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Old 02-14-09, 03:26 PM   #37
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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That's where the true problem lies. GPU's have long since surpassed simple CPU's in raw processing power, and people (namely gamers) are starting to realize it. CPU's have always concentrated on pushing more and more power out of their chips, while GPU's have become increasingly more parallel (more processor cores). When it all averages out, GPU's are way beyond conventional processors, and companies like nvidia are investing in applying this towards the next generation of CPU's... I mean think about it.. A new CPU based on a current GPU chip would have 30x the processing power on multithreaded applications compared to a conventional Core 2 Quad, or even the newer i7... and it would cost the same as an i7 940!

I really like where the market is going, but until we get out of this slump our economy is in, we're not going anywhere fast.
The AMD purchase of ATi suddenly looks like a very strong piece of business. Provided they can survive the R&D funding black hole we're currently in.
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Old 02-14-09, 06:24 PM   #38
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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Right now, consoles (except Wii) are sold as "HD", but many games aren't even 1280x720, the lowest resolution for HD.
That alone is probably the single biggest reason why current generation console games are able to hang as tight with the PC as they do.

Many people don't seem factor in that the increased resolution of PCs does not only require ~3x the fillrate and bandwidth but, much more importantly, hugely increased shader performance. While the 360 has a unified shader engine (and the PS3 can offload shader operations onto it's SPUs) and can tailor scenes to balance performance between required ops, many people seem to underestimate the advantages of having a single unified platform to develop for. Couple that with a 30hz target framerate on the consoles and you're looking at up to a fivefold faster GPU to get the same game at 60fps at 19x12 on the PC. That's HD4800-series territory.

In other words, I find that the main reason why graphics aren't advancing faster is because of a) the boom in high resolution displays that demand a much faster evolution of GPUs and b) legacy CPUs that people don't see a reason to upgrade. Thirdly, of course, are the increased budgets that in many cases require crossplatform development in order to be profitable. So it's only to be expected that the graphics evolution remain stagnant until the next bout of high-performance hardware becomes mainstream.

Personally, I think that single core CPUs are holding gaming back far more than the consoles are. Most major crossplatform games that have a PC counterpart (Bioshock, COD4 and WaW being prominent examples) have a single core P4 as a minimum requirement.
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Old 02-14-09, 06:44 PM   #39
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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I think next gen consoles will up the ante. Personally, I still think CoD4 and 5, Fear 2, Far Cry 2 look really good, not as good as Crysis, but still look good and are fun. Gameplay with good running graphics is what I prefer over amazing graphics that runs like crap with so-so gameplay.

Right now, consoles (except Wii) are sold as "HD", but many games aren't even 1280x720, the lowest resolution for HD.

I think the next gen consoles have to be designed around being able to game at 1920x1080 with 60 (in some cases maybe 30) solid FPS. I don't think I have one game that runs at 1080 on my 360. Examples of games that look <720p are Halo 3, GTA IV.

1920x1080 and 1920x1200 will be standard going forward, even when 30"+ panels come out with higher resolutions.
I see this trend as well. Consoles have hit a wall. Even the original Xbox was capable of output @ 1080i. However, we never saw that come into play. All of the games were 480P, which in widescreen, is only a tick above SD resolutions. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are capable of 1080P, but I have yet to see a game that actually makes use of it. Currently, all games are 720P, which is considerd HD, but it's not the highest HD resolution.

Right along with what Holy smoke said, the power of current high-end GPU's is ENORMOUS compared to current consoles. Even saying that a game runs well on a console means that it should scream on a nice gaming PC. Heck, the detail should be through the roof too.

This will put the power of PC's in perspective. I use the program "FRAPS" to record movies of every game that I've got (Including Crysis) and put movies of various levels on youtube. The specs are listed in my sig. Here's what I can do with that computer...



I have 2 hard drives; the 500GB WD drive is for OS and games, while the 640GB WD drive is for media/movie storage. When I record a movie, all of it is saved on the 640GB drive. Every game I record is done so @ 1280x720 (720P) at 30FPS, mainly to keep file sizes down. At these settings, I can run Crysis and Crysis Warhead on High Settings @ a near constant 30FPS while recording an uncompressed movie.




Make sure to click on the video and watch it in HD. That was recorded on my computer.



Let's see a PS3 get even close to that.
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Old 02-14-09, 07:57 PM   #40
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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Even the original Xbox was capable of output @ 1080i. However, we never saw that come into play. All of the games were 480P, which in widescreen, is only a tick above SD resolutions.
Outputting yes, but no render at that resolution.
It canīt even play video in HD, however it can upsample and output SD sources.
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Old 02-14-09, 08:58 PM   #41
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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Right along with what Holy smoke said, the power of current high-end GPU's is ENORMOUS compared to current consoles. Even saying that a game runs well on a console means that it should scream on a nice gaming PC. Heck, the detail should be through the roof too.
Yes and no. While the modern gaming PC has orders of magnitude more power, my point was that much of that power is being spent on higher resolutions and AA. Coupled with the minimum acceptable framerate being higher (I wouldn't want to go much below 45fps on average on the PC whereas I'm fine with 30fps on console), PC gaming can't quite run circles around the current generation consoles at its target resolutions (1680x1050 and above) yet.

