Warframe Dev Doesn’t Think PS4 And Xbox One GPU Will Become Outdated

Digital Extremes senior programmer talks optimization and the benefits of a static architecture.

Posted By | On 29th, Nov. 2014 Under News


PS4 Xbox one

Though it’s often been maintained that a console is capable of outputting stellar visuals even when it’s years past obsolescence, previous generation devices released a time when they were still considered cutting edge. When the Xbox One and PS4 launched, they were already considered outdated next to the latest and greatest gaming PCs.

But does that mean either console’s GPU is actually outdated? GamingBolt spoke to Digital Extremes senior programmer Ron Janzen, who has worked on Warframe (available on both consoles), about the same. Given that AMD and Nvidia have long since released GPUs better than those found in the Xbox One and PS4, does Janzen believe either console’s graphics processing unit will become outdated further into the next console cycle?

Janzen stated that, as with the PS3 and Xbox 360 (and even the generation before those), “This has been the case with every console cycle. Even though the GPUs in the PS4 and XB1 will fall behind in raw power to the most current PC GPUs, it is offset by the fact that the consoles are a static target and it gives developers time to extract the maximum performance possible.

This is pretty similar to the current conundrum facing smartphones. Though plenty of Android devices feature octa-core chipsets and several gigs of RAM, the sheer range of devices makes it difficult for app developers to extract the best performance or build the best looking game. Better optimization means better performance and a static range of devices helps achieve that.

“Static architecture allows us as a developer to focus on performance improvements thus benefiting the end user. So with every update, they get better and better. Imagine what Warframe will look like 3 years from now on the same system? We’ll have unlocked most of the tech magic by then.”

It’s been seen time and time again. The Last of Us: Remastered may look great but it doesn’t compare to what we’ve seen of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End till now. Likewise, as impressive as Forza Motorsport 5 was, Forza Horizon 2 already looks more impressive despite releasing a year later on the Xbox One. What are your thoughts on all of this? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Vance

    ultimately they will become outdated but not as fast as we might think. after all they’re consoles and are engineered with the future in mind. by 2020 we’ll know how well they stack up and by then we’ll see a shift if they’re outdated or not or which was engineered with the future in mind.

  • EX+

    They’ll be outdated, but not as quickly people make it out to be.

    • WEL

      they are already outdated….

    • Matt

      Compared to PC hardware yes but software hasn’t caught up yet… There are a lot of DX11 and even DX10 features that haven’t been fully realized in modern games due to the X360 and PS3 being the base for the past decade.

    • Psionicinversion

      yeah and those features require more power, something that the consoles havnt got

    • Matt

      Not necessarily… Tessellation has yet to be fully implemented besides some gimmicky effects in the PC release of certain games. Fully tessellated LOD would add a lot to the visuals and possibly make pop-in a thing of the past.

      Memory restraints from last gen consoles also kept devs from regularly using parralax mapping but that’s a different topic…
      Just saying the technology bump from going from 10 year old outdated machines to newer ones using more modern technology is going to show across the board.

    • Guest

      Yes, they are extremely low performance in comparison to modern GPUs/CPUs but they are also way more efficient. The brute force approach of the PC is very wasteful and not very impressive.

    • Psionicinversion

      if there so efficient why does a 750Ti beat the PS4? it cant even come close to beating the 270x (7870) which the ps4 is based on. not very efficient are they

  • andy

    We know they will eventually but at least we know the PS4s GDDR5 GPU won’t become outdated too quickly. Not so sure about Xbone. Have those Warframe guys seen the output capability of that console since day one, games like the last gen COD Ghosts running at 720p on the console??? If that wasn’t a taste of the things that came, I don’t know what is.

    • Matt

      Taste of things that came? Whatever your hobby is buddy.

      As far as the XB1 is concerned though it’s catching up fast… It is well known now that the XB1 is capable of 1080p just as long as the developer is capable of optimizing their coding for it.

