Jump to content
IGNORED

CPU comparison: SNES vs. Genesis vs. TG16


 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings Atari Agers!

 

I was looking for an honest comparison of the processing power of the CPUs in the SNES, Genesis and TG16.

 

If anyone with in-depth knowledge can post, that would be great. I'd appreciate it if any bias could be kept to a minimum, or at least disclosed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speed wise?

 

The cut and dry here:

 

Genesis: This wins CPU wise. It's a great 68k CPU. The addressing modes and 16-bitness, coupled with the actual speed of the CPU make it an excellent processor. The color choices are the crippler of the genesis. The CPU itself is superb. The instruction set is cleverly designed for maximum potential. It even handles C very well. Ecco the Dolphin was done entirely in C. This sort of thing doesn't occur with a 6502. The TG-16 chokes on C. It can't process all of the overhead of C without denting performance.

 

Lets also not forget, it has the z80 onboard as well.

 

TG16: I am a TG-16 fanboy. I love this thing. I just wish it had a 16-bit CPU. The 65C02 is the fastest 8bit CPU in the 6502 family. A similar example is the Apple IIc+. Try running some of the old old Apple II games on a IIC+ without holding escape to toggle it to slow mode. Your games are unplayable. Falcons is warpspeed. You die.

 

It really can powerhouse through computations. However, it is still limited in it's uses because of its 8-bitness, and it's 6502 based quirks. When this thing is coerced properly, it is an excellent CPU. The new features the 65C02 adds

 

Plus, the TG-16's color choices didn't suck. That's why the shooters are so arcade-close, and the performance is so great. It is a great CPU all around. Definitely the nicest 6502 based CPU.

 

 

SNES: WTF is all I can say. It's a 65816. Its the successor to the 65C02, but the one in the SNES is balls-frigging-slow. Yes it gets the benefits of 16 bit operations, but its still so frikking slow that it doesn't really matter. It sort of cancels itself out by being so slow. It's like having a Ferarri that can only shift into 3rd gear.

 

The SuperCPU for C64, now there is an actual example of a 65816 being used right. This was a wasted opportunity for the SNES. If they'd clocked the thing higher, it would have been excellent.

 

Plus, it's backwards compatible with the 6502 based CPUs before it. It supports all of the things the 65C02 does!

 

But, if you were to run code from a TG-16 on a SNES, it'd fuckin run slower than shit because the CPU is going to process it as it were (compatible with the 65C02), but do it like half as fast.

 

Totally blows.

 

 

I actually have this really cool chart in a book somewhere (I will find it!), that shows the features of the various 6502 variants in comparison to each other. It's a better example of what makes each sucessor better than the previous. I'll scan that thing and post in here. It's better than typing it all out in a text-wall.

 

You'll be able to see why the TG-16 was such a nice machine CPU wise, and why the SNES should have basically stomped it, but wasn't able to due to it's clock speed being so damn slow.

 

comparing raw CPU stuff is only half the picture here though. When you consider what else was going on, each machine has other pros/cons.

 

Like the color comparisons. The TG wins out on that, but loses out on background planes.

 

This post probably sucks. I suck at explaining technical shit.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot of useful information there. They basically list any spec you would need.

 

Want side-by-side "metrics"? Compare the theoretical most impressive games on each platform and take into consideration what's being done via hardware (like the SNES's built-in scaling functionality) and what's not. Problem is, it can turn into one big grey area doing it that way thanks to things like built-in hardware functions (like the scaling the SNES is capable of), as well as the further expandability thanks to special chips in SNES carts themselves. I think CPU and Memory specs are a good indicator though, and in that case, the Genesis wins out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Metrics for raw CPU power are fairly useless, TBH, as there are so many other external factors that can cause performance pros/cons.

 

Like was mentioned, the SNES passed the baton off to other parts of the system in order to get by.

 

 

 

As for the NES, you could use a C compiler at first, but you would almost certainly have to move to Assembly to achieve any real speed, as the overhead of C programming will quickly eat up the power of the 6502.

 

 

might I ask WHY you want exact metrics here?

