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Nebulon

Dreamcast and PS2 rendering info?

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Anyone have information on the render pipelines for the Dreamcast and the Playstation 2 ?

 

I've been using both machines on the same Trinitron TV for years now and the Dreamcast has smoother graphics (less aliasing issues) and what appear to be matching polygon counts to the PS2.

 

I'm curious to see how the DC manages to do this.

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So after comparing the two machines, the PS2 gives the on-screen impression that it's rendering approximately 20% more polygons than the Dreamcast. That and the PS2 seems to have slightly better particle effects and texture resolution.

 

Of course, this is also comparing software on the PS2 that is almost ten years newer than on the Dreamcast.

 

The primary games used for comparison were:

 

Dreamcast:

 

- Flag to Flag (Super Speed Racing) 1999

- SoulCalibur 1999

 

 

PS2:

 

- Gran Turismo 4 2006

- God of War 2 2008

 

 

God of War's rendering technique managed to reduce the aliasing, moire patterns, and interlacing artifacts to the level of the Dreamcast. That was one of the few instances where I could compare graphics output without things being obscured by the artifacting issues that I see in a large number of PS2 games. Both platforms appear to be pretty much equal in how they handle anisotropic filtering.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

The PS2 is probably rendering 50% more polygons than the Dreamcast, but at best only visually appears to be rendering about 20% more. In the final analysis, the PS2 has the advantage but the on-paper specifications aren't resulting in nearly as much of an improvement over the Dreamcast as the differential would suggest. In cases in which aliasing and interlacing artifacts are negatively affecting real-time rendering output, the PS2 drops below the render quality of the Dreamcast.

 

As for Jason Rubin's comment in the article about the PS2 artifacting and aliasing not being really that big a deal, all I have to say is that if I was tasked with hiring 3D modelers and linear math programmers for a game-development company, any applicant that made a remark like that (and wasn't joking) would be struck from the list of potential employees.

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