An original Xbox can do Doom 3 at 720p natively with extra RAM

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by mavox01, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. mavox01

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    Yes, but that's without optimization. Alot of games struggled at 480p or had frame drops with being optimized. Mostly on the other machines.

    What I'm saying is give devs 512mb of RAM and target 480p to save resources. I think that would have greatly extended its life in a "what if" scenario.
     
  2. Silent_Buddha

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    The problem there is that upping the RAM to 512 MB (8x the memory) likely would have also doubled the cost of the machine. Imagine sales of the console being even lower than what it actually did at that price point. MS was already eating ~125 USD per unit sold at launch, so, yeah. While nice to think about, it just wasn't something that was in any way remotely economically viable.

    IIRC my PC at the time had 256 MB of DDR RAM (double Windows XPs requirements) and that cost me a pretty penny.

    However, that said. I would have loved an Xbox with that much RAM. I was already using a hacked Xbox with XBMC as my HTPC, more memory would certainly have allowed me to do more with the console. :)

    Regards,
    SB
     
  3. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    #23 swaaye, Apr 18, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  4. eastmen

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    I always thought a dreamcast in 1999 or 2000 would have been hard for sony to beat. The dreamcast was 1998 in japan with SH-4 @ 200mhz , 16MB Ram / 8 MB video and 2 audio and had a 100mhz clx2 and 67mhz sound chip.

    Naomi 2 hit in 2000 with two clx2 32/16/8 I believe and 2 SH-4 chips. A home system like this but with perhaps 1 SH-4 and 1 CLX2 could have been a killer system paired up with one Elan T+L chip

    They could have possibly also just gone with a SH-4 cpu and Kyro since that card was out in 2000
     
  5. mavox01

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    Yeah I was just thinking more in the vein of an upgrade in around 2005 or so, more like an Xbox Pro instead of 360. By then, the parts were far cheaper and considering how much money was lost in RROD, not mention all the R&D and new parts needed for 360.
     
  6. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    Part of the reason Microsoft shifted from intel/nVidia to PowerPC/ATI was that the prices weren't cheaper. I think I remember reading that MS signed contracts with fixed prices for the CPU and GPU, and they never got cheaper through the generation, and intel and Nvidia declined to renegotiate. I'd imagine that's why MS was so eager to move on from Xbox to 360. Also, I think most RROD issues could have been avoided with better board manufacturing. It wasn't so much that the chips failed, it was that they lost connectivity with the motherboard. That's why reflowing them fixed the issue.
     
  7. mavox01

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    They were losing like $125 on each xbox and Microsoft signed contracts to keep losing money the entire generation? That's arguably worse decision I've ever heard of. I like to read about that.


    The other thing is the xbox slashed its price to $179 by 2003. Then $150. They're losing $300 per unit by that point. No way they make that back on first party software sales and royalties. The whole thing makes no sense to me. Sign a contract to lock in prices on chipsets in a time where they were rapidly changing.
     
  8. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    I don't remember the specifics, maybe prices declined by fixed amounts but not fast enough. But BOM would decrease anyway because memory, DVD and HDD, etc. would have all become cheaper. There are models of Xbox that have hard drives larger than 8GB, for example, because drive sizes expanded to the point that 8GB drives were more expensive than larger ones. They were partitioned to only have 8GB accessible, though.

    Edit - Found an article about the case. It was settled in arbitration. Microsoft was ordering shipments of chips from nVidia, but nVidia wanted prices to stay the same. No financial details were listed when they settled, but MS was not happy about the deal and not only chose ATi for 360, they also licensed the chip design and handled the fabrication contracts. I think part of the problem was that nVidia really had control over Xbox in a way MS didn't care for. If nVidia shipped them less chips, they couldn't do anything about it. The deal with ATi allowed them for shop around fabs for a better deal or have multiple fabs if demand required it.
     
    #28 see colon, Apr 19, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  9. iceberg187

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    I never owned it but I've always thought that this was the best graphical showcase for the OG Xbox when it was all said and done.

     
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  10. mavox01

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    Sounds like a bunch of moving pieces there in the agreements. Lots of unknowns. It did seem like they had plenty of leeway with price around 2003/04. I know console makers shift their technology often so its not surprising they jumped ship.
     
  11. mavox01

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    Pretty open environment, damage model with destruction. Is that also 720p 60fps on a stock xbox?
     
