PS2 vs PC at launch [Necro-Tech]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by vipa899, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. vipa899

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    No idea if im on the right place or forum (beyond3d seems to be a console centric forum, more activity in the console sections it seems-....) if thats the case, there wont be any expert or fair answers, but i dont know so i try.
    When the PS2 launched in march 2000, did it best the highest end pc of the time? Lets say you had a P3 1ghz and a Geforce 2 GTS (or something in that range). With this i mean if developers would focus only on that kind of hardware, so both ps2 and the high-end pc get optimized to 100%.

    Seems to be hard to find exact/correct figures on how many gflops, but all i could find was that a P3 @ 1ghz is around 2glops, and a GF2 GTS about 6.4Glops.
    Have seen different figures for the GF2 GTS on videocardz.com where they claim just 2Gflops and less for a GF3, so dunno if thats right.

    GF2 GTS
    http://www.hardware-infos.com/grafikkarten-nvidia.html

    Intel Pentium III 1ghz
    http://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Computing/Computing_Power.htm

    Total Gflops for PS2 is 6.2Gflops.
     
  2. Nesh

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    Well the PS2 had some pretty impressive releases.
    Gran Turismo, Tekken Tag Tournament, probably Ridge Racer V, Dark Cloud, SSX, Ace Combat, MGS2 and a few other games were unmatched when they were released IMO by any platform for some time.
     
  3. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    Well, I had a Celeron 400MHz with 256MB of RAM and a Voodoo 3 and a Matrox G400 -my favourite, image quality wise, but a lot slower than Glide, although faster in Direct3D, and featured native bump-mapping at the time, but I guess the PS2 was superior to my rig (the PC described by the OP might be an entirely different story) except maybe for resolution. Some of the games I played on the PS2 back then, at my best childhood friend's house were pretty impressive on a TV. Especially games like Soul Edge, Pro Evolution Soccer, etc...
     
  4. RedVi

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    PC's of the time were definitely more powerful. The graphics were often only on par or worse because of higher resolution. I know at the time I got a PS2 (2001) I was gaming at 1024x768 on my current PC, as were most others. Shortly into the life of the PS2 I was gaming at 1280x960 and by the end of it's life 1600x1200. Meanwhile practically all PS2 games were 640x240(interlaced).
     
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  5. Karamazov

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    But PS2 games had emotions.
     
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  6. Shifty Geezer

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    There are no fair answers as you haven't qualified the comparison? Best PC in terms of peak flops? Utilised flops? In some areas PS2 will definitely best PC, just as it does every machine, so you need to ask less generalised questions.

    For a comparison, you can only consider peak specs. When it comes to optimisation, the overhead on PC would take its toll, unless you mean the same PC hardware in a console configuration.

    The short answer is probably, "A $2000 PC had more total processing power and potential than a $300 console but, because of its console nature, PS2 provided subjectively better looking games often enough."
     
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  7. sebbbi

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    IIRC this number is the flops of the PS2 VUs. VUs need special code and are thus difficult to compare to general purpose CPUs. Geforce 2 also had hardware transform and lighting (T&L) making it possible to offload geometry transformation and lighting math to the GPU. Geometry transformation and lighting was one of the main use cases for VUs, so offloading these tasks to GPU saved lots of CPU cycles on PC. PS2 VUs were more flexible than hardware T&L in Geforce 2, but on the other hand the PC CPU was much more flexible than the VUs and much better suited for running generic game code than the PS2 main CPU.

    PS3 was in a similar place versus PC hardware of the same time. Core 2 Quad was released during the same period. PS3 Cell CPU was certainly better in highly optimized special purpose vector code (six SPU vector processors), but Core 2 Quad was much better for running generic game play code. Four general purpose cores vs single general purpose (PPC) core of PS3. PS3 PPC core was also much inferior to the Intel CPU cores. Geforce 8800 GTX was released at same time as PS3 and it was significantly better than the modified Geforce 7800 GT found in PS3. Most games used the SPU vector units to help the GPU (lighting, post processing) instead of helping the CPU. So it was practically behind in both CPU and GPU performance compared to a brand new gaming PC.

