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Console proccesors compared to Desktops (?)

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December 11, 2007 11:43:45 PM

I'm just curious, how do the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 CPU's fare against, say, an E6750 or Q6600?
December 12, 2007 12:12:49 AM

If you're only talking about raw computational power, Xbox 360 and PS3's CPU annihilate any desktop CPU on the market at the moment. (maybe also any server CPU, except Itanium).

The problem is, those CPUs are highly optimized for what they do. In PS3's case, Cell processor is specifically designed for heavy FP usage, mainly for image decoding purpose. It can crunch FP number as if there's no tomorrow. But its impossible to put it for desktop use, as not a lot of applications stress FP computations.

So if you port Cell processors to be used on desktop, you'll see substantial improvement on certain applications (F@H for example), but will completely suck when performing majority of desktop applications.
December 12, 2007 12:18:04 AM

As yomamafor1 said, the Xbox360 and PS3 CPUs are incredibly powerful when it comes to floating point calculations, but they're not as good for other calculations, especially in the case of the PS3's Cell processor. These CPUs don't even run the same types of instructions so it's not possible to compare them accurately anyways. Folding@home runs so much faster on the PS3 than it does on even chips like the QX9650, but it would get massacred in branch prediction and code more specifically used for games.
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December 12, 2007 6:26:59 PM

consul process's are always low tech old solutions - the cell is a graphics card like cpu. since they are only 1 step behind they are good cpu/gpu's
December 12, 2007 6:35:43 PM

second thing, and this is probably obvious, Why do they create amazing proccesors but second rate graphics chips in the consoles? seriously, the PS3 has a 7800GTX and it was released only a year ago.
December 12, 2007 6:38:50 PM

dragonsprayer is wrong on this one, as usual....lol..

yomamafor and heyyou stated it nicely.
December 12, 2007 6:53:16 PM

starcraftfanatic said:
second thing, and this is probably obvious, Why do they create amazing proccesors but second rate graphics chips in the consoles? seriously, the PS3 has a 7800GTX and it was released only a year ago.


Probably because during the development, 7800GTX will deemed a better solution than the upcoming G80. If you own a G80, or heard people talking about it, you should know damn well that G80s are d@mn room heaters, as well as power hogs :p . Now, for a console that has very limited space and heat dissipating capability, putting a graphic chip that consume 100W alone, and dissipate enough heat to melt the plastic cover, don't seem to be a good choice to me.

On the other hand, even though 7800GTX is a little outdated using today's standard, game developers can use codes that are specifically optimized for G70, which would significantly boost its performance. On the other hand, with a strong processor, works can be offloaded to Cell (such as physics), thus reducing GPU's load. This would possibly put 7800GTX on par with 8800 graphics.
December 12, 2007 7:30:24 PM

My EN7800GTX still plays good with DX9 games. It not that bad of a video card.
a c 127 à CPUs
December 12, 2007 9:11:56 PM

True that the processors in the PS3 and 360 are more powerful but if Intel did release the 80 core CPU they would be owned like there is no tomorrow as the 80 core CPU can do what 130 CPUs can do even faster.

Having FP is great but thats where the consoles get stuck. They can't do the same as a PC. Plus I have heard that developers don't like the Cell from the PS3 cuz its complicated. Remember that they used to use CPUs such as the PS1(P175MHz) PS2(PII 300MHz) XBox(PIII700MHz/Celeron 1.4GHz(very rare)).

As for the GPUs for the PS3 the RSX was a last second addon. They originally planned on having the Cell do everything but that caused major heating problems and would cause the system to melt. It literally made the P4 Prescotts look cold. So they went to NVidia and asked for a GPU but NVidia didn't have the resources to devote to a custom GPU and modified the 7800GTX for the PS3.

Now the X360(and this is where Microsoft was smarter than Sony) went to ATI early on and requested a unique GPU and was given the R500(ATI codesnames their high end part as R4xx/R600(2900XT/Pro)and the lower end parts R630 or higher for a lower end part just as an example. It was never released for us PC users but one company did make a working version for the PC and showed it off and it spanked the crap out of the X1900XTX and the 7900GTX.

