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View Full Version : Stupid Question: Pixels/Polygons


MX/MX400
01-15-05, 03:09 PM
Ok, this is probably a really ":retard:" question, but I've been wondering, what is the difference between polys and pixels in terms of image rendering.

I was wondering because it seems like all the consoles boast about their poly pushing numbers, while the pc gfx cards seem to use pixel fillrate as more of a selling point... which got me thinking about what exactly the difference is between the two. What effect does each have on IQ, and which is generally more important in current games, high poly count or pixel/sec?

Edge
01-15-05, 05:07 PM
In the end, most of it is pretty irrelevant. Neither are really that good at determining how "powerful" something is, most of the time it's just buzzwords companies use to make their product look better than the competitions. It's not all unlike the old 8bit/16bit, etc. classifying that people used to gauge consoles 10 years ago. While the two aspects do have an effect on performance, it doesn't really matter when there are so many other aspects to the hardware that affect how fast it can render things.

Still, a higher pixel fillrate card will usually be better at rendering high resolution and higher detailed textures than a card that has a lower pixel fillrate would. For consoles, the "polygons per second" number really doesn't mean anything, since they're skewed in order to make it look more powerful. Technically, the PS2 can render more polygons per second than the other two consoles can, but this obviously doesn't mean the graphics are better because things like lighting and texturing aren't factored in when determining that number.

Intel17
01-16-05, 07:43 AM
They're both important.

CaptNKILL
01-16-05, 09:49 AM
In the end, most of it is pretty irrelevant. Neither are really that good at determining how "powerful" something is, most of the time it's just buzzwords companies use to make their product look better than the competitions. It's not all unlike the old 8bit/16bit, etc. classifying that people used to gauge consoles 10 years ago. While the two aspects do have an effect on performance, it doesn't really matter when there are so many other aspects to the hardware that affect how fast it can render things.

Still, a higher pixel fillrate card will usually be better at rendering high resolution and higher detailed textures than a card that has a lower pixel fillrate would. For consoles, the "polygons per second" number really doesn't mean anything, since they're skewed in order to make it look more powerful. Technically, the PS2 can render more polygons per second than the other two consoles can, but this obviously doesn't mean the graphics are better because things like lighting and texturing aren't factored in when determining that number.
QFT

The 16\32\64bit thing always irritated the hell out of me. At least it did when I learned that consoles and computers are all the same thing, just in different shaped boxes. I remember asking my brother how many bits his computer was back in 1994. I think we just assumed it was 128 because the N64 was 64 (heh, and so was the Jaguar... but we dont speak about that any more ;) ). Then, a few years ago when the Game Boy Advance came out, sooo many people said it was as powerful as a Playstation because it was advertised as "32 bits". Ugh... NO.

Anyway, the point of this post is that the media and the console developers (as well as graphics card developers some times) push these buzzwords that may be true about something, but rarely if ever have any direct (noticeable) effect on the hardware\software they are advertising. Benchmarks, screenshots and reviews will always be better sources for determining how powerful\fast something is.

For example. A video card my have a higher fillrate but if its pixel shader 2.0 sucks, it will not perform well in Half-Life 2. You wont find something like that on a box or magazine ad. You will most likely only find that on a review or a forum post.