    • d0x360

      Gddr5 won’t become outdated? It already is. Intel launched x99 CPU’s not long ago with support for DDR4 which is both faster and has lower latency than gddr5. Gddr5 is good for GPU tasks but not great. It’s terrible for CPU tasks. We have the same comparison as last gen. One console has a better GPU and the other had a better CPU. Of course the 360 also had a better memory architecture and this gen they are both unified so the differences are even smaller. As the generation continues on performance between the two will even out more than it will separate.

      We are already seeing it. Games on ps4 are running at slightly higher resolution but have a less stable frame rate than the Xbox one version. Which is better? Personally I’d take frame rate over fidelity in almost every case.

    • Psionicinversion

      DDR4 operates at about 100GB/s max i think

    • d0x360

      Without looking up specs I know off the top od my head the first gen ddr4 is already faster than gddr5 which is a misleading name because gddr5 is based on ddr3.

      There is a good YouTube video explaining ddr4 and the changes its made and will make the channel name is linustechtips (I think) and the video is called ddr4 as fast as possible.

      He also did a bunch of stuff on x99 that’s worth looking at. Really good channel and a really good guy based on the few times we have spoken in person.

    • Psionicinversion

      yeah GDDR is dead anyway HBM is taking over and with 128GB/s @1Ghz per 1GB chip and the speed stacks. Its a gonna :d

    • d0x360

      Gddr5 was a great bandaid a few years ago but we have stuck with it far too long. Possibly because of the consoles and the only reason anyone would want a successor is for gaming. High end rendering work stations solve the problem with clusters so they don’t necessarily need faster ram for real time operations.

    • Psionicinversion

      probably because there was nothing to replace it with until now

    • Guest

      If latency was so important to CPUs then why does each speed increase and new variation on DRAM keep getting higher and higher latency in exchange for higher bandwidth? Which btw the way the same exact thing GDDR5 does. Also with GDDR5 running at a much higher clock than DDR3 the latency is actually a laot closer than you fanboy et*rds think. Also, if GDDR5 was so bad then why does AMD recommend using with their APUs for increased performance? You do know the X1 uses a AMD APU don’t you? This fanboy fallacy that lower latency is so important to modern CPUs is a joke, modern CPU want/need higher bandwidth, hence why DDR4 is higher bandwidth along with higher latency. Wouldn’t they be trying to lower the latency? Also, DDR4 is better than GDDR5? In what world? GDDR5 is still a lot faster/higher bandwidth than any DDR4 module. You need to stop believing and parroting back all the nonsense MS fanboys be spewing.

    • Matt

      DDR4 having higher latency is down to the manufactures. Eventually they’ll tighten up the timings and there will be a reason to actually upgrade to it. As it stands the Intel processors that support DDR4 have a huge L3 cache to make up for the latency.

    • SoHz Assassin

      You know GDDR5 is Graphical memory correct? DDR4 is less voltage at a higher clock, yet it’s transfer rate is MUCH lower than GDDR5. As a medium, both are nearly the same. Where are you getting your information? And the PS4 has less stable framerate than the X1? I can post you 40+ videos of side by side comparison of X1 vs PS4 framerates inengine, where you will see the X1 drop below 30FPS (At a lower resolution mind you). So again, you are wrong. You must be an X1 fanboy, with no clue how a computer works. So go ahead, throw your “ESRAM will make it better” BS at me, I’ll be laying back with my rig and playing metro at ultra.

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      GDDR5 is already on track to be rendered obsolete by HBM memory by next year as both AMD and Nvidia will be switching. AMD with the 300 series. Nvidia with Pascal.

      Both consoles were obsolete by day 1.

    • Matt

      HBM has more to do with efficiency and lowering power consumption really… GDDR5 was starting to max out for the needs of high end gpu’s. Good news is that the TDP’s of the new GPU’s using it will start to drop from the 300w range.

    • SoHz Assassin

      You’re pretty arrogant. How is 0.1% of all computers on the planet running a next gen memory translate into obsolete? That’s like someone running a rig with an Intel Knight’s Ferry 32core server CPU, and saying the i7 is obsolete. You’re a fool.

