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What do the 360 processor specs translate into?

Last response: in CPUs
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November 2, 2006 12:49:47 AM

My friends are mostly console nuts, so when I see talk about the 360 I become suspicious. In particular, I'm suspicious about the "three cpus running at 3.2 GHz" huh? How's that possible for the price of the system, is MS really losing that much money, are these processors somehow limited compared to processors that a PC gamer would use in her/his machine?

I apologize if this is too tangential, but I figure it'd be a learning experience for a newb such as me!

Custom IBM PowerPC-based CPU
• Three symmetrical cores running at 3.2 GHz each
• Two hardware threads per core; six hardware threads total
• VMX-128 vector unit per core; three total
• 128 VMX-128 registers per hardware thread
• 1 MB L2 cache

CPU Game Math Performance
• 9 billion dot product operations per second

Custom ATI Graphics Processor
• 500MHz processor
• 10 MB of embedded DRAM
• 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically scheduled shader pipelines
• Unified shader architecture

Polygon Performance
• 500 million triangles per second

Pixel Fill Rate
• 16 gigasamples per second fill rate using 4x MSAA

Shader Performance
• 48 billion shader operations per second

Memory
• 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM
• 700 MHz of DDR
• Unified memory architecture

Memory Bandwidth • 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth
• 256 GB/s memory bandwidth to EDRAM
• 21.6 GB/s front-side bus

Overall System Floating-Point Performance
• 1 teraflop

Storage
• Detachable and upgradeable 20GB hard drive
• 12x dual-layer DVD-ROM
• Memory Unit support starting at 64 MB
November 2, 2006 1:35:44 AM

IBM power pc CPU's r slow

:/ 
November 2, 2006 2:11:43 AM

I'm sorry...was there a question here that you couldn't google?
Related resources
November 2, 2006 3:12:28 AM

i hate HP
November 2, 2006 3:30:23 AM

Quote:
IBM power pc CPU's r slow

:/ 


the cell processor isnt, with 8 synergistic processoring units it UBER fast!
November 2, 2006 4:04:47 AM

yeah, okie dokie.
November 2, 2006 4:07:30 AM

You should not compare a non-x86 CPU to another x86 CPU.
November 2, 2006 4:11:08 AM

Quote:
IBM power pc CPU's r slow

:/ 


the cell processor isnt, with 8 synergistic processoring units it UBER fast!


why do u think they need eight for .........

its freaking slow if the 360 needs EIGHT of them
November 2, 2006 4:13:55 AM

and still gets significant slow down in games... UBER FAST :roll:
November 2, 2006 4:16:42 AM

Quote:
its freaking slow if the 360 needs EIGHT of them


you mean PS3? the xbox 360 only has 3 cores, i only pointed out the cell processor because it's an example of a really fast processor from IBM. and what about the kentsfield? it needs four cores to be really fast! and clovertown needs 8 cores as well to be Uber fast!
November 2, 2006 5:00:58 AM

and on the news a baby gets punched in the FACE

ha
November 2, 2006 5:46:53 AM

So since the Cell processor has eight cores, it must be fast right? That is kind of like saying if I put 8 weedeater engines in my truck, it will be as fast as my V-8..... come on man.
November 2, 2006 6:02:46 AM

each of the 8 cores runs at 3.2ghz.
November 2, 2006 7:55:32 AM

Here is an rxample of how crappy console processor's are, we are looking at a next generation game for pc and the system requirements for the game to run then below that is a link about why consoles simply wont be able to run it.

Minimum Requirements

CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8ghz
Graphics: Nvidia 6600/X800GTO (SM 2.0)
RAM: 768Mb/1Gb on Windows Vista
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 256k+
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX9.0c with Windows XP

Recommended Requirements

CPU: Dual-core CPU (Athlon X2/Pentium D)
Graphics: Nvidia 7800GTX/ATI X1800XT (SM 3.0) or DX10 equivalent
RAM: 1.5Gb
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 512k+ (128k+ upstream)
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX10 with Windows Vista


http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/728/728629p1.html
November 2, 2006 10:42:37 AM

Cell processors do not work quite like you think. It is not as powerful as Core or K8. As it has been proven in the past, clock speed is not the best judge of processor performance. A lower clocked K8 was kicking the high clocked P4's all over the place, there is much more to a cpu than clock speed. Not to mention, what are you going to be doing that would require a REAL 8 core cpu. Playing games? Negative. If the games were so intensive, we would not be able to play the pc games on a single core cpu. What is the most important part of a gaming setup playing at high resolutions? The video card is it not? So then..... even if the cell processor was so powerful, what would it matter, and when would you actually be able to harness all that power?

wes

btw: do a little research on cell....

