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Next XBOX specs - MS going conservative

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  • algorith

    MS next console machine has been detailed and it looks like it'll lag behind their rival, Sony's PS4.  What surprises the most is the rumor that the OS will use up 3GB of memory, that's like 5 Windows Vistas running concurrently. It also seems that MS is putting more emphasis on being more than a gaming machine, something Sony did early in PS3's life and failed miserably at. Nintendo also appealed to a difference audience and failed later in its life-cycle. So what do you think? will we see a new version of XNA (C++ version) with the release of this machine?

    http://www.neowin.net/news/next-gen-xbox-specs-reportedly-leak

    "

    CPU:

    • x64 Architecture
    • 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)
    • each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 http://www.neowin.net/news/next-gen-xbox-specs-reportedly-leak#" rel="nofollow">data cache
    • each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache
    • each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources
    • each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock

    GPU:

    • custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor
    • 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads
    • each thread can perform one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle
    • at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second

    High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present

    • Storage and Memory:
    • 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)
    • 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)
    • from the GPU's perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.
    • Hard drive is always present
    • 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive"
  • evildictait​or

    , algorith wrote

    ...the OS will use up 3GB of memory ...

    Do you mean disk space? Disk space is pretty cheap, particularly since Xboxes are increasingly storing data like saves and achievements in the cloud rather than on disk.

    The Xbox at the moment has a pretty hefty OS memory footprint, but when the (premium, not XNA) game itself is running the entire OS evacuates memory to free up resources for the game, leaving only a lightweight hypervisor behind.

    I would be surprised if the OS took up resources like that whilst a game is in use, if for no other reason than it would put a huge and unnecessary strain on the premium games that are running on the platform.

    Also it's unlikely that you'll see a C++ version of XNA released. There's not a huge demand from the quick-and-dirty games market to build stuff in C++ when C# is so much more productive (particularly since Xboxes are pretty powerful even at C# when they've got a GPU that big powering it). Obviously premium games tend to be written in C++ and that will undoubtedly continue to be the case with the next Xbox.

  • JoshRoss

    Blu-Ray? I wonder if it could be done without Java. The last thing I would want would be a virus infected appliance.

  • algorith

     No, supposedly MS will have 3GB on reserve for running their own things even while games are running. It has been suggested that Kinect might always be running, even during games that make no use of it.  Considering this is coming form devs using dev kits, it's all subject to change, but wasting so many resources would definitely diminish the quality of games. In the end it's software that makes it or breaks it (Gears and Halo made the xbox), but devs prefer the most powerful machines. 

  • evildictait​or

    , JoshRoss wrote

    Blu-Ray? I wonder if it could be done without Java. The last thing I would want would be a virus infected appliance.

    Java is part of the BluRay spec, and without it you'd be unable to navigate through most BluRay menus.

    If Microsoft just puts the BluRay JVM inside a massively locked down process, there's not much a Java exploit could do (other than show you the wrong movie I suppose).

  • evildictait​or

    , algorith wrote

    No, supposedly MS will have 3GB on reserve for running their own things even while games are running. It has been suggested that Kinect might always be running, even during games that make no use of it.  Considering this is coming form devs using dev kits, it's all subject to change, but wasting so many resources would definitely diminish the quality of games. In the end it's software that makes it or breaks it (Gears and Halo made the xbox), but devs prefer the most powerful machines. 

    On normal games, or on Xbox Live/other games?

    Also, it depends what you mean by 3GB of reserve. Microsoft probably reserve 3GB of virtual address space for themselves, but that doesn't mean 3GB of commit (case in point: they reserve 2^63 bytes of memory on x64 Windows, but nobody has a system that big).

    And finally it also depends what you mean by the OS. For example, if you're running Firefox right now, there's probably tens of megabytes of Microsoft dlls loaded into your address space. That's not wasted space - that's code that Firefox doesn't have to implement (like their own loader, graphics stack etc).

    All I'm saying is that this number sounds wrong, and I'd put money on there being more to this story than meets the eye.

  • Bas

    I don't see the 3GB thing mentioned anywhere in the source. Also the 360 has been promoted as an all-round entertainment/media thing for years now, which doesn't seem to hurt it.

