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DaveW
02-04-06, 09:29 AM
dont shoot the messenger.



Consoles vs. PC
The difference between theoretical performance and real-world performance on the CPU level is growing fast. On, say, a regular Xbox, you can get very large fractions of theoretical performance with not a whole lot of effort. The Playstation 2 was always a mess with the multiple processors on there, but the new generations, with Cell or the Xbox 360, make it much, much worse. They can quote these incredibly high numbers of giga-flops or tera-flops or whatever, but in reality, when you do a straightforward development process on them, they're significantly slower than a modern high-end PC.

It's only by doing significant architectural work that you can have a chance of finding speed-ups to what the PC can do, let alone its theoretical performance. It's only through trivial, toy, or contrived applications that you can deliver the performance numbers they claim.

The graphics systems are much better than that, though. Graphics have an inherent natural parallelism. The capabilites of the Xbox 360 and PS3 are really good on the graphics side - although, not head or shoulders above any PC stuff you can buy at a higher price-point.

|MaguS|
02-04-06, 09:42 AM
"when you do a straightforward development process on them"

Maybe he doesn't understand but your not suppose to use previous programming methods on current consoles. Much of the code used in previous generations is useless, that is why many middleware applications had to be retooled to work properly with the next generation.

Heck hes stating all this about these multi-cored consoles... guess he dislikes multi-cored PCs as much...

But I could honestly not care what he thinks, hes a poor game designer (hes awsome at coding) and well means nothing to the console industry. Sorry but I would rather have Kojima or Yamauchi developing titles on my console then Carmack.

jAkUp
02-04-06, 09:52 AM
Carmack, although still one of the most knowledgable guys in the industry, I feel has lost lost his passion. I remember when he carried a god-like status.

Tis a shame :(

Anyways, here are a few more of the interesting comments:

PC Gamer | The World Associates you with technology rather than game design, is that fair?
John Carmack | I think many people have always associated id with technology, not game design, but thats a surface view that misses a lot of important things. Game design isn't necessarily a case of piling things on; much of it involves deciding what you don't need. There's an elegance and beauty in simplicity that has made many id games very successful. That's actually an element of design - not throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, but putting in the right things.

As an engineer, I strive to do that type of stuff design-wise. The mobile platform encourages that same type of clear-headed thinking because you don't have [as many] resources.

PC Gamer | How much say do you have in what goes into an id game?
John Carmack | Internally, quake3 was viewed as my game. It was a game I wanted to play. It was the id game I probably spent the most time playing and enjoyed the most, but ti was actually one of our less successful titles. The focused minimalism is appealing for me, but probably isn't the best direction for a top-flight commercial game company.

So, I don't have much say any more. Post quake3, I've stepped back a bit from the design side on the PC space because I'm really not representative of what most of our market is now. I did realize that my very simplified game-design ethic isn't really what the market is demanding. I'm no longer in there vetoing things being added to the game design. That's probably one of the reasons why [Doom 3] may have taken longer to ship, but was a richer game for it.

PC Gamer | Are you working on a new rendering engine?
John Carmack | Yeah. For the last year I've been working on a new rendering technologies. It comes in fits and starts. Our internal project that'll incorporate it hasn't been publicly announced. We're doing simultaneously development on Xbox 360 and PC, and we intend to release on PlayStation 3 simultaneously as well, but it's not mature enough platform right now for us to be doing much work on.

When you start seeing screenshots of games designed like this, it'll be obvious that they're of a ne generation. I'm not sure how much it comes through, but Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, the game Splash Damage is working on, uses and intermediate halfway technique called Megatexture. Some of their screenshots are really starting to show the promise of unique texturing on everything.

We're starting to see some really spectacular results out of this, as everyone climbs up the skill curve of using these new tools. The technology we're working on here at id takes that a step farther, with a terrain-texturing system that's applied throughout for everything.

Lfctony
02-04-06, 09:54 AM
But I could honestly not care what he thinks, hes a poor game designer (hes awsome at coding) and well means nothing to the console industry. Sorry but I would rather have Kojima or Yamauchi developing titles on my console then Carmack.

Couldn't agree more.

Nutty
02-04-06, 10:26 AM
I think what he means is, its easy to get a single core machine running its cpu at almost theoretical performance. Especially on a console, where you dont have loads of different threads all wanting a time slice.

