Epic rewrote part of Unreal Engine 5 to make the most of the PlayStation 5 SSD

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. xg-ei8ht

    xg-ei8ht Ancient Guru

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    I'm not sure how that's marketing.

    The SSD is custom built and is it's own separate entity. But that's not the only point. the I/O system is completely different to a PC. It has 12 lanes and DMA controllers that handle everything that goes in and out on an 8 priority system level. PC SSD's have 2. The bottlenecks have been removed because that's where a lot of time was spent. You also forget that Sony's CPU from AMD is custom built using the RDNA2. It's not an off the shelf part. Neither is the GPU.

    I'm a PC gamer as well and console gamer. Consoles have the best exclusives end of and 1st party spend that time getting the most out of said hardware. Too many restraints coding for PC using too many different configs.

    As for SSD on PC. Yes they are fast for a short while, then get bogged down with I/O speed and that drops down. Look at any benchmark and you can see.

    The point your missing is the PS5 SSD with 5.5gb/s raw data and 12lane needs no CPU usage as it's done by co-processors and every PS5 is the same speed.


    Microsoft's Texture throughput should be good as well, but will need to use de-compression if trying to compete and it will be slower.


    Tim Sweeney isn't the only dev who's been impressed by the machine.


    PC will need to change in regard to motherboard's with built in co-processors that do the work. So any SSD gets the same boost.
     
  2. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    nothing on pc will support it in the near future.

    a windows 10 update might overhaul storport and ntfs drivers to do it.
     
  3. stereoman

    stereoman Master Guru

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    I mean has nobody even considered that all the games designed for PS5 and XBX will be made using PC's, how are they going to do that if PC's aren't even capable of running them? I think the last thing Sony want's to do is create a closed architecture, that's only going to create headaches for developers in the long run.
     
  4. illrigger

    illrigger Master Guru

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    Wow, there is a lot of cool-aid drinking in this article.

    * Sony and MS BOTH have new custom SSDs, with extremely fast direct I/O paths to the CPU. The only REAL difference lies in the expansion. MS went with a custom SSD that has the same connection as the on-board one, Sony uses a standard m.2 connection. Result: MS will likely be more consistent with the onboard SSD, Sony will likely be cheaper to expand in a year or two as PCIe 4.0 SSDs come down in price (although, that difference might not end up being much even a couple years later - top end PCIe 3.0 SSDs still cost nearly what they did at launch, only the entry level has dropped).
    * While on paper it appears PS5's I/O is faster than XBSX's, It's only one piece of the whole. Sony has more I/O bandwidth and plays that up, because literally every PS5 spec is significantly slower. Your escalator being 50% wider doesn't help if it only goes 40% as fast as the one next to it.
    * If you think Epic isn't going to optimize their engine for both consoles, well, you are a fool. They don't make the a game engine to run tech demos, they make to let devs make games. Devs want their games to run as fast as possible on every platform with as little work as possible, because extra work = extra manhours = longer development time. If Unreal automatically optimizes for one platform, and their competition does it for 3, nobody will choose to buy Unreal.

    This is the problem with tech demos - they don't actually tell us anything, they just serve to stir the pot of fanboys and make headlines. The only way to compare these consoles will be to see the same games running side by side, everything until then is 100% BS on both sides.
     
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  5. NCC1701D

    NCC1701D Master Guru

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    This is great and all, but it's also showing what a tech demo can do with the hardware. How many times have we seen games look as good as tech demos? And, how many Devs do you think will actually be bothered to take advantage of it. Unreal engine 4 was supposed to be the new graphical messiah, but we got PubG and Fortnite. I think people saying that this alone will win Sony the console war, is a bit far fetched. Pushing tech forward is good, but I still expect the best looking games to stay on PC where the GPU grunt can raise them up.
     
  6. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Ancient Guru

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    All I know is that Sony has set themselves up for years of hilarious memes with this all mighty SSD.
     
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  7. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    Also once the PS5 launches it will take 3rd party devs a while to be able to utilize the SSD that is inside of thing to it's fullest potential because majority of these console only developers never had an SSD before. Also look on how long it took developers to fully utilize the PS3 hardware.
     
  8. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    here's what will happen, same as every time; it will be maybe on par or better than standard pc stuff for like a couple months, then it will just be an annoying non-standard implementation devs will constantly avoid using, faster than xbox, slower than everything else
     
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  9. Ghosty

    Ghosty Ancient Guru

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    *cough* NDNA2 architecture (ZEN2 8 cores 3.5GHZ) *cough*
     
  10. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    I think you failed to read the PS5 specs because the game developers have a lot more horsepower underneath and the same thing applies to the Xbox Series X. So based on that I think that you are 100% wrong. But I do believe that it will take Game developers a longer period of time to fully utilize the PS5 hardware.
     