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  12. see colon

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    The price drops were after the settlement IIRC. Since there are no details we really don't know who won or lost anything in the deal, but you could tell MS wasn't thrilled about the situation they had put themselves in, and set themselves up with more future proof deals with 360/One. They still ended up having to pay royalties to nVidia to get BC working on 360 I think. Custom surface/texture formats and audio that nVidia had patents for.
     
  13. mavox01

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    I wonder how much an Xbox cost them to produce in 2004-ish. Would be nice to know.

    Doing some hunting around, I think I'm more impressed by this hardware than any other console for its time. I feel like disregarding the bad deals they made, the hardware could have gotten some slight upgrades and made a heck of a difference. Obviously it was RAM starved and a CPU overclock is possible too I know from the modding community. Combine both of those in 2004-05 with developer optimization and you could be looking at some amazing results. Not XB360 level of course.
     
  14. see colon

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    Xbox's advantages are even more apparent today now that we have better displays. The field rending artifacts on many PS2 games really hurt it, and the lower detail textures and effects are more visible now than they were on CRTs back in the day.
     
  15. PSman1700

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    PS2 design was also finished in late 1999, using custom parts wheras MS used full fat desktop parts for the most, releasing one and a half year later. 733 p3 was very capable for a console aswell as a GPU more advanced than what was in pc, more akin to a geforce 4. Also double the ram of the other consoles, and 1gb of 'scratchpad' on the hdd for games. The xbox was basically superior in every way and by quite alot. Xbox could also do dd5.1 in hardware basically being a checklist feature.
    Oh, it was also easier to develop for ;)

    It was an amazing generation, ps2 probably got 'tapped' the most and even the GC had its titles with amazing visuals (for the time).
     
  16. mavox01

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    I feel like all three were really good for what they were trying to do. I think one technical aspect that gets overlooked a lot is the Xbox's HDD. Devs weren't really used to taking advantage of a specific HDD for console games yet, they were still using the shotgun approach for PC. Doom 3 and a few others did, but the Xbox was just so far ahead of the others. We started seeing some of it powerband 2004 but it never matured imo.
    I mean you look at stuff like COD3, Far Cry, and HOTD, Splinter Cell, Ghost Assault on Wii compared to Xbox. Somehow the Xbox almost always had the better visuals or framerate, and the Wii was basically 2 gamecubes taped together. :-D It still didn't matter. I've seen some people argue bad ports, but it just seems across the board.
     
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  17. mavox01

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    I was also reading on the forums that there about 30 games you can force to native 720p on Xbox without touching the hardware at all. No RAM upgrade or anything and it performs well. Imagine with optimization.Just seems like it had a lot of headroom for something so demanding at that time. 720p was considered an extremely high resolution in the early 2000s for consoles. Maybe respectable for PC, can't remember.
     
  18. PSman1700

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    Resolutions on pc went upwards quite fast during those times (as did hardware advancements) but yes for 2001 standards thats quite high, even on pc. Theres a Quake 2 port for the og xbox, it still functions to play online matches today. In the settings menu, you can alter rendering resolutions, im running 1280x1024 (to a crt) no problems, stock xbox hardware (just softmodded, ofcourse).
     
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  19. see colon

    see colon All Ham & No Potatos
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    PS2 had more fillrate, more GPU bandwidth, and a more flexible geometry pipeline. The games that shined on PS2 were ones that were able to leverage those advantages. Looking back, it's easy to see why PS2 was designed the way it was. Bandwidth, plolygons/second, and fillrate were the limiting factors for real time 3d when it was being designed. Xbox had the advantage of licensing it's graphics chip from a forward looking company at a time where the processor in question was cutting edge. Memory bandwidth probably held back the Xbox quite a bit.
     
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  20. mavox01

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    How would bandwidth hold back the XBox when it'll do 720p with a lot of games without increasing the bandwidth at all, just the RAM pool. Many just need a patch, no RAM at all. Resolution is directly tied to the GPU so seems there is plenty of bandwidth for something extremely taxing like that.

    There was a multiplatform developer on here a while back that basically said most everything you could do on ps2 or GC could you do through brute force or software on Xbox. Most just didn't bother with the time to do it. Or the advantages for the other consoles wouldn't show onscreen because the Xbox advantages would be much more apparent.
     
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