Emotion Engine vs. XCPU vs. Gekko

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Mobius1aic, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Instead of talking about the graphics capabilities of the 3 systems of last gen (or should I say 4 if I count the Wii? :twisted: ), I wanted to get the take of which main processor of the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube was in your eyes "better" or overall more capable according to your much more educated minds than mine when it comes to this stuff. Like I said, this isn't about graphics, this is more related to physics, AI, orchestration, etc. because it was something not talked about much, however still an important part of the leap from games built on pure imagery and minor orchestration to ones that gain ground both in picture and substance. Of course please take into account that the EE also would be needing to use at least it's VU1 to do polygon transformations, so bear that in mind, but please still don't bring graphics into this, it's not the issue.
     
  2. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    According to Arstechnica in the old days if I remember well, they were praising PS2's emotion engine and VU units as being much powerful when worked together than XBOX1's CPU
     
  3. Crazyace

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    Both Xbox and GC had L2 caches and DP arithmetic, which was good for general code. EE had wider datapaths and a better vector unit ( in VU0 ) which could also run in par. with the CPU.
    VU1 was much more of a shader in operation, as it tied into the GS.
     
  4. ken_masters

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  5. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    In sheer totality I think Sony made a claim that the EE was about twice as powerful as a Pentium III 733 MHz. Even if this was fact, doesn't make up for need to use at least VU1 for geometry.
     
  6. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    Yeah but that included doing graphic where in the xbox the GPU would handle most of it. Also I think it was compared to a P3 500MHz IIRC. Not to mention that those benches could be taken with a barrel of salt.
     
  7. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Well, the "Emotion Engine" (what a name lol) had to perform the geometry work that the GPU couldn't. While on Xbox, the GPU had twin vertex shaders. I really doubt that the 300 MHz MIPS R5000 in the center of the Emotion Engine was a Coppermine-based Celeron-733's equal for general computations, which is kinda what you have left when rendering is included in the equation.

    Gekko also had a GPU with T&L.

    I've seen it as Cube being a bit below Xbox, and PS2 coming in third with respect to practical hardware capabilities.
     
    #7 swaaye, Apr 9, 2008
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  8. -tkf-

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  9. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    Guess...
    That article was written before the PS2's launch though and so the comparison as to which is the stronger gaming system "right now" (in the articles timeframe) isn't really relevant.

    The best PC's of the day only sported GeForce 1's and the articles comparison point is even lower - a TNT2 Ultra.

    Jon notes that the situation is 2-3 years is a little unclearer with regards to PC vs PS2 performance but I think he should have been looking more along the lines of 2-3 months (timeframe of the GF2 launch).

    2 years after that article the GF4Ti4600 was available and 3 years after the 9800pro was. Not much of a comparison to PS2 in either case!
     
  10. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Which is relevant to a discussion on console CPUs how?
     
  11. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
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    Glad to see some attention on the real topic.

    I decided to take a look back at Killzone, and I can't help but notice how much system power it takes to run the AI considering you can change the number of bots on yours or the opposite side in the multiplayer mode if you choose to run bots that is. I tried running the MP with Me + 7 bots against 7 bots and the system was struggling, with framerate picking up gradually as you lessen the number of bots. I remember during the time leading up to its release the Official Playstation Magazine did a feature with Guerilla on the game, where they tried it out, and they did talk about the AI, of which they specially built with self preservation. Idk how much of that "AI they had initially created" got displayed in the real game, but there is no doubt it's using some serious processing muscle it seems out of the EE in the final product. Killzone I think makes an interesting case study, considering it rode the hype machine until it's release to only IMO ultimately not exceed expectations though it's still a very interesting IP that has serious potential. It just should've been on the PC like originally intended. But more on topic, in regards to Killzone's AI I think that might be why there isn't much more to the playable field in this game like physics enables entities like barrels, crates, etc, or even a real ragdoll physics system: too much system burdening. Some other games that were kind of noteworthy to me I think were Area 51 with it's ragdoll as well as some physicallized objects, same with Psi-Ops, as well as Cold Winter which had the full ragdoll, not to mention real gibbing (yes you could shoot off limbs and they still were physics influenced) and pretty much every barrel, table (you could throw em over for cover), or "loose object" in the game had physics to it which I found rather surprising and impressive on a PS2 game and it I think also is an interesting case study.
     
