Xbox360 vs PS3 apples to apples high level comparison

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Nick Laslett, May 22, 2005.

  1. Nick Laslett

    Nick Laslett Stunt Coordinator

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    For those of you that are interested in a less biased, more technically minded comparison of the two systems, please read these extracted posts from a thread at Beyond3D. http://www.beyond3d.com

    Warning this is a long post.

    Many thanks to Jaws for his efforts in composing this post. The original can be found here.

    http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewto...721b6d681ff1ba


    Jaws
    We've recent mis-information flying around, I' thought I'd *try* to 'normalise' available metrics for both systems to give an apples to apples high level architectural comparison so you can make your own conclusions.

    I'm only going to provide 'normalised' total system metrics compared to the above image as this is all we can compare across both systems at the moment until more details are released.

    1) Shader ops

    Shader ops in isolation are not very meaningful, but I'll try to compare to the above

    Earlier discussion on a shader op,

    http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23169

    -PS3

    claimed PS3 ~ 100 billion shader ops per second

    Cell ~ 8 shader ops per cycle (7 SPU + VMX)

    8*3.2GHz ~ 25.6 billion shader ops per second

    RSX ~ 136 shader ops per cycle

    136*0.55GHz ~ 74.8 billion shader ops per second

    total= 74.8+25.6 ~ 100 billion shader ops per second

    PS3 ~ 100 billion shader ops per second


    -X360

    xGPU ~ 96 Shader ops per cycle

    96*0.5 GHz ~ 48 billion shader ops per second

    xCPU

    6*3.2~ 19.2 billion shader ops per second (3 VMX + 3 FPU)

    total= 48+19.2~ 67.2 billion shader ops per second

    X360 = 67.2 billion shader ops per second



    2) Dot products


    -PS3

    claimed PS3 ~ 51 billion dot products per second

    Cell ~ 8 per cycle (7 SPU + VMX)

    8*3.2GHz~ 25.6 billion dot products per second

    RSX ~ 51-25.6 ~ 25.4* billion dot products per second

    * deduced from claim

    PS3 ~ 51 billion dot products per second



    -X360

    claimed xCPU ~ 9 billion dot products per second

    xCPU~ 3 dot products per cycle (3 VMX)

    3*3.2 GHz ~ 9.6 billion dot products per second

    xGPU ~ 48 dot products per cycle (48-way vec4)

    48*0.5 GHz ~ 24 billion dot products per second

    total ~ 9.6 + 24 ~ 33.6 billion dot products per second

    X360 ~ 33.6 billion dot products per second


    3) TFLOPS

    Some theory to the madness,

    http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewto...=523362#523362


    PS3 ~ 2 TFLOPS

    X360 ~ 1 TFLOPS

    Cannot derive these figures but both companies have used peak total system flops which cannot be compared with single/double precision programmable flops. On their own they do not mean much but they are apples to apples between X360 and PS3, IMHO.


    4) Memory

    FYI, earlier bandwidth discussion,

    http://www.beyond3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23011

    I'm going to normalise bandwidths and memory so that they are more comparable. What I mean by this is that 25 GB/s access to 256 MB is equivalent to 50 GB/s access to 128 MB or equivalent to 100 GB/s access to 64 MB etc etc...and assuming the same latencies apply...

    Currently AFAIK,

    * The 256 GB/s is not a physical inter-connect bandwidth, it's the intra-EDRAM module bandwidth *within* the EDRAM module. The inter-connect bandwidths between xGPU and the EDRAM module are 32 GB/s write and 16 GB/s read. These are the numbers from the 'leak' and the 256 GB/s is the 'effective' bandwidth. Since both systems will use compression/ bandwidth saving techniques, I'm using physical inter-connect bandwidth to a better apples to apples comparison.


    Starting point,


    [X360: CPUGPU]----48 GB/s* ----[10 MB]
    |
    |
    22.4 GB/s
    |
    |
    [512 MB]



    [PS3: CPUGPU]----22.4 GB/s ----[256 MB]
    |
    |
    25.6 GB/s
    |
    |
    [256 MB]


    >>>>>memory b/w and memory amounts normalise for PS3 to match X360
     
  2. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    I'll need some time to digest what has been posted. I'm sure many PC forums will be undertaking an initiative to analyze and reaffirm/refute the claims of both Sony and MS. Microsoft did release their own statement attempting to debunk Sony's performance claims based on their own interpretation of CPU & GPU core specs, data and address bus widths, etc., but I need an objective viewpoint.
     
  3. BrionL

    BrionL Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the most important thing to consider are the games. You could have a machine that is able to render graphics so advanced that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference from what is real and what is animated, but would it be a fun game to play?

    It's cool to compare the specs but when it comes down to it it is really about how much fun the games will be.

    Brion
     
  4. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    It seems to me that these two systems are going to be pretty darn close when it comes to overall graphics quality. I am willing to bet that you aren't going to be able to tell much of a difference between them running side-by-side.

    I think it's all going to come down to the quality of the on-line play and integration and it looks like the 360 is ahead.
     
  5. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    I've been gathering info on broadband usage in US households and came across an interesting article published by the Council On Foreign Relations (link). If the future is downloadable digital content, do we have the necessary bandwidth and installed userbase for either console to realize its full potential? Right now, my download bandwidth cap is set at 6 Mbps and upload at 384 Kbps by my ISP. I know the upload number really matters when PC gaming (especially for FPS); will this be a concern with consoles? According to a UN study, the US ranks 11th in broadband penetration among developed nations, with more than 57% of online-connected households running at 56 Kbps or slower.
     
