The video game industry has been one that has evolved through the generations, from when we could see some well-distributed pixels to form a character, to now where photorealism is practically played with.
And over the years concepts and measurements have been coined, in order to ground comparisons on different platforms, as some may remember we have gone from 8, 16, 32 and 64 bits to talk about a term called TeraFLOPS or TFLOPS, the which has become popular, but not everyone knows its existence and its importance when it comes to video games.
What is a Teraflops?
To define it, it is necessary to separate it, since the word is made up of two parts Tera (unit of measurement) and FLOPS, where the latter is known as Floating point operations per second, which in Spanish means “floating point operations per second” , so what a FLOPS measures are the mathematical operations per second that a system, or in this case, a machine, can perform.
And by adding the prefix Tera, which in computing means 10^12 Bits, we have that a TeraFLOPS is a trillion mathematical operations per second, a measure that together with the GigaFLOPS are normally used to measure scientific calculations, but in recent years They have taken the video game industry to make comparisons.
What do TeraFLOPS tell us in the video game industry?
A TeraFLOPS cannot tell us if a game will reach photorealism or if it will work at 60FPS, but in general terms it tells us about GROSS power, according to how Jorge Hueguet, Marketing Director of Sony Spain defined it, in practical terms , it is as if we evaluated the horsepower of a car.
In the example Hueguet mentioned that if we took a car with 200 horsepower versus one with 180, both could reach the same speeds, but what defined their long-term performance would be other factors that must be taken into account.
In the same way, TeraFLOPS work in the industry, in general terms it is a measurement to compare Gross power, a calculation that is carried out according to the GPU (Video Card) and CPU (Processor) of a computer, in this case of Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, where the latter has a 2 TeraFLOPS advantage over Sony.
Are TeraFLOPS important on Xbox Series X and Playstation 5?
Yes and no, as we said, it is a general measure to account for the raw power of consoles, which translates into more “space” for developers to make more ambitious games, not necessarily with better graphics or 60FPS performance. .
However, it sets a precedent in Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X, where the latter has the not inconsiderable sum of 12 TeraFlops, while Sony’s reaches 10 TeraFlops, however, other variables such as SSD’s, Ram and operating system could or not give a better performance, especially as Sony will be dedicated to launching exclusive games for its console, and not intergenerational like the first Microsoft games.
How to calculate the FLOPS of my PC?
As you may have already read, FLOPS measure the mathematical calculations per second that a machine can do, and like a PC, it has elements from which we can measure this value, we will teach you how to measure it, both in your CPU and in your GPU and there are two ways, one manual and one automatic by installing a program.
Measure FLOPS in CPU
For this there is a formula, which is FLOPS = No. of Sockets x Cores per Socket x No. of cycles per second x No. of floating point operations per cycle.
As for the value of the Socket, for a home PC, it will simply be 1, when it comes to servers that can have more sockets, the value changes there.
The number of Cores is what most processor companies use to market, we will take our example, an Intel Core i5 6500, which has 4 active Cores and 4 working threads in each one, so we will take the value of 16.
Then the number of cycles per second is determined by the speed of each core, another characteristic that is easy to find and is measured in Ghz, which in the case of the processor that we will use as an example is 3.2Ghz and for the equation this will be equivalent to a value of 3,200,000,000.
Now as for the number of floating point operations per cycle, it is not a value that is very easy to find, but if we google “SP FLOPs/cycle + processor model” we will find it for sure, for our example it is a value of 16, so the equation is such that:
FLOPS = 1 x 16 x 3,200,000,000 x 16
FLOPS = 819,200,000,000
FLOPS = 819 GigaFLOPS or 0.81 TeraFLOPS
A CPU, being a type of processor with “slower” activities, is difficult to obtain very high numbers in terms of FLOPS, but on the other hand, video cards sometimes have many cores and have a special way of measuring themselves to reach the “theoretical” TeraFLOPS of capacity.
Measuring FLOPS on a video card is a little more complex, especially since each company and assembler has variations, albeit minor, in the structure and how their cores operate, however, this information can be found easily and We will give a table with FP32 and FP64 (single and double precision) for these pieces measured in TeraFLOPS.
|GPU||FP32 TFLOPS||FP64 TFLOPS|
|Radeon RX Vega 64||12.7||0.8|
|GeForce GTX 1080Ti||11.3||0.4|
|Geforce GTX 1080||8.9||0.3|
|Radeon R9 Fury X||8.6||0.5|
|Radeon HD 7990||7.8||1.9|
|GeForce GTX 1070||6.5||0.2|
|GeForce GTX 690||5.6||0.2|
|Radeon R9 290X||5.6||0.7|
|GeForce GTX 780Ti||5.3||0.2|
|Radeon HD 6990||5.1||1.3|
|GeForce GTX 980||4.9||0.15|
|Radeon R9 290||4.8||0.6|
|GeForce GTX Titan||4.7||1.5|
|GeForce GTX 1060||4.4||0.14|
|Radeon HD 7970GHz||4.3||1.1|
|GeForce GTX 780||4.1||0.17|
|Radeon R9 280X||4.0||1.0|
|Radeon R9 280||3.3||0.83|
|GeForce GTX 680||3.1||0.13|
|Radeon HD 7950||2.9||0.71|
In conclusion, although it is interesting to know how many TeraFLOPS, GigaFLOPS our systems have, it is not a value that we should consider blindly, it is one of many that we must take into account, but always, and especially for video cards , it is better to see specific Benchmarks in games and specialized programs, and that we can see on different platforms such as YouTube.
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