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Microsoft: We Could Have Used Variable Clocks for Xbox Series X, But We’re Not Interested in TFLOPS Numbers

Jigsaah

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Jan 31, 2018
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I don't like to fan the flames of console warring but ever since Sony did that disc handover video prior to the mostly digital reality we face now I've been rubbed the wrong way by their marketing, hell even the tag line "for the players" pisses me off. In reality that should read "for the shareholders". I still wish Sony fans all the best with their games and consoles.

Now that is out of the way I truly hope Xbox brings it in July. Like shits all over it. It would be glorious to see the progression from the failure of the Xbox One launch through Xbox One X and GP/platform successes to now Series X and games yet to be shown. I dislike the Sony marketing of SSD & variable rates bullshots as it's just to save face with their less powerful system. Sony first party know how to bring the graphics, no doubt, hats off to them in fact. Now I want to see Xbox in full flight swinging for the bleachers, making that touchdown or slamming that dunk in Sony's face. Here's hoping Xbox, and for me specifically 343, don't miss the winning moves after outplaying, leading drafting and phenomenal strategising all preseason.
Bro, you nailed it, for the most part. It was a low blow for sure. For me, when it first happened my reaction was "Oh shit...no they didn't just do that". It was cutthroat, petty and unbecoming of a company who more recently tries to place themselves on some type of culturally refined high ground (see "Flute guy, Cirque Du Soleil, censorship etc). They were basically trolling. A billion dollar game company...trolling. Was not feeling that one bit.

That being said, I don't really mind the SSD marketing so much. I mean the thing is state of the art...I mean let's not mince words here. Marketing should be playing to your strengths and though the previously described example was a poor representation of Sony, I feel the SSD deserves some recognition for sure.

I am looking forward to what Xbox has to offer. I think they're already keeping Sony on their toes. Let's see in July how much Xbox can make em dance.
 

Leyasu

Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,598
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Remember when GitHub was bullshit and anyone who believed a 36 CU PS5 was an idiot.

And remember how DF were Xbox fanboys for even reporting on it because 36 CUs was bullshit.

And remember when the 13.3 TF beast was going to slay the refrigerator.

Those were the days.
lol

Because Klee and Andrew had said so..

Plus, Sony weren't stupid. They would never go narrow and fast. NEVER.

I see now that people are claiming that narrow and fast is the only way to go
 

Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
Apr 16, 2007
1,641
149
1,270
Liverpool, England
We focus on optimizing the developer experience to deliver the best possible experience for players, rather than trying to 'hunt' down certain record numbers. We've always talked about consistent and sustained performance. Unless it suits us, then we're quite happy to talk about something like VRS that will actually degrade the image quality of our games but allow us to then boast of certain higher numbers if it suits our marketing narrative for a given week.
Obviously this is a bit of a joke, and maybe it's slightly guilty of false equivalency. But let's be honest, both sides will use tricks available to them to eek out a bit of extra performance that will give the players a better experience. This is console gaming, The proof will be in the pudding, 95% of games probably won't and shouldn't need to care about any of this.
 

Ass of Can Whooping

on ban warning for 'America hate boner' > 02/06
Jan 16, 2020
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I'm not even sure what's going on in this thread.

Cerny has already stated that they went for a variable clock speed because a fixed power budget made the system easier to cool.

Source here

Microsoft went with a fixed clock speed because they wanted every console to have consistent performance without compromise.

Source here @ 04:00

To me, only one of these statements sounds like it was decided upon to mitigate the shortcomings of the console.
The lower clockspeed of the XSX is a compromise itself :messenger_beaming:
 

Shin

Banned
Feb 4, 2013
5,865
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So people still not understanding variable clocks?

The ballgame just changes from the one below to where we are now, till something else rolls of the tongue or is said by industry person Y and Z.
I am surprised that people aren't talking about the consoles bandwidth, personally it was/is a little of a letdown (expected somewhere in the 6x - 7x).
What's more surprising is that PS5 has even less bandwidth and a narrower bus (256-bit) than XS but supposed to push data faster*, curious how this all will unfold.

Remember when GitHub was bullshit and anyone who believed a 36 CU PS5 was an idiot.

And remember how DF were Xbox fanboys for even reporting on it because 36 CUs was bullshit.

