Texture cache of the N64 vs. that of Playstation

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Squeak, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Well I haven't tried Quake 2 at 320x240 on a Voodoo1. But I think it might run ok. Quake 2 will overfill the common Voodoo1's 2MB texture memory however and stutter sometimes with swapping as a result.

    I think Voodoo1 probably has a lot more fillrate than N64. It also doesn't have problems z buffering for example. Some other chips do though, like say the Rendition Verite V1000. VQuake doesn't use z-buffering.

    I remember asking on Dimension3D about 20 years ago if N64 was as powerful as a Voodoo1 PC and they were not very positive about that lol. Maybe Azbat will say hi.
     
  2. phoenix_chipset

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    I think Q2 is 640x240 on 64 with the expansion pak enabled? Not too sure but that's a common res on 64.

    Looking at voodoo 1 a bit... it has 800 MB/s of bandwidth but is clocked a touch lower than 64. Fillrate is listed as 50 MPs for the voodoo but The highest rating was 62.5 MPs for the 64. So from what I can tell they seem pretty comparable but you have more bandwidth for the voodoo.

    A voodoo in a console without PC overhead and faster memory would be interesting, tough to say what kind of memory setup it would have had though.

    Edit : got numbers mixed up.
     
    #62 phoenix_chipset, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  3. Squeak

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    Well Voodoo has to fill a screen that is at least double the size and most often four times. So they have more or less the same bandwidth comparetively.
    And the main memory over PCI is somewhat comparable to the cartridge.
    In fact N64 is in many ways a Voodoo in a PC, console equivalent.
    Compare for example Turok between the two.

    Interestingly Voodoo textures, while filtered, actually doesn’t seem that hot either, in many cases worse than Playstation textures.
    Is there an analogy/connection?
    Did the Voodoo have a texture cache or equivalent?

    Also, N64 textures doesn't seem to be at the maximum resolution that will fit within the cache, that is 64x64 where it would be appropriate, like on most landscape and environments (90 to 60 percent of most games graphics rendering).
    64x64x4 is actually not half bad for the resolution rendered at, and what most textures are from games in the 90's before detail texturing came.
    Most games seem to stick to 32x32 textures or lower. Any reason for that?
     
    #63 Squeak, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  4. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Voodoo has a 256x256 pixel size limit to its textures. It also has a RAMDAC dither filter that gives the output a certain look. Their gamma calibration is also a little different... These cause problems for screenshots.

    The Rendition Verite V1000 theoretically has ~45 mpix/sec fillrate so it sounds like it could compete with Voodoo right? Well, like N64, it does not achieve anything like that with some features enabled. Like Z buffering. It also can't do per-pixel mip mapping. This was where Voodoo kicked everyone else's ass - they could run with all the features without much hit and they had all the right features, especially for 1996.

    I made some VGA captures years ago of Voodoo1.
    Turok 2 - this must be 2-3x faster than N64.


    Quake 3 with various texture detail levels


    UT99 with High and Medium texture settings.
     
    #64 swaaye, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  5. Squeak

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    I see precious few examples of textures that looks above 64x64, and certainly none that look even 128x128, in the videos of Voodoo rendered games I can find.
    Of course having a maximum limit in a spec sheet does not mean it is attainable in a typical game.

    Both Voodoo and RCP share common DNA and development period.
    It would be strange if they didn't have things in common.
     
  6. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Voodoo 1-3 all have the same texture limit. It became a problem in 1999 or so. NV certainly targeted that limit in advertising because even TNT can use bigger textures. Quake 3 might use larger textures than 256x256 in some cases.

    N64 seems quite different to me than the Voodoo ASICs. RSP does sound and graphics for example, being a sort of CPU. The graphics featuresets seem familiar certainly, though N64 has very funky limited precision "trilinear" filtering. Both can do edge AA, but 3dfx Glide games rarely did for some reason.
     
    #66 swaaye, Aug 2, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  7. Squeak

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    The Unreal example in your edited post definitely seems better looking than just about any Voodoo run game I've ever seen. Is it just the concept of detail textures thats helping so much, or is it really a plain Voodoo?
    Turok and Quake compared looks just a bit better than N64, which could come down to a variety of factors in the host machine the card is in.
    RSP includes stuff that would later become common on GPU/VPUs, like the 3D DSP and register combiner.
     
  8. Reznor007

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    The first unreal was basically built for voodoo cards. Glide was the primary renderer, with direct3d being the fallback for non voodoo cards. The detail textures really help give things a much higher resolution look than they normally would.

    As for N64, in many cases it was cpu or bandwidth limited not gpu limited. If you are technically inclined you can lift/jumper certain pins on the n64 cpu to configure its clock multiplier in order to overclock it. In this state, many of the more demanding games run significantly faster. This can introduce instability in some games as timing mechanisms won't match the expected speed. This also makes the cpu run much hotter and may require active cooling.
     
