mental exertion... To most people, nothing is more troublesome than the effort of thinking.

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freakchild, well everybody knows that Microsoft wants the X-BOX to be a kind of "computer optimized for games", and that''s why I still believe it won''t have anything "fancy". Most of its specs have been made public, and now the only fancy thing we can hope for is a programmable GPU (I heard about something like that a while ago - I agree that would be something cool ). And well, the fancier the hardware is, the better the software can be - look at how the two ALU pipelines of the Pentium, or the MMX instructions of the Pentium MMX drastically improved the software performance. Clock speed isn''t everything.

And yes, the rumours spreaded about the Emotion Engine having dedicated hardware for physics were false, but the fact is that its computing power is so amazing that it can easily handle any physics engine (even though handling a physic engine and rendering 60 million polys/sec at the same is a different story). It''s a supercomputer after all

jenova, someone already said something about the 4mb VRAM in that same thread, 10 DMACs and a 48Gb/s bandwidth can easily handle transferring texture from system RAM to VRAM instantly without hitting performance. Remember it''s a different architecture. All those Dreamcast loyalists who are getting cocky because they have 24mb of unified RAM to work with didn''t realize that the PS2''s RAM, and especially its VRAM is waaaaay faster than the DC''s RAM, so in the end the PS2 is still the winner

Well, by now I guess you guys have already figured out I own a PS2 and is quite proud of it

Ars Technica - A Technical Overview of the Emotion Engine

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i have to state: that i understand that the Emotion Engine uses a different architecture scheme. i studied every peice of material i could find about the PS2. now i hope someone will agree with me that somewhere there must be instructions issued to transfer the textures from system memory to the VRAM (can we forget about the bandwidth for moment please...). wether those instructions be issued by the CPU (unlikely) or the VU0 or VU1 (via display lists) those instructions must be issued. whereas those instructions could be used for something else (i.e AI or T&L). therefore there is going to some performance hit. i don''t know the percentage of the performance hit, but there must be some performance hit. now when tranferring textures from system RAM to VRAM, data is going to be transferred at the system RAM speed, not the VRAM speed. i''m not saying the X-BOX is better, i don''t know that much about the nVidia chip. i''m simply stating that there will be a performance hit due to lack of texture RAM.

To the vast majority of mankind, nothing is more agreeable than to escape the need for mental exertion... To most people, nothing is more troublesome than the effort of thinking.

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You say that the ps2 has the lack of texture/video ram, while that is true, but the xbox doesn''t have vram it only has 64 mb of unified ram which in my mind is slower then dedicated ram plus the ps2 so freakin fast that it doesn''t slow down the performance but only if the developers make use of the vector units. Am i right?

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I''m gonna reply to these posts one by one, just to make sure I don''t miss anything

quote:
Original post by GaMeStA

(Random stuff snipped about the speed of unified ram...)
Am i right?




Your impressions of UMA are false. Unified memory is dedicated memory. Each system component allocates its own chunk, and data transfers between them simply involve sending pointers, rather than whole chunks of data over the system bus.

In general, the architecture is much more programmer friendly than the PS2. In other words, it has the first architecture that doesn''t suck.

Programming games is bad enough. Programming on obfuscated, fragile hardware is even worse.

MSN

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From what I understand, while the 64mb of unified RAM may or may not be able to handle all those polys, that's what the hard drive is there for; supposedly, the if a game has too many textures to be loaded into the ram, they will stream from the disc onto the hard drive, and then placed in the RAM when needed. This, in my opinion, would be more than adequate for handling all those polys.

Edited by - Ghostface on January 16, 2001 3:33:33 AM

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about the aliasing problems with the PS2...thats about the fact that unlike other systems the PS2 does not have hardware anti-aliasing where the DC and N64 and x-box do. On the PS2 programmers have to create what is called software anti-aliasing. call me an idiot or what you want but I have read this from several sources that I trust. I thought that this whole anti-aliasing thing with the PS2 was common knowledge. why do you think games like tekken tag didnt have any anti-aliasing? Namco is stupid when it comes to anti-aliasing? no! Soul Calibur in the DC looks great so the namco team had trouble with aliasing with the PS2 because its totaly diferent and they have to work harder just to get the games looking better than PSone games. anti-aliasing helps make the games better but it isnt that important. Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PS2 uses minimal Anti-aliasing yet it looks awsome. there are jaggid edges on the polygons but I didnt notice unless I looked hard and all that should be eliminated by release date anyways. about the X-bx though. the guy heading the quality controll and what not said that if a small developer had a cool game idea and could use the power of the systems that micrsoft would send them development systems! thats cool cause sony and sega wouldnt do that so willingly.

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GameSta: ok. well if your not going to use the vector units and your not going to use the CPU to transfer the textures. are the texture then going to transfer themselves? i think you may be arguing a totally different point here. i have never debated the power of the PS2. again i am simply stating that the realatively small amount of texture cache would cause a performance hit. i never said 10%, 20% or any other number. i simply stated that it will cause a performance hit because, that the texture needs to be streamed in real time from system RAM to VRAM, which is going to require some processor (which ever one pleases you) to do it. if you know another way for the textures to get to the VRAM let me know.

To the vast majority of mankind, nothing is more agreeable than to escape the need for mental exertion... To most people, nothing is more troublesome than the effort of thinking.

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