Some 'reverse-engineering' of Zen

By: Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com), November 4, 2015 1:52 am
Room: Moderated Discussions
nobody (nobody.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 3, 2015 5:10 am wrote:
> Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 3, 2015 2:41 am wrote:
> > nobody (nobody.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 3, 2015 1:35 am wrote:
> > > Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 2, 2015 9:34 pm wrote:
> > > > nobody (nobody.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 2, 2015 8:19 am wrote:
> > > > > Symmetry (someone.delete@this.somewhere.com) on November 2, 2015 6:56 am wrote:
> > > > > > juanrga (nospam.delete@this.juanrga.com) on November 1, 2015 8:16 am wrote:
> > > > > > > Games? Most people don't game on octo-cores, and many enthusiasts will prefer octo-core
> > > > > > > Skylake. You also seems to omit the DX12 benchmark given to you. Even assuming that Zen
> > > > > > > is 50--60% faster than Piledriver, octo-core Zen was behind quad-core Skylake on the game.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > I'd just like to point out that, baring causal gaming, most
> > > > > > people play on an XBox or Playstation so actually
> > > > > > do play games on octo-cores. Most modern AAA games are written for an octo-core system with PC support
> > > > > > frequently tacked on as an afterthought and now that graphics drivers are moving to multi-threading I think
> > > > > > that 8 cores or 4 SMTed cores will probably be the best gaming configuration going forward.
> > > > >
> > > > > Both consoles currently only have 6 cores used for games
> > > >
> > > > I think Xbox One has had "about seven" cores available since spring, unless
> > > > you want to use Kinect. PS4 should have seven cores available in new SDK,
> > > > but I'm not sure if any games have yet been released that support it.
> > > >
> > > > However, I'm somewhat skeptical about how well even AAA games are utilizing all the cores. Xbox 360 had
> > > > six threads available and PS3 had SPUs. It didn't follow that all AAA games were multi-threaded well.
> > > >
> > > > As for comparisons to PC, even though Jaguar core is great leap forward from Cell and
> > > > Xenon, it's still quite far from Haswell and Skylake. I wouldn't be surprised if a high-clocked,
> > > > dual-core desktop i3 beat consoles even on well-threaded game code. I'd be very, very
> > > > surprised if a quad-core i5 would lose with just about any game code.
> > > >
> > > > -JLarja
> > > How about with Steam, Battle.net, messangers, browsers, etc.
> > > All open and more background stuff while running the game?
> >
> > Probably only causing a fraction of a core's worth of load. Of course, there's always a possibility
> > that something's wrong. A single webpage can consume a core on a browser and thanks to one process
> > per tab, you could theoretically get an 18 core Xeon to 100 % utilization just with a browser :D .
> >
> > > My i5 4570+750ti has trouble running a game that came out on the PS3 at 60fps. The game locks to 30 or 60.
> > > While 30 is still better then the PS3 (25-30) and blows
> > > the Xbox 360 out of the way (15-30) it takes having
> > > same AA, same resolution and lower shadow detail to run it at a mostly-stable 30fps with browser, etc open.
> >
> > Do you think this has anything to do with processing power? Either you aren't comparing apples to apples
> > (PC port can be total crap, console versions usually run with lower quality shaders, textures etc.
> > than PC version, resolutions differ etc.) or there's something wrong with your setup. Also seems that
> > you have vsync enabled (thus either 30 or 60 FPS) while PS3 doesn't have (it's common trick on consoles
> > to disable vsync when FPS drops under certain limit, usually 30 on PS3 and Xbox 360).
> >
> > > If I do parity with PS3 settings I get a solid 30fps in some
> > > areas and solid 60fps in others. With nothing else open.
> > >
> > > It is not a great port, but, the GPU is a good 4x faster and the CPU is a lot faster, 5-10x?
> >
> > Well, certainly not a great port. If I had to guess, the
> > original game was coded with 30 FPS in mind and getting
> > from there to 60 FPS takes a lot more than double the processing power. How often you drop below 30 FPS is
> > probably more meaningful comparison. 750 ti also isn't optimized
> > for similar loads as PS3's GPU is. Newer graphics
> > card aren't nearly as good as simple flops comparison would suggest in running older games.
> >
> > The fact that it runs that much worse on Xbox also suggests
> > that the code quality wasn't that great to begin with.
>
> The massive scale and graphics of the game were quite an achievement actually, FFXIII series. Just the engine
> was initially written specifically for the PS3 and the SPUs and later they decided to port it to Xbox 360.
>
> The game does aim for Vsync, but, it's more the fact that i couldn't
> hit 60 at under console quality with far more brute force.

I'm still a bit lost about what do you think that fact should tell us. For me, it just tells that they did some bad coding (though bad only in PC porting sense. The code may be great for targeting 30 FPS).

Just to mention an example similar to yours, I recently played a newish (maybe couple of years old) indie game that only supported 1024x786 resolution. At higher resolutions, there were black bars all around. My guess is that the game was originally coded for an iPad and the middleware (or their own engine) just couldn't do even simple scaling to better support higher resolutions. This, however, doesn't really tell us anything about PC hardware. Mostly it just shows that you can publish anything at Steam these days.

> > > Nice to see them freeing up another core on both systems!
> >
> > Yes, it's another small incentive to do better multi-threading, which in turn is great
> > for PC gamers like me, who have invested in powerful CPU for other reasons regardless.
> >
> > By the way, if your point was that gamers should just get a console, since even wastly more powerful
> > PC can't necessarily deliver an equal experience, I don't really disagree. Convenience is a big
> > factor for some people. More serious gamers may want to get all the consoles and a PC just so they
> > can play every game on the best platform (or at all, if the game's exclusive to one).
> >
> > Personally, I hardly game on consoles at all (after two years of living in my current apartment,
> > I still haven't gotten around to switching Xbox 360's HDMI cable to correct connector on
> > an AV receiver), but that's mostly because the games I prefer either aren't available on
> > consoles or are only available as dumbed down versions. Also, marginal cost of games (cost
> > once you have the hardware) is a lot less on PC, thanks to Steam sales :) .
> >
> > -JLarja
>
> My point wasn't to get a console.
>
> Although, I would tell people that depending on the kind of games they like there are some very good exclusives
> on the PS4 so far. From what I've read. I'll probably pick one of the consoles up in 2-3 years.

I'm a fan of Halo series myself, which was important part of my decision to buy an Xbox 360 (in 2010 I think), when it was becoming clear that Halo 3 wasn't going to get a PC port. Unfortunately I never got hang of playing with gamepad, so never finished Halo 3, nor any of the following games.

Exclusives are important for some people, me included. I chose higher clocked quad-core instead of hex-core the last time I updated my PC mostly due to Civilization 4. I did save several hundred euros that way too, which didn't hurt either :) .

-JLarja
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