 

A good answer might encourage me to actually produce some stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just thought metrics would be more objective.

 

Why did Nintendo opt to go with such a slow version of the 65816 when faster clocks were available?

 

(Interestingly, Commodore and Atari decided not to retain compatibility with their 8-bit lines, and switched to the 68000 for the Amiga and ST. Apple went with the 65816 for the Apple IIGS to maintain compatibility. Nintendo apparently didn't even want compatibility but chose the 65816 anyways. A bit of a waste if you ask me.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Side note: if you're looking at games and processing speed, why does Mortal Kombat look so terrible in comparison to the SNES? Street Fighter 2 wasn't such a big difference (the Sega version is fun, moves quickly, colours not so great but still gets the job done). The only time I've seen Genesis games better were titles such as Sonic, and the EA Sports games (football and hockey).

 

I'm sure you guys know the answers to that, and that's why the power of the machine always seem secondary to the quality of actual games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Side note: if you're looking at games and processing speed, why does Mortal Kombat look so terrible in comparison to the SNES? Street Fighter 2 wasn't such a big difference (the Sega version is fun, moves quickly, colours not so great but still gets the job done).

 

There are a lot of things to factor in here though. The development studio, how much effort was put into each port, politics ("We'll pay you to make [insert console] version look worse than the version on our system"), etc., etc.

 

The only time I've seen Genesis games better were titles such as Sonic, and the EA Sports games (football and hockey).

 

You sir are about to open a massive can 'o worms with that statement. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just thought metrics would be more objective.

 

Why did Nintendo opt to go with such a slow version of the 65816 when faster clocks were available?

 

I'm guessing it had to do with cost. I remembered some stores in my area when the Snes came out, it was anywhere from $200.00 to $220.00 dollars. I don't think Nintendo go any higher considering the fact they were competing against the Sega Genesis. The Sega Genesis came out in the States in 1989 and it actually is a couple years older than the Snes. It means the Sega Genesis is going to cost less than the Snes from the start since Technology on the Sega Genesis in some area is not as advanced as the Snes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly clicked this thread expecting a bit-wars shitstorm, but I actually learned something! Also, Arkhan made me laugh. I spilled my water bottle. Thanks a lot.

 

To the question of "Why did Nintendo use such a shitty ass CPU for the SNES?" (I may have uhh embellished the parsing of the query) it was my understanding that the SNES architecture was designed from the start to be expandable. In keeping with Nintendo's perennial resistance to pushing bleeding-edge technology, they accepted that no matter what they put on the market, it would be technologically outdated in a couple of years. So instead of driving costs up with a greased lightning CPU, Nintendo opted for a conservative, distributed architecture that delegated the workload to the other chips on the board and allowed easy expansion with in-cartridge supplementary processors that would keep the SNES technologically competitive for years to come. Hence special chips like Nintendo's own DSP series (advanced Mode 7 tasks), Super FX (polygonal effects, freaking.... Yoshi's Island effects), as well as Capcom's C4 chip (gimmicky wireframe bosses in Mega Man X2). A testament to the modularity of SNES hardware is the fact that one particular cartridge (yeah, you know the one) integrates an entire freaking Game Boy mainboard into the console, and allows for special games to use processing power from both.

Edited by MagitekAngel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the EA Sports games were superior on Genesis. So was Alladin.

 

The Street Fighter II games were better on SNES. (If you disagree with me, you're wrong.)

 

Super GnG on SNES was better than GnG on Genesis, but suffered from severe slowdown.

 

I didn't really care much for Donkey Kong Country or Sonic to compare.

 

The thing about SNES slowdown was that it was very apparent in the early games (i.e. Super GnG, Gradius III, Final Fight), but pretty much disappeared later on...so was it really the CPU that was the problem? Games like Smash TV/Total Carnage, Space Megaforce, Axelay show that slowdown isn't a necessary "feature" of SNES games. If the SNES had the same 68000 as in the Genesis, would the slowdown in those early games still be there?