Trying to keep 6 hardware threads on an xbox360 at full utilization in a game is very very difficult, which is why even tho the theoretical performance of the console is very high, you're gonna have several hardware threads just idling for part of the time each frame waiting for synchronisation. Therefore you wont ever get those peak performance figures PR like to throw around soo much.

aAv7
02-04-06, 11:06 AM
Carmack really cant speak of consoles. He's a pc guy...and his status quo there has fallen something astonishing in recent years.

Carmacks words arent made of the gold they used to be.

Thanks for the link tho.

mullet
02-04-06, 11:12 AM
Carmack, although still one of the most knowledgable guys in the industry, I feel has lost lost his passion. I remember when he carried a god-like status.

Tis a shame :(

I feel the same way, I think he is burned out or just bored with it. I still think ID & Epic are the best.

Edge
02-04-06, 02:31 PM
I think what he means is, its easy to get a single core machine running its cpu at almost theoretical performance. Especially on a console, where you dont have loads of different threads all wanting a time slice.

Trying to keep 6 hardware threads on an xbox360 at full utilization in a game is very very difficult, which is why even tho the theoretical performance of the console is very high, you're gonna have several hardware threads just idling for part of the time each frame waiting for synchronisation. Therefore you wont ever get those peak performance figures PR like to throw around soo much.

True, and in that case, he does have a point. Multi-cored CPUs work great for processing different tasks, but trying to get a single application running efficiently on multiple cores, especially time-critical applications like games, can be difficult. But I wouldn't worry about what he's saying too much, this IS the start of the multi-core generation, afterall. In time developers will be able to much more efficiently use multiple cores, and although it will never reach the efficiency of using a single core, it should still offer a very significant boost above what a single cored CPU could at the same clockrate.

We've reached the point where we can't just keep raising ghz as easily as we have before. I mean really, the A64 FX55 came out like 3 years ago, and how much farther have we gotten since then on single-cored processors? The FX57? Not exactly a big upgrade during a period where we should've been able to quadruple our processing capabilities. We've hit a wall as far as single core CPUs go.

SH0DAN
02-04-06, 02:48 PM
I think that Carmack knows a heck of allot more then most about this stuff,and
most people that have had extended expirience in coding games,on a console or
otherwise have said the same thing.That these new gen buckets of overflowing silicon,are more complicated then they need be.I have yet to hear a qoute from
any programmer that has worked with these things (360/PS3) say much of anything good about them,in print or online.

DoomUK
02-04-06, 06:41 PM
I don't think Carmack has ever protested to be a "game designer", that's the job of the crew around him. If you read Masters of Doom it walks you through, roughly, what was going through the man's mind when he created the engine's for Wolf3D, Doom and Quake; I don't think he has never attached any heart-felt emotion to the 'game' in gameplay. He merely wants to create a game engine that pushes whatever the current hardware is to it's limits and then some...

Brimstone7
02-04-06, 07:48 PM
There was an interview floating around recently (maybe even the same one as the original quote) where Carmack states that recently he's accepted fact that the average gamer has vastly different tastes in gameplay than he does. He says that recently he's left the game designer to others but then goes on to say "that's what made Doom 3 such a great product" or something along those lines. It's nice to see that Carmack can admit that his taste in design is antiquated at best but I think we can all agree that Doom 3 was pretty far from a revolutionary title. Guess the man really is out of touch with modern game design.

superklye
02-04-06, 08:04 PM
Carmack really cant speak of consoles. He's a pc guy...and his status quo there has fallen something astonishing in recent years.

Carmacks words arent made of the gold they used to be.

Thanks for the link tho.
Isn't a console a glorified PC?

SH0DAN
02-04-06, 10:19 PM
It really amazes me how some people in this thread are going on as if they know more then he does,or are perched at some lofty hieght far above Carmack and other industry insiders,and can see the 'big picture' better then he of all people can in regards to this.He never claimed to be a game designer,merely a good coder.One need not be a game designer,to see that what he has pointed out in that quote is true and then some."Maybe he doesn't understand",what exactly is it about programming that he doesnt 'understand' that you have a better grasp on Magus !?! Why not educate us all,and Carmack,email the man and school him on how 'out of touch' he has become with the current pc/console scene.One it comes down to taking a persons opinion on pc/console hardware,I think I'll trust Carmacks over some anoymous person or persons on a internet forum.I for Some crazy reason,think he knows heck of allot more about all this then the lot of us...

