Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Comment on MisterX makes some very valid points about why the Xbox One is so damn big.

This is a comment from a very controversial blog, but this person makes some pretty good points.  Felt like sharing it!  Enjoy!--or don't.  Doesn't matter to me.

"There are a couple of sweeping generalisations that I'm going to make here.

1. Sony over-promise and under deliver

2. Microsoft like their secrets

Why are MS hiding stuff? They've done it before (http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?p=8497035). They hid an entire ANA chip in the 360. Times have now moved on and you can now hide tech in a different 'layer', maybe history is repeating itself. What do you think Microsoft spent $3 billion on? If they spent it on custom hardware that gives slightly less performance than an off the shelf part is that good business? I'm hoping that MS are more clued up than that and haven't thrown that money away.
Personally I've always been dubious about the XB1 tech being all there is more down to the size of the box and cooling system (given that it's got an external PSU as well). Some say that they don't want a repeat of the RROD, but for a start that was nothing to do with lack of cooling or ventilation, it was down to lead free solder and was sorted pretty quickly. Subsequent 360 models were in the same chassis so no need for a massive case and cooling. The XB1 PSU also has a pretty high power overhead if it's underpowered relative to the PS4.

For a dual GPU on a PC yes you'll need a 700W PSU, but for a power efficient dual GPU on a SoC you won't need anywhere near that. In a PC you have to have a massive power overhead as you don't know what other hardware is going to be there. Each GPU is a massive beast in itself not only containing the GPU circuitry but its own cooling & a shedload of power hungry video RAM. The GPU in the XB1 probably uses no more than 30-50W, the second (if there is one) will use around the same. It's all covered by one cooling solution so no extra power needed there and the RAM is the same, so the only difference would be the circuitry of the GPU, which is getting ever more power efficient.

Are MS hiding something? I don't know why but my gut feeling is yes. They've done it before and I think they've taken the '10 year vision' seriously this time. They've said it's a marathon not a sprint and I think it'll play out like that. Why not announce all this, why give the PR advantage to Sony? Now that's more difficult to explain. If they did rush to market to match the PS4 and the software wasn't there to take advantage of all the hardware (ie DX12 wasn't ready) then they had to launch with what they had. Would you announce amazing power and then only show games on a par with the PS4? People will ask where that power is. Another option would be to say that we can't leverage the power yet, but just wait for the games next year when we can, in which case you've just rubbished all the launch games and people will wait and won't buy the console.

It's a tricky one to explain, but I think that with all the things that have been shown here the saying 'there's no smoke without fire' applies. Albert Penelo did rubbish the dGPU claim, but I don't see him replying to the latest tweet about a stacked chip ;-)"


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