  • FelixUnger

    They will feel really outdated once 4K becomes norm on the PC. It’s starting to happen now and should be that way in 2-3 years I am guessing.

    • Michel Simmons

      You failed to grasp the entire article.

    • Israel Lopez

      Let me know when 4K becomes the norm for TVs and there is content like TV channels and Blu Rays that support that resolution. 4K is a silly invention to get people to ditch their 1080p TVs. The TV market must be slowing down. Monitors were able to output resolutions much higher than 4K ages ago.

  • d0x360

    I don’t think comparing forza is a good idea. Forza 5 runs at double the frame rate as horizon and as for which looks better…that’s a tough question. Horizon has some improvements no doubt about it but each game has different goals in mind. Forza 5 has insanely accurate tracks and cars. horizon has great looking cars and a huge open world.

    • Guest

      I was just about to say I was about to say the same thing (but Forza 5 is 60fps), but you beat me to it and said it well.

  • Michel Simmons

    Anyone comparing consoles to pc’s needs to stop. The article nailed it in stating consoles are static and all have the same exact hardware unlike pc’s which have minimum requirements. Microsoft’s only flaw with the Xbox Obe architecture in my opinion is such a small esram amount. A full gig would have been better heck even 512megs of it. These consoles will produce better looking games with each generation. Compare gta 4 to gta 5 on the older consoles.

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    • Matt

      They couldn’t put anywhere near that much ESRAM. It’s taking up about 25 percent of the APU already.

    • Guest

      “Microsoft’s only flaw with the Xbox Obe architecture in my opinion is such a small esram amount.”
      So the incredibly slow CPU isn’t a flaw? Or how about the low-end GPU? (which is vastly inferior to the PS4s), or the incredibly slow/low bandwidth DDR3? That’s not a problem either? And really a gig of ESRAM? do you even know anything? 64megabits would have don’t the job.
      The whole system/architecture is a joke, and my little neice could have done a better job. MS went as cheap as they could go and lost even more performance/possibility to that useless Kinect.

    • Psionicinversion

      to quite honest with you the GPU in X1 is not vastly inferior at all. the GPU in PS4 is really bad. Think it was unreal wanted PS4 to have at least a 2.5TFLOP GPU in it and they were like no. so they are actually quite close as shown in real world performance. The main difference is one usually runs at a bit higher resolution and thats it as running that higher resolution will strip most of that power advantage away

    • Jim Peterson

      Resolution is one of the most demanding things on a GPU there is. Games running on lower resolution one one system is NOT “quite close in real world performance”.
      My old HD7850 GPU runs games in 720p just about as well as my brand new R9 290 does in 1080p. That’s the kind of performance gains you get with lower resolution.

    • Psionicinversion

      the resolutions between x1+ps4 arent that far away and probably dont make that much difference with there upscalers. thats one thing PC doesnt have is an upscaler so it look s rubbish if your not running native res. although i think COD AW has an upscaler in it though

    • DougLord

      Resolution is quite literally one of the least important aspects of graphics past 720p. The most important things are the number of polygon and stuff on screen, high rez textures, lighting/shadow/particle effects, animation/motion capture, draw distance, framerate. That’s the stuff that makes a game look next gen. 900p vs 1080p on a TV you are sitting 10 feet from makes No DIFFERENCE.

    • Jim Peterson

      That’s so not true. Those things matter but detail is everything, particularly with today’s games trying so hard to be realistic. High definition textures create that realism. And nothing destroys realism like tons of aliasing because of lower resolutions. And Anti Aliasing can help cheat a little by smoothing things out, but again, AA has a huge demand on the GPU anyway.

    • Andy Stephenson

      Haha funny how it’s only the Xbox people who say that because if you sit on your pc and flick between 1080 900 720 you really can’t say the difference isn’t vast. If you can tell the difference then you need a new tv/ monitor

    • Alex Serrano

      its funny how everyone is an expert.You may think you know how these machines work due to you extensive online research.If you didnt build any of these machines dont assume you know what they can do.

