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Old Skool Console Specs – CPUFreak91

CPUFreak91

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Posts: 2337
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Registered: 02-01-2005
Post the specs of an old sckool game console here. Then compare it with some piece of modern technology.

(Specs obtained from Wikipedia)

Sega Master System:
CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A
3.54 MHz for PAL/SECAM, 3.57 MHz for NTSC
Graphics: VDP (Video Display Processor) derived from Texas Instruments TMS9918
Up to 32 simultaneous colors available (16 for sprites, 16 for background) from a palette of 64 (can also show 64 simultaneous colors using programming tricks)
Screen resolutions 256192 and 256224. PAL/SECAM also supports 256240
88 pixel characters, max 488 (due to VRAM space limitation)
88 or 816 pixel sprites, max 64
Horizontal, diagonal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling
Sound (PSG): Texas Instruments SN76489
4 channel mono sound
3 tone generators, 10 octaves each, 1 white noise generator
Sound (FM): Yamaha YM2413
9 channel mono FM sound
built-into Japanese Master System in Sega Mark IV
supported by certain games only
ROM BIOS: 64 kbit (8 KiB) to 2048 kbit (256 KiB), depending on built-in game
Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KiB) Expandable
Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KiB)

Comparison to modern technology.
I'm going to an extreme here. I'm going to compare this to the PS3.
The PS3 uses the Cell microprocessor, which is made up of a PowerPC-based "Power Processing Element" (PPE) and six accessible 3.2 GHz Synergistic Processing Elements (SPEs). A seventh runs in a special mode and is dedicated to aspects of the OS and security, and an eighth is disabled to improve production yields.

That's about 3,000 times as fast as the SMS per SPE!! It gets better. Multiply 3,000x7 and you get: Technology that is 21 thousand times as fast in just 20 years!!

The PS3 has 256 MB of Rambus XDR DRAM, clocked at CPU die speed. (Rounding down, that's 3Ghz ram... the current model Macbook Pro only has 800Mhz ram and the average dell has about 400-600Mhz ram!! Compare this to the SMS... well the PS3 has about 16,000 times the ram/memory 16kilobytes memory. This is exactly the same as far as video ram.

I will stop here as I don't want to rack my brain figuring out the differences in sound and video definition/resolution.

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Calin

Member

Posts: 358
From: Moldova
Registered: 12-04-2006
quote:

That's about 3,000 times as fast as the SMS per SPE!! It gets better. Multiply 3,000x7 and you get: Technology that is 21 thousand times as fast in just 20 years!!

That's true, it doesn't mean the computer technology will keep getting faster at the same rate.
The 1889 internal combustion engine invented by Daimler had a top speed of 10 mph. ~ 10 years later (1908) Ford introduced the Model T with a top speed of 45 mph. That's 4.5 faster in 20 years. Following the 'mindset' that technology gets xx faster every xx years, by the year 1930 they should have had cars at 202.5 mph and by 1950 cars at over 900 mph. It was not the case. The internal combustion engines just can't cope at those speeds.

The computer technology is in it's childhood. As it matures the speeds will 'settle' (that's already happening, you have multi-core CPUs because it's impossible to get the CPU clock any faster, the microprocessor physical limits have been reached)

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.


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bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
game systems have come a long way. i didn't know the ps3 had that kind of power in it! still not worth the price to me.

i believe eventually the fsb and cpu speed will end up being the same speed. also along with adding more cores they'll continue to raise the amount of cache on cpus.

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bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
.(first time i've tripled posted...oops)

[This message has been edited by bennythebear (edited July 19, 2007).]

bennythebear

Member

Posts: 1225
From: kentucky,usa
Registered: 12-13-2003
.

[This message has been edited by bennythebear (edited July 19, 2007).]

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Calin:
The computer technology is in it's childhood. As it matures the speeds will 'settle' (that's already happening, you have multi-core CPUs because it's impossible to get the CPU clock any faster, the microprocessor physical limits have been reached)

When it's too expensive to clock them faster and add any more cores/cpu's is when quantum computers will kick in and the whole cycle will kick in again.

------------------
All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

"Oh, bother," said the Borg. "We've assimilated Pooh."

"Socialism works great... if there are no people involved." -- Pastor David Ginter, Union Church of Guatemala.

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog

CPUFreak91

Member

Posts: 2337
From:
Registered: 02-01-2005
quote:
Originally posted by Calin:
The computer technology is in it's childhood. As it matures the speeds will 'settle' (that's already happening, you have multi-core CPUs because it's impossible to get the CPU clock any faster, the microprocessor physical limits have been reached)

When it's too expensive to clock them faster and add any more cores/cpu's is when quantum computers will kick in and the whole cycle will start over again.

------------------
All Your Base Are Belong To Us!!! chown -r us ./base
"After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless.'' -- Tao of Programming Book 2

"Oh, bother," said the Borg. "We've assimilated Pooh."

"Socialism works great... if there are no people involved." -- Pastor David Ginter, Union Church of Guatemala.

My Programming and Hacker/Geek related Blog