This is a Xbox 360 fan only forum. If you're not here to root for the home team please find another forum that better suits your taste.

Thank you for your interest,

Xbox Republic Admins

NOTE: If you can't register it may be due to a temporary lockdown. Wait a day or two and we will probably have reopened for new registrations.



 
HomeHome  PortalPortal  RegisterRegister  Log in  
Share | 
 

 Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:08 am

Before I begin, I will tell you all that I'm going to keep this as bias free as possible...but occasionally you will read my opinion on why I think one spec is important. I will also provide multiple sources. *Some info subject to change

You always hear people talking about the Cell and it's "potential". In reality though the GPUs are just as important if not more important. The GPUs are what renders the images you see on screen. And no matter how much of the graphics processing workload you load on a CPU, the majority of the graphics you see (textures, polygon models, draw distances, etc) are being rendered by the GPU.

So which GPU is better? Well let's compare the RSX (PS3's GPU) to the Xenos (X360's GPU). The RSX has 24 pixel shader pipelines and 8 vertex shader pipelines. It’s capable of 136 shader operations per clock and performs 74.8 billion shader operations per second. It's clocked at 550 MHZ. The Xenos is clocked at 500 MHZ but has 48 unified shader units or pipelines. It performs 192 shader operations per clock and 96 billion shader operations per second. Think of the shader pipelines as water faucets, the bigger the faucet the more water that can go through...Same idea applies here. And this is just comparing the bare naked GPUs.

I'm not even factoring in the eDRAM...which is the prime reason more games on the 360 use MSAA (the most effective AA setting.) than on the PS3. It's also a big reason why multiplatform games in general tend to look better on the X360. How could this one factor be so huge? Well let's talk about what the eDRAM does. The eDRAM allows for extermely fast access to framebuffers. It can essentially put off a huge workload when it comes to AA and framebuffers, one reason why the X360 is more efficient with memory as well. Developers could use the eDRAM to turn on 2xMSAA at 720p essentially for free and 4xMSAA (using the memory efficient tile mechanism on the Xenos's main RAM with less performance hit.). This is also a reason why alot of developers prefer to run games at 720p with AA instead of higher resolutions on the X360...since 10 MB of eDRAM isn't exactly enough for 1080p buffers.

This also brings up the topic of RAM (Random Access Memory for the GPU and CPU). The memory on the X360 is one unified 512 MBs of RAM clocked at 700 MHz, with 32 MBs being used for the OS (480 MB RAM total for game engine purposes). The memory on the PS3 is more segregated. The GPU has 256 MB of 700 MHz RAM and the CPU has 256 MB of 3.2 GHz RAM, with 50 MBs being used for the OS (462 MB of RAM for game engine purposes). Yes, half of the PS3's RAM is faster than the X360's main RAM. Though it should be noted that the X360's RAM is alot more flexible. If the developers want to make an MMORPG or something that uses 70% of the main RAM for CPU functions then it would be possible on the X360. On the PS3 architecture, only the GPU can access RAM from the CPU, and not the other way around. It's not particularly a HUGE deal though, as the Cell doesn't use that much RAM in the first place...It was worth noting though. Anyways, how does this apply to GPUs? Well with more memory efficiency the GPUs can essentially save more memory for textures. The Xenos is very smart when it comes to texture storing. It can store twice as much textures on average with the same amount of memory, and that's without any compression. Combine that with the fact that the Xenos doesn't use as much memory in general for framebuffers and AA, and you can store quite a bit of textures on the X360's RAM compared to the PS3. This is where texture streaming with Blu-ray comes to play on the PS3. Developers can purposely store textures on the disc to save RAM. The ratio of storing textures on RAM vs storing textures on Blu-ray (when comparing how much space it occupies on the respective formats), is 1:50 (1:100 on the Xenos technically because of it's memory efficiency). So an uncompressed 10 MB texture would take 1 GB on a Blu-ray disc. You can see where the limitations are here. PS3 games like Uncharted 2 and GOW3 use texture streaming extensively which results in a huge blimp in disc size. Yet games like Alan Wake and Gears 2 which have very good texture quality, don't use anywhere near as much disc space (hell, Alan Wake is only 2.6 GBs of game data not counting the audio and video files!). I should also mention disc read speeds. The DVD drive on the X360 can read 12 MB/S while the Blu-ray Drives on the PS3 can read 9 MB/S. This is essentially why some first generation PS3 titles had to have duplicated data. It's not as bad now a days, thanks to HDD streaming of data, which can also be achieved on the X360...but thanks to the Arcade SKU some developers won't force the HDD features on their games.