    • bardock5151

      Both GPU’s are not as different from each other as you would think, especially considering the PS4 cant actually feed enough into the GPU because of its crap memory access for the CPU. Don’t go off on some stupid rant about GPGPU, the CPU still couldn’t keep up.
      You seem to know very little yourself, you believe GDDR5 is boon for everything, yet it’s pretty crap as system memory. You believe the Xbox CPU is slow, yet the PS4 has the slower clock speed and a much worse memory access. You believe the PS4 GPU is vastly superior when it’s actually only a very minor step.
      Your entire post is filled with opinion and fallacy.

  • Psionicinversion

    the consoles wont become outdated because it will force the developers to hold back there games so they dont look like trash on the consoles. so congratulations guys youve held gaming back again.

    Oh sony fanboys are going to be in shock when Uncharted 4 looks nothing like that trailer

    • EX+

      Keep telling yourself that.

    • Psionicinversion

      dont need to games atm are showing that all by themselves. You really think the console have got alot of untapped power? lol yeah whatever

    • EX+

      I don’t know how much of a different it will make over the years, but it will be noticeable. I will say one thing though.
      When looking at the specs of the PS3 and 360, would you think they’d be able to run GTA5 at native 720p?

    • Psionicinversion

      dunno maybe, ive bin running 1080p for like 5 years so yeah probably

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      History speaks for itself.

    • EX+

      Oh. That thing.
      Don’t you realise that that’s fake?

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      What fake? It’s pretty real.

      But then I guess you think that UC4 CGI trailer was real as well.

    • EX+

      The comparison.
      It’s some BS Misterxmedia comparison trying to downplay Sony, as usual.
      And that’s the thing. The UC4 trailer was in-engine/in game.

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      Yet it actually happened and Uncharted was downgraded from it’s reveal over UC2 and UC3 and you don’t want to believe it (Even though that image was from 2011)

      And the UC4 CGI trailer was “In game” just like the Motorstorm 2005 trailer was “in game”.

      Nice deflection on “Misterxmedia”. Should I call you “MisterPMedia”? Actually I can call most Sony fanbots that because there is an awful lot of you reality deniers lately.

    • EX+

      I have the game. That is not what it looks like.
      I think you PC guys need to calm down and stop commenting about something that you think is so irrelevant when no one brought up the PC in the first place.

    • TheWayItsMeantToBePlayed

      The whole article is about PC GPU’s and no matter what you claim, UC3 was downgraded. Evidence trumps your anecdote.

    • EX+

      I don’t see a real downgrade aside from the lighting in some cases. Yes the colours are darker in the E3 images.
      I have no goggles on anyway. I thought UC2 was better and do not play this game much.
      I don’t having anecdote. Do you even know what that word means?
      You don’t even have the game.

    • Jim Peterson

      Oh please. Without the money from console game sales thered be hardly any AAA PC games at all, let alone these amazing games you seem to imagine developers would be making without being restrained by consoles. If that was the case, where are all the mind blowing, amazing PC exclusives now? About the only one is Star Citizen which needed crowd funding and years later is still basically a technically demo.

    • Psionicinversion

      gone to the casual console crowd 🙁 but PC gaming is making a big come back becuase the consoles are pathetic and are easily outdone by a relatively cheap system

    • DougLord

      Hahahahahahaha. Give me the specs needed to run Mordor at 1080p with medium settings! Show me how that costs less then the $329 an Xone costs. You can’t do it for less then $600.

    • Psionicinversion

      Dunno but get 6core AMD 8GB ram and a 750Ti that’ll beat the ps4 and most definitely the x1 won’t be as low as$329 but I bet it could be done for about $500 or less with rebates. Shopping for the best deals and stuff. Not much more or buy used parts no different than buying a refurbished card really or 2nd hand console

      I can get every game alot cheaper than console counter parts. I’m in uk atm I can get SoM for £12 absolute best price for it brand new on ps4 £25 most retailers£30

      AC Unity £28 consoles £42 I’m saving money every where I go just for having the best possible platform. So all that ramps up into money saved. I don’t need asubto psn or xbl to play online none of that so its all good.