The R600 is based off of the R500(i.e. unified shader architecture) but to me it seems that it didn't take the best of it as it should have. But I still love my HD2900Pro. I think it just seems to be driver based.
December 12, 2007 9:22:48 PM

Well...I have also heard developers don't like the cell processor. Seems to be true. But, the cell processor in the ps3 is capable of doing some amazing things if the effort was taken. But developers don't seem to like the amount of work needed to do so.
a c 99 à CPUs
December 13, 2007 3:47:42 AM

Kamrooz said:
Well...I have also heard developers don't like the cell processor. Seems to be true. But, the cell processor in the ps3 is capable of doing some amazing things if the effort was taken. But developers don't seem to like the amount of work needed to do so.


I'll bet the reason they don't like the Cell is because the PowerPC CPU core ("PPE") is strictly in-order and the 8 glorified FPUs ("SPEs") lack branch prediction. Compared to an out-of-order processor with good branch prediction like a K8 or a Core 2, the quality of optimization of the code and especially the compiler plays a MUCH bigger factor in how well the unit performs. Most programmers can't turn out extremely efficient code of any size without a lot of go-back-and-look-for-how-you-can-optimize-it sessions. That takes a lot of time and money and does not add much in the way of features to the program, so the beancounters have a hissy fit and threaten the devs to ship it if it compiles and doesn't have showstopper bugs. Being able to spend much less time optimizing code and only losing a small percentage of theoretical performance in current x86 OoO processors with big caches and good branch prediction is a godsend.

If you want to have another example of a CPU that is like the Cell, look at the Itanium. It is a strict in-order CPU that theoretically can be extremely powerful. However, its performance in real life is often quite a bit less than its capabilities as it takes a lot of time and skill to write compilers and code that will run well on the CPU.
December 13, 2007 3:56:28 AM

O.o

I wonder how hard programing is gonna be for quantum computers...
December 14, 2007 10:40:35 PM

I guess the GTX could handle console games, but only because all games run at set low resolutions with set detail levels and no or little AA. Is anyone else a bit put off by how the Wii is almost outdone by the xbox?
December 14, 2007 10:49:46 PM

The wii isn't like any other console, nintendo actually makes profit on each one they sell, unlike xbox360 and ps3. They make their money off game purchases and accessories, not the actual console. The wii is also meant to be budget friendly, unlike the other systems, it also only does 480p. So personally, I don't think it's a bad system at all. It does it's just at a fantastic price, they wouldn't be selling whordes of them for no reason.
a b à CPUs
December 14, 2007 11:17:21 PM

The truth is you just can't compare the Cell processors and GPUs fairly. The code/hardware is optimized for that platform only. For example a PC game would run really bad on the PS3 and vice versa.
June 11, 2008 8:37:53 PM

A PS3 runs one menu/game and a real computer runs 50-100 processes simultaneously. Just look at task manager in XP or Vista. A PS3 or 360 processor could not take the load of a PC period.
June 11, 2008 10:14:23 PM

brendano257 said:
A PS3 runs one menu/game and a real computer runs 50-100 processes simultaneously. Just look at task manager in XP or Vista. A PS3 or 360 processor could not take the load of a PC period.



All I can say is that my 7800 GTX has not had trouble playing any game of late...

Its such a fantastic card, its lasted me over 3 years...

Just waiting for the new nvidia card to come out to woop ass.. :) 

June 12, 2008 12:57:44 AM

starcraftfanatic said:
I guess the GTX could handle console games, but only because all games run at set low resolutions with set detail levels and no or little AA. Is anyone else a bit put off by how the Wii is almost outdone by the xbox?


To be honest, I'm not put off by the Wii at all.

Like some desktop gamers out there, we feel more comfortable getting headshots and dodging bullets with a keyboard and mouse instead of a controller. However, with the Wii, the game is played in a different fashion. Personally, that's the allure for me. To me, the Wii proves that graphics and eye candy aren't what makes a good gaming platform, though, it helps.
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