GameCube CPU as good as a G4?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
<a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/06030221.htm"; target="_blank">The inquirer</a> says so. Does this mean Apple is really goofing up when going with Moto (GameCube CPU being made by IBM)?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    stimulistimuli Posts: 564member
    Hmmm... according to the article, which I think is misinformed, it has a 750 cxe aka g3. However, the cxe doesn't have a 512 KB L2 cache, so who knows. I thought the gamecube had a 'dolphin' ppc designed by IBM specifically for the gamecube?
  • Reply 2 of 83
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    The 'dolphin' was the codename for the Gamecube, not the chip inside it. The chip which is a G3 with SIMD units in (like altivec), is known as the 'Gekko'.



    I don't think it is faster, as the G4 has to manage a lot more than just games, a HD, RAM, drives etc.

    The G4 has to run a complicated OS, while running other apps aswell, the Gamecube is only better because it just has one task, to play games, and that's why I buying one.
  • Reply 3 of 83
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    The Gekko is a modified G3, running at just under 500 MHz. It has a few extra capabilities added to the floating point unit, to do SIMD-like things on pairs of single precision floating point but it is very limited. It also has a special purpose "write gathering pipe" to write to non-cached memory, but this has to be explicitly used by the application -- as opposed to the 7450's automatic write gathering on writes to non-cached memory. It has 64K L1 cache and 256K L2 cache, which is no better than the G4. It is possibly the fastest processor in a game console right now (very close in performance to the XBox's 733 MHz Celeron variant), but a G4 at the same clock rate in the same system would be faster (and believe me, I wish it did have the AltiVec unit). It does consume less power than a G4, however, and I'm sure that IBM gets better yields and thus lower prices than the G4. That is why Nintendo chose it.



    The Gekko is mated to some very fast memory in the GameCube which boosts its performance further -- but due to the cost limits the machine to 24 megabytes. The graphics hardware is fast, although fixed function (a la geForce 2MX/4MX -- no shaders like geForce3/4) so all programability has to be done on the Gekko... which means that the XBox is actually a considerably more powerful game console.
  • Reply 4 of 83
    [quote]Originally posted by xype:

    <strong><a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/06030221.htm"; target="_blank">The inquirer</a> says so. Does this mean Apple is really goofing up when going with Moto (GameCube CPU being made by IBM)?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    It's not Apple's choice, it's contractual - they have to use Moto over IBM for now except in some special circumstances. The current terms end this summer, we'll see what they do then.



    S
  • Reply 5 of 83
    xypexype Posts: 672member
    [quote]Originally posted by SpiffyGuyC:

    <strong>



    It's not Apple's choice, it's contractual - they have to use Moto over IBM for now except in some special circumstances. The current terms end this summer, we'll see what they do then.



    S</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Oh? That's a new one - I didn't know they were forced to use Moto. Could this mean a MotoCPUDivision buyout by IBM after this summer thus aquiring AltiVec et all?
  • Reply 6 of 83
    thttht Posts: 3,061member
    <strong>Originally posted by xype:

    <a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/06030221.htm"; target="_blank">The inquirer</a> says so. Does this mean Apple is really goofing up when going with Moto (GameCube CPU being made by IBM)?</strong>



    No. Mike Magee was just being facetious. The MPC 7455 is the most powerful PowerPC processor for Apple's purposes. Perhaps the only competitive thing is that the Gekko has SIMD instructions specifically suited for gaming applications. Main problem is that the Gekko chip is something like a 500 MHz processor. If it was 1 GHz, Apple may find some uses for it, but IBM isn't going to ramp up their PPC 750fx to 1 GHz until 2H 02 anyways, so I highly doubt the Gekko chip comes even half as close.
  • Reply 7 of 83
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    [quote]Originally posted by SpiffyGuyC:

    <strong>



    It's not Apple's choice, it's contractual - they have to use Moto over IBM for now except in some special circumstances. The current terms end this summer, we'll see what they do then.



    S</strong><hr></blockquote>



    That contract is only for the G4, when Moto can't meet their production requirement for the G4, then Apple can use IBM to fabricate G4's for Apples use. It does not keep Apple from using G3's, or future processors from IBM.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by THT:

    <strong>[qb]Originally posted by xype:

    Perhaps the only competitive thing is that the Gekko has SIMD instructions specifically suited for gaming applications.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Its not even remotely competitive with AltiVec. Its a hack, and bit of a pain to support compared to using AltiVec.
  • Reply 9 of 83
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    From what I understand, the Xbox is not a superoir machine, yes the Xbox is easier to develop for, but I have not seen a game on the Xbox that rivals the Gamecube graphics.
  • Reply 10 of 83
    [quote]Originally posted by JCG:

    <strong>



    That contract is only for the G4, when Moto can't meet their production requirement for the G4, then Apple can use IBM to fabricate G4's for Apples use. It does not keep Apple from using G3's, or future processors from IBM.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This has something to do whith why we saw the G4 scale so slowly... if yields were not fruitful enough for Apple, Moto would be stuck having to let Apple escape the contract so they wouldn't comit themselves.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    I really don't like Xbox, we have one here at our dorm, only games we got are tricky DOA3, both games suck, tricky is really ****ing awesome on the gamecube, but the xbox controls are so hideous that it just ruins the game. at least for me.



