The true story of Nintendo64.

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Urian, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. Urian

    Regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    55
    Since 1995 that I heard this story.

    Original Nintendo64.

    -SGI CPU at 105.5Mhz.
    -400.000 polygons/sec, BumpMapping supported.

    The story tells that one day SGI had a mistake in the CPU design and Nintendo was forced to take another CPU from another vendor, the vendor was IBM.

    -IBM CPU at 93.75Mhz.
    -150.000 polygons/sec, BumpMapping not supported.

    The GPU wasn´t a new GPU, but the IBM CPU was a lot incompatible with the routines of RCP and was a bottleneck.

    I need to know only one thing.

    ¿Is this story true or is a hoax?
     
  2. Sonic

    Sonic Senior Member
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    It's bogus. You can even ask Bill about it. Ted can also confirm it.

    The story is quite untrue.
     
  3. PC-Engine

    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,799
    Likes Received:
    12
    The fact the cpu in N64 is made by NEC using the MIPS ISA should tell you whether or not that story is true.
     
  4. Urian

    Regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    55
    Who are Ted and Bill?

    Do they post in this forum?

    :oops:
     
  5. Nick Spolec

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    199
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, but they went on an excellent adventure. Followed by a bogus journey.

    Oh the tales of Bill and Ted! They will live on forever.
     
  6. ERP

    ERP Moderator
    Moderator Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,669
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Drivel.
     
  7. Fox5

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    5
    Well, the cpu is 93.75mhz...
     
  8. Reznor007

    Regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Norman, OK, USA
    Unless you overclock it, and no, I'm not kidding. ;)
     
  9. Fox5

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    5
    But then all your games run out of sync! Though I probably would have water cooled my n64 back in the day if it could have given playable framerates for perfect dark.
     
  10. Megadrive1988

    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Messages:
    4,722
    Likes Received:
    241
    bogus.

    IBM had nothing to do with N64 CPU.

    N64 used a MIPs designed CPU manufactured by NEC, unless I am mistaken.


    originally, N64 CPU was indeed supposed to run at 100 MHz. there were even reports that the CPU would be bumped to 150 MHz.

    polygon performance was originally said to be 100,000 texture mapped polys/sec with all the goodies applied.

    raw polygon performance was sometimes said to range from 1,000,000 polys/sec down to 600,000 polys/sec. flat shaded at most, or perhaps just raw transform.

    final shipped performance is somewhere around 160,000 polys/sec, triangles or rectangles.

    I do not recall any mention of bump mapping whatsoever, from 1993 when Project Reality was first announced, through 1994-1995 when it was known as Ultra 64, to the 1996 launch of N64.
     
  11. PC-Engine

    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,799
    Likes Received:
    12
  12. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,201
    Likes Received:
    91
    No, it uses the R4300i. There used to be a product specs page on MIPS' site, it's probably still there. Go look it up if you want. :)
     
  13. Lazy8s

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    19
    Tom Kalinske (president and CEO, Sega of America): The specs for our next-generation console, the Saturn, didn't look very good, and it was way too expensive - Sega Japan told us it was going to retail at $549. Then Jim Clark, the chair of Silicon Graphics, says, "I've got this chipset that's a derivative of the MIPS chipset that would be perfect for your system." We call Sega Japan and say this thing will be cheaper than Saturn, and that it will move polygons 50 percent quicker. The Sega hardware group comes over and says that the chip is too big, it won't be efficient to manufacture. Forget it. When I tell Jim Clark this, he says, "What do I do with this now?" And I say, "Well, I'm sure there are a few folks who might be interested in buying it." And he says, "Yeah, I've already talked to Nintendo." The rest is N64 history.
     
  14. PC-Engine

    Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    6,799
    Likes Received:
    12
    I'm not really sure Nintendo ended up using MIPS R4300i in the production units. IIRC I saw pictures of a disected a N64 and the cpu said VR43xx so maybe the initial plan was to use the R4300i, but then the final production units used the VR43xx which was backwards compatible? Of course I could be wrong though since I'm just going by memory.

    Yep I was right.

    http://users.tastensuppe.de/~gerhard/images/sgistuff/indy_u64_top1.jpg

    http://sgistuff.g-lenerz.de/pictures/indy.html

    Edit: That is the Utra64 development board.
     
  15. Tysan

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    The initial Specs were something like 100 Mhz CPU and 80 Mhz GPU, that was downgraded to 97-66.

    SGI chip totally destroyed what N64 could have been, 4 kb tecture cache crap and hiper low fill rate...

    If N64 would have been really more powerfull than PS1 [no texture cache limit or maybe at least a 32 kb one and great fill rate to push more polys] Im sure it would have had a lot more succesful even with that damn carridge storage.

    Yay, so many flaws in N64 hard :?
     
  16. cthellis42

    cthellis42 Hoopy Frood
    Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Messages:
    5,890
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Out of my gourd
    I read it on the internet, so it must be true.
     
  17. Nightz

    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    19
    I remember someone on this mention it could 600,000/sec textured playstation quality polygons using the new Turbo graphics code. I think the guy was a dev at Boss games
     
  18. ERP

    ERP Moderator
    Moderator Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,669
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    I've said this on here before.

    Using the original Fast3D graphics code you' be lucky to hit 100K polygons on an N64.

    Using the Turbo3D code you'd get about 500-600K PS1 quality polygons (Nintendo never allowed this uCode in a shipping game).

    If you are looking at pure transform rate it was possible to do sugnificantly more than that. However the uCode was also responsible for triangle setup, and that always dwarfed the transform time.

    The last couple of N64 games I worked on used custom uCode, which distributed the work between the processor and the RSP somewhat differently than any of the SGI uCode, and would pretty easilly push >100K on screen polygons.

    If we're talking about graphics and PS1 quality polygons, there really is no comparisson, with the exception of the 4K texture cash an N64 is better in every measurable way. And a damn site harder to get the performance out of.
     
  19. Guden Oden

    Guden Oden Senior Member
    Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,201
    Likes Received:
    91
    It IS the R4300i design. MIPS doesn't make any CPUs themselves, they lease out designs to others. NEC fabbed the chips for the N64, so if they wanted to print VR43xx on the top surface, I guess they could. :D It's still R4300i-class chips though.

    Just compare Nintendo's specs with the R4300i, they match exactly, right down to the TLB buffer size. :p
     
  20. Squeak

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    1,262
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Denmark
    Didn't Playstation have 2Kb texture cache and N64 1Kb? I always thought that was what made the texture resolution difference (in favour of Playstation).
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...