Playstation 3 RSX Graphics is NV47 Based

Discussion in 'Beyond3D News' started by Dave Baumann, Mar 30, 2006.

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  1. Nemo80

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    I just wanted to express that CELL has more of its theoretical peak for use. There is no need to do this kind of audio processing as the 360 has to do. There also is no need to do this kind of heavy decompression (which really is a cpu hog) that has to be done in 360 games because of the compression they use (possibly an advantage of BD).

    Btw. in PGR3 e.g. 2 Threads are used for audio, if it uses so little resources then why do they need that in this case?

    Also MS suggests in this very presentation 1 heavy worker thread and one "lower" thread because the SMT just ain't performant enough to do 2 "worker" threads at once, one would consume too much CPU time because of limited execution resources.

    Actually, i never considered HL2 physics something special, it's not very demanding (even running on Xbox 1!)... something as can be seen in HS is what im talking about (or Resistance). Ive yet to see a 360 game that uses physics noticably at all!
     
    #121 Nemo80, May 29, 2006
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  2. predicate

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    Didn't Ninja Theory say that can swap threads around on the SPEs on the fly relatively easily?
     
  3. Arwin

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    http://www.shacknews.com/extras/2006/032906_markrein_2.x

    "Shack: What are your thoughts on AGEIA's PPU hardware? Any thoughts about how that's going to take off?

    Mark Rein: One thing AGEIA's done that's really smart is that--well, if you've seen our PS3 demo, and this is really version .1, really not a finished performance at all, but we've got some really great cool physics things going on PS3. They've done a really good job of optimizing their library to work well with the SPUs in the Cell processor, which means we're going to be able to get a lot of physics performance out of PlayStation 3. Also on Xbox 360 to some extent, but definitely on PS3 we're going to be able to get a lot of physics capabilities out of that. Which means that, to bring [games using those methods] to a PC, you're probably going to need the hardware. Or you could maybe scale it up even further on the PC, I believe, with their hardware. I think that bodes really well for them if developers go nuts and do really cool physics on PlayStation 3, then if people want to play it to that level on PC, they'll buy the card. So it's a matter of them coming out with great applications, great games that use it. I know Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter will be using the hardware, and Unreal Tournament 2007 will be using the hardware. Not today, but eventually. So I think that's pretty exciting for them, and I think it's going to be pretty cool. "

    Also interesting:

    Mark Rein: We're certainly doing more complex art now. We have the ability to put a lot more polygons on the screen, we have the ability to put a lot more shaders on the screen, we have the ability to make more expressive characters, which means animations have to be much richer. We have the ability to do way more immersive environments, so a lot more energy gets expended there. So what we've done is develop systems within the Unreal engine, like our Unreal Kismet, like our particle system, like our visuals-based material system, to make us much more productive on the other side of the coin: not just on programming but on gameplay, concentrating on being able to make fun game systems as well. So we've reduced a lot of complexity there, we've taken away a lot of the bottleneck that is programmers. We've moved our programmers to be focusing on the much bigger, much more complex, much more effective problems they could work on.

    Instead of little things like--I like to use the example of a bat flying out of a wall. In the past, those things consumed programmers' time, and they didn't want to do it any more than we wanted them to do it. Now, they don't have to get involved in that kind of stuff. The designers can do that, and it's a much more efficient and streamlined process. The programmers now can work on making better AI, and more complex systems, and expanding our technology. Everybody takes our engine and adds something to it. We're seeing, overall, about a 50% increase in cost, because the efforts we're putting in art are much deeper. But, in my opinion, we're making much better games for that 50%. More than 100% better games. So we should be able to recover that money in terms of sales, in terms of quality and great review scores, that should show up in the games that we're making, because our tools are so good. "

    Stress mine. What I learn from this, is that the PS3 looks to have the most advanced physics of the three systems. Also, that relatively more effort is going into Art and content creation in terms of budget, but also it is being produced much more efficiently. Imho, this means anything but a slowdown in content creation, and therefore we should expect more data on the disc. Will be interesting to see what happens with the PC version here, will we get 2 DVD9 discs that we copy to the HDD?

