Home Gaming Clever use of Xbox One’s eSRAM could see speed gains

Clever use of Xbox One’s eSRAM could see speed gains

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FlyingMonkey

Some developers believes that the Xbox One’s included eSRAM is the second coming, while others believe it’s the bottleneck that keeps the Xbox One from performing as well as it should. According to Confetti FX’s Wolfgang Engel, the Xbox One’s eSRAM can induce great speed gains if used properly. Why should you listen to him? He happened to head up development on Rockstar’s RAGE engine; the one behind Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption and the very best Table Tennis game ever made.

“eSRAM is very fast memory,” he told Gamingbolt.  “In general the biggest challenge that game developers are facing are memory access patterns, so while we have a lot of computation power, the memory access cost is increasing substantially over the last ten years, compared to the cost of arithmetic instructions.

“As long as you are in registers you are fine but as soon as you need to access memory, it becomes slower. So the challenge is to access memory in the most efficient way.

“Therefore memory access patterns are the most important optimization strategies. So it’s not about counting cycles but it’s about thinking how can we re-factor an algorithm so that we can access memory in a more efficient way. eSRAM is part of that.

Theoretically, eSRAM is faster than the DDR5 Sony has used in its PlayStation 4, and if used optimally, could be used to shuttle data faster.

“For example with a compute shader you can access cache memory (thread group shared memory) so you can re-factor your algorithm so that it uses this memory better, resulting in a huge and substantial speed ups. With the Xbox One, the introduction of eSRAM has a similar idea.

“The memory expensive draw calls can be rendered into eSRAM. When you don’t need so much memory bandwidth, you use the regular system memory. You have to plan ahead, you have to think how you are going to use the memory, in the most optimal way. So eSRAM gives you an advantage if you do this. For one of our games, we used eSRAM by creating an excel sheet first, that shows how we are going to use eSRAM through the stages of the rendering pipeline. This helped us utilize the speed improvements that were coming from the eSRAM.”

It’s really sounding like the Xbox One is this generation’s PlayStation 3; a system that requires far too many little hacks and planning to get its Cell processor working working right. It likely means that multiplatform games will continue to be just that little bit worse on Microsoft’s system, until developers have built up a library of tricks and specialised skills. We may, towards the end of this generation, even see stuff on the Xbox One that couldn’t be done on the PlayStation 4. 

Last Updated: June 2, 2014

82 Comments

  1. RinceofFuturePast

    June 2, 2014 at 11:01

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 11:01

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief Kilo

      June 2, 2014 at 11:31

      NyanBaboon?

      Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    June 2, 2014 at 11:01

  3. RinceofFuturePast

    June 2, 2014 at 11:06

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 11:07

      • RinceofFuturePast

        June 2, 2014 at 11:08

        HAHAH! Gif Monday FTW!

        Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        June 2, 2014 at 11:29

        That… looks like my fiancé’s sister…

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 2, 2014 at 11:30

          Even the mustache?

          Reply

          • Dutch Matrix

            June 2, 2014 at 11:34

            Well, if she does not bleach it then… yes… even the mustache…

          • Hammersteyn

            June 2, 2014 at 11:37

            LOL

        • Admiral Chief Kilo

          June 2, 2014 at 11:30

          Hah, so I guess you went for the good looking one then

          Reply

          • Dutch Matrix

            June 2, 2014 at 11:36

            Of course!

  4. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 2, 2014 at 11:06

    I hope so. Will be pretty crappy for the platform if it’s stuck with something that turns out to be a design flaw.

    Reply

    • RinceofFuturePast

      June 2, 2014 at 11:06

      Shhh, you will upset the avid Bone fans 0-O

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 2, 2014 at 11:08

        PK will hand out PKs if were not careful

        Reply

        • RinceofFuturePast

          June 2, 2014 at 11:08

          lol

          Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 2, 2014 at 11:09

        By saying I hope it doesn’t suck? I was being nice. O_o

        Reply

        • RinceofFuturePast

          June 2, 2014 at 11:15

          We all know what you meant!

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 2, 2014 at 11:22

            Clearly you don’t. 😛

    • FoxOneZA

      June 2, 2014 at 11:18

      ESRAM was used in the Xbox 360 quite effectively.

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 2, 2014 at 11:29

        If by that you mean not at all, I suppose you’re right.

        Reply

      • GodGamerDerp

        June 4, 2014 at 02:02

        360 used EDRAM and GDDR3

        Reply

    • GodGamerDerp

      June 4, 2014 at 02:02

      GDDR5 is superior to DDR3+32MB on-die ESRAM in pretty much every way in terms of actual games performance.

      Reply

  5. oVgeeeeee Comet Drop

    June 2, 2014 at 11:39

    Yip, somebody got it to work on the PC 😛

    Reply

    • Pieter Kruger

      June 2, 2014 at 11:58

      Maybe then the XB1 will get pretty games like The Order too?