Marovincian
02-04-06, 10:21 PM
I agree 100% with Nutty. Having multiple CPUs only helps you so much, if your task isn't highly parallel. For example, if you have a process that is 50% parallelizable, the maximum possible speedup, given an infinite number of cpus, is 50%. You will always have to wait on the serial portion of your task to complete, which will always take the same amount of time. Graphically speaking, most tasks are very parallelizable, but as for general game logic, not much is. You may assign discrete tasks to specific cpus, however, such as ai, pathfinding, sound, game logic, etc, but you still have to have these tasks communicate, and they often wait on the slowest task to complete, so as to keep the game synchronized.

I think that's what JC was alluding to. Although you can perform 1 gazillion ops per second, you never really will.

gmontem
02-05-06, 12:38 AM
Trying to keep 6 hardware threads on an xbox360 at full utilization in a game is very very difficult, which is why even tho the theoretical performance of the console is very high, you're gonna have several hardware threads just idling for part of the time each frame waiting for synchronisation. Therefore you wont ever get those peak performance figures PR like to throw around soo much.
I haven't familiarized myself with the XBox 360's specs very much but are the 6 hardware threads split into 2 threads per core? If the assignment of a thread to a core is transparent to the developer I think I can see additional deadlock and race condition headaches the developer has to deal with, specifically issues that do not arise when threads A and B run in the same core but appear when those two threads run in different cores.

Rakeesh
02-05-06, 12:53 AM
We've reached the point where we can't just keep raising ghz as easily as we have before. I mean really, the A64 FX55 came out like 3 years ago, and how much farther have we gotten since then on single-cored processors? The FX57? Not exactly a big upgrade during a period where we should've been able to quadruple our processing capabilities. We've hit a wall as far as single core CPUs go.

We're going to see quite a jump next year though, with the new 45 nanometer cores hitting the mainstream CPU's and all. Granted the technology is already a year old, the water focusing method they use requires significant changes at the fabrication plants AFAIK, which is why we haven't seen them in our PC's yet.

retsam
02-05-06, 01:39 AM
It really amazes me how some people in this thread are going on as if they know more then he does,or are perched at some lofty hieght far above Carmack and other industry insiders,and can see the 'big picture' better then he of all people can in regards to this.He never claimed to be a game designer,merely a good coder.One need not be a game designer,to see that what he has pointed out in that quote is true and then some."Maybe he doesn't understand",what exactly is it about programming that he doesnt 'understand' that you have a better grasp on Magus !?! Why not educate us all,and Carmack,email the man and school him on how 'out of touch' he has become with the current pc/console scene.One it comes down to taking a persons opinion on pc/console hardware,I think I'll trust Carmacks over some anoymous person or persons on a internet forum.I for Some crazy reason,think he knows heck of allot more about all this then the lot of us...
QFT! ;)




I think what he means is, its easy to get a single core machine running its cpu at almost theoretical performance. Especially on a console, where you dont have loads of different threads all wanting a time slice.

Trying to keep 6 hardware threads on an xbox360 at full utilization in a game is very very difficult, which is why even tho the theoretical performance of the console is very high, you're gonna have several hardware threads just idling for part of the time each frame waiting for synchronisation. Therefore you wont ever get those peak performance figures PR like to throw around soo much.now that the whole computer industry is jumping on the multicpu, multithreaded bandwagon, they are dealing with issues that the mainframe guys have had to deal with for many years. scheduling!... always making sure that the cpu's are as busy as posible without hanging other processes waiting for input from currently executing processes.its really a hard call. jsut a few months ago a guy i work with opened up a "pool or initiators" of cpu resources causing out of order execution... needless to say 6 hours of frame processing went down...i guess these are the types of issues are the type desktop guys are now going to have to worry about...

Nv40
02-05-06, 02:34 AM
i dont know about games programing ,just a few months learning C/C++ . But seems like he is alone in his critics for multicore or multi processors . Almost Every other developer have said more or less.. "yeah is a challenge but the benefits you can get are well worth the sacrifice."