And remember when the 13.3 TF beast was going to slay the refrigerator.

Those were the days.
 
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DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
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Dec 5, 2017
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Damn. Jason Ronald is confirming everything I’ve said many times that an objective analysis of the road to ps5 presentation revealed.
I bet the GAF mods would label him a console warrior too if they could.
You have been on your last warning for a while, so ya be careful.
 

DGrayson

Mod Team and Bat Team
Staff Member
Dec 5, 2017
1,144
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MS.. "Sky is blue today"

SonyGAF... "MS is so cocky. They don't have a reason to be cocky. How dare they state fact? Yesterday they said the sky was gray.... It can't be gray and blue.. cocky MS!!!".

SonyGAF you guys come off as insecure about was MS is bringing by acting butthurt by every out of context quote posted on these forums.
Lets get away from SonyGAF and MSFanboy etc.
 
Aug 11, 2016
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Man I'm so excited for this July showcase. Next Gen launches are the best. We're bout to feast on all this delicious excellence developers are cooking up.
 

Sony

Nintendo
Jun 15, 2016
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MS PR is kinda cocky right now. Let's see if they back it up with a solid showing soon.
I see the article isn't being read and the clickbait title is working!

Microsoft chose development stability over a higher theoretical peak clockspeed because they were already comfortable with the fixed clock performance.
If Sony found a way to let developers work with variable clocks and gave them tools to do so without additional effort, then that's good on them.
 
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Psykodad

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Apr 9, 2018
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I see the article isn't being read and the clickbait title is working!

Microsoft chose development stability over a higher theoretical peak clockspeed because they were already comfortable with the fixed clock performance.
If Sony found a way to let developers work with variable clocks and gave them tools to do so without additional effort, then that's good on them.
Didn't Cerny explain how PS5 is designed to minimize bottlenecks as much as possible?
Variable clockspeeds have definitely been taken into account and there's devs out there claiming it's one of the most balanced systems out there when it releases.

Yet we have people on gaf consistently claiming it's a mess of a system.
Completely contradictory.
 

ZywyPL

Report me if I continue to console war > 05/03
Nov 27, 2018
2,236
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Truth be told, we won't get to know how effective the PS5/XBX GPUs really are until we get RDNA2-based PC cards and we will be able to compare them directly with RDNA1/GCN/Pascals/Turings/Ampere architectures, what those TF numbers really mean.

But one thing I don't understand is what's the point of putting a laptop technology where you are limited by your batter life, into a stationary device that's plugged into the wall? All the power is there, available anytime at disposal, so why not simply make the chips run permanently at their best? Especially if the solution ties the CPU and GPU together so one interferes with another's frequency, instead of operating separately? Doesn't make any sense at all.
 

Trueblakjedi

Banned
Mar 30, 2020
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And maybe Cerny is just making it up ? Timestamped.


Also consider the sony patent on cooling - we have not seen it yet. Is 22 % GPU extra speed worth it ? We shall see.

When triangles are small discussion from cernys speech, what do you think he is referring to ?

What else had lots of small traingles............
11%
 

phil_t98

Member
Oct 10, 2014
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Bro, you nailed it, for the most part. It was a low blow for sure. For me, when it first happened my reaction was "Oh shit...no they didn't just do that". It was cutthroat, petty and unbecoming of a company who more recently tries to place themselves on some type of culturally refined high ground (see "Flute guy, Cirque Du Soleil, censorship etc). They were basically trolling. A billion dollar game company...trolling. Was not feeling that one bit.

That being said, I don't really mind the SSD marketing so much. I mean the thing is state of the art...I mean let's not mince words here. Marketing should be playing to your strengths and though the previously described example was a poor representation of Sony, I feel the SSD deserves some recognition for sure.

I am looking forward to what Xbox has to offer. I think they're already keeping Sony on their toes. Let's see in July how much Xbox can make em dance.
apparntly when sony do things like the game share video it’s funny but when Microsoft do things like that they are just bitter
 

Trueblakjedi

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Truth be told, we won't get to know how effective the PS5/XBX GPUs really are until we get RDNA2-based PC cards and we will be able to compare them directly with RDNA1/GCN/Pascals/Turings/Ampere architectures, what those TF numbers really mean.