    Also interesting is the suggestion that the PS3 version will be more advanced than the PC version, especially in terms of physics, at least until the Ageia hardware breaks through on PC.
     
  4. Mintmaster

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    I have no doubt you can, but the point is that this is a bad way to separate tasks. Within your physics routine you should make a bunch of threads. Within your warhawk cloud renderer you should make a bunch of threads. Etc. You should direct the hardware to attack the subtasks at any given instant, not try to assign the workloads to specific processors. Sony made some comments along these lines with the PPU being the "director" or whatever, and they're absolutely right.
     
  5. Mintmaster

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    Arwin, I have a hard time believing anything Rein has to say to anyone but a purely technical audience. He's VP of Epic (an AGEIA customer), so there's lot of PR there. Even Sweeney says weird things, though occasionally he's made some decent technical presentations.

    Just look at how GR:AW almost made the PPU look like a detriment instead of a boon to gameplay. Would he feel so confident with those comments today?

    The biggest thing to take away from those comments is the vagueness and lack of quantitative remarks. Of course Cell will be better. My argument is that it's not going a lot better. On a PC, 2x the CPU speed is important, because the game is written with a fixed workload for many platforms, and you see and notice a framerate difference. On the console you reduce the workload until the framerate is the same for each console, and that's not so easy to distinguish. Going from PS2 to PS3 is an enormous difference, so you'll definately feel the physics difference there at times (although it won't always be due to Cell, as RAM and HDD is also a big factor in immersive physics).

    But going from Xenon to Cell, not really IMO. Even in the most ideal situation for Cell's FP power, like a cloth simulation, you have n^1.5 scaling in the method that IBM used to showcase Cell's physics prowess. Assuming 2x the power, how noticeable is the PS3 dev's 126x126 mesh over a XB360 dev's 100x100 mesh running at the same framerate? On a PC, if the 126x126 mesh ran at 60fps only on a top end machine, then having a low spec machine would be very noticeable, because the dev only targets one platform and didn't make that minor visual change to negate the big performance drop on lower spec machines.

    The really big things in physics would be deformable worlds where absolutely everthing can be broken and interacts with other stuff (this is a lot more complicated than the simple tire tracks in MotorStorm). This is an enormous logistical problem, and trying to juggle all that data is a real headache. It's not the CPU power needed. Any approximate hack would look fine, because gamers really don't know the exact way an object is supposed to break. But when you keep making arbitrary permanent changes to your world, you have to keep track of everything. All your reused textures and geometry are no longer valid. Your rendering routines have to handle many more objects. Your have tons of new vertices that no longer come from compact, compressed artwork. Etc.

    Like I said, software is the wall to climb for improvements to immersive physics.
     
    #125 Mintmaster, May 30, 2006
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  6. Mintmaster

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    Nemo80, for the last time number of threads does not tell you anything about the load on the CPU.

    Why make so many compression threads? If you're loading things dynamically, putting a heavy load on each CPU for a short time impacts framerate minimally. "Most common CPU heavy thread" does not mean most CPU time used.

    Why use multiple audio threads? Maybe it's easy to split up. Maybe the audio coder was more talented and had more time to multithread his code. Maybe one thread is used for loading. And your RSX argument is meaningless. You have no idea if all the stuff PGR3 is doing is doable in hardware on RSX.

    It's not that it isn't performant, it's that SMT sometimes hurts, just like with Hyperthreading on Intel machines. You could switch as many software threads as you want with all operating in a single hardware thread. Some light tasks might essentially run for free alongside the main threads, and that where the advantage in SMT is. It seems like you have some fundamental misunderstandings about what they're trying to communicate here.

    Can you give me a link to some videos? Especially for the HS physics. And about XB360 games with "no noticeable physics" (what a uselessly vague statement), most PC games are the same. It's time consuming and expensive.
     
  7. Acert93

    Acert93 Artist formerly known as Acert93
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    It is not shared with the GPU. The CPU can loch cache and also do datastreaming, but the extent of the GPU's interaction, from what I have read, is that it has D3D commands in relation to vertex work (it receives data and communicates where to "end" streaming and whatnot). The GPU does not share or work in the CPU cache.