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  11. blkspade

    blkspade Master Guru

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    If you were really listening to Cerny's explanation, it sounds like most of the "magic" silicon is on the motherboard. They intend for viable off the shelf options to be available. Standard NVME/SSD have slower real-world performance, because of how data is requested from it. You don't have to change anything about the drives today, just the what and how of the access. Proprietary SSDs meant for the PS5 would never be cost effective as to be a viable off the shelf options for their base. They tried that with the Vita, and it was not well received.
     
  12. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    Games it's all about the games folks. MS has opted to kill first party exclusives while Sony looks like it wants to continue the current gen trend of most killer first party titles. Not that it really matters the real world differences between the consoles have become to close to negligible that their is little point in jumping ship from one console to another. If you currently own a Sony console chances are you will stick with them next gen, like the same case for MS. I would say that Sony could pull MS fans away as they actually are putting resource in to the thing that console owners care about, the afore mentioned games. I'll be honest I have no idea what MS strategy is at least when it comes to trying to win market share from Sony.
     
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  13. Ghosty

    Ghosty Ancient Guru

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    Sony specializes in making hardware products. The SSD will probably be a NVMe, directly connected to the MB, which is good for transferring large data file. I have one installed, plus a SSD.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2020
  14. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    That's their primary storage. However they are allowing users to install a secondary Nvme drive of their choosing if the drive is within of Sony's spec. So I don't see how this could fail if Sony is allowing the use to put an Nvme drive of their own. This far different than what Sony did with the Vita. MS on the other hand is going the proprietary route with their expanded storage unlike what Sony is going to be doing.
     
  15. rm082e

    rm082e Master Guru

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    Dev kits have been out there for a long time now, so it seems like the learning curve should be shorter than previous generations.
     
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  16. jbscotchman

    jbscotchman Ancient Guru

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    That and the new consoles are pretty much PC's now with their own OS. Microsoft started this with the original Xbox and now its come full circle. Gaming has and will be more unified than ever.
     
  17. Fender178

    Fender178 Ancient Guru

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    Very true.
     
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  18. blkspade

    blkspade Master Guru

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    Like I said the plan to allow off the shelf storage, which yes is for expansion to the built in solution. Those are to be regular, but well performing drives. They'll have to be up to snuff to run the games off them like the built in storage, but they'll also have to be standard PCIe 4.0 drives a number of manufacturers are already making for the PC market.
     
  19. blkspade

    blkspade Master Guru

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    Also nand does fail. So the included storage either needs to be replaceable, or the system needs to be able to bypass it in favor of the expansion.
     
  20. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I did actually read all there is to those consoles. And seen any available marketing or not videos. PS5 can be priced $450 and XSX $500. And if I was into buying console I 100% buy XSX. Sony did not win previous console round by having much better product. Victory was handed to them by MS, because MS had some pretty stupid idea on controlling their ecosystem.
    Sony did to people what they wanted on human level, MS tried to play big brother.

    Objectively, this time MS has better HW. (Storage speed does not change it.) Sony made some bad choices in way they decided to spread cost around console parts.
    They went for smaller and therefore cheaper SoC, then OCed hell out of it. Which means quite higher current through quite smaller area than XSX has. Result is much higher thermal density. They compensate it with cooling that's rather impressive feat of engineering. (Which adds cost => cost transferred from better and more power efficient SoC into its cooling.)