      Reply

      • iAmWeasel

        June 2, 2014 at 12:26

        The Order confirmed for X1 now too..

        Reply

        • Pieter Kruger

          June 2, 2014 at 12:31

          Haha, good one but I very much doubt it if Sony will allow it’s only AAA exclusive that shows some potential to go multiplat!

          Reply

          • iAmWeasel

            June 2, 2014 at 12:45

            Don’t worry bud, you’re gonna shit your pants when you see Uncharted + more at E3.

          • Pieter Kruger

            June 2, 2014 at 13:10

            I really hope so! Heard Sony’s again streaming E3 in cinemas for their fans, you going this year?

          • Carl Randall

            June 2, 2014 at 13:40

            Sony wont have a great deal at e3 …. remember project morpheus will probably take up time and no offence sony are hoping project morpheus sells in future otherwise there going to lose even more money again. which will consult into job losses again because of it. For Uncharted thats the onl big game sony will announce … apart from that expect remake’s and indies

          • GodGamerDerp

            June 4, 2014 at 02:01

            Sony has a lot of 1st party studios with unannounced games.

        • Carl Randall

          June 2, 2014 at 13:36

          haha DELAYED comment

          (Pun Intended) 😀 lol

          Reply

          • iAmWeasel

            June 2, 2014 at 13:48

            Haha! Good one.. delayed as in Quantum Break!

          • Carl Randall

            June 2, 2014 at 13:53

            haha!! As In Driveclub The Supposed Launch Title 😉

          • Carl Randall

            June 2, 2014 at 13:58

            Also Quantum Break Isn’t Delayed Because It Didn’t Have A Launch Date. ;D

          • iAmWeasel

            June 2, 2014 at 14:01

            Ok calling a truce. No but in all seriousness, there are going to
            be good exclusives on both systems over the years… just comes down to
            which ones you prefer. Sony WILL announce a few new titles at E3..
            I would put good money on that. For example GG’s new RPG, Project Beast,
            etc etc. I think we will see at least 5 new AAA’s announced for PS4.

          • Carl Randall

            June 2, 2014 at 14:05

            I Agree with you.

            Tbh i hope Sony announce a new god of war as i enjoyed playing that at my friends.

            I have a feeling Sony will announce 3 major new AAA titles because the rest will be remasters which i feel i robbing the Sony community for your money but that’s my opinion.

          • GodGamerDerp

            June 4, 2014 at 02:00

            http://news.xbox.com/2013/12/games-quantum-break-vgx

            “Microsoft
            and Remedy Entertainment revealed a brand-new trailer for the Xbox One
            exclusive “Quantum Break,” giving fans a glimpse at all-new gameplay
            footage and the creative vision behind one of 2014’s most anticipated
            blockbusters.”

            Oh really?

          • doplerradar

            June 2, 2014 at 15:51

            Quatum Break is not delayed. That is already confirmed.

          • GodGamerDerp

            June 4, 2014 at 02:00

            http://news.xbox.com/2013/12/games-quantum-break-vgx

            “Microsoft and Remedy Entertainment revealed a brand-new trailer for the Xbox One exclusive “Quantum Break,” giving fans a glimpse at all-new gameplay footage and the creative vision behind one of 2014’s most anticipated blockbusters.”

      • Ryan Kosior

        June 2, 2014 at 17:04

        Quantum Break looks pretty damn pretty.

        Reply

      • mj

        June 2, 2014 at 17:20

        Not sure if sarcasm but did you not see Ryse? Toe to toe with any game out or shown yet.

        Reply

      • GodGamerDerp

        June 4, 2014 at 02:01

        Funny

        Reply

  6. Martin du preez

    June 2, 2014 at 11:42

    MOAR SECRET SAUCE

    Still chasing dat hidden powah insyde eh lmfao

    Reply

    • Carl Randall

      June 2, 2014 at 14:14

      First your spelling really suck’s

      Second why bother typing a comment if you dislike the Xbox one?

      The thing is yes Sony has the hardware power advantage over the xbox one but really it comes down to graphics rather than resolution. So let me explain the difference

      (Resolution is based upon how many pixels are thrown onto your screen giving a slightly noticeable difference now anything above 720p to 1080p wont be much difference as there all producing HD+ and above. Now anything below that is classed as vga etc. Graphic’s on the other hand is what makes a game stand out and makes it appealing to us fans. It gives us the tessellation and depth we want to see. For example i could run a 1080p game with really bad in game graphic’s that us washed up rocks and no depth or feel to it. now i could use the same features on a 720p game but make my objects in the game stand out more than the 1080p version. This is where people get mixed up upon resolution and graphics. Also the more depth or graphics that game has the less fps your going to get.)

