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Why is there always a gap between what the hardware engineers claim a system can do vs what the software programmers/developers are able to achieve?

01011001

Member
Does it really anymore? These machines are using essentially standard PC architecture, nothing to learn like Cell or Emotion Engine. I'd say it's because the hardware guys are either talking peak efficiency, or benchmarks don't translate to the real world.

yeah. it's always the theoretical output that gets plastered on PR articles and videos.

reality is that these are mid range PCs 🤷‍♂️ so everyone should expect the graphical fidelity and performance of a mid range PC.

there are games in which a GTX1070 almost outperforms a PS5 or Series X
 

KungFucius

Member
I find this offensive an ignorant. The Hardware engineers design to specs, if those specs fail to produce adequate results than the system architect failed to adequately define the requirements. The requirements will be very specific. The machine will have to meet 4k 120Hz under a set of conditions, likely with some margin. Developers on the other hand make tradeoffs from the specific conditions to realize their vision. They add more complex lighting, have more things moving on the screen, etc. Nobody lied, they just engineered a game with hardware that was designed to specs and pushed it to the limit in several directions and took the performance hit because of it. As devs get more experience with the system they get more efficient everywhere and the games will improve a little because of that.
 

Impotaku

Member
Takes time to learn how to get max performance from new hardware, simple as that.
And by that time everyones moved on to a new system, every single time. Some of the most impressive games come out right at the end of the consoles life cycle because the devs managed to find loads of new ways to do stuff but they sell like shit because nobody will buy it because the second a new console is announced the playerbase just starts foaming at the mouth and sells of their stuff.

Ironically it's these games that become extremely valuable in the future.
 
We all heard that the greatness of the XSX and the Ps5 while it is still early we all at this point see the sacrifices that the developers have to make to achieve 120fps or to get ray tracing in a game. I even remember hearing that Xbox One and the Ps4 were capable of doing 4k and we saw how that went. The same can be said with pc graphic cards as some spend hundreds on them and then complain about the performance. Are the hardware engineers protected because they can say "we never said that it could do all those things at once" or are the software developers "lazy" like I often read on here. It's shameful that here were are just entering year 2 of this gen and I am hearing things that these systems will not be able to do until the rumored pro systems come out. So who is at fault for the gap? Call me stupid but I was expecting games to do 4k 120fps with ray tracing but from my understanding that goal is not achievable even on pc. I am even starting to question the overall importance of ray tracing in games due to the performance hit that games have to take to implement it.
LOL 4k 120 FPS with ray tracing? PCs can hardly do that...what made you honestly think that a $500 console could? I get 4K 120 without RT on Halo Infinite max settings on a 3080 laptop that cost $3500... EDIT: Also Naughty Dog has wizardry with TLOU 2
 
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kyussman

Member
Talk of what a console can do before launch is just PR......they just want to sell you a system at the end of the day.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Eh.. never really felt this way.

It always depends on the game itself, what it's trying to do, etc.

Most people barely seem to comprehend that. They also don't seem to get that developers can't even fully predict these days what will "be on screen" since games are so dynamic these days. How many enemies will be on screen in a given game? Depends on what the player does/doesn't do for instance.
 

RoadHazard

Member
They can do everything on the box technically so its not false advertising. The PS4 and Xbox One were never advertised as 4K capable,even at the time they knew they were underpowered because the entire industry thought console gaming was dead which is why they pushed tv features,always online and episodic games so much early on.

Sony never really pushed any of that stuff, it was all Microsoft. Sony presented the PS4 as a gaming console all the way, only mentioning the media capabilities briefly. They definitely didn't think console gaming was dead. And they were right.
 
We all heard that the greatness of the XSX and the Ps5 while it is still early we all at this point see the sacrifices that the developers have to make to achieve 120fps or to get ray tracing in a game.

Not a single hardware engineer from Sony/MS/AMD promised that their 10-12TFLOPs hardware would be able to deliver 120fps gaming with RT and full-fat graphics fidelity simultaneously.

