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GaMeStA

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).

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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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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.


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