    I don't really see what's so conservative about the rest of the specs either. It sounds pretty beefy for a console.

  • cheong

    I would be a bit disappointed if only 3GB of RAM is present. Advanced 3D graphics game with huge map can definately gain performance on 64-bit OS with lots of RAM. They can even preload adjcent maps to reduce loading time, so the "Loading..." screen would be barely visible (You'd still got to render it).

    Last time I checked a single 8GB DDR3 module cost around HKD 270 from official dealer, if they can make 64-bit of OS in XBox ready on-time, it's pretty desirable to outrun other console to have 16GB installed on default configuration with slight increase in price.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • Bas

    @cheong: apparently there's 8GB of RAM present. If this source is to be believed anyway. Also consoles typically require less RAM than general purpose PCs.

  • cheong

    , Bas wrote

    @cheong: Also consoles typically require less RAM than general purpose PCs.

    Yes, but if I can get a 8GB module for around US$35, but 2GB for around US$14, I'll surely go for 8GB for such slight increase in price.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • Sven Groot

    I hope the new generation of consoles will have some decent hardware. As a PC gamer, it's just annoying that our experience is limited by what the consoles can handle on games that are available on multiple platforms.

    Basically, 99% of requests made on the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer forums is denied because of this.

    "Can we have more enemies at once?" "No, the consoles can't handle it."
    "Can we have characters with more pets?" "No, the consoles can't handle it."
    "Can we have dark maps using flashlights like in the single player?" "No, the consoles can't handle it."
    "Why do the new areas in Firebase White (modified in a recent DLC) look so plain?" "The old version of the map was already designed to fill the memory limit on the consoles, so we couldn't add many new assets."

    And so forth...

  • BitFlipper

    Remember that MS is making the Xbox act more and more like a DVR. DVR-like functionality requires being active 24/7. Which means even while playing a game, the console needs to perform this whole different task in the background.

    I don't know where the 3GB reserved comes from but I can imagine if true it is exactly so that the console can perform these additional functionalities 24/7. In addition this also means no game can take advantage of all 8 CPU cores (maybe 2 cores will be reserved...?).

    I knew this was what MS was going to do with the new Xbox, I was just hoping that they add dedicated hardware into the console that can take care of these new DVR like functionalities while the rest is 100% free for gaming. I guess in reality, whether you have separate 3GB for DVR functionality and 5GB for gaming, or 8GB total and reserve 3GB, the outcome is the same. The games will still only be able to use 5GB. And say 6 cores vs 8 cores. I'm just guessing on the number of reserved cores but there is no way MS can say a game can go ahead and max out all 8 cores.

    EDIT: Of course let's not forget that the current Xbox 360 has 0.5GB memory. So if only 5GB is available for games then that is still a 10x increase in memory. But maybe 12GB would have been better if they need to split it up like that.

  • magicalclick

    Nvm it is X720. 8 GB is over kill. But since 3 GB is doing DVR, I guess it is reasonable. Does DVR need that much spaces? I prefer to have two graphics chips, one possibly offload for GPGPU physics.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • blowdart

    So, when you read about leaks I'd ask you to keep in mind this.

    http://x-surface.tumblr.com/post/41282771026/x-surface-dont-believe-everything-you-read

     

  • Bas

    @blowdart: Ha, that's hilarious! Oh, "journalism".

  • pavone

    @evildictaitor: XNA has been the beginning of many big titles in Xbox Live, titles that have sold over a million like Fez and Super Meat boy. It certainly gave the MS indie space a big boost, but it would be unfair to expect the same gains when compared to fully budgeted games back-up by big publishers. 

  • evildictait​or

    , pavone wrote

    @evildictaitor: XNA has been the beginning of many big titles in Xbox Live, titles that have sold over a million like Fez and Super Meat boy. It certainly gave the MS indie space a big boost, but it would be unfair to expect the same gains when compared to fully budgeted games back-up by big publishers. 

    I'm not dissing indie games, or their importance to Xbox. I'm just saying that there's little demand from the indie market for C++/XNA, just as how there's little demand from the premium Xbox games publishers for .NET and C# to be available to them as part of their high budget games.

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