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MikeB
Banned
(08-28-2007, 05:19 PM)
According to IBM the bulk of the PS3's processing power is located in Cell's SPEs (/SPUs). Without using them games development is very similar to developing a game on a decent specced single processor PC or Mac (So not really difficult at all like some developers claim, funnily those who do not even use the SPEs in the porting process! This should then actually be pretty straight foward, with of course the advantage of being able to optimize for a single uniform configuration). PS3 exclusive devs who are using the SPEs claim it's not that difficult to develop for and that it's much easier to develop for than for the PS2. Considering more and more games start to utilize these SPEs I thought it would be interesting to list those games.

SPE usage doesn't per se make a good game, neither not using them per se makes a bad game, for example simple games such as distributed on the PSN don't really need that much performance with the exception of games like Super Stardust HD, which is quite impressive with so many effects and things going on at once. However IMO for games which greatly depend on performance, not using the SPEs [enough] IMO don't make these games genuine PS3 games to judge the power of the platform on, but should rather be viewed as far from optimal ports.

Beyond3D Motorstorm interview: "Scott Kirkland: Cellís SPUs provide a huge amount of processing power. Early adopters tended to bias usage towards either RSX or PPU support (we fall into the latter category). Iím confident that over the coming months, exploitation of this resource will become far more balanced."

Insomniac Q&As on how they try to help 3rd party developers and why some developers are still struggling with the Cell archicture:

Q&A: Insomniac's Mike Acton - Part 1
Q&A: Insomniac's Mike Acton - Part 2

"What I've always said is that bad code, and bad data design in particular, is bad on any architecture, but it's particularly bad on the PS3 because the Cell is a much more modern, much more heterogeneous design. It's much more parallel, and so requires good data design and good code. So if you're poorly designing your data and your code, then yeah, I can see why it'd be difficult to take something like that and try and manipulate it to work on the PS3, especially when people have invested a huge amount of money and time on something that basically doesn't fit a modern methodology. Yeah, it's going to be time-consuming to get that to work - if it's at all possible."

"It's interesting, because I think that probably the oldest programming methods are the most relevant today. It's the habits over the last five or eight years that are struggling, and it's interestingly the people that are more recently out of school that are going to have the most trouble, because the education system really hasn't caught up to how the real world is, how hardware is changing and how development is changing."


Some early PS3 games that are known to use the Cell's SPEs, some more recent highlights and how these games use the SPEs:

1) Resistance: Fall of Man

"Animation and calculating collisions between objects are perfect fits, says Hastings. So those are the primary jobs Resistance doles out to the SPEs.."

Source: Spectrum online

"SPU System:

Animation
Audio (NextSynth and LR1)
Bucketer sort
Collision (separate broad and narrow)
Dynamic DB
Dynamic joint
FX update
Geom Cull Clip (for shadows and decals)
Glass
Moby constants
Physics collision
Physics simulation
Particle (weather fx)
Render mats
Static DB
Water (FFT)

10-20% total SPU utilization" (uses 5 SPEs, Resistance 2 uses 6 SPEs)

http://www.insomniacgames.com/tech/a...ing_public.pdf

2) Resistance 2

"Propriety game systems are now being heavily farmed out to the PS3's SPUs, keeping the central PPU as a sort of traffic cop that organizes what gets attention at any given moment. In simple terms, the game is taking much better advantage of the untapped potential of the console. In regard to visuals, the expanded use of the SPUs means more enemies on screen, significantly more complex AI from all of those foes and dramatically expanded options for special effects."

Source: Game Informer



GDC 2008 - Insomniac SPU Programming (Powerpoint)

3) Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction

"We were using the SPUs and that's a key to having a game that runs fast on the PS3, but there were a lot of things that we knew we could improve, and we have been improving them on Ratchet. And even with Ratchet, we're still seeing more and more things we can do; it's kind of like peeling off the layers of an onion."

Source: Gamedaily

"We are continuing to build our Insomniac Engine and have made many improvements to it since Resistance: Fall of Man. The one huge focus for us has been moving more of our processes over to the SPUs on the CELL processor. This has allowed us to get our physics and effects systems running roughly four times faster than it did in Resistance at nearly double the framerate, which is something you can see in weapons like the Tornado Launcher."

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Here on the NeoGAF forum Mike Acton of Insomniac explained a comment regarding "experimenting with pre-vertex shaders on the SPUs".

"1. Transfer some of the load from the GPU to the SPUs.

2. Minimize complexity of the GPU Shaders. i.e. Rather than making more GPU vertex shaders, or more complex GPU vertex shaders, we'll just edit the data directly from the SPU before the GPU gets it. This allows us to "disguise" complex vertex shader code as a simple shader from the GPU's perspective.

3. Run parts of the complete vertex shader code at different rates. An (SPU Vertex Shader, or Pre-Vertex Shader) does not necessarily have to run in lock-stop with the (GPU Vertex Shader). It could run at half-rate or lower, depending on the data and the need.

We're still experimenting with different approaches and places to do this, but we've had good success so far. For example, we used this idea in RCF to handle UV animations - textures weren't animated on the GPU, the UVs were animated before the stream got to the (GPU Vertex Shader) so it could use the same GPU shaders as any stream that did not have UV animation."

Source: NeoGAF forum




Insomniac Games SPU Shader Presentation (PDF)

4) Motorstorm

"SPU usage is a good example. The progressive development of corresponding debugging and profiling tools made thorough exploitation of this powerful resource quite challenging for the less technically biased members of the team. In the aftermath of MotorStorm, with mature tools at our disposal, weíve been developing mechanisms to make the PPU and SPUís power and parallelism far more accessible to our entire team, re-thinking data organization and algorithms in the process. MotorStorm only uses between 15 and 20 percent of available SPU resource, so weíre aiming to achieve a 5 fold increase in SPU performance, which should allow us to do some awesome stuff!"