In simple terms, a game that runs at 1024x600@2xAA at 60 frames per second (COD4 for example) on the 360 needs an HD4850 to run at 60 frames per second 1920x1200@4xAA on the PC. We're talking roughly 6x the requirements here. And while the higher resolution certainly looks nicer, the actual renderer is doing more or less the same. Hence, they look roughly the same.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:21 PM   #42
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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Yes and no. While the modern gaming PC has orders of magnitude more power, my point was that much of that power is being spent on higher resolutions and AA. Coupled with the minimum acceptable framerate being higher (I wouldn't want to go much below 45fps on average on the PC whereas I'm fine with 30fps on console), PC gaming can't quite run circles around the current generation consoles at its target resolutions (1680x1050 and above) yet.

In simple terms, a game that runs at 1024x600@2xAA at 60 frames per second (COD4 for example) on the 360 needs an HD4850 to run at 60 frames per second 1920x1200@4xAA on the PC. We're talking roughly 6x the requirements here. And while the higher resolution certainly looks nicer, the actual renderer is doing more or less the same. Hence, they look roughly the same.
eh....not really. At that resolution, more memory is being used, and there are more shader units being utilized. There's a pretty big gap between 1024x600 and 1920x1200... you're talking roughly 4x the pixels, and I can guarantee that no lowly 7800/7900 GPU (roughly the equivilant of what's inside an Xbox360) can handle that sort of performance without taking a major hit. There's a reason we're able to play at much higher resolutions than consoles.

Also, go play a game like Call of Duty 4 on your PC on a TV @ 720P. Then play it on an Xbox360. I bet there's a major detail difference... and even if there isn't, I bet the PC version is still far smoother.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:41 PM   #43
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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eh....not really. At that resolution, more memory is being used, and there are more shader units being utilized. There's a pretty big gap between 1024x600 and 1920x1200... you're talking roughly 4x the pixels, and I can guarantee that no lowly 7800/7900 GPU (roughly the equivilant of what's inside an Xbox360) can handle that sort of performance without taking a major hit. There's a reason we're able to play at much higher resolutions than consoles.

Also, go play a game like Call of Duty 4 on your PC on a TV @ 720P. Then play it on an Xbox360. I bet there's a major detail difference... and even if there isn't, I bet the PC version is still far smoother.
Well, that's the point. And, yes, I'm deliberately leaving memory out of the equation since we're talking the actual chips and renderers rather than texture quality.

Using a very simplified equation, rendering a game at 1920x1200@4xAA at 60fps needs exactly 7.5 times more GPU power than rendering that same game at 1024x600@2xAA at 60fps. And like I said, while the higher resolution image is obviously going to look nicer, the actual rendering (lighting algorithms, vertex counts, etc.) are still going to remain the same.

In short, if you want to render twice the detail level at 4x the resolution at twice the AA, then you need more than 7.5x the GPU power.

It's not without reason that I picked the HD4850 as an example; it's roughly 6x more powerful than the Xenos on paper and performs at roughly 60fps at 19x12@4xAA.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:47 PM   #44
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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how is no patches a plus side? games still have bugs, you just don't get any fixes for them
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That's not what he said Nekro. He said that many games come out without needing a patch, which is a good thing.
Tony, I appreciate the help, but Nekro knew what I said. He just likes to jump on me when he can. I find it best to just ignore him.

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The Xbox 360 and PS3 are capable of 1080P, but I have yet to see a game that actually makes use of it. Currently, all games are 720P, which is considerd HD, but it's not the highest HD resolution.
Not all games are 720p, but I know what you're saying. MS has strict requirements on their console. All games are required to run at 720p and 2xMSAA. However, each developer can apply for an exemption so long as they can prove that the game will still have high quality visuals. The end result is a few games that run below 720p, such as Halo 3 and GTA4 (there are a few others, I'm sure, but those are the high profile ones). Wipeout HD on PS3 runs at 1080p and 60fps, and the game is absolutely stunning in motion. However, the tracks are essentially free-floating, so the geometry strain is fairly low.Same with Ninja Gaiden Sigma on PS3.
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Old 02-14-09, 11:13 PM   #45
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

stop trying to be so defensive. there is no such thing as perfect game that doesn't need patches.
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Old 02-15-09, 01:36 AM   #46
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

I think a large part of the problem is the 32bit OS standard. For 2-3 years now we've had games that could use 2gigs of ram, and because of 32bit OSes and compatibility developers really can't go over that usage limit. Even Windows 7 still includes a 32bit version for whatever reason. I said this like 2 years ago on this same board, and now its come true.
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Old 02-15-09, 03:21 PM   #47
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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stop trying to be so defensive. there is no such thing as perfect game that doesn't need patches.
I never said that any game was perfect, but I'll clarify further for you. The average quality of PC games and console to PC ports has improved to the point where patches are not as frequent, and aren't as necessary.
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Old 02-15-09, 03:55 PM   #48
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Default Re: Game graphics hitting a wall?

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I think a large part of the problem is the 32bit OS standard. For 2-3 years now we've had games that could use 2gigs of ram, and because of 32bit OSes and compatibility developers really can't go over that usage limit. Even Windows 7 still includes a 32bit version for whatever reason. I said this like 2 years ago on this same board, and now its come true.
32bit OS's can use more than 3Gb of ram. Some would argue that games shouldn't be using so much memory.
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