PS3 only using 20-25% of its power


It’s amazing to think a game like Resistance Fall of Man is only using 20-25% of the PS3′s full potential. Imagine what games will be like in a couple years. I think we will really start to see the PS3′s power in late 2007, early 2008.

Here is a quote that Sony CEO Howard Stringer stated in a CNET interview.

Lost in the shuffle is the fact that the current games that are out there are only using about 20 percent to 25 percent of the [PS3's] bandwidth. Once the publishers’ excitement reaches a level of intensity that they start using more of the bandwidth, that will create additional excitement.

Newsmaker: Sony’s brave Sir Howard


Written by: T0SH - Cofounder of PS3Blog.net


  1. #1 by mcwilliams on January 18th, 2007

    Yet…the guys doing MotorStorm state they’ve maxed the PS3 out.

    Or is it they’ve reached 100% of 25% of the PS3′s power?

  2. #2 by User on January 18th, 2007

    You got it all wrong.

    The reason why the CPU is only at 25%is because the video bandwith is already at max 100%. Meaning the Cell is a sitting duck while it waits for the outdated GPU to process inctruction.

    Viva Xenon.

  3. #3 by Rich on January 18th, 2007

    [Henning: I edited the start of this post for bad language. Be nice.]

    Whats more, you confused ‘power’ with ‘bandwidth’. Plus without using bandwidth in context what he said makes no sense. Try harder next time fanboys.

  4. #4 by Gary on January 18th, 2007 [ 1780 Points ]

    Tosh has a point. Compare any games on PS2 that were released during it’s first year to it’s 3rd/4th and 5th year titles and there’s a big difference in the overall game’s quality in most cases.

    The same goes for most consoles. All Tosh is highlighting is the difference between first gen games on the PS2, to games released further on during the console’s life. The same will happen on the PS3 and 360. Anybody that thinks otherwise is a moron.

    As for the MotorStorm devs, they may have used 100% of the PS3′s power now, but I bet you will see a noticeable difference between MotorStorm and it’s sequel.

    Rich, or should I say Fatal Exception, you’ve been warned about your swearing before. Are you incapable of making your views known in an intelligent manner? I already know the answer to that…

    It’s a bit rich you calling us fanboys! :lol:

  5. #5 by User on January 18th, 2007

    Pandemic Studios: PS3 doesn’t have this mythical, untapped reservoir of power.

    I rather believe game developers than CEO.

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/756/756204p1.html

  6. #6 by Sporty on January 18th, 2007 [ 95 Points ]

    I agree that this title is somewhat misleading. How can Stringer measure accurately when he can’t get his dates right in interviews.

    But anyone that thinks what they see on the PS3 now is what it’s top end potiential is on crack. Or they dont know jack about programming, CPUs or pretty much anything

    The only way you can say that PS3 is reaching it’s limits are if you are the worlds best programmer writing in ASM with the most optimized code. Code efficiency and optimiazation go a long way. You can make a Hello World program in basic, that doesn’t mean the clock cycles that it takes to run that program reflect on the CPU itself. It only reflects the skill of the programmer and the quality of the libraries/compiler.

    One thing that is amusing that so many anti-PS3 people are showing up here, either in spam comments and out right bashing. Kinda shows they are either working for MS or are just immature teens worried that PS3 might get a game that they want on their own systems.

  7. #7 by User on January 18th, 2007

    John Carmack, Gabe Newell, an anonymous game writer at beyond3d.com: all agree that PS3 overall prowess is less than that of Xbox360.

    The reason why some Xbox360 fanboys visit this PS3 fansite is to stop all the lies and hyping of PS3.

    Why, because we all hate liers. And this post is indeed misleading. Suggesting that with enough time, game developers can create and optimize their code that creates wonderful graphics.

    But this optimization is time consuming and everyday the game is optimize, a lot of money is being wasted to pay all those encoders. So like Gabe Newell said: Its a total disaster.

