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Microsoft boosts Xbox One GPU by 53MHz in pre-launch tweak

by Mark Tyson on 5 August 2013, 03:30

Tags: Xbox

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Microsoft has confirmed that a few changes have been made to the Xbox One to tweak it and get it ready for its launch in November. Xbox One chief product officer Marc Whitten revealed some of the changes in a podcast hosted by Major Nelson just before the weekend. In summary, after substantial hands-on and testing time the Xbox One developers have improved the console by tweaking up the GPU clock speed to 853MHz and created a new "mono driver" that is "100% optimised" for the hardware.

During the podcast Whitten said "It’s a super exciting time". He explained that "This is the time when you’ve gone from all of these specs and all of these arguments over the last several years to having the product, and really starting to try it internally. We’re running our internal beta and using it at home and starting to see the product really come together."

Whitten mentioned some specific changes to the Xbox hardware and software that the design team thought were optimal choices, following the testing of the first models, "This is the time when we’ve gone from the theory of how the hardware works - what we think the yield is going to look like, what is the thermal envelope, how do things come together - to actually having it in our hands." He detailed " example of that is we’ve tweaked up the clock speed on our GPU, from 800 MHz to 853 MHz. Just an example of how you really start landing the program as you get closer to launch."

The driver software which will help developers make the most of the Xbox One hardware has also been improved "...developers have the final dev kits in their hands and are really working closely with us on how things have come together. Since E3, an example is we’ve dropped in what we internally call our ‘mono driver.’ It’s our graphics driver that really is 100% optimized for the Xbox One hardware". Whitten concluded his Xbox One update by saying that the development team is working hard, with passion and everyday they are trying to improve and refine what the Xbox One will offer.

According to the most recent leaks the Xbox One will be released in the UK on 29th November, priced at £419.99. Prices in other regions are 499 US Dollars, 499 Euros and 599 Australian Dollars.

HEXUS Forums :: 22 Comments

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I still think it looks like a 1980's video player.
Not sure a 6% increase in frequency will make up for the fact it has 50% less graphics cores than the PS4.
Not sure a 6% increase in frequency will make up for the fact it has 50% less graphics cores than the PS4.

As with all things IT, a single number, taken in isolation, doesn't directly translate into a real world metric.

An arguement that can also be applied to this articles claim that 53Mhz clock speed increase translates to a 6.6% performance improvement. That'd likely only be true if the game fully saturated the processor and was continually waiting for the next cycle
Early games won't make the most of either the XBox One or the PS4, although the PS4's less esoteric hardware configuration should mean that developers can quickly ramp up the performance on that hardware, whilst with the XBox One they have to learn to make best use of the ESRAM and the Move Engines to get the most out of the hardware. And we also don't know how good the PS4's graphics drivers are (or these XBox One ‘mono’ drivers).
I fear Microsoft are stuck a little in the past with this, this next gen console wouldn't have looked all that out of place two years ago as a ‘cheapish’ mid range build, I for one am a little disapointed…