Edit: Don't get me wrong, in certain applications I am sure the cell will shine, but it is not needed for gaming, and I highly doubt it will be as versatile as what we are currently using in the pc world for the simple fact that the main core is a power pc based core. It isn't litteraly 8 cores like you are thinking, it is quite a bit different than that. But as I said, in very specific tasks, scientific tasks, it might shine, but before I beleive it, I would like to see benchmarks from many of the tops sites..... if it they can find a way to accomplish this.
November 2, 2006 11:06:34 AM

Quote:
Here is an rxample of how crappy console processor's are, we are looking at a next generation game for pc and the system requirements for the game to run then below that is a link about why consoles simply wont be able to run it.

Minimum Requirements

CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8ghz
Graphics: Nvidia 6600/X800GTO (SM 2.0)
RAM: 768Mb/1Gb on Windows Vista
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 256k+
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX9.0c with Windows XP

Recommended Requirements

CPU: Dual-core CPU (Athlon X2/Pentium D)
Graphics: Nvidia 7800GTX/ATI X1800XT (SM 3.0) or DX10 equivalent
RAM: 1.5Gb
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 512k+ (128k+ upstream)
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX10 with Windows Vista


http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/728/728629p1.html


not a good example...they'll never release a console game that looks like a pc game with all graphics to the lowest setting.
November 2, 2006 12:02:52 PM

Quote:
each of the 8 cores runs at 3.2ghz.


Yeah but the cores in Cell are not fully fledged independant CPUs that would run fine alone like an x86 core.

They are highly specialised units, originally Sonys plan with PS3 was to run all the Gfx processing on Cell too, so it has a parralel GPU-like design.

The 8 cores in cell are not ideally suited to general purpose calculation.

Plus, we all know GPUs have more influence on games than CPUs.

The ATi GPU in the Xbox360's closest PC equivalent is a x1900XT, except that the Xbox360 GPU is clocked alot slower, at 500MHz.

The PS3's GPU is almost exactly a G70.

By the time PS3 comes out, G80 will be out, and is approx 2-2.5x (and thats a conservative number) faster than the G70/7800.

R600 will follow in the next couple of months, and will run rings around the ATi GPU in the Xbox 360.

I wont mention SLi G80 and Crossfire R600.

Given a year, there will be even more powerful cards about, and we will be back to the stage where console gfx are shite. The games will still be way overpriced compared to PC games however.

Consoles have one advantage however : most people (in the UK at least) are still running them on shitty Standard Definition TVs, hence their output resolution is around 640x480. (PAL anyway)

Try playing games in that res on a PC, and you'll see that you dont need much Graphics power to do it.

Consoles always have amazing specs when they are announced, lightyears ahead of PCs. By the time they come out there are faster PCs about, and a year into their 5-6 year lifespan, most new PCs will be faster. A couple more years and Consoles just suck tbh.
November 2, 2006 12:22:56 PM

Quote:
i hate HP


This gets my vote for most worthless post of the day. :roll:
November 2, 2006 12:30:24 PM

You get mine for pointing out such. Let sleeping dogs lie.
November 2, 2006 1:59:47 PM

lots of people talk about games needing gpu more than cpu but this is just not true all the time.

The best selling game in the uk is football manager 2007 it doesn't use the gpu at all but maxes the cpu (and supports threading) it is also coming out on xbox360 in a few weeks.

well couldn't a comparison be done using this app it wouldn't be 100% but it would give an idea
November 2, 2006 3:15:15 PM

Powerful enough to run UE 3.0 games smooth as butter. I cant wait for Gears of War in a few days :D 
November 2, 2006 4:00:48 PM

Quote:
IBM power pc CPU's r slow

:/ 


the cell processor isnt, with 8 synergistic processoring units it UBER fast!

