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8 GB of Ram can lead to Terrible sloppy unoptimized Coding

This is a discussion on 8 GB of Ram can lead to Terrible sloppy unoptimized Coding within the General PS4 Discussion forum, part of the Everything PlayStation; The Risk Behind The RAM: Is next-gen's biggest strength its greatest weakness? - VideoGamer.com When Sony announced that PlayStation 4 ...

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    8 GB of Ram can lead to Terrible sloppy unoptimized Coding

    The Risk Behind The RAM: Is next-gen's biggest strength its greatest weakness? - VideoGamer.com


    When Sony announced that PlayStation 4 would include 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, developers and consumers alike revelled at the possibilities afforded by such a sheer amount of memory.

    But the amount of RAM available in next-generation consoles could lead to developers failing to optimise code and spawn a generation of 'lazy' game creators, developers working on PlayStation 4 and 'other next-generation consoles' have warned VideoGamer.com.

    Multiple developers working on next-gen titles agree that there is "absolutely" potential for dev teams to fail to optimise their software due to the huge amount of memory available, telling us that developers will have to be "very careful not to become sloppy".

    "It could happen, I have to admit," Eidos Montreal producer Stephane Roy told us when asked about such a risk. But the temptation to cut corners with code will likely come from "kid" developers, Roy suggests - junior coders who enter the industry during the next console generation - rather than veteran developers.


    "Probably not from people who used to work here on PlayStation 2 and stuff like that," he continues. "But let's say you're a kid and you start on these platforms, I have to admit that it's going to be really tough to convince them to be technically clean when they work, and optimisation and stuff like that. So I can see it happening. It's possible."

    Console developers have typically had to optimise code to achieve results on a relatively small amount of memory. The Xbox 360 features only 512MB of GDDR3 RAM, with the 512MB available in PlayStation 3 divided between system and video memory - a minuscule amount compared to that available in high-end gaming PCs.

    By comparison, PlayStation 4 offers 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, with rumours suggesting that Microsoft's next-generation Xbox could include 8GB of slower DDR3 memory.

    But with such a large amount of memory available to drive the software, and the widely-publicised similarities between PlayStation 4 and PC, there may be less of a necessity for developers to optimise their code for console - and a greater risk of developers failing to make the most of next-gen console hardware.


    Linus Blomberg, CTO and co-founder of Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios, agrees that such a risk exists.

    "Absolutely," he replies, when asked whether there is a risk of some developers taking shortcuts next-gen, "but that's not just a bad thing.

    "It also means that games that [don't] need to push technical boundaries will be easier and quicker to develop, for instance, most indie productions. For us as a AAA open-world games developer however, we must be very careful not to become sloppy...

    "It's both a risk and an opportunity, depending on what kind of games you develop."


    Ensuring developers don't take shortcuts with their code is "a question of education", Roy adds, who says that the game's "technical director will have to be really careful" to keep on top of development. But under circumstances that may complicate development or waste time, Roy believes that there may be valid reasons to leave code unoptimised.


    "From a production point of view, we will have to find a balance between should we optimise the job, because maybe it's just useless to optimise it," he continues.


    "Let's say the kid is creating something amazing quickly. It doesn't run on PlayStation 3 but it runs perfectly on PlayStation 4. Should we optimise it? Maybe not, because it's running well, there's no technical problem and we save time. If the problem is we're too messy and we don't optimise and finally at the end we can not give you an interesting gameplay because we're not good to optimise, now there's a problem."

    However, Blomberg believes that the risk is only temporary and typical to the nature of console development ("it's the same challenge with every console generation," he says, "so we're used to counteract[ing] it") - a notion shared by Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray.

    "Thing is, that happens every generation," Gilray says about the risk of failing to optimise. "It's the sort of thing that within a year will be knocked on its head...

    "We had the same problem going from PS1 to PS2, from 2MB to 32MB, then from 32MB to 256MB in PS3, and then on Vita you had 512MB, you know?

