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xero • Jul 17, 2007

Playstation III

Playstation III – The Ultimate Vibe


We have been hearing a lot about gaming consoles lately esp after the much hyped Microsoft's XBOX 360. Playstation III, the third incarnation of Sony's Playstation entered in cadre of seventh generation gaming consoles to compete with XBOX 360 and Nintentdo's Wii. The console was first released on November 11 2006 in Japan and then on November 17 2006 in North America, Taiwan and Hongkong.

As of now three configurations of this console available : a Core version with 20GB hard drive, Premium with 60 GB capacity and an IPTV capable unit with 80 GB capacity only released in South Korea. All configurations feature a a Blu-ray disc drive, a v1.3 HDMI port, a built-in 2.5" Serial ATA hard drive and Bluetooth controller support. The console's hard drive is upgradeable, using the standard Serial ATA interface. In addition to the Core features, the Premium version is fitted with multiple flash memory card readers, IEEE 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity, and features a chrome-colored trim.

Tech Specs

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]CPU[/FONT] Cell Broadband Engine

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]GPU[/FONT] nVidia RSX 550MHz (74.8 billion shader operations per second, distinct pixel and vertex shaders, SM 3.0+)
1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Sound[/FONT] Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell based processing) [FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Memory[/FONT] 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz
[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]System Bandwidth[/FONT] Main RAM 25.6GB/s
VRAM 22.4GB/s
RSX 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
SB< 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)
[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]System Floating Point Performance[/FONT] 2 TFLOPS

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Storage[/FONT] Detachable 2.5" HDD slot x 1 [FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]I/O[/FONT] USB Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
Memory Stick standard/Duo, PRO x 1
SD standard/mini x 1
CompactFlash (Type I, II) x 1
[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Communication[/FONT] Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x 3 (input x 1 + output x 2)
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Controller[/FONT] Bluetooth (up to 7)
USB 2.0 (wired)
Wi-Fi (PSP)
Network (over IP)
[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]AV Output[/FONT] Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
HDMI: HDMI out x 2
Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Disc Media[/FONT] CD PlayStation CD-ROM, PlayStation 2 CD-ROM, CD-DA,
CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW, SACD, SACD Hybrid (CD layer),
SACD HD, DualDisc, DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side)

DVD: PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM, PlayStation 3 DVD-ROM, DVD-Video,

Blu-ray Disc: PlayStation 3 BD-ROM, BD-Video, BD-ROM, BD-R, BD- RE

Though the tech specifications specify the reason behind Playstation being the most powerful gaming console of this generation, but lets take a sneak peek about the CPU and GPU of the magnum opus.

Cell Broadband engine

The Cell Broadband Engine (Cell BE) processor is the first implementation of the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (CBEA), developed jointly by Sony, Toshiba, and IBM. In addition to Cell BE's use in the upcoming Sony PlayStation® 3 console, there is a great deal of interest in using it in Cell BE-based workstations, media-rich electronics devices, video and image processing systems, as well as several other emerging applications.
The Cell BE includes one POWER™ Processing Element (PPE) and eight Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). The Cell BE architecture is designed to be well-suited for a wide variety of programming models, and allows for partitioning of work between the PPE and the eight SPEs. This paper shows that Cell BE can outperform other state-of-the-art processors by approximately an order of magnitude, or more in some cases.

[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Big power, tiny package: There are 234 million transistors on this microprocessor.[/FONT]

RSX – Reality Synthesizer

Sony designed the RSX with graphics-card manufacturer nVidia. The RSX is based on Nvidia's GeForce graphics technology. It's a 550-MHz, 300-million-transistor graphics chip. To put that in perspective, the number of transistors on the RSX is more than the total number of transistors in both the central processing units and the graphics processing units of the three leading current-generation systems, combined.



[FONT=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Real-time lighting, shadows and reflections add to the level of realism in games like "The Getaway 3."[/FONT]

Final Thoughts

With such specifications for a gaming console the Playstation 3 has certainly outperformed others under this cadre. If we consider the price, in India the Playstation 3 Core costs around 35000 bucks. And the primary requisite is, having an HDMI(High Definition Multimedia Interface) television, which fully utilizes the features including the Digital Dolby sound provided by the console. So if you have a healthy budget for a gaming console PS3 could be the right choice. Otherwise we have Microsoft's XBOX 360, which is bit cheaper; for Core Rs 20000 and for premium Rs 26000 (prices may vary !!).
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jul 17, 2007
Good job, Xero. Waiting for the prices to go down so that I can afford one 😉 , how does it compare with XBOX (tech specs) ?

-The Big K-
Elisa • Jul 17, 2007
Though the tech specifications specify the reason behind Playstation being the most powerful gaming console of this generation, but lets take a sneak peek about the CPU and GPU of the magnum opus
Its better than Xbox!
Xbox 360 is the bomb! haha.. oh by the way, was this article posted in CE Labs because we plan to have our own CE console? 😉
xero • Jul 19, 2007
if we rate the overall performance of consoles

PS III comes at the top no doubt
XBOX 360 comes second.. (wait for the review)
Nintendo WII comes third !!

(m not a PS frenzy.. so xbox lovers please accept it 😛 )
xheavenlyx • Jul 23, 2007
Yea thats true, however, tha ACTUAL power of the console comes from the game designers. Thay HAVE to know how to utilize that much power!!!

I heard on some interview that its still difficult to get out the best from PS3 for now, but told us to wait a bit more 😀 There are a few games that look amazing, but most developers cant wait to train the programmers, so it will take a while.
Lets see, I am still happy with my PS2. Had owned a PS, sega 8bit, Atari 2600 and Atari basic 😁 Miss them a lott.

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