John Carmack: Nvidia's OpenGL Rival mantle, console 8GB meh

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#1 Posted by NoodleFighter (6939 posts) -

I wonder if John is now seen as irrelevant by the peasants

Earlier yesterday, John Carmack shared his thoughts on AMD’s Mantle. During Nvidia’s Montreal event, Carmack claimed that although he would be tempted to use Mantle, he would not do such a thing at this point. Carmack claimed that it’s not stupid – for AMD – to attempt something like that, however he believed that Sony and Microsoft would not embrace it. But why is Carmack against this new API?

According to Carmack himself, Nvidia’s OpenGL extensions can give similar improvements – regarding draw calls – with AMD’s Mantle.

And it seems that Carmack may be right (okay okay, of course and he is but let’s doubt the guru for a moment). NeoGAF’s member ‘Durante’ (best known for his amazing DSFix mod for Dark Souls) has shared the following image that showcases how efficient OpenGL can actually be with the overall amount of draw calls. As we can see, OpenGL can handle more draw calls than DX11 (we should note that this data is from 2011).

Going one step further, Carmack has also commented on the 8GB of memory that the next-gen consoles will be equipped with. When a fan asked whether the inclusion of 8GB of memory on both Xbox One and PS4 was a significant change over PCs with 4GBs, Carmack said that those extra GBs would not make games look very different.

“I don’t think it will make games look very different, but it will help them to be developed somewhat quicker and easier.”

It’s interesting that Carmack did not mention performance gains with regards to those extra GBs of next-gen consoles. Not that it surprised us though as that ’8GB wow-ish’ hyper is just… hype. Yes yes, people will through that ‘Unified memory’ but have they really thought about this? Because a system with higher clocks on its 4GBs of GDDR5 unified memory will beat a system with 8GBs of GDDR5 that run at significantly lower speeds, and that’s a fact.

This is something that a lot of people seem to overlook, but then again you don’t have to take our word for this – there are already a lot of devs who believe this very same thing. Is it an overkill featuring 8GB of memory? Most probably. Will they take advantage of all of them for video-games? Unlikely. Is this a ‘hype’ thing like Blu-Ray was for PS3, when developers claimed that – thanks to it – even multi-platform games would look better on PS3 than X360? No one knows at this point. Is it a significant change from PCs that are equipped with 4GBs. According to Carmack, not really.

All in all, we’ll have to wait for the next-gen games to hit streets to see who is right and who is wrong.

#2 Posted by danjammer69 (4099 posts) -

Really wish Carmack would just STFU already.

His latest efforts have rendered him pretty much irrelevant.

#3 Posted by Wasdie (49303 posts) -

@danjammer69: You don't have any idea what he actually does do you?

You should know that any 3D game you've ever played is a DIRECT result of his work. He made real time rendering possible. He doesn't make games, he makes tech that powers games.

#4 Posted by Shewgenja (7924 posts) -

NEVER underestimate a constantly evolving tool like OpenGL.

#5 Posted by psymon100 (6138 posts) -

I want them to be efficient and resourceful. Use all of the 8GB of GDDR5 / (8GB DDR3+32M ESRAM) on consoles and go about this in a clever manner.

I don't think it's overkill at all.

#6 Edited by way2funny (4569 posts) -

Really wish Carmack would just STFU already.

His latest efforts have rendered him pretty much irrelevant.

His last efforts will be mimicked by every developer in the next 5 years. Megatextures were ahead of their time.

#7 Edited by Wasdie (49303 posts) -

@way2funny said:

@danjammer69 said:

Really wish Carmack would just STFU already.

His latest efforts have rendered him pretty much irrelevant.

His last efforts will be mimicked by every developer in the next 5 years. Megatextures were ahead of their time.

People may laugh at this, but there is an entire thread here on "tiled resources" which is pretty much what he invented with megatextures. Guy is crazy good. The only thing preventing RAGE from having amazing textures was the fact the Xbox 360 version had to be fit on 3 DVDs. The real texture quality of RAGE was like 50 terabytes before compression. He said the 100 gig version of the game looked 3x better than the one they launched but business prevented him from releasing it.

#8 Edited by Gue1 (9102 posts) -

people always misinterpret Carmack statements just like they do with David Cage. Lems are still using his quote about about the PS4 and XB1 being equal when on that same interview (or whatever) he said that he hasn't done any extensive benchmark to say for sure. You guys either do it on purpose to troll or are are just that bad at reading comprehension but I really can't tell.

On this same article Carmack is not even comparing Mantle vs openGL as a full feature set, he's just saying that it can rival Mantle at draw calls but an API is more than just that. What about the integration, the rest of the library and interface? How much low level programming does openGL allows through extensions? Here Carmack is just talking bout a single aspect.

And then we have the Ram, yeah, you might have 50GB of Ram on a PC with a crap card and that will not magically make your games look better! But it'll sure provide tons of more headroom even if you'll never be able to use it all. It's just common sense.

What you guys have to say about this then? How are you gonna spin it?

"I can’t speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices."

#9 Posted by way2funny (4569 posts) -

@Wasdie:

Exactly, like, unique textures, every where in the game? Letting the artists mess around with every square foot of landscape on not have it affect performance? I'm a graphics programmer and everything that dude says is golden in terms of tech. The games may have had their problems mechanically, but talking down on his technical capabilities is foolish.

#10 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (12777 posts) -

@Gue1 said:

people always misinterpret Carmack statements just like they do with David Cage. Lems are still using his quote about about the PS4 and XB1 being equal when on that same interview (or whatever) he said that he hasn't done any extensive benchmark to say for sure. You guys either do it on purpose to troll or are are just that bad at reading comprehension but I really can't tell.

On this same article Carmack is not even comparing Mantle vs openGL as a full feature set, he's just saying that it can rival Mantle at draw calls but an API is more than just that. What about the integration, the rest of the library and interface? How much low level programming does openGL allows through extensions? Here Carmack is just talking bout a single aspect.

And then we have the Ram, yeah, you might have 50GB of Ram on a PC with a crap card and that will not magically make your games look better! But it'll sure provide tons of more headroom even if you'll never be able to use it all. It's just common sense.

What you guys have to say about this then? How are you gonna spin it?

"I can’t speak freely about PS4, but now that some specs have been made public, I can say that Sony made wise engineering choices."

Oh, they are.

#11 Edited by 04dcarraher (18933 posts) -

@psymon100 said:

I want them to be efficient and resourceful. Use all of the 8GB of GDDR5 / (8GB DDR3+32M ESRAM) on consoles and go about this in a clever manner.

I don't think it's overkill at all.

Here is the problem, You have OS and features allocating 3-3.5 Gb on both consoles that only leaves 4.5-5gb for the games, where a chunk of that going for game cache that is not texture related. Which means we will see 2-3gb of usage for VRAM.

#12 Edited by uninspiredcup (6811 posts) -

With ID's Rage, John Carmack no longer has a say on the pc game front. He has made it clear he is now a console developer (largely failed console developer).