2 things:

Fast as long as you can get to program for it, which is gonna take a long time for game designer to exploit to it's maximum.

Fast but not flexible, as oppose to any x86 or Power achitecture.

Also, I'm not sure it look so "Uber fast" now that we have Kentsfield and shortly 4*4, all before PS3 is released. After that comes Barcelona and Nehalem, all within respectivly 6 and 12-15 months following PS3. They will just crush CELL. I might be wrong, but I'd be surprised.
November 2, 2006 4:15:59 PM

Quote:
Here is an rxample of how crappy console processor's are, we are looking at a next generation game for pc and the system requirements for the game to run then below that is a link about why consoles simply wont be able to run it.

Minimum Requirements

CPU: Athlon 64 3000+/Intel 2.8ghz
Graphics: Nvidia 6600/X800GTO (SM 2.0)
RAM: 768Mb/1Gb on Windows Vista
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 256k+
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX9.0c with Windows XP

Recommended Requirements

CPU: Dual-core CPU (Athlon X2/Pentium D)
Graphics: Nvidia 7800GTX/ATI X1800XT (SM 3.0) or DX10 equivalent
RAM: 1.5Gb
HDD: 6GB
Internet: 512k+ (128k+ upstream)
Optical Drive: DVD
Software: DX10 with Windows Vista


http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/728/728629p1.html


not a good example...they'll never release a console game that looks like a pc game with all graphics to the lowest setting.

Console do one thing: Play games!!!

PC do many things, for a price.

If you look at the last years of gaming, console always had the advantage of power for the first 6 or so months of their life. But it always change rapidly to the point that just before the new one gets released, the previous model look like crap. Seriously, how powerful is an XBOX original to you? It'll all be the same in 3 years from now when next generations of console will start to appear.

The only advantage a console has: it's price, and the fact that all games made for it won't be limited by hardware as long as you own it. I'd personally get a console if all I would do is gaming. But it's not the case.

About PowerPC inside XBox360, it surely beats any dual-core P4, but I wouldn't bet on A64FX62 and Core2Duo (most probably faster than XBox360 cpu), and I can assure you that new Core2Quatro outperforms it. And remember, it came out less than a year ago.

About the VPU, it's definitly more powerful than PS3 one. But both are limited by total amount of available memory. It limits what's possible. PC VPU will shortly easily surpass both, and will especially have more memory to do even more.
November 2, 2006 4:44:00 PM

Cell is based on PowerPC architecture, 1 controller core and 8 processoor cores, all PowerPC derived. For things like vector processing, matrices, and repetitive linear calculations the cell processor is amazing. Only certain types of software can effectively use this type of processor, but those types are simulations, physics, polygon calculation, and other tasks where millions of points need to be calculated repeatedly. Will it make your Windows load faster? No, but it does have wide ranging applications.

Comparing the Cell to Conroe is a bit like comparing a Cyrix 6x86 to a Pentium. The Cyrix destroyed the Pentium at arithmetic tasks but the Pentium had an FPU so it could do all kinds tasks that a Cyrix was incapable of. If you were running windows and word, the FPU sat idle. Now, the Cell introduces a scale of staged calculation only seen in specialized processors like GPUs. Will it run Windows faster? No, but it will do tasks that x86 chips cannot, and it will do them very quickly.
November 2, 2006 5:29:42 PM

zzzzz
a b à CPUs
November 4, 2006 2:21:32 AM

it's like an apples to apple juice comparison. They are basically both processors, but one's use is different from another. apples you eat and juice you drink not the other way around.


btw, i though i'd never hear this right before the release of the PS3:

"Diemer explained that "next generation consoles like the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 do not offer the sufficient power" to assure the quality of gameplay Crytek demand for Crysis."

http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/728/728629p1.html

AHAHAHAHA
November 4, 2006 3:30:26 AM

It seems your PC with the 8800GTX will wax the 360 and PS3.
(quadcore not required)


Quote:

6700 @ 3.6GHz (360*10)
Asus P5W DH
7900GT @ 725/1400
2*1GB Crucial DDR2-667 CL3 @ 720 (1GB dropped for Dual channel with new e6700)
Thermaltake PurePower 680w
Plextor PX-760SA
HP LP2065