  8. #8 by Sporty on January 18th, 2007 [ 95 Points ]

    Actually Carmack said and I quote from AoTS “PS3 has about 20% more power then 360 but 360 is about 20% easier to work with” and he’s rooting for MS this time

    Gabe is a self admited Nintendo fanboy. Those devs dont favor PS3 nor work with PS3. You can’t really call them Cell experts with neither really has had time with it.

    You hate lies and Hype from fanboys. Kinda ironic since your here and mis-quoting. Trying to spread anti-Sony propaganda.

    I actually own 360, Wii and PS3, but I really hate retarded flaming that’s been going on with PS3. So PS3 isn’t your system of choice. Yet you devote your time and energy to splash any water you can on it. That is very fanboyish of you. If you really cared about the games at all you would ignore that PS3 exists and only visit you prefered system news sites. Their are enough fanboys spreading trash on all 3 systems.

    Compilers, libraries and knowlage get better over time as devs get a better handle on the system, thats why you see games improve. It’s not untapped power. Its not knowing how to make the most of the system to begin with.

  9. #9 by Gary on January 18th, 2007 [ 1780 Points ]

    It’s ironic how Newell labels the PS3 a “disaster” yet HL2 is still being released on it.

    As for Carmack, he is and always will be in Microsoft’s pocket so it’s no surprise he favours the 360. I’d expect nothing less from him.

    I agree with Sporty. I never read MS fan sites or websites because I’m simply not interested in the 360 yet people who have no interest in the PS3 still come here and post rubbish and don’t contribute in any positive way.

    I can never understand why people do that and I don’t think I ever will.

  10. #10 by Alex on January 18th, 2007

    And you believe what CEO said? CEOs usually say pleasant things, facts speak later after everybody forgets their speeches.

    As for PS2 games they became better yes, but not such breathtaking. Fighting screenshots contents quality before and after is basically the same and FPS ‘now’ screenshot is taken not from PS2 at all, check it resolution. What the hell.

  11. #11 by Chemical O on January 18th, 2007

    I think everyone should be skeptical when someone from a company speaks about a products potential. That goes for ANY console. But I do agree that games will get better for every console. But I think he probably pulled the 25% number from thin air. Will PS3 games look 75% better in a few years? I doubt it.

  12. #12 by Sporty on January 18th, 2007 [ 95 Points ]

    You see the same thing from fanboys of anything. If anything positive comes out about the opposite, fanboys go into overdrive to do damage control.

    If the Anti-PS3 fans on this site aren’t working for MS, then they are just sad. I don’t buy the untapped power crap, however I do expect PS3 games to get a lot better over time.

    Anyone that doesn’t underand how that happens is too ignorant. You can just compare Halo to Halo 2, or Call of Duty 2 to Gears of War to Halo 3. I had to use Xbox games since they are probably too devoted to the system then know about games on other systems. And Xbox is suppose to be easier to program for. So the improvements on a system that’s harder would be larger since they wont be able to expliot it as much early on.

  13. #13 by User on January 18th, 2007

    The Black screenshot is not from PS2… another lie.

  14. #14 by Tosh Hatch on January 18th, 2007 [ 1102 Points ]

    Mmmm, strange. I found that Black screenshot from Gamespot ….
    http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/black/index.html

  15. #15 by Henning on January 18th, 2007 [ 0 Points ]

    Alex: the difference between early and late PS2 games is amazing. If you had a PS2, you should know that. The same is true of any console, for that matter. It’s just a fact of gaming life.

    Chemical: I think you got your math wrong.

    User: says who? Proof please.

  16. #16 by liar on January 18th, 2007

    John Carmack, Gabe Newell all have their own agendas as well. It didn’t seem to be a problem for RFOM developers or Motorstorm developers. Wonder why people are choosing to listen to some developers but not others? Are RFOM developers just simply smarter than Carmack or Newell? Are they too slow now – has time passed them by? Maybe they can’t keep up anymore. If so then I can’t put much stock in what they say and would prefer to have smarter people working on games than dumber ones. But that’s just me.

