PSP Speed Limited to 2/3 of Maximum

clayj

macrumors 604
Original poster
Jan 14, 2005
7,472
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visiting from downstream
Good article here... basically, the PSP is capable of running at up to 333 MHz, but Sony have purposely limited it to 222 MHz for the time being. In other words, the machine's only running at 2/3 of its rated speed. They're doing this to force more efficient coding from programmers, and because at 333 MHz, current battery technology would last only a couple of hours. At some point, they'll unlock the speed limit and PSP games should look even better than they do now (can you imagine Wipeout Pure with 50% more polygons?).
 

Daveway

macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2004
3,375
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New Orleans / Lafayette, La
This seems like a smart and logical thing to do. However, I can see many people screaming from the mountain tops that they have been cheated over.

BTW: Some guy at my school brought his to school one day this week and had it taken away by the principal. I saw the principal playing with it in his office today. What a bastard. :rolleyes:
 

Laslo Panaflex

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2003
1,292
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Tokyo
Daveway said:
This seems like a smart and logical thing to do. However, I can see many people screaming from the mountain tops that they have been cheated over.

BTW: Some guy at my school brought his to school one day this week and had it taken away by the principal. I saw the principal playing with it in his office today. What a bastard. :rolleyes:
LOL, if I were the principal, I would do that too.
 

cubist

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2002
2,075
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Muncie, Indiana
This is still the MIPS RISC processor design, right? I wonder if they'll stick with this when the PS3 goes to PPC.

Battery life is a valid concern on a portable unit. Heat could possibly be a concern as well.
 

Daveway

macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2004
3,375
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New Orleans / Lafayette, La
cubist said:
This is still the MIPS RISC processor design, right? I wonder if they'll stick with this when the PS3 goes to PPC.

Battery life is a valid concern on a portable unit. Heat could possibly be a concern as well.
I really don't think heat is a real problem with the PS2 processor. Even though Sony put a honkin big and loud fan on the PS2, it really didn't need it. I've played my friends PS2 for nearly 8 hours straight and the temp of the air out of the back was room temperature at most.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
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Daveway said:
I really don't think heat is a real problem with the PS2 processor. Even though Sony put a honkin big and loud fan on the PS2, it really didn't need it. I've played my friends PS2 for nearly 8 hours straight and the temp of the air out of the back was room temperature at most.
It's not a problem with the PS2, but on the PSP with a tiny fraction of the volume...it's a major problem.

Battery life is also major as well. I'm guessing it'll run at 222 MHz until newer battery technology comes along.
 

Rocksaurus

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2003
652
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California
Is there any indication that the PSP is actually being held back besides this blog post? I mean, I understand the reasoning, but it still seems kind of odd to me.
 

Devie

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2004
543
291
Adelaide, Australia
Rocksaurus said:
Is there any indication that the PSP is actually being held back besides this blog post? I mean, I understand the reasoning, but it still seems kind of odd to me.
Its the fact that Sony have said that the software is capping the consoles capabilities. Just not in those words.
It was also stated that the processor is 333mhz when the PSP was first announced, then it dropped 100mhz...
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
1,564
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Australia
Heat is the issue, not battery.

If the battery life is SONY's major concern then games should give users the option to run at full speed or slower. Of course heat could be the major reason why the clock speed was lowered. Having PSP units bursting into flames would not look good for something that is supposed to be 'better' than the Nintendo DS and iPod.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,678
1,183
New Zealand
Sol said:
games should give users the option to run at full speed or slower.
I disagree, I would hate to play a game that's running too fast or too slow.

The question I have is that when new batteries come out and the hardware runs faster, do all the existing owners then have to buy new batteries if they don't want a sudden drop in battery life? :eek:
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
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Australia
Graphics options

I meant that games should give the option to run in full graphics mode or in cut down graphics mode. Current PSP games run in what I call cut down graphics mode since the processor runs at 233 MHz. The same games could theoretically run at the same frame rates but with more detailed 3D engines if the processor was revved up to 333 MHz.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
Sol said:
I meant that games should give the option to run in full graphics mode or in cut down graphics mode. Current PSP games run in what I call cut down graphics mode since the processor runs at 233 MHz. The same games could theoretically run at the same frame rates but with more detailed 3D engines if the processor was revved up to 333 MHz.
That's kinda stilly. It requires developers to make multiple versions of every model in the game, a high poly version and a low poly version.
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
1,564
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Multiple version of 3D models

GFLPraxis said:
That's kinda stilly. It requires developers to make multiple versions of every model in the game, a high poly version and a low poly version.
No, YOU are silly.

Seriously, developers allready make multiple versions of 3D models for PC games. In FPS games you can turn down the details to increase the frame-rate.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
Sol said:
No, YOU are silly.

Seriously, developers allready make multiple versions of 3D models for PC games. In FPS games you can turn down the details to increase the frame-rate.
No, you turn down effects, it doesn't actually change the models.

You can turn AA on or off, glows on or off, change the level of particle effects, shadows, etc. But none of that affects the polygon count.

They certainly don't make multiple versions of the models! And trust me on that. I mod games.
 

agreenster

macrumors 68000
Dec 6, 2001
1,892
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Walt Disney Animation Studios
GFLPraxis said:
No, you turn down effects, it doesn't actually change the models.

You can turn AA on or off, glows on or off, change the level of particle effects, shadows, etc. But none of that affects the polygon count.

They certainly don't make multiple versions of the models! And trust me on that. I mod games.
Yep, thats right. I work at a game studio, and even though the XBox is capable of higher poly-count data, we still limit our development to what a PS2 can handle, so we dont have to recreate assets to ship titles for both systems. Im pretty sure you're wrong about that Sol. Maybe its different for PC games, but I dont think so.

