Close
Are you sure? Are you sure you want to report this comment? I understand, report it. Cancel

EA CTO: New consoles a generation ahead of the best PC

EA CTO: New consoles a generation ahead of the best PC

Thu 23 May 2013 8:27am GMT / 4:27am EDT / 1:27am PDT
HardwareDevelopment

Rajat Teneja believes new hardware will end the need to ration engine resources

EA CTO Rajat Teneja has claimed that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hardware "essentially remove" the need to ration resources for game development.

In a post on Linkedin, Teneja was full of praise for the potential power of the new consoles, claiming that, "these architectures are a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market.

"Our benchmarks on just the video and audio performance are 8-10 times superior to the current gen," Teneja continued. "The compute capabilities of these platforms and the data transfer speeds we can now bank on, essentially removes any notion of rationing of systems resources for our game engines."

Another key factor is the importance that both Sony and Microsoft have placed on connected data. According to Teneja, EA handles 50TB of telemetry data every day on its network, and the new consoles have committed to the cloud to a degree that will rapidly develop this aspect of gaming.

"We'll really start to see more examples of true cross-device play," he said. "Sony showed off the ability through their cloud gaming functionality to allow gamers to play high-end console titles on the handheld Vita product. The architecture of both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 present more opportunities to take your game from TV to smartphone to PC, with seamless ubiquity and experience gaming at any time, in any way on any device."

It should be noted that Teneja is a former employee of Microsoft and, as CTO of EA, a key employee of one of Microsoft's major partners.

24 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,024 0.7
these architectures are a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market.
Really? Better than an i3770k overclocked to 4.6ghz, 16gb ram, crossfire'd 7990s, and an SSD? Riiiiiight.
"The compute capabilities of these platforms and the data transfer speeds we can now bank on, essentially removes any notion of rationing of systems resources for our game engines."
And what happens when your game is multi-platform, on PC as well?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 23rd May 2013 10:00am

Posted:11 months ago

#1

James Boulton
Tools & Tech Coder

120 143 1.2
Popular Comment
| Xbox One hardware "essentially remove" the need to ration resources for game development

Hahaha! As always, people will continue to throw stuff into a game until it starts slowing down, then start taking things out again. Likewise with coding. If you're pushed for time (aren't we always?) the first iteration of your code wont be the best, you start optimising when you need to. So while increased hardware specs will in-fact increase productivity by allowing people to be quicker / lazier, we will always be able to make the machine grind to a halt. :)

Posted:11 months ago

#2

Sam Nicholls
Web Developer

4 4 1.0
AMD's latest SoC (with a modest clock) with shared memory is a generation ahead of a dedicated intel/AMD CPU and nvidia/AMD GPU? I think he jumped to conclusions after comparing the current gen and next-gen benchmarks, forgetting to benchmark just how powerful current-gen PCs really are. Hyperbole to make the point I guess. It's just a post on linkedin, after all.

Posted:11 months ago

#3

Felix Leyendecker
Senior 3D Artist

184 196 1.1
He's right in the sense of video memory. It was so tight in the 360 and ps3 that the majority of optimization effort revolved around conserving it. Now we have at least 4gb, or much more, as *baseline*.
Compare that to the latest stream HW survey, where 1GB is what the majority has.

Posted:11 months ago

#4
8GB unified memory, GDDR5 in PS4. GDDR3 in Xbox One.
No need to move around resources in memory, like you do in a current PC architecture, and very high bandwidth.
Not in a PC for a while...

Posted:11 months ago

#5

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
On one hand, consoles have always offered an advantage in benchmarks. Less overhead, closer components, closer to the metal programming etc. On the other hand, I don't see the architectures as being beyond the best in the PC space.

On the CPU side, can they really outperform an Intel Core i7 or even a good i5? On the GPU side, can they really outperform the best in the PC space, at the same resolutions considering the gulf in shader cores and memory?

I think some of the tech demos from Square-Enix and Epic Games were actually toned down somewhat for the Playstation 4 when shown off. Unless the architecture has really become that much more powerful between now and its unveiling.

Posted:11 months ago

#6

Alex Podverbny
CTO & co-founder

9 6 0.7
On the CPU side, can they really outperform an Intel Core i7 or even a good i5?
On the GPU side, can they really outperform the best in the PC space
They can. People tends to forget OS/driver level overhead, which is far from zero on PC.
People also tend to forget that memory speed (and cache misses) has far more greater impact on performance than CPU clock. And here GDDR5 can make quite a difference :)

Posted:11 months ago

#7

Alex Podverbny
CTO & co-founder

9 6 0.7
And what happens when your game is multi-platform, on PC as well?
Then it runs slower, with some bugs and simplifications. The usual :)

Posted:11 months ago

#8

Klaus Preisinger
Freelance Writing

953 804 0.8
Easy solution, compile the benchmark for PC. Send it over to Digital Extremes. Prepare to have your butt whipped for that statement.

