Wednesday, April 4th 2012

Orbis Implements Multi-GPU, Too

Sony's next-generation PlayStation, reportedly codenamed "Orbis", is known to be powered by an AMD x86-64 CPU with graphics based on its Southern Islands architecture, from the older report. We're now hearing that Sony may implement a multi-GPU solution of its own. According to an IGN.com report, the CPU in question will be a custom-version of AMD's A8-3850 quad-core APU. This should serve as indication that the processor cores will be based on AMD's K10 Stars architecture, rather than K15 Bulldozer/Piledriver.

The GPU, on the other hand, will be based on the "Southern Islands" architecture, and the IGN.com report pin points it to resemble Radeon HD 7670. The HD 7670 is a re-branded HD 6670, which is based on the 40 nm "Turks" GPU. Turks uses neither Graphics CoreNext nor VLIW4, but the older VLIW5 number-crunching machinery. The most interesting piece of information here is talk of a multi-GPU configuration between this Turks-based GPU, and the GPU that's embedded into the "Llano" APU. We know that the graphics core embedded into AMD A8-3850, the Radeon HD 6550D, can work in tandem with Radeon HD 6670 to yield an AMD Hybrid CrossFireX configuration called "Radeon HD 6690D2". This could be end up being Sony's graphics weapon of choice.

Speaking of choices, we see that AMD is falling back to established technologies, be it K10 Stars CPU cores, or VLIW5-based GPUs, avoiding Bulldozer CPU. While its new Graphics CoreNext architecture is found to be fairly efficient in performance GPUs such as the HD 7700 series, its incompatibility with Llano's graphics could have served as a deal-breaker. Pictured above, is fan-made concept art.Source: IGN
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88 Comments on Orbis Implements Multi-GPU, Too

#1
hhumas
what's the big deal then ... technology is growing faster and now upcoming games need Powerful gpu
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#2
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
by: hhumas
what's the big deal then ... technology is growing faster and now upcoming games need Powerful gpu
correct, but 6670's are rather low/mid range GPUs -- thats the problem
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#3
Shoggoth
This is hilarious. That console will be worse than a year old budget gaming build. But us PC gamers are going to see good things out of this because there will be more development for the x86_64 platform and developers will start trying to make sure their games work well on dual-GPU setups.
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#4
Mistral
I get that a written to metal code will run blazing fast on a 6670 compared to the current chips in half a decade old consoles, but wasn't Sony planning to push 4K displays with the PS4?

This kind of make this piece of "news" suspect and braking Sony's modus operandi. They've always used their consoles to trojan their other hardware into people's homes.
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#5
Mussels
Moderprator
ford: being a console, they can do something that PC games cant: optimise them for dual GPU from the very first steps, with no driver bugs or crossfire/SLI profiles needed.
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#6
Steevo
VLIW is extremely efficient when it is written and compiled for it. An integrated setup engine could work to help along dependancies and branch misses.
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#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Mussels
ford: being a console, they can do something that PC games cant: optimise them for dual GPU from the very first steps, with no driver bugs or crossfire/SLI profiles needed.
But you're still splitting a task meant for one GPU to two. Just like multithreading on CPUs, that creates wasteful overhead.
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#8
Rowsol
My 'crappy' 5770 is more powerful than what they are going to put in here?
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#9
Mussels
Moderprator
by: FordGT90Concept
But you're still splitting a task meant for one GPU to two. Just like multithreading on CPUs, that creates wasteful overhead.
not if its designed for it. no waste or overhead if they do it properly.

EG, one can render the game, the other adds post processing, or the second runs GPGPU/direct compute tasks exclusively.


there is many ways this could be used properly, i do not believe multi GPU issues from PC will translate across to console.
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#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Can't post process until the render is done--second GPU is idle until it is given a task. Likewise GPGPU tasks will not accelerate the graphics nor will it put the second GPU to full use. In short, you're providing double the GPU power but only using, at most, 1.5 of it. A single GPU with the power of two could do all the above with few drawbacks.

Everything in computers translates to consoles. Look at the CELL as a prime example. The issues plaguing computer developers with multithreading are amplified on PS3 because they not only have two cores to code, but also 7 SPEs. Developers simply don't use the SPEs unless what they are trying to achieve requires it. CELL was abandoned for that reason.

Console developers have the same push for profits as PC developers. If they can achieve their goals without using the intricacies of hardware, they're not going to go there.