    Still the PS2 and PS3 games fared well against high end PCs that cost 3x more. Back in the days you also had much more exclusives that weren't available on PC.
     
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  8. phoenix_chipset

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    For games, in general the ps2 was definitely the more capable machine. Pc overhead being one of the major factors but with that aside, the ps2 in particular, as we know, was a bandwidth monstrosity. To my knowledge, starting with the n64 (as before that i'm not too familiar with earlier console tech) consoles were more capable than the PCs available when they launched, until the ps3.

    As far as 6th gen, Xbox had a more advanced gpu than PCs, and gamecube still had its memory advantages and lack of overhead that you had on PC.

    I'd say the dreamcast probably had the biggest lead over same time PCs when it launched in '98. We compare it to the other 6th gen consoles but it came out a mere 2 years after the N64... thing was just a marvel for its time.

    When Xbox 360 launched its main advantage was unified shaders but was lacking in memory bandwidth, among other things. At launch the Ps3 was just blown away by the 8800 gtx, and after that consoles had no chance of closing the gap because of how much bigger and hotter that card was compared to previous cards ; there's no way you were sticking that thing in a console. The cell did have higher peak performance than the core 2's of the day (in certain tasks), but for the stuff cell excelled at, on PC and 360 you would just do it on the gpu, where the 8800 gtx had an overwhelming advantage. Cell pretty much had to compensate for the weaker rsx gpu.
     
    #8 phoenix_chipset, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  9. sebbbi

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    NV2A was good, but the original Xbox CPU was a low clocked 733 MHz P3 Celeron. Intel already had released 2.0 GHz P4 and AMD had 1.4 GHz Athlon Thunderbird, both over 2x faster than the Xbox CPU.
    Xbox 360 GPU (Xenos) was ahead of PC GPUs at launch (both in features and in performance). It was also ahead of the PS3 GPU that launched one year later. Memory bandwidth wasn't that great compared to PC GPUs, but EDRAM meant that render target writes (and alpha blending) didn't consume any memory bandwidth at all. In complex scenes (lots of overdraw or blending) it had practically way more bandwidth than PC GPUs. Xbox 360 CPU (Xenon) wasn't that bad either. It had 3 cores / 6 threads. 3.2 GHz. Full rate 4-wide SIMD multiply+add (FMA) among other goodies. But it was in-order CPU and PCs had out-of-order CPUs that were significantly better for running generic code. Still I would say that Xbox 360 was one of the only recent consoles that had an advantage (albeit pretty small) compared to PC hardware of the same time. But Geforce 8800 GTX was released one year later and it was significantly ahead of Xbox 360 GPU (in performance and features, it was the first GPU with compute shader support).
     
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  10. HMBR

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    back in the day PCs had a big advantage in image quality, often running games at 800x600 and 1024x768 while the PS2 targeted 480i and had games under that.
    PS2 had poor image quality with shimmering and aliasing

    also PS2 had really low memory compared to a PC.
    perhaps the PS2 could run some effects faster with its fillrate and whatnot, but I think the PC could achieve superior results overall.
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

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    PC also had lousy frame pacing and screen tear. I tried to get NWN to run at 60 fps, but setting all the options to lowest quality, it only managed that in the simplest of cases, still dropping frames most of the time, and looked extremely plain. If you disabled VSync to avoid the frame drops, you got multiple tears in the simplest scenes, and if you made it look pretty, you ended up with low framerates.

    In terms of game experience, it's pretty subjective.
     
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  12. ProspectorPete

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    PS2 was developed for tv's (though I had the linux kit which could have a 1024*768 desktop), and launch titles like Tekken Tag tournament had character models and floor textures which were years ahead of anything produced for PC at that point. 60fps as well.
    2001 GT3 also looked better then almost everything released before.
    Console games at the time had better art-styles, character models as well as better developers in general (or at least developers wanting to push the gfx further).