But one thing I don't understand is what's the point of putting a laptop technology where you are limited by your batter life, into a stationary device that's plugged into the wall? All the power is there, available anytime at disposal, so why not simply make the chips run permanently at their best? Especially if the solution ties the CPU and GPU together so one interferes with another's frequency, instead of operating separately? Doesn't make any sense at all.
Budget
 

Sony

Nintendo
Jun 15, 2016
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Didn't Cerny explain how PS5 is designed to minimize bottlenecks as much as possible?
Variable clockspeeds have definitely been taken into account and there's devs out there claiming it's one of the most balanced systems out there when it releases.

Yet we have people on gaf consistently claiming it's a mess of a system.
Completely contradictory.
Microsoft and Sony both have a different approach to getting the most out of their boxes.
- Microsoft chose fixed frequencies, because going with variable frequences didn't make sense to them. They were are their targetted performance level and in their opinion the additional performance gain due to variable clocks did not outweigh the impact on development.
- Sony chose a variable approach and have said to found a way to balance development so there is no additional burdain on developers.

Both are absolutely fine. They both have their reasons for the approach they chose. That's why I loathe that this is made into a console warring arguement.
 

Three

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Funny how all of the talk about how the PS4 ran games at 1080p and the Xbox One ran games at 720p/900p magically vanished in a puff a smoke as soon as the Xbox One X came out.
They disappeared long before that and existed because the xbox one was more expensive but lower spec than the PS4.

The Xbox one X came out a year later and $100 more expensive, it was expected and accepted. what's more telling is that literally nobody then said "beyond 720p the difference in resolution is less important", and "it's not noticeable unless you're sitting 1 meter from the TV" anymore when reviewing it. Strangley they existed when you had to pay $100 more for less, but when you had to pay $100 more for an even less "barely noticeable" difference years later these talking points disappeared. Let that sink in.

Back on topic:

The statement makes no sense, if it's to make optimisation easier you can just set a profile with fixed clocks for the system. How is the option for the devs to have better performance if they're up to the task a bad thing?
 

geordiemp

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2.23/2.0

2.0 is the ps5 gpu base clock
Sources for 2.0 GHz Ps5 Base clock ? Your making that up.

Github testing many moons ago. So your saying 11 % over github tests on early die and designs ? what has that got to do with anything ?

1.825 is the fixed clock of XSX RDNA2, so the additional clock for ps5 GPU is 22 % over XSX.
 
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Eliciel

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First rule in Sales & Marketing:
Never contradict yourself when introducing new lines of products with positioning.

The discussion that Phil is initiating now is ridiculous. Until now I didn't have a problem with it, even though it was getting tedious.
What is happening is just a pretentious and is actually diminishing honesty of explanations of previous products.

Xbox has always promoted TF. Their marketing was defined by power and this has been linked to TF.
If this has suddenly changed now and it is not about TF, then, what's going to happen to XONEX? Are you going to take the console back from customers? Because XBONEX was ALL ABOUT TF and it was all about destryoing the PS4Pro it was all about being the most powerful console in the world and this meant TF.
Now, with XSEX everything has changed? Power means something else now?

Phil, not just you, but everyone right now at MS XBOX, all of you are changing your course of action and opinions about what's the XBOX all about like underwear and it really does not come over very smart. Just focus on your console, do the event and show games. Stop looking for vantage points to WIN early, vantage points that you so un-professionally trying to leverage...
 
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Sony

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First rule in Sales & Marketing:
Never contradict yourself when introducing new lines of products with positioning.

The discussion that Phil is initiating now is ridiculous. Until now I didn't have a problem with it, even though it was getting tedious.
What is happening is just a pretentious and is actually diminishing honesty of explanations of previous products.

Xbox has always promoted TF. Their marketing was defined by power and this has been linked to TF.
If this has suddenly changed now and it is not about TF, then, what's going to happen to XONEX? Are you going to take the console back from customers? Because XBONEX was ALL ABOUT TF and it was all about destryoing the PS4Pro it was all about being the most powerful console in the world and this meant TF.
Now, with XSEX everything has changed? Power means something else now?

Phil, not just you, but everyone right now at MS XBOX, all of you are changing your course of action and opinions about what's the XBOX all about like underwear and it really does not come over very smart. Just focus on your console, do the event and show games. Stop looking for vantage points to WIN early, vantage points that you so un-professionally trying to leverage...
First rule of dicussions: read the OP and articles that are quoted.
 

