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Ars Technica: Penello's XB1 Numbers, Ars "Sniff Test" Analysis

nib95

Banned
Feb 26, 2007
34,612
2
0
Posted it elsewhere but it fits here too:



Need to make another. And not overdo using it.

Edit: Sorry for double post.

One of my faves.

 

LiquidMetal14

hide your water-based mammals
Jan 18, 2007
47,081
567
1,605
The Confederate United States of America
I can't believe how much attention and disruption Albert has caused on GAF alone in the last week. At some point it's time to dial it back and just do work. This seems like the 4th or 5th thread that we've had to discuss something Albert said. It feels like we'r going in circles.

Appreciate someone writing a piece to put someone on blast though.
 

SPE

Member
Mar 30, 2007
6,608
1
1,290
Albert's novel take on adding up all the numbers to come to a huge bandwidth total just reminded me of how Atari advertised the Jaguar as the only 64-bit console, by adding together the 32bit 68000 CPU and the 32bit GPU.

Let's see in November how the Xbone with 'more bandwidth' fares against the lowly PS4. I'd bet it will be similar to how the 'more powerful' Jaguar fared against the PS1.

His statement around GPGPU - which the more technically savvy commentators point to being the biggest differentiator between the PS4 and Xbone - is the most telling.

Penello: "We understand GPGPU [general processing on GPU] and its importance very well. Microsoft invented Direct Compute, and have been using GPGPU in a shipping product since 2010—it's called Kinect."

He doesn't even try to say that the Xbone has any GPGPU customisation (which seems to be the case, unlike the PS4). Just that MS are aware of GPGPU and it features in other products. That's the PR equivalent of having a 'My other car is a Ferrari' sticker on the back of your crummy sedan.
 

Respawn

Banned
Nov 4, 2010
6,250
0
0
NY
I think this one:


is the only one that'll give them an advantage, mainly the audio chip. I remember reading audio takes a lot of cpu cycles/power. PS4 still more powerful, though. As a casual observer, the 50% less CUs part just seems like a dagger, maybe not through the heart but through a kidney or something.

The company that spent generations making some of best sounding devices on the planet are now going to throw it out the window on PS4? Master Technical Fellow Cerny has a nice discussion on that.
 

BajiRav

Member
Apr 12, 2013
195
0
520
Why are people making fun of "Technical Fellow" with tech fella and such? It is a real designation even outside of MS and is usually reserved for experienced folks who know their stuff.
 

JaggedSac

Member
Jan 14, 2010
17,476
2
0
His statement around GPGPU - which the more technically savvy commentators point to being the biggest differentiator between the PS4 and Xbone - is the most telling.



He doesn't even try to say that the Xbone has any GPGPU customisation (which seems to be the case, unlike the PS4). Just that MS are aware of GPGPU and it features in other products. That's the PR equivalent of having a 'My other car is a Ferrari' sticker on the back of your crummy sedan.

He mentioned coherent bandwidth if I do recall, and that heavily relates to GPGPU.
 

$h@d0w

Junior Member
Sep 30, 2005
4,773
0
0
This is similar to my Major Nelson theory before the 180s

Major Nelson: "Guys... are you sure we're committed to this path? People seem totally pissed."
Microsoft Important Peeps: "Oh sure, definitely. There's no way we're changing this. You know, it's not like flipping a switch and all that. Waaay too complicated. You wouldn't understand. But trust us, not happening." *giggles*
Major Nelson: "Alright then. I'll take this to the interview circuit."
Microsoft Important Peeps: "Definitely, you do a great job Nelson."

Later...

Major Nelson: "Is it that easy? Are you an engineer? It's not like flipping a switch!"
Angry Joe: "Dude..."

*one week later, switch is flipped*

Microsoft Important Peeps: "hahahahahahaaLOL"
Major Nelson: "..."

 

Nightengale

Member
Jun 12, 2013
21,443
0
500
Why are people making fun of "Technical Fellow" with tech fella and such? It is a real designation even outside of MS and is usually reserved for experienced folks who know their stuff.

If some guy who works at Google comes telling us why Google is a million times better than Bing, throws in some random crazy algorithm reasoning, and then quote Amit Singhal ( Google Fellow ), are you going to just buy it just because Amit is an engineering genius?