    PC had much, much more power. Compare max Payne on a P3 1Ghz with geforce 2 to the PS2 version, and PS2 seemed like a cheap joke.
     
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  13. HMBR

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    not really a Celeron, a little faster, but yes by November 2001 733 Coppermine was no longer all that great for a PC... the GPU perhaps compared favorably against a Ti 500, but it not only had slower memory but also shared it with the CPU, so I'm not sure.... also 6 months later and the ti 4600 was out, and a few months more the 9700, less than a year later and I think the NV2A already felt clearly outdated for a PC.

    the 360 GPU memory bandwidth was half of what a PC GPU had, and it was also shared with the CPU, but the rest was clearly ahead no doubt.



    well I think you will find that many PS2 games had bad framerate, tearing and so on, also at the time PCs normally had refresh higher than 60, like 85 at least was the average, so I suppose your target would not be really 60 for vsync, and tearing perhaps a little less obvious than at 60?




    and at the time TVs were inferior to PC monitors, a severe limitation, outside of the linux kit the best you could get was probably component video out of the PS2, but most games early on didn't support progressive scan

    GT3 looked great no doubt (I think Gt3/4 were probably the best looking games on the platform, but at the same time it lacked in some aspects to PC racing games, obviously resolution, aliasing, no car interiors, no damage and so on), but as you mention max payne, most of the multiplatform games I can remember early on the PS2 life would be far better on a GF2 gts, some perhaps possible at twice the res or close, in Max payne another advantage was with load times, I think the levels were split on the PS2 with more and slower load screens,
     
    #13 HMBR, Apr 2, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
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  14. vipa899

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    Yeah its like that with consoles, thats why i wrote only on hardware level, offcourse the console is going to have better optimization (in special that time).

    Have allways been like that for every console out there? Even the dreamcast i assume, there were voodoo graphics cards after 1996.

    PC had probally more power, but i dont think max payne was a good port.
     
  15. vipa899

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    It might have gotten better graphics in games (due to optimization), but dont think it was more capable then a pc from the launch timeframe of the PS2.
    Neither N64 or dreamcast had the edge to high end pc's, in '96 the pc 3D videocard era really took off.

    360 had more advanced features but the pc had more grunt.
     
  16. Shifty Geezer

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    Depends how far you go back. In the days of 2D, PC was royal trounced by consoles because PC was a work platform for office applications and lousy game support. But the real draw of consoles has been how much gaming they could bring in at an affordable price, to the point it's a bit daft to ask what was more powerful, a limitlessly priced computer or a cheap mainstream console. Like asking if a cheap private airplane can be faster than a bazillion dollar fighter jet.
     
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  17. vipa899

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    Depends also on what you call a 'pc' or a 'console' in that time era. Myself i see the Amiga more as a pc then a console. The amiga home computers were the top dog of the 80's...
    There were some other computers aswell.
    Back to PS2, yes it was a better price for performance then a high end pc. Things are different now (sadly), PS4 and X1 are holding game advancement back, thought the PS2 (and xbox and GC) where much more special then even the PS3 and X360.
     
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    In what way? They still have the best bang-per-buck - <$300 doesn't get you a whole lot of PC. Steam user survey shows lots of lower spec'd machines than the consoles, meaning, as ever, it's more economics preventing the high-end PCs from being used to their best.

    I'm curious as the intent of your OP. Were you uncertain of the relative power, or were you looking for confirmation of something you already suspected, or what?
     
  19. Cyan

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    Neo Geo and X360 were one of a kind consoles. Million dollar question would be...after many years and much heated debate.... Which was the most powerful console overall in the previous gen? The PS3 or the Xbox 360?
     
  20. BRiT

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    Question for a Different thread.
     
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