Now that's out of the way. Let's talk about the CPUs. The Xenon processor is essentially based on the Cell, but uses a different architecture. The Xenon has 3 separate cores each running at 3.2 GHz. Each core has 2 hardware threads, so 6 total hardware threads. The Cell has 1 central core and 7 SPUs. 1 SPU is not used, and another is used for OS purposes. So 5 SPUs total. The Cell pushes around 8 hardware threads...So technically it's 25% more powerful, I guess you could say...But the Xenon will never really use all of it's hardware threads unless game developers are putting alot of CPU calculations (AI and physics) on their games. The biggest advantage of the Cell is the fact that it can use it's SPUs for some GPU processes, as seen in many PS3 exclusives. The Xenon can perform GPU processes as well (some of Alan Wake's lighting and post processing was actually being done on the CPU side of things), but it can't be used effectively for multiple GPU processes since it's unified. This is where PS3 developers can leverage. Although the RSX is clearly the weak point of the PS3's architecture, alot can be done on the Cell's SPUs. But theoritically the RSX+5 SPU working on Graphics processing+Blu-ray texture streaming > Xenos+edram+small scale help from CPU. Realistically though, some SPUs will have to be used for CPU calculations or else PS3 games could potentially be very linear and scripted. I'd also like to point out a few things that I said earlier.

Because of the RSX's low efficiency with memory, MSAA (probably the best version of AA) isn't used more in PS3 games..BUT developers have found other methods to keep the game anti-aliased, though not as effective. QAA and MLAA are two which could be done on the Cell's SPU. QAA makes the image AAed but could potentially blur the image altogether. Some say MLAA is equivalent to 16xMSAA, which is a little farfetched....Sure on a still image it's equivalent to 16xMSAA but it's hardly effective in motion. GOW3 uses a slightly better version of MLAA, but to those who own GOW3 you can do the comparison yourself. Take a screenshot or just stand still while playing the game and you will see hardly any jaggies, but while moving jaggies become more apparent. This is also all subjective on developer resources, if games are using the Cell processor for other things (lighting, post processing, and such) then they will hardly have resources for the alternate AA implementations I stated earlier. So overall, the eDRAM is a huge bonus considering it isn't as big of a performance hit to turn on MSAA.

So behind this geeky tech stuff, you will hit a dead end if you are trying to truely find which console is better when it comes to sheer power. Both the X360 and the PS3 very powerful architectures with their own strengths and weaknesses. But in the end of the day, it all comes down to the software and game engines, and the developers attitude on art style.

Sources (will add more in the future):

http://www.eurogamer.net/forum_thread_posts.php?forum_id=1&thread_id=52552&start=30

http://www.videogamesindonesia.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-36290.html

http://boardsus.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-3-General/Is-Modern-Warfare-2-killing-PS3-s/m-p/44523666

http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9015658

http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/8126/Xbox-360-Embedded-DRAM-Spec-Confirmed/

http://home1.arts.ohio-state.edu/~clarke97/pj2/GPU.html


Last edited by Alan1994 on Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:14 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
TheJester
Seaman
Seaman


Posts: 41
Join date: 2010-06-03

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:39 am

Hardware-wise, the 360's GPU far outshines that of the PS3. But the Cell is what PS3's strong point is.

And you're right. In the end, for the most part, the devs decide how good games look. It's how they use the hardware, not the hardware itself.
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:45 am

TheJester wrote:
Hardware-wise, the 360's GPU far outshines that of the PS3. But the Cell is what PS3's strong point is.

And you're right. In the end, for the most part, the devs decide how good games look. It's how they use the hardware, not the hardware itself.

Yup yup.

I'm not going to lie, I made this article in spite of PS3 extermist who actually think that the PS3 is alot more powerful than the X360.
Back to top Go down
TheJester
Seaman
Seaman


Posts: 41
Join date: 2010-06-03

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:49 am

Aye. PS3 is more powerful for sure, but it really isn't that big of a difference.
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:57 am

TheJester wrote:
Aye. PS3 is more powerful for sure, but it really isn't that big of a difference.

I question that logic greatly. To match the performance of the 360 GPU the RSX has to be working at full power + 2-3 SPUs must be used for graphics functions. That's alot of CPU power being used for GPU functions. Obviously developers are going to have to spare alot of CPU processing power for CPU calculations like physics and AI... I guess for scripted/linear games like Heavy Rain, the Cell can be used heavily for graphics processing on top of the RSX. But for games that are physics and AI heavy it's almost never going to be the case.

