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Why are the processors on gaming consoles more powerful and complex than desktop and laptop CPUs?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mohameddo-san, May 1, 2012.

  1. Mohameddo-san

    F1 Sim Racer & #1 St. Bernard Lover on RD Premium Member

    When the Dreamcast came out, it used a 128-bit CPU, which is heard of in supercomputers, but, not desktops and laptops due to cost.

    It would seem to be like this because it allow the CPU to execute broader calculations to make up with not having enough memory to cache the functions like a PC with an abundance of memory.

    Besides, if the processor was aided with an abundance of RAM, then, a console would cost as much as a desktop.
  2. Alberto Casado

    Alberto Casado
    Premium Member

    I would say they are not (maybe more powerful for a very short while, surely not more complex in most cases).

    Most consoles are based in powerPC chips, which are designed following (more or less) a RISC philosophy. Compared with the x86 CISC approach, I doubt anybody would call a pc microprocessor "simpler".

    The RISC architecture alone will give you better numbers (clock MHz, sometimes internal bit number), however that says noting about the final performance.

    About the dreamcast, the graphic processor was 128 bit (the CPU was 32 bit) . Maybe you remember the Riva128 (the model before the much more famous Riva TNT) graphic card (from 1997, two years before the dreamcast). Guess the bits? 128. Vodoo Graphics, Vodoo Banshee, ATI Rage 128, all of these models appeared before the Dreamcast was launched. Are you still sure that 128 bit are unheard of in desktop computers?
  3. Not sure about the Dreamcast, but the PS3 uses a CELL BE processor developed by Sony. This processor is a lower powered core processor with several co-processors that enhance vector graphic display as well as video performance which both are used for console video games. Though the processor does excel in those areas, the brute power of a modern multi-core processor in a desktop is still more powerful overall than the CELL BE processor.

    The reason that the PS3 is more complex refers to how you have to write the code for the games to get the most out of the processor along with the co-processors. The type of processor used in console games would not even come close to the power required to run a super computer, nor even a decent graphics render farm desktop PC. The core speed combining all the co-processors along with the main core only amounts to about 3.2Ghz for the PS3 and doesn't allow multi-threaded operations which are normal with pretty much all desktop PC's of today.
  4. Mohameddo-san

    F1 Sim Racer & #1 St. Bernard Lover on RD Premium Member

    Alberto, at the moment, 128-bit CPUs are superfluous because it will start to rise when computers need more than 16 TB of RAM.
  5. Desktop and lap top computers CPU is by far more powerful than that of a console and the main reason why this is so is because a console only has one specific use (though not so much now days but still) to run games. the reason for the processor in a console not being as powerful is because it only needs to process the operating system while not playing a game and while playing a game what ever said game throws at it where as a computer needs to run multiple things at once even during game-play things like anti-virus the operating system and all of the operating systems processes and so forth not to mention if your running onboard LAN then that also uses up CPU power while data is being transmitted. figured id ad the lamans explanation seeing as everyone else so far has given a more technical and indepth explanation.