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Epic's "Samaritan" UE3 Demo Required 2.5 terraFLOPS

By - Source: Kotaku | B 70 comments

The "Samaritan" Unreal Engine 3 demo required 2.5 teraFLOPS to run, ten times that of the current Xbox 360's capabilities.

To some degree, game engine developers like id Software and Epic Games are the best hardware advertisers. They'll create a new engine that creeps even closer to reality-generating graphics, release a demo showing off all the new, beautiful visuals and then say "you'll need this kind of hardware to produce this level of visual quality." Naturally we want to rush out and buy new components to build a new rig even if the funds aren't readily available. Thus, hardware and software seemingly propel each other forward in an infinite marriage of progression, and consumers simply reap in the benefits while drying up the bank in the process.

Last week Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told DICE 2012 attendees that the tech demo of Unreal Engine 3 released last year, called "Samaritan," required 2.5 terraFLOPS to run at a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 30 frames per second and with 48 operations per pixel (that rig was a monster in size too). By comparison, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is only capable of .25 terraFLOPS, meaning Microsoft will need to generate a new console at least ten times more powerful in order to run the UE3 demo smoothly.

So what does that mean for Unreal Engine 4? What kind of hardware requirements will the engine need in order to run at 1920 x 1080 and 30 frames per second? Sweeney didn't specify, but there's now a question as to whether the next-generation consoles will even be able to handle it. Naturally they will, as the console business is Epic's bread and butter, and even Epic VP Mark Rein said the new engine is already up and running on a variety of hardware "including systems we can't name yet." Don't let anyone tell you different: UE4 will run on the next-generation systems.

"People are going to be shocked later this year when they see Unreal Engine 4 and how much more profound an effect it will have," Rein said last week. Unreal Engine 4 is expected to make an official unveiling sometime this year, but isn't slated to make a full commercial debut until 2014. The next Xbox console is unofficially scheduled for a late 2013 release which is reportedly six times the 360's processing power... not quite what the Samaritan demo requires. Like the Xbox 360, Epic may push Microsoft into beefing up the specs before the hardware hits the market.

In addition to the Xbox 360's limitations, Sweeney estimated during DICE 2012 that a complete approximation of "perfect" visual quality requires computing power of around 2,000 times greater than today's hardware. A "good enough" approximation of visual reality is 5,000 teraFLOPS, or 5,000 trillion floating point operations per second. Looks like consoles have a long way to go before they reach the "good enough" state, if that even happens.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    lahawzel , February 14, 2012 6:06 AM
    What's a terraFLOP? Is it like a teraFLOP, but more earthly?
  • 23 Hide
    friskiest , February 14, 2012 5:08 AM
    Only 100% usable on PC,.. consoles back off for now.
  • 21 Hide
    kcorp2003 , February 14, 2012 4:42 AM
    I hope they keep push them further to beef up their up coming console. Crytek also wishes 8GB of memory for next console generation.
Other Comments
    Display all 70 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    kcorp2003 , February 14, 2012 4:42 AM
    I hope they keep push them further to beef up their up coming console. Crytek also wishes 8GB of memory for next console generation.
  • 23 Hide
    friskiest , February 14, 2012 5:08 AM
    Only 100% usable on PC,.. consoles back off for now.
  • -1 Hide
    palladin9479 , February 14, 2012 5:17 AM
    Quote:
    Last week Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told DICE 2012 attendees that the tech demo of Unreal Engine 3 released last year, called "Samaritan," required 2.5 terraFLOPS to run at a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 30 frames per second and with 48 operations per pixel (that rig was a monster in size too).


    To that I'll say they'll lower and gimp the engine as much as is required to get it to run on whatever platform will sell their games. Then they take that gimped and reduced game and port it to PC, and as a cost saving measure they'll just reuse all the resources designed for the gimped engine.

    If it takes a monster PC to run that engine, and their announcing that they have it running on "next generation consoles" then they've already gimped the ever living sh!t out of it.
  • 8 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , February 14, 2012 5:17 AM
    "By comparison, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console is only capable of .25 terraFLOPS, meaning Microsoft will need to generate a new console at least ten times more powerful in order to run the UE3 demo smoothly."

    Not looking up for the HD6670...
  • 9 Hide
    FloKid , February 14, 2012 5:17 AM
    Real Engine 4 : )
  • 3 Hide
    rmpumper , February 14, 2012 5:22 AM
    I would think that it would take less resources to achieve Samaritan visuals in UE4 vs. UE3 as the new engine should be built from the ground up for that kind of quality.
  • 19 Hide
    archange , February 14, 2012 5:32 AM
    Quote:
    The "Samaritan" Unreal Engine 3 demo required 2.5 teraFLOPS to run, ten times that of the current Xbox 360's capabilities


    The Xbox is not current. It's ancient.
  • -4 Hide
    theuniquegamer , February 14, 2012 5:35 AM
    Looks like my pc my new 7970 can handle it.
  • 33 Hide
    lahawzel , February 14, 2012 6:06 AM
    What's a terraFLOP? Is it like a teraFLOP, but more earthly?
  • -7 Hide
    mortsmi7 , February 14, 2012 6:17 AM
    palladin9479To that I'll say they'll lower and gimp the engine as much as is required to get it to run on whatever platform will sell their games. Then they take that gimped and reduced game and port it to PC, and as a cost saving measure they'll just reuse all the resources designed for the gimped engine.If it takes a monster PC to run that engine, and their announcing that they have it running on "next generation consoles" then they've already gimped the ever living sh!t out of it.

