Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2021]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by BRiT, Jan 1, 2021.

  1. DSoup

    DSoup Series Soup
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    R&C is not the test. Have Sony provided RTOS-like guaranteed API turnaround times for devs that are predicated on I/O bandwidth? What about running R&C whilst capturing video and downloading at maximum throughput..

    It is always the worst case scenario that defines minimum standards.
     
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  2. higherARC

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    Confirmed now XSX runs Control smoother. That photo mode with unlocked FPS really showed how much headroom XSX had
     
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  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Good questions; but typically isn’t the PS5 always recording anyway ?
     
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  4. Karamazov

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    i mean how can it be seen as bad news ? only means that future games should use the SSD even better, at least in first parties, that would also mean that people getting slower SSDs might have some trouble in the future, but i guess they'll just have to play the games from the internal storage.
     
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  5. cwjs

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    we've come a long way on platform hype this year.

    Unrelatedly, has there been any word on whether df is doing a psychonauts video?
     
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  6. Dictator

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    yeah
     
  7. function

    function None functional
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    I think this once again highlights the danger of trying use PR in technical discussions.

    Only a week or two back we had people arguing that R&C gameplay was not possible on a lesser SSD because ... carefully worded dev tweets seemed to allude to that. Furthermore, that interpretation should be treated as gospel, and so Jon Burton of Travellers Tales was lying and jealous when he accurately talked about how transitions and micro levels could be constructed without such raw speed, by using things like deterministic pre-loading and micro areas built from small footprint, repeated assets.

    It just bums me out, because we never learn collectively.

    This isn't to say that R&C doesn't look awesome, because it does, or that the transitions aren't handled really well, because they are, or that PS5 SSD isn't great, because it is, or that even more impressive results can't be attained in the future, because they can be.

    It's just to say ... ease off on the Cool Aid, and don't have an issue if people question drinking it.

    I do agree that R&C isn't the test, and nor should it ever have been presented as the proof.

    It's a great looking game, but the speed of the transitions isn't purely down to the raw speed of the SSD (which is really damn good for a year 2020 console!). I mean, a lot of us could see that, but it wasn't a popular opinion.

    MS reckoned that from their 2.4 GB/s for XSX, there was a guaranteed minimum of 2 GB/s at all times for games. Whether that was guaranteed over a second, or a frame, or some other period of times I don't know. I don't expect that PS5 would lose significantly more BW than XSX for the same types of operations.
     
  8. function

    function None functional
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    I believe so, but IMO it's probably recording to ram constantly in the form of a limited period buffer, and only copies to SSD when you tell it to. This would save power (SSD writes seem to take more power than reads) and also increase the effective lifespan of the SSD which is after all soldered to the mobo. I think XSX works the same way too - makes sense for both Sony and MS IMO.

    MS have guarantees on worst case SSD read BW for the SSD regardless of what the OS is doing, and iirc it's only about a 400 MB/s hit with 2GB/s guaranteed. I don't see Sony vastly expanding on this.

    Worst case OS SSD use shouldn't remotely make up for the gap between 5.5 GB/s and 3.2 GB/s. R&C simply doesn't need a 5.5 GB/s SSD. That's no slight on Insomniac, PS5, or anything else. It does perhaps reflect poorly on some of the more partisan console commentators out there though.
     
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  9. ThePissartist

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    It's definitely something that would be good to get a clear answer on. It's something that opens more questions than answers.
     
  10. cwjs

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    furthermore, It's pretty easy to understand the marketing-speak even if you aren't a dev. 'this isnt possible without the power of [ps5 feature]' means you couldn't do this the same way on the ps4. 'requires the power of the series x' means you couldn't do it the same way on the xbox one. Platforms conveniently leave out their direct competitors just like marketing in every other industry.

    (the other, slightly less common 'misleading marketing' is actual mistakes that usually come from small studios -- games that 'weren't possible last gen' and then have a last gen port come out a year later. I chalk those up to marketing in less professional teams running with knee-jerk answers before research has been done to actually find out.)
     
