Microsoft Details Its Velocity Architecture Behind the Xbox Series X:

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Uh.... hey MS.... Velocity doesn't contain the letter X. Therefore, that means it has no marketing power. The console itself better be covered in RGB LEDs or else it will surely be a flop.
     
  2. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    WOW

    They took the bait...

    Looking forward to the press release 3 days before the xboxytrashcanairprifier gets launched from Sony:

    "...further to OUR deep dive video, we must apologise to everyone in that we stated the PS5 would have Zen2, but, it actually will be Zen3...sorry xbox..."

    Back on topic...did anyone spot the marketing-speak they used about SSD performance? let me cut and paste this for my fellow gurus:

    Now...the thing that leapt out of the page at me, because I studied BS at the school of cow manure, is the operative 'traditional', and the fact it was usd in the same paragraph as 'custom NVME SSD'. In addition, the paragraph also contained unnecessary usage of some repeated nouns and, metaphors which gives you evocative language. Also, plenty of adjectives, like 'reliably' preceding the word 'design'...'removing the barriers'...plus the phrase 'consistent, sustained performance' in the same paragraph! In fact, the word 'performance' appears five times in the same exact paragraph AND sixteen times in the overall press release!

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks...or more to the point; someone is worried...big time.

    Anyway, the word 'traditional' can mean what, exactly? SATA1/2/3? because if so, then...why talk about NVME speeds, and ignore SATA, so that way - when you make the statement 'traditional' and NOT clarify it, the brain of the reader might be inclined to think that, MS is referring to NVME...which then the brain can make a logical and misleading assumption when Microsoft was referring to SATA connections, but they didn't mention SATA.

    All because of one mention of the word 'traditional' - which is also btw, used five times:

    "...Traditional console..."
    "...traditional hard drive technology..."
    "...traditional hard drive..."
    "...traditional I/O subsystem..."
    "...Traditional SSDs used in PCs..."

    Of additional note:

    "I/O" = 16 times
    "Velocity" = 14 times, but, it is part of the title of the release/video so I do kinda forgive this, but, I did remove the count from the title of the release and the links etc
    "performance" = 13 times
    "*power*" (variations of the word power, with altering suffixes and prefixes) = 9
    "significant" = 7 times

    It was certainly a nicely written PR release with dreadful music in a video to appeal to developers? Not sure I agree with the choice of music, most devs listen to Pink Floyd or ABBA...the 'pumping' music they used in their video was taken straight out of a BDSM niteclub :)

    I must however take note of their usage of language, as it clearly feels like they got caught out with PS5 and the significantly damaging comments from Epic Games, simply by them praising the PS5, but, not even mentioning the xboxytrashcanpurifier at all in the slightest...

    Perhaps if MS were to buy some shares in Epic Games...they might get some nice comments from TS...who knows.

    But yes, I think MS took the bait and Sony will have an updated release three days before xboxytrashcanairpurifier launches.
     
  3. waltc3

    waltc3 Maha Guru

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    I think both MS and Sony are putting out a lot of marketing BS, myself.. Par for the course. The rubber won't meet the road until these consoles fall into reviewer's hands, and not until. But...this "deep dive" from Microsoft wasn't very convincing--it could all be compressed down to this: "We know all of this sounds dreadfully slow, but everything gets much faster when you factor in compression".. Yes, let us all hope that is true...! The NVMe "deep dive" sounds like a verbose apology for not using PCIe4.0.. Not sure how all that gibberish about "sustained" performance will play out--seems like a marketing rationalization. Also, 30 years ago the predominant drive format was FAT (Floppy Allocation Tables)--Windows has been off of that for decades! (I owned an HD formatted with FAT decades back! It was horrible--error-prone like you wouldn't believe.) I'll be waiting for them to explain "Direct Storage" with an explanation that tells me exactly what it is and what it does. But what is going to matter for both consoles is how well they run the latest games at the highest res with all eye-candy turned on, imo. My own feeling is that RDNA2 for PC--the Big Boy Navi--will blow both of these away, easily. Well, based on what it will cost, it certainly should...;)
     
  4. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

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    It does use PCI-E 4...?

    Are you talking about how it uses a weird proprietary expansion card?
     

  5. fry178

    fry178 Ancient Guru

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    @kieron fleming
    No its not. Its the games.
    Since ps1 the xbox has been outsold about 1:4,
    yet had/has faster hw.