Next: 8800GTX
November 4, 2006 4:04:28 AM

the only reason im going to buy a xbox 360 is for halo 3 and halo wars, other than that pc gaming is where its at and the only reason i would buy a PS3 would be to have a cell based linux machine for $600.
November 4, 2006 4:10:43 AM

Dont forget Gears of War. Holy crap that game looks awesome.
November 4, 2006 4:46:45 AM

Very true.
You also don't need to screw with a console or spend a ton of money to make it work.
I personally rather go through the fuss to get games like 64bit-DX10-Crysis working well.
November 6, 2006 8:37:20 PM

Quote:
Cell is based on PowerPC architecture, 1 controller core and 8 processoor cores, all PowerPC derived. For things like vector processing, matrices, and repetitive linear calculations the cell processor is amazing. Only certain types of software can effectively use this type of processor, but those types are simulations, physics, polygon calculation, and other tasks where millions of points need to be calculated repeatedly. Will it make your Windows load faster? No, but it does have wide ranging applications.

Comparing the Cell to Conroe is a bit like comparing a Cyrix 6x86 to a Pentium. The Cyrix destroyed the Pentium at arithmetic tasks but the Pentium had an FPU so it could do all kinds tasks that a Cyrix was incapable of. If you were running windows and word, the FPU sat idle. Now, the Cell introduces a scale of staged calculation only seen in specialized processors like GPUs. Will it run Windows faster? No, but it will do tasks that x86 chips cannot, and it will do them very quickly.


The reason Cell can do all this vector processing and the like is because Sony tought it would do both general purpose processing AND graphic processing when it was first design maybe 4 years ago. Remember that back then we had Radeon 8500 VPU with 4 pipeline to compare it with. It's only that VPU evolved much more rapidly than anybody (but ATI and NVidia maybe) could imagine. So they had to turn around and bring in NVidia at the last minute to do the graphic processing.

I never said that Conroe would "destroy" a Cell cpu. I said tough that it would surpass it where it counts, like running Windows applications. My VPU will take care of the rest. And remember that Conroe will be about 6 months old when Cell will come out and we'll be less than 10 months from "true" quad-core from both AMD and Intel. Add G80 and R600 and I can't even imagine how either XBOX360 or PS3 will even come close to PC games (at high setting I've got to say) in less than 2 months from now....

Last thing, inferior doesn't mean crap. It just mean this... inferior. And I didn't meant to offence anybody by saying this.
November 6, 2006 9:34:21 PM

Quote:
IBM power pc CPU's r slow

:/ 


the cell processor isnt, with 8 synergistic processoring units it UBER fast!Not quite.
Quote:
its freaking slow if the 360 needs EIGHT of them


you mean PS3? the xbox 360 only has 3 cores, i only pointed out the cell processor because it's an example of a really fast processor from IBM. and what about the kentsfield? it needs four cores to be really fast! and clovertown needs 8 cores as well to be Uber fast!Clovertown is simply a Xeon variant of Kentsfield. The 8 core processor you're referring to is known as the "Yorkfield" and it would easily destroy the Cell processor in raw performance. The Cell is a useless piece of hardware that's difficult to code for and expensive to produce.
Quote:
each of the 8 cores runs at 3.2ghz.
No, one general purpose cores with 7 useless SPEs.
November 6, 2006 9:39:13 PM

and u get mine for pointing out his, pointing out another's.....
November 6, 2006 9:47:40 PM

Quote:
and u get mine for pointing out his, pointing out another's.....

You only reply now???!!!! WTF? 8O
November 7, 2006 5:16:36 AM

You gotta hand it to Sony, marketing the CELL Processor like that. If the PS3 is faster than the 360 it'll be because of the RSX. In terms of overall performance, they are about equal - the PS3 has slightly more Processing power, the 360 has more memory.
November 7, 2006 6:47:19 AM

wow looks like i got my A$$ handed to me more than once in this topic, oh well i can take a lose or two, or three... i admit defeat and will now try to help anybody i can with there systems in the general home built section, there i have not been vanquished! and hopefully never will be, or at least to a lesser extent. so instead of my entire empire being taken, me being killed and my people sold into salvery, ill only lose a small village or two.
November 7, 2006 7:19:29 AM

remember that consoles are out in the 'open' far longer than x86 processor revisions are; meaning, a game programmer can dedicate some time at learning the best way for a bit of code to run on this or that machine.