Likewise, the issue of limited RAM in consoles translates back to computers.
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#12
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Very few games go over 2 GiB of RAM usage. Consoles have ~1 GiB. They're developed to stay inside the console threshold. They only go north of that 1 GiB when you turn up the settings.
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#13
Mussels
Moderprator
by: FordGT90Concept
Very few games go over 2 GiB of RAM usage. Consoles have ~1 GiB. They're developed to stay inside the console threshold. They only go north of that 1 GiB when you turn up the settings.
that comes down to opinion, many would say turning up the settings to max should fall within that 2GB limit (due to the apps often crashing with no LAA support)


sure at console level graphics, they dont go over it.



meh, this arguing is pointless. these consoles are still a MASSIVE improvement over current gen, and most people are happy with current gen console graphics. they'll be faster, more power efficient, and more features.
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#14
Isenstaedt
by: btarunr
The GPU, on the other hand, will be based on the "Southern Islands" architecture, and the IGN.com report pin points it to resemble Radeon HD 7670. The HD 7670 is a re-branded HD 6670, which is based on the 40 nm "Turks" GPU.
This is wrong btarunr. Turks is Northern Islands.
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#15
KainXS
more rumors more laughs
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#16
ompak5
lets wait for that console... of course this would be not exactly what you think.. i think its more powerfull.. heheheehe....
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#17
shamus087
by: FordGT90Concept
Have they not learned anything from SLI and Crossfire?

1 + 1 < 2

In english: two GPUs never produce 200% output. One chip with double the power can.


The only reason why I can think of they are doing this is because they're going for something really slim. It's easier to cool two small GPUs than one big GPU. At the same time, you'd think they would rule that out quickly because two GPUs cost more to manufacturer and install than one big GPU. I think Microsoft and Sony got hit with a stupid stick and a big one that. Sense, this makes none.
Not trying to sound like a @ss but, I watch soo many benchmark sites and I'd say 95% of them show pretty much near full scaling by adding a second GPU. provided they are benching a GPU newer then the HD5000k series. I did a random search for current GPU's and got this http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-crossfirex-review/7 which shows a 6850 crossfired vs a 6870 crossfired, the scaling they got was really close to 2 GPU's working perfectly in tandem.

I know this is only concerning titles that the dev's put the effort into making the scaling work better. But it still shows the GPU's are very capable of doing it.

forgive me if I miss understood what you were saying. this is how I see it though, current and even last gen are VERY capable of scaling well together.
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#18
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
by: Mussels
that comes down to opinion, many would say turning up the settings to max should fall within that 2GB limit (due to the apps often crashing with no LAA support)
By "turn up settings" I meant "to levels that exceed consoles." For example, a cross-platform game can be expected to use ~1 GiB at the same resolution it is on consoles (720p or lower usually). Double the pixels (1920x1200) and you'll see that jump to the 2 GiB I mentioned before. If consoles were removed from the picture, we'd have games using 4+ GiB now at 1920x1200 and more than ~2 cores.


by: Mussels
meh, this arguing is pointless. these consoles are still a MASSIVE improvement over current gen, and most people are happy with current gen console graphics. they'll be faster, more power efficient, and more features.
Agreed. The only logical explaination I can come up with for opting to use two GPUs instead of one superior GPU is that they're buying surplus GPUs for cheap. The illogical explaination would be that hardware developers haven't figured out why multi-GPU hasn't been wildly successful on computer hardware and they'll learn from this mistake in the next generation.
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#19
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
it's sony. nothing they do makes sense.
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#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Case in point: CELL -- great for IBM servers, bad for consoles.
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#21
wickerman
graphics aside, does anyone else think the best upgrade for the next gen consoles would be some form of SSD or hybrid storage? Perhaps something like Seagates Momentus hybrid or a cheaper version of OCZ's RevoDrive? Obviously straight flash SSD would be epicly fast but next gen games are only going to get bigger and bigger as these consoles get more PC-like. Hell PC games are getting absurdly large. SWTOR is 35gb, Shogun 2 is 30gb, RAGE was 22gb.
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#22
hardcore_gamer
So the next generation consoles are going to be underpowered compared to the PCs at that time by a huge margin:shadedshu. Something that didn't happen since the PS2.:banghead:
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#23
Jurassic1024
I'll sh*t bricks if the PS4 has the same controller as the PS, PS2 and PS3.
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#24
Jurassic1024
by: fordgt90concept
the illogical explaination would be that hardware developers haven't figured out why multi-gpu hasn't been wildly successful on computer hardware...
lmao
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#25
Jurassic1024
by: hardcore_gamer
So the next generation consoles are going to be underpowered compared to the PCs at that time by a huge margin:shadedshu. Something that didn't happen since the PS2.:banghead:
Underpowered compared to a PC at launch? What about the 5+ year lifespan of a console. Even if a console was equal to the latest PC hardware at launch, it certainly wouldn't be one or two or five or ten years later.
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