"Our SPU exploiting systems consist of:

i) Havok physics.
ii) Determination of object visibility.
iii) Concatenation of hierarchies.
iv) Billboard object culling and vertex buffer creation.
v) Updating of particles and vertex buffer creation.
vi) Updating of vehicle dynamics.
vii) Updating of vehicle suspension constraints.
viii) Audio (MultiStream).
ix) Video decoding."

"If by cooperative rendering you're referring to SPUs supporting the RSX, I strongly believe that this approach will become far more widespread. In addition to reducing the vertex load on the RSX through the use of culling and vertex pre-processing, this approach also provides an efficient mechanism to introduce procedural geometry.

Historically, CPUs have provided course grain scene culling using view frustums, occlusion planes, portal visibility and BSP-trees with GPUs left to perform fine grain rejection using guard band clipping, occlusion and backface culling. While such features improve fragment performance, they don't reduce vertex processing overhead.

The leap in performance provided by Cell gives us the bandwidth to significantly reduce RSX time spent processing vertices that don't contribute to the final scene. The favoured approach is to use SPUs to generate minimal scene/instance specific index and vertex buffers from compressed data."

Source: Beyond3D



5) Super Stardust HD

"We are able to get over 10,000 active objects with physics and collisions and over 75,000 particles simulated and drawn @60fps. That said, we were unable to use all the available processing power from Cell for this game, so for the next game there are still plenty of reserves left"

Source: IGN



Solo Pack update

"We probably draw about twice the number of objects compared to the original game. We are pretty close to maxing out the RSX, but in our next game we will still push the chip more. Currently we do not use SPUs to pre-process the geometry for RSX ó that will make a major difference. I estimate that we can further boost the graphics performance by 50%."

Source: MTV Multiplayer

6) Heavenly Sword

"In Heavenly Sword, the Cell enables incredible numbers of enemies to be on screen at one time. The trick is that Cell treats entire regiments as a single unit of artificial intelligence when they are at a distance; as they draw closer, Cell gradually divides the army into smaller and smaller groups, so they eventually become individual troops with unique fighting styles and tactics."

"Heavenly Sword is one of the first PS3 games to tap into Cell's true potential. Here are the highlights.

Artificial Intelligence To keep up with the hundreds of on-screen enemies, Cell treats distant armies as a singlular "hive mind." As they approach Nariko, Cell splits their intelligence across squads, and finally, individual troops.

Graphics Wind gusts swirl Nariko's hair and clothes, and bazooka blasts send out showers of dust and rubble. 1080p support is still a question mark, though.

Physics When firing a cannon, Nariko can influence the trajectory of the projectile using the Sixaxis. Ninja Theory claims it needs the Cell to handle these complex calculations."

Source: Gamepro

"Personally I really love the SPUs as they have exceeded our performance expectations and we've got a lot of them to play with."

Source: Eurogamer

"In terms of graphics, we use the SPU as a form of object processor. So essentially everything up to and including the production of RSX's command stream probably has a module on SPU to help.
This includes,

1. A module that does a lot of object level clipping and culling both for the view frustum and ths shadow maps. Its job is per frame to calculate how big each shadow map should be in world space and what objects needs rendering in each map.
2. Animations, using ATGs (DeanA team) animation library, every animation is blended and bones updated.
3. Blend shapes, a custom module that handles facial animations
4. Skin matrices, even after animation there some work required to get them into the format used by the GPU vertex shader.
5. Flags, a simple verlet based simulation used for the flags in the game
6. Cloth & Hair, a constrained physics solver used for simple chains that are then rendered as Nariko's cloth and hair
7. Pushbuffer generation. This produces the commands used by RSX to actually render the scene. Has a number of optimisers to reduce redundent state changes.

Probably a few i've missed. Essentially a normal skinned or non-skinned character costs very little PPU time and virtually all processing is done on SPU and RSX. Its this that allows us to render the army scenes for example.

We do no per triangle work on the SPU, we let RSX do that, we however do try and prepare things on the SPU for RSX."

Source: Beyond3D forum




7) Killzone 2

"In this talk, we will discuss our approach to face this challenge and how we designed a deferred rendering engine that uses multi-sampled anti-aliasing (MSAA). We will give in-depth description of each individual stage of our real-time rendering pipeline and the main ingredients of our lighting, post-processing and data management. Weíll show how we utilize PS3ís SPUs for fast rendering of a large set of primitives, parallel processing of geometry and computation of indirect lighting. We will also describe our optimizations of the lighting and our parallel split (cascaded) shadow map algorithm for faster and stable MSAA output."

Source: Killzoneunit



"We've created our own proprietary technology to drive the game, and this is using many of PS3's specific strengths.Large quantities of data can be streamed because we have a great deal of storage capacity. This allows for the level of detail you can see in the game.

It is not a luxury to have Blu-ray, but rather a necessity, as compression only gets you so far. I mean, the level that we showed at E3 and Leipzig topped out around 2GB! Also having the CELL and SPUs means we can offload all of our physics processing to an SPU, or process AI using the SPU's. All this processing power just means we can add more detail and create that Hollywood-type realism we're after."

Source: GamePro.com

I think the following article sheds more light on how the SPEs are currently used in Killzone 2, and addresses the advanced deferred rendering techniques Guerrilla Games already implemented for the game so far.


