Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2021]

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pjbliverpool

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Would have been shut down early on if true, people were quite happy to crap all over the PS5 limitations but I certainly don’t recall anything about the IO setup being ‘fairly standard’.

Cerny even went into what was holding things back and why just sticking in an SSD wouldn’t be fast enough.

I was referring to this:

http://cbloomrants.blogspot.com/2020/09/how-oodle-kraken-and-oodle-texture.html

Fabian 'ryg' Giesen said:
In the PS5 case, the goal was for the decompressors to never be the bottleneck in real workloads, so they're dialed in to be fast enough to keep up with the SSD at all times, with a decent safety margin. That's all there is to it.

Along the same lines, 2 helper processors in an IO block that has both a full Flash controller and the decompression/memory mapping/etc. units is not by itself remarkable. Every SSD controller has one. That's what processes the SATA/NVMe commands, does the wear leveling, bad block remapping and so forth. The special part is not that these processors exist, but rather that they run custom firmware that implements a protocol and feature set quite different from what you would get in an off-the-shelf SSD.

September 30, 2020 at 7:56 PM
 

pjbliverpool

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So similar but completely different!? Lol

I guess all cars are the same, they all have 4 wheels and an engine.

Umm, the post I commented on referred to "Dedicated DMA controller, Two I/O Co-Processors, On Chip Ram, & Coherency engines" as if they were somehow unique to the PS5. They're not. That was the point of my post.
 

snc

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Umm, the post I commented on referred to "Dedicated DMA controller, Two I/O Co-Processors, On Chip Ram, & Coherency engines" as if they were somehow unique to the PS5. They're not. That was the point of my post.
really ? can I get source to ssd with two i/o coprocessors ? (I'm not ssd expert its not irony)
 

pjbliverpool

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really ? can I get source to ssd with two i/o coprocessors ? (I'm not ssd expert its not irony)

Any drive featuring a Phison E12 controller has 2 Cortex R5 cores in there. Higher end drives featuring the E16 or E18 have 3.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/16425/phison-at-ces-2021-new-usb-and-nvme-ssd-controllers

Sony have created some new features for the PS5's IO (most prominently the hardware decompression unit and the cache scrubbers) and it is indeed running on a customer firmware, API and driver stack as you've expect of any console, but they've also wrapped some standard hardware features up in pretty marketing material to make it seem as though they're unique.
 

goonergaz

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Umm, the post I commented on referred to "Dedicated DMA controller, Two I/O Co-Processors, On Chip Ram, & Coherency engines" as if they were somehow unique to the PS5. They're not. That was the point of my post.

So a singular response to an article is your evidence...case closed.
 

goonergaz

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Any drive featuring a Phison E12 controller has 2 Cortex R5 cores in there. Higher end drives featuring the E16 or E18 have 3.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/16425/phison-at-ces-2021-new-usb-and-nvme-ssd-controllers

Sony have created some new features for the PS5's IO (most prominently the hardware decompression unit and the cache scrubbers) and it is indeed running on a customer firmware, API and driver stack as you've expect of any console, but they've also wrapped some standard hardware features up in pretty marketing material to make it seem as though they're unique.

If it's nothing special why do PC games not load in 2 seconds? Why to PC games still have loading sections during a game? Why do PCs need direct storage and/or the RTX IO to match or exceed what the PS5 is doing?

Can you also explain why actual known experts haven't come forward to mention this? It's like one reply to an article is the truth...a needle in the haystack that you found.