    People have to think. That’s what they get paid for. The good news is a lot of the CRAPPY titles on both consoles from the last time won’t be around this time. The bar has been raised for everyone. We will all get better quality titles regardless of the platform.

    The whole issue is parallel programming. It’s just as much of an issue for multicore cpus in the 360 as it is for the Cell. You have to optimize and decide what chunks to pass off to the different cores. That think time is spent regardless of it being multi-core CPU in the 360 or the cells cores. It’s about your game and what your trying to get out of it.

    This company makes software that is neutral to the whole fanboy noise explains it here..

    http://www.rapidmind.net/News-Jan11-Spectrum-Winners.php

    the pdf is about 3/4 down the page or here for the quick link.

    http://www.parsintl.com/13157.pdf

    Also check out their ray-tracing example on their site…

    They talk about GPU’s, Cell and Multi-core CPU’s in the same breath because the issues are in fact the same in terms of where people spend their time. And they are supporting all three models to make it easier for everyone. Again an example from arstechnica on the 360..

    “Instead of spending hardware on an instruction window that looks for ILP at run-time, the Xenon instead relies on the programmer to structure the code stream at compile time so that it contains a high level of thread-level parallelism (TLP).”

    Sorry Gabe, but I think you have your own agenda and not being quite genuine. You have essentially the same issues with the multiple cores in 360. A lot of the game companies license 3-D engines and the tools listed above to abstract those details away so it’s even less an issue for them. Many possible agendas people..

    One big difference is the cell does in one chip what the 360 needs 3 ppc chips glued together to do – assuming they are at least equal. I believe the cell chip itself is already cheaper to mfg (iSuppli?) and the gap will only increase in the future. The beauty of it from a mfg perspective is – as long as the main core unit is good there really are no failures on the cell. Even the “defective” units with one or two spu’s can be used in T.V’s etc to enhance pictures etc – further driving down the cost.

    It is interesting that MS moved to the PPC architecture this time around though. These are not dumb people..so it does makes me wonder why?

    Personally I believe it’s because they do understand the inherent power of the cell and it’s the future of multimedia and are in fact preparing for moving to it (or something very similar) in the next round. The only way the can do that is to try and control this market as much as possible in order to get access to the cell and/or the patents around it – in the form of concessions from Sony. These are not dumb people.

    The vitriol, misinformation and hatred coming from the MS camp is unprecedented even for them. Make no mistake about it – they do understand the power of the cell and or the patents that interfere with their future plans. Very much so -despite all the lies and rhetoric being spewed – in fact as I said I believe it’s because they do understand that they are spending so much capital to discredit the PS3 – and that they only have a very small window to do so before they are locked out.

    Again check out the ray-tracing example. Sony just has to drop what will be several inexpensive Cell chip into the Playstation 4. It’s quite feasible in fact they could drop in more and get rid of the GPU itself and further reduce their costs. The architecture of the cell is scalable from a future development perspective. Same tools etc. For MS to keep the same architecture for developers in the future they would have to smash together 12 ppc’s to keep up with 4 cells..don’t see that happening myself.

    This was a loooooooooooooooong term strategy by Sony and MS has a small window.

    Time will tell..the half a billion Sony pulled in this quarter from their phones won’t help MS’s cause…that’s for sure.

    If MS would spend half their time and money making their own product better instead of spending it on bashing Sony we would all be better off…that’s for sure. Anyone disagree with that or have you all can so far past common sense your blind to even that.

    If the 360 had more than just better graphics than my Xbox I would have upgraded to the 360, but it just didn’t add much more value than what I currently get out of my Xbox – at least not to justify the price they were asking. Apart from a few of the premier titles, most of the games aren’t any better than Halo2 in the graphics dept. For the most part it’s the same as my xbox.

    Here’s what happened – in their desire to beat Sony they rushed the product to market and forgot about increasing the value to me the customer. Shame because last time around I was quite happy with the Xbox – the game catalogue difference with the PS2 was irrelevant to me. There was more than enough good games to keep a casual gamer like me happy. The HDD to store everything was much nicer than having a bunch of memory cards getting lost.

