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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  • garekinokami - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Go to:

    Could someone explain that to me? I'm not really a genius at this but the numbers are kinda wacky (for PS3 and XBOX 360); if you check the numbers posted for the IBM P-5 you'll see what I mean...

    "A 64-way IBM eServer p5 595 (1.90GHz) is the best-in-class 64-way RISC SMP HPC result (418 Gigaflop/sec)" -- from the IBM eServer site.

    What I'd like to know is can you compare the three? If yes, why's the server losing out to these consoles (hype = blown-up numbers)? If not, then the inq article is wrong to point that out and so am I.
  • Griswold - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Are there ever any new games coming out again? I mean, not "blabla 4" and "gaga 6" or "humbug 7".

    Where is the originality nowadays?
  • Lord Banshee - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    impressive even for next year...

    I wonder how many pipelines this GPU has, ATI's X360 has 48 (increase of 3x from the current PC GPU(16))..

    Note to Sony... FIX AA lines.. Seriously if they can output 2x 1080p than i don't see a problem with 4x/8x AA on one 1080p. Give me demos with AA fixed please :)
  • RadeonGuy - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    damn it can run unreal engine 3 and comeputers are 2-3 years away from running it Reply
  • fishbits - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Looks impressive. So does the 360. I skipped out on the last round of consoles, PC is my favorite, but may get back in this time. Being able to get a PS3 and pick up any of the old games is very nice, hopefully the 360 is backwards compatible as well.

    Dual monitors for PS3? Panoramic view sounds nice, but give us 2x full screen head-to-head titles. Can't wait to see these units and read the reviews when they actually come out.
  • defter - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    "but I still don't see how a 300 million transistor card can do 1.8Tflops of processing"

    1.8Tflops is comnined number for both the CPU and the GPU.

    "1) The cell has a power pc core at 3.2 ghz. But that power point slide from sony says 7 SPE @ 3.2. Does that mean those SPE's are processors as well since they are being clocked. I always thought of them as mini-CPUs."

    SPEs are within Cell. So there is only one chip that acts as a CPU

  • araczynski - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    specs my ass, are there any good games for either system? or just more rehashing of all the same sports/fighter/shooters crap? Reply
  • semo - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link


    hopefully most of the mentioned bits actually make the final cut...

    but it all looks veeeery expensive
  • MPE - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    Time to get an DVI to HDMI converter!

  • L3p3rM355i4h - Tuesday, May 17, 2005 - link

    LOL. xbox is going to get pwn3d by this. The first console out, always does (saturn, dreamcast), and the last one, does too (N64, Gamecube, Xbox). In the middle is always sony, and they always own.

    Some pretty damn impressive stats, though more RAM may be helpful for all that PPU stuff they have to do...

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