Console GPU Power Compared: Ranking Systems By FLOPS
Created by Jimmy Thang on
What is a teraFLOP?
We're going to answer those questions and rank the consoles by their FLOPS in this gallery.
What are FLOPS?
They stand for floating point operations per second. They're used to measure a console's maximum graphical potential.
In this story, you'll see us mention gigaFLOP and teraFLOP. The former represents a billion FLOPS and the latter represents one trillion FLOPS.
How do you calculate a teraFLOP?
The basic formula for computing teraFLOPS for a GPU is:
(# of parallel GPU processing cores multiplied by peak clock speed in MHz multiplied by two) divided by 1,000,000
The number two in the formula stems from the fact that some GPU instructions can deliver two operations per cycle, and since teraFLOP is a measure of a GPU's maximum graphical potential, we use that metric.
Let's see how we can use that formula to calculate the teraFLOPS in the Xbox One. The system's integrated graphics has 768 parallel processing cores. The GPU's peak clock speed is 853MHz. When we multiply 768 by 853 and then again by two, and then divide that number by 1,000,000, we get 1.31 teraFLOPS.
Imperfections with teraFLOPS
While teraFLOPS can provide a relatively good indication of a console's performance, it isn't perfect. TeraFLOPS only measure a segment of GPU performance. For instance, AMD’s RX 480 graphics card offers 5.8 teraFLOPS, but is generally a little slower than Nvidia’s GTX 980, which offers 4.6 teraFLOPS.
This metric doesn't take into account a console's video memory, which can act as a GPU bottleneck. It also doesn't take into account CPU, system RAM, storage speed, thermals, and power limits, all of which can bottleneck performance.
Now that we've explained the technical lingo, let's get to the console teraFLOP rankings.