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  11. iroboto

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    Indeed this probably makes the most sense. If you’re doing a 30 second clip and rewriting over the memory buffer. But for those 15-20 minute clips where you have to click on “start recording” I don’t think it will do this the same way. But it may just be the same buffer writing out to the drive every 30 seconds worth.
     
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  12. Allandor

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    Well the results are not surprising so far. The limiting factor is not the SSD at a specific point.
    But the question is, what did sony do with the BC performance. I know cyperpunk is a quite buggy game, but still. I really get the feeling that Sony removed parts of the CPU that are especially used for decompression as they are no longer needed for PS5 games.
     
  13. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Even if he was right, he could still be jealous. Not saying he is, but who knows what's in his heart. We need a full brain scan with EKG presented in a 40 minute video with bar charts narrated with a Australian accent. Someone call Hardware Unboxed to benchmark Jon Burton's heart!
     
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  14. function

    function None functional
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    I would watch this video!

    I feel Jon Burton's heart rate would be measured at 56 bps even during an earthquake and then afterwards, my Megadrive would run 20% faster....
     
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  15. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Record him with a 30hz thermal camera, but the footage comes out 120FPS because he keeps changing pallets mid frame.
     
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  16. function

    function None functional
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    I feel he is so skilled he could even do this at his own funeral ....

    ...and then post the footage to DF even when he was dead.

    ... Legend.
     
  17. Dr. Nick

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    This is not directed at you but people saying it was not possible on lesser SSDs. I think some people were forgetting what launch games are supposed to be about. Getting the likely PlayStation 4 owner to upgrade to a PlayStation 5. I doubt competition with other next gen consoles played much of a role in the making of the latest R&C. It was likely more about how can we wow people who own a PlayStation 4. Jon Burton might indeed be right but I really believe there would need to be a lot of compromises to make it happen on the PS4/PS4 pro. I really do think they needed an SSD to pull it off. It was just questionable if they needed one as fast as what is in the PS5 in order to pull it off. That being said I'm sure devs will do everything possible to squeeze every bit of performance out of that drive before the generation is over with but right now I think devs are just grateful for better storage performance period.

    While I'm not sure if anything was removed for decompression it would not surprise me the did add a decompression chip after all. Their focus is certainly not on last gen games but it is not like the games load times are worse than they were on the PS4.
     
    #2977 Dr. Nick, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  18. chris1515

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    This isn't impossible on PS4. You already have fast travel but it means portal animation would be much longer on PS4. Loading screen did not disseapear with SSD, they are just faster. I remember people saying on PC we have loading 20 to 30 seconds with SSD and this is impossible to go faster. The PS5 SSD is not special using the same I/O you can go faster with a faster SSD the SN850 and slower with a SN750 E SSD. Does Ratchet and Clank push PS5 I/O to the max probably not the case and another things R&C is a linear game. I expect SSD to be pushed further in Open World games but at the end the SN750 E is less than two times slower than the PS5 SSD. This is not a SATA SSD or worse a HDD or even worse a Bluray disc. Jon Burton did a comparison with PS3 and on this hardware the streaming was done for some of the games from BR disc, some games used HDD. On GTA 5 the streaming was coming from BR + HDD. Doing the exact same thing load the assets for all level at maximum quality is possible but minutes portal animation is not a good things. Here they load data during portal transition, this a loading screen in disguise and they load full level and maximum assets quality.

    Loading is not only I/O operation but CPU operation to setup the level. And no game will be impossible on SN750E because it will take less than two times longer to load data. If some data wil need 1 second to load on PS5 internal SSD they will need less than 2 seconds on SN750E... This is not a SATA SSD or a NVME SSD without PS5 I/O stack or Direct Storage.

    EDIT: Anf if PS5 had a 5400 or 7500 HDD, it doesn't mean R&C would be impossible but some compromises in assets quality and loading times would need to be made. And portals would not be design the same at all because wait 1 minute or more in a portal is not an option at all.
     
    #2978 chris1515, Sep 22, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
  19. chris1515

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  20. DSoup

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    This is my understanding, yes.
     
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