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PS3 OS hogs 19% more system power than 360?

PS3Portal.com has posted an article called "Inside the PS3"  that takes a look at how the competing consoles utilize resources while running the OS in the background of games:

...Everything that one wants to do involving software on a Game Console, specifically while the user is playing games, comes at a cost.  In the case of the Xbox360, this cost is approximately 2% of total CPU time and 6.25% of the Xbox360's total available RAM.  Balancing these out, one could argue that MS has removed a total of 4% of the Xbox360's total available system power in order to provide these features and more which were not mentioned.

...
In the case of the PS3 this equates to 25% of the available Cores on the CPU and 18.75% of the available RAM in the system.  Balancing these out, one could argue that Sony has removed a total of 23% of the available system power in the PS3 for these features

Of course, this is all based on anonymous sources. The author even admits he doesn't quite know what he's talking about. But then, we are Xbox fanboys and this could be blood in the bathtub. Is MS simply better at coding than Sony (as some PS3 fans seem to fear), or is Kutaragi's time-bending 4D OS simply doing more, i.e. multi-video chat? Does hogging nearly a quarter of system resources mean the PS3's bells and whistles are coming at the expense of its games?

[Thanks Joe]

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1. Dude, everyone knows that the 19% more resource usage in the PS3 is due to that damn flux capacitor Kutaragi put in there so he can say the PS3 is capable of time travel. Doc is gonna be so pissed when Marty tells him Kutaragi stole his idea.

Posted at 2:42AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Debikul 0 stars

2. show me one actual playable game and then we'll talk about the OS.

Posted at 3:04AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Kill Fat People 0 stars

3. I honestly can't see the OS using up that much of the system on the ps3... but you never know... I wouldn't be one bit suprised if its not as efficient as the 360 OS... you have to remember MS is first and formost a software company when it comes down to it. They have years and years of experince writing OSs and Low Level software... they have an advantage as far as the software side is conceredn IMHO

Posted at 3:43AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Dan 0 stars

4. As a techie this report sets of my BS alarm ringing. No OS ever has managed to claim that much power from a system, I'd even go as far as claiming the 360 figures ridiculously high.

When in Windows XP Pro, open Task Manager, Processes tab and sort by CPU time. If you ever see your System Idle Process below 98% while not moving your mouse or running any CPU intensive programs, please run a Spyware and virus scanner. The OS simply doesn't have any reason to hog that much CPU power. Video Chat doesn't claim any resources when it's not doing anything either.

All in all, I think Anthony Hanses should keep the technical writing to technical people, and not write about things he admits he doesn't know about.

Posted at 4:45AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Curry 1 star

5. Sorry, why would that even be a problem?
The cell has 7 cores (overkill if you ask me) with a max of two being used for gaming processes. They can easily afford to let the OS splash out and use some of the remaining 5 cores..

It's probably them being lazy. Now that they have all that processing power, they don't feel as inclined to refine and optimise the OS's performance.

Posted at 7:45AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Osiris 0 stars

6. What a misleading headline.

When comparing the two percentages together, you should form another percentage - not an absolute difference.

The headling should have been:

"PS3 OS consumes 350% more CPU power"

Posted at 8:29AM on Apr 13th 2006 by El Guapo 1 star

7. PS3 with 7 cores? Not quite or not even close. They are "sub-cores" with one main core. The sub cores are not as powerful or efficient as the main core so they are not equivalent to the main core. The 360 has 3 symmetrical core with each producing the same performance AND efficiency. Not only that, CPU is only part of the equation for performance, as RAM is a major issue as well, even the amount of memory set for Level 1 and Level 2 Cache. The specs shows that the PS3 has two types of memory, video and main memory video at 256MB each. Which means that only 256MB RAM is available for the OS (It does run linux), and the other 256MB is for video ram (They did claim it can be used as main memory). The Xbox360 "supposedly" have a better memory design by implementing "unified" or "shared" memory that has a very large bandwidth. This is similar to the integrated video card feature in low budget Motherboards, however, the large bandwidth and design are custom design to work much more efficient and powerful, especially with the Xenos GPU.

Also, CPU load time is not even close to indicate the performance of a machine as it is "relative" the the program running and the power of the processor. Inefficient coding can bog up RAM and CPU load time as well - bad software can take up much much more CPU load.

A side not, I'm sure once you load a game in the PS3 the OS will disable some features and free up some RAM and CPU usuage for better performance. Sony may not be on the same level of Microsoft in software engineering, but they are not that DUMB either.

Posted at 9:15AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Nossy 1 star

8. What did you expect from a Linux based OS?

Posted at 10:44AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Riley 0 stars

9. Guapo, you're right. I should probably talk to someone before I write a math related headline. Not my strong suit.

Posted at 11:13AM on Apr 13th 2006 by Ken 0 stars

10. These kinds of articles are bad. Most people don't understand what all of this means. This gives the impression that %20+ of the PS3's power is worthless, where that isn't necessarily the case.

This also gets those people spouting "7 CORES!" like they always do, even though an SPE is NOT A CORE (it's more like half a core). With 1 SPE reserved for the OS with the ability to take another one away at any time...does mean a little bit for game performance but it's not cataclysmic.

Since an SPE is more like half a core, you could say the PS3 with the OS using 2 SPEs has 1 core + (.5 cores x 6) = 4 cores. Don't take this "math" literally, because it's not entirely correct, but this is just for the sake of explanation. This is where the "less of a power advantage" of the PS3 comes from. Not because of some supposed "resource-hogging" OS.

