Unreal 'Samaritan' demo requires ten times Xbox 360's processing power

Epic founder Tim Sweeney talks about the power requirements to handle the Unreal Engine 3 "Samaritan" demo, shedding new light on the increased requirements for UE4.

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Epic Games vice president Mark Rein recently teased that the company will show off Unreal Engine 4 sometime this year. Whether or not the next generation consoles will even be powerful enough to take full advantage of it, though, is another story entirely.

Speaking at DICE (via Kotaku), Epic Games' Tim Sweeney said that the impressive "Samaritan" demo would require 2.5 teraFLOPs, while the current Xbox 360 can only handle .25. So to handle that in real-time, the next iteration of the Xbox would have to be ten times as powerful as the current generation. That's for a particularly impressive "Unreal 3" demo; the computational power needed for Unreal Engine 4 could vary.

Rumors have placed the next Xbox at six times the 360's processing power, short of the ten-fold increase required for Samaritan. Given Epic's intent on making sure UE4 ready on day one of the next generation, something will have to change. Epic did push Microsoft into raising RAM on the Xbox 360, and has been vocal about memory for the next generation, so the company has proven it can sway hardware decisions.

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  • reply
    February 13, 2012 9:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Unreal 'Samaritan' demo requires ten times Xbox 360's processing power.

    Epic founder Tim Sweeney talks about the power requirements to handle the Unreal Engine 3 "Samaritan" demo, shedding new light on the increased requirements for UE4.

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      February 13, 2012 9:04 AM

      either way they'll just have to tone it down to make the big console money. if it's easy to scale though, you should get good looking PC ports though!

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      February 13, 2012 9:06 AM

      That makes sense. A assload of shader work being done there.

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      February 13, 2012 9:08 AM

      I'm guessing the Engine will get toned down a bit, not too much but definitely not what we saw in the demo, at least not real time.

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        February 13, 2012 9:41 AM

        Ehh, all the tech shown in the Samaritan demo was added to the UDK within a month or so of the demo. Samaritan demo = UE3.

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          February 13, 2012 10:17 AM

          Unless they manage to find a way to do it more efficiently in the next engine it won't show up like that on even next gen consoles, not for a long time at least.

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        February 13, 2012 11:49 AM

        10x 360 power for 30x1080p? I think the next 360 could be 10x, so it might happen as is.

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          February 13, 2012 11:55 AM

          Current estimates are more like 6x but it wouldn't be out of the question.

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      February 13, 2012 9:11 AM

      how many "times" faster is the 360 than the original Xbox?

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        February 13, 2012 9:33 AM

        360 times.

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        February 13, 2012 6:09 PM

        2π times

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        February 13, 2012 6:11 PM

        I remember early on it was said the 360 was 10x faster than Xbox 1. And funny enough later Sony said the PS3 was 30x faster than the PS2. Where at the time the Xbox 1 was 3 times faster than the PS2 or something. So in the end the 360 and PS3 by marketers were basically equal.

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      February 13, 2012 9:15 AM

      Do they mention what hardware was used to create the video for the Samaritan demo?

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        February 13, 2012 9:38 AM

        3 GeForce GTX 580s in SLI.

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          February 13, 2012 9:46 AM

          Although apparently one 580 is sufficient if the antialiasing is toned down.

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            February 13, 2012 9:51 AM

            It's also worth pointing out that a single GTX580 has roughly 10 times the power of an Xbox 360.

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              February 13, 2012 5:22 PM

              Yeah, the sort of specs they're claiming would be required for this actually aren't so bad in computer hardware terms. I'm not sure how practical it would be for even the next generation of consoles though. I mean, Microsoft and Sony do take a loss when they release a new system, but the question is how much of a loss they're willing to take.

