PS4 – Xbox One GPU ROP Differences Don’t Matter, Numbers Only Make Sense for Building Random Data

Celtoys’ Don Williamson says “different hardware achieves the same effects in different ways”.

Posted By | On 08th, Nov. 2015 Under News


PS4 Xbox one

When it comes to the PS4 and Xbox One, much is said about the difference in RAM and GPUs that both consoles are touting. Of course, the exact nature of these GPUs hasn’t been revealed but judging by the quality of some third party titles on PS4 versus Xbox One, it’s not uncommon to think that one is better. But in which respects are they better?

GamingBolt spoke to Celtoys founder Don Williamson who is an engine and pipeline developer. Not only did he created the engine for Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction but is also responsible for leading development of the Fable engine. Nowadays, Williamson is working on his own game which promises a never before-seen scope and helping other developers to better optimize their games. GamingBolt asked Williamson about the differences in the PS4 and Xbox One GPUs along with their ROP counts. How does these numbers figure into practical scenarios?

As Williamson states, “Data such as this really doesn’t matter as different hardware achieves the same effects in different ways. Coupled with different engines being built to take advantage of different hardware peculiarities, the numbers really only make sense if you want to build graphs of random data and strenuously imply one is better than the other. The obvious caveat here is that both are modified GCN architectures (Liverpool and Durango) so they’re closer to each other and easier to compare than previous generations.

“A great example of this was the old PS2: you had effectively 2MB of VRAM left after you stored your frame buffer. The Dreamcast had 8MB total and the Xbox had 64MB shared RAM. I remember at the time everybody going crazy about this trying to demonstrate the inferiority of the PS2 in comparisons. What was hard to explain at the time was the PS2’s DMA system was so fast that you if you were clever enough, you could swap this out 16 times a frame and get an effective 32MB of VRAM.”

There is more yet to know about each current gen console and the power they boast so stay tuned. In the meantime, let us know what you think of Willamson’s thoughts in the comments.

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