Posted:11 months ago

#9

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
"these architectures are a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market."
How in the world did he become a CTO? Is he wholly unfamiliar with modern PC components?

Yes, Alex, there is overhead of the OS and API but not so much that the PS4/Xone are a whole generation ahead of a top end PC.

Go ahead and run 3DMark on the XOne (shouldn't be too hard to port over) so we can see those generation ahead of PC figures.

Posted:11 months ago

#10

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
They can. People tends to forget OS/driver level overhead, which is far from zero on PC.
People also tend to forget that memory speed (and cache misses) has far more greater impact on performance than CPU clock. And here GDDR5 can make quite a difference :)
I've definitely thought about it...

Considering the sheer gap in performance we're talking about, as well as the visible difference in next gen engine demos (Luminous Engine/UE4) on high end PCs vs PS4, I'm not seeing how the consoles are achieving a generation more performance.

We're looking at consoles that are purposely not going overboard on their architecture and power consumption.

I'm very open-minded but something doesn't add up here, especially with accounts from other developers and studios on top of the skeptical analysis.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 23rd May 2013 3:22pm

Posted:11 months ago

#11

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
8GB unified memory, GDDR5 in PS4. GDDR3 in Xbox One.
No need to move around resources in memory, like you do in a current PC architecture, and very high bandwidth.
Not in a PC for a while..
Probably for a very good reason. It just does not worth it for a CPU. Intel has DDR4 on its roadmap, though. So yes, its a nice hardware, but to say its magnitudes better than the current PC generation is an exaggeration. It compares well with high end at best, but not in CPU performance. And currently, on PC the high-end is not far off from mainstream.

Reasoning (technical):
A stock 1600mhz DDR3 module provides 12GB/sec on a single 64bit channel, a 32bit GDDR5 can do 28 (the Hynix 7ghz 2gbit module). The PS4 is going to use 16 of 4gbit them, so the theoretical bandwidth could be as high 28*16, assuming that the experimental 4gbit modules can be clocked as high the 2gb hynix ones (which probably wont happen). For comparison, the Geforce Titan's 6gb GDDR5 uses 512mbit ones (24 of them) at 6ghz and is retailing for close to £800, and has 6 64bit buses. (ATi/AMD uses GDDR5, too, but i am not very familiar with their cards) The AMD bobcat has single 64bit memory interface, and as the jaguar is derived from that design, I would not be surprised to see 4 channels, but it will probably will be dual 64bit channel configuration. Its a low powered CPU, after all. The GPU can use the bandwidth, though.
The difference between DDR3 and the DDR5 is that the ddr3 has a 64bit interface, so the memory bus is 128bit on a dual channel (i7 in a socket 1155 system) or 256bit on a quad channel (i7 in socket 2011) while the gddr5 is 32bit bit per channel, but you can build any number of channels into the controller, but at the cost of die size. It depends on how custom is the bobcat derived jaguar core in the ps4. Generally, all x86 cpus use a 64bit cache line, so the benefits for a CPU will be negligible.
Also, ddr5 allows for asynchronous chip layouts (separate chips per channel), the real difference is doubling of the bandwidth compared to the ddr3 system as it allows reading and writing in the same cycle. But double bandwidth of a 128bit ddr3 system is not much different than a socket 2011 i7 chip which was on the market since 2011 and uses a 256bit dd3 memory at ddr3 1600+. The shared memory architecture makes some of the programming simpler at the cost of the bandwidth (as the gpu sharing the memory will slow the CPUís memory access down), and then there is the issue of the bus contention with the GPU.

Posted:11 months ago

#12

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
On the CPU side, can they really outperform an Intel Core i7 or even a good i5?
From what Iíve read on the internet (and as such, should be taken with a pinch of salt) the jaguar is core with fairly high IPC comparing very well to an i5 at the same clock speed (within 10%), but they are only going to be available at lower clock speeds. So yeah, it could be as fast as an i5 at 1.6ghz, but you can't get a quad core i5 below 2.5ghz, and the desktop ones are above 3ghz. No surprises here, really. Some info on the jaguar microarch

But i dont think CPU performance is that important. GPU is key, the CPU in PS4 is just fine. GPU is more important.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tom Keresztes on 23rd May 2013 3:42pm

Posted:11 months ago

#13

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,120 889 0.8
From what Iíve read on the internet (and as such, should be taken with a pinch of salt) the jaguar is core with fairly high IPC comparing very well to an i5 at the same clock speed (within 10%), but they are only going to be available at lower clock speeds. So yeah, it could be as fast as an i5 at 1.6ghz, but you can't get a quad core i5 below 2.5ghz, and the desktop ones are above 3ghz. No surprises here, really. Some info on the jaguar microarch
Just adding if I heard correctly, aren't AMD positioning this architecture at the i3 or even between the i3 and Atom? Though I am willing to believe the console iterations could be faster than what will go into low power notebooks.
But i dont think CPU performance is that important. GPU is key, the CPU in PS4 is just fine. GPU is more important.
Yeah, relative to the goals I think what they're using is just fine.

