Crytek: Current Gen Consoles' Memory Size Isn't Enough

Sony and Microsoft sure did a good job designing their current-gen consoles to ensure that they have enough horse power to run highly-demanding modern games; however, Crytek US Engine Business Development Manager Sean Tracy believes that both consoles still don't have enough memory for modern AAA titles.

"I would have to agree with the viewpoint that 8 gigs can easily be filled up, but also keep in mind that developers don’t necessarily even have access to all 8 gigs of it," he argued. For example the Xbox One retains some of the RAM for OS purposes. Since technology, as Ray Kurweil states, progresses exponentially, we will soon find that the computational requirements of games will quickly hit the ceiling of a few gigs of ram. We already had to manage quite intensely our memory usage throughout Ryse and this will be one of the limiting factors surely in this generation.

"As hardware gets stronger the complexity of scenes can be increased and the dynamism within them," he added. However, with that said it’s not the raw power alone that will allow for photo-realistic graphics but technology that intelligently scales and utilizes all that the hardware has to offer."

Xbox One hosts 8GB or DDR3 RAM, but it reserves 3GB of them for Operating System and background applications. On the other hand, PlayStation 4 allows games to use an entire 8GB of high speed GDDR5 RAM while reserving 256MB of DDR3 for Operating System and background applications. Now that Kinect has become optional, it is possible for Microsoft to optimize Xbox One OS and reduce its memory footprint, but it will always lag behind PS4 in terms of memory speed and size available for games.

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Crytek make tech demos not games

Not sure what it is about crytek and efficiency, their games are somewhat pretty but they always seem to be unoptimised to me. I don't take anything they say seriously any more. But I am worried about the power of the current consoles... hopefully i will be proven wrong

This gen...

This generation of "nextgen" consoles was by far the cheapest in terms of cost. The components were on par with mid-range pcs at the time they were concieved, which means that they used hardware that was nowhere near as "WOW" as the previous gen was at the time of their launch. If ms and sony had chosen to use top of the line hardware, we would be seeing this gen´s consoles near the $700 price range at least... no way affordable. So, we´re reaching (or have reached) a point were it would get extremely expensive to build a console to really blow away the competition affordably.

All they're doing with that 8

All they're doing with that 8 gig right now is simply not bothering to compress things that a year ago they would have. it's going to be a while before anyone (except maybe Crytek who have a habit of forgetting what efficiency means) really makes any worthwhile use of that 8 gigs, by which time most high end PCs will probably be measuring their ram in Terabytes and also getting no real use out of it except for the aforementioned lack of compression

"Sony and Microsoft sure did

"Sony and Microsoft sure did a good job designing their current-gen consoles to ensure that they have enough horse power to run highly-demanding modern games" Eh no they didn't, they were underpowered from day one, 720 and 30fps is not a good job. 1.3 and 1.8 teraflops of power is what pc's had like 6+ years ago.

This isn't mind blowing. I

This isn't mind blowing. I was bitching about 8GB of ram before these things were launched. My PC has had 8GB for years now and that's starting to not be enough. Before they even announced the consoles I knew 16GB was what we needed, or 32GB to be truly next gen. 16gb is what should be standard, 32GB would have been mindblowing, 8GB was outdated the second they announced it.

"32GB would have been

"32GB would have been mindblowing" - sigh, do you even know what games use RAM for? 8gb isn't enough as textures keep getting bigger, alogn with normal maps, relief maps etc... 16 would've been fine for current gen, 32gb wouldnt do more, it'd just raise the price.

8GB is enough for these

8GB is enough for these systems to make games that look better than current PC games simply because on the PC developers are limited to 2GB for textures, on the PS4 you can easily push for 4GB textures, even more depending on the type of game. The problem is the fact that you only get access to 5GB on the Xbox effectively reducing the texture budget by almost 50%. I am well aware that there are graphics cards with way more memory than 2GB but it's not what most people are buying and is therefore not the target texture budget by most developers. Also having 32GB of RAM on your PC doesn't do shit for modern games, if your VRAM get too full performance will drop and your games will stutter no matter how much RAM you have.

You do realize the amount of

You do realize the amount of vram is determined by games in real time and used accordingly right? What most people have is merely used to determine the minimum requirements for a game, it's not a limiting factor by any means. Textures are stored in your RAM then sent to the VRAM when the code demands it (if they're not already there), so if your VRAM is full there will be more RAM to VRAM operations and a lot more waiting by the GPU. But only if the game really demands lots of VRAM which isn't usually the case unless you're running one of those 20gb+ AAA titles.

"What most people have is

"What most people have is merely used to determine the minimum requirements for a game, it's not a limiting factor by any means." That's where you're wrong. Games are always designed with a target texture budget according to how much VRAM is the current standard. A game that is built to utilize 1.5GB of RAM such as GTA IV will never utilize more than that unless you force it to with high levels of anti-aliasing and very high rendering resolution. If you allow the game to utilize 1.5GB on a 1GB graphics card then the GPU will have to wait for RAM to VRAM transfers and that's where the stuttering comes in. My statement remains true, no matter how much RAM you have, if your VRAM gets full performance will suffer. Consoles does not suffer this VRAM limitation because RAM and VRAM are one and the same on those. Which means that if developers keeps engine memory usage down, more memory can be used for textures. Also, you contradict yourself.

Exactly. What people should

Exactly. What people should be talking about is the texture budget to rendering performance ratio. This is where the new generation of consoles excel compared to the older ones. Even the Xbox One is well balanced compared to older generations. It's got a lesser texture budget than the PS4 sure, however it's also got a slower GPU in comparison. "Boo hoo we have to manage memory usage." This is true every single generation no matter how much memory they have if you want to make your games look better than other developers.

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