PS3 hardware could be hobbled

Written by Wil Harris

June 5, 2006 | 10:02

Tags: #hardware #inquirer #ps3 #rsx #xenos

Companies: #ati #nvidia #sony

Charlie over at the Inquirer has pulled out an absolutely fantastic scoop on the hardware details of the PS3.

Unconvering some developer slides on a flight out to Japan, the PS3 apparently has major problems with bottlenecks - namely Cell processor read speeds and the RSX throughput capacity.

RSX is NVIDIA's dedicated graphics and sound processor that complements the Cell architecture. According to developer slides, the processor is capable of putting out 275 million triangles a second - which is just over half the specifications of the Xbox 360, which is able to do 500 million thanks to ATI's Xenos processor.

Cell appears to be freakishly bottlenecked by the speed it can read local memory from. Whereas it can do 20GB per second write speeds, its read speed is a mere 16MB per second - an order of magnitude lower. Whilst this may appear like a typo, the numbers are repeated throughout the presentation with the advice from Sony to developers being that local memory shouldn't really be used. So, err, why is it there?

The technical details are laid out in full in the Inq story, so we'd advise that you go check it out. When you've assimilated the details, let us know your thoughts on the issues over in the forums.
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