Microsoft's new Challenge Scorpio Xbox may blow the PS4 Professional out of the water, problem high-end PCs – ExtremeTech

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Microsoft lastly introduced among the particulars of its subsequent Challenge Scorpio replace, and the implications for the Xbox One product line are big. This isn’t simply an improve or a duplication of present sources like Sony used with the PS4 Professional. That is one thing fully completely different, and Microsoft doesn’t appear to be simply gunning for the PS4 – which is having within the PC market as properly.

Challenge Scorpio

Project Scorpio will function 40 computing models & Radeon & # 39; Customized (2,560 cores, presumably) with a clock of 1172MHz. The rise in clock velocity is just one.37x greater than the Xbox One, whereas the variety of GPU cores has elevated by three.33x.

The brand new Scorpio SoC venture, constructed on the 16MM FinFET course of from TSMC. Knowledge from Digital Foundry strongly recommend that Scorpio is predicated on Polaris, not Vega.

It is said that the L2 cache has quadrupled, from 512 KB to 2 MB, which matches the RX 470 and RX 480 configurations. Microsoft is said to have doubled the number of backends Of rendering in the chip of 16 (Xbox One) to 32 (Scorpio), that again conforms to the architecture of Polaris. Scorpio is actually slightly larger than RX 480, at 2560 cores instead of 2304 cores. That's a 1.11x increase in GPU cores and a 7.5% decrease in GPU frequency compared to the AMD PC variant. Microsoft claims a 2.7x increase in GPU fill rate – more than enough for 4K games (according to MS). The RX 480 looks like the closest analogue to the GPU within Project Scorpio.

The memory bandwidth also gets a huge kick. The Xbox One was criticized for its decision to rely on cheaper DDR3 instead of going to the unified GDDR5 route that Sony chose. Scorpio will use GDDR5, and offers 12GB of memory, up to 8GB. That 12 GB of RAM is accessed through a series of 32-bit memory buses, for a total of 326 GB / s of memory bandwidth. That's almost 5 times the DRAM bandwidth of the Xbox One, not counting the 32MB cache. It's also on par with what the GTX 1080 offers.

A quote from Digital Foundry suggests that Microsoft has done an important job of customizing its GPU front-end. From the article:

The most exciting aspect surrounding CPU refreshment is not actually related to processor blocks at all, but to the GPU's command processor: the hardware that Receives instructions from the CPU, channeling them through the graphic base.

"We essentially moved Direct3D 12," says Goossen. "We built that in the GPU command processor and what that means is that for all the high frequency API invocations that make the games, all of them natively implemented in the command processor logic – and what this means is That our communication from the game to the GPU is super efficient. "

Processing drawing calls – effectively telling the graphics hardware what to draw – is one of the most important tasks the CPU performs. It can absorb a lot of processor resources, a pipeline that traditionally takes thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands – of CPU instructions. With the Scorpio hardware download, any call can be executed with only 11 instructions, and only 9 for a change of state.

"It is a massive victory for us and for developers who have adopted D3D12 on Xbox, we have been told we have been able to reduce CPU processing above half, which is quite surprising, Because now the driver part of it is a small fraction, "adds Goossen

These changes seem to point to a console much more powerful than anything Microsoft has previously sent, but what about The CPU?

As for the Scorpio CPU, Microsoft is not revealing all its secrets yet. The chip now has a 2.3GHz clock (from 1.73GHz), but is not a Ryzen processor. Microsoft is just saying that the kernel is very personalized to greatly improve its overall performance. We have speculated before about how MS could achieve that – Jaguar definitely had some low fruit, including its medium speed L2 cache and relatively slow memory controller. Just addressing those issues would speed up the CPU up a bit.

Eurogamer notes that some Scorpio customizations include latency reductions and better CPU / GPU consistency, all of which should improve

Even in a 16nm process node TSMC This firepower goes to generate a whole lot of warmth – however Microsoft has borrowed a trick from the PC trade to maintain its console contemporary. Scorpio will use a steam chamber warmth sink to assist transfer warmth out of the APU and into the warmth sink. As a substitute of a standard axial fan, Scorpio makes use of a centrifugal fan that "appears to be like like a supercharger in an vehicle".

[Project] Steam chamber of Scorpio. Digital Foundry Picture

Microsoft consists of an inside energy provide for Scorpio rated at 245W. AMD might have benefited from a greater design of course of nodes in TSMC, because the RX 480 would have represented solely the a lot of the nominal energy of the facility provide.

Now we have extra to say about Scorpio and its potential to render in 4K, backward compatibility, and another points of design, however the fundamental technical specs give us greater than sufficient meat to chew on for an article.

Until calamitous issues, Microsoft has constructed a console that ought to simply overcome Sony PS4 Professional. The brand new Scorpio is quicker, its GPU is greater, and it could actually dedicate a complete of 8GB of RAM to the video games , With 4GB reserved for the working system. Junking the 32MB RAM cache in favor of counting on GDDR5 also needs to make it simpler for builders to focus on the platform.

Digital Foundry noticed Scorpio working Forza 6 Apex at a velocity.

And fluency that they’ve solely seen matched by the GTX 1080 on a PC. I'm not suggesting that anybody deal with that single metric as proof that the Xbox Scorpio is as highly effective as Nvidia's second strongest GPU, however it's a really spectacular show for a console that has not but launched. 4 years after the discharge, gross sales of Xbox One are nonetheless following Sony by a margin of just about 2: 1. There’s a good cause for that – the Xbox One is considerably much less highly effective than the Sony console, and nearly at all times loses its Rival by way of visible constancy or efficiency when evaluating the 2.

Scorpio is about to alter Every part – and Eurogamer thinks it should debut at simply $ 499.

Now learn: The best free games on the Xbox One

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