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Linux test shows PS3 beat by a Power Mac G5

General-purpose code seems to slow down the Cell performance a bit, as it would appear on a recent Geekbench test. Primate Labs ran a few benchmarks under Linux and the results show the PS3 being beat by a Power Mac G5 1.6GHz in all tests except memory performance. We have to keep in mind, the tests only prove the Cell is not a wonderful "general-purpose" CPU. And lest anyone forget, the purpose of the PS3 is to play games!

Cell-specific optimizations are going to be implemented in a future Geekbench test, so once round 2 comes along, we'll get a taste of what's really cooking underneath the hood of our favorite console. Fire when ready!

[Via digg]

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(Page 1)

1. just an fyi - your entire write up is bogus.

this was a test to show... well... nothing. none of the code was optimized for the cell (meaning we probably werent utilizing but a single spe)... which they clearly stated in their article.

all this shows or proves, is how well a g5 does under optimal coding, and how crappy a cell does when it tries to run coding its not really supposed to. it cannot be taken to mean ANYTHING about a comparison of the cell against anything else. to do so is idiotic.


or maybe the ibm cell blade server was built for..... gaming? hahaha

Posted at 8:46PM on May 23rd 2007 by Microdot

2. A lot of things were left out of the PPC core in the Cell, branch prediction being a large one. The reason this was done? The Cell is all about using as many transistors as possible towards actual computing, and not holding the hands of the compiler and application writers. Brand prediction was left out because a good, modern compiler can make up for a lack in the cpu. However, linux essentially runs on gcc, which is the standard for compiler correctness as far as input code goes, but the programs it makes are not very well optimized and everyone knows it, especially in the case of the Cell. You want a fast compiler in linux, you use IBM's Cell compiler and hope the resulting program runs. But it doesn't matter on the games side since the developers have the really awesome compilers.

Cell-specific code will help for stuff that uses the spu's obviously, but the PPC part will suffer unless a better compiler can be used.

Posted at 8:48PM on May 23rd 2007 by apease

3. Oh man, cant wait till the other blogs post this...

Posted at 9:09PM on May 23rd 2007 by humpty

4. "none of the code was optimized for the cell"

That seems to be a recurring theme for the PS3. You're hard-pressed to find quite a few companies actually willing to go the extra mile for something so new. Its not just general code either. Game developers aren't trying very hard either. Its because, with other stuff out on the market, no one feels a need to make such a drastic leap.

Posted at 9:21PM on May 23rd 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

5. I can eat pizza much faster than the cell processor inside my PlayStation 3. As for the benchmarks, you don't really need 'em. I gave the cell an advantage of 5 minutes in front of 4 slices of pizza. Then I started eating and finished my half in 10 minutes. The 4 slices of the Cell were still there.

Admittedly, I was overclocked, so perhaps I cheated.

Posted at 9:25PM on May 23rd 2007 by bootsielon

6. bootsielon...dang, that was funny.

Posted at 9:31PM on May 23rd 2007 by clavian

7. bootsielon
At least the cell processor actually ran code. Its not completely a waste of a test.

Posted at 9:32PM on May 23rd 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

8. Holy crap, Dr. T. Its a word tower!

Posted at 9:33PM on May 23rd 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

9. "You're hard-pressed to find quite a few companies actually willing to go the extra mile for something so new."

True when we're talking ports of existing 360 titles, but of course that goes out the window when we talk about exclusives, first-party, or even multiplatform games that are using the ps3 as the lead platform, such as Haze. The difference between games built for the ps3 and ones quickly ported to it has obviously been huge so far. Too bad we're waiting on GRAW2 and RS:Vegas, those would be good examples to see if ports have come along any further.
I think GTAIV will be a huge test, as will Assasin's Creed. It will also be interesting to see how DMC4 turns out, since I'm tempted to assume PS3 was the lead system in it's development as well.

Posted at 9:33PM on May 23rd 2007 by mccomber

10. "that goes out the window when we talk about exclusives, first-party, or even multiplatform games that are using the ps3 as the lead platform, such as Haze."

I wouldn't say it goes out the window for multiplatform games. Which is one definite problem. There's a ridiculous amount of PS3 titles that can be found on the 360, whether it be already release, or upcoming. As for Haze, I'm confident that if the 360 eventually launches, it'll look just like the PS3 version. Same with every EA game, every THQ game, every Activision game, etc. If it can be found on the 360, its probably not going to look any better (sometimes worse) on the PS3.

"I think GTAIV will be a huge test, as will Assasin's Creed. It will also be interesting to see how DMC4 turns out, since I'm tempted to assume PS3 was the lead system in it's development as well."

I think its safe to say that Capcom may be willing to make an effort on the PS3. They may not, but then again they've done a pretty good job working on all platforms.

Posted at 9:40PM on May 23rd 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

11. Edit: the 360 version* (referring to Haze)

Posted at 9:40PM on May 23rd 2007 by Next-Gen-Gamer

12. The only reason online is better on Xbox is because all the infastructure was setup by Microsoft. Sony left this to the devolopers.

Posted at 9:42PM on May 23rd 2007 by massive_98

13. Wow, if you're a game developer you obviously don't develop for the ps3 or 360. That 512 MB for general purpose computing? Great, now you don't have anything to show on the screen because you don't have any texture maps or geometry. Hey, guess what? That extra 10MB of edram for general purpose computing? Only can be used by the 3d chip.