By that same logic, MS could say that Bing is in no way inferior to Google because MS has their own 'Fellows', who are top-of-class engineers at MS.

Assertion by authority means nothing, especially when there's glaring holes in the arguments presented by this so-called 'authority.'
 

beast786

Member
Oct 12, 2007
15,763
0
0
Detroit
Wait for launch? My bet is identical performance across the board.

This article made me chuckle at how much of an armchair general this Ars Technica reviewer is. How much experience does he have in console development again?

probably not much. but at least it seems he knows basic algebra
 

Leewan

Member
Jun 27, 2005
306
1
1,385
Between the Arse Technica and The MS Guy, How do their resumes stack up?

Always see these debates come up but always see journalist who know less than they think they do make them vs. People in the field who have a reason to be completely biased.

Any of these guys actual engineers or do they just know what they read from spreadsheets, or software programming experience.
 

SPE

Member
Mar 30, 2007
6,608
1
1,290
Between the Arse Technica and The MS Guy, How do their resumes stack up?

Always see these debates come up but always see journalist who know less than they think they do make them vs. People in the field who have a reason to be completely biased.

Any of these guys actual engineers or do they just know what they read from spreadsheets, or software programming experience.

Bare in mind, that while the credentials of the top engineers at MS (or Sony, or Nintendo etc) are not in question, even the senior architects have to work within (and against), budgets. internal politics and executive directions.

The ex-MS guy over the B3D stated that eSRAM was decided on before the decision around 8GB unified DDR3. Having that decision in place first would have had a cascading effect on other architectural considerations. With a separate pool of RAM, the Xbone could never had been customised for hUMA. Having Kinect mandated would also have impacted the hardware design and BOM.

The thing I've taken from this is, Sony didn't go out to build the most powerful console. They wouldn't have known what MS were planning. They just seem to have built the PS4 from the ground up to play games and to future proof it with customisation from stock AMD parts. MS had other considerations, and the inclusion of Kinect would have played a huge part in the budget they had for GPU silicon. Both MS and Sony have worked with the same TDP and generation of AMD silicon as each other. Sony spent their silicon budget to maximise it for gaming, MS put more into Kinect and running non-gaming apps.
 

artist

Banned
May 7, 2006
16,628
0
0
Between the Arse Technica and The MS Guy, How do their resumes stack up?

Always see these debates come up but always see journalist who know less than they think they do make them vs. People in the field who have a reason to be completely biased.

Any of these guys actual engineers or do they just know what they read from spreadsheets, or software programming experience.
You think credentials are going to stop people from selling BS?

Here is a fellow PhD, Nvidia CEO selling some fluff 7 years ago - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtZ-rK349aY#t=35m40s
 

RoboPlato

I'd be in the dick
Oct 29, 2006
42,982
0
0
I do wonder, how many third party visuals were better on PS3? And, is that just you defining what "content" means for them? I am genuinely intrigued by the legal terms.

There were a few, FFXIII being the most notable. It's not my definition, just how someone who works on the business side of the industry described it to me a couple years back when the topic came up. I don't know much more on the topic.
 

googleplex

Member
Jun 7, 2010
9,069
1
0
This is anecdotal from E3, but...

I've heard the architecture with the ESRAM is actually a major hurdle in development because you need to manually fill and flush it.

So unless MS's APIs have improved to the point that this is essentially automatic, the bandwidth and hardware speed are probably irrelevant.

For reference, the story going around E3 went something like this:

"ATVI was doing the CoD: Ghosts port to nextgen. It took three weeks for PS4 and came out at 90 FPS unoptimized, and four months on Xbone and came out at 15 FPS."

FWIW a Japanese developer was having similar issues apparently. They will remain nameless for obvious reasons.


Late to this thread but holy shit!
 

BajiRav

Member
Apr 12, 2013
195
0
520
If some guy who works at Google comes telling us why Google is a million times better than Bing, throws in some random crazy algorithm reasoning, and then quote Amit Singhal ( Google Fellow ), are you going to just buy it just because Amit is an engineering genius?

By that same logic, MS could say that Bing is in no way inferior to Google because MS has their own 'Fellows', who are top-of-class engineers at MS.