    "On [PS4] you've got 8GB, but it's just the old Moore's Law thing; it's incremental scale increasing. There's other things we'll have on PS4 as well: the faster GPU and CPU, and the way they work together and compute stuff.

    "Again people will just be lazy and not optimise their code enough because they've got hardware that will drive it as is. That's what console development is all about. The first [method of] getting something out there, they say, 'How do we do that? Okay, we can make it better the next game.' And the more games that come out look better and better."


    Gilray appears to agree with Blomberg and Roy that independent and junior developers could be the most susceptible to taking shortcuts with their code, however.

    "I think indies/new developers might be complacent in the first year or so with 8GB," he says, "but once they start to learn about it and what it can do for them properly by optimising, I think we'll start to see what we see in every generation of hardware. Games that look great now will look amateurish in two or three years time. And that's just experience."

    A major difference between this generation and the last, though, appears to be the proximity between next-generation consoles and PCs.

    With the margin between PC and console development growing tighter, and the assumption that some multi-format dev teams will decide to simply port their PC code to console, there could be a risk that developers fail to optimise their code to run more efficiently on consoles, leading to software that fails to make the most of next-gen hardware.

    "PC developers have traditionally been much sloppier about optimizations in general, which has come back and bit them when they've tried to port their games to consoles," says Blomberg. "This time they'll have it easier, but it also gives developers with a console background like us an edge, because we are more used to pushing the hardware."


    And when it comes to 'pushing the hardware', Blomberg believes those 8GBs will play a vital role in preventing bottlenecks created by the rest of the system.

    "One way [to make the most of next-gen hardware] is to work a lot more with caches instead of reading from disk or generating data on the fly," he says. "Disk reads will always be slower than memory accesses, so that's one way the extra memory can speed up performance. For us that deals with enormous amounts of data this is a very welcome change."

    The inclusion of 8GB in PS4 was a surprise to third-party developers, too, Gilray suggests, who had been working under the expectation that final retail hardware would only include 4GB.

    "We were told [PS4] was 4GB originally, and we first knew it had 8GBs when Mark [Cerny, PlayStation 4 lead architect] said at the event's stage, 'And it has 8GB of memory.' We'd had kits at that point for a good while."

    Only "a couple of really close first-parties" knew PS4 would feature 8GB prior to the console's announcement, Gilray suspects, "but I think most third-parties, if not all third-parties were like, 'Yeah, 4GB, awesome, can't wait.'"

    Sony hasn't yet publicly stated how much of PS4's memory will be available for developers to use in their software or how much will be reserved for system resources, but Gilray suggests that developers may be given the option to use all 8GB.

    "The added bonus [with PS4] is [that Sony has] already ring-fenced the system memory away from the game memory, so there's none of this business that we had with PS3 of having to share memories. When you press the PlayStation button on a PS3 game, you get the basic XMB up [but] to do anything you have to quit the game, because of the memory for it. With PS4 we don't have that because the system memory is already ring-fenced for itself."


    But regardless of the amount of usable memory available in next-generation consoles, Roy believes that developers will need to be "smart" about the way in which they approach development, saying that "it would be stupid to think, 'Alright, it's more powerful, so let's do stuff bigger and bigger.'"

    "We will have to be careful because it would be easy [for us to say], 'it's more powerful, let's have more food on the plate'," he says. "It would be dangerous for the cost of the product. Let's say you go into a restaurant and now you have more money. There is a maximum of what your stomach can receive, I guess. So it's the same thing... We have to be smart.

    "That said, I think now with this technical freedom - it's not unlimited but we have much more freedom - I think now, the designers and artists will be able to really do what they have in mind. Too often there is a technical restriction and it's not exactly the gameplay experience we want to give you. I'm pretty sure the artists and designers are really going to find a way to [fill] the memory, but we should be able now to create a game that what exactly we have in mind should be in front of you.

    "So [the amount of RAM] is really, really cool," Roy continues, "but let's be smart and let's make sure that we're going to use this next-gen to support the gameplay, the fun factor, and the experience we want to give you, and not just be impressive for the technical aspect. If it's not fun - even if it looks great, even if the physics are realistic - if it's boring, then we've failed."