    I guess they didn’t see it that way. Winning was everything – I was irrelevant in the strategy. Nothing wrong with that – just not aligned with what I wanted. I really expected at least a much larger drive so I could use it to store music. Once I saw it was the same old they lost me. Sony put everything I wanted into a single package. It was that simple.

  17. #17 by User on January 18th, 2007

    Check the resolution of the full image of the Black… it is too high and there is no Aliasing? what the @#$%?

    Is that really from PS2? I don’t think so. I don’t have Black for my PS2… only on Xbox1. But that screen shot is really really good if it’s from PS2.

  18. #18 by liar on January 18th, 2007

    A bit more info I forgot – last year MS hired the CO-FOUNDER and CHIEF SCIENTIST of Cray Inc. Yes those supercomputer guys. A Mr Burton Smith.

    Interesting that the principles that Cray used on how to make some of the fastest supercomputers in the world are inline with decision and principles they made when building the Cell.

    Multimedia is a different world, calling for a different approach – hence the Cell. The 3 PPC’s strapped together was MS’s stopgap until they could catch up – marketing muscle., money and industry influence are their other levers.

    Mark my words – MS will be announcing in the future the marvels of something very similar to the Cell – the same product they are trying to discredit – ONLY because their competitor has it and they don’t.

    I say why wait for the future when it’s already here.

  19. #19 by User (2) on January 18th, 2007

    This is how Black should look like in PS2:

    No HDR and no Anti-Aliasing:

    Black Screen Shot

    (Was I banned?)

  20. #20 by Henning on January 18th, 2007 [ 0 Points ]

    No, you weren’t. (At least not by me.)

  21. #21 by WonderSteve on January 18th, 2007

    John Camrack and Gabe are talented developers…. but they are PC developers. They worked with MS’s platform during most of their career (DOS, Windows Direct X). Of course they are going to find it better to work in a similar platform. Hideo Kojima believes PS3 has more potential when he used the meal analogy last year. He did say MGS4 could be done on the 360, but he believes PS3 has more potential.

    I am not too suprised if XBOX 360 platform is easier to develope for. But I doubt the difference are as huge as some fanboys suggest. In my opinion 360 has a better GPU, but PS3 has a better CPU.

  22. #22 by Pc on January 19th, 2007

    User….Why are you saying such stupid things ??? The PS3 is deffinately more powerful in the processor department than the 360. Both systems are about equal as far as grahpics go, but thats where it stops. You are obviously an xbox fanboy for saying the things you been saying !!! I have owned all the systems and currently own the Wii also…I already sold my 360 cuz it truly sux, but thats another story. Also i must add that Black on the PS2 actually looked pretty damn good considering it was running off a 250 mhz processor. The weapons had a nice shine to them and there was plenty of destruction, the story sucked though.

  23. #23 by Pc on January 19th, 2007

    Ohhhh, one more thing. Take a look at some video from GoW II and tell me the PS2 hasn’t gotten wwwaaaayyyy better over the years !!!!!

  24. #24 by manlord on January 19th, 2007

    Man I can’t remember where I found this, but I think it was off the site for either jak and daxter or rachet and clank. It was in in a FAQ where the questions was something like this:

    Q:How much of the PS2′s power are you using?

    A:All gamedevelopers are using 100% of the hardware. Think of it like a glass full of stones. If you put big stones into the glass the glass is 100% full, but it will be a lot of air in there too. Then take smaller stones and the glass will still be 100% full, but now there is less air. If you are a really skilled developer you might be able to but sand in that glass.

    We all strive for pouring water into that glass.
    ——–

    I think this illustrates all game machines. But if the PS3 is harder to program for than the 360, then there is likely the PS3 will have more “air” now than 360. This is bad now, but the outlook for the PS3 is good. I belive the PS3 will look better than 360 in general in a couple of years. Not by much, but still better.