Sorry, but it seems you and your sidekick are so quick to downplay any advantages a console has over PCs - but don't worry, soon enough you'll be brute-forcing your way back to the top of the pile so why worry so much?
 

snc

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Any drive featuring a Phison E12 controller has 2 Cortex R5 cores in there. Higher end drives featuring the E16 or E18 have 3.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/16425/phison-at-ces-2021-new-usb-and-nvme-ssd-controllers

Sony have created some new features for the PS5's IO (most prominently the hardware decompression unit and the cache scrubbers) and it is indeed running on a customer firmware, API and driver stack as you've expect of any console, but they've also wrapped some standard hardware features up in pretty marketing material to make it seem as though they're unique.
Ok but its from ces 2021 :d you cant say newest ssd controller demonstrated after ps5 premiere is standard and nothing special
 

PSman1700

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If it's nothing special why do PC games not load in 2 seconds? Why to PC games still have loading sections during a game? Why do PCs need direct storage and/or the RTX IO to match or exceed what the PS5 is doing?

UE5 PS5 and 2021 version ran nicely on pc hardware, better so than what the PS5 did. We have had showings here on the forums where a dev showed warping/transitions between worlds without a single hitch going on pc.

The hardware was already there, RTX IO and Direct Storage (aswell as W11) are the software side/stack to accompany efficiency for the new hardware. The PS5 SSD and its IO tech where outclassed at around the time of its launch. NV announced numbers that far exceed what the mere PS5 SSD is capable of doing.
Were at 7300mb/s before compression, GPU compression's a magnitute faster then the fixed function hardware controller of the PS5, aswell more flexible.

Also, as tests have shown, the internal PS5 SSD aint all that impressive to start with, just about any modern nvme in the expension slot does better. The interal stock nvme ssd will be what devs have to target, not the external one.

As others have noted, the hype around the ssd was much more than the final result which is kinda..... meh.

Warping between different environments has been done before, its not a new concept. Its a given that its all done at a higher fidelity aswell.
 
If it's nothing special why do PC games not load in 2 seconds? Why to PC games still have loading sections during a game? Why do PCs need direct storage and/or the RTX IO to match or exceed what the PS5 is doing?

Software, not hardware. The software I/O stack in Windows is geared towards access characteristics of HDDs which is non-optimal for SSDs. On top of that, games have to be written to take advantage of the SSD. If you look at BC titles on PS5, they basically load similar to a PC with any old SSD. Things improve on PS5 when they take advantage of the more advanced compression available in Sony's PS5 SDK. And then when the PS5 I/O stack is specifically targeted by a game like Ratchet and Clank you finally see everything come together, hardware and software.

On PC, you won't have a comparable software I/O stack until Direct Storage comes out. As well, games aren't leveraging compression that is nearly as advanced as currently used on PS5. Sony really hit it out of the park when they made it so easy to use advanced compression in their PS5 SDK. Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Sony there.

And even then, you aren't going to see really dramatic speedups on PC until games are written to leverage SSDs through Direct Storage, but that's no different from PS5. That said, there's at least one title on PC that is written to take advantage of SSDs and it massively reduced loading times in that game compared to when it was written to access storage on PCs in a conventional way.

Considering, that Sony even recommends just a 5.5 GB/s NVME drive for PS5 for similar experience to the internal SSD. It does bring into question when (or if) we'll see something that won't run on a "good" 5.5 GB/s NVME drive (one that is well cooled with an well implemented drive firmware) just as fast as the internal drive.

There is one bit of hardware that is in the PS5 that we're unlikely to ever see on PC and that's the hardware decompression assist. However, considering that Sony recommends just a 5.5 GB/s NVME drive for the external expansion, it would appear that this is available for use with NVME drives as well. IE - it's not specifically part of the internal SSD as it appears it can be used for any attached drive. Of course, considering how much more compute and CPU power performance oriented gaming PCs have, this isn't an issue as can get just as fast decompression of assets using either excess CPU or excess compute resources if needed. I'm going to assume that DirectStorage will take care of those details of how to allocate system resources for such a task.

Regards,
SB
 
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PSman1700

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There is one bit of hardware that is in the PS5 that we're unlikely to ever see on PC and that's the hardware decompression assist.

Its there, in hardware already (GPU compute is hardware), NV stated that the performance hit is negligible when performing decompression on the GPU, with speeds in the numbers of 14gb/s and higher. If gpus these days excell at something it be decompression.
 
