Sony PS3 Graphics, there's more to it
Just a few notes on your reader's comments published in this article..
"The fact of the matter is, is that Nvidia taped out the RSX months ago"
NVidia's non-recurring engineering revenue from Sony for RSX extended until Sept/Oct if not later - that is to say, they were still working on the design up until then. It only taped out perhaps a month or two ago. Xenos - X360's GPU - taped out last year. Not that tape-out time tells us much about relative power..
"The Xenos has unified shader architecture that the RSX does not, and as a result, the Xenos may actually turn out to be more powerful than the RSX."
Unified shaders do not necessarily provide any more power. It's just a new way to arrange power. In terms of raw horsepower, RSX beats Xenos quite handily - floating point power is greater, shader ops are higher, it's clocked faster, higher fillrate etc. Xenos's claim to fame is that while it has less of a punch, it should be used more efficiently, but in a closed box such as a console, such concerns are somewhat mitigated since a dev can hunker down and get the best out of ANY chip. Xenos is also the first implementation of a new architecture - not always a good thing, and we've seen suggestions of some sacrifices on the part of devs. For example, Inis, the people making the nFactor2 engine have suggested that Xenos has relatively little texture cache and so forth, compared to nVidia chips, in order to provide more transistors for the control logic for the unified shaders, and this forced them to break up work into two shader passes that can be done on one on a nVidia card. More enticing than the unfiied shading in my opinion is the eDram, which if used properly will give Xenos an advantage with framebuffer operations thanks to its large internal bandwidth. But on the flipside of the coin, PS3 should always have more bandwidth to feed the CPU, and for the GPU for non-framebuffer tasks (texturing, vertex fetch etc.).
"We already know that the Cell's architecture does not lend itself to games and graphics processing"
Pure nonsense. This guy has obviously not been paying attention to IBM's work with raytracing and rendering on Cell for example (or The Getaway demo which was apparently rendered only using Cell) and too much time reading Major Nelson-style ramblings. If you simply listen to what developers are saying they are using more CPU power for, Cell starts looking exceptionally suited for games. Most devs seem to be using extra cores for physics, animation, particle systems, graphics, audio, fluid/hair/cloth dynamics - these are the things which are most compute intensive, and these are the things the SPUs in Cell are really good at. As good, if not better than a conventional core, and there are 7 of them there in addition to the PPE. If you don't believe me, look up Tim Sweeney's comments about Cell on anandtech.com - basically he says that the things SPUs aren't suited toward only take a small proportion of execution time anyway, and can be easily accomodated on the PPE. Or Crytek's comments about potentially achieving a linear speedup across the SPUs. Cell is a clear and large advantage for PS3 when it comes to games, there's no doubt in my mind." [more]