nythrix's picture

Hardware Evolving

I started my project on an old GF4 Ti4200, god bless it. Programming, debugging, optimizing, what-have-you. But you need new hardware every now and then even when the 5year old one is still perfectly working. So, I bought myself a smashing new 9600GT (along with an E8200, ram, psu, hdd, you know the story:). But I didn't expect I'd became a lazy pig! I used to hunt down any fps freezeups on my old box. Should I care now? It runs just fine (where's my slideshow?) and by the time Ill be done, even this card will become prehistoric. The thing sucked up my 1.5M quads of terrain before I could say "pointer". What the hell?

(No animals were harmed during this ironic story)


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Inertia's picture

Indeed, the leap in GFLOPS in the past years is impressive. I used to be very proud that the Julia Fractal Example ran at 5 fps on a Geforce FX 5 in a 512² window after applying a couple of optimizations (originally 2fps)... the same app does hundrets of fps on a 3870 in fullscreen with twice that many possible iterations per fragment.

nythrix's picture

Exactly! I was really shocked the other, day you know. Usually it took 3 seconds to update that bruteforced terrain (no strips). Now I get at least 10fps!
Maybe game programmers SHOULD stick to older hardware in order to keep game requirements modest.

objarni's picture

Those developing for consoles never need worry about this ...

Inertia's picture

... instead they have to worry about whether their game reaches the minimum expectations of the console manufacturer to allow publishing at all, worry about finishing it timely before the console is abandoned for the next generation, lose hair due to crappy development IDEs and workflows, or simply pondering how to stuff 512MB of textures/models/sound into 64MB RAM although they told the art lead that the console does only have 64MB ...

The reason why some developers focus more on consoles these days, is imo simply related to the fact that the PC market for Windows games is over-saturated with games. Look at Halo 1, X-Box ppl found it the best thing since sliced bread, but compared to Windows games of it's time (Half-Life 1 iirc) it was already sub-standard. It was only able to achieve it's current level of fame, because there was no competition.

Visiting your local videogame shop, you get really high quality Windows titles for 10-20€. Why would people buy Unreal 3 for 50€ if they can get Unreal Anthology (Unreal 1, 2 and Tournament 2004) for 10€? Gameplay-wise nothing changed, and the Anthology doesn't imply DX10 level hardware to actually get something from the graphics update. Another factor might be that the community for multiplayer mods is larger for 2004, but I don't really have the connection to this to even make a subjective statement. Anyways, selling only 250k units on the PC, but millions of units on the consoles leads to a quite straightforward decision for profit-oriented companies...