      Shame consolers don’t see it

    • Andy Stephenson

      You seen spinal tap? Ultra=11

    • SoHz Assassin

      You have a valid point, but you’re missing a lot. You’re missing the
      cost of the mobo, the PSU, the case, the wiring, the fans, not to
      mention a “legal” copy of windows, and about 80$ for a good hdd. But
      disregard the price for now. Steam sales make up for the long term cost
      of games, but short term, the devs can force 100% power out of a system,
      where as on PC they must make them configurable to multiple
      architectures and power. In the end, if you put a current gen console up
      to PC standards (AMD R295, 32GB DDR4 ram, 8 Core CPU ect), the console
      would outperform the PC, simply due to the single type of hardware it
      uses. I’m not a console or PC fanboy, as I own both, and play both on a
      daily basis. As I said, you had a valid point, but it was shortsighted.

    • Psionicinversion

      The $500 is for a complete system. For 500 can get a270x instead of 750ti in a complete system and it beats the ps4. For a start there’s no such gfx card as a 295, there’s a295x2 packing about 9-10 TFLOPs because its dual gpu, you telling me console going to outperform that?

      I’ve got an i7950 12GB ram and 280x and it dominates the consoles EVERY game runs significantly better. The consoles are garbage hardware I cant believe you think it can outperform aPC your deluded

  • DougLord

    Every year the graphics will get a bit better such that in 5 to 7 years they will be roughly 2x as good as launch titles. I’m already seeing big differences between DR3 and Mordor or DA. Last gen 360 launch games were garbage and then we got Halo 4 out of the same hardware. Likewise it will take 5 years for average PC graphics to be so strong that games can’t be ported to consoles.

    • Psionicinversion

      5 years, really? i think AMD’s 390x will be a 7.5-8TFLOP card… thats at least 4x the power but PC users will be forced to up the resolution as games will be held back

    • DougLord

      That’s the point. It will be 5 years before they make a game that couldn’t be done on these consoles. No one is programming games that require a 390x to run at 900p/30fps With settings on medium. Consoles aren’t holding gaming back the specs of an AVERAGE pc are. Most PCs dont have gpus, they have intel integrated graphics from 3 years ago, or whatever graphics card cost $100 or less 3 or 4 years ago

    • Psionicinversion

      most PC’s lol they arent gaming PC’s before you go spouting off steam statistics remember its based on 100 million accounts, so even 1% = 1 million ppl

      if you dont make the games to force people to upgrade then youll never get any where

    • DougLord

      Don’t get mad at me, I’m just giving you the facts. No one makes games for an install base of 1mm units. Xone and PS4 have a combined base of 23mm+ and will be closing in on 30mm by xmas.

      Now look at the minimum specs for Dragon Age.

      AMD quad-core CPU @2.5 GHz
      AMD Radeon HD 4870 / NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT. 512 MB

      That’s a 336 Gflops card. That’s 1/6th of what the PS4 can do. It needs only 4GB of RAM and 512 of VRAM. So it can run on a CPU and RAM half of what the PS4 and Xone have. And that’s before taking into account that consoles are twice as efficient as PC due to optimization and targeting 1 level of hardware.

      So yeah, The PC specs companies are targeting is holding everyone back.

    • Psionicinversion

      if the consoles are twice as efficient why do they perform so poorly?

      those minimum specs could be for 1024×768 or 1280×720 and lowest detail settings, i.e. not worth playing.

      23million peasants and counting… man its like walking around the 13th century around here

    • Matt

      Dragon age was multiplat… the specs for PC reflect the 360/PS3.

  • MrKmal10

    That’s what i’ve always said !


 

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