Besides, almost all chips are capable of running higher that what they are shipped at. Look at the Mac Mini even--all of those chips come off the same line as 1.25's, which are modified to be sold as 1ghz. That's done for manufacturing/economic reasons.
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
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Graphics options on 3D games

Ok, I am not a developer or make mods but I know for a fact than in Quake 3 you can lower the detail settings to the point where 3D models look like string puppets made out of triangles. Options like these have been part of PC games since 3D engines were first used. For people who supposedly spend their time making games I am surprised you do not know that.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
i've already read in a few places that game makers are being told to cut down on graphics and other battery draining features to preserve battery life in the PSP.

just like the PS1, the first few games used a low resolution (400*300??), but now they use hi-res (640*480??). obviously because as the consoles progress and game makers make better use of the hardware they can optimize it better. oh and don't quote me on the actual resolutions they're just guesses.

what i dont get is why dosnt the PSP reach its full power when plugged into the mains :confused: why not get it hot? its already loud and vibrates, adding heat would be another nail in the coffin.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,553
2,886
GFLPraxis said:
No, you turn down effects, it doesn't actually change the models.

You can turn AA on or off, glows on or off, change the level of particle effects, shadows, etc. But none of that affects the polygon count.

They certainly don't make multiple versions of the models! And trust me on that. I mod games.
TruForm
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
raggedjimmi said:

Most interesting. Looks like the Mesh Smooth modified in 3ds Max, but that takes a bit to apply...

So I was half right.
I was still correct in that modellers never make two versions of every model, but from what you've shown, sometimes they have it so that the game auto-smooths models, adding extra polygons, so the developers don't have to do that work.

Personally, I don't have any games that do that...well, maybe Jedi Academy does (being based on the Q3 engine) but I never lowed the settings that much.

I know newer games like Battlefront don't have the option to lower the polygon count...

So I guess it depends on the game. I can imagine that smoothing every model takes a bit of extra processor work, + the graphics work to render it.
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
404
raggedjimmi said:
i've already read in a few places that game makers are being told to cut down on graphics and other battery draining features to preserve battery life in the PSP.

just like the PS1, the first few games used a low resolution (400*300??), but now they use hi-res (640*480??). obviously because as the consoles progress and game makers make better use of the hardware they can optimize it better. oh and don't quote me on the actual resolutions they're just guesses.

what i dont get is why dosnt the PSP reach its full power when plugged into the mains :confused: why not get it hot? its already loud and vibrates, adding heat would be another nail in the coffin.
You can't exactly increase the PSP's resolution. 640x480 is the highest resolution a normal TV is capable of.

The PSP games are already at the highest resolution the screen is capable of (I believe it was 480x272?).
 

7on

macrumors 601
Nov 9, 2003
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Dress Rosa
GFLPraxis said:
You can't exactly increase the PSP's resolution. 640x480 is the highest resolution a normal TV is capable of.

The PSP games are already at the highest resolution the screen is capable of (I believe it was 480x272?).
720x480 NTSC
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
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oooookay, there's plenty of misinformation here!

First off, TruForm was a failed ATI venture that not one single mainstream developer ever used in a game, precisely because nVidia wasn't going to "follow" ATI's lead with the technology, and therefore the developers would have been coding something (rather complex) that would only show up on one company's hardware. The 9x00 and Xx00 series Radeon cards don't even support TruForm!

Anyway, Sol, what you're thinking about is level of detail, called, properly enough, LOD.

In a modern game on a PC there are multiple iterations of many high-poly elements (such as other players), sometimes made by the developer (or mod guy, or whoever is making the models), sometimes made sort-of on the fly by the game engine itself. Basically, if a character is 100 yards away, there's no point in loading the full model geometry yet, and no point in loading the full-res textures at that distance, because you don't have enough memory to handle all of that...not even on super-fast, 256 or more MB graphics cards. You run out of frame buffer really quick.

Anyway, games have used distance-based LOD for several years now. There may be an uncompressed 512x512 texture on a 1500 poly model, and then a moderately compressed 128x128 texture on a 150 poly model, and so on, depending on the game engine and the developer's resources.

If you watch very, very carefully, you can see these transitions between the different levels of detail as you approach an object. Lots of games blur between the different detail levels as you approach or receed from a particular object or map element.

This method of processor/memory saving has mostly replaced the old method of having things beyond a certain range "pop into view" when they got close enough. Play Gran Turismo 2 to see what I'm talking about. Or play GTA 3 on the PS2.

If it's too far away, it simply doesn't show up at all. Well, PC games have traditionally had more memory and more processor to work with, so they've been able to deal with it a little better. GTA:VA on my PC has a virtually unlimited draw distance. Most console games don't let you adjust this feature because it's already at maximum potential with the hardware in use.

Speeding up the PSP would not actually do much for gameplay...you would get faster loading times (when load times weren't limited by the disc speed), but not a higher poly count and certainly not more texture detail.

It is possible that, if they do speed it up, there will be a sort of PSP+ type of game that can detect the faster processor speed and turn on a special feature that only works on a PSP+ enabled unit...but I seriously doubt that it will be something you can safely or legally do to your first-generation PSP.
 

TheGimp

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2004
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anywhere, usa
benpatient said:
Speeding up the PSP would not actually do much for gameplay...you would get faster loading times (when load times weren't limited by the disc speed), but not a higher poly count and certainly not more texture detail.

It might increase the framerate in games that suffer from fps dips, such as in Wipeout Pure.