Current Generation Hardware Speculation with a Technical Spin [post GDC 2020] [XBSX, PS5]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Proelite, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. BillSpencer

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    Well, it was not really a concern to me. Back in 2019 the boss of Xbox was already playing Series X in his home, playing with friends and with his Elite 2 controller:



    It is a shame that the corona virus happened after this, because based on Phil his posts, and the confident showing of MS inviting Digital Foundry and others into the HQ, it looks like it was going to be an amazing system at launch.

    When they were shown the console though, was literally nothing discussed about tools or Phil having his own Series X for months though?
     
  2. Karamazov

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    could the slightly longer loadings on XsX be due to the split ram pools more than the SSD speed ?
     
  3. BRiT

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    At that point in 2019, any game they were playing on early hardware was using XDK and running in Backwards Compatibility modes. They didnt even have fully debugged and full speed decompression in hardware devkits until after June 2020, as listed in the Leaked Devkit Release notes.

    As has been the common practice with Microsoft Xbox development through the generations, early game development uses PC hardware with target specs until hardware is ready. So not having completely finalized hardware has not been an issue in the past with game development. At the point when press was at MS campus to get early Series X hands on in March 2020, Microsoft was following their plan.

    If rumors were close to accurate, Microsoft originally planned to release Series X before or around d August 2020. Seeing as they pushed it to November should tell you their original schedule didn't turn out how they had planned. Either underestimating the work required or the impact the worldwide pandemic has had.

    Also remember that they had to revise tools to allow for remote access and debugging so developers did not have to be within physical distance of the hardware in order to do development. That likely wasn't even an item on the original project plan. It was required because of the pandemic. So any time spent on getting that working would push other items out.
     
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  4. BRiT

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    Its still a single ram pool, just at two different speeds, and 336 GB/s is still orders of magnitude faster than even the PS5 NVME setup. I dont see memory bandwidth being a bottleneck on initial loads.
     
  5. DSoup

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    Phil Spencer was right, 2020 is/was "an incredible year" but for all the wrong reasons. Reflecting on 2020 I really appreciate being a gamer because the console launches have been a beacon of fun and joy in a year that has otherwise been bloody miserable.

    Also ROPS and cache and stuff. :yep2: Sneakily back on topic. :runaway:
     
    #5005 DSoup, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  6. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I guess this a more likely the further back significant development began. No team wants to change their development environment mid-way through production - at least not unless it's super low impact or massively beneficial.

    I'm curious how different GDK is from XDK and the pros/cons.
     
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  7. Unknown Soldier

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    Not trying to be an arsehole but isn't what you are saying above speculation and borderline fabrication?

    Unless you have sources and information you haven't shared with us.

    The June 2020 devkit as noted in the Leaked Devkit Release notes, did have previous versions. And with all the issues cropping up now in the gameplay shown by DF and others with the XBSX performing underpar, I doubt the June 2020 version will be the last or final update and it will likely have many more iterations to fix all the issues cropping up.

    With DF and others getting access to the hardware in March 2020, I would expect that the specs would have been finalised at that point. I mean the XBSX was announced in Dec 2019 at the Game Awards and the announced release date was Holiday 2020 and around the same time Spencer said he had one at home and was playing games on it. As far as I know, Holiday 2020 does not include August 2020. Or am I mistaken?

    I would be shocked that a company like MS wouldn't have remote access and debugging tools available to developers well before Covid was ever announced. If they really had to revise their tools because of Covid, I would blame leadership for being well behind the times. Cloud storage and computing has been around for a while already and is a huge Microsoft income source.
     
    #5007 Unknown Soldier, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
  8. Unknown Soldier

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    Well the difference is clearly that it's supposed to support more devices that the XDK supported. As for the pros and cons. Guess we will find out sometime in the next two to four years when the next-gen Xbox games start coming out.
     
  9. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    This is know, I'm interested what the tools in GDK do that XDK don't and vice-versa. Or what are they doing differently that has causing devs a some friction to optimisation.
     
    #5009 DSoup, Nov 20, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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  10. turkey

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    GDK I believe is supposed to free more memory and CPU cycles on Xbox One according to the dirt 5 technical director in that 2hr fanboy interview.

    That is a tangible difference I believe we can say we known about GDK. So its scope is to improve all targets not simply unlock RDNA2 features for next gen.

    The cloud or rather Xbox One S being the cloud baseline probably ensures it will continue to get meaningful platform improvements for a while still.
     