Assertion by authority means nothing, especially when there's glaring holes in the arguments presented by this so-called 'authority.'
Because Albert's trying to spin all the stuff he's selling as being approved by him.


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1948150/
I was getting an impression that some folks were thinking that Technical Fellow is a made up designation and being made into a meme of sorts.

example:
I found it hilarious that he admitted that 'technical fellows' are rare at Microsoft.
 

demolitio

Member
Dec 5, 2008
6,988
1
0
Ohio, USA
I really hope MS understands by now that this "debate" is only being brought up by them at this point and they're only hurting themselves more with the nonsense. Sony isn't on here saying just how much better they are at every turn because they don't need to and MS shouldn't be convincing us that they're even by trying to lose people in tech jargon and assumptions about the competitor when there's plenty of people here to refute those claims with info and pure math. You want to tell people it won't make a huge difference? Fine. You want to stretch "facts" out to do so thinking it will work? Then I think you haven't learned from the DRM debacle at all when the PR misinformation failed then. If you think the games will prove it, then wait until the games prove it and just let it be. By bringing up time and time again, you're only reigniting the debate and hurting yourself more because you're only reminding people that you are indeed less powerful regardless of whether it shows in games or not.

Focus on what you have that Sony doesn't. Focus on the experiences only MS can bring or what MS does best. Focus on your positives instead of dwelling on the perceived negatives or directly comparing yourself to Sony. You ask others not to make assumptions but then make assumptions yourself about the PS4 which just adds more doubt to it all. If Sony came on here and made claims using math that doesn't add up, the exact same thing would happen. Actually, the same would happen in any industry really.

You have a tough job and I commend you for being here, but some things just won't help out. Getting some knowledgeable engineers on here would be great, but the latest "tech talk" posts combined with the early PR debacles will make it hard to believe anything people say at this point.

I want all three consoles to do well because I'm a gamer that loves games. I will have my most-used console of course but I go where good games are and want all three companies to stay around to piss off all those people that say mobile gaming is going to destroy the console industry. I'm a gamer wherever those games are at: PC, Sony, MS, or Nintendo's consoles, handhelds, mobile, etc. The sooner we stop retreading these comparisons and just get back to the games, the better. I just find it ironic that some people that question a post that could pass as PR is more likely to be called a paid shill for a competitor than the person that's defending their own company (which obviously they would do).
 
Jan 12, 2008
385
7
1,050
Redmond, WA

Oh, how I wish I was that third guy...

So why is the bidirectional bandwith of your eSRAM 204GB/s although your one-directional bw is 109GB/s - shouldn't it be 218GB/s?

Yes, it should be. And I was quickly corrected (both on the forum and from people at the office) for writing the wrong number.

The challenge with the NeoGAF format is that, because threads move so fast, posts disappear or get buried so people aren't reading everything. Maybe this part got lost:

I've stated - there is no possible way for one single person to know every detail about our platform. That means I need to go get the answers to the questions you guys ask sometimes. There's a lot I know first hand, and a lot I need to get updated on.

So people understand - I'm not dodging any of the follow-up. I actually stated the other night - there are a handful of people who asked some really legitimate follow-ups to understand what I posted. And I honestly said - I'm not the guy to answer at that level of detail. Out of respect for the people who are genuinely curious to learn how we derived those numbers, and to get the most technically accurate answers - the best course is to have the answers come from those engineers directly.

So we're working now on the best format to do that.

I still stand by what I stated (except for the aforementioned 204/218). In fact, some really interesting threads were going back and forth giving me even more excruciating detail behind those numbers based on the questions people asked.

I doubt it will take the format of an AMA, but I've collected a bunch of the follow-up questions. It may take a few weeks, but we'll be following-up on this for sure.

So now hopefully people will understand if I don't chime in further on these threads. If I've learned one thing from these last few days, it's that "Penello's Miracle Equations" will only be open for topics I have first-hand knowledge of. If I don't, I'm going to be more explicit about that in the future.
 

SenjutsuSage

Member
Jan 23, 2010
11,231
5,312
1,295
I'm def exhausted with the spec talk, as much as I genuinely love it. We've literally said just about everything. So, barring some interesting, and I mean really interesting, news, it's all about the games and console feature sets and services from here on out.
 