 

I don't have as much experience with the Genesis to know if any games suffer from much slowdown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, any piece of hardware is only as good as the programmers producing software for it. It's like with any console. The launch games and first year or so of releases are done by people who don't have a lot of experience with the new hardware. They haven't learned all the tricks yet. As time goes on programmers learn those tricks and are better able to optimize their code to run more efficiently on the hardware and squeeze more performance out of the chips. Consider, say, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle compared to something like Gunstar Heroes.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The thing about SNES slowdown was that it was very apparent in the early games (i.e. Super GnG, Gradius III, Final Fight), but pretty much disappeared later on...so was it really the CPU that was the problem? Games like Smash TV/Total Carnage, Space Megaforce, Axelay show that slowdown isn't a necessary "feature" of SNES games.

 

You are missing one of the key components that's already been stated multiple times. There were a wide variety of chips placed in SNES carts to help the system pull off tricks it probably wouldn't be able to do at an efficient manner without them. The Genesis was able to pull off comparable effects without the assistance of extra hardware (the exception being Virtua Racing). Wikipedia article to help you understand a little bit better: http://en.wikipedia....hancement_chips

 

*Edit: You also can't forget the stock video hardware inside the SNES, which takes a lot of the CPU itself, as seen in games like Space Megaforce, Axelay, HyperZone, etc (the Mode 7 effect).

 

I don't have as much experience with the Genesis to know if any games suffer from much slowdown.

 

Just like on any platform from this era, a lot of games on the Genesis suffered from slowdown. This isn't always a good indication of a system not being able to "handle" something. Again, there are a lot of factors to it.

Edited by Austin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Street Fighter II games were better on SNES. (If you disagree with me, you're wrong.)

 

Super GnG on SNES was better than GnG on Genesis, but suffered from severe slowdown.

 

PCE beats SNES for SF2 (Though I still like SNES the most for nostalgia reasons!)

 

SGX (still uses the same CPU as the TG/PCE!) beats Genesis/SNES for GnG.

 

the CPU is only part of the equation for these consoles, like has been mentioned already. no amount of processing power will ever fix how ugly the Genesis color options can become. Much like the C64. The SuperCPU may make the thing operate like its on cocaine, but the VIC-II is still ugly. CPU's dont create new video capabilities. They only process what you're given. That's where Genesis and SNES get some of their oomph with multi layered backgrounds, and scaling (Mode 7!). Turbo Grafx has 1 BG layer, and no sweet scaling modes. It has to do more work to achieve similar graphical effects as the Genesis.

 

Thankfully, it's fast enough to do it fairly well. Look at Lords of Thunder for the TGCD and compare it to the Sega CD one. You will see.

 

 

MagitekAngel: how did I make you laugh? :D lol

Edited by Arkhan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Street Fighter II games were better on SNES. (If you disagree with me, you're wrong.)

 

Super GnG on SNES was better than GnG on Genesis, but suffered from severe slowdown.

 

PCE beats SNES for SF2 (Though I still like SNES the most for nostalgia reasons!)

 

Groan.

 

SGX (still uses the same CPU as the TG/PCE!) beats Genesis/SNES for GnG.

 

You sir, are a crazy person.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Groan.

 

Ever play it? Again, I have them for every system. Aside from Nostalgia, the PCE one looks the nicest. I do prefer the SNES controller for the game over the PCE, since I grew up on an SNES pad.

 

You sir, are a crazy person.

 

What, you prefer the cheesed up, super easy one for SNES? Ever look at side by side comparisons, or play them all?

 

I own all 3. I grew up on the SNES and Genesis ones. I liked Genesis more until I got a Super Grafx and GnG for it.

 

plus, didn't you admit to being a Sega n00b? lol

 

 

 

EDIT: And, if the SNES had a faster CPU, yes, slowdown would go away. Even if they just clocked the 65816 higher, it would have helped, but would've required a different design, probably

 

The SuperCPU for C64 is a 65816, but it's clocked super-fast. Granted, theres only one crappy game for the SuperCPU, it demonstrates what you could've got out of an SNES.

 

It chokes trying to push tons of sprites around and do all of the necessary mathery to have everything animate/collide/etc.

Edited by Arkhan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...