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Cell and GPU work better together than either alone

Nick Doerr

The subject line is based on a series of facts, with hard numbers, released by a report by Sony themselves regarding the PS3's deferred shading and rendering. This is a detailed, confusing report, so if you're not a really techno-savvy lord with other techno-geeks buying you groceries or rubbing your hands to ease the twitch-reaction from all the mousing and keyboarding, it might go over your head. But for those with a keen interest in algorithms and the PS3's abilities, this is a delight to read and proves, ostensibly, the PS3 can generate processing power and graphical ability beyond a doubt above non-hybrid structures.

To help understand the numbers, graphs, charts, and whatnot in the report, we're going to use the abstract summary at the beginning of the report to show how the PS3 is proving its muscle through facts, not fanboyism. They summed the report up with this: "The SPEs use the Cell/B.E. DMA list capability to gather irregular fine-grained fragments of texture data generated by the GPU. They return resultant shadow textures the same way. The
shading computation ran at up to 85 Hz at HDTV 720p resolution on 5 SPEs and generated 30.72 gigaops of
performance. This is comparable to the performance of the algorithm running on a state of the art high end GPU. These results indicate that the Cell/B.E. can effectively enhance the throughput of a GPU in this hybrid system by alleviating the pixel shading bottleneck."

It seems there is a reason behind devs choosing to stick with the 720p resolution if that's the case. You can download the report and check it out for yourself here if you'd like and draw your own conclusion, but we think this tells us the PS3 made the right decision in creating a hybrid solution with the Cell and GPU. Leave us your take!

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