    I was on gameranger a long time ago, and this guy there was like "the guiness book of world records says the xbox is the most powerful game console on the market, its the best" I said "yea, but the controls suck, most of the games suck, and the gamecube is just about as powerful as it in most tasks" he responded something like "are you a retard? the guiness book said so, its the best" so I said that the book didn't mention anything besides MHZ. and that by that rating it WAS the best, but it is definatly not the best console on the market right now, but he just kept going on, and even though half of GR was against him, he would not give up his stance.
  • Reply 12 of 83
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    [quote]Originally posted by mattyj:

    <strong>From what I understand, the Xbox is not a superoir machine, yes the Xbox is easier to develop for, but I have not seen a game on the Xbox that rivals the Gamecube graphics.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    I plugged my gamecube into our sony vega throug hte digital out on the gamecube....OH MY GOD! it makes everything look soooo damn good.

    imo the gamecube is the best console on the market right now, although I wish it had some more....exciting...games, all the games I have for it(quite a few I might add) are fun, but they are easy and have little replay factor. I really want to get smash bros. melee and rogue leader, from what I hear they are totally awesome
  • Reply 13 of 83
    bartobarto Posts: 2,246member
    The CPU in the GameCube is not as good as a G4. It is basically a 750CX (like the ones in iBooks & CRT iMacs), only with a partial (only has functions which help games the most) AltiVec unit. So it doesn't (and won't) clock as high as a G4, isn't as good clock for clock as a G4 (but it does have a 166MHz FSB), and the SIMD (AltiVec) unit is only useful for playing games.



    Barto



    [update: the SIMD unit on the CPU is not a subset of the AltiVec SIMD unit]



    [ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Barto ]</p>
  • Reply 14 of 83
    luissluiss Posts: 7member
    Here are some GameCube spaces I got from this <a href="http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1566"; target="_blank">great article at AnandTech</a>.
    • 485MHz Gekko CPU - practically a PowerPC 750CXe with some 40 extra instructions.

    • "Flipper" GPU with 3MB of embedded 1T-SRAM

    • 24MB 1T-SRAM running at 324MHz for main memory

  • Reply 15 of 83
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by mattyj:

    <strong>From what I understand, the Xbox is not a superoir machine, yes the Xbox is easier to develop for, but I have not seen a game on the Xbox that rivals the Gamecube graphics.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The XBox internal hardware is superior in almost every respect, but Nintendo has the advantage of having more experienced console game developers doing GameCube games. The Cube is also a lot cheaper. I happen to prefer the XBox controller -- the Cube's controller is too small and has less functionality. The Japanese XBox has a smaller controller that you might prefer. Over time I think we will see some considerably more impressive XBox games as the developers learn to take advantage of the machine and build games suited to the platform. There are already one or two examples of what the XBox is capable of, considerably beyond what the Cube (or PS2) can do.
  • Reply 16 of 83
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    [quote]Originally posted by Barto:

    <strong>It is basically a 750CX ... with a partial (only has functions which help games the most) AltiVec unit. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Once again: the "SIMD" extensions in the Gekko have nothing to do with AltiVec. There are a couple of instructions that treat the 64-bit FPU registers as 2 32-bit floats, and that is all. AltiVec is an entirely seperate execution unit with its own registers and data types. The two are completely dissimilar.
  • Reply 17 of 83
    bartobarto Posts: 2,246member
    Sorry, must have got that from a dodgy site



    -Barto
  • Reply 18 of 83
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Here's a question. Which of the consoles do you think will be the first to be emulated?



    I think it's going to be the xBox, and that by Christmas season this year, mid range PC's will be able to pull it off, even if they don't quite have NV-25 level graphics. A nice hack ought to take advantage of greater memory and much faster CPU's (available in desktops) to take some of the load off of the GPU -- a kinda reversal of the current status quo.



    By next year, budget PCs will do the trick. It isn't even, really, 'emulation' more like an extensive 'patching', some kinda directX with a shell around it. Anyway, unless x-box has moved over 10 million units by then, emulation is going to be a world of pain for M$.



    Anyone know the (to date) worldwide sales figures for the 3 major consoles. Last I heard, Sony had moved over 25Million PS2's.
  • Reply 19 of 83
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Has anyone been able to copy xbox games yet?
  • Reply 20 of 83
    Nintendo's GameCube had a 485MHz Custom PowerPC processor with 256KB of level 2 cache. It can sustain a little over 1.1 gigaflops. For comparison a (single) 500MHz G4 performs at 3.7 gigaflops. There is no question that GameCube is more powerful than Microsoft's XBOX, but doesn't come close to Apple's PowerMacs or even iMacs. To compare to Microsoft's XBOX you have to realize that not only is the PPC better than the P3, but that GameCube comes with other performance enhancing features as well.



    It has a lot of image processing functions in hardware: Fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, 8 Hardware Lights, Alpha Blending, Virtual Texture Design, Multi-texturing, Bump Mapping, Environment Mapping, MIP Mapping, Bilinear Filtering, Trilinear Filtering, Anisotropic Filtering, Real-time Hardware Texture Decompression (S3TC), Real-time Decompression of Display List, HW 3-line Deflickering filter.



    The majority of the RAM in the system is 1T-SRAM and it's able to apply 4 filters/textures per pass.



    GameCube was made for games from the ground up (unlike XBOX) and all of it's parts are more suited to the task.
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