Playstation 3's GPU - The NVIDIA RSX Reality Synthesizer

NVIDIA's contribution to the PS3 is their RSX GPU.

The RSX GPU offers dual screen output, with each output offering a resolution of up to 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080). The GPU runs at 550MHz and is connected to 256MB of local GDDR3 memory running at 700MHz.

The GPU itself can process 136 shader operations per cycle, compared to 53 shader ops per cycle of the current GeForce 6 GPU. In terms of shader performance, the RSX is clearly more powerful than even two GeForce 6 GPUs.

The RSX GPU features over 300 million transistors built on an eight layer 90nm process; note that the combination of the RSX GPU and the Cell CPU in PS3 is close to 600 million transistors.

NVIDIA also mentioned that the RSX offers performance stronger than two GeForce 6800 Ultra SLI GPUs and is based on their next-generation GF70 architecture.

The architecture itself is a bit different than what we've seen from previous NVIDIA GPUs:

The RSX GPU is connected to the Cell by a 35GB/s link (20GB/s write, 15GB/s read), that's much more bandwidth than any present day CPU-GPU link on the PC side.

The RSX can render pixels to any part of memory, giving it access to the full 512MB of memory of the PS3. We'd expect the technology used here to be similar to NVIDIA's TurboCache that we've seen on the desktop.

Playstation 3 Storage and Outputs Dual HD Output


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  • semo - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    just realised it is no longer needed to fork out £10 for a 8mb of excruciatingly slow memory card just to save your games.

    money grabbing sony even used to ask for £20 for those mem cards when the ps2 first came out and there were no alternatives.

    btw, i'm hearing that the ps3 will cost £200 (about $350) and i think that this can't be right...

    can it?
  • Son of a N00b - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    sorry for the rant, but its annyoing with all these ppl going, oooohh, ahhhhh, and ignoring facts and explanations.....
  • DrDisconnect - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Both the X-box and the PS3 are smoke and mirrors until we see whether NVIDA and ATI can delliver their parts. Neither of them were sucessful in delivering the last round of high end GPUs on time and in anywhere near the volume that these units will demand. I fear that only a handful of these units will make it to market when promised. Reply
  • garekinokami - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Hm, you're right Griswold (#53).

    I wish they'd produce numbers that are applicable.

    And I have to agree w/#56, piroroadkill, and 58, fitten -- the console and controller design is just ugly!

    XBOX 360 (I CAN'T BELIEVE IT) looks better albeit a bit like those small desktops that Dell or Compaq sells...Changeable faceplates -- reminds me of getting into my friend's Compaq, to get into it you removed the faceplate and pulled it out...Hah hah
  • fitten - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Impressive screenshots... but I also remember impressive screenshots for the PS2 (EmotionEngine) that were higher quality than ever appeared in a game for it.

    Other than that... the box is fugly and it has a freakin round top. I guess they did that on purpose so you can't stack anything on top of it so it must be on the top of any stack (more prominant and "important" spot).
  • andrep74 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    #55 Not a lie. The reason FLOPS was never used before by the GPU makers was that 128-bit float has of only recent become the "standard". Remember the big FX hoopla about 128 bits being the reason it was so slow compared to the 48 bits of the ATI? Back then no one used 128 bit in any games, so the argument was moot.

    Graphics processors do massively parallel 128-bit floating point instructions; they can have perhaps 256 simplified floating point ALUs processing at the same time, hundreds of lines per frame, 50-100 times a second. Or, let's say there are 2,048 FP ALUs, clocked at 500MHz, you get over 1TFLOPS (assuming one simple FLOP/clock cycle).
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    The controller for the PlayStation3 looks f ucking awful.

    As for Xbox 360 vs PlayStation3, I know I'll be going for the Xbox 360, and to be honest, they are going to be extremely close in the graphical muscle stakes.

    I even think the Xbox 360 looks better.

    I don't know what Sony have been smoking this time round but they've got the internals pretty solid but their design blows.
  • knitecrow - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    lies, damn lies and FLOPS

    PS3 is quoted as having 2.0Tflops of power, 1.8Tflops comes from the GPU.

    Who the hell uses flops for measuring GPU performance?!?! In all these years have you EVER heard nvidia or ATI throw flops around?
    NO, because they are useless.

    Second, I believe the sony OS3 slides when they say this GPU is 300 Million transistor beast that is twice as powerful as a two 6800Ultra SLI. Does that mean your single 6800ultra is nearly 0.9Gflops

    by extention that would make the X800XT around the same number....
  • igloo15 - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Have you seen the pic of the nintendo Revolution. it definitly wins best looking next gen console! Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    Well, try to run server applications on a console or games on a server and you'll see how comparable these numbers are.

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