  6. Evan M

    Evan M Second Unit

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    Perhaps the widespread popularity of online gaming will increase pressure to the ISPs to up bandwidth.
     
  7. Ken Chui

    Ken Chui Supporting Actor

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    PC gamers have been on the forefront of online gaming (well ahead of their console brethren), but little has changed when I resumed PC gaming four years ago. My caps were bumped up by 50% this year, but it's still too slow for gaming purposes. I thought having a T1 line at work qualified as fast, until I read the article. If digital high-definition television is the future, T1-type bandwidth (which very few of us have and is prohibitively expensive) for use in the home won't cut it.

    We can thank the FCC and the government for the position we're in. [​IMG]
     
  8. Evan M

    Evan M Second Unit

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    On the bright side, although not an immediate solution, some areas have FiberOptic networks rolling out... 15MB Down, 2MB Up ... more than adequate for online gaming.

    Just wish it was spreading faster.... it's in very limited areas now. I think somewhere in TX, somewhere in FL and a few other places.

    http://www22.verizon.com/fiosforhome...ot/package.asp
     
  9. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    I think the exclusive games will determine the winner of this round.

    Personally, I would rather have MGS4 offline and Blu-ray with PS3 than Halo 3 online with XBox 360. Online is going to be something that the big three should be aware of, but I don't think it should be as big of a selling point as MS is making it. I still want a good single-player, offline experience, in addition to an online one.
     
  10. BrionL

    BrionL Stunt Coordinator

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    The only problem with Blue Ray at this point is what studios are going to support it. You have to remember that there is a rival format called HD-DVD that was created by Toshiba. Also, HD-DVD is going to be available this fall whereas Blue Ray won't be out until next year. So unless Sony and Toshiba agree on a common disc for HD we are going to see a format war.

    Brion
     
  11. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Welcome to the ongoing discussion/heated debate:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=229786

    The general consensus (if there is one) on the HTF is that Blu-ray will win the war if there is no compromise. The installation base that will come with the introduction of the PS3 trumps HD DVD.

    As for studio support, Sony alone controls about 1/3 of all movies ever made. Many other studios have publicly stated support for Blu-ray.
    More here: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...21#post2625421
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Even as a happy XBox owner (actually my apt. has all three but I only own the XBox and Cube) and a future XBox 360 owner, I can pretty safely say that the hardware to the PS3 will be superior to the 360.

    That said, what Sony (and Nintendo and anyone else interested in making a game platform) should be concerned about is that the 360 looks to be MS's attempt at convergence. XBox was just a way to get a foot in the door and show they could compete (and they did that by displacing Nintendo as a solid 2nd place in the console war). And now that people aren't hesitant to equate MS with gaming platform, now MS can go ahead and build the convergence machine that IMO they wanted to in 1999/2000 but couldn't (because of many factors, the stigma of the name MS, their inexperience in the game market, peoples' bad experience with earlier MS OS (Win98/ME/NT).

    Now they've finally shown a stable platform (yes WinXP has weaknesses but to the Average Joe it's a great OS) and they've shown they can do games well. That stigma of "hey it's just MS trying to bully their way into someplace they have no experience in" is gone. XBox not only has a ton of developers onboard (in fact, looking at the list of 360 developers I think there's more there to be excited about than **current** XBox developers!), but they've got the online strategy part integrated too. Halo 2 nearly singlehandedly moveed XBox Live from obscurity to near-must-have, and now a free [albeit limited] version of XBL will be included w/ 360. And 360 will run a version of Windows Media Center, which at first will seem innocuous because you don't really need it to run games, the 360 will act as a game machine just fine if you choose to use it that way. But if MS is smart (and they didn't become a Gajillionaire company by being dumb) they will start giving 360 users enticements to use the WMC aspect of the 360, and once they do that, and get people on board, it's game, set and match.

    Sure there will always be a place for multiple gaming systems. And for people like me, I will probably buy both. But MS is strategically placing themselves to try and corner the market on those households who only want (or can afford) 1 system by beating Sony to the market, securing a large number of tried and true game developers, and having an online strategy already in place with limited free access available with the purchase of the system.

    Sony knows it will have a hard time matching the convergence aspect of the 360 [MS holds the keys to the kingdom with regards to OSs that will talk to Windows], so they've released specs of a machine that are clearly superior to the 360, to entice hardcore gamers that want more polygons, more textures, better sound, etc.

    Will MS's strategy work? Will the PS3's extra HP bring forth games that were unimaginable just a few years ago? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: the future is bright for gamers. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  13. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

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    Not too much is known about what the PS3 will do, but aside from XBox Live, it has a similar feature set (watch videos, download stuff, play online) to the 360. XBL might be more sophisticated and developed, but that doesn't mean the 360 is the only console with a worthy online system.

    Also, assuming the PS3 and 360 release for $300+, the Revolution is expected somewhere around $200. Since all three consoles are expected to be out within less than a year of eachother, the price sure is enticing for all three.

    But 360 does have an advantage of coming out during a holiday season.
     
  14. MattGreene

    MattGreene Extra

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    I don't think there is much chance of ps3 launching at 300. Even with the recent announcement that the hard drive for ps3 will be a seperate purchase you're still looking at the cell processor which was researched, designed and built for the ps3 and blu-ray in it's first incarnation. That's alot of R&D money to recover and selling the ps3 at 300 would be eating a pretty decent sized loss. Also look at the PC industry which is becoming less and less supportive of the cell as a real option in that market.
     

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