Deferred Rendering in Killzone 2 (PDF)

More recent comments:

"One of the main developments was that more processes that were initially handled by the main CPU were being moved to the SPUs. Physics, lighting set-up, particle set-up, animation and such are by now all running on the SPU, leaving the CPU to calculate the more tricky game systems that aren't easily made parallel. At some point we even found ways to start doing certain GPU calculation on the SPUs, so now a lot of our post-processing such as bloom, depth-of-field and motion blur are being rendered by the SPUs. This freed up performance from the GPU, which in turn allowed us to go even further with shader complexity and particle density."

Source: Gamespy

"It's incredible to see huge levels and see the deferred rendering and note that on all the SPUís, even on the heaviest load were coming up to about 60%," Haynes said. "They weren't coming close to maxing out. .They had about 40% of space before they started tripping or saw slow down on some of the processes."

Source: PSU.com

Killzone 2 tech interviews:

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/43389.html

http://www.gametrailers.com/player/43389.html

8) Final Fantasy XIII

"The White Engine reportedly uses four of the six developer-available synergistic processing elements (SPEs) of the Cell microprocessor to achieve near-pre-rendered CGI quality in realtime."

Source: Play UK through Wikipedia

9) Gran Turismo 5



10) Warhawk

"Although I would say itís the sum-total of all of our natural phenomenon in the game. Our clouds, procedural water, atmospheric scattering, terrain, etc. All of this stuff runs in parallel on all 7 SPUs simultaneously every frame Ė Iím still not sure if the game community is giving enough credit to just how fast the SPUs really are."

Source: Playstation.Blog

11) Uncharted: Drakeís fortune

"Like the PS2 the PS3 is a sophisticated and powerful piece of hardware. Our engineers are working very hard at making specific optimizations to take full advantage of the Cell and its SPU's. However, there is so much depth to this machine, that much like the PS2, you will continue to see developers squeeze more and more out of it over the course of what I am sure is going to be a lengthy life-cycle."

Source: IGN



"We are utilizing all SPUs in Uncharted for AI, animation and lots of other systems. We are however just starting to tap into the power of the Cell. In future games I can promise even more utilization of the Cell which will result in more of everything, including game play."

Source: Ars Technica

"As far as the Cell processor is concerned, we're actually using about a third to half of that right now, so there's still a bit of untapped potential there."

" I would say number one thing is animation, and the fact that the Cell processor has so much raw horse power that you could just throw more and more at it and it doesn't break a sweat. Our animation system is very complex, and we layer on dozens of frames of animation so you have that fluidity of movement where Nathan Drake can be running across a courtyard, stumbling over a rock as he's ducking under a hail of gunfire, reloading his weapon and rolling into cover, and all of these animations can happen simultaneously. "

Source: GameSpot

"The PlayStation 3 has a lot of power. When we started Uncharted we were really ambitious and had no idea what the PS3 would give us. Once we got the first devkits, we realized quickly that we could do everything we had planned to. The three main points for me are the Cell, Blu-Ray and the hard drive. Weíve been using the Cell for pretty much all our systems: rendering, particles, physics simulation, collision detection, animation, AI, decompression, water simulation, etc Ö and to give you an idea of the power of the PS3, we're using only 30 percent of the Cell processor.

In terms of Blu-Ray, we just couldnít have made Uncharted without it; with Uncharted we have almost filled it (91 percent). We're also using the hard drive to pre-cache data from the Blu-Ray disc. That allows us to stream up to 12 streams for sound, load level data super fast and more importantly to stream textures constantly to guarantee high-res quality on the screen. "

Source: Ars Technica

"Basically, in Jak I we had somewhere in the vicinity of 300-350 animations for Jak and everyone was really happy with the fluidity of his movement and the response. In Uncharted, Drake has got more than 3500 animations and the difference is we're now taking the cell processor and we're taking say two dozen of those animations, like we've got his running animations, flinching animations, reloading animations, rolling animations, just dozens of animations all at once being layered on top of each other and then the cell processor recreates on the fly the single frame of animation that you need to be able to play the game at that moment and the fact we can just dump more and more work on that processor and its SPUs just means we can free up our CPU to do more general purpose tasks. "

Source: PALGN

"Weíve solved most of our memory problems by relying on the SPEs to perform compression, both at load-time and at run-time, using techniques developed by ICE, SCEA Tools&Tech and the SCEE ATG group."

Source: PS3Blog.net



"One of our first goals when we started Uncharted: Drake's Fortune was to push what's been done in animation for video games. We developed a brand new animation system that took full advantage of the SPU's. Nathan Drake's final animation is made of different layers like running, breathing, reloading weapons, shooting, facial expression, etc; we end up decompressing and blending up to 30 animations every frame on the SPU's."

"The main thing about the PlayStation 3 is the Cell processor and more specifically the SPU's. We are only using 30 percent of the power of the SPU's in Uncharted. We've been architecting a lot of our systems around this and we were able to take full advantage of that power. A big part of our systems is running on SPU's: scene bucketing, particles, physics, collision, animation, water simulation, mesh processing, path finding, etc. For our engine, the cool thing about having the SPU's is the fact we can minimize what we send to the RSX (the graphic chip), it allows us to reject unnecessary information and get the RSX to be very efficient. "

"We are constantly streaming animations, level data, textures, music and sounds. It would have been impossible to get this amount of data at that speed to memory without the hard drive. And of course on top of that we use the SPU's to decompress all this data on the fly."

Source: Playstation Universe (PSU)

Uncharted Tech GDC 2008

List continues in post 32
Last edited by MikeB; 12-06-2008 at 11:43 AM.
Mmmkay
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:21 PM)
what
Cryect
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:21 PM)
Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

Edit: It just doesn't seem reasonably feasible to get a "next gen" game running well on the PS3 with the SPU alone.
pswii60
(08-28-2007, 05:22 PM)
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Would read again.
methane47
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cryect

Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

is this a serious question?
tanod
when is my burrito
(08-28-2007, 05:24 PM)

Originally Posted by Cryect

Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

It's not a suggestion. It's a fact that some don't.
Xisiqomelir
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by methane47

is this a serious question?

