The Graphics Synthesiser
) is the polygon rendering
(drawing) chip in the new playstation 2
) video games console. Opinions vary as to whether it's waffle keen
, sweet sauce
, or merely pretty good
, due to a few fairly technical drawbacks.
There is, however, no doubt that it's extremely fast at drawing pixels (or pushing polys as the industry slang goes). Compared to all currently (May 2000) available PC graphics cards or competing video games consoles, it is waaay ahead in terms of raw speed. This is primarily due to the use of embedded DRAM on the chip. It also offers free alpha, which is definitely cool.
Technical waffle - your life won't be incomplete if you don't read this.. :-)
There is some concern in the geek fraternity that this speed has been achieved at the expense of visual quality - the single most noticable problem with the early titles seen for the ps2 is the visually distracting artifact of aliasing, also known as the jaggies. This is particularly bad on ps2 games because they usually run at 60 frames per second in interlaced mode, which causes the jaggies to appear as moving lines of pixels, which tends to distract the eye something chronic.
I would like to clear up some confusion on the web surrounding the ps2's ability to antialias. The ps2 most definitely can draw antialiased polygons, but the whole flaw with the implementation of this on the ps2 is that it effectively prohibits effective use of the z buffer(one of the most useful things in modern 3D graphics); in layman's terms this makes games a real pain in the arse to program, and can also have a detrimental effect on speed.
More stuff on this when I get round to typing it up..