    It is not shared with the GPU.

    You misunderstand why compression is being used; it is not because content does not fit on the DVD, but because transfering uncompressed data from the DVD to memory is SLOW. Even compressing it 2x will increase transfers speeds significantly.

    So how will Blu Ray being helping with this? It wont be because it is slower than the 12x DVD.

    Now if you had said, "The standard HDD in the PS3" I could agree that the PS3 will have faster transfer speeds but it still does not resolve the problem of limited system memory, and therefore compression is still required. One could argue the segmented memory structure of the PS3 makes compression even more necessary--but then again decompression should be a task the SPEs excell at and I am confident a lot of early titles will probably task SPEs with this very task.

    Why don't you tell us?

    As Mintmaster said, the slides don't tell us anything about utilization. And quite honestly the division of threads in launch titles is pretty remidial and obviously what a developer would aim for under a cruch. The split threads are all tasks easily made parallel, and considering the launch window situation it makes sense.

    The HS demo I saw did not appear to demonstrate physics in any special way outside possibly her hair; and Resistance? It looked like a CoD2 style game with ragdoll from the ~5min of gameplay I watched. A hanging light swung in one scene, but I did not see anything that Far Cry, HL2, Doom 3, etc (i.e. games from 2004) were not already doing.

    Just off the top of my head (and I don't even own one!): NBA 2K6 uses cloth physics on 10 players on the court at the same time. Oblivion has HL2 style physics. PGR3 has a solid feel to the world and also has a cabin view where the camera POV is affected by the bumps on the road, inertia of the vehicle, etc.

    Quite frankly, your ability to pick out "physics" in the short E3 PS3 media and ignore the blatant examples of advanced physics tasks on the 360 -- examples of which have not been done on last gen conosles or the PC -- says a lot about your perspective.
     
  8. Nemo80

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    This is not a misunderstanding. This is again what microsoft suggests to do when DVD limits are reached (because they lack a modern optical disk like HD DVD or BRD), of course it's just a marketing excuse, but once games with huge contents come out something like that will have to be done on 360 (or simply cut down gfx).


    I guess you shold watch another one then before making such comments...


    Really? You mean the small movements that objects do that you throw out of your inv? Sorry but that's far from HL2. In fact no game so far on 360 has physics that come even close to HL2 (except some ragdoll maybe).


    Yeah, sorry but GT4 has better vehicle physics, but it's running on a PS2... ;)

    @ Mintmaster: Of course the number of threads is not directly indicative for the performance, but it's an indirect indication. Since this is only audio one could suggest that that's not a very performance hungry task so using 2 threads for this must mean something (otherwise they could have used one thread and swap around there additional 2nd audio task - whatever they do in there).


    And yes RSX audio does mean alot simply because the 360 lacks something like that which consumes additional performance - that's fact (regardsless if what's done in PGR3 can be done via RSX audio - on 360 no audio can be done without interaction of the CPU).


    Also i think the thread swapping method is far less usable on 360, because they CPU has no internal bus or storage, so all synchronisation has to be done via the slow main RAM or is there another away to let the CPUs communicate with each other?
     
  9. Neeyik

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    This thread is utterly off-topic now so my I suggest that everybody wraps up what they need to say in the next hour or so - after that, it'll be closed.
     
  10. predicate

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    But if they're saying they can easily juggle threads around, doesn't that imply that they're doing what you suggest?
     
  11. Zeross

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    And it's the same on the PS3 : http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/showpost.php?p=685289&postcount=41

    In fact on the audio side the Xbox360 has an edge since its southbridge supports hardware xma decompression with no CPU hit, I don't think that PS3 has something similar.
     
  12. Nemo80

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    Says who? Actually an "XAudio" thread seems to be reserved on the 360, according to the GDC papers, at least it's there (wit hthe same name) on both Kameo and PGR3 (where PGR3 has one sound thread in addition to the XAudio thread.

    Actually 8channel audio does not look like it's just an physical interface to HDMI and something like that (besides the thread you are quoting is very old) ;)

    [​IMG]

    Or looke over here:

    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/9683
     
    #132 Nemo80, May 30, 2006
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  13. Zeross

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    Barbarian is a PS3 he should know better than TechReport which is merely speculating from a diagram that tells us nothing.

