Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

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Sonicx9
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Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Sonicx9 » June 25th, 2018, 2:25 pm

Not in terms of power but uniqueness because if you recall the Game Boy Advance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlWSsI1X-0Q, Nintendo DS, and 3DS where all ARM based CPU which are more unique because you had to dig into the metal to get impressive results for the systems. The problem with the PS4/Xbox One X86 which is more powerful has one huge disadvantage of being unique where developers have gotten lazy with optimization where you just push a button to release the same game on the two systems along with PC and call it a day. It has resulted in many modern PS4/Xbox One games not being well optimized as they just code plop with forced high resolution/graphic setting and features resulting in lower frame rate in more demanding games because it eat into the CPU/Ram.

Do you think the Switch ARM CPU architecture is better in terms of allowing developers to do metal digging because that what worked on older systems back in the day?

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Stalvern
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Stalvern » June 25th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Nope.

Sonicx9
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Sonicx9 » June 25th, 2018, 6:58 pm

Stalvern wrote:Nope.


But in the old days when CPU where either ARM based(3DO, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS, PS Vita), MIPS based (PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2), PowerPC based (GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3). You can not just code dump lazily like X86. You had to dig into the metal to get great results back then such as this.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlWSsI1X-0Q

And because the processors where more unique it allowed for more unique experiences which is not the case anymore!

Sut
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Sut » June 26th, 2018, 2:17 am

Wait so your saying something that is more difficult to program for, is less powerful and harder to port code than its competitors is a good thing ?

That is over zealous fanboyism at best, you must have loved the Saturn and Jaguar as they were super different and difficult to code for.

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Stalvern
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Stalvern » June 26th, 2018, 4:02 am

Sonicx9 wrote:But in the old days

The Switch isn't from the old days. Game development does not work that way anymore, ARM CPU or not. It is not practical to develop for modern systems in assembly; the benefits are marginal at best on systems this powerful and are far outweighed by the amount of work it demands from the programmers.

Sut wrote:Wait so your saying something that is more difficult to program for, is less powerful and harder to port code than its competitors is a good thing ?

And it's not even true. Switch development is done with high-level tools like Unity and C++.

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scotland
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby scotland » June 26th, 2018, 7:50 am

Sut wrote:Wait so your saying something that is more difficult to program for, is less powerful and harder to port code than its competitors is a good thing ?

That is over zealous fanboyism at best, you must have loved the Saturn and Jaguar as they were super different and difficult to code for.


I agree with you and Stalvern. The best I can come up with is that ARM (being RISC) is better for a smaller and portable system like the Switch running off batteries. Yet the Switch is a huge two handed colossus of a portable system, and has active cooling (way to use up battery) anyway. So what are they really gaining by using a less capable architecture?

Well, using anything else might have used even more battery and generated even more heat - this might have been the best choice for the Switch given its a hybrid system. The Switch, by being portable, can do things that other two just can't - its a question of whether being portable is important enough to accept the limitations. Its like buying a car - what do you want, and what compromises will you make.

Way back when, different systems had different capabilities and this did lead to slightly different results, but the programming was always just as if not more important. What a system was capable of and what a system actually got is an interesting discussion in itself.

pacman000
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby pacman000 » June 26th, 2018, 8:29 am

Sonicx9 wrote:
Stalvern wrote:Nope.


But in the old days when CPU where either ARM based(3DO, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS, PS Vita), MIPS based (PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2), PowerPC based (GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3). You can not just code dump lazily like X86. You had to dig into the metal to get great results back then such as this.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlWSsI1X-0Q

And because the processors where more unique it allowed for more unique experiences which is not the case anymore!

You forgot Motorola, MOS, & Zilog! How Dare you! ;)

It might be cool to see what a company could do with another type of processor; it might be neat to see how far a system could be pushed. But with games costing $30 million to develop I doubt such lengths would be profitable, & game companies need profits to keep making games.

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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Sonicx9 » June 27th, 2018, 1:56 am

pacman000 wrote:
Sonicx9 wrote:
Stalvern wrote:Nope.


But in the old days when CPU where either ARM based(3DO, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, 3DS, PS Vita), MIPS based (PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2), PowerPC based (GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3). You can not just code dump lazily like X86. You had to dig into the metal to get great results back then such as this.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlWSsI1X-0Q

And because the processors where more unique it allowed for more unique experiences which is not the case anymore!

You forgot Motorola, MOS, & Zilog! How Dare you! ;)

It might be cool to see what a company could do with another type of processor; it might be neat to see how far a system could be pushed. But with games costing $30 million to develop I doubt such lengths would be profitable, & game companies need profits to keep making games.