Trueblakjedi

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Xbox One X also had a higher price tag in mind when designing it, came out a year later, and it was an utter failure at release (though I did buy one). They practically couldn't give them away. Look at how many package deals and discounts they attempted to clear out stock. I think they basically gave up on it right? It just doesn't move units. If you're willing to have a higher BOM than a competitor then of course you can spend more on performance parts. What on earth does that have to do with the technical acumen of Cerny vs Spencer? I don't think you understand how this stuff works or gets made, in the slightest.

The XSX will be better than the PS5 in some ways, and worse in other ways. As a complete package PS5 appears to be the better overall machine. At least IMO. I'd take the small graphics difference with the massive advantage in data access any day of the week, and I've explained why in other threads. People looking at one spec (TFLOPS, yeah!), while completing dismissing another one because they think loading data isn't that big of a deal are completely technically ignorant. And that's ok. As a consumer it's not your job to understand this stuff. But I think we've seen a lot more devs saying they are excited for PS5 than anyone expressing excitement for working on the XSX. Am I wrong here? I think the reason why is data storage isn't "sexy" in that it doesn't draw images on the screen and games have been marketed as graphics, graphics, graphics for decades. For people making these things and who actually program, the kind of performance Sony is talking about is hugely exciting. Waaaaaay more so than a 15% difference in flop calculation potential. I mean give me a break.
No one can name "all these devs." Its a trash argument to cite "them" because there is no "them".

People are quoting Jason schrier, some no name kid from crytek and who else.. Swedevelopment. Didnt Sweeney say UE5 will run great on XSX also?

If we do hear from a "dev" its a Sony focused dev. Who probably doesn't have an XSX kit. We have heard from Scorn dev and Codemasters on what they can achieve on XSX. But those p
Opinions don't seem to count.
 
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Trueblakjedi

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What are you speculating exactly? Sony has been extremely transparent in how it is achieving their numbers. Time stamped:


To reduce power by 10%, it only takes 1-2% of down clocking from either the CPU/GPU depending on use case.

Given the CPU tops out at 3.5 Ghz and the GPU is capped at 2.23 Ghz

A 2% reduction of 2.23 = 2.18 Ghz
A 1% reduction of 2.23 = 2.20 Ghz


Anything below 2.18 Ghz and the GPU is putting out sub 10TF numbers
 
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nosseman

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MS not being interested in the TF count is the clowniest statement of the gen so far
Its also wrong.

MS is interested in a high sustained tflop.

Imagine the shitstorm if PS5 was 10.3 variable and Xbox Series X was 10.0 tflop fixed/sustained.
 

Eliciel

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First rule of dicussions: read the OP and articles that are quoted.
Ok, so for you "Sony" strong sarcasm ON!:

So, Microsoft never pretended to FOCUS on Teraflops, because otherwise they would have done the same thing that Sony (No, not you, the Company!) does now, basically Sony cheats ---about? About TF! .... and if MS would do the same thing Sony is doing, MS would FOCUS on TF, or wouldn't they? If they would do the same thing Sony is doing, they would do variable or forced!! clocks in order to squeeze out even MORE TF - which is EXTREMELY different from delivering a 12+TF console out of their CPU-- It's all about the developers! They have to focus on fixed cores to please the developers which opinion and needs MS knows best. Developers need fixed cores, even a higher amount of Cores is needed, but it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with TF. So, NO, XBOX is clearly NOT focussing on TF, because otherwise they would have used the FORCED approach to do that - and clearly, the argument of POWER is not present in any marketing campaign and, the article is not indicating that microsoft is NOT focussing on TF at all while having TF everywhere around them.

I do understand you correctly? You are not using STRONG sarcasm, right?

"[...] We could have used forced clocks, we could have used variable clock rates: the reality is that it makes it harder for developers to optimize their games even though it would have allowed us to boast higher TFLOPS than we already had, for example. But you know, that's not the important thing. The important thing is the gaming experiences that developers can build. "


And your name: "SONY", is also just a serious statement?... or is the joke hidden in the "fine print, between the lines" - do you have a hidden Agenda : Nintendo?--- Or should I call you MS, because you look like you're joking!!

Semantics I guess, semantics, Sherlock.





