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1. One guy with 6 arms carrying bricks at 3.2 feet per second 2. Three guys with 2 arms each carrying bricks at 3.2 feet per second 3. Three guys with 1 arm each carrying bricks at 1.24 feet per second
Both 1 and 2 seem equivalent, right? There are 6 arms in total, each carrying the same amount of bricks at the same speed. But with 3, there are half as many arms and they move far slower.
1 and 2 correspond to the PS3 and 360, respectively. The 360 has 3 physical cores, each with 2 logical cores - 3*2 = 6, i.e. 6 things operating in tandem with the same capability. The PS3 has a more unique architecture, with a single core called the PPE acting as a master to 6 slaves called SPEs, that receive and execute instructions independently. Since the PPE is mostly busy controlling the SPEs, we once again have 6 things operating in tandem at the same speed.
3 corresponds to the Wii U. Wii U has 3 cores, which cannot split into logical cores as the 360 CPU does. So only 3 things can execute simultaneously using this CPU. In addition, the speed at which things execute is nearly 1/3rd of the other two consoles (3.2 Ghz). So theoretically, Wii U is 5 times SLOWER than the 360 and PS3. The reasons it can push graphics almost equal to these consoles is:
- a stronger GPU (FAR superior to the others) - less overhead (Though it can only push 14 GFLOPS compared to the 360's 115 and the PS3's 218, less processing power is spent on the numerous background tasks of more complex operating systems) - more RAM, allowing more game data to occupy memory instead of being read from disk