    TL;DR

    people can be stupid and make 8GB of ram useless by not optimizing code, which can cause people to have memory leaks and shit

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    And your point? This could happen as well to your precious NextBox. And it happens as well on PC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koimia View Post
    And your point? This could happen as well to your precious NextBox. And it happens as well on PC.
    Consoles never had this giant of a ram leap before. There's going to be idiots who can't code properly.


    The Ps3 only had 256MB. Jumping to 8GB is like a mom and pop shop converting into walmart.

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    You will probably find most devs will gladly try and max it out, the Launch of a new console is like a spring clean, they can scrap all the old shit and make all new ways to amaze us . I think just by looking at the launch line ups, you see the devs are already taking it seriously and are going to deliver for us all.

    There are some amazing titles getting made for the launch and there will clearly be even bigger shit on its way, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, GTA,MGS and loads more, the memory amount will be used to its full potential this time .Sony have made the machine for the devs because of the problems the PS3 had by being harder to design for .

    If there are going to be lazy devs who want a quick buck without putting the work in, I will show them the 2 finger salute like I did this generation and steer clear of there products . Sony has many owned companies making exclusives for there brand, they will not allow there own companies to make a weak product which does not show the systems full potential, they will set the bar very high and if the other devs fall short that's there problem .
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    "The Ps3 only had 256MB. Jumping to 8GB is like a mom and pop shop converting into walmart"- Psocrat3s60
    hahaha

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    Man we are really clutching at straws to find some negative things to say about the PlayStation 4 aren't we there? And not having enough RAM causes excuses and laziness from the Bethesdas of the world also - so I guess Sony is damned if they do, damned if they don't. Unless there is some magical total of RAM that makes all programmers act "stupid."

    Here let me throw out a prophecy - there will be shitty games on the PS4, some of which will be hyped heavily and fail expectations. There will be developers who make rushed titles trying to squeeze into a tight schedule by a hounding publisher to make corners. Many things will be blamed and perhaps we might here "RAM excuses" and then ps360 will post "I'm right about this shit" and ignore the half dozen other times that their predictions have been wrong or overstated to try and act like some high and mighty internet know it all. Hopefully ant won't have another half dozen kids and be there to use the horrible misused quotes for lols of everybody on the site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicant81 View Post
    Man we are really clutching at straws to find some negative things to say about the PlayStation 4 aren't we there?
    Actually no.

    Just posting it to see what people thought, of course people take it off topic and think it's some sort of hate campaign when im actually excited for the PS4.

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    My laptop is an 8 GB, and so far I don't have any problems with it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    people take it off topic and think it's some sort of hate campaign
    It might be because the thread title sounds like a bash on Sony (being in the PS4 sub-section and all)

    Back on topic for a more detailed TL;DR:

    There will always be a new console where devs attempt to take shortcuts, and it will always show up in the game itself. Whether as crippling bugs and glitches to being incompatible with a DLC expansion, errors will run rampant if games are made sloppily (+1 point to Ps360 on that).

    But as the consoles get older, developers will become more comfortable with coding for it and should ease up on shortcuts. If they don't they are either being lazy or they don't know how to code. Both are inexcusable for a major dev.

    Creating a game will become like any other media: if you put the right amount of effort into making it the best product it can be, you won't have as many issues. We'll just have to wait and see who falls under the "lazy/inept" and "top-notch/outstanding" categories next gen. Either way, I look forward to playing a good number of games in the coming years.

    Edit* This should also mean that PC devs have fewer excuses, since some already work with over 8 GB of RAM.

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    I doubt this will happen.

    The PC is still (usually) the primary development platform (and will be considering the Ps4's hardware), and the average amount of RAM for most PC gamers is 4gb, meaning games will be designed to use much less than the full potential of the PS4. The only people developing for consoles exclusively are indie devs and first-party devs, and while I can't speak for the indies, I don't think anyone could ever accuse any of Sony's first-party devs of being lazy.