 
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Trueblakjedi

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Wishfull thinking. MS won't even any major title ready for at least the first year. Apart from Halo maybe.

So with 3rd party and (possibly) Halo, they're up against Spiderman, GT7 R&C and HFW during the first year.
Spiderman is left over DLC masquerading as a 5 hour game

GT7<FM8<<FH5

R&C is cool.

HfW is holiday 2021 earliest.

Unless you know the lineup of games in the July show im not sure how you can make your comment.
 

Tulipanzo

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Its also wrong.

MS is interested in a high sustained tflop.

Imagine the shitstorm if PS5 was 10.3 variable and Xbox Series X was 10.0 tflop fixed/sustained.
The major thing is, Sony's approach is more novel, but basically gets around the problem of power spikes unrelated to graphical processing (eg. HZD's map gets your PS4 hotter than the actual game), allowing for higher overall clocks.
This is very complex, and required custom hardware to be made for boost clocks to function. MS couldn't "just do it if they wanted to".

It's frankly embarrassing for an exec to say this nonsense, and I'm not surprised is coming from a Program Manager on some Spanish website.
 
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Trueblakjedi

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Sources for 2.0 GHz Ps5 Base clock ? Your making that up.

Github testing many moons ago. So your saying 11 % over github tests on early die and designs ? what has that got to do with anything ?

1.825 is the fixed clock of XSX RDNA2, so the additional clock for ps5 GPU is 22 % over XSX.
Cerny says they had problems hitting 2 Ghz with a fixed clock in The road to PS5. You should know every word of that speech by now since that is effectively your codex.

So if they were trying to hit that. That is their target clock. They found out that they could got to 2 23. 2.18 and higher takes them in >10tflop country also. A base of 2.0 with 36 CU is only 9.2 TFLops...
 

Trueblakjedi

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The major thing is, Sony's approach is more novel, but basically gets around the problem of power spikes unrelated to graphical processing (eg. HZD's map gets your PS4 hotter than the actual game), allowing for higher overall clocks.
This is very complex, and required custom hardware to be made for boost clocks to function. MS couldn't "just do it if they wanted to".

It's frankly embarrassing for an exec to say this nonsense, and I'm not surprised is coming from a Program Manager on some Spanish website.
The XSX APU has boost clocks for both the CPU and GPU. So... yes they could boost the frequency if they warted to.
 

Stiflers Mom

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The XSX will be better than the PS5 in some ways, and worse in other ways. As a complete package PS5 appears to be the better overall machine.
But why?
The XSEX seems to be much more rounded. No boost clocks. Fairly fast SSD. etc.

At least IMO. I'd take the small graphics difference with the massive advantage in data access any day of the week, and I've explained why in other threads.
But here is no "massive advantage".
You will see loading screens for two seconds instead of one.
Like that transition animation in R&C.

You'd need to specifically build games around that feature.
TFLOPS are always useful and for every game.

People looking at one spec (TFLOPS, yeah!), while completing dismissing another one because they think loading data isn't that big of a deal are completely technically ignorant.
I have been a professional software dev for 23 years now, and I don't see how the faster SSD will be a game changer when the XSEX has a fast SSD as well. Just not as crazy fast as the one on the PS5.
Reasons: see above.

And that's ok. As a consumer it's not your job to understand this stuff. But I think we've seen a lot more devs saying they are excited for PS5 than anyone expressing excitement for working on the XSX. Am I wrong here?
We have heard Sony devs praising the PS5, and XBOX devs praising the XSEX.

I think the reason why is data storage isn't "sexy" in that it doesn't draw images on the screen and games have been marketed as graphics, graphics, graphics for decades. For people making these things and who actually program, the kind of performance Sony is talking about is hugely exciting. Waaaaaay more so than a 15% difference in flop calculation potential. I mean give me a break.
You vastly overestimate the importance of loading in data.
And you have not even thought about it before Sony told you to do so, I am sure.

Like I said above, you'd specifically need to build your game around this advantage, while TFLOPs are always there to simply use.

A game like Street Fighter 5 would not be even able to use this, since it's loading all its assets in the beginning. The only difference there would be a one second difference in loading screens.

But you could easily see the 2 TFLOPs difference in there when applied.
 