Plus that, the X360 is just a more all around easier architecture to work with since everything is unified. You see these DF articles (like Split/Second and Blur interviews) about how multiplatform developers are using the Cell SPUs for GPU functions to get the game's perfomance working efficiently, but then they mention how the X360's GPU does it easily as well.
Back to top Go down
TheJester
Seaman
Seaman


Posts: 41
Join date: 2010-06-03

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:06 am

Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:14 am

TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

Better use of technology and Game engines. That's another advantage to the PS3....Sony has more 1st party developers who have 1st party inhouse engines for their PS3 games. Most of the best looking X360 games use a slightly modified Unreal Engine, which doesn't necessarily max out the X360.

The PS3 has more potential outside of gaming. Blu-ray is becoming more and more important in media and in the industry... Being a Blu-ray/Video game console hybrid is a huge bonus for the PS3.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:36 am

360 puts more of its CPU/GPU usage into gaming. But PS3 uses alot of it for multimedia purposes, IE less on gaming.
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:34 pm

TheJubJub57212 wrote:
360 puts more of its CPU/GPU usage into gaming. But PS3 uses alot of it for multimedia purposes, IE less on gaming.

Not necessarily. I'm sure Sony kept in mind that Blu-ray could potentially be useful for storing textures whenever the system is low on RAM.
Back to top Go down
ghost23
Four Star General (Moderator)
Four Star General (Moderator)


Posts: 3425
Join date: 2009-12-16
Location: Australia

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:35 pm

TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:44 pm

ghost23 wrote:
TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)

It's kind of bad that Sony isn't helping out the 3rd party companies.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:47 pm

Alan1994 wrote:
ghost23 wrote:
TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)

It's kind of bad that Sony isn't helping out the 3rd party companies.

They are trying to secure more 1st party devs. It does suck that they still won't help out 3rd party devs even a little though.
Back to top Go down
ghost23
Four Star General (Moderator)
Four Star General (Moderator)


Posts: 3425
Join date: 2009-12-16
Location: Australia

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:25 pm

Alan1994 wrote:
ghost23 wrote:
TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)

It's kind of bad that Sony isn't helping out the 3rd party companies.

It just shows that Microsoft cares about their products all over the board rather than just exclusives. Because the fact of the matter is, multiplats overall sell more than exclusives.
Back to top Go down
Master_Chief
Lieutenant, Junior Grade
Lieutenant, Junior Grade


Posts: 3050
Join date: 2009-09-30
Location: Area 51

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:19 pm

Alan1994 wrote:
ghost23 wrote:
TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)

It's kind of bad that Sony isn't helping out the 3rd party companies.
Yep. Sony didnt help out 3rd party developers with the PS2 either but the difference then was that the PS2 had such a dominant marketshare that the developers couldn't really complain much. They basically had to grin and bear it because PS2 was where the money was. Btw Alan this is an awesome thread. Well done.
Back to top Go down
Alan1994
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Chief Warrant Officer 3


Posts: 1146
Join date: 2010-03-08

PostSubject: Re: Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.   Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:04 am

Master_Chief wrote:
Alan1994 wrote:
ghost23 wrote:
TheJester wrote:
Sorry, I should've worded it better.

At least from what I've seen, it has more potential. But again, not by much. The 360 is a lot easier to develop for, but fortunately, devs have been getting used to the PS3 lately. Either way, they both put out fantastic looking games.

I wouldn't say that devs are getting better at the PS3. 360 still has the superior multiplats in 2010 (Bayonetta, Red Dead, Lost Planet 2)

It's kind of bad that Sony isn't helping out the 3rd party companies.
Yep. Sony didnt help out 3rd party developers with the PS2 either but the difference then was that the PS2 had such a dominant marketshare that the developers couldn't really complain much. They basically had to grin and bear it because PS2 was where the money was. Btw Alan this is an awesome thread. Well done.

Microsoft are starting to up their game when it comes to games that shows off what the X360 is capable of. Alan Wake is a good example. But Microsoft are trying to push it hard this year with Reach, Gears 3, etc. And I heard they made a studio totally dedicated to pushing the X360's graphics capablities.

EDIT: Thanks.
Back to top Go down
 

Xbox 360 hardware vs PS3 hardware. A detailed comparison.

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

 Similar topics

-
» Xbox gamers who love to play hard!
» XBOX360 slim (Valhalla)
» XBOX 720 hardware specs rumor.
» Wieviel und welche Hardware habt Ihr schon zerstört?
» Cheap server hardware for anyone who wants it :D

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 ::  :: -