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    Not a bad thing to have 8GB of RAM as the more the better. It will take devs a few years to get used to it though as same with any and every console new hardware. Compare the launch PS3 games to the ones you get now and notice the improvements. So I expect in a few years for them to be used to 8GB of ram

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaRe_xLw View Post
    My laptop is an 8 GB, and so far I don't have any problems with it.
    PC ram and Console ram are entirely different.

    PC uses DDR3 and is made for Different purposes.

    PS4 Uses DDR5 and DDR5 Is currently only made for Video ram in graphics cards on PC.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain...-your-pc-isnt/

    Let’s take a look at the memory first. In the PC set-up, we have 8 gigs of common DDR3 RAM, but Sony has somehow crammed the same amount of GDDR5 RAM into its PS4.

    GDDR5 is primarily used in graphics chips. It’s not something you see used as system RAM at all.

    For instance, the nVidia “Titan” GPU, which costs $1000 by itself, has just 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, and that’s still all reserved for the GPU. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any PC with GDDR5 plugged directly into the motherboard rather than sitting on the graphics card. This just isn’t how PCs work at the moment, though that will likely change.

    GDDR5, while suffering from slightly higher latency, offers a substantial bandwidth boost over DDR3, and given the make-up of the integrated CPU/GPU chip in the PS4 this will translate to a substantial performance boost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outstandind View Post
    what does it all mean, doctor!?
    tl;dr
    you can't really compare PS4 to PC in terms of ram because they use it for different reasons.

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    From what I read, it just seems like the possibilities for cutting corners and being 'lazy' with the coding are there IF devs and programmers get to that point. If they focus on maximizing the 8GB of RAM to it's full potential or to their capabilities, then there shouldn't be any need to cut corners in the first place. Unfortunately though, it may be inevitable. Some asswipe-know-it-all will become the catalyst and just start doing a bunch of lazy coding for the sake of shaving a few minutes off their schedule and then others will follow in that persons footsteps. Unless the senior coders whip them into shape


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    The good devs will most likely find ways to work with it although from most game designers they seem to love having the freedom that comes with the RAM so far I'm just glad we should hopefully get an almost seamless menu system compared to the ps3 with this with extra memory to focus on that.

    Its kind of like what I was saying on the pc/xbox/ps4 thread posted a couple of days back that you will be able to get quite a lot out of this even if some of the parts dont seem that impressive at a first glance.



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    PS4 will use GDDR5 (shared) not DDR5. DDR5 is a long way away lol, we dont even have 4 yet.

    DDR is general memory GDDR is graphics memory hence the 'G'...

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    Actually PC gaming leads to terrible sloppy coding. Since developers know that there will be new hardware every 6 months they usually take the easy way, coding wise. Back in the days when the hardware of computers was fixed developers needed coders with leet skills to get everything out of the machines. Nowadays, every n00b can program a computer game, using existing engines and such. There are only a few real computer science artists devote to games. However, consoles are relatively save, since the hardware usually doesn't change. Saying that a lot of ram is gonna spawn a generation of lazy game creators is really funny. We already have to cope with such a generation. We had to for years. Just see how they didn't manage to port games to the PS3 properly. Laziness and lack of skills were involved. More RAM brings us closer to PCs, so we'll get the same sloppy coding we were getting for the last couple of years, only the n00bish shit those untalented geeks working for most game companies call code will run more smoothly.

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    See...we can all make up bullshit to worry about when we're bored and put a negative skew on absolutely everything. It's not like Sony decided to opt for 8GB over their certification process.
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    You guys are forgetting something. Yes, the RAM is GDDR5 (really it's graphics memory, not computing memory) but it's being optimized in such a way that replaces the CPU workload due to it being shared. The GTX Titan graphics card, which is valued at approx. $1000, comes with 4GB of GDDR5. What you guys are missing is that the PS4 has 8GB of GDDR5 and it's being used for the entire OS for processing, graphics etc. Also, the OS isn't even close to half of the amount of RAM it will need (PS4) comparing it to an OS like Windows.
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