Junior Member, dude.
Cryect
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:25 PM)

Originally Posted by methane47

is this a serious question?

It just seems strange that one would complete ignore a major part of the console. I guess some developers do this but it would be like saying lets ignore 2 of the cores on 360.
Wollan
Banned
(08-28-2007, 05:26 PM)
I'm hearing Guerrilla are making sweet sweet love to them.
Gattsu25
Formerly Wakune
(08-28-2007, 05:26 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cryect

Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

Edit: It just doesn't seem reasonably feasible to get a "next gen" game running well on the PS3 with the SPU alone.

Half-Life 2 Orange Box will not use them
itxaka
Defeatist
(08-28-2007, 05:30 PM)
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Originally Posted by MikeB

PS3 games list & SPE usages
Retail PS3 games confirmed or thought not using the Cell's SPEs (correct me if wrong, I will update both lists)

1) Genji: Days of the Blade (Great visuals, mediocre game, confirmed by developer not to be using the SPEs)
2) Half-Life 2: Orange Box (Confirmed by developer)
3) Splinter Cell
4) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Great game, looks better than on XBox 360 combined with reduced loading times, but this mainly due to harddrive caching)
5) Fight Night Round 3 (overall still a good improvement over the XBox 360 version)
6) Full Auto 2: Battlelines (Mediocre, still an improvement over the original and 1080p)
7) Ridge Racer 7(OK game, overall a good improvement over RR6 and 1080p)
8) Madden NFL 07
9) Madden NFL 08
10) Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
11) Enchanted Arms
12) F.E.A.R.
13) Sonic the Hedgehog
14) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07



thatīs impressive, i wonder what oblivion could have achieve with the use of spus. Well and any of these games as well, in fact i love to see what they can achive multiplatform games with the spus in use.
Rhindle
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(08-28-2007, 05:32 PM)
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So any game that didn't have a PR statement from the studio praising the supreme power of the Cell is a hack job by lazy developers that doesn't use the SPUs. This includes all third party games.

Gotcha.
TheJollyCorner
(08-28-2007, 05:32 PM)
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7) Final Fantasy XIII (uses SPE enabled White Engine)

"The White Engine reportedly uses four of the six developer-available synergistic processing elements (SPEs) of the Cell microprocessor to achieve near-pre-rendered CGI quality in realtime." Source: Play UK through Wikipedia



FFXIII... where are you...? :(
DrXym
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:33 PM)

Originally Posted by Cryect

Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

Edit: It just doesn't seem reasonably feasible to get a "next gen" game running well on the PS3 with the SPU alone.

Why doesn't it seem feasible. The Cell has a dual threaded 3.2Ghz PPU in addition to all those SPUs. I expect lots of games don't use the SPUs, either because they're single threaded or don't max the PPU so why use the SPUs, or because they're lazy ports.

It would not surprise me if most of the 1st gen "ports" barely touched the SPUs at all. Hopefully in time the likes of EA, Activision, Ubisoft will optimize their middleware tools to use the SPUs and we can lay to rest stupid frame rate and screenshot comparisons.
plagiarize
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(08-28-2007, 05:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by Cryect

It just seems strange that one would complete ignore a major part of the console. I guess some developers do this but it would be like saying lets ignore 2 of the cores on 360.

and that never happened right?
Doc Evils
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:34 PM)
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Cool that's pretty interesting. Can't wait till dev's master the PS3.
methane47
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(08-28-2007, 05:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rhindle

So any game that didn't have a PR statement from the studio praising the supreme power of the Cell is a hack job by lazy developers that doesn't use the SPUs. This includes all third party games.

Gotcha.

Genji 2 is one of the prettiest games ever made.. and it uses no SPUs and its MADE BY SONY

gtfo troll
Acosta
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(08-28-2007, 05:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by Rhindle

So any game that didn't have a PR statement from the studio praising the supreme power of the Cell is a hack job by lazy developers that doesn't use the SPUs. This includes all third party games.

Gotcha.

Where is the PR statement? I am reading actual developers talking of specific uses they are doing with Cell.

Can we make this a useful thread about PS3 architecture without getting into the same arguments?
Mammothtank
Member
(08-28-2007, 05:37 PM)
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I also thought Genji was a great looking game...didn't know it didn't use the extra SPUs either, nice post.
Phoenix Down
Banned
(08-28-2007, 05:37 PM)

Originally Posted by TheJollyCorner

FFXIII... where are you...? :(

Eh a month away? are you ready for the megaton flood?
Haunted
(08-28-2007, 05:39 PM)
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Looks like there aren't enough devs who shine that shit up for the cell if ya know what I mean.
Mammothtank
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(08-28-2007, 05:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by Haunted One

Looks like there aren't enough devs who shine that shit up for the cell if ya know what I mean.

...Wonder if Turok uses them...
besada
Everybody has their own opinion; holding it back hurts so bad.
(08-28-2007, 05:43 PM)
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Originally Posted by Acosta

Can we make this a useful thread about PS3 architecture without getting into the same arguments?

Almost certainly not.
tanod
when is my burrito
(08-28-2007, 05:45 PM)

Originally Posted by Cryect

It just seems strange that one would complete ignore a major part of the console. I guess some developers do this but it would be like saying lets ignore 2 of the cores on 360.

