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Old 02-03-11, 11:34 PM   #1
prankstare
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Default Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Hey guys, here I am again trying to clarify one more thing about this console battle, which now has to do more with graphics memory.

The Xbox 360 has a specialized 10MB EDRAM chip, which does all AA calculations, and an unified 512MB of GDDR3 RAM architecture running @700MHz, which I assume is used for both system operations as well as graphics operations (bandwidth: EDRAM @256GB/s and GDDR3 @22,4GB/s). Now the PS3 has 256MB XDR RAM running @3,2GHz, which is main system RAM, and another 256MB GDDR3 VRAM running @700MHz for graphics (bandwidth: XDR RAM @25,6GB/s and VRAM @22,4GB/s). Well, the one thing I don't quite get is why Xbox 360 appears to have more graphics RAM than the PS3? Everywhere I look, people say it so, but can't PS3 make use of 256MB XDR RAM (main system) also to load texture and other graphics operations? So that would be 256MB XDR RAM + 256MB VRAM in total, plus the use of swap file (HDD) which I am not sure the PS3 does but I've heard so. Plus the fact of Xbox 360's 512MB being unified, which I presumably say system RAM + graphics RAM, there should be LESS space for graphics than the PS3, right?

I just keep reading articles like this, and it gives me a bad headache. Also, if you haven't noticed yet, most PS3 games make use of at least some aniso, whereas Xbox 360 lacks almost completely this item, though I am not quite sure whether this is due to lack of graphics RAM to cache extra texture and mip-mapping or because the PS3 has far more storage space on its blu-ray discs.
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Old 02-03-11, 11:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Well...

Here's an example out of PC world: The Radeon HD 4870 has 512mb of memory. The Geforce GTS 250 has 1GB of memory. Which one do you think is faster?

If you guessed the GTS 250, you'd be wrong. The HD 4870 is the faster card, regardless of the fact that it has 1/2 the memory.

Memory means nothing. The only time that video memory does anything is when the architecture supports it and is able to use it. In this case, both systems have different architectures.

Xbox360: Unified memory, less powerful CPU.
PS3: split memory, more powerful CPU.

The way I see it, the systems are that way because each company had a vision. Those visions were slightly different, and therefore, their systems were different too. I honestly can't answer those questions because I've never programmed a game for PS3 or Xbox360. What I can tell you is that both systems are a ***** to program for, and they require a lot of practice. PC is actually easier.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madpistol View Post
Well...

Here's an example out of PC world: The Radeon HD 4870 has 512mb of memory. The Geforce GTS 250 has 1GB of memory. Which one do you think is faster?

If you guessed the GTS 250, you'd be wrong. The HD 4870 is the faster card, regardless of the fact that it has 1/2 the memory.

Memory means nothing. The only time that video memory does anything is when the architecture supports it and is able to use it. In this case, both systems have different architectures.

Xbox360: Unified memory, less powerful CPU.
PS3: split memory, more powerful CPU.

The way I see it, the systems are that way because each company had a vision. Those visions were slightly different, and therefore, their systems were different too. I honestly can't answer those questions because I've never programmed a game for PS3 or Xbox360. What I can tell you is that both systems are a ***** to program for, and they require a lot of practice. PC is actually easier.

Hi Madpistol!

Thanks for the reply, but I think you are wrong in some parts, like when you say programming games for PC is easier. AFAIK, many or most game developers now use the same tools from the 360 to create a PC title, which in case doesn't apply for the PS3, unfortunately. So it is easier to program for the 360/PC, but extremely complex for multi-threaded PS3, which might also explain why most multiplatform games look so much worse on PS3 than on 360 (which is, not so much a hardware per hardware brute power problem, but a programming one instead). Plus, I am not sure I can agree with you when you say graphics memory doesn't mean much nowadays, since current games are demanding more and more high-def textures at such high resolutions and other dx-based effects, etc. I've heard game devs have been suffering a heck pain in the ass to fit everything in such narrow graphics memory space on this generation consoles, which has only 256/512MB for this. Take a look on the video comparison below, between PC Vs. Xbox 360 for Call Of Duty - Black Ops game: the difference is tremendous when it comes to usage of aniso, which the 360 appears to have any. Take a look also on the superior number of objects on-screen for the PC version. I believe all this is due to an increased RAM and a more modern dx-based version of course. But the biggest difference on this video is definitely the poor AF on Xbox 360 (look on the grounds), which I hate having to deal with, LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6z4dFM6Viw
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Old 02-04-11, 12:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

You seem to have researched this a lot more than I have.

I gave it a shot. Oh well.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

the ps3 is home to the best looking games on any platform, tech specs dont mean much these days.

btw - AF doesnt have a memory footprint, its an issue of texture power.
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Old 02-04-11, 12:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madpistol View Post
You seem to have researched this a lot more than I have.

I gave it a shot. Oh well.
Ooh. There's still much to learn, much more than I ever know, LoL
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Old 02-04-11, 12:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

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btw - AF doesnt have a memory footprint, its an issue of texture power.
No? Are you sure about this?
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Old 02-04-11, 01:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prankstare View Post
No? Are you sure about this?
Yes, what it does is sample textures multiple times to get better quality.

Basically it samples the trapezoidal area on texture/polygon covered by the pixel.
More samples on that area/mipmaps better the quality and this is why there is different levels on AF.

Using AF does not use more memory as mipmap pyramid already has 'bloated' textures by 0.33 already when using mipmapping/trilinear filtering.
This thread is goldmine for information about anisotropic filtering.

I would also suggest on going to the source, when wanting to learn about consoles and reasons why developers do things like they do.
http://microsoftgamefest.com/2006.htm (note. clicking links downloads ALL presentations of graphics, audio... and so on.)
http://microsoftgamefest.com/presentations/2007.htm (just normal single presentation links.)
http://microsoftgamefest.com/presentations/2008.htm
http://microsoftgamefest.com/seattle2010.htm

For Cell on ps3, one only needs CellBE Handbook.
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Old 02-04-11, 01:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Memory doesn't mean much until you don't have enough of it. Since Xenos and RSX are quite close in capability the extra memory for Xenos is a big advantage and what I believe makes all the difference.

Don't even question it, 360 has the better balanced hardware design performance wise. PS3 only keeps up because of awesome developers.
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Old 02-04-11, 01:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

About memory, the biggest problem of ps3 split pool memory configuration is that the code and actual gamedata cannot be more than 256MB.
If the game is going over this limit the developers have hard time, if the texture budget goes over they can always drop highest mip-level to free a lot of memory. (~3/4 of the memory taken by that texture..)
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Old 02-04-11, 06:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

I don't know whether or not AF takes any more memory, but it does use memory bandwidth. That's generally why graphics card benchmarks show how fast a card is when AF and AA is enabled, and if you notice, generally, the faster the card's memory, the better they perform in this area (at least to a point). When it comes to the 360 vs PS3, I've heard some people say the graphics chip in the 360 is more efficient. It's supposed to have some of the tech that went into the R600 series chips built into it. The RSX is a GeForce 7 series graphics card. I don't know if the RSX actually has extra hardware, like video decoding for blu-ray, or if it just leaves those things for the SPEs. Sony claims that the SPEs can help with graphics rendering, but they can't draw pixels, so aside from video decoding, that's probably just hype. At the end of the day, the PS3 does still have slightly greater memory bandwidth for it's GPU. From my perspective, unless you're playing Bayonetta, you're not going to see much difference between the two. Developers want to make bigger games, and both systems are constrained more by the amount of RAM they have than the speed of it.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Xbox 360 Vs. PS3: Graphics RAM battle?

Oh god kevpla?
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