Jul 5, 2013
1,212
0
0
Fudgetown
I really hope MS understands by now that this "debate" is only being brought up by them at this point and they're only hurting themselves more with the nonsense. Sony isn't on here saying just how much better they are at every turn because they don't need to and MS shouldn't be convincing us that they're even by trying to lose people in tech jargon and assumptions about the competitor when there's plenty of people here to refute those claims with info and pure math. You want to tell people it won't make a huge difference? Fine. You want to stretch "facts" out to do so thinking it will work? Then I think you haven't learned from the DRM debacle at all when the PR misinformation failed then. If you think the games will prove it, then wait until the games prove it and just let it be. By bringing up time and time again, you're only reigniting the debate and hurting yourself more because you're only reminding people that you are indeed less powerful regardless of whether it shows in games or not.

Exactly. At this point, it's clear PS4 is the more powerful console. All that's left is to pick over the carcass and decide exactly how much more powerful.

I'm pretty sure Albert has even acknowledged that PS4 is the more powerful console (in a roundabout kind of way, such as by stating that the power difference isn't "that great." Still acknowledges a power difference...). It's an odd bit of PR to be stuck in a position where the bet your "power" argument can be is "Nuh uh, they don't kick our ass by that much! They only kick our ass by this much." It's like arguing who you'd lose worse to in a fight: Muhammed Ali or Mike Tyson. In the end, you're still beat.

So why not address your areas of strength instead?
 

astraycat

Member
Apr 3, 2013
446
0
0
Oh, how I wish I was that third guy...



Yes, it should be. And I was quickly corrected (both on the forum and from people at the office) for writing the wrong number.

The challenge with the NeoGAF format is that, because threads move so fast, posts disappear or get buried so people aren't reading everything. Maybe this part got lost:

I've stated - there is no possible way for one single person to know every detail about our platform. That means I need to go get the answers to the questions you guys ask sometimes. There's a lot I know first hand, and a lot I need to get updated on.

So people understand - I'm not dodging any of the follow-up. I actually stated the other night - there are a handful of people who asked some really legitimate follow-ups to understand what I posted. And I honestly said - I'm not the guy to answer at that level of detail. Out of respect for the people who are genuinely curious to learn how we derived those numbers, and to get the most technically accurate answers - the best course is to have the answers come from those engineers directly.

So we're working now on the best format to do that.

I still stand by what I stated (except for the aforementioned 204/218). In fact, some really interesting threads were going back and forth giving me even more excruciating detail behind those numbers based on the questions people asked.

I doubt it will take the format of an AMA, but I've collected a bunch of the follow-up questions. It may take a few weeks, but we'll be following-up on this for sure.

So now hopefully people will understand if I don't chime in further on these threads. If I've learned one thing from these last few days, it's that "Penello's Miracle Equations" will only be open for topics I have first-hand knowledge of. If I don't, I'm going to be more explicit about that in the future.

Hey Albert, while you say now that 218GB/s is the correct number, other documentation (such as the HotChips slides) pin the number at 204GB/s. Were those slides just incorrect?
 

diggler41

Member
Jul 4, 2012
605
0
0
steamcommunity.com
I really hope MS understands by now that this "debate" is only being brought up by them at this point and they're only hurting themselves more with the nonsense. Sony isn't on here saying just how much better they are at every turn because they don't need to and MS shouldn't be convincing us that they're even by trying to lose people in tech jargon and assumptions about the competitor when there's plenty of people here to refute those claims with info and pure math. You want to tell people it won't make a huge difference? Fine. You want to stretch "facts" out to do so thinking it will work? Then I think you haven't learned from the DRM debacle at all when the PR misinformation failed then. If you think the games will prove it, then wait until the games prove it and just let it be. By bringing up time and time again, you're only reigniting the debate and hurting yourself more because you're only reminding people that you are indeed less powerful regardless of whether it shows in games or not.

Focus on what you have that Sony doesn't. Focus on the experiences only MS can bring or what MS does best. Focus on your positives instead of dwelling on the perceived negatives or directly comparing yourself to Sony. You ask others not to make assumptions but then make assumptions yourself about the PS4 which just adds more doubt to it all. If Sony came on here and made claims using math that doesn't add up, the exact same thing would happen. Actually, the same would happen in any industry really.