    That said, I really don’t care if the PS3 look better or worse than the 360, as long as they are comparable. As with PS2, the main reason I’m getting a PS3 is the games. Games that I can’t miss and I know that I’m only getting on the PS3.

    Other things that count:
    Blu-ray for movies
    HDD (out of box)
    card readers
    Support for external HDD
    Support for many USB devices
    Interaction with PSP
    QUIET
    Motionsensing controller
    Browser
    Bluetooth

    Most of this is lacking in 360.

  25. #25 by matt on January 19th, 2007

    Manlord, great stuff. The best way I have heard it put. Although developers are not using all of the PS3 as of yet so technically they are not using 100%. Once they figure out how to use the SPUs games will get better.

    Everyone please read this. Hopefully this will put into perspective what the two machines are capable of and should put some reality into claims of which machine is “better”:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=758390&page=1

    This is a great comparison of the two machines but it goes into developing on the two and also talks about the GPUs. Also this came from the 360 part but their is also a great PS3 section. This is a site with adults who know a lot about A/V equipment. They don’t put up with fanboy crap and is usually a good source for info. If you want to find owners of the same equipment you have you can use the search engine and type in the model number. A cool way to see what other people have found with your gear.

  26. #26 by Segitz on January 19th, 2007 [ 1470 Points ]

    Whoa, what a discussion…

    Now its my turn to shake things up ^^

    User, I also read the “FKATCT” thread with Joker, nAo, DeanA etc. at B3D. And, to be true, the PS3 devs really disagreed with him about the fact, that the PS3 was vertex limited. First of all, because the Cell can prepare the scene, so the RSX has less vertices to render and secondly, the RSX has more shader power. This round about equals out the differences in the RSX to the XGPU.

    And to Carmacks and Newells comments. They are PC centric developers, they never have been into consoles and never will be. What do you expect them to say about a complete different architecture, they never have ever used? Thing is, asking first party devs. who only use one system does not bring you further, because they will always have some bias and agenda behind them. Its always the 3rd party devs, that complain about this and that, but what do you expect? They have to develop for 2 completely different systems, which does not make it easier for them.

    As I havent played neither UT nor Black on any system, I cant comment on that (I heard good things about Blacks and Killzones graphics btw), but I have both Tekken Tag and Tekken 5 (and Tekken DR for the PSP). Tekken 5 is WORLDS ahead from Tag, especially when you use progressive scan.

    The thing is, and I think Stringer isnt too far off, that these numbers could be right. 25% of bandwidth (that should be round about 20GB/s) is pretty much. My PCs GPU has a total bandwidth of 23,4GB/s (9800 XT) and cant cope with any of todays more graphical intense games anymore. You cant directly compare these two numbers, but it shows you, which ballpark we are in (my CPU also sucks, AMD Athlon XP 2500+). And bandwidth usually does not really matter in “next gen games” (at least thats my observation). There are no particle effects, no BW heavy applications like framebuffer effects etc.

    And no, it does not mean, that games will look 75% better. If you have 2 same cars, but one with a 75% less powerful engine, that does not mean, that the overall car is 75% less fast, less nice and less good and going shopping. BW is only one of many aspects in gaming, one which is very crucial. If you dont know, what BW is doing and what its there for, then dont talk about it. The PS2 was a BW monster back in its time, so is the PSP with its 2 eDRAM banks. The 360s approach yet is different. It has the eDRAM as sort of a “free filter engine”, which is VERY hard to be used (Tiling. 720p with 4xFSAA tiles into 3, 1080P with 4xFSAA tiles into 7) and still has a 5-25% performance hit.

    The thing is, at the moment, they use “100%” of both systems, yet totally inefficiently. They lack the knowledge (which they are gathering all the time, they develop for the systems) of how to use the SPEs or the VMX units in the XeCPU right and the 2 RAM busses difference from the PS3 dont make that any easier.

    In the long run, both systems will have more or less the same overall graphics, BUT!