A little late response, but I am sorry that I forgot about Motorola, MOS, & Zilog as that was the same results to. I was just using a sample that ARM/MIPS/PowerPC systems where more unique hardware where devs needed to dig into the metal to get optimal results which was true! It also makes sense why older systems had different look and feel back then! Not to mention lets look at an example of improvements for Switch from launch to a year, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbRA1mCbrac vs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMfpXkROIMw neither is perfect but the later proves that over time companies do get more familiar with the CPU architecture to get games looking and running better as they learn. But when it plain Jane X86 they know what they are doing from the get go. Because look at this example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSI701GEWsA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n86TiqEs-k they ran at the same resolution 2 years later which shows they can not optimize much more outside of using PS4 Pro and Xbox One X shows that X86 is not always better FYI.

Sut wrote:
That is over zealous fanboyism at best, you must have loved the Saturn and Jaguar as they were super different and difficult to code for.


I am not a fan of the Atari Jaguar, but love the Sega Saturn for it games, but when it was not X86 based back then companies had no choice but to do metal digging and it worked even if it was harder to work with.

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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Gleebergloben123 » June 27th, 2018, 3:30 am

Stalvern wrote:
Sonicx9 wrote:But in the old days

The Switch isn't from the old days. Game development does not work that way anymore, ARM CPU or not. It is not practical to develop for modern systems in assembly; the benefits are marginal at best on systems this powerful and are far outweighed by the amount of work it demands from the programmers.

Sut wrote:Wait so your saying something that is more difficult to program for, is less powerful and harder to port code than its competitors is a good thing ?

And it's not even true. Switch development is done with high-level tools like Unity and C++.


Slavern, this is completely untrue. When you reroute the subsystem with the ARM architecture, if you properly transmit on all e-band signals with a Y tangent variable, you can properly attain superior graphics, and don’t even get me started on the McPherson Strut Cables.

P.S. Whenever there’s tech talk that I don’t understand, I always shoehorn myself into the conversation with the phrase McPherson Strut Cable :)

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Stalvern
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Re: Why ARM architecture for the Nintendo Switch is better then X86 from PS4/Xbox One!

Postby Stalvern » June 28th, 2018, 3:22 pm

Sonicx9 wrote:It also makes sense why older systems had different look and feel back then!

This was because the limited power practical at the time highlighted the differences between hardware developers' decisions about what their systems could and couldn't do; with so little for a manufacturing budget to buy, it was obvious whether the money went to a bigger palette or larger sprites or more sound channels or what have you. And this was entirely due to the graphic and sound chips, not the CPU - the 6502 was in everything from the Apple II to the C64 to the NES, but it's impossible to mistake any of those systems for each other because of everything else in their designs. As technology progressed, these differences (again, having almost nothing to do with CPU choice) inherently decreased with hardware's convergence on higher and higher fidelity. The reason you can barely tell the difference between the Xbone's graphics and the PS4's isn't that they have the same CPU architecture but that they're putting more than 16 colors on the screen and playing more than three channels of sound. The immediately obvious technical differences between systems like the Intellivision and Colecovision are impossible with the power of today's hardware.

Sonicx9 wrote:Not to mention lets look at an example of improvements for Switch from launch to a year, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbRA1mCbrac vs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMfpXkROIMw neither is perfect but the later proves that over time companies do get more familiar with the CPU architecture to get games looking and running better as they learn. But when it plain Jane X86 they know what they are doing from the get go. Because look at this example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSI701GEWsA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n86TiqEs-k they ran at the same resolution 2 years later which shows they can not optimize much more outside of using PS4 Pro and Xbox One X shows that X86 is not always better FYI.

What point are you trying to make? The Switch's situation is the very definition of worse. If it takes longer for developers to catch up to the hardware, what possible advantage is that? And even at its best, it still never achieves the graphical detail of its competitors.

Is your entire thesis that the Switch's CPU is "better" because developers have to put in more work and still get far less out of it than they could from the PS4? I'm honestly struggling to understand your thoughts here.

But again, and I can't stress this enough, the CPU architecture is unrelated to this. The Switch is what it is (in a word, weak) because of its GPU, RAM, and storage media. And, yet again, nobody is "digging" into any "metal" (side note: for the love of God, stop typing those words and think of a single other way to express the concept of low-level development) on any modern systems, Switch or otherwise, in the way that you're talking about. Programming the Switch in assembly is a fool's errand.

Sonicx9 wrote:I am not a fan of the Atari Jaguar, but love the Sega Saturn for it games, but when it was not X86 based back then companies had no choice but to do metal digging and it worked even if it was harder to work with.

If you're going to bring up the fifth console generation, you have to acknowledge that, like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the PlayStation and N64 had the same CPU architecture, and they couldn't be more different from each other. It means nothing at all.


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