Well, my PC has a 3.2 Ghz Pentium 4 and if I had a gfx card the equivalent of RSX or Xenon, I'd be able to run a lot of pretty games that are coming out right now. Some devs probably just haven't felt the need to use the extra power and I'm sure that goes for the 360 too.

EDIT: Maybe Genji 2 should have used an SPU for a smarter camera.
Raist
(08-28-2007, 05:50 PM)
I have some doubts regarding the multiplatform games, unless of course they weren't using all the 360's three cores.
lochnesssnowman
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(08-28-2007, 05:50 PM)
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Originally Posted by Acosta

Where is the PR statement? I am reading actual developers talking of specific uses they are doing with Cell.

Can we make this a useful thread about PS3 architecture without getting into the same arguments?

I think he's questioning the logic behind determining games that are not using SPU's - we know the ones that are using SPU's, because they've told us about it (and the OP does a good job on gathering quotes and references on this). But, without the developer letting us know about how they've used Cell, we don't know whether they use the SPU's or not.

I think :)
Last edited by lochnesssnowman; 08-28-2007 at 06:00 PM.
Zabka
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(08-28-2007, 05:52 PM)
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Originally Posted by Gattsu25

Half-Life 2 Orange Box will not use them

I hope you aren't basing this on that ridiculous fake interview.
EverSoTrendy
Banned
(08-28-2007, 05:54 PM)
:lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol
Acosta
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(08-28-2007, 05:55 PM)
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Originally Posted by lochnesssnowman

I think he's questioning the logic behind determining games that are not using SPU's - we know the ones that are using SPU's, because they've told us about it (and the OP does a good job on gathering quotes and references on this). But, beyond Genji and HL2 (which the developers themselves confirmed), we don't know about the rest of the games on the list at the bottom of the OP and whether they use SPU's or not.

I think :)

The OP specified he doesnīt know or is not confirmed and asked for corrections if the list was wrong, so I donīt find it something to criticize.

Anyone knows some links for cell developing? I think some GDC conferences were about Cell.
spwolf
If this poster agrees with you, you're probably doing something very wrong.
(08-28-2007, 05:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by Gattsu25

Half-Life 2 Orange Box will not use them

yeah, which is really funny that Gabe complains how developing for PS3 is hard, when they dont even use the cell.... lazy devs confirmed.
pr0cs
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(08-28-2007, 06:00 PM)
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While Full Auto was a mediocre game it should have been very obvious given the amount of shit going on-onscreen (and the fact their website talks at length including PDF whitepapers on how to write a physics engine using multi-core tech) that it uses SPEs

Your comments on "improvements over 360" are rather humorous. A large number of the PS3 ports of those games you listed seem to look and function poorly over the 360. Those titles are the ones that are likely to NOT use SPEs to their full extent.
MikeB
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:06 PM)
Continued quotes in addition to the first post!

12) Formula One Championship Edition

"We don't really use the concept of reserving certain SPUs for specific tasks. Instead we employ the concept of prioritized job lists that are executed by the SPUs whenever one is available. We use the SPUs for the following jobs: audio effects, particle system, physics (landscape collision, narrow phase and collision resolution), rain effects (rain droplets and rain splashes) and various render side jobs. The game logic is driven largely by the PPU. We use the SPUs together to collaborate on working through each frame that's displayed by the game. The SPUs are extremely versatile so they can be used to accelerate any in-game system."

The SPUs are heavily involved in the graphics pipeline and do an enormous amount of work to eliminate inefficiency before anything arrives at the PPU and RSX. For example, the SPUs are powerful enough to decompress and check every triangle [polygon] before passing it on to the RSX. Triangles that are facing away from the player, or that are not on the screen can be 'trimmed' away by the SPUs, which hugely reduces the amount of redundant work sent to the RSX. This in turn lets the RSX get on with what it does best--drawing stuff on screen.

The SPUs can also be used to augment the RSX vertex shaders, making far more vertex-heavy tasks possible which is very useful for character animation. Additionally, the SPUs can be used to implement behavior very similar to geometry shaders--F1 CE uses them in this way to render seamless interpolated levels of detail for some scene elements. So in answer to the question "Do the Cell and RSX work together?" the answer is a resounding "Yes," and I think this is one of the real strengths of Playstation 3 that we'll see increasingly exploited by development teams going forward.

Source: Newsweek

13) Infamous

"For us, the most exciting part of the PS3 has been the cell processor, the SPUs specifically. In our highest density scenes right now, we are currently using about 30 percent of the SPUs' capabilities--with the SPUs doing lots of heavy lifting for us on rendering, visibility, particle systems, skinning, animation blending, and so on...this with scores of pedestrians, cars, fires, etc., all going on. And the best part? We've not made any significant attempts to even optimize the SPU code. I think it's reasonable to guess we could put 10 times as much stuff on the SPUs and still make our frame budgets. It's really pretty amazing."

Source: Gamespot

14) The Getaway 3

Presentation sheets

Presentation video (ZIP)

"As I mentioned previously, there are wider possibilities to use that processing power and tell a story during the game play. We can stream a wider variety of dialogue and animations to progress the story and characterisation rather than breaking the flow of the game play for a cutscene. If games are about immersion, then we are now about to deepen that immersion."

Source: Den of Geek website


15) LittleBigPlanet

"We went multiprocessor from the beginning, went multicore, and not having legacy code to hamper that code was such a blessing."

Source: Gamasutra

"We had soft body physics and things like that running early on because we got lots of other smaller things sorted out or decided before hand Ė and even with all that in place thereís still loads more headroom. The PS3 has this insane quantity of power, which seems to take a cloth simulator, and then lots more you want to throw at it. Itís just a really enjoyable machine to code for."

