Friday, 16 December 2016

Understanding Hardware Technologies for Game Platforms

Understanding Hardware Technologies for Game Platforms

Human Computer Interface

In the context of gaming the HCI is how we convert the actions we preform IRL into the actions that the character takes on screen. The most obvious way of doing this would be by using a controller as it has several buttons allowing them to be mapped to many different in-game actions. There are however many different types of controllers that have developed over the years, from the joy-stick to the keyboard to the oculus rift. Our motor reflexes react to what we see on the screen and the is conveyed on the screen though the controls we use, we then see what this does and react in a loop.

Controllers: Back in the 1980's the NES controller was introduced with a D-Pad and 2 buttons at the time it was technologically amazing. These days we have a variety of different controllers some of which are wireless or use motion sensor technology.

Intel core i7 6700k
4 GHz
4 Core
8 MB cache
AMD Black Edition FX -8350
4 GHz
8 Cores
8 MB cache
1.75 GHz
8 Cores
0 MB cache
1.6 GHz
2 – 4 Cores
2 MB cache


 When executing a command the information will be sent to the CPU and then the programme will be ran. The speed of a CPU is usually explained in the term clock speed, this a measure of the amount of clock cycles a CPU can preform per second. For example a clock rate of 2 GHz can preform 2,000,000,000 cycles per second. More important than the amount of cycles is the amount of action the CPU can preform per cycle. A CPU with less clock cycles but more actions is better than a CPU with more cycles but less actions. A CPU with multiple cores have several CUPs all on one chip this means it can preform several tasks at once, whilst not taking up any more room on the mother board. Some CPUs are threaded, this is relatively new technology that allows us to trick the CPU into thinking it has more cores than it actually does. A single CPU with dual threading will show as having multiple cores when in reality only having one. This helps to preform multiple tasks at one time, it wont however be as good as actually having two cores. The cache is a temporary storage for the CPU, that stores volatile storage.


Predator Black

Xbox One
68.26 GB/s
Xbox 360
512 MB
256 GB/s
176 GB/s
256 MB

Random Access Memory is a certain type of memory that is used to store volatile memory, this means it will be deleted when the machine is shut down this means it wont take you any memory in your hard drive. The main reason you want more RAM on a PC is because quite often you are preforming more than just one action at once and a higher amount of RAM means that is can do it quicker. Out of the option i have in the table above i would say that the Predator Black is the best option, this is for several reasons, first its a GDDR and so is built for a much higher bandwidth and also has lower power and heat dispersal requirements compared to DDR. 8GB is obviously better than any of the lower options available. The speed of the RAM is higher than the rest 


Xbox 360
Xbox One
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Radeon RX 470D
Iris Pro Graphics 6200
AMD Xbox One GPU
AMD RX 480
Clock Speed
1503 MHz
926 MHz

500 MHz
835 MHz
800 MHz

12 GB
4096 MB

10 MB 
8192 MB
8192 MB23



A Graphics Processing Unit is normally use for rendering 3D applications. It is used to manage the performance of videos and graphics, although has several features like texture mapping and the rendering of polygons. The main purpose of these features is to reduce the strain on the CPU so i has less work to do and can produce faster videos and graphics. Compared to a CPU that only has a few cores the GPU can have thousands of cores meaning they can perform several tasks efficiently all at once. There are two different types of GPU integrated and dedicated, an integrated one uses the systems memory instead of having its own, for example if your machine has 4GB of RAM then 1 to 5% of the memory will be used by the GPU. A dedicated GPU will have its own RAM that it'll use often this is better as it doesn't take any space from the RAM. DDR, stands for Double Data Rate and it utilises both edges of the system clock which potential doubles the speed of the memory. GDDR, is short for Graphics Double Data Rate and is made specifically for video cards and has several differences to a DDR for example it has a wider memory bus and so has a much higher bandwidth.
Out of the GPUs displayed in the table above i believe that the best of them would be the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti this is because it has a higher clock speed than the rest so it can perform more clock cycles per second. It also has more cores than the rest meaning it can perform more tasks at one time. Due to it having more RAM, this means that it can store more temporary storage meaning it can run things like games quicker than thing with less cores due to the amount of things the happen on the screen.


A GPU will first create a wire frame out of straight lines then fill in the remaining pixels. This is the process of converting polygons to pixels. It looks to determine what pixel is part of what
polygon and the fills that pixel in with that polygons colour or texture and adds them accordingly. If the resolution isn't very good then the pixels will be bigger and the image will appear to have jagged edges


A sound card in a system is a integrated component that lets your machine produce sound through speakers or headphones. A machine doesn't need a sound card to function however usually comes with one whether it be on the sound card or built onto the mother board. There are many different channels that sound can come through the first one being mono- this is where the same channel is outputted even if there is several speakers connected to the machine. A 2.0 channel stereo system has two channels for the sound to come out of normally the left and the right. A 5.1 channel system has additional amplifier channels to support movie theater sound. A 7.1 channel is basically a home theater system with three front channels with two surround channels and two rear channels.


The display is shown on a monitor that is integrated into the device and the image on screen is rendered by the graphics card. There are several different displays like LCD and LED. LCD stands for liquid crystal display and it is used for most devices these days. In the display there is a panel that consists of liquid crystal molecules that can be affected by electric fields, this forces them to make certain patterns that will block the light or let it through. LCD displays with colour have green, red and blue sub pixels in each pixel. To control which colour comes through the screen the intensity of light is controlled to show a picture. All LCD monitors use a black light that shines through the display.  The LED (Light Emitting Diode) can quickly be turned on or off, meaning that light can be much more controlled. Depending on the way the lights are arranged they can provide more light distribution and not consume as much energy. HDR or High Dynamic Range increases the contrast ratio of the monitor and the amount of colours it can show, this helps the image to look more realistic when compared to the normal HDTVs. A downside of HDR is that you have to have a device that is capable of outputting HDR.
Do they support HDR
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Cinema 4K
Cinema 4K
Nintendo 3DS
800x240(top) 320x240(bottom)
GeForce 1080
High End Phone

Game Storage

There are two main types of game storage the first being proprietary, file format is one that the games company has ordered to contain the data, its supposed to be a secret, so that the interpretation of the data can only be done by software that the company has created. An example of this would be, software that the company Blizzard has created in order to play their games. An Xbox wouldn't be able to play a PS4 game because it doesn't have the correct software to interpret the data. The other type of storage is standard, this is something that is able to be opened by anything, meaning it doesn't require and decoding to work, examples of these would be the hard drive or SD card. There are advantages and disadvantages of each, an advantage of proprietary would be that it is much harder for people to pirate their game, however it is also harder to open the file.


They're are several different types of connectivity. Standalone connectivity is when you can use the PC with out having to be connected to the local area, for example when the PC is running a program without internet access. To connect a wired controller the device needs controller ports this is also a type of connectivity.  A LAN connection is when a group of computers share a common communication line to a server, so that they can connect to each others matches. Internet access is also a type of connectivity, this is where you can connect to a network and play with other connected to this network. Bluetooth is a standard for short range wireless connection.

PC - Has controller ports for the key board and mouse, can be used with a LAN or internet connection. Also has Bluetooth.
Xbox One - Has USB controller ports, LAN and internet access.
PS4 - Has USB controller ports, LAN and internet access
3DS - Only has WIFI internet connection


This is the Power Supply Unit is a piece of hardware that gives all of the components in a console or PC with power.

PC - Has an internal PSU
Xbox One - Has external PSU through the plug
PS4 - Has an internal PSU
Nintendo 3DS -Has an external PSU ( the AC adapter)

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