Anyway, this information really isn't that important. Naturally, we care about the games. Besides that, what I really want to know, is how many of these "planned" features Sony intends to actually implement. Most of the PS2 features never happened or didn't survive (HDD, Linux, versatile online abilities), so I want to see if they can improve over their previous blunders.

Posted at 11:58AM on Apr 13th 2006 by SuicideNinja 1 star

11. Well allot of the comments do seem to make sense that this is a misleading headline. But here is a list of things I am just throwing out to consider and please feel free to refute them or comment on them.

1. The PS3 seems to have a long list of things that it is doing besides playing video games. I have read information that says it might even have a DVR inside of it. So this would probably have to be running all the time so you still got your TV programs even while you are playing games. All these features and cool things are nice, but they potentially take away from what should be the main purpose of this machine.

2. Sony is not exactly known for their fast, efficient running code.

3. DRM, I am wondering if they have huge sub routines running to make sure that the content you are using be it gaming, television, DVD, or music is all legal. All these checks and online verifications could potentially slow the system down quite a bit.
But with all the extra horse power in this box maybe it will not be that big of a deal. Hey if the games still look and play great I guess I do not care if in the back ground it is decoding SETI files just deliver the great game play.

Posted at 12:20PM on Apr 13th 2006 by Jim N 0 stars

12. i think when the headline says 19% more they mean 19% more of the total power. so the 360 in fact uses waaaay less.

Posted at 12:26PM on Apr 13th 2006 by chedabob 0 stars

13. Osiris: "The cell has 7 cores (overkill if you ask me) with a max of two being used for gaming processes. They can easily afford to let the OS splash out and use some of the remaining 5 cores"

I disagree. The future of all programming is moving toward a multi-threaded implementation. And that was supposed to be why the Cell chip was such an innovation: 1 master cpu with up to 7 SPEs (slaves) each with their own thread. I'm no CPU tech expert but the whole point seemed to be about having the ability to run 8 simultaneous threads. But now, according to this information, games will only have 5 or 6 of those SPEs which is equal to the 3 core (6-thread) architecture of the 360's CPU. So then, why hail the Cell (in the PS3 implementation) as so revolutionary?

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see...

Oh, and yes, feature creep seems to be a big problem for the PS3 since it's no longer just a "gaming machine".
Anyone else hope that Sony starts focusing more on making a great gaming machine and letting go of all this other crap?

Posted at 1:37PM on Apr 13th 2006 by LunarDuality 0 stars

14. I thought Linux was more efficient than any windows.

Anyway, if Sony wants to deliver something better to the eye, then they might just want to optimize their OS, and still add twice the RAM. That should justify the price (at least more).

Posted at 2:20PM on Apr 13th 2006 by boots 0 stars

15. Nossy had it right, the SPE on the cell processor are not the same as the Xbox360 chip. An SPE is basically a fancy Altivec co-processor, it can't do anything without the main core giving it an instruction. The only advantage is if it is performing the same calculation over and over on a set of data.

Posted at 2:20PM on Apr 13th 2006 by Chahi 0 stars

16. To start out, thank you for posting this article.

I do admit that I am extremely light on the technical side of things here. The information that I wrote about came directly from my sources. I tried to remain as abstracted from the information as I could, just posting the raw numbers and leaving it to the more technical in the gaming and general hardware community to determine the impact of this information.

As for one clarification. This is what is reserved while playing games.

One thing, Nossy is spot on. Once you start playing games on the PS3 it is not likely that you will care about this at all. This is mostly of concern for developers working on the platform.

Posted at 2:24PM on Apr 13th 2006 by Anthony Hanses 0 stars

17. Did anyone read through the link about Sony Fanboys fearing MS can code better... anyway brings me to the point that I think I don't love the 360 as much as I hate the PS3. What it comes down to is the people, I have yet to read a PS3 forum that doesn't turn into a we worship sony who can not possibly do any wrong circle jerk.

Seriously the PS3 isn't even out yet and PS3 fanboys claim its the next coming! It's not impossible that Sony is using so many resources since they are trying to make the PS3 the all in one wonder machine. Though I doubt these numbers are accurate, if there OS really takes that many resources I must have coded it.

Not to mention it takes a lot of processing power to run the rootkit that comes preloaded for your pleasure on all PS3's. :)

Posted at 2:25PM on Apr 13th 2006 by DrJack 0 stars

18. i thought this website is about the XBOX 360, since it does say the www.xbox360fanboy.com.

but however, this is proof that ps3 will be the best next gen console, people want to read about it, know about it, they interested in it.

Posted at 2:52PM on Apr 13th 2006 by don_sf 0 stars

19. and another thing, your boss peter moore thinks you will sell 1 billion units.

eeeeeeey! what a great start man, 20 million sales on xbox 180 and yes 5 billion loss of precious money.

let me also tell you that the ps2 outsold by 5 to 1. and there were only 2 consoles to ever reach the 100 million mark: sony playstation 1 and sony playstation 2.

so before u go saying that sony sucks, jus bere in my the FACTS i have wrote.

Posted at 2:56PM on Apr 13th 2006 by don_sf 0 stars

20. Hey don_sf: if you want to make a point and have people believe you and your "facts", you might want to first concentrate on passing your grammar and spelling courses. are you the best the Sony fanboys have? I sure hope so.

Posted at 3:48PM on Apr 13th 2006 by Deftone 0 stars

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