Source: Wired



16) Metal Gear Solid 4

"I would also like to challenge the PS3's CPU power for not only what you can see, but also psychological effects, or psychological battles, where it can affect your gameplay."

Source: Eurogamer



17) Far Cry 2

"The R&D revealed some pleasant surprises, as Guay explained: "One thing that we realized pretty quickly as we started R&D on PS3, was that the hardware architecture had a very nice fit with some of our technical design decisions. We were positively surprised by how efficient the SPUs (the Cell processing units) were to do such things as run our vegetation simulation, our animations or our physics systems."

Guay also expressed how impressed he has been with Blu-ray and the PS3's hard drive, noting: "The hard drive and Blu-ray are making our life easy considering FC2 is an open world continuously streamed around the player. That streaming bandwidth and disk space is very appreciated."

Source: VideoGamer.com

18) Unreal Tournament 3

"Also, Epic isnít a huge company. They donít have unlimited resource. We have parachuted in some of our SWAT team of super engineers to help them. Specifically, to optimize for SPUs, which are the point of difference that the Cell Processor has. That process is under way. The benefits that it yields to end developers whether theyíre writing exclusive titles or multiplatform titles is that the performance on PS3 goes up exponentially, and it will make for a much better game experience."

Source: GameInformer (Phil Harrison)

19) Lair

"We have all of our animations running on the S.P.U.s of the Cell's chip because you couldn't draw armies or basically animate armies of that amount and size without it. And our physics are completely on there. We are also doing fluid dynamics for the first time in a game, as far as I know. Water is not basically a sheet of a base surface, but completely animated and sub-divided, and you actually can direct with it thanks to the Cell. We actually do part of our rendering on the Cell. Simply because it's so powerful, we spent months and months moving more and more systems onto the S.P.U.'s."

"Not a specific S.P.U. Our S.P.U. code works dynamically, so we are not locking up one S.P.U. and saying "OK, you are the A.I. S.P.U., but we instead say, "OK, here are these 15 things including A.I." We run them on the S.P.U., and the code automatically distributes them. And sometimes, yes, A.I. certainly can take up a full S.P.U."

Source: Gamepro

20) Ninja Gaiden Sigma

"There are games that have thousands of enemies at once, and some of them donít move or do much. For us itís about making sure they have goals they are fulfilling and that they can work together with existing enemies. Thatís really our philosophy. As far as A.I. goes people have played our game before will see that weíve made some subtle improvements. A lot of it has to do with using all the Cellís SPU processors."

Source: Next-Gen Gamer

"One important thing about the PS3 is the seven SPUs in addition to the main processor, and using those is what allows you to get the best graphic quality. So we have an entire section of programmers which is assigned to figure out how to get those SPUs working on graphics to the fullest. Now we're actually at the point where day-to-day you can see the graphic quality improve before your eyes, so to speak. So if you look at the screenshots we have for you today -- if you look at those compared to what we put out at TGS, there's a big difference in terms of the textures and the atmosphere. You can see the steps we've made since then."

Source: 1up

21) Call of Duty 4

"It is hard to fully quantify how much potential the PS3 has. We certainly have a significant amount of untapped SPU power. Even though we moved many of our systems to the SPU's for COD4, we are planning on moving more of the collision and AI to the SPU. We are also investigating doing more procedural animation on the SPU for our next project. Using the SPU for procedural animation allows for another level of interactivity that wasn't really practical on the previous generation of hardware,

This just reaffirms how vital of a role the SPU's are to the PS3. Now that devs are starting to use the cell to perform similar tasks as a GPU would. The evident power of the PS3 is unfolding right before them. This also making the RSX that much more efficient. PS3 games are now going to be setting the bar higher than ever before."

Source: Playstation Magazine

22) DiRT

"The PS3 is so fast - tens of GigaFLOPs on each of seven CPUs available to us - that high-order Ambisonics suits it very well. Most of the optimisation effort went into the trigonometry needed to go from game-style orthogonal vectors and matrices to the azimuth and elevation model now standard for Ambisonics. After that, the encoder and decoder are very fast, especially as they parallelise well, without pipeline bottlenecks like division and tight operand dependencies.

Overall Ambisonics complements other aspects of nextGen PS3 game audio, like good quality sample-rate-conversion - rather than the noisy LERPs still sadly common on PCs - plus modern psychoacoustically-modelled decompression, and phase-coherent 512 band filtering on each voice. Thereís so much CPU power on PS3 that all this, and multiple reverbs, can run on a single SPU (Synergistic Processing Element, an eighth of the PS3ís Cell processor array) with time to spare.

There are six independent reverb units running in the PS3 version, versus two stereo ones on Xbox360. These are not just for reflections in tunnels or when you get close to trackside objects - they works beautifully for reflections from other vehicles too, and give exciting effects when the car goes out of control - the sort of emergent behaviour you look forward to getting when you combine several advanced systems in one game!

Source: Ambisonia.com

23) NBA 2K7

"Speaking of taking advantage of the PS3's power, the team has been using the computational muscle of the system to enhance a large number of standard features. Cloth physics, for example, have been assigned to one SPU so that jerseys and shorts can move realistically without taking processing power away from the rest of the game. But 2K hopes to move that realism off the court as well. Instead of running cutscenes during timeout situations, 2K has created real-time AI that governs the cheerleaders, mascots, floor cleaners and even the crowd. For example, during a game between Dallas and Miami at the American Airlines Arena, we noticed Burnie (the Heat mascot) doing much more than simply dancing on the sidelines; he would run under Dallas' basket and actively try to distract shooters at the free throw line, and he had new dance sequences during timeouts.