You have a tough job and I commend you for being here, but some things just won't help out. Getting some knowledgeable engineers on here would be great, but the latest "tech talk" posts combined with the early PR debacles will make it hard to believe anything people say at this point.

I want all three consoles to do well because I'm a gamer that loves games. I will have my most-used console of course but I go where good games are and want all three companies to stay around to piss off all those people that say mobile gaming is going to destroy the console industry. I'm a gamer wherever those games are at: PC, Sony, MS, or Nintendo's consoles, handhelds, mobile, etc. The sooner we stop retreading these comparisons and just get back to the games, the better. I just find it ironic that some people that question a post that could pass as PR is more likely to be called a paid shill for a competitor than the person that's defending their own company (which obviously they would do).

Bravo, this post is spot on.
 

artist

Banned
May 7, 2006
16,628
0
0
Hey Albert, while you say now that 218GB/s is the correct number, other documentation (such as the hotchipworks slides) pin the number at 204GB/s. Were those slides just incorrect?
The chap who presented at HotChips didnt run his slides by the fellow.
 
Jan 12, 2008
385
7
1,050
Redmond, WA
Focus on the experiences only MS can bring or what MS does best. Focus on your positives instead of dwelling on the perceived negatives or directly comparing yourself to Sony.

Well said.

The irony of course is that, no matter what you do, you can't win sometimes. I'm one person with an opinion posting against the (often times differing) opinions of tens-of-thousands.

My first discussions about this - WAY back when we unveiled the console, was focused exactly on this point. I said nearly the same things you are suggesting - let's judge the games, the experiences, what's different - that will decide.

You can imagine that didn't go over well - and it evolved over time into the question around why we believe our real-world performance will be nearly the same.

So I find it funny (and I guess somewhat satisfying) that people are suggesting the conversation gets back to the games.

But you're totally right - the games and experiences will sell the systems, and nobody will get to see both players hands until November.
 

Klocker

Member
Apr 1, 2006
8,143
0
1,285
Arizona
Oh, how I wish I was that third guy...



Yes, it should be. And I was quickly corrected (both on the forum and from people at the office) for writing the wrong number.

The challenge with the NeoGAF format is that, because threads move so fast, posts disappear or get buried so people aren't reading everything. Maybe this part got lost:

I've stated - there is no possible way for one single person to know every detail about our platform. That means I need to go get the answers to the questions you guys ask sometimes. There's a lot I know first hand, and a lot I need to get updated on.

So people understand - I'm not dodging any of the follow-up. I actually stated the other night - there are a handful of people who asked some really legitimate follow-ups to understand what I posted. And I honestly said - I'm not the guy to answer at that level of detail. Out of respect for the people who are genuinely curious to learn how we derived those numbers, and to get the most technically accurate answers - the best course is to have the answers come from those engineers directly.

So we're working now on the best format to do that.

I still stand by what I stated (except for the aforementioned 204/218). In fact, some really interesting threads were going back and forth giving me even more excruciating detail behind those numbers based on the questions people asked.

I doubt it will take the format of an AMA, but I've collected a bunch of the follow-up questions. It may take a few weeks, but we'll be following-up on this for sure.

So now hopefully people will understand if I don't chime in further on these threads. If I've learned one thing from these last few days, it's that "Penello's Miracle Equations" will only be open for topics I have first-hand knowledge of. If I don't, I'm going to be more explicit about that in the future.


Sweet... thanks AP
 

onanie

Member
Jul 12, 2007
1,166
0
0
Oh, how I wish I was that third guy...



Yes, it should be. And I was quickly corrected (both on the forum and from people at the office) for writing the wrong number.

The challenge with the NeoGAF format is that, because threads move so fast, posts disappear or get buried so people aren't reading everything. Maybe this part got lost:

I've stated - there is no possible way for one single person to know every detail about our platform. That means I need to go get the answers to the questions you guys ask sometimes. There's a lot I know first hand, and a lot I need to get updated on.

