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Asher
27-04-2004, 07:23:51
Xbox 2 (codenamed "Xenon") is going to be announced June 2nd, 2004.

Some crucial information has been leaked (and confirmed). Long story short, I don't think Sony has a chance to compete with the Xbox 2, in terms of performance.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/news/2004-04/xbox2_scheme_bg.gif

Yes, that is a tri-core variation of IBM's PowerPC 976 (dual-core, multi-threaded). The PowerPC 976 is a much improved version of the PowerPC 970, which is what the Apple G5 is.

3 3.5GHz+ cores, 500MHz+ R500-based GPU (at least 16 fully functional DX10 graphics pipelines), 10MB of EDRAM, 256MB+ of 22.4GB/s system RAM.

Wow. :)

protein
28-04-2004, 00:41:23
In layman's terms what does that mean? It sounds impressive but what level of graphics can we expect? Toy Story? Jurassic Park? Tron?

No longer Trippin
28-04-2004, 07:36:25
Your in that range, not quite jurassic park, but toy story, on 1080i, quite possibly.

protein
28-04-2004, 09:33:05
Wow.

i don't know much about computers but I can imagine three superduper fast processors in one box is going to be good. And expensive.

Asher
28-04-2004, 12:36:09
I'd expect it to be $299 again, just like the PS3.

Nav
28-04-2004, 13:12:48
Is it really 3 processors? or is it 1 with 3 cores? :confused:

Asher
28-04-2004, 16:54:57
1 with 3 cores.

No longer Trippin
28-04-2004, 21:24:51
I take back the Toyt Story remark. After looking into more of the NV40 specs and such, it seems they are doing some mipmap optimizations to hit 14k 3D marks in 03.' Hell, when running using full PS 2.0 in FarCry (you have to trick the game to run pure D9 code for an nvidia card, not Ps1.1 and 2.0) support it only runs 7 FPS faster than a 9800 XT. Hopefully this is a fluke, but the more people look into it, the more mipmap optimizations are becoming apparent. Futuremark is now being questioned by several sites in regards to them approving the driver that was used, as it is clearly optimized if you view it in RGB - and not just for 3D mark, but it renders textures how it is convenient going by presets in the drivers as even games show some discrepancies from ATI and a Rasterized image. Granted the drivers are beta, so speed should pick up with a hopeful drop in optimizations. As to how the R420 will do, it's anyone's guess, though if it's like the NV40 and the 40 doesn't change - your looking till after the R500 core for such advancements. The R500 should get you near toy story graphics at least going by R420 specs if using some pre-rendered vertex shading and other things which can be rendered beforehand and loaded. Probably around 2008-10 you'll start really seeing cinema image quality. Going to a RISC set for the CPU would help as well as something needs to feed the GPU the raw geometry - the core of the xbox 2 has the power as it is RISC IIRC being pased off what the G5 uses. Might limit or slow portability due to abandoning the x86 design, but not much since it will use D10 graphically. Just the GPU is still highly in question as it is still a good generation away from a card that still hasn't been leaked to the press yet while a good deal more can be derived from the CPU.

MS seems to be going for a knockout blow. Taking the idea from the PS 2 to use a strong multicored processor and making it easier to code for, then adding a strong graphics chip to the mix as well. Seeing as the PS 2 is only held back graphically as it is nearly impossible to program for as most developers think they are only using half the procesing power at best, this could be the console killer. Nintendo is dying, PS 2 sales of games are slowing. MS wants to force Sony to start dipping heavily into other areas to they eventually just abandon the market. MS wants total dominance over the tech market, Sony just wants to make a buck. If it is no longer a vuiable cash cow, they'll kill it.

King_Ghidra
28-04-2004, 21:33:48
Originally posted by Asher
Long story short, I don't think Sony has a chance to compete with the Xbox 2, in terms of performance.

:hmm:

Can't they just now copy the technical spec that microsoft published?

No longer Trippin
28-04-2004, 23:59:27
Well ignoring patents, nope. They'd have to line up suppliers and such. IBM has the fab capacity, but they will make more fabbing at .9 and .65nm processes from AMD (and very little from MS, but it's profits that keep idle lines busy) than Sony unless Sony wants to really flush money with each processor. Nintendo I really dont know much about. They only are running chips for MS because of anticipated extra capacity as Mac isn't exactly moving much, nor or IBM's own chips by themselves as they are primarily server and high end workstation chips. Sure Sony could go to AMD (IBM by proxy for SOI processors which is AMD's future for that time by the looks of things), but it would cost more as AMD isn't going to charge the cost they are charged by IBM. Intel possilbly could do it, they are retooling one Fab plant out of several capable of meeting the demand, the only problem is that Intel doesn't have a chip that they can produce cheaply that isn't a space heater, nor do they have one on the drawing board for such task with near enough power. If prescott rolled out right and Tejas had followed going by the original roadmap, definately, but Intel is easily a year behind, actually a bit more now. They are even bringing up "Jonah" for the desktop (the next pentium M basically), but thats not due until late 2006 for any signifigant yields. So in mid 2007 Intel could supply the chips cheaply, until then they will charge a premium on the OEM/desktop market. They still could use any of the 3, just now that (if true), MS has inked a deal, it is a lot harder to get to two of them until AMD is capable of creating SOI wafers by itself. As for the graphics chips, ATi could ramp up production and meet the demand (they are supplying either the next gen PS or Nintendo platform with the same R500 chip), but to ramp up for all three major players, that would be hard so if Sony is the odd man out, they are screwed hard. ATi would probably have to invest in further fab facilities or sublease the license out which also raises cost. So that leaves them with nvidia, and nvidia isn't too happy with supplying for the current console (xbox). Nvidia's upper management is really hung up on itself, so selling low at an initial near break even situation is above them even if it yields more sales later on in the PC market which is where the money is. So that leaves only second tier companies if console makers stick to the stripped PC ideal for easier portability that they seem to be headed towards at least in the chip market. Sure there is Sun Sparc, etc for processors, but not really a viable solution. VIA possibly if it can roll out a stronger processor. Just the GPU is up in the air, if they already inked the R500 deal along with MS, then things aren't bad, if not, they have problems. As for mainboards, there isn't a problem in capacity there.