    Then comes the memory subsystem:
    PS5 has rather cheap 256-bit 16GB GDDR6 which gives them 448GB/s. (Not bad at all for CPU + GPU.)
    XSX has bit more complicated 320-bit (192+128-bit) arrangement with 6x 2GB GDDR6 + 4x 1GB GDDR6. That is being accessed in two tiers:
    -> All 10 memory chips are being addressed at same time through 320-bit bus till capacity of 10GB (560GB/s). Then remaining extra 6GB capacity of those six 2GB chips gets accessed just through their 192-bit bus (336GB/s). This is bit different from GTX 970's situation where you could only access 7 memory chips in one go (7*32=224-bit w/ 196GB/s instead of declared 224GB/s). And it took two goes to pull data from 8th (effectively reducing transfer speed to 1/2 of all banks => like if card had just 128-bit interface and 112GB/s).
    -> But this memory arrangement still works in regular memory management cycles. This means if extra memory is being accessed through its 192-bit, one can't access entire 320-bit space at same time and vice versa.
    -> Is this a problem?
    -=> 1st: 2,5GB of this 6GB is reserved for OS. And experience from PC says that for OS to work, it does not need much data per second from some 40GB/s available to regular PC. So this 2,5GB will not be addressed nowhere near as often as on PC as it delivers 8 times more data per second even without any special optimizations to limit number of accesses.
    -=> 2nd: 3,5GB of this 6GB is given to games. This may become problem if used without thinking or data are badly mixed. Worst case scenario is that same asset is split page by page between 10GB and 6GB segments. Let's increase magnitude of data for simplicity. We need to read 560GB data block. If it was in 10GB area, it would be read in 1 second. If exactly half of it was in 10GB area and 2nd half in 6GB area + pages would be intentionally put in way that reads would have to jump from 320 to 192 bit mode with each single segment, we would end up with 10 blocks of data from 320-bit and then 6 block of data from 192-bit. This means that 350GB would be read from 320-bit area & 210GB would be read from 192-bit area. Resulting read time would be 1,25s => effectively 448GB/s. Which is exactly same as memory transfer speed of PS5.
    -=> Worst case scenario is apparently if game needed only data from 192-bit block as that would have "just" 336GB/s. But in that case reading all (3,5GB) data for one frame would take ~ 0,01s, therefore memory would limit fps to something around 100fps. This scenario is quite unrealistic.
    This means that however one looks at memory subsystem, XSX has it better.
    Then there is one last look at it. And it is refresh of XSX. Over time, GDDR6 will be cheaper. and refresh is likely to have 10x 2GB chips, which means asymmetric access will no longer be needed. And all 20GB of refreshed console will be available at full 320-bit interface. Not a big upgrade in terms of GB/s if same 14Gbps chips are used as current configuration is not really suffering from this segmentation. But it will be 4 extra GB.

    Afterwards comes GPU that is being fed from memory:
    - PS5 has 2%/17%/23% lower ROP performance than XSX depending on boosting: Max/Game/Min clock. This means that under light load/resolution scenarios where ROPs are not needed, they are not going to under-perform. But moment GPU downclock for any reason, then gameplay that needs ROPs (Higher resolutions/AA) will suffer accordingly.
    - TMU+Shaders+raytracing: PS5 has 15%/28%/34% lower performance than XSX depending on boosting: Max/Game/Min clock. This disadvantage is quite resolution independent and is affected only by boosting conditions for PS5.

    Boosting conditions of PS5:
    - TPU database hints 180W TDP. This is shared at least between CPU and GPU. Maybe even with those 8 GDDR chips. But let's ignore them for sake of having nicer situation.
    -> CPU max boost is 3,5GHz which for 8C/16T Zen2 is some 45W under full load.
    -> GPU max boost is 2.233GHz which, if we believe some old 50% RDNA1 to RDNA2 power efficiency increase claim flying around, means some 160W.
    -> This is best case scenario where even 50% load on CPU prevents GPU from full boost.
    -> Realistically, this TDP limit will not be enough. And balancing of power draw between CPU and GPU will be in play at almost all times.
    - Then there is cooling. I am quite sure that console will downclock in situation where temperature reaches certain threshold.
    -> And here comes that rather over-complicated cooling solution into play. In 6 months of use when dust gets in a bit (or bit more), PS5 is going to have trouble due to thermal density of its SoC. Users which will not be able to blow dust from unit will have degraded performance and maybe even lifespan.
    -> risk of misassembly, tiny error and PS5's cooling will reduce its efficiency.
    -> acceleration shock in transition (or home accidents) of PS5 is much more likely to damage PCB or SoC due to way it is "mounted" to (and through) parts than XSX.

    And finally we have CPU:
    - XSX has two clock modes: Fixed 3,6GHz with SMT ON. And Fixed 3,8GHz with SMT OFF.
    - PS5 has boosting mechanism where 3,5GHz is maximum achievable clock.
    - In best case scenario, PS5 will have 3%/8% slower CPU clock than XSX depending on case where SMT is ON/OFF in XSX.
    - Realistically, I expect CPU in PS5 to downclock a bit quite often.

    Now to the storage:
    - Nothing performance related written above can be alleviated by faster storage.
    - Storage may change same loading time to 1/2. Which if we expect 2GB of data for next level means 0,83s on XSX and 0,36s on PS5 in case of lowest speed (non-compressed data).
    - Both worst case read speeds of 2,4GB/s (XSX) and 5.5GB/s (PS5) are enough for loading assets on the fly for any currently implemented scenario in any known game. (500MB/s SSD has no problems with open world or other games that have no loadings for areas.)

    Taken everything into account, I simply do not like PS5 on HW level.
    Can PS5 be more successful console than XSX? Yes.
    Will PS5 be more successful due to its hardware? No.
     
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