Can PS2 be considered a pure 128 bit machine??

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by patroclus02, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    If he is coming from the consumer space his comment could be directed at the shallowness of past console marketing, namely how "bitness" was used to define a new generation and a leap in power. On the technical front the "bitness" of a processors workflow is relevant, but for average consumers we can blame Nintendo/Sony/Sega/et al for completely muddying the concept, especially when such discussions typically break down into, "The Xbox CPU is 32bit, the PS2 EE is 128bit, so the PS2 is a lot faster". Of course such comparisons are grounds for banning and flogging anyhow :twisted:
     
  2. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
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    Not really, I'd say. Not if we're talking architecturally, from that standpoint the 386 was crap even at the time it was released, it didn't even have any proper caches as I recall. Instruction set-wise, yeah, it's got a lot in common, with extensions everywhere of course. But if that's the case, why use the 386 as the object of comparison? The origins of the Athlon goes all the way back to the good ol' 8088 from the late 70s. :p
     
  3. thejeek

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    Yes, this obsession that there must be an ever increasing 'bitness' in consoles is a bit odd but seems very entrenched, persisting long after it had any real meaning.

    Outside the console world, isn't the 'bitness' of a system usually defined as, approximately, the lower of the natural integer size and the size of an address?
     
  4. MrWibble

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    Not unless the original Amiga (and anything else 68000 based) is going to be promoted to "32-bit".

    There is no good definition for this - it's largely a marketing invention - want to make your system sound as good as, or better than, a competitor? Find some part of your system with an appropriate number of bits in use, and use that to justify an arbitrary label...

    You almost have to admire the restraint Sony showed in not marketing the PS2 as a 2560-bit console :)
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    I understand the POV, and generally concur. But how can you feel a product is not of type x if you don't know what type x is? Even if you don't actually know and only have an opinion, you still need some idea of what it is you think a thing isn't.

    How can you say a Jaguar XK-8 isn't an SUV if you don't know what an SUV is?
    How can you say liquid Helium isn't a superfluid if you don't know what a superfluid is?
    Or feel an Oak Tree isn't deciduous if you don't know what deciduous means?

    Jacob has to have some idea himself of what 128-bit means (even if the wrong idea), so that he can look at EE and decide that it doesn't fit his description of a 128-bit processor!
     
  6. thejeek

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    Well, I'd argue that the 68000 is a 32-bit CPU, by conventional definitions even if the Amiga is traditionally termed a 16-bit system system by console standards. But this is obviously a bigendian/smallendian type dispute (in the original Swiftian sense) and I wouldn't push the point.

    I think that for general purpose CPUs there is more agreement on how to define 'bitness' than there is for games consoles, perhaps because they've not really been marketed as having more bits than the competition

    Yeah - missed oppotunity there! Though Flipper had a pretty wide bus to embedded memory also so admirable restraint from Nintendo there too...
     
  7. Urian

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    For me the correct definition of gaming generations are:

    1979-1984: 8 bits generation.
    1984-1992: 8 bits scrolled generation.
    1989-1996: 16 bits generation
    1994-2001: CD-ROM generation
    2000-2006: DVD Generation
    2005-2???: HD Generation
     
  8. thejeek

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    Ahh - but do you include the Wii in your 'HD Generation' then? Or the N64 in the CD-ROM generation? Or even the Gamecube in the DVD generation (Nintendo always the odd one out :wink:)

    The whole business is a can of worms really. It's useful to have labels for these things so we can talk about them and expect everyone else to know what we mean but it's hard to find a label by trying to pick a feature (like bits or having a CD) for a given console generation that was applicable across all machines of that generation and not to other generations - it's impossible, I think.
     
  9. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    I agree, though the CD-ROM gen was also the 32-bit gen. And that the 64-bit gen was ironically a CARTRIDGE gen... :twisted:

    I can't wait to see what name they'll give to the PS4 generation....... :lol:
     
  10. stepz

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    Which bus is that? Take for example the K8 architecture, it has a total of 96 bits of I/O buses (2*16bit*3) and a 128 bit memory bus (144 if you count ECC :)).
    More accurate would be to differentiate instruction set defined address size, addressable virtual memory size and addressable physical memory size. These would be 64/48/40bits for current A64, 64/48/36 for Pentium4 and Core2 and 64/48/48 for next gen A64.

    But anyway, the bitness metric is utterly nonsense. Even if it was defined what was measured, it still wouldn't be a lot of use as an evaluation for "goodness".
     
  11. thejeek

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    It's clearly nonsense as a metric, or at least as a metric of some property specified in advance (it might be possible to bend the interpretation with hindsight to fitting, though - people certainly keep trying). I doubt you'll be able to pursuade anyone to stop using the term though - there seems to be a deep set desire to take all the different characteristics of a games console and condense all that infomation down to a small number of bits :smile:

    Used as an arbitrary term, simply to lump together a generation of consoles, 'bitness' is surely harmless though?
     
  12. crystalcube

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    Actually there is a common convention.

    thats it ;)

    CPU bit size is normally referred to size of its general purpose register, which sometimes is also refrred to its Word size or in another words size of native int type.
     
  13. MrWibble

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    So the Megadrive, Atari-ST and Amiga were 32-bit machines...
     
  14. Shifty Geezer

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    I remember 68000 was always referred to as a 16/32 bit hybrid. The machines on the whole may have been classed as 16 bit based on the other custom chips too? It's all very fuzzy, like many things. (maybe I'd better pop down the optician for a check up :???: )
     
  15. MrWibble

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    Yeah, it was a 32-bit chip with a 16-bit bus... There wasn't much 16-bit about it really (apart from the multiply... address space and data-word size were all 32-bit in all but the more esoteric variants IIRC).

    Like I said, in my experience the most common way of declaring a machines "bitness" was to refer to its main data bus. At the very least, this "works" for pretty much every console and computer generation up until recently (and I thought we'd more or less stopped the practice anyway, considering very little in computers is getting wider anymore, and we're now concentrating on clocks and parallelism...)

    I long suspected that people with other definitions simply *assumed* it was refering to some other, coincidentally similarly sized, part of a chip... however it's really just a made up number.

    The whole thing is arbitrary and pointless - you'll always get someone else chipping in with a "oh no, the *real* definition is..."
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    I haven't heard of bitness being applied to devices for an age, except Athlon64 and 64 bit in the computing space. Which is being tooted as a speed up, but again I'm not sure why, unless all your data is now 64 bits. Certainly twice the bittage doesn't net you twice the speed.
     
  17. Rodéric

    Rodéric a.k.a. Ingenu
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    Athlon64 speed up comes mainly from the increased number of registers, when running in x64 mode.
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    What does 64 bit bring to the PC space. Um, what does 64 bit even mean in this context?! How is a 64 bit OS and applications going to speed things up?
     
  19. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I think "bittness" is the horsepower of the puter world. Everyone ignores the torque and the power band. :)
     
  20. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
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    Torque in the computing world would be memory latency methinks, which would make the humble gamecube the equivalent of a 12-liter diesel truck engine... ;)
     
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