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  11. Johnny Awesome

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    This whole thing reminds me of a less extreme version of X360 vs. PS3, where the PS3 struggled at the beginning but slowly regained it's footing as the generation continued, with better tools and new ways of programming. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out more than 10 days from launch. :)
     
  12. Globalisateur

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    I don't believe anymore those excuses about the immature tools that could explain some odd performance bottlenecks. I think it's some kind of damage control. From actual developers (Matt, Fafalada), the GDK is available since more than one year ago and according to the latter Xbox tools have never being so good compared to previous launches. The technical director of Dirt 5 also confirmed the tools weren't not lacking and they were very happy with them.

    Finally there is this from Fafalada:

     
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  13. BRiT

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    From the leaked release notes of the the GDK which I think was from June 2020.

    I also specifically called out their earlier release timeline as being based on rumor. That portion was about releasing Series X early and having Series S in the typical release window. This was part of their "being bold with this release" plan.

    @Unknown Soldier

    Here's from the section:

    20201120_082749.jpg
     
  14. BRiT

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    Did you miss the part where they said "Doesn't mean the stack is performance optimal"
     
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  15. AbsoluteBeginner

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    But this cannot be true, rendering time suddenly going from 8ms to 16ms is expected, there is severe HW bottleneck somewhere there.

    Ups forgot /s
     
  16. BRiT

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    Still, even with that, the retail issue with high framerate 120 Hz mode on cross-generation cross-platform games would not be tied to devkit hardware, other than showing how rough things were in certain parts at certain times.

    Others have mentioned the new RB+ that may play a part.

    I think part of it may be related to "drivers" for the new DX12 Ultimate and the RDNA2 front-end that translates a lot of the shaders to NGG Primitive Shaders. But thats just throwing a dart with no basis. There's so much of it that I don't have the details to.

    Normally a game on console ships with shaders precompiled or in some intermediate state. This was mentioned in the PC Shader Compilation thread. So when do the shaders get converted to NGG primitive shaders? Would that have been at game compile and build artifact time? Or is that handled during runtime?

    What if there have been improvements in that area, then how do you roll out those improvements? If its handled at runtime, then its possible for improvements to be rolled out through console firmware updates. If its at build time, then the games would need a patch.

    It may be of interest to watch the performance improvements of RDNA2 PC GPUs through driver updates.
     
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  17. iroboto

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    You'll need a lot more data points to prove it's an architectural issue. Typically in software development it's significantly easier to develop code that underperforms/poor utilization of hardware over making something that over-performs. The likelihood that PS5 has developed hardware so great that it can overcome software programming issues and still continue to outperform a variety of higher end GPUS is extremely slim. It's much easier to see a project that isn't utilizing or programmed to be optimal especially for a launch title in which you're targeting a variety of platforms. These are new platforms, new hardware, new drivers, and you still need to support older platforms as well. There are a ton of moving pieces and you may not place as much effort into next gen as you would PS4/XBO gen as that is where the bulk of sales will come from.

    GDK may have been released earlier, but none of the software was cleared for more than early development. Essentially, the June GDK release was likely, if anything, released to ensure titles would be allowed to launch for November. If you look at game development timelines typically you're looking at content lock 8 months before release in which it's a bug fix cycle from that point on. The June GDK being the only _allowed_ gdk to launch a product in, has to ensure all titles that are already through content lock will reach the finish line 5 months later. ie: don't rock the boat. I would say, the probabilities that the GDK is this highly optimized piece of performance kit, over the earlier iterations is likely very low. It's likely, if anything, released in a state to ensure that the games are stable and aren't crashing. I expect the optimizations to come after.
     
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  18. PSman1700

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    DF/Dictator mentioned that the XSS version of valhalla has a smooth/stable 30fps throughout the game. For what its worth.
     
  19. pjbliverpool

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    Guess...
    The 6800 has 3 shader engines where-as the XSX has 2 so there are other differences too.

    The 6800 automatically boosts up from it's game clock so any benchmarks you see online are likely boosting to around 2100Mhz. This means it packing around 33% more shading/texturing capability and around 73% more fill rate. And then as others have mentioned you have the 2TB/s worth of infinity cache.

    It's a cache. So all games are using it by default.
     
  20. iroboto

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    Looks like it's answered here:
    https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...-court-for-ps4-games-running-at-120fps-on-ps5

    A do recall the period that Xbox started implementing both VRR and 120fps support on Xbox titles, but no one knew why since they didn't have the hardware to support it. But I guess the strategy is clear now in terms of the challenges with patches etc. Console software is certainly much more finnicky then I ever respected it for.
     
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