You have to literally have been stubbornly and deliberately keeping yourself willfully ignorant over the past 4-5 years of all info concerning these consoles to convince yourself of this. And if you did, you deserve all the disappointment you're suffering because of your own absurd and frankly ignorant expectations.

Long before these consoles launched, anyone with even an iota of general knowledge of computing hardware, and a cursory appreciation for the performance levels of available PC desktop GPU hardware, would have had a pretty good grasp of what would be possible in terms of rendering fidelity and RT performance of a 10TFLOPs GPU.

If you didn't, don't project your own ignorance onto the rest of us, and especially not onto Sony/MS/AMD's hardware engineers. If you got confused about what was promised because you didn't sufficiently educate yourself beforehand then that's on you.

Same for anyone else who knew nothing but the marketing buzzwords and used those to base their expectations on, instead of actually educating themselves about what the meaning behind all of those buzzwords mean.

If you care enough about RT, resolution and framerate to be disappointed in the first place, you should have cared enough to educate yourself about the expected performance level of these consoles.

There was so much frenzied but educative online discussion long before launch, as well as copious articles written by the likes of DF and co doing comparisons of PC hardware available at the time with the rumoured console specs. If you missed ALL of that discussion, you must have been rather frankly living under a fucking rock for the 3+ years prior to these consoles launching. There's no excuse and really, it's kinda embarrassing to even out yourself like this (i.e. blaming hardware engineers for your own ignorance) if you really didn't have any clue any all.
 
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Portugeezer

Member
. So who is at fault for the gap? Call me stupid but I was expecting games to do 4k 120fps with ray tracing but from my understanding that goal is not achievable even on pc. I am even starting to question the overall importance of ray tracing in games due to the performance hit that games have to take to implement it.
Pop Tv Laughing GIF by Schitt's Creek
 

A.Romero

Member
The same reason car's efficiency rates seldom (probably never?) reflect on real life performance.

Synthetic benchmarks and predictions can't compare to real world scenarios. It's mostly a reference number.
 

nush

Gold Member
The same reason car's efficiency rates seldom (probably never?) reflect on real life performance.

Synthetic benchmarks and predictions can't compare to real world scenarios. It's mostly a reference number.

Correct, technically under perfect conditions those stats can be achieved.

Yes, a console can draw X number of polygons at 60FPS, if you don't have anything else running, like texture mapping, lighting, game logic etc.
 

Skifi28

Member
The gap is usually time. If you just duct tape features together on your current engine meant for a different and older architecture, you probably won't be doing anything too impressive.
 

Trimesh

Banned
Both hardware and software engineers tell the truth, it’s the marketing team that ‘forces’ them to lie

Well, engineers tell the truth most of the time. You have to be careful with field engineers though, because they sometimes follow the company line even if it's bullshit. I personally got bitten by this twice - the first was when I was on a team that was designing some power electronics using the first generation IGBTs. The field engineer assured us that the latch-up problems were resolved, but it was bullshit and what they actually meant was "we have made it rare enough that you will get into final testing before things start blowing up". We ended up scrapping the entire design and replacing it with one based on thyristors - because if you are going to have to deal with devices that latch on then you might as well use ones that do it consistently.

The second one was Rambus - they supplied the chips (this was the 1st generation 9-bit Rambus), some Verilog that implemented a memory controller and a set of performance numbers - it was strongly implied that the furnished performance numbers were ones that had been obtained as a result of lab testing, but on a system level we were only getting about 50-60% of the claimed performance. Eventually we got the FAE drunk and he admitted that we were getting about the same results as everyone else and the numbers in the datasheet were obtained from simulation and not from a real system. Thanks for wasting our time, guys.
 

01011001

Member
Correct, technically under perfect conditions those stats can be achieved.