So people understand - I'm not dodging any of the follow-up. I actually stated the other night - there are a handful of people who asked some really legitimate follow-ups to understand what I posted. And I honestly said - I'm not the guy to answer at that level of detail. Out of respect for the people who are genuinely curious to learn how we derived those numbers, and to get the most technically accurate answers - the best course is to have the answers come from those engineers directly.

So we're working now on the best format to do that.

I still stand by what I stated (except for the aforementioned 204/218). In fact, some really interesting threads were going back and forth giving me even more excruciating detail behind those numbers based on the questions people asked.

I doubt it will take the format of an AMA, but I've collected a bunch of the follow-up questions. It may take a few weeks, but we'll be following-up on this for sure.

So now hopefully people will understand if I don't chime in further on these threads. If I've learned one thing from these last few days, it's that "Penello's Miracle Equations" will only be open for topics I have first-hand knowledge of. If I don't, I'm going to be more explicit about that in the future.

Thank you and in case you missed mine, http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=80965437#post80965437

Sleep well.
 

Nightengale

Member
Jun 12, 2013
21,443
0
500
Albert, you do realise that if you're going to answer some of the questions in the follow-up, you're practically revealing details of Sony's hardware, right? (clock-speed and all that)
 

FINALBOSS

Banned
Apr 23, 2010
3,801
0
0
Paris
Well said.

The irony of course is that, no matter what you do, you can't win sometimes. I'm one person with an opinion posting against the (often times differing) opinions of tens-of-thousands.

My first discussions about this - WAY back when we unveiled the console, was focused exactly on this point. I said nearly the same things you are suggesting - let's judge the games, the experiences, what's different - that will decide.

You can imagine that didn't go over well - and it evolved over time into the question around why we believe our real-world performance will be nearly the same.

So I find it funny (and I guess somewhat satisfying) that people are suggesting the conversation gets back to the games.

But you're totally right - the games and experiences will sell the systems, and nobody will get to see both players hands until November.

Opinion?

OPINIONS?


We've been asking for FACTS, not opinions. Your opinions should serve no basis in what you present to us because anyone will take your opinions as a grain of salt (MS employee obv.)

Facts.
 
May 13, 2008
40,275
1
0
Markham, Toronto
Why are people making fun of "Technical Fellow" with tech fella and such? It is a real designation even outside of MS and is usually reserved for experienced folks who know their stuff.

I just think it's funny because if you're working as an engineer, programmer or something along those lines...you're basically a "Technical Fellow" by default.
 
Jul 5, 2013
1,212
0
0
Fudgetown
Well said.

The irony of course is that, no matter what you do, you can't win sometimes. I'm one person with an opinion posting against the (often times differing) opinions of tens-of-thousands.

My first discussions about this - WAY back when we unveiled the console, was focused exactly on this point. I said nearly the same things you are suggesting - let's judge the games, the experiences, what's different - that will decide.

You can imagine that didn't go over well - and it evolved over time into the question around why we believe our real-world performance will be nearly the same.

So I find it funny (and I guess somewhat satisfying) that people are suggesting the conversation gets back to the games.

But you're totally right - the games and experiences will sell the systems, and nobody will get to see both players hands until November.

I can sympathize with the hair-pulling frustration one might feel when confronted with a no-win situation like the one you describe.

My only suggestion would be to just let the games do the talking (as you've stated). If they truly area nearly the same across platforms, no words need to be spoken and all doubters will be silenced.
 
Jan 12, 2008
385
7
1,050
Redmond, WA

Your post specifically I highlighted. The way you asked the questions is exactly the manner that I believe deserves the respect of getting you the best possible answer.

Obviously, our engineers disagree with some of your points - and it's excruciating for me because I have most of the answers - but I'm not going to step in that again! My answers would beget more questions, and we'd be back to square one.

learned my lesson. But believe me I'm aware of your post.
 

FINALBOSS

Banned
Apr 23, 2010
3,801
0
0
Paris
Your post specifically I highlighted. The way you asked the questions is exactly the manner that I believe deserves the respect of getting you the best possible answer.

Obviously, our engineers disagree with some of your points - and it's excruciating for me because I have most of the answers - but I'm not going to step in that again! My answers would beget more questions, and we'd be back to square one.

learned my lesson. But believe me I'm aware of your post.

We'd rather hear those answers you have with a chance we'd be back at square one instead of just being at square one and in the dark.