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Sony

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Ok, so for you "Sony" strong sarcasm ON!:

So, Microsoft never pretended to FOCUS on Teraflops, because otherwise they would have done the same thing that Sony (No, not you, the Company!) does now, basically Sony cheats ---about? About TF! .... and if MS would do the same thing Sony is doing, MS would FOCUS on TF, or wouldn't they?
Did you read the article? It says right in the article that the Series X performance FOCUS was 2x the Xbox One X. And they achieved their TF target: 12 TF. It was their goal and Focus.
And in their article it is laid out that their already reached their target and a higher theoretical TF number did not outweigh the impact on developing. So why should they increase their theoritical performance though variable clocks if their fixed frequency performance is already 20% higher than PS5's theoretical peak?

You either didn't read or don't understand the article.
 
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geordiemp

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Cerny says they had problems hitting 2 Ghz with a fixed clock in The road to PS5. You should know every word of that speech by now since that is effectively your codex.

So if they were trying to hit that. That is their target clock. They found out that they could got to 2 23. 2.18 and higher takes them in >10tflop country also. A base of 2.0 with 36 CU is only 9.2 TFLops...
Why dont you talk about Xbox instead of trying so hard to FUD the Ps5.

All you guys do is a FUD anti Ps5 negative campaign and its pathetic.
 
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Eliciel

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MS not being interested in the TF count is the clowniest statement of the gen so far
THANK YOU, thank you for POINTING THAT OUT AS WELL!!!...

Sony Sony ......
Did you read the article? It says right in the article that the Series X performance FOCUS was 2x the Xbox One X. And they achieved their TF target: 12 TF. It was their goal and Focus.
And in their article it is laid out that their already reached their target and a higher theoretical TF number did not outweigh the impact on developing. So why should they increase their theoritical performance though variable clocks if their fixed frequency performance is already 20% higher than PS5's theoretical peak?

You either didn't read or don't understand the article.
No it is very simple: You just focused on something you wanted to read in the article and completely ignored that Microsoft is basically pretending to keep focusing on the "right things"


Hi! We are XBOX.
We are not just the most Powerful Console....
We are the Fastest Console as well!!!

oh and...
We are the one with the best I/O, our I/O is INSTANT for at least 100 GB/s!!

oh and..
we also add more memory by SMS SSD technique

ohh and...
we also solve all problems with great software being it sound OR compression, we do solve everything by just a few line of code

Hi, we are XBOX,
we do it all at once and we win always before the discussion even started:

Meet XBOX: The Jack of all trades!
Only $199


Sony Sony
if this is not making a strange impression to you than we are simply not alike in this department of communication.
and btw. I herewith confirm that I have read the very SMALL article, yes, my IQ is over 90 and I understood the article.
I am referring to a different observation than you are, very simple.
You quoted me, so you misunderstood me, correct?
Next time maybe ask again what I am actually referring to. I am not referring to your focus in the article. It's nice for Phil that he achieved his focus and goals, it still feels pretentious, the whole communication with the media and the consumers feels pretentious.


Communication makes impressions and always goes multiple ways, sending and receiving.
Communication is not objectively right, per sé. It depends on the message.
If Phil had said 1+1 = 2 I would agree on his communication, but he didn't.

You don't have to agree.
No one has to. It is my opinion towards his selection of communication and how I perceive it.
 
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Tulipanzo

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If anyone is interested in how boost clocks work, this post by Liabe Brave is really informative.
tl;dr: it works to reduce unnecessary power spikes, allowing clocks to be higher overall for actual graphic processing



Sony did tell us how their design works. The thing you're missing is that the PS5 approach is not just letting clocks be variable, like uncapping a framerate. That would indeed have no effect on the lowest dips in frequency. But they've also changed the trigger for throttling from temperature to silicon activity. And that actually changes how much power can be supplied to the chip without issues. This is because the patterns of GPU power needs aren't straightforward.

Here's a depiction of the change. (This is not real data, just for illustrative purposes of the general principle.) The blue line represents power draw over time, for profiled game code. The solid orange line represents the minimum power supply that would need to be used for this profile. Indeed, actual power draw must stay well below the rated capacity. Power supplies function best when actually drawing ~80% of their rating. And when designing a console the architects, working solely from current code, will build in a buffer zone to accommodate ever more demanding scenarios projected for years down the line.