    #11 Mobius1aic, Apr 10, 2008
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  12. Neb

    Neb Iron "BEAST" Man
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    But that Arstechnica article seems to compare PS2 and PC in 3D graphical perfomance. Hence just comparing the PC CPU it would lose since the EE is more of a CPU/GPU processor and more cappable at 3D rendering. But for fair comparision (but not in this thread) it would be a PC CPU + GPU (T&L) vs EE of the same time or around that time frame (after PS2 release/at launch).

    It would be interesting with an article that concentrates on physics, AI etc for each type of CPU.
     
    #12 Neb, Apr 10, 2008
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  13. function

    function None functional
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    I'm having an arse of a time with the B3B search feature (I swear that authentication picture lies) and so I've given up, but I'm pretty sure that one of B3Ds well respected multi platform devs has stated that for almost anything you'd actually want to run on the Xcpu, it's considerably faster than the Emotion Engine.

    I'm pretty sure another dev said of Gekko that clock for clock it's about even with the Xcpu.
     
  14. Crazyace

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    Well clock for clock the EE would probally be even with the XCpu for general code :)
     
  15. Dregun

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    I think the most important thing to remember about the "emotion engine" is that it wasn't used in the same way as the Xbox or GC's CPU. Basically you would have to ask yourself if the GC or Xbox could have performed as good or better then the PS2 if the dedicated GPU's were removed from the respective consoles and relied on the CPU to do all the geometry.

    In my opinion the EE was much stronger then either processor in the Xbox or Game Cube. The PS3 almost took the same route as the PS2, very strong CPU that did the GPU's work as well; as was evident during its final year before release. I wouldn't be all that surprised if the PS4 went back to the PS2 type of configuration although would prefer them not too.
     
  16. Freak'n Big Panda

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    The PS3 was a little bit different though in the sense that it actually has a complete GPU. The EE always had to supplement the GS for geometry with it's VUs whereas RSX can obviously handle everything on it's own. PS3 takes a more traditional approach in this case. I remember early on in PS3 development there were rumors going around that cell was going to do all the graphics processing but I'm pretty sure IBM just told them it's impossible so they stuck RSX in there to take care of it. I'd be surprised if PS4 returned to a PS2 style architecture just because of the programming difficulties associated with it if anything. It's just cheaper overall to go with a more PC like design.
     
  17. taucias

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    Well it's all rumours, but supposedly the original design was not a single CELL but a CELL and a modified graphics version of the CELL. If you compare the XCPU and EE, neither is "better" as they both were designed with very different approaches. Unfortunately you can't run a base comparison.

    I believe that the EE processed more FLOPS, but that again is no real benchmark.
     
  18. _phil_

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    no ,the original design was a custom Toshiba GPU.Cell doing gpu works has never been really that much considered seriously.

    and the EE is more like a CPU with Vertex Shaders embeded (much more programmablethan VS for its time) .
     
  19. Akumajou

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    I would hardly use Killzone or even Guerrilla Games as any indication of a developer tapping the EE to the fullest no matter what story or interview they would claim.

    It makes more sense to compare a game or a dev who worked on PS2 exclusive/specific and that their game genre saw improvements in the form of sequels.

    Killzone 1, although it was an indication of a very dedicated dev working really hard to push the hardware in PS2 does not mean that they could not have done better were they able to make a sequel to their game where improvements are usually seen and noticed.
     
  20. MonkeyLicker

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    Yeah, I remember him saying that. He said that in every case he tried the xbox cpu was faster than the EE, sometimes considerably more.
    You can't really isolate the EE since it has gpu elements bolted on. It makes for a nice spec sheet but means little when actually running a game.
     
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