Of course, we wanted to take a look at some of the exclusive PS3 features, and while we couldn't get every detail during this session, we did get a demonstration of how Visual Concepts is planning to use the system's tilt feature. Specifically, players will be able to shoot free throws by moving the controller back and then leaning it forward. While you can do it with minor movements, you can also hold and tilt the controller as if you were actually shooting with a basketball. Thanks to this new system, you'll need to know the particular shooting stroke of players on your team to be successful. So while Dwayne Wade's shooting was a bit easier to handle, Shaq's laborious attempts to balance the ball threw us off every time. Defenders also have a chance to throw-off free throw shots by shaking their controller, which shakes their opponent's screen. While the system still needed some tweaking, because free throws are a little hard to make and visiting teams have way too much influence on a home team's shots, it did demonstrate how creatively the team is approaching the PS3.

Visually, NBA 2K7 has been taken up a notch, particularly in how the game is rendered. According to Thomas, the way the PS3 renders pixels gives its overall look a richer appearance when compared to the 360 version. From a personal standpoint, it looks much more organic and lifelike -- and if you thought you were watching a realistic game on the 360, just wait until you see it on the PS3."

Source: IGN

24) Ghostbusters

"Terminal Reality president Mark Randel admitted that Ghostbusters on PS3 has been held back by the fact will also release on 360, saying that the game would have double the amount of objects on screen if it had been PS3-only"

Source: N4G.com

"So if you're working on an engine, and you were using a general purpose computer model, you would not be able to make a PlayStation 3 game run very well. However, if you were working out using the SPU model from the PlayStation 3, you could make it work very fast, and you could make the other platforms work fast as wel"

"On the PlayStation 3 you get six SPUs, so we run one for the sound, to continually mix Dolby Digital 5.1 signal - and we have lots of sounds in the game, trust me - so we really beat that SPU hard.

And we have, also, a lot of physics in the game, too, so we beat the other processors pretty hard. Physics is definitely one thing we do that can be done massively in parallel. Collision detection can be done totally in parallel. And if you're very clever, you can also put your physics solver in parallel, on SPUs, so it's a perfect item for that.

Another thing we use for parallel programming is skeletal blending. Typically, in previous generation games, you have just canned animation, you have one animation frame saved, and basically you play it back, because you don't have enough power to do animation blending.

With the PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 of course, in parallel programming you can let the other processors run your animation system, and you can do multiple layers of skeletal blending. So we're doing animated skeletal blending, facial animation, lip-syncing, everything in co-processor mode on PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 as well, so we can free up the main game thread to run the game logic and AI."

Source: Gamasutra.com

More sources and SPE related quotes would be most appreciated!
Last edited by MikeB; 12-06-2008 at 11:39 AM.
A2D
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:07 PM)

Originally Posted by Cryect

Are you trying to seriously suggest some games don't use the SPE on the PS3?

Edit: It just doesn't seem reasonably feasible to get a "next gen" game running well on the PS3 with the SPU alone.

I think you're confusing "SPE" with the "PPE" (Power Processor Element) which is the main core.

An SPE is a SPU + A Memory Controller. (I Think)
artredis1980
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:10 PM)
All the games use SPEs. games dont work without SPEs

The PPU uses the SPEs to run the game, the PPU is the brain, the SPE are the hands, you cant play cards with your head without using your hands.
MikeB
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:11 PM)
I have now added the following comments to the OP:

4) Heavenly Sword

" In Heavenly Sword, the Cell enables incredible numbers of enemies to be on screen at one time. The trick is that Cell treats entire regiments as a single unit of artificial intelligence when they are at a distance; as they draw closer, Cell gradually divides the army into smaller and smaller groups, so they eventually become individual troops with unique fighting styles and tactics."

"Heavenly Sword is one of the first PS3 games to tap into Cell's true potential. Here are the highlights.

Artificial Intelligence To keep up with the hundreds of on-screen enemies, Cell treats distant armies as a singlular "hive mind." As they approach Nariko, Cell splits their intelligence across squads, and finally, individual troops.

Graphics Wind gusts swirl Nariko's hair and clothes, and bazooka blasts send out showers of dust and rubble. 1080p support is still a question mark, though.

Physics When firing a cannon, Nariko can influence the trajectory of the projectile using the Sixaxis. Ninja Theory claims it needs the Cell to handle these complex calculations."
AgentOtaku
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:12 PM)
AgentOtaku's Avatar
crazy!

I was just thinking about making a thread like this earlier today!

...really want to know what is using SPEs and what isn't at this point

...this thread is awesomeness
pr0cs
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:13 PM)
pr0cs's Avatar

Originally Posted by MikeB

@ pr0cs
Do you have a quote from the PDF? Like I said I will update the OP if you are correct. A friend who wrote many articles on the Cell thought it wasn't.

I'm certain you can find enough information in one of their many tech articles here to safely assume that they're using the hardware appropriately.
Tech Papers
Just because the game isn't all that good doesn't mean it's not technically impressive.

is architected to take full advantage of the highly parallel nature of the next-generation consoles like Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360.

PC Gaijin
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:14 PM)
Shades of Saturn again: devs didn't code for the dual SH-2s on most ports either.
MikeB
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:19 PM)
@ artredis1980

All the games use SPEs. games dont work without SPEs

The PPU uses the SPEs to run the game, the PPU is the brain, the SPE are the hands, you cant play cards with your head without using your hands.

The PS3 OS does use one SPE, so this may well take some workload off the PPE. But legacy game engine need to be adapted to use the SPEs.