Yes, a console can draw X number of polygons at 60FPS, if you don't have anything else running, like texture mapping, lighting, game logic etc.

the story of the PS2 and its advertised polygon count say hi :pie_roffles: because that is literally how the PR team at Sony advertised the PS2. they proudly shared how many polygons it can display at once, but of course forgot to mention that this is with zero shading or anything done to them
 
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Neo_game

Member
I blame the PR and also so called influencers for all this BS. Not sure why some people thought these console can do both 4K and 60fps let alone 120fps and RT. Even the fastest gaming PC that cost 10times more cannot do it lol. 1440P and 60fps is probably the sweet spot. We have seen UE5 tech demo so far running around 1440P 30fps and Microsoft even had a tech demo of Minecraft RT on SX at 1080P 60fps.
 

gypsygib

Member
I promise you that PS5 and XSX can do 8k, it would just look like 8k Dreamcast Rayman. Same with 4k 120 FPS. XSX could easily run Halo 1 at 4k 120 FPS.

No one ever said that the truth can't be misleading. That's the job of marketing.
 
Because most people don't actually understand how any of this works. If your machines reaches just ONCE 4k at 120 FPS, you can claim it can reach those values. So they are not lying, what they are doing is giving a very raw claim that doesn't take into considerations other variables.

They test things in a perfect environment, with a demo tailored to reach those 4k at 120fps. Did it reach it? Cool, we can claim it does. It didn't? Then tweak the demo until it does.

Marketing team takes this as a way to promote the machine. It's not engineers or developers fault. I mean, if you know what these claims actually mean, you won't believe the Marketing team.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
Does it really anymore? These machines are using essentially standard PC architecture, nothing to learn like Cell or Emotion Engine. I'd say it's because the hardware guys are either talking peak efficiency, or benchmarks don't translate to the real world.

This is so not the case. Lots of new techniques to learn, newer processors to optimize for compared to all the tricks they worked out last gen for weaker CPUs, numerous capabilities in these new GPUs, they now have SMT capable CPUs. Improved workflows and texture streaming optimization techniques for the SSDs. There's a whole heck of a lot to learn on these new consoles. PC like architecture only means it's fairly quick to get something up and running, but to squeeze out the best possible performance is a different story.
 

Tschumi

Member
You post this after the Matrix?

I think you knew the answer before you posted. Game development is not done in a vacuum, engines take time, rendering is just part of the whole process of making a game tick, most games have been cross gen so far..

Yeah pointless Op, everyone should know this already
 

Kenpachii

Gold Member
We all heard that the greatness of the XSX and the Ps5 while it is still early we all at this point see the sacrifices that the developers have to make to achieve 120fps or to get ray tracing in a game. I even remember hearing that Xbox One and the Ps4 were capable of doing 4k and we saw how that went. The same can be said with pc graphic cards as some spend hundreds on them and then complain about the performance. Are the hardware engineers protected because they can say "we never said that it could do all those things at once" or are the software developers "lazy" like I often read on here. It's shameful that here were are just entering year 2 of this gen and I am hearing things that these systems will not be able to do until the rumored pro systems come out. So who is at fault for the gap? Call me stupid but I was expecting games to do 4k 120fps with ray tracing but from my understanding that goal is not achievable even on pc. I am even starting to question the overall importance of ray tracing in games due to the performance hit that games have to take to implement it.

If i make tires for a car specifically designed to withstand 500 miles a hour. Does my car go 500 miles a hour when i put those tires on my car?

Hardware engineers state technical specs of components on what it theoretically can support.
 
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Sosokrates

Founder of western console warring.
I would not use cross gen games as a metric.

The new gen of consoles is more then just brute forcing last gen games to higher res + fps.

New hardware features is what enable devs to make more advanced games.
 

Utherellus

Member
Because of competence of the devs and complexity of current standards.

We live in times where software is way unoptimized. Most studios lack technical maturity or simply a will to deliver top notch optimization.
 
The error is to assume that every single dev is a good professional and/or the company they work for have the resources to keep a game under development for a long time.
To expand on this a bit.

When engineers talk about what game developers will be able to achieve, as well as when developers talk about what a console is capable of... It's important to note that engineers aren't all knowing in game development, and game devs aren't all knowing when it comes to hardware.