    Why would they gimp the engine? It's not the engine itself that requires a monster PC, it's the product.
  • 5 Hide
    palladin9479 , February 14, 2012 6:35 AM
    Quote:
    Why would they gimp the engine? It's not the engine itself that requires a monster PC, it's the product.



    Short Answer: Read the Article, its in the title.



    Long Answer:

    The developer of the engine stated that it would need 2.5TFlops to properly run it's engine at 1920x1080 @30 FPS. They demoed this engine already and show cased what it could do and it required a powerful gaming PC with high end components to run. Consoles do not have high end components, their the equivalent of netbooks with a large custom GPU bolted in. Thus the engine as designed will not operate on the next generation of consoles that are near the end of their development cycles and are going to be showcased in the next year or so. The develop said it already had the engine working on these next generation consoles.


    Putting the above together you can conclude that whatever the developers have running on those next generation consoles, it's not what they had running on that monster gaming PC they showcased. Developers have a long and venerated tradition of scaling things down and gimping game engines for them to work on consoles, and then later releasing those console ports to PC without redoing them. There is a large pushback from PC gamers right now against what they feel is dumbing down of games to make them work on HW thrifty consoles. Just take a long look at Skyrim as a perfect example. Awesome game, but they had to develop a separate HD graphics pack many months after release for the PC, meaning whatever the did PC originally was the same as what the 360 and PS3 got.
  • -6 Hide
    alidan , February 14, 2012 6:51 AM
    if i want to see unreal engine 4 handle the Samaritan demo, and tell us the processing power needed.
    if it required more, the engine is crap, if it requires less, the engine is at least headed in the right direction.

    all i want to see out of the next consoles is tessellation, it will be the single biggest jump in quality we could hope for. devs already use high resolution models, if consoles use tessellation, we can expect it to trickle to the pc, we already get high resolution textures the models are the last things we need.

    and also, we should work on passive ways to improve quality, like tessellation, not new ways to make a game cost more.

    do we really need a game to look better than modern warfare 3? (i dont play it but i can respect the engine)
    imagine the game with tessellation applied to it.
    now add in some newer lighting effects.
    anywhere there is water, a physics loop of water to make it look real, instead of a flat surface with textures applied to it.
    now give the game the stereo sound of blacklight retribution (hands down the best sound i have heard in a game in years, i have hd555 headphones, and i can tell what direction the sound is comeing from and how far away it is... its simply amazing.)
    increase the texture size a bit, and there you go... everything i said is more or less a passive system that would increase the quality without increasing the cost to develop.

    games already cost to much to make, if they use the increased quality in graphics to justify costing even more...
  • 4 Hide
    Sgtmurder , February 14, 2012 6:57 AM
    Why won't console gaming just die already?

    Money aside, I have never been able to understand why anyone would ever want to play on a console.
    - As mentioned before, graphics are downgraded and everything is stripped down so it can run on a console
    - As many games are "ported" to PC, they leave everything the same and slap a PC sticker on the box, thus greatly ignoring the potential of the powerful PC platform.
    - Gamepad, oh how much I loathe your existence. I didn't get Battlefield 3, one of the most anticipated FPS games ever, to be degenerated to gaming-20-years-ago. "Repeatedly press button to climb", "Press button to win". AAARGH...!

    Does not compute. Seriosly. Let the consoles die already...!
  • 5 Hide
    masterofevil22 , February 14, 2012 6:58 AM
    I also hope that MS is just bluffing so that Sony may go with lower specs based on false expectations of its chief competition.

    I think they are. I think MS will indeed make the console more powerful than what they have so far "leaked"...

  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , February 14, 2012 7:34 AM
    damn.. i can't even imagine what shooters would be like to play on "perfect" visual quality!
  • 9 Hide
    fuzzion , February 14, 2012 7:36 AM
    What many people miss, is that, by 2022.

    Coupled with 100 inch glasses free 3d and exremly high resolution and ..........Unreal Engine 5, Cryengine 5, Id tech Engine 7 and Frostbite 3........Real life like graphics are a near guarantee, give or take 3 years


    Thats if we dont blow each other up first :p 
  • 4 Hide
    billybobser , February 14, 2012 8:38 AM
    psupanovaI prefer gaming on a console because there is less cheating, you know every one is running similar hardware & its much cheaper than upgrading your graphics card/CPU every two seconds.PC gaming should just die a death.


    Funny, because I'd say PC gaming was much cheaper and much more flexible to the demands of the consumer.

    Why not have everyone in an fps wander round in a wheelchair if games are made to be used on joypads. Joypads are platform/sports games only to be honest.

    Despite what you read in tom's forums, not everyone buys a new gfx card every year. A good one will do for 3 years, in which you can sell it on and use the proceeds for a better one. They also are not bound to certain peripherals or overpriced games.

    I imagine xbox games cost on average £10 more per title than on a PC, not to mention 2x cost peripherals and the xbox live subscription. End result, you could've had a better quality experience, but were suckered in, and consoles continue to milk you.

    Frankly speaking, given the quality of titles on consoles now is so appalling compared to the technology available, new games should retail at £30 max.

    (one thing lacking on PC's however, is gran turismo or a driving game as good as, and I've even considered buying a ps3 just for that)
  • -4 Hide
    KelvinTy , February 14, 2012 9:27 AM
    30 frames per second? What in the hell would a "gamer" be happy about it? Unless the player is 50 year-old, it would mean choppy gameplays and large input latency!
    Besides, with the HD6670 in the "next gen" console, it certainly means games with the same 720p graphics!
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