    You can read the whole thread where I found the post from Barbarian, Deano says they're using a full SPE for audio.
     
  14. Dave Baumann

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    RSX is not doing audio - its already been confirmed that this is the task for Cell. The diagram is an indication that sound output will be going via "RSX" because of HDMI.
     
  15. Arwin

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    I think there is a rather obvious reason these days for the main processors to do the Audio - if you want any kind of realtime Dolby encoding that is context sensitive to the environment, you need to do that in the context of your game and you need it to be highly programmable. It makes a lot of sense to integrate audio processing in this way.

    This does not belong in this topic, but yes, I think his general point remains. The demand for physics co-processors could grow from PS3's successful implementation. If PC gamers hate anything, it's consoles outdoing them. So they'll do anything to get those specs up. I wouldn't look up strange at all if someone makes a dual-cell plugin card for the PC and in 2 years time a game will support it and make good use of the system's 2Gb RAM in the process.

    Currently, the PS3 has the advantage of having a completely integrated design. But in the next generation, who knows how Graphics cards will be able to interface with Physics cards? It may take a while to be as effective, but eventually they'll overtake the consoles in raw power, and towards the end of the console's lifecycle the PCs will be way ahead, as per usual.

    You would be right if the SPE's weren't architecturally much more suited to physics calculations to begin with. It's not just the raw GFLOPS that counts here, and I think you know that.

    However, we are getting extremely off-topic, so if we continue this discussion then let's pick another thread.
     
  16. ROG27

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    From the latest edition of OPM...

    This is an excerpt of an interview OPM did with Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft:

    It seems like there is extensive use of that wide bandwidth FlexIO bus and sharing of data on the local SPE store level. I imagine cooperation between individual SPEs and RSX will be the way to make PS3 sing.
     
  17. Mintmaster

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    Cell cores cooperating with RSX is strictly for vertex processing only. RSX will let one or more SPE's know when it needs more vertices, and they will be generated until RSX's designated input buffer (probably the local store) is full, at which point it will tell the SPE's to stop.

    This technique will be used mostly as a form of geometry compression. Height fields, for example, can generate a lot of vertex data out of very little input data (I outlined this somewhere in this thread). It could also be used to crank up RSX's vertex shading speed, assuming you can write code that runs faster on CELL.

    Other than simple memory transfer with a few ops, there's no other point in the 3D pipeline that is suitable for CPU intervention. 20GB/s read and 15GB/s write (RSX to Cell) is absolutely peanuts compared to the internal datapaths of a GPU.

    PS3 will sing without any fancy magic. All this bandwidth stuff I'm talking about in this thread is for comparing RSX to G71, and I'm in no way saying PS3 will suck. Amazing graphics at 720p can be done even on a 7600GT (which is very powerful for 1Mpix when you think about it), but the software isn't there yet.
     
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  18. ROG27

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    All I was highlighting was that people pointing to the non-unified shaders of RSX being a problem (weighted for pixel work) because of spikes/bursts in vertex work might take a step back and take a look at the entire system as a whole and how it was configured to deal with that particular situation. By choosing to allocate more of the entire system's transistor budget to the CPU, Sony thought it might afford them more flexibility to do some other things in the future. Kind of killing two birds with one stone...solving that problem and future-proofing the CPU in their minds.

    As for physics/simulation, the sheer number of truly independent threads on the CELL should afford some kind of advantage if they can be managed efficiently. It's not just a raw power problem. The number of independently running simulations in parallel should be able to be increased. The overall effect is more believable depth of realism in theory.
     
  19. Bigus Dickus

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    Physics isn't necessarily a task best suited for high parallelization, however. Multiple independent hardware threads might not be such a boon to physics as most people assume. I'm sure a lot of interesting and clever things will be done with the SPE's, but I doubt physics is something that will be noticeably different from the 360.
     
  20. pjbliverpool

    pjbliverpool B3D Scallywag
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    How do you suppose a Core 2 Extreme would handle vertex shading compared to Cell? Assuming it where used under the same circumstances of course?
     
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