  9. phoenix_chipset

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    @swaaye I would just note that if that's voodoo 1 as it was back then, it's hardly fair to use a cpu faster than Xbox and 256mbs ram vs the 64 :p
     
  10. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    Yeah. The point at the time was to not have a CPU bottleneck. I did videos of about 20 cards. N64 was not in mind at all. Just an old PC card exploration. I hadn't used many of the cards before.

    When I bought Voodoo 1 back in the day I put it into a Pentium II 233. With 64MB. :) I'm not sure what a typical setup might have been. Probably P166 - PII 233.
     
    #70 swaaye, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  11. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    One thing about N64 that I always notice is the simplified bilinear texture filtering that takes into account only 3 points. Some people call it "triforce" filtering because of the triangular artifacts. It also seems angle dependent to some degree.
    https://filthypants.blogspot.com/2014/12/n64-3-point-texture-filtering-in.html

    This looks like a real N64 capture. It's kinda blurry and I think it's with a poor quality svideo cable, but if you look at the runway you can see the filtering behavior. Watch the center stripe for example.



    Another interesting quirk is the edge AA sometimes gets pixel colors wrong and you see erroneous specks on edges. See Perfect Dark intro logos.
     
    #71 swaaye, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  12. Megadrive1988

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    Imagine if M2 had lived upto its promise (and hype)

    MODEdit: Magazine scans are not allowed on B3D, as they are copyright violations. Sorry.

    Man, I *so* bought into the hype back in 1995-1996, but by 1997 it was clear M2 couldn't do these things. Still. D2 looked very nice--More interesting that the completely different Dreamcast game that came out years later.
     
    #72 Megadrive1988, Aug 3, 2018
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  13. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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  14. phoenix_chipset

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    Thought this would be interesting, bit of an explanation of N64's gpu structure from some programmers of conker : Bit of insight on how quite a few N64 games have nice dynamic lights and maybe how the numbers may not tell the whole story of the hardware. Chip quoted as "very powerful."



    Also check out that rippling water!
     
    #74 phoenix_chipset, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  15. Squeak

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    It basically only affects large oblique polygons almost at a ninety degree angle to the screen.
    I only remember a few instances of it Oot to be honest.
     
  16. Squeak

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    Just discovered something on the Wikipage for the RCP:
    "The RDP contains 4 KB of on-chip TMEM (texture memory) in which the RDP can reference up to eight textures (so-called "tiles") at any given time. The size of the available texture memory may be reduced further if using texture lookup tables (TLUT), since the high 2 KB will be used to store the lookup tables."
    What is this?
    The CLUT is stored in the texture buffer?
    That would explain some things.
    Is that always a full 2Kb that is taken? A four bit CLUT will only take 512 bytes and an eight bit 1 Kb.
    Is this even true?
     
  17. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    ERP talked a lot about the cache and some other aspects years ago.

     
    #77 swaaye, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  18. phoenix_chipset

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    Seems to me Erp's insight is good from the perspective of a studio with limited budget and time (and also what sounds like not a good relationship with ninty) but maybe not representative of the systems max capabilities. He said gamecube was weaker than ps2 which is clearly the opposite in terms of model and environment geo and textures/effects.

    Stunt racer 64 actually looks pretty fun, should pick that up. Edit : wow that game is over $100 o_o
     
    #78 phoenix_chipset, Aug 4, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  19. function

    function None functional
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    Nintendo's relationship with none Dream Team members was not great. The microcode they made available to many developers had performance issues, and developers had to use it to achieve cert. All developers are limited in terms of time and budget.

    Throwing shade at ERP's ability to assess the GC - a machine for which he hand wrote code to accelerate culling beyond the limits of the T&L unit - is something you really need to be able to back up. His comments are in tune with those the highly talented Burnout developers and contradicted by no-one with hands on knowledge of the systems. Using your evidence-less criticism of his assessment of the GC as a reason to FUD up his comments on the N64 is not helpful.
     
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  20. phoenix_chipset

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    As noted in the video I posted you could rewrite the micro code for better performance. Yes it was dependent on Nintendo's approval, but the fact remains thehardware was capable of more than the majority of studios were able to achieve.

    I'm not interested in a biased opponent with regards to the gamecube, it's an undeniable fact it was more capable than ps2 in everything but alphas and dynamic geometry. I'm not calling erp a liar, but it's one man's assessment : from the perspective of someone who didn't ship a game on it, let alone solely focus on it for an exclusive game with a large budget.

    You and the rest of you old boys here can cherrypick which data is reliable and agree on it here, but the agreement will be isolated to the forum.

    I'm esp. not interested in discussing with you in particular since you already assumed I was ignorant on what hardware was available in 96. Move on if i'm just a ninty fanboy yeh?
     
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