D

Deleted member 86764

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If the decompression is done within the SSD, then surely the data would need to move to the GPU at the decompressed speed, i.e., at the base speed? And if the GPU performs the decompression then you're sidelining the dedicated hardware in the SSD...?

It's a bit strange that so many are keen to dismiss the capabilities of the Sony machine, when it's clearly a nice measurable advantage that's not so easy to implement elsewhere.

But then... PlayStation, I get the impression it's not well liked in this forum, but very much liked in general sales. *shrugs*
 

PSman1700

Legend
E16/E18 (nvme 1.4 spec) controllers consist of five cortex R5 cores, 1m IOPS, a +7.4gb/s read & write, 8 channels. Quite beasty.

If the decompression is done within the SSD, then surely the data would need to move to the GPU at the decompressed speed, i.e., at the base speed? And if the GPU performs the decompression then you're sidelining the dedicated hardware in the SSD...?

I can imagine RTX IO/DS (gpu compression) and the ssd controllers working in tandem. A firecuda delivering a raw 7.3gb/s on its own + gpu decompression, where according to nvidia we see numbers starting in the 14gb/s range, all the way to 28gb/s and faster. Now things are starting to get intresting, in special considering latency, IOPS, access times etc.

t's clearly a nice measurable advantage that's not so easy to implement elsewhere.

Clearly it wasnt a problem to implement 'elselwhere' (xbox, pc and probably more platforms).

very much liked in general sales

Oh, going by sales numbers the PS5 is quite a niche market seeing theres a double amount of RTX gpus (dedicated) sold alone. We can surely add another 10m or even double that counting laptops and AMD stuff (RDNA1/2).
 

pjbliverpool

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So a singular response to an article is your evidence...case closed.

From Fabian Giesen, one of the main engineers behind Oodle Kraken. I think he might know a thing or two about storage technology. But hey if you have a better source that contradicts him I'm all ears.

If it's nothing special why do PC games not load in 2 seconds? Why to PC games still have loading sections during a game? Why do PCs need direct storage and/or the RTX IO to match or exceed what the PS5 is doing?

As SB said, it's the difference between hardware and software. My original post was about hardware, not the software stack.

Can you also explain why actual known experts haven't come forward to mention this? It's like one reply to an article is the truth...a needle in the haystack that you found.

Fabian Giesen is a "known expert".

Sorry, but it seems you and your sidekick are so quick to downplay any advantages a console has over PCs - but don't worry, soon enough you'll be brute-forcing your way back to the top of the pile so why worry so much?

This seems overly defensive. I'm not downplaying any advantages, I'm simply pointing out where something appears to have been misrepresented (unintentionally I'm sure). i.e. that there is custom hardware in the PS5 which gives it a hardware based IO advantage over other systems when in fact much of that hardware is already standard in consumer drives. No-ones trying to say the PS5 doesn't have the fastest IO capabilities on the market today (combination of great hardware and customised software).

Ok but its from ces 2021 :d you cant say newest ssd controller demonstrated after ps5 premiere is standard and nothing special

That was just supposed to be one example. There are plenty of others. Here's another for example:

https://www.fudzilla.com/news/pc-ha...motion-launches-pcie-4-0-nvme-ssd-controllers

The Silicon Motion SM2264 features 4x R8 cores. It's mainstream cousin the SM2267 features "only" 2. "IO Coprocessors" really aren't anything new or particularly special. Sony is great at making people think that commodity hardware is something they invented though.

There is one bit of hardware that is in the PS5 that we're unlikely to ever see on PC and that's the hardware decompression assist.

The latest DirectStorage blog (at least I think it came from there - this is from memory) talks about future hardware implementations of the upcoming shader based decompression solution so we may yet see hardware decompression blocks in PC's, presumably built into GPU's. How useful they'll be vs the shader based approach is up for debate though.
 
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