    -the 360 has the eDRAM which makes FB effects at near no cost (like in FF9 in the PS1)
    -can do good at FSAA

    -but the PS3 has the faster CPU, which can take all CPU tasks to a new level (more massiv battles, bigger scenes…)
    -BluRay has more space, which can be used for more immersive worlds and great cutscenes, better sound and longer games

    I am by no means an expert at this. Its not even my profession, I am an (to be) engineer for cars and engines, but this is one of my favourite hobbys, so I do research on it, and I always try to be non biased (which does not always work out. I dont like Microsoft pretty much :D)

  27. #27 by WonderSteve on January 19th, 2007

    Sigh..call me a fanboy if you want. I own all 3 systems too. Each one has it’s strength, but 360 does have a more supreme archetechture since it has a unified vertex and pixel shader. On the other hand, PS3 has a stronger processor for parallel processing.

  28. #28 by WonderSteve on January 19th, 2007

    By archeteture I mean GPU archetecture. Just to clear things up

  29. #29 by User (2) on January 19th, 2007

    The comments are getting off topic. The original post is not about which one is better. Xbox360 or PS3.

    It’s just that when any Sony execs open their mouth… something wrong is always being said. And hyping their PS3.

    eg: 4D, Xbox 1.5, Two HDMI, hyping 1080p… DUH 120fps… duh… novelity of Wii…

    I just hate it.

  30. #30 by Segitz on January 19th, 2007 [ 1470 Points ]

    User, I have to agree! As strange as it sounds.

    The problem isnt even the things they say, its because a) Sony has some bad reputation of “underdelivering” (not saying or saying it isnt so) and b) these words often leave to much room for (bad) interpretation.

    Thats why, every word KK oder KH say get turned around so long, til they can be interpreted as something completely different.

    The things link 120FPS are not too far off. Theoretically every console could do it.

    KKs statements are a very delicate matter. He is a dreamer and not a native american speaker. This leads to many problems. Many people just dont understand a word he says and hence interpret him totally wrong.

    And to be true, the 360 IS a 1.5er Xbox. It has done NOTHING new, even the HDD was scrapped (purely my opinion, nothing to be mad about). It is just a minor GPU/CPU overhaul, nothing else. The thing is, how are you “really next gen”? We have the three ways of Sony, Ninty and MS. Ninty have gone the DS route of “gameplay and fun matters”, Sony went with the “jack of all trades” (not yet saying master of none, not yet) route and MS did the “graphics whore” way.

    Which is best is yet to be seen. I made my choice long before the PS3 was even mentioned! And abilities like having Linux, motion sensoring and bluray even approve of my decision.

    And Bill Gates CES statements arent any nicer at all… (wont quote here, read the news)

  31. #31 by Pc on January 19th, 2007

    All good points Segitz, i’m with you on this one. lol

  32. #32 by User (2) on January 19th, 2007

    These are just some of the negative press about PS3:

    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2075804,00.asp

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1570831,00.html

    http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3155393

    There are more. But can someone post some negative press about X360 that is not under Sony’s paycheck?

  33. #33 by TimeLordMalik on January 19th, 2007

    Yup, turn the clocks back a year.

  34. #34 by Sporty on January 19th, 2007 [ 95 Points ]

    You say you dont want Sony bias negative stories but you use MS sponsored FUD to make your biased points.

    Guess if your ignorant of what MS does and wear rose colored glasses everything fits into place for you.

    If you really can’t find negative 360 stories from their launch you need to learn to use google better.

  35. #35 by Pc on January 19th, 2007

    DO WHAT User (2)!!!! The 360 got alot of bad press…… The 360 launch was horrible man !!!!! Something like 40 -50% failure rate with all the launch systems (my system was included in that failure rate). That’s worse than anything else that could possibly happen, except for no games at launch !!!!

  36. #36 by Phaethon360 on January 20th, 2007

    No developer ever truly utilizes a console to its full potential. So really you can’t estimate how much power is in use. You can always optimize code better.


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