Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion [2021]

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

  1. Dural

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    Hopefully these are just the test games and they eventually push it out to everything, I need FH3 at 60fps. It would would be cool if they could also boost the resolution of games that didn't get an XOX patch to 4K and maybe 360 games too.
     
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  2. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    DF Article @ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-xbox-series-fps-boost-tested

    Xbox Series FPS Boost: five Xbox One games now run at 2x frame-rate
    Back-compat titles tested at 60/120fps.

    Microsoft today lifts the lid on its brand new FPS Boost technology - a series of system level tweaks that allows legacy Xbox One titles to run with twice or even four times the frame-rate on Xbox Series consoles. Far Cry 4, Watch Dogs 2, UFC 4, Sniper Elite 4 and New Super Lucky's Tale are the first five titles to support the new feature - and we've had a chance to test them all. First impressions are impressive and the gaming experience is transformed on every game.

    We've seen a doubling of performance on older games running on the new wave of consoles already, of course. We've looked at Days Gone, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last Guardian and God of War on PlayStation 5, while legacy titles running with unlocked frame-rates can also tap in to the extra horsepower of Xbox Series consoles and PS5. The difference with FPS Boost is that Microsoft's Xbox compatibility team is working its magic this time around to adjust frame-rate caps at the Direct3D level, increasing performance within the system, without any changes at all to the original code. As far as the games are concerned, they're still running at their original frame-rates.

    In prior PR from Microsoft, the Xbox team have talked about doubling performance and at the basic level, that's exactly what's delivered. All of the five titles revealed today operate at 30 frames per second on Xbox One S - and four of them now run at 60fps on both Xbox Series consoles. The exception is New Super Lucky's Tale: this targeted 4K60 on Xbox One X and 1080p30 on Xbox One S. This is bumped up to 4K120 and 1080p120 on Series X and S consoles respectively - so yes, that's a quadrupling of performance comparing One S to Series S. There are no other changes to the game in terms of visuals, but the increase to performance is palpable: as we saw in Ori and the Will of the Wisps, platform games deliver a beautifully crisp experience at 120fps - and the Series consoles fully deliver. New Super Lucky's Tale is on Game Pass, meaning easy access for Series users to check this one out.

    ...
     
  3. ChuckeRearmed

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    I thought close to the metal is better?
     
  4. iroboto

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    as close as possible to the metal much better when you're looking purely at performance ceilings.

    Staying high up allows for a degree of abstraction for compatibility and architecture changes etc. Higher up also is easier to code. The lower you go the more it is on the developer to manage.
     
    #904 iroboto, Feb 17, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
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  5. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    add some post processing AI upscale and their work is done.
     
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  6. Jay

    Jay
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    Something I've always said I'd like to see them do is 50% pixel upgrade and double fps, higher AA and AF.
    That should leave enough headroom to smooth out dips also, otherwise makes it 40%.
    This is mainly for XO titles running on XSS, as due to lack of modes they are more locked and really under utilize XSS.

    I'm not against 900p, just not when you have power to burn.

    This role out reminds me of X360 BC, hopefully they can use lessons learned to ramp up releases even faster.
     
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  7. Riddlewire

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    So if they incorporate this technique for Crysis 3, will it run at 62fps? :p
     
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  8. LiveGamer

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    This FPS boost seems like a nice upgrade for the Series S especially. As most games have had to run under the One S profile.

    This also seems like it will be great for xCloud/GamePass as higher framerates are better for latency when streaming.
     
  9. iceberg187

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    The push for prioritizing frame rate from Microsoft owes a lot to xCloud for that very reason. Simplistic but how to mimic the home experience the best? Make sure the game that you are streaming does not feel like you are controlling a tank.
     
  10. Dictator

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    lol
    no, thankfully. Vsync takes care of that
     
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  11. matthias

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    When a game is finished rendering a frame and wants to send the framebuffer to the display it calls a API function, like DirectX's Present() or something similar. There it specifies its synchronisation interval and then waits for the vertical blank (== when the function returns). In a 30fps title this whole process would normally take 33ms, on Series S and X Present() is called way earlier, because they are that much faster than the Xbox One. Now MS probably changed how this method behaves, with FPS Boost active it doesn't wait for the next 33ms vertical blank but the next 16ms vertical blank. So doubling the framerate and less idle time in the game. Obviously this can only work if the game calculates its internal timing correctly for physics and its game state. If 30fps timing is coded hard, there will be a difference between framerate (is smooth 60fps) and movement or animation speeds (is doubled and 2x too fast).

    MS used a similar technique to boost the resolution in some 360 games on One X. If a game requests a framebuffer from DirectX with a specific resolution, the API returns a framebuffer 9 times the size. I think FPS Boost should even be easier to achieve, because less API functions are involved. The resolution boost also impacts a lot of calls with position coordinates and MS had to check which draw calls to fake and which to leave untouched.
     
    #911 matthias, Feb 18, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  12. DSoup

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    Excellent. I was curious about this. Very clever. People say you can't trust big tech, but it's their APIs you have to keep an eye on! :lol2:
     
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  13. ChuckeRearmed

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    So I presume it can be done for any graphics API?
     
    #913 ChuckeRearmed, Feb 18, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  14. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    any or all APIs? not likely. Only the APIs capable of doing it.
     
  15. ChuckeRearmed

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    I am not sure. I mean if the games uses Vulkan or OpenGL I presume something similar can be also used?
     
  16. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    Ultimately, only the designers of the APIs would know how to hijack it.
    I can't imagine it necessarily being an easy task or something that every API can universally exploit.
     
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  17. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Not if there is proper documentation. There are Glide emulators that let you adjust rendering resolution outside of and beyond what the original software was capable of. You can run the Glide version of Tomb Raider at 4k, for example.
     
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  18. iroboto

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    Right, I've seen some emulation being able to do this as well. But that's not the same as what we see here as I understand. the game is still very much running on a 33.33ms tick, but now outputting 16ms frames.
     
  19. matthias

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    I don't know all graphic APIs. As far as I can see at least it should be possible with Vulkan.
    These games now run on a 16ms tick rate.
     
  20. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Doesn't that depend on how the implemented the game logic? If they were doing independent threads with their own timing it might still be on original tick rate?

    I'm still a little surprised at NSLT getting boosted to 120 fps from 30.
     
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