And the ps3 isn't hard to program for if all you're using is the powerpc core. The powerpc cores don't "send signals" to the spu's like you imply, the spu's are separate cores with separate memory to store programs and data... you just load them up and go.

Seriously, the only thing you're even mildly close to being accurate on is that the 360 does apparently use less memory for the OS, but the ps3 doesn't use 96 MB, it's closer to 50 as of the latest SDK, and still shrinking. You honestly sound like one of those stupid MS press releases from when the ps3 was first announced.

And oh gee, a crappy port doesn't run very well on the ps3... no shit, sherlock. This is why Sony released the Edge system, so they wouldn't have to put up with lazy developers crying about how hard it is to program. Now they can easily use the spus to handle far more complicated models and levels than the 360 ever will, without having to put forth much effort, among a bunch of other things.

Do you even know what kinds of things "General Purpose" calculations are used for, the ones that apparently can only be done on the powerpc core and not the spus? Geometry? No. Physics? No. Oh, wait, procedural textures and geometry! No. Collision detection? No. Speech recognition? No. Parsing input from the motion sensing controller? No... oh, sorry, 360 doesn't even have one. Maybe... HDR lighting? No. Antialiasing? No. Face and object recognition from the webcam? No.

What are we left with that takes more than a tiny percentage of cpu power? AI. And we all know that can't be done on an spu, right?

Except they're doing AI on the spus in Heavenly Sword.

Seriously, if doing something as simple as writing mini-programs for the spus is too difficult, you really shouldn't be writing games... on any system, game programming takes real skill. At least on the low level... if you're just shoving models and scripts into someone else's engine, like Unreal 3, then yeah, C code might be difficult for you.

Wait, do you work for UbiSoft? That might explain a lot.

Posted at 9:55PM on May 23rd 2007 by apease

14. Dr. T wrote:

There are seven SPE subprocessors that receive instructions from the CPU with their thread.

Dr. T has never programmed a SPE it seems. Before you write such mindless drivel, do some research. SPEs can talk to each other and perform DMA transfers, the PPE wouldnt need to constantly communicate to the SPEs, they run completely independant code.

Posted at 9:56PM on May 23rd 2007 by antong

15. You had me (yes, I was going to read this whole thing...) until:
"I was reading an article from Ubisoft that talked about how the Xbox 360 version of Assassins Creed will have noticeably better Artificial Intelligence than the Playstation 3 version. The reason for this is because the developers said they could devote an entire CPU to focus entirely on Artificial Intelligence with the Xbox 360."
Nope, sorry.
"While the method for distributing AI load is different on each platform, the AI code itself is the same. Players will experience the exact same crowd results on PS3 and Xbox360."

Games like FEAR and COD3, both of which you bring up, are less about the limitations of the PS3 hardware, and more about the limitations of the software that was ported to it. As for voice chat, another feature you attribute to the 360's processor setup — Resistance has buttery-bullet firing smoothness and voice chat with 40 people at once... did they just find a performance loophole to achieve that?
I won't argue that the 360 isn't easier to write for at this point, because it is. But I will argue that anyone writing specifcally for the ps3 and actually pushing themselves to do something with it will achieve great results.

Posted at 9:56PM on May 23rd 2007 by mccomber

16. "Holy crap, Dr. T. Its a word tower!"

And 90% of it is wrong.

Posted at 10:01PM on May 23rd 2007 by Andir3.0

17. Well, perhaps not out the window, but I doubt that we'll see games developed with the ps3 in mind looking or running better on the 360 as has been the case with several titles going the opposite direction. At this point we really don't have any titles to show what will happen with that, but I honestly believe that with this generation, whichever system is the lead in development is the one that will be the best overall, and sloppy ports in either direction will, of course, be poorer for it. Several titles have been basically identical as far as the game itself, so blaming the ps3 hardware for poor ports is premature and flawed reasoning in my opinion.

Posted at 10:03PM on May 23rd 2007 by mccomber

18. Great! An article testing a PS3 against a G5 on a PS3 web site.... Nobody talk about the G5!!!! Again and again, it's 360 vs PS3!!!

C'mon guys... Before you go to war, read the article, and bring something related to the article!!! Did you see anything at all about the 360 in this article? Why do we have to hear again that general purpose processing is better on the 360. Did I miss anything? I've seen the cut and paste version of the "general purpose bull..." about 300 times so far. Yet, nothing about the 360 in this article. So if I want to read that cut and paste bull again, I just have to read it in some 300 other posts in any PS3 web site...

Anybody as something to say about the G5, please say so.
If you have something to say about the PS3, you're more than welcome to do so, it's a PS3 web site.
If you want to cut and paste bull about the 360 please do so in your 360 web site.

Thanks

And since we have to talk about the article, yes, it was very badly optimized code. Proves nothing. IBM is using the Cell in Linux servers. I don't think they would if the Cell was so bad.
Oranges with oranges and in this case, apples with apples : )

Posted at 10:08PM on May 23rd 2007 by Real Gambler

19. "And lest anyone forget, the purpose of the PS3 is to play games! "

Um.... Sony forgot

Oh and my PC stomps all over the PS3....

Posted at 10:12PM on May 23rd 2007 by Darko

20. still better than whatever is in the 360 from a tech standpoint.

Posted at 10:15PM on May 23rd 2007 by WhackMushroom

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