It is possible to have diferent proccesors independ of each other. one rendering a loop of an animated complex sky ,another for the water at the distance ,another for this or that. THings that arent part of the gameplay and doesnt need an update ,while using the other processesors for the interactive game? The idea i have is like Voodoo's SLI for CPus ,but instead of spliting the screen , use some processors to render the background graphics and others for the real game. Instead of a 2d crappy background ,we could have a very rich animated 3d enviroment miles away .The day something like that is possible ,we will see 100x times better graphics in games.. since every new processor in your console or PC could be used for a entirely new effect. and performance will scale linearly with every new processor.

for example rendering in layers..( in parts) is done in movies 100% of the times. most people have seen those blue walls on the making of movies .The final image you see in the Big screen in every frame or shot is the result of composting images that were done at diferent times by diferent artist .
THis is the way Holywood can achieve "cinematic quality" on a reasonable time ,using paralelism . sometimes however if you have no control over the QUality ,(not identical) between graphics studios. you can end with a really bad effects in the movie. .:)

CaptNKILL
02-05-06, 02:58 AM
It is possible to have diferent proccesors independ of each other. one rendering a loop of an animated complex sky ,another for the water at the distance ,another for this or that. THings that arent part of the gameplay and doesnt need an update ,while using the other processesors for the interactive game? The idea i have is like Voodoo's SLI for CPus ,but instead of spliting the screen , use some processors to render the background graphics and others for the real game.
I think thats the job of the GPU, not really the CPU. I know the CPU has a lot to do with geometry performance, but Im pretty sure that all of the rendering and graphical features these days are almost completely done by the GPU.

Thats what I would say is the biggest problem with adding a crapload of CPU power to a console. Once you get to a certain point, it isnt even going to matter because the GPU will be such a bottleneck. I know we're going to be seeing a big leap in game physics over the next few years, but still, how much load could it possibly put on a CPU thats supposedly that powerful?

It just seems kind of backwards to me looking back at the older consoles. The XBox did fine with a 700Mhz Pentium 3 coupled with a much much much more up-to-date Geforce 3\4 chip. It seems strange that they would go SO far with the CPU this time. I guess thats one of the reasons I've been skeptical of the system's real-world performance. The specs are insane if you read them on paper, where as all previous console's specs have been mediocre compaired to PCs of the time (except for the XBox's GPU... it was faster than the Geforce 3, which was the best available at the time).

I guess they are just trying to totaly future proof this system for a long haul. Or maybe they're inflating the specs to generate hype... but I wont pin that on them. Itd make more sense to just build something uber powerful, and MS deffinitely knows what they are doing.

Hmm... I just realized im really tired and I have no idea what I just posted. So if it makes sense, give me a cookie. If its totaly incoherant, ignore it... :p

jAkUp
02-05-06, 03:04 AM
I think MS wanted the games to expand in the physics/A.I. department rather than the pure graphics dept.

jAkUp
02-05-06, 03:16 AM
PC Gamer | The World Associates you with technology rather than game design, is that fair?
John Carmack | I think many people have always associated id with technology, not game design, but thats a surface view that misses a lot of important things. Game design isn't necessarily a case of piling things on; much of it involves deciding what you don't need. There's an elegance and beauty in simplicity that has made many id games very successful. That's actually an element of design - not throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, but putting in the right things.

As an engineer, I strive to do that type of stuff design-wise. The mobile platform encourages that same type of clear-headed thinking because you don't have [as many] resources.

PC Gamer | How much say do you have in what goes into an id game?
John Carmack | Internally, quake3 was viewed as my game. It was a game I wanted to play. It was the id game I probably spent the most time playing and enjoyed the most, but ti was actually one of our less successful titles. The focused minimalism is appealing for me, but probably isn't the best direction for a top-flight commercial game company.

So, I don't have much say any more. Post quake3, I've stepped back a bit from the design side on the PC space because I'm really not representative of what most of our market is now. I did realize that my very simplified game-design ethic isn't really what the market is demanding. I'm no longer in there vetoing things being added to the game design. That's probably one of the reasons why [Doom 3] may have taken longer to ship, but was a richer game for it.

