Q – Why do consoles massively outperform their PC equivalent hardware?
A – Because they use a streamlined software stack and optimised hardware.
Let’s ignore the former for it doesn’t tell us anything interesting, for while every real console (i.e. not ouyu), will seek optimised software and hardware only the latter will help us with the big questions. Consoles are machines specifically designed to pump out graphics so the determining factor will be the GPU, and from a console vendors perspective what is the prime consideration when choosing a GPU?
Price/performance. A combination of the number of transistors and their clock speed.
The interwebs have been alive with rumours that Nintendo will announce a next-gen Wii console at E3 in June, and further fuel has now been added to the fire via official confirmation from Nintendo themselves. The rumours have focused on a funky new controller design featuring an embedded 6.2″ touch-screen and traditional controls, but also noted that it will be more powerful than current-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. No kidding, the PS3 and 360 are ancient, it would be hard not to make a console more powerful than these prettily packaged antiques!
That does not mean that there isn’t interesting speculation to be done about what’s inside however.
Having just released a lot of architectural information about the Bobcat based netbook APU AMD would appear to be on a roll, so it would be a real downer for them if Intel pre-announced an intention to directly compete in this market segment, however there is more than one Bobcat based APU planned and this blog questions whether Intel is able to challenge both.
With what do they intend to bridge the 5W to 18W divide?
Ever since the October 2007 release of the original Eee PC the world of portable personal computing has been a very different place, it has been a roller-coaster of ups and down as a huge variety of innovative netbook designs were unleashed on the markets, followed by a gradual recognition of all the things they can’t do well, and finally buried by the rise of the (truly) smart-phone. Well now are about to reach another inflection point with the mass arrival of products sporting AMD’s new Fusion APU, and to a much lesser degree the new Atom D510 / Ion2 products.
Perhaps it is time to reinvent the netbook?
In the previous article this blog looked at ATI’s multi-screen Eyefinity technology for gaming, stating that it was an example of the platform innovation that will keep PC Gaming healthy even against the rise of the Console, well now Nvidia has joined the party with its 3D Vision Surround, a combination of Nvidia’s 3D stereographic gaming technology with multi-screen gaming.
With the two major graphics chip vendors on board we can hope for broad support for multi-screen gaming in all major games releases.