Some 'reverse-engineering' of Zen

By: Banana_Comedown (yetanotherlurker.delete.delete@this.this.neverpost.com), November 5, 2015 12:23 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Jukka Larja (roskakori2006.delete@this.gmail.com) on November 5, 2015 3:51 am wrote:

> Well, my guess is that you just have more narrow definition for AAA games than I do. Some
> of them certainly made a great use of each console's special cababilities, especially exclusive
> titles, but that seems to have been more exception than a rule. Many of the big games aren't
> particularly good looking at all (think of all the crap that gets rushed out for Christmas
> or movie premier), but you could of course argue that those aren't AAA at all.
>
> (Definition of what makes an AAA game is murky. I mostly consider budget (including marketing budget),
> some people seem to consider only success (which makes many mobile games technically AAA), some
> think that there's a certain technical and artistic quality required, which would for example exemp
> all Bioware's recent games :) . Or you can require of combination of all the above.)

That's a touch mean to Bioware! =) This is probably a meandering topic best addressed for another day, In this context I was driving at exclusive titles or big budget FPS multi-platform.


> Anyway, running code better suited for GPU on CPU just because you happen to have abundance of
> CPU resources and too little GPU isn't what I would call "well threaded code". It may be ingenious
> on console, but it doesn't make the game require or even run better on octa-core PC.

It's quite fascinating what was done to in this regard to free up GPU time in the last generation consoles but I introduced that really as a point of context. Getting the very highest possible utilisation out of the console hardware implicitly means leaving no CPU stone unturned.

> The efforts to avoid cache misses help 3.8 GHz i3 too. Consoles do have much more streamlined graphics
> pipeline (and whole OS too) and much better facilities to offload stuff for GPU (if for nothing
> else, then just because on PC you want to support low end and older hardware too). I'm not trying
> to dispute the huge benefit you get from optimizing the game for one target and only having to worry
> about (and optimize) a single code path.

Fair enough

> Much of the effect is also cultural. On consoles many games
> are rendered below screen resolution or variable resolution to stay at decided FPS. For whatever
> reason, such techniques are frowned upon in PC world and considered cheating.

I think the problem in the PC space is first and foremost one of drivers and compatibility concerns. I can see a nightmare scenario akin to Rage (opengl title released a few years ago with a laundry list of rendering issues) where a title has it's sales and reputation torpedoed by early technical issues

> Anyway, PS4 and Xbox One having 6 core CPU's doesn't automatically mean that PC gamer must get a hex-core
> or octo-core to achieve similar performance.

Very true

If PC port is done badly (or, to use more console friendly
> way to say the same thing, a quote from you: "The threading models were not feasibly transferable to an
> x86 CPU and so 'basic' versions of ingenious schemes were put in place for the move to the Windows space,
> hence the poor multicore awareness often displayed in PC versions."), then nothing will help, and it's
> just better to buy the console rather than pour hundreds of euros to faster CPU and GPU. If port is done
> even moderately well, then quad-core i5 or even dual-core i3 should be more than enough.
>

Exactly. Some ports are literally by-the-numbers. The Final Fantasy games are bad culprits. In the PC space the 5-6-7 threads of console versions are not needed so they do not get transferred.

> -JLarja

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                                Some 'reverse-engineering' of ZenHeikki Kultala2015/11/01 08:57 AM
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