PC Gamer | Are you working on a new rendering engine?
John Carmack | Yeah. For the last year I've been working on a new rendering technologies. It comes in fits and starts. Our internal project that'll incorporate it hasn't been publicly announced. We're doing simultaneously development on Xbox 360 and PC, and we intend to release on PlayStation 3 simultaneously as well, but it's not mature enough platform right now for us to be doing much work on.

When you start seeing screenshots of games designed like this, it'll be obvious that they're of a ne generation. I'm not sure how much it comes through, but Quake Wars: Enemy Territory, the game Splash Damage is working on, uses and intermediate halfway technique called Megatexture. Some of their screenshots are really starting to show the promise of unique texturing on everything.

We're starting to see some really spectacular results out of this, as everyone climbs up the skill curve of using these new tools. The technology we're working on here at id takes that a step farther, with a terrain-texturing system that's applied throughout for everything.

Nv40
02-05-06, 03:24 AM
I think thats the job of the GPU, not really the CPU. I know the CPU has a lot to do with geometry performance, but Im pretty sure that all of the rendering and graphical features these days are almost completely done by the GPU.:p


The CPu can proccess all the graphics effects VIdeo cards can and more. WHat you say is true for PC's however. but look at the PS2. it doesnt have a video card. as far i know. all is done with brute force Cpu power. :) its main problem wasnt its CPU power but the memory supported was too low. with 64megs it should have no problems doing the majority of the XBox1 games. with almost indentical graphics.

Superfly
02-05-06, 03:25 AM
It really amazes me how some people in this thread are going on as if they know more then he does,or are perched at some lofty hieght far above Carmack and other industry insiders,and can see the 'big picture' better then he of all people can in regards to this.He never claimed to be a game designer,merely a good coder.One need not be a game designer,to see that what he has pointed out in that quote is true and then some."Maybe he doesn't understand",what exactly is it about programming that he doesnt 'understand' that you have a better grasp on Magus !?! Why not educate us all,and Carmack,email the man and school him on how 'out of touch' he has become with the current pc/console scene.One it comes down to taking a persons opinion on pc/console hardware,I think I'll trust Carmacks over some anoymous person or persons on a internet forum.I for Some crazy reason,think he knows heck of allot more about all this then the lot of us...

100% agree.

Superfly
02-05-06, 03:29 AM
PC Gamer | The World Associates you with technology rather than game design, is that fair?
John Carmack | I think many people have always associated id with technology, not game design, but thats a surface view that misses a lot of important things. Game design isn't necessarily a case of piling things on; much of it involves deciding what you don't need. There's an elegance and beauty in simplicity that has made many id games very successful. That's actually an element of design - not throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, but putting in the right things.

As an engineer, I strive to do that type of stuff design-wise. The mobile platform encourages that same type of clear-headed thinking because you don't have [as many] resources.

PC Gamer | How much say do you have in what goes into an id game?
John Carmack | Internally, quake3 was viewed as my game. It was a game I wanted to play. It was the id game I probably spent the most time playing and enjoyed the most, but ti was actually one of our less successful titles. The focused minimalism is appealing for me, but probably isn't the best direction for a top-flight commercial game company.

So, I don't have much say any more. Post quake3, I've stepped back a bit from the design side on the PC space because I'm really not representative of what most of our market is now. I did realize that my very simplified game-deisgn ethic isn't really what the market is demanding. I'm no longer in there vetoing things being added to the game design. That's probably one of the reasons why [Doom 3] may have taken longer to ship, but was a richer game for it.

Simply the most level headed no BS guy in the industry, I cant wait for ID/JC's next 10 years worth of games.

BRING IT ON JC!!

msxyz
02-05-06, 03:32 AM
If you have an inherently serial process that must be executed in a certain order the most time consuming step is what will limit the overall increase of performance.

It's something clearly visible with microprocessors when all the amounts of a parallelism and "smart" logic still cannot avoid the stall when a I/O instruction to a slow device is performed.

Now, I'm not much of a software literate (my expertise is in the hardware field) but I can see why reducing a game engine to a collection of smaller threads executed in parallel is not an easy task. The worst of it is probalby maintaining the correct timing between threads. You can bet, also, that a lot of processing power is wasted over waiting and syncronization.