    How much use is it to have +100 million and able to afford a F1 car, but no track to legally drive it,
    vs buying a ~3 million Chiron that "i" can drive on normal streets?
     
  6. Carfax

    Carfax Ancient Guru

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    This basically. With all the hype about the PS5's SSD and bespoke decompression hardware, people seem to be forgetting that the basics still matter just as much as ever.

    The XSX has the edge in raw compute and memory bandwidth, and that's going to matter when it comes to things like ray tracing performance, framerates and target resolution.
     
  7. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    I'm not convinced, not by a long shot.
     
  8. Ne1l

    Ne1l Member

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    I played with Fusion IO cards and RAMdrives 8 years ago... I kept my games, and still do, on the "FusionIO" drives and I 'had' a script loaded whatever steam game (or back in the day Battlefield 3) I wanted from it into a RAMdrive (magicdisc).. I've not had less than 64GB in my PC's for the last 8 years.

    basically, that wow feeling of moving from SSD to HDD is never going to happen again.. did moving SSD to NVMe feel any faster to anybody really?

    No matter how fast the storage is it's about optimization... if a game can only work with the massive IO Sony is talking about it will lose revenue from sales from PC & xbox. So just a few niche exclusive PS5 games from first parties.., what's new about that?




    Here's my old startup bat file from 2012, the 20 second timeout was needed to let windows start before I hit it with IO :D

    @Echo OFF
    ECHO "Copy Origin to RAMDrive"
    TIMEOUT 20
    MD "R:\Games\Origin"
    xCOPY "S:\Origin test" "R:\Games\Origin" /K /E /H /O

    IO example.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
    theoneofgod likes this.
  9. rm082e

    rm082e Master Guru

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    Crystal Ball Prediction: Both consoles will still have 30fps games.
     
  10. Carfax

    Carfax Ancient Guru

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    Care to expound on that a bit?

    Epic just released the tech specifics for their UE5 demo, and as many thought, the streaming can easily be done on a PCIe 3.0 gen SSD.

    Streaming pool for the demo was 768 MB/s, with a resolution of 1440p. CPU usage was very low, which shows that the entire demo was very GPU bound.

    So, as I said before, the XSX will have a major advantage over the PS5 in performance due to its greater compute performance. This will be the most salient in games that use ray tracing and or target 4K/60 FPS.

    [​IMG]

    Nanite performance:

    [​IMG]

    CPU usage:

    [​IMG]

    Source:

     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020

  11. Ne1l

    Ne1l Member

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    I hope not.., I want the 60-120fps@4K as advertised, if nextgen games need more then I'll get 2x 3080Ti's instead of just the one and the xBox.

    God forbid I'll need them but I have 6 x 6+2-pin PCI-E on my trusty old 2012 power supply.., https://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/pc-power-amp-cooling-mk-iii-silencer-1200-review,1.html

    All this fuss over 'plug and play' consoles.. I miss the EVGA SR-2 days and pushing the bleeding edge with a pair of 5690's@4.4 with air cooling.. :)
     

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  12. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    Your citation for the PS5 is what EPIC games decided to run in their game engine for one video?
     
  13. theoneofgod

    theoneofgod Ancient Guru

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    What's more important. Super duper fast storage, or CPU/GPU for games?
     
  14. Loobyluggs

    Loobyluggs Ancient Guru

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    For US5? On what hardware? What specifications? What type of game is being used?

    It's an endless list of questions, but carfax made the point and I'm following up with the 'what relevance is your citation?'
     
  15. ruthan

    ruthan Master Guru

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    There are lots of questions.
    1) Would be this Direct Storage AP available on PC? If yes when? Does it means some HW compatibility support, or it is pure SW thing?
    2) When we will see first PC games, which would require SSD within minimal specs? After that we can finally mark magnetic disc as dead for modern gaming.

    And some facts:
    A) 40x faster that previous generation - it simply means that previous generation was bad, because there wasnt such jump increase in HW performance in these years and also means that consoles 7 years cycles sucks.
    B) Well long time ago, i though that game loading are mainly about storage performance, but it changed long time ago.. and there never was loading speed boost related to proportionally storage device boost. So there is lots of processing on CPU or GPU side.. AFAIK GPU is stupid and it does not need own addition processing of already loaded data, so all of these has to be CPU processing. I really hope (because otherwise would be problem elsewhere within game engine) that majority of this time is just pure decompression of already loaded data from storage.

