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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  • Yongsta - Monday, May 16, 2005 - link

    "To show off the PlayStation 3's graphical brawn, Sony showed several game demos, including an Unreal 3 tech demo of what appeared to be Unreal Tournament 2007. In what must come as a relief to developers, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney was on hand to vouch for the PS3, saying it was "easy to program for" and that Epic had received its first PS3 hardware two months ago. He proved the tech demo was real time by showing it again and by manipulating the camera and zooming in.

    However, Sweeney's words were only the beginning. Later, Sony trotted out a whole host of publishers that are backing the PlayStation 3. And in the process, it confirmed several games for the console. Hideo Kojima introduced Konami's Metal Gear Solid 4, Capcom showed off Devil May Cry 4, Namco unveiled Tekken 6, Polyphony Digital trotted out Gran Turismo 5, SCEE showed off a brutal section of the next Killzone, and Rockstar Games mentioned that a Grand Theft Auto would be released for the console."
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