Digital Foundry Article Technical Discussion Archive [2013]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by helio, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. Silent_Buddha

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    So, question then is, what do those games do when there is no HDD present? The X360 with 4 GB of flash storage was the first X360 without a HDD that also had onboard storage (well other than the very small amount that was used for the OS).

    All games ran just fine at the same speed regardless of whether there is a HDD present or not. That was the whole value proposition of having a lower SKU without a storage pool. You could game cheaper at no compromise in games. The only thng that is required was a memory unit in order to store your saved games. Which was basically the only thing the 4 GB flash storage pool in the new HDD-less X360 was used for.

    IMO, just like with the original X360 (before the 4 GB flash model), all onboard flash storage will be reserved for the OS (and any future expansion of the OS) with the possible exception that OS apps may also have access. I could always be wrong, after all this is all purely speculation, but it would seem the most likely scenario.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  2. bkilian

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    They do actually run slower on the non-hdd models. Loading screens are slightly longer since assets have to load from disc.
     
  3. HTupolev

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    Depends on how the game uses the HDD and how the developer chose to deal with it, evidently. According to one of the presentations from Bungie's Publications page, Halo 3 actually uses fewer sound permutations when playing on a SKU with no HDD. They were dealing with the 360's small memory pool by storing/streaming large pools of sound assets off the HDD, and having just a DVD drive isn't as nice for the "streaming" part of that, so...
     
    #803 HTupolev, Sep 30, 2013
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  4. aaaaa00

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    For what it's worth, I have personally benchmarked a new(er) Samsung eMMC 4.5 part at 150 MB/s sustained sequential read performance (1MB I/O size / queue depth 32). This was a real world implementation inside a real world device, running a real world test.

    Yeah, still not as good as SATA SSDs, but they are getting better, and they're still much smaller, significantly cheaper, and more power efficient.

    After all, you can't exactly fit an mSATA into a phone...
     
  5. LightHeaven

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    They could use it only for caching, in the beginning I believe devs weren't even allowed to make games that required the HDD.. This means playing games without the HDD resulted in longer load times. If I'm not mistaken, the very basic caching features were even "free" for developers to use, just by having the HDD there the system would cache files.
     
  6. Alucardx23

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  7. Shifty Geezer

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    Or rather, MS to optimise launch OS and FW and free up some resources for developers along the line.
     
  8. Bagel seed

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    You know.. technically, MS would be allowing owners to unlock a substantial amount of GPU power every time they turn on the console.
     
  9. Strange

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    +1 Flop every time you click the power on button.

    You have purchased 5 fingers, with a total of 0.5 more Flops per second

    Start clicking!
     
  10. rokkerkory

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    haha this is so right on :razz:

    Achievement Unlocked: 10% more GPU POWA
     
  11. Scott_Arm

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    Isn't that what the article and title suggest?
     
  12. zupallinere

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    The subtitle sure does. The previous article mentioned the 2 unused extra CUs so a first interpretation would be that those extra GPU resources could be put into play. Makes no sense but it is kind of a reasonable interpretation for fans.

    6.6 % increase gives the XB1 ExSqueezeIt Balance as opposed to the previous version ;-)

    It's nice to get some more info on the reservations for the OS/Kinect but that is balanced by the upclock fan service. A little more of this talk from Microsoft's Ken Lobb would be helpful.

    Who let the adult in the room :razz:

    It's interesting to note that GPGPU will be used by the Kinect it seems. Funny how that is utilized but the extra CUs would be comparatively useless. ;-)

    Come on Sony how about some more info :grin:
     
  13. Scott_Arm

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    The skeletal tracking for Kinect 360 was also GPGPU, from what I've read.
     
  14. Averagejoe

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    Question is how much can they free up from the 10% without gimping the features,3% 4%.?

    That is basically nothing is not even worth mentioning,is easy to see that MS is desperate to make the xbox one look stronger.
     
  15. Scott_Arm

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    Or it's not desperation and it's just a reasonable optimization that came up as part of a discussion of hardware utilization during a technical interview.
     
  16. function

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    The 10% reservation was confirmed by MS in the same interview where they said they'd look to reduce it.

    How is MS talking about the 10% reservation an attempt to make the Xbox look stronger?

    For months people said MS wouldn't talk about the hardware because they were ashamed of it and that they should give the technically illiterate mob in-depth details. Then MS talk about it honestly and reveal really interesting stuff that they have no need to, and suddenly they're either liars or desperately trying to mislead.

    Sheesh.

    Oh, and good work that Digital Foundry. Interesting stuff!
     
  17. Rangers

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    Yeah I agree. But every little bit helps. I was thinking maybe 5% gained back eventually? Heck that is almost equal to the GPU upclock that got all that press. The GPU upclock was ~80Gflops and 5%/1.3T would be ~65 GFLOPs (rough figures IIRC).

    Given how well the Wii U seems to perform with probably just 176GFLOPs total (assuming 160 shaders), puