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Question about console/PC processors (bits..)
#1
For the people that knows since this have been troubling me a lot =P...

I remember the 8-bit console era, then the 16-bit era came and all the media fuzz was about the bits. Then PSX with it's 32 bits and later Nintendo 64 with... er... 64 bits. Then SEGA announced the first 128-bit console and here we have PCSX2 runing the 128-bit PS2.

What is the difference between a console and a PC processor, since we always had 32 bit processor (meaning always since 1980 =P) and much later than nintendo's 64 bit machine hit the market we started to receive 64 bit processors in pc consumer market...

How come we have 128 bit consoles already? Something's missing (knowledge in me of course =P) here.

And since we are on the subject... can we say this gen is 256 bits?? (PSX 32, PS2 128 and PS3 256?? XBOX1 128 XBOX 360 is 256?? I already know the Wii's a pumped up gamecube so 128 bits it is).

Thaaaanks for enlightening me!!
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#2
(12-15-2010, 11:14 PM)dotHack Wrote: For the people that knows since this have been troubling me a lot =P...

I remember the 8-bit console era, then the 16-bit era came and all the media fuzz was about the bits. Then PSX with it's 32 bits and later Nintendo 64 with... er... 64 bits. Then SEGA announced the first 128-bit console and here we have PCSX2 runing the 128-bit PS2.

What is the difference between a console and a PC processor, since we always had 32 bit processor (meaning always since 1980 =P) and much later than nintendo's 64 bit machine hit the market we started to receive 64 bit processors in pc consumer market...

How come we have 128 bit consoles already? Something's missing (knowledge in me of course =P) here.

And since we are on the subject... can we say this gen is 256 bits?? (PSX 32, PS2 128 and PS3 256?? XBOX1 128 XBOX 360 is 256?? I already know the Wii's a pumped up gamecube so 128 bits it is).

Thaaaanks for enlightening me!!

a computer cpu and console cpu are rather hard too compare as a console cpu is fixed for gaming meaning that every game is coded for that cpu so it can play games with higher detail and a good rate of speed. a pc cpu is not fixed meaning it can do what ever it pleases aslong as theres software that is coded for that cpu.

as example
the first xbox ran on a p3 at 700mhz
that is pretty slow but yet it could still play the games that the pc required at least 1.2ghz *if it was ported right anyway*
as stated before games are coded for a consoles cpu you can do the same with a pc but... that would take waaaaaaayyyy too much money and time.

but there is a limit though the ps3 is probably a good example for that, it has such a powerful cpu but not a powerful gpu so its limited too its gpu thus we will never see the true power of the ps3's cpu.
as for the 360
its gpu is stronger than its cpu so we will not get too see its full potiential either.

the reason why console games are coded for a specific chip
is because its much more cheaper and they can make more of a profit.
this could be one of the reasons the ps3 was so overpriced when it hit the shelves.

but as the years pass by so does the technolagy in the consoles and when theyve reached there limit *right now is an example*
they will start building a new console as theyve seen the limitations of that cpu and gpu
and then they will move on and make a better cpu and gpu
one thats more expandable, one that they can force a higher clock and have a better speed and architecture
and thats when they move from one cpu too a better one
*32 bit too 64 bit*

thus they can have higher graphics higher speeds higher possibilities

and thats why i had too kill santa

hahaha *what i cant throw a joke in there?*

but the pc is capable of higher possibilities as the hardware is rapidly advancing and by the time a consoles 5-10 year life spand is out the pc has already surpased it and has been waiting but the reason why companies rarley take the time too create highly advance games is because of piracy *but thats another story*
long ago in a distant city, i batman defender of gotham unleashed an unspeakable order. but a foolish clown wielding a menasing laugh steped forth too opose me.
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#3
Yeah I know all that already (thanks for answering though), my question actually was why do we have 128bit consoles but only 64bit pc processors. What's the difference in technology/architecture. We had NES with 8 bit and so on up to ps2/dreamcast/gamecube with 128. I don't know about xbox/ps3 (256bit? still 128?) and so how come PC has 32/64bit cpu's only? why? where's the catch?
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#4
(12-16-2010, 08:37 AM)dotHack Wrote: Yeah I know all that already (thanks for answering though), my question actually was why do we have 128bit consoles but only 64bit pc processors. What's the difference in technology/architecture. We had NES with 8 bit and so on up to ps2/dreamcast/gamecube with 128. I don't know about xbox/ps3 (256bit? still 128?) and so how come PC has 32/64bit cpu's only? why? where's the catch?

its all about the power pc architecture.
a console company usually makes there own cpu
since the 360 was by microsoft they could choose any company they wanted too they chose ibm and made a triple core when at the time there was only dual cores.

the reason consoles have 128 bit cores is because the companies always have the next and most high preformence advancement
and if they dont then they make one *360 triple core*
because they know that they are going too have too keep up gaming for the next 5-10 years so they get the latest and most advanced hardware too work with
if microsoft chose a dualcore then they would have started falling behind with in 1-2 years.

computers do not have those 128bit cpus because they dont need them because they can have a higher clock frequency.
it would cost too much money too have a 64bit cpu with 3 cores and 3.2ghz speed, so why not make it 128bit cpu at 500mhz and let it be equal too a 3.2ghz 64bit triple core.
consoles can get away with things like that because there games are coded for that hardware

as for pc you can have 4ghz and higher quads and 6 core cpus

in the gaming industry you want to be cheap enough were people can buy your product while you sit back and make killings

theres xbox 360s out there now in retail stores at $99
that right there shows how cheap it is too make a 360 and collect money.


and yes the ps3 is 128bit
but then again its not...

Well you could say it's a 64-bit CPU. The 128 bit registers are for working with vectors such as multiplying or adding them. The PPE main processing unit is optimized really for single precision due to the AltiVec unit but it can do double precision, it just does it much slower. Of course that's only the main processing core. The Cell has 7 SPEs (technically 8 but one is disabled ), but those are optimized to do up to 32-bit floating point and integer math. While it can also do double precision (64-bit) it's performance is alot worse than as that is not what it was designed for.
long ago in a distant city, i batman defender of gotham unleashed an unspeakable order. but a foolish clown wielding a menasing laugh steped forth too opose me.
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#5
Forgive me if I restate something already said (I didn't read every word that was said). The ps2 isn't 128 bit. It's 64 bit. Your definition of 32 / 64 / 128 / etc bit is incorrect. The ps2 is 64 bit. As are all the modern processors. I don't think 128 bit processors exist (If they do, they're extremely niche).

In terms of a 32 / 64 bit processor, that refers to the data width of the cpu registers it can operate on. You're thinking of register width for SIMD instructions within the vector units and FPUs. These are 128 bit, 256, whatever. HOWEVER, they operate on 32 and 64 bit data. For example, take this 128 bit register (split for viewing purposes):

0xffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff

Now, the processor does NOT treat it as 1 full 128 bit register. Instead its treated as 4 32bit registers. They're slapped into one register for quicker access and SIMD stuff.

TL;DR: 128 / 256 bit processors aren't what you think they are. They're gimmicky titles given to hardware that technically is 128 / 256 bit, but acts as 32 and 64 bit registers
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#6
Thanks Urisma! that's the kind of explanation I was looking for.

Since Dreamcast and PS2 were heavily marketed as being "128bit" consoles (just as Nintendo 64 implied 64 bits and well, you know the rest of the history).

Now I finally have one less question in my mind, thanks a lot! =)
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#7
(12-16-2010, 04:32 PM)Urisma Wrote: Forgive me if I restate something already said (I didn't read every word that was said). The ps2 isn't 128 bit. It's 64 bit. Your definition of 32 / 64 / 128 / etc bit is incorrect. The ps2 is 64 bit. As are all the modern processors. I don't think 128 bit processors exist (If they do, they're extremely niche).

In terms of a 32 / 64 bit processor, that refers to the data width of the cpu registers it can operate on. You're thinking of register width for SIMD instructions within the vector units and FPUs. These are 128 bit, 256, whatever. HOWEVER, they operate on 32 and 64 bit data. For example, take this 128 bit register (split for viewing purposes):

0xffffffff ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff

Now, the processor does NOT treat it as 1 full 128 bit register. Instead its treated as 4 32bit registers. They're slapped into one register for quicker access and SIMD stuff.

TL;DR: 128 / 256 bit processors aren't what you think they are. They're gimmicky titles given to hardware that technically is 128 / 256 bit, but acts as 32 and 64 bit registers

the ps2 and xbox were 128bit but they never used there cpu too its full potiential *or didnt know how or couldnt*
but with the new ps3 and 360 its been said that theyre using 128bit cpus and using it too the fullest
long ago in a distant city, i batman defender of gotham unleashed an unspeakable order. but a foolish clown wielding a menasing laugh steped forth too opose me.
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#8
(12-17-2010, 06:11 AM)kekdeyardrat Wrote: the ps2 and xbox were 128bit but they never used there cpu too its full potiential *or didnt know how or couldnt*
but with the new ps3 and 360 its been said that theyre using 128bit cpus and using it too the fullest

Like I said, they have 128 bit SIMD registers. That DOES NOT make them a 128 bit processor by the desktop definition. They are still 64 bit processors. Look at the specs page for the consoles. For the 360 and ps3 (I just checked), It says they're based on 64 bit PowerPC processors, with 128 bit SIMD registers.

And DotHack: Happy to help! Now, the Nintendo 64 actually was a true 64 bit processor (i.e: the processor core had 64 bit wide registers and could theoretically access 2 ^ 64 - 1 bytes of ram). The other 2 just had 128 bit SIMD registers for use with the FPU or VFPU or whatever.
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#9
The difference is scalar processor and vector processor. If you pack 4x32 bits scalar processor in a row, you get a 128 bits vector processors. Vector processor is like GPU or sse unit in processor. Actually the bits number is the input size of the integer unit (load/store, int addition etc...)

This information was relevant for old console but not recent one, but marketing keep to increase number and say it is better (like constrast ratio for TV...)
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#10
Like contrast ratio, hz refresh, numbers of cores in a processor, space on laptop HDD (most are still 5400rpm, that's the real gain, going from 5400 to 7200, not just from 500gb to 650gb..) nvidia vga's naming and so on.. =P

Well thanks again. I've learned a lot =)
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