One striking example would be the very old NES/Famicom: take Super Mario Bros.1, and compare it to Super Mario Bros.3; night and day graphics wise. That same crapola machine could, in its later day, make use (with still the same shitty hardware, 8 displayed colors and frequency modulation sound chip) of real time zooming, dual scrolling, and synthetised speech (F-15 Strike Eagle, NES version) - due to heavily optimized programming.

PC games these days are built almost as an afterthought, and assembly-level optimizations are almost never seen anymore.

You want an example? Look for a little piece of software called .kkrieger; it's a fast download (96 Kbyte - no, it's not a typo). It contains almost the equivalent of Quake 3's demo version.

Were PC games as optimized for our beloved platform (x86) than console games are, we'd merely need a P3-600 and a Geforce 6600 to play FEAR at max settings.

Back to the Cell processor, it gets trounced by the x86 in terms of flexibility, that's for sure. It however steps all over the x86 as soon as heavy floating point operations take place - like vector computation (which are used in physics and sound environment). Add to this the ability to compute several threads at once (say, you have 4000 moving objects on scene, and 8 cores dedicated at computing their tajectories).

Do that on a quad-core x86, and weep at your 0.2fps; run it on a Cell processor (where it MIGHT hit some lag), go hide.

On the other hand, run a SQL query sizing up to a few hundred kilobytes a few hundred times on a Cell-based server, and come back after lunch to see it unfinished. Do the same on a quad-core x86 CPU running under a *NIX (it would crash on Windows), see it done in under a few minutes (if not seconds).

To sum up: in an environment like gaming requires, the Cell processor is a very valid choice. On a multipurpose machine like a PC is, the x86 rules.
November 7, 2006 7:21:18 AM

Very noble of you. Nice to see around here.
November 7, 2006 7:27:20 AM

The cell processor works very differently to a PC. PC works on different switches (eg - ALU) The cell works on nothing BUT Floating Point, this is included in graphics, sound, idle tasks, etc.

The cell processor also has 8 individual cores, but thos cores are broken into 4 sections (so in theory you get 32 cores running in 64-bit synch)

Not only this but it can operate 60 processors at once (they state that in theory they can perform 60 games at a time) Because it's connected to the internet all the time pther PS3's are able to draw processing power from other PS3's.
November 7, 2006 1:33:33 PM

Haven't we already gone over this?
November 7, 2006 1:36:38 PM

To answer the threads original question and to also end this topic, the 360 specs translate into less than a E6300. There I said it. Flame me now.
November 7, 2006 1:41:34 PM

I am just tired of all these great theories about cell, how it's the greatest and most powerful cpu ever made. It might be great at specialized tasks, I give it that, but come on. I guess we might find out one day when it is used in something other than a console..... maybe.

wes

Oh, and yeah, the 360 CPU probably isn't even that strong.
November 7, 2006 1:49:43 PM

Cell is an in-order processor and AMD and Intel both produce out-order processors. In-order code is not nearly as efficient as out of order code, and will most likely stay that way for the perceivable future. The Core 2 and the FX chips will dominate the Cell when it comes to reading code.
November 7, 2006 2:01:35 PM

Well, in all honesty, it's not like Cell is anything new, it's just a new name for something that has been done in the past. And like you said ninja, it's not OoO..... so it should slow it down a little.... who knows.

wes
November 8, 2006 3:03:03 AM

Quote:
Cell is an in-order processor and AMD and Intel both produce out-order processors. In-order code is not nearly as efficient as out of order code, and will most likely stay that way for the perceivable future. The Core 2 and the FX chips will dominate the Cell when it comes to reading code.
I think your on to something. :wink: Maybe thats why we have so many problems...because it's out of order/not working/busted/I've got more... :lol: 
November 8, 2006 3:08:31 AM

Quote:
and u get mine for pointing out his, pointing out another's.....

You only reply now???!!!! WTF? 8O


he was thinking of a comeback

( and what a comeback it was ) ......... not
November 8, 2006 3:15:40 AM

LMAO. He's prolly thinkin of another one now!!!
November 8, 2006 12:32:10 PM

Quote:
LMAO. He's prolly thinkin of another one now!!!
8O ............... :lol:  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!