      Reply

      • Martin du preez

        June 2, 2014 at 14:21

        TL;DR

        Don’t catch feelings on the internet.

        Reply

        • Carl Randall

          June 2, 2014 at 14:37

          I don’t catch feelings. Infact im helping you out by telling you that you need to learn to spell!!!!

          Also don’t be pissed because i have explained something important to you lol

          Reply

          • Martin du preez

            June 2, 2014 at 14:43

            First of all,I was being sarcastic with that spelling in my OP. Second of all,HEY CARL!

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 2, 2014 at 15:06

            That has literally made me cry tears of laughter.

          • Martin du preez

            June 2, 2014 at 15:27

            Dude just Google ‘The walking dead dad jokes’ then hold your sides from splitting XD

          • crizz1066

            June 2, 2014 at 15:50

            I wouldn’t bother with Carl R, he has no sense of humour whatsoever!!!!

          • Martin du preez

            June 2, 2014 at 16:02

            Clearly yeah 🙁

          • crizz1066

            June 2, 2014 at 16:15

            Major pole up there 😉 dont see the point of being sooo serious lol

  7. Xcalibersa

    June 2, 2014 at 12:17

    Even if ESRAM is faster, I doubt 32mb will bridge any gap.

    Reply

    • Carl Randall

      June 2, 2014 at 14:40

      What would make this Esram quicker is that it’s attached directly to the gpu meaning its bridged without going through the cpu so it will boost the gpu quit abit.

      Reply

      • Xcalibersa

        June 2, 2014 at 15:33

        I doubt it, personally from my knowledge, but I guess a Microsoft MVP knows more about the product

        Reply

        • mj

          June 2, 2014 at 17:27

          Or maybe microsoft, the multi billion dollar company might know a thing or two about their design and processing

          Reply

          • Xcalibersa

            June 3, 2014 at 06:39

            *sip coffee… Really now? You right, I am certain billion dollar companies have never made mistakes.

          • GodGamerDerp

            June 4, 2014 at 03:32

            GDDR5 is superior to DDR3+32MB on-die ESRAM in pretty much every way in terms of actual games performance.

    • mj

      June 2, 2014 at 17:26

      Es ram doesn’t need to be huge. It’s extremely fast and has a compounding effect. As well it is very much supposed to be used in conjunction with direct x12 and tiled resources, where large amounts of data aren’t accessed in one big chunk.

      Reply

      • Xcalibersa

        June 3, 2014 at 06:36

        *yawn… sure sure

        Reply

    • Guest

      June 3, 2014 at 16:22

      I’d correct you, but your ignorance is so staggering I’m speechless.

      Reply

      • GodGamerDerp

        June 4, 2014 at 02:04

        GDDR5 is superior to DDR3+32MB on-die ESRAM in pretty much every way in terms of actual games performance.

        Reply

      • Xcalibersa

        June 4, 2014 at 09:56

        ?k

        Reply

  8. Lardus-Resident Perve

    June 2, 2014 at 13:21

    “towards the end of this generation” – Does not help, it must be NOW haha

    Reply

  9. Mark Treloar

    June 2, 2014 at 13:37

    Or this

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 14:06

      Tennis game on PC? Madness I say.

      Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 2, 2014 at 14:07

      Never mind I’m a dumbass

      Reply

    • VersaType

      June 2, 2014 at 15:54

      Wtf is this?

      Reply

  10. crizz1066

    June 2, 2014 at 14:04

    Clever use of the X1 means it can be used as paperweight, door stop, thrown out of hot air balloon to gain extra height or as replacement for nasty arse large VCRs of the 80’s!!!

    Reply

    • Carl Randall

      June 2, 2014 at 14:16

      You have no understanding of hardware along with knowledge of a stupid fan boy. Grow up and stop acting like a child.

      Reply

      • crizz1066

        June 2, 2014 at 14:24

        You have no understand of poking fun at an over hyped machine. Get a life “Why so serious”

        Reply

      • crizz1066

        June 2, 2014 at 14:59

        You have no understanding of poking fun at an over hyped low powered machine. Get a life…”Why so serious”

        Reply

  11. Brian Murphy

    June 2, 2014 at 15:01

    “It’s really sounding like the Xbox One is this generation’s PlayStation 3; a system that requires far too many little hacks and planning to get its Cell processor working working right.”

    Except the PS3 was more powerful than the 360, marginally. The PS4 has ~40% more GPU power, and FAR FAR more GPGPU compute power than the One, which is huge since the CPU’s in both machines are relatively weak. This generation is going to be about offloading CPU function to the GPU, to utilize the power of the GPU where the CPU is weak.

    Reply

  12. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    June 2, 2014 at 19:20

    esRAM is like the cloud. A big stinking Major Nelson fart cloud…

    Reply

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