You'd think the tallest peaks, highlighted in yellow, would be when the craziest visuals are happening onscreen in the game: many characters, destruction, smoke, lights, etc. But in fact, that's often not the case. Such impressive scenes are so complicated, the calculations necessary to render them bump into each other and stall briefly. Every transistor on the GPU may need to be in action, but some have to wait on work, so they don't all flip with every tick of the clock. So those scenes, highlighted in pink, don't contain the greatest spikes. (Though note that their sustained need is indeed higher.)

Instead, the yellow peaks are when there's work that's complex enough to spread over the whole chip, but just simple enough that it can flow smoothly without tripping over itself. Unbounded framerates can skyrocket, or background processes cycle over and over without meaningful effect. The useful work could be done with a lot less energy, but because clockspeed is fixed, the scenes blitz as fast as possible, spiking power draw.

Sony's approach is to sense for these abnormal spikes in activity, when utilization explodes, and preemptively reduce clockspeed. As mentioned, even at the lower speed, these blitz events are still capable of doing the necessary work. The user sees no quality loss. But now behind the scenes, the events are no longer overworking the GPU for no visible advantage.



But now we have lots of new headroom between our highest spikes and the power supply buffer zone. How can we easily use that? Simply by raising the clockspeed until the highest peaks are back at the limit. Since total power draw is a function of number of transistors flipped, times how fast they're flipping, the power drawn rises across the board. But now, the non-peak parts of your code have more oomph. There's literally more computing power to throw at the useful work. You can increase visible quality for the user in all the non-blitz scenes, which is the vast majority of the game.



Look what that's done. The heaviest, most impressive scenarios are now closer to the ceiling, meaning these most crucial events are leaving fewer resources untapped. The variability of power draw has gone down, meaning it's easier to predictively design a cooling solution that remains quiet more often. You're probably even able to reduce the future proofing buffer zone, and raise speed even more (though I haven't shown that here). Whatever unexpected spikes do occur, they won't endanger power stability (and fear of them won't push the efficiency of all work down in the design phase, only reduce the spikes themselves). All this without any need to change the power supply, GPU silicon, or spend time optimizing the game code.

Keep in mind that these pictures are for clarity, and specifics about exactly how much extra power is made available, how often and far clockspeed may dip, etc. aren't derivable from them. But I think the general idea comes through strongly. It shows why, though PS5's GPU couldn't be set to 2GHz with fixed clocks, that doesn't necessarily mean it must still fall below 2 GHz sometimes. Sony's approach changes the power profile's shape, making different goals achievable.

I'll end with this (slowly) animated version of the above.





 
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Tulipanzo

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The XSX APU has boost clocks for both the CPU and GPU. So... yes they could boost the frequency if they warted to.
It could "boost" the way a phone or PC does, by increasing clocks until it bumps into a thermal limit then downclocking to make up for it.

Without something monitoring power draw, the XSX at boost clocks would RROD faster then you can say "XBox go home!"
 

Psykodad

Member
Apr 9, 2018
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Spiderman is left over DLC masquerading as a 5 hour game

GT7<FM8<<FH5

R&C is cool.

HfW is holiday 2021 earliest.

Unless you know the lineup of games in the July show im not sure how you can make your comment.
You can't deny the impact those titles will have though.
Those games are system-sellers, no matter your opinion on them.

And sure, MS can come with some surprise announcements, but so can Sony.
Sony hasn't even addressed VR yet. That alone will add to the value of PS5 compared to XSX.

MS has an uphill battle and they know it, that's why they seemingly toned it down a little.
Or that's how I see it, anyway.

Edit:

Besides, I was talking about the first year, not launch.
HFW will likely release around the same time XSX first major titles hit the market.
And GG is one of Sony's technical powerhouses. They always set a new bar on consoles with their releases.

Same goes for Santa Monica and Naughty Dog, both who still have to show their projects.

One only has to look at HZD, GOW and especially TLOU2 to see what those studios can do with 4Tf (Pro). Imagine what they'll be able to do with more than double the power.
 