Most movies today are made without a single person there having extensive knowledge of how TVs or projectors fundamentally work. The same applies to music. A music artist, producer, and engineer can make an entire album of smash hits, and have absolutely no idea how radio, digital, or the various physical options for listening to music actually work.

While the knowledge gap might be smaller in game development, it's only in this industry that devs and engineers speak so publicly and confidently in specific matters outside their expertise.
 

kevm3

Member
Because hardware guys are spitting out mostly theoretical/peak numbers and what software developers are actually able to pull out of the machine is completely different due to developer skill level and other things that mask 'pure performance' like a great art style.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
I like to think this is more noticeable because we have NVIDIA doing RTX demos that outclass the consoles, but yet the consoles can still put on a good show. We have only hit year 1 for consoles. The Last of Us part II and God of War weren't year 1 titles. I think it’ll get better, but the company wants to sell the console and the games. To the general public, benchmarks and BS PR statements aren’t all that important. Get someone interested and they’ll fork over the money.
 
There's too many factors at play here.
- Software at game development level is almost never written directly for bare metal (I'd guess never for modern gen consoles), ie. it does not directly interface the hardware components and the developers don't care with stuff like writing their own drivers for hardware modules, and/or optimizing existing drivers.
- Operating system and middleware stuff (engines, third party libraries) add complexity (stuff that can bug out) and additional layers for interfacing with the hardware, so they make the developer's life easier (they have to deal with less stuff and focus on their gameplay's code) but inevitably introduce things beyond the control of the developer.
- Things like portability, backwards compatibility, maybe even the intentional parity thing (for marketing reasons) factor in for development. Developer teams don't have the resources (time, money or expert know-how) to deal with each target system in a dedicated manner, and implementing all the required optimizations for it specifically. Especially when the producer/ and the goal is to release to multiplatform simultaneously, and if that includes PC (which is hard to optimize for, since there's so much variety in hardware), or even worse multiple OSes for PC (Linux, Windows, Mac) then no one in their right mind would even consider putting time to reach the limits of each different target hardware.
- Engine / tech demos are often non-viable to be "translated" as is in a proper game. The demos for the sake of pretty visuals for a scripted scenario or limited gameplay scope, are allowed to waste precious system resources for textures, reflections, and not care for framerate issues, bugs, broken/non-existing AI, game loops, battle choreography, online gameplay coordination, or whatever else is needed for smooth gameplay experience. The demos goal is to impress and sell an engine (or a concept of a game maybe). Which why "downgrading" in a final game product, has been a thing since forever in the industry.
- Game development 101 typically starts with a lesson on how to be appropriately abstract, cut corners and seek/invent workarounds to solve problems and be efficient. Full realism or "as realistic as possible" is rarely a programmers/developer's goal -- it's a marketing goal for sure, but the weight still falls on the developer to cut corners. If a thing doesn't have to be (fully) rendered, then it probably should not be, if it does not matter that an object is not reflected 100%, it should not be, and so on.
- For various reasons, it's not even desirable to have a system operating at its limits of maximum performance for long periods of time, for reasons like overheating, systems halts triggered by edge cases or bad interrupt and I/O handling or whatever, or fast battery depletion (for portables or controllers).
- Edit: Yes, of course there's the cases of lazy developers, project mismanagement by higher ups, releasing cookie cutter games with minimal effort to optimize or do much different really...
 
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ZywyPL

Gold Member
It's mostly the marketing team that blows the expectations through the roof first and foremost.

But as far as the hardware team goes, I think they can't really know/predict what the games will be doing, so sure, they can test how many polygons the console can push, how many objects at once, how many particles, how many collisions it can calculate, and so on, but they do seperate tests for each case instead of doing all of that at once, like in an actual game.

So as a result they can claim like, we can draw trillion of polygons at 8K, which migh indeed be true, but there would be nothing else on the screen aside those polygons, no lightning, no shadows, no shaders, no nothing, just plain polygons.

So at the end of the day the guys who actually make the software have to do this balancing act while writing a game.
 
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