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      February 13, 2012 9:19 AM

      They demoed it on a then-current gaming PC at GDC 2011, if I recall correctly, and I think that system might have had SLI or Crossfire. If the next-gen consoles are getting taped out now, I imagine them having a midrange low-power 2011-era chipset, maybe 2012. Remember that the 360's video chipset is a variant of the same architecture in the ATI 9800 Pro, and most games are rasterized at something less than 1280 x 720. 1080p at 60 FPS? Maybe next-next-generation.

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        February 13, 2012 10:06 AM

        The 360's chipset is approximately equal to a Radeon X1850 IIRC, significantly more powerful than the 9800.

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      February 13, 2012 9:22 AM

      I would wager that if Microsoft doesn't raise their memory, Sony will just to steal the carpet out from under them.

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      February 13, 2012 9:36 AM

      Gotta love random numbers thrown to make it sound better.

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      February 13, 2012 9:42 AM

      I'm not sure where you got your information from. There's nothing in the new Unreal ENGINE that's out of reach for the current-gen consoles, it's the above mentioned demo and it's assets that's too heavy.

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      February 13, 2012 10:17 AM

      It would be awesome if the next Xbox and PS could run this demo like butter, in term the PC gets some rad software as well, everyone wins. My feelings right now is that MS AN S will target the demo for their next system, I really hope so.

      Make it so the powers that be.

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        February 13, 2012 11:08 AM

        I just don't see the next gen consoles having a crazy amount of power, no doubt they will be a lot faster. I think the original estimate of ~6 times faster is pretty accurate.

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          February 13, 2012 12:20 PM

          arent there like a shitload of games on the unreal engine on the 360 currently? big titles? you figure they'd want to gear their next console to something like this. my worst case scenario is they go full retard with kinect and don't upgrade the power of their HDD much.

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      February 13, 2012 10:34 AM

      if moore's law holds, shouldn't we be able to achieve power in the realm of 20 times xbox360s already?

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        February 13, 2012 10:36 AM

        I think it's more like 12. Which would definitely have been possible if they had intended on taking the same size loss per console (and console price) as last time, which they aren't.

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        February 13, 2012 11:42 AM

        Yes, we can. SLI some Quadros.

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        February 13, 2012 12:19 PM

        moore's law has jack shit to do with processing power. it has to do with transistor density

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        February 14, 2012 6:14 AM

        Fabrication kind of stagnated for a bit at 40nm. The 5000/6000-400/500 lines were both 40nm. The 7000/600 will be at 32nm though.

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          March 10, 2012 6:13 PM

          will be? 32nm was canceled in 2010 where were you, 7970 already launched & is 28nm

          entirely TSMC's problems, while intel chugs along every 2 years shrinking

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      February 13, 2012 6:05 PM

      sadly, the rumored next gen xbox is not that powerful

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      February 14, 2012 7:28 AM

      Apparently he's got an inspector gadget cig-lighter finger. He can't light his cigarette before the robot shows up and then he takes a puff and throws it at it.

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      February 14, 2012 1:09 PM

      EIPC MEETING

      - CliffyB
      "Hey Tim, check out our awesome new engine demo!"

      - TimS
      "That won't run on any consoles, even next gen"

      -CliffyB
      "But it will run on great on the PC!!"

      "Umm, but we don't make PC games anymore Cliffy"

      -CliffyB
      "Still, people won't know any of that for at least another year and by then we'll get wicked press, and besides, it will get me on TV again!"

      Cliffy Runs Out of room shooting UPS man with Nuff gun shouting QUAD DAMAGE!

      -TimS
      "God, not that I believe in you or anything but why the hell did you let me stop programming!?"

      EPIC! MEGA GAMES! "Everything we ripoff is new and original*"

      *to 14 year olds

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      February 16, 2012 7:18 AM

      All the talk about "6 times as powerful" is just taking the graphics card into consideration isn't it? The CPU hasn't really been discussed yet and I'd imagine that could make a big difference as well.

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        March 10, 2012 6:14 PM

        indeed, plus if you look at modern ps3 games, a lot of 'gpu' stuff is being moved onto the cpu

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