The Cell isn't just an ordinary multi-core CPU, code running on the SPE can be isolated from the rest of the system, each SPE has its own very fast local memory storage and are real processors (not like a vector unit). The PS3 also has an additonal AltiVec unit.
Last edited by MikeB; 02-10-2008 at 03:09 PM.
Acosta
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:20 PM)
Acosta's Avatar

Originally Posted by pr0cs

I'm certain you can find enough information in one of their many tech articles here to safely assume that they're using the hardware appropriately.
Tech Papers
Just because the game isn't all that good doesn't mean it's not technically impressive.

Thanks for the link.
ex0du5
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:24 PM)
Great thread MikeB! Very interesting stuff. I've never really realized the possibilities with better CPU power & efficiency, it's mostly been about video card rendering to me...but my eyes are starting to open. I think we're going to see some amazing stuff come of the Cell and multi-core CPUs in the next few years :D.
JB1981
I am full of shit.
Rich, smooth, creamy shit.
(08-28-2007, 06:28 PM)

Originally Posted by Rhindle

So any game that didn't have a PR statement from the studio praising the supreme power of the Cell is a hack job by lazy developers that doesn't use the SPUs. This includes all third party games.

Gotcha.

I don't see what the problem is. Most 3rd parties, by their own admission, are not using the SPE's. The quality delta that exists between 1st and 3rd party studios is a pretty good indicator of that being the case.
Masta_Killah
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:32 PM)
Masta_Killah's Avatar
Almost a year out and people are still trying to defend the CELL cpu. This is getting old and boring. Can we please drop it and just start concentrating on games?
Merovingian
Banned
(08-28-2007, 06:36 PM)
I don't understand how Devs max out the 360, using all of the 3 cores, but they are able to make the game run on the Ps3 using only 1 core that is underpowered in comparison to 1 of the 3 of the 360.

It's so weird.

Unless the "We don't use the SPEs" doesn't mean "The spes are just idle" and instead it means "We don't optimize properly for the SPEs, but still they are running code".

I have a hard time believing that the SPEs aren't doing anything, sorry, sounds bogus.
ymmv
Knows some attractive teenage boys
(08-28-2007, 06:37 PM)
ymmv's Avatar

Originally Posted by Rhindle

So any game that didn't have a PR statement from the studio praising the supreme power of the Cell is a hack job by lazy developers that doesn't use the SPUs. This includes all third party games.

Gotcha.

Not really, If you have an unoptimized PC game running well on one CPU core, there's a very good chance you can get almost the same performance on a Xbox 360 or PS3 even when you completely ignore the multiple-CPU Cores/SPEs in those machines. A game like Oblivion isn't optimized for the 360 at all, that was how Bethesda could promise this title so soon. Their only real problem was to make the game run well without a HD.

Just about every early Xbox 360 title ran on only a third of the available CPU power, because it was far easier to program a game that way.

BTW Same thing is happening in PC gaming right now. More and more people have multi-core CPUs but 99% of all PC games run on one single core because that's the lowest common denominator (and so much easier to program for)
Last edited by ymmv; 08-28-2007 at 06:42 PM.
wazoo
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:40 PM)
wazoo's Avatar

Originally Posted by ymmv

Just about every early Xbox 360 ran on only a third of the available CPU power, because it was far easier to program a game that way.


Kameo was using 6 threads and PGR3 5 threads and they were launch games.
Psychotext
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by Merovingian

Unless the "We don't use the SPEs" doesn't mean "The spes are just idle" and instead it means "We don't optimize properly for the SPEs, but still they are running code".

We have a winner.
methane47
Member
(08-28-2007, 06:42 PM)
methane47's Avatar

Originally Posted by artredis1980

All the games use SPEs. games dont work without SPEs

The PPU uses the SPEs to run the game, the PPU is the brain, the SPE are the hands, you cant play cards with your head without using your hands.

.... incorrect...

Think of the PPU as a mom.. and SPU's as her hyperactive kids...
The mom can delegate chores to the kids.. The Mom can probably do the work her self if she chooses.. Or the kids can help the mom doing the chores...
Busty
when Jesus ain't watching Kinect will watch over you
(08-28-2007, 06:49 PM)
Busty's Avatar

Originally Posted by Merovingian

I don't understand how Devs max out the 360, using all of the 3 cores, but they are able to make the game run on the Ps3 using only 1 core that is underpowered in comparison to 1 of the 3 of the 360.

I wouldn't put much stock into that interview. I can believe that HL2:Orange Box is just using the CELL's PPE, but I seriously doubt it's pushing the 360 to 90+% in terms of raw power.



Originally Posted by Merovingian

Unless the "We don't use the SPEs" doesn't mean "The spes are just idle" and instead it means "We don't optimize properly for the SPEs, but still they are running code".

I have a hard time believing that the SPEs aren't doing anything, sorry, sounds bogus.

The clue is in the name. CELL. The pieces are able to operate together in unity or operate seperately if the developer chooses. In the games named such as FEAR, the SPUs simply aren't active.

Even Carmack commented on the fact that most third parties don't use the SPUs in any way shape or form. They instead try and cram everything onto the PPE and that's when the PS3 gets stuff like Madden running at 30 fps. (For example)
tanod
when is my burrito
(08-28-2007, 06:49 PM)

Originally Posted by Merovingian

I don't understand how Devs max out the 360, using all of the 3 cores, but they are able to make the game run on the Ps3 using only 1 core that is underpowered in comparison to 1 of the 3 of the 360.


It's my understanding that the PPU in the PS3 and an individual core of the 360 is identical: the IBM PowerPC 3.2 ghz chip. How could the same chip be underpowered on one system?


What I find interesting is that at Factor 5, they're using the Cell for a lot of graphical stuff as well and not solely depending on the RSX to do all the heavy lifting as far as graphics go.

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