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Eliciel

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Oct 30, 2009
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If anyone is interested in how boost clocks work, this post by Liabe Brave is really informative.
tl;dr: it works to reduce unnecessary power spikes, allowing clocks to be higher overall for actual graphic processing



Sony did tell us how their design works. The thing you're missing is that the PS5 approach is not just letting clocks be variable, like uncapping a framerate. That would indeed have no effect on the lowest dips in frequency. But they've also changed the trigger for throttling from temperature to silicon activity. And that actually changes how much power can be supplied to the chip without issues. This is because the patterns of GPU power needs aren't straightforward.

Here's a depiction of the change. (This is not real data, just for illustrative purposes of the general principle.) The blue line represents power draw over time, for profiled game code. The solid orange line represents the minimum power supply that would need to be used for this profile. Indeed, actual power draw must stay well below the rated capacity. Power supplies function best when actually drawing ~80% of their rating. And when designing a console the architects, working solely from current code, will build in a buffer zone to accommodate ever more demanding scenarios projected for years down the line.


You'd think the tallest peaks, highlighted in yellow, would be when the craziest visuals are happening onscreen in the game: many characters, destruction, smoke, lights, etc. But in fact, that's often not the case. Such impressive scenes are so complicated, the calculations necessary to render them bump into each other and stall briefly. Every transistor on the GPU may need to be in action, but some have to wait on work, so they don't all flip with every tick of the clock. So those scenes, highlighted in pink, don't contain the greatest spikes. (Though note that their sustained need is indeed higher.)

Instead, the yellow peaks are when there's work that's complex enough to spread over the whole chip, but just simple enough that it can flow smoothly without tripping over itself. Unbounded framerates can skyrocket, or background processes cycle over and over without meaningful effect. The useful work could be done with a lot less energy, but because clockspeed is fixed, the scenes blitz as fast as possible, spiking power draw.

Sony's approach is to sense for these abnormal spikes in activity, when utilization explodes, and preemptively reduce clockspeed. As mentioned, even at the lower speed, these blitz events are still capable of doing the necessary work. The user sees no quality loss. But now behind the scenes, the events are no longer overworking the GPU for no visible advantage.



But now we have lots of new headroom between our highest spikes and the power supply buffer zone. How can we easily use that? Simply by raising the clockspeed until the highest peaks are back at the limit. Since total power draw is a function of number of transistors flipped, times how fast they're flipping, the power drawn rises across the board. But now, the non-peak parts of your code have more oomph. There's literally more computing power to throw at the useful work. You can increase visible quality for the user in all the non-blitz scenes, which is the vast majority of the game.



Look what that's done. The heaviest, most impressive scenarios are now closer to the ceiling, meaning these most crucial events are leaving fewer resources untapped. The variability of power draw has gone down, meaning it's easier to predictively design a cooling solution that remains quiet more often. You're probably even able to reduce the future proofing buffer zone, and raise speed even more (though I haven't shown that here). Whatever unexpected spikes do occur, they won't endanger power stability (and fear of them won't push the efficiency of all work down in the design phase, only reduce the spikes themselves). All this without any need to change the power supply, GPU silicon, or spend time optimizing the game code.

Keep in mind that these pictures are for clarity, and specifics about exactly how much extra power is made available, how often and far clockspeed may dip, etc. aren't derivable from them. But I think the general idea comes through strongly. It shows why, though PS5's GPU couldn't be set to 2GHz with fixed clocks, that doesn't necessarily mean it must still fall below 2 GHz sometimes. Sony's approach changes the power profile's shape, making different goals achievable.

I'll end with this (slowly) animated version of the above.





I think a lot of people in GAF might have read this and I guess it is a very interesting concept, one that I would describe as "pro-active power management".
The only thing that is going to be challenging is providing an assessment towards it before seeing it in action...
It is sophisticated and it needs to proof itself working well enough to make the PS5 balance out heat peaks by smart power management, proactive power management rather then reactive heat management could be advantageous, but it has to show it's efficiency.
 
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Dante83

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The sheer processing power of the XSX also helps in loading things fast, and it has a good texture compression and a faster RAM on top of that. I think the ps5's disadvantages are really going to show in multiplats. I really like MS focusing more on frame rates next gen.
 

Tulipanzo

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Dec 13, 2019
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... being specifically 20 fps on ps5 ... sorry 18 fps with ray tracing on ... but its ok im sure you wont notice as your eyes cant look away from the car crash ps5 internet router stylings.
Jeez guy, at least try to reference something specific with your jokes, this is just aimless ranting.