Posted:11 months ago

#14

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,051 0.9
(ATi/AMD uses GDDR5, too, but i am not very familiar with their cards)
Top end AMD GPU's are using a 384 bit bus pushing 288 GB/s.

By the way, the Titan is also a 384 bit bus. It was leaked to have a 512 bit bus but all retail units are using a 384 bit bus.
I haven't seen a 512 bit memory bus at retail since nVida's GTX 280 back in 2009 and the Radeon HD 2900 in 2007.

Posted:11 months ago

#15

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 223 0.4
By the way, the Titan is also a 384 bit bus
I wrote :
"and has 6 64bit buses."

6*64 = 384. Its not a single 384 bit channel, though.

Posted:11 months ago

#16

Tom Pickard
Lead Environment Artist - Campaign Map

308 382 1.2
Even if this were true... A generation on PC is about 6 months.. so when these consoles come out high end PC's will have caught up and within 6 months be ahead of them... I have no idea what this CTO is talking about when he claims the highest end pc's though. Because I seriously doubt the new consoles will be able to do more than current Gen Pc's... Maybe I'm wrong but it's still going to be restrictive and the tech is going to be locked for 5-10 years whilst PC will fluidly evolve past it..

Posted:11 months ago

#17

Tudor Nita
C++ Multiplayer Programmer

23 26 1.1
Best PC might be a (not so large) stretch. However, absolutely no developer cares about the best PC. It's the average or more specifically the baseline that's important. And for that, both consoles will outstrip the PC baseline for a good couple of years. For those lucky enough to do console only development, this is a godsend.

I know someone else mentioned this, but please take a look at the latest steam hardware survey, switch to Windows and take a gander through the GPU section. Shocking, I know, but at least the GMA950 is not making an appearance anymore.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tudor Nita on 24th May 2013 6:09pm

Posted:11 months ago

#18

Dominic Jakube
Student

92 13 0.1
Well I believe the new Killzone is targeting 30fps, I believe if a pc version existed you could with enough money and horepower get it to run at 60+fps and in higher rez.

Take a look at the benchmarks results on the futuremark website and see what some folks spend on their pc's.Hex core cpu with hyperthreading at 5Ghz with tri or quad monster $1000 videocards etc.

But for the other 99% or pc gamers the statements proberly more or less true.

Posted:10 months ago

#19

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Isn't the goal at the end of the day to maximize what you can do with console hardware as opposed to gargling out how close to or superior one thing is over another? I always point people to Half-Life on the original Xbox as an example of what happens when a developer goes against what a console is "supposed" to be capable of.

Specs are fantastic for those who know what they mean, but yeah, that larger amount of people who play on PC using an off the shelf setup they got on sale at Wal-Mart probably don't care about overclocking or hyperthreading and all that stuff. They just want to play what they buy and enjoy it.

Posted:10 months ago

#20

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,374 1,024 0.7
True. But it just irks, that's all. It's EA doing PR for Sony/MS. I'd have no problem with him saying that the Next Gen consoles are better than X% of PCs, or that they beat most pre-made PCs, or just backing up the statement with facts. But it's just a comment designed to act as a sales-pitch for consoles, whilst giving an excuse for the new EA engine not being on PC.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 25th May 2013 11:09pm

Posted:10 months ago

#21

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
Agreed, and it's funny to see these executive folks continually trying to put it over actual gamers who know better.

Personally, I don't mind playing games on consoles or PC, as I'm in it for the enjoyment at the end of the day. If someone can rock a system that packs dual video cards on a couple of 3D monitors with the game running at 200 fps or whatever with all the settings maxed, fine. As long as they also see that someone who can't afford that rig (or hell, can't use a toaster without starting a small fire) or has the know-how to tweak his or her PC can enjoy the same or a similar game made for a system that's easier to use (er, although this next generation is pushing that pop and play element off a cliff even faster than this last one did).

I guess the star-checkers will be on this guy with benckmarks galore soon enough (but don't expect a retraction from him)...

Posted:10 months ago

#22

Steve Nicholls
Programmer

69 31 0.4
People high up like this who speak out need to have their facts checked before hand to save looking like complete fools.

Posted:10 months ago

#23

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now