    Some philosophical thought:
    I) Im not really sure that multiple levels of compression is really good thing. Because even basic archive decompression with good archive as 7zip and fast CPU could be quite long.. and if there would be some magic HW acceleration solution, i would be already build in todays cpus /gpus => decomperision is always problem and means always main slowdowns.

    From developers perspective is compression again only complication if assets has reasonable size, because is faster to work with uncompressed data and compress them later in preparation product to shipping. Compression was there at the start because of game distribution media size / price also because of game install sizes, later to decrease games / updates download times, all if this make sense, from fro everything but performance.
    I thing that i would make sense, also compress data, before they are moved through computer bus.. to move them faster and decompress them in RAM or VRAM, if that would be faster that just move data uncompressed..

    But back to original problem:
    I.a) asset is compressed itself to shipping to decrease it size - sound to mp3 / flacs, graphics from bitmaps to something more modern, some for models, dialog etc.
    I.b) because developers usually dont like that someone is messing with their assets, they are usually added so some archive, often probably crypted with some password. - 1st level of compression
    I.c) buss compresion
    And probably there are other layers.. or some additional compression for some particular game logic. All of this has it cost. We can solve internet download speed easily. But i wonder how much better would games running if they would consume more space and all would be uncompressed?
     

  16. theoneofgod

    theoneofgod Ancient Guru

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    I'm actually referring to your comment earlier. About not being convinced. Just regular games, nothing groundbreaking, as I've yet to see one of those.
     
  17. almighty15

    almighty15 Member

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    Velocity architecture is nothing special, it's essentially partial resident textures with some custom blending hardware, It actually makes no sense for a machine that's using an SSD.

    Velocity architecture breaks textures down in to small tiles just like partial resident textures does so you only load the part of the texture you actually need (PRT was introduced by AMD in the 7000 series and is something both current gen consoles use and is also PS5 supports)

    The special part of VA is when you need a high resolution version of a tile but you only have the low resolution version in memory, at that point it's takes a while to load the high res version from storage so the system uses the low resolution version as a place holder until the high resolution version has been loaded and instead of the texture 'popping' from the low to the high res version the custom blenders......duh....blend the 2 together so it's a lot less noticeable.

    This system would of been awesome for ID Software's mega texture as it would have removed the jarring texture pop that games like RAGE suffered with.

    But;

    1. If you are always finding yourself in a situation where you never have the high res texture you need in memory for VA and the custom blenders to be of a benefit you're doing it wrong.
    2. The raw speed of an SSD would hide it 99% of the time anyway.
    3. It's something your competition has so it's not a big selling point like they make it out to be.

    Sony have demonstrated that the SSD in PS5 is the real deal with the Ratchet & Clank PS5 demo, the scenes with the portals might have been on rails but it was still loading full levels IN SECONDS.
     
  18. almighty15

    almighty15 Member

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    Not true, we are entering a generation where native resolution no longer matters. The UE5 demo was a snip under 1440p and yet Digital Foundry REALLY struggled to pixel count it...
     
  19. Carfax

    Carfax Ancient Guru

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    Well why not? The UE5 demo was hailed as an example of how the PS5's storage system can help increase detail far beyond the norm. And Epic's front man Tim Sweeney has been all over the news lately about how awesome and revolutionary the PS5's storage system is and how it will be game changing. Also, Sony recently invested $200,000,000 in the Epic store.

    Fast forward to yesterday, and we now find out that the demo barely even taxed the PS5's SSD, and that the demo itself was mostly GPU bound. The thing is, the vast majority of games will always be GPU bound, because it's the GPU that's doing the heavy lifting. Adding on things like ray tracing, high resolutions and framerates is only going to compound what we already know.

    That the GPU is king, and has always been unless you're running large scale RTS or simulation heavy games which pound the CPU a lot more.

    Now will Sony make games that pander to the PS5's exotic storage system? Of course. Ratchet and Clank is the perfect example of that. But games like that will be comparatively rare I'm sure.
     
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  20. Carfax

    Carfax Ancient Guru

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    Perhaps. But we're also entering a generation with ray traced effects, and with the PS5 and XSX both having FAR more powerful CPUs compared to the current generation, console gamers will also expect higher framerates and fancier physics.

    Either way, the GPU is going to be the bottleneck, which is the way it should be unless for aforementioned RTS/simulation heavy games that really pound the CPU.

    The storage systems in both the XSX and PS5 will be used primarily to dramatically speed up loading, and not for increasing IQ.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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