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How do consoles run games so fast???

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 17, 2010 3:20:59 PM

How the hell do PS3's and XBox 360's run games like COD6 and FC2 at 1080P smoothly??? AFIK the PS3 uses a modded GF7900. The 7900 can't even run a relatively light weight game like Rainbow Six Vegas smoothly at 720P, forget 1080.
a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 3:28:15 PM

Easily; no Windows running in the background, optimized programming languages/assembly instructions, easier memory management, and large bus widths (example: the PS3's Cell is a 256-bit CPU) and larger register sets.
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a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 3:34:48 PM

They don't. They run games at lower settings and resolutions and upscale the images to compensate.
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February 17, 2010 3:40:51 PM

strangestranger said:
They don't. They run games at lower settings and resolutions and upscale the images to compensate.

What do you mean?
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February 17, 2010 4:00:56 PM

strangestranger said:
They don't. They run games at lower settings and resolutions and upscale the images to compensate.


Exactly!

Take a look at the back of the box of almost any PS3 title and you'll see that the "native resolution" is 720P the very vast majority of the time. As for the XBox 360, every suported resolution is listed, with no indication of the actual native resolution, but again it's almost always going to be 720P.

I could get really technical with respect to settings for things like anti-ailiasing, shadows, shaders, and texture resolution, but I'm at the end of my lunchbreak. :)  Before I go, here's one quick anecdote...

I recently picked up Modern Warfare 2 for the 360 after playing through Crysis on the PC. I noticed right away that there were almost no shadows whatsoever in the high grass on some of the multiplayer levels. It didn't ruin the game or anything, but it was a bit jarring at first. I mentioned this to my non-pc gaming buddies who were playing with me, and they had no idea what I was talking about. I also noticed the slight "jaginess" of the sub 720P native resolution the game is running in on the 360 to begin with before being scaled for my 1080P TV. (I believe MW2 runs at something like "600P" but can't recall exactly).

Anyway, I love my PC, 360 and PS3, and enjoy the best of all three platforms. I still can't help but notice these little things, but they don't ruin thye games. In fact, I can often apreciate the little tricks developers use to over come aging console hardware when I spot them.
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a c 359 U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 5:16:58 PM

Basically it's kinda like making a game to run @ 1336 x 768 resolution, then stretch it to fill a 1920 x 1080 or 1920 x 1200 screen.

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February 17, 2010 5:32:13 PM

1024x600, no AA, no AF, no bloom what so ever. I wouldn't say that's even decent. 360 is complete crap in GFX, compared to PS3 since PS3 can actually do 720p, with bloom in uncharted 2. Consoles are suffering also due to MW2 for example wants to sacrifice detail for its holy 60 FPS.
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February 17, 2010 5:35:50 PM

The posters are correct, most games are not "true" 1080p. Not to mention that I believe Xbox 360 is running DX9. As a general rule, if you go in and turn all your graphical settings to "Medium" (or "Low" or "High" depdending on the game) that is what the 360/PS3 are putting out, though I believe the PS3 puts out a bit higher texture-wise. Also these games aren't taking advantage of the same type of graphical enhancements PC GPU's are utilizing, only similar. Even the PS2 had a sort of FSAA, as does the 360/PS3, but it's no where near as complex/intensive as some of the FSAA options that ATI and nVidia are putting out on their PC chipsets. The 360 would crumble under it's own weight if it attempted 8x "Edge-Detection" AA at even a 720p resolution.

If you really want to freak out, go back and look at the spec's for the PS2 and Dreamcast. The idea that you have dedicated hardware to serve a single purpose is always going to equal lower system specs for a greater result. You don't have your CPU worrying about what's going on outside of the application (game in this case) you're running so every bit of horsepower can be dedicated to putting out visuals on screen.

Just keep in mind, in NO way is the graphical output of a 360/PS3 going to be close to the potential of modern gaming PC's.
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a c 359 U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 6:15:16 PM

The video cards in the PS3 and Xbox 360 are generations old.

I think the Xbox is supposed to have something equivalent to a modified 7900GT???
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February 17, 2010 6:16:52 PM

Quote:
I think the Xbox is supposed to have something equivalent to a modified 7900GT???

That would be a bad way to view it considering it's an ATI GPU (Read: Xenos).
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a b U Graphics card
February 17, 2010 6:18:02 PM

That is the ps3. PS3 last minute switch to nvidia, xbox uses prototype ati design.
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February 17, 2010 6:23:16 PM

The PS3 chipset is based on nVidia's NV47 chip, which is basically GeForce 7800 Architecture; but again, consoles aren't as GPU dependent as PC games. Everything, CPU, RAM, etc. are all used for a single purpose application.
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February 17, 2010 6:28:43 PM

I suggest the OP find a way to have someone with a hefty PC capable of running games like FarCry 2 at full detail, and an Xbox/PS3 with an HDMI capable 1080p LCD monitor switch back and forth to highlight the differences, it's really something meant to be seen, not read. You could actually do this even with a game like Left4Dead, as the Source Engine is downright awful on consoles in most cases, but shines on even low-spec'd PC's.
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February 18, 2010 1:36:46 PM

ryanegeiger said:
I suggest the OP find a way to have someone with a hefty PC capable of running games like FarCry 2 at full detail, and an Xbox/PS3 with an HDMI capable 1080p LCD monitor switch back and forth to highlight the differences, it's really something meant to be seen, not read. You could actually do this even with a game like Left4Dead, as the Source Engine is downright awful on consoles in most cases, but shines on even low-spec'd PC's.

I very much doubt if I'll find something with a 1080P screen where I live.....when I asked for the part in my rig at the shop, the store owner gave me a look that plainly said that he considered me a madman...here, GeForce 8600's are considered "High End".
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a b U Graphics card
September 14, 2013 1:38:49 PM

ryanegeiger said:
Quote:
I think the Xbox is supposed to have something equivalent to a modified 7900GT???

That would be a bad way to view it considering it's an ATI GPU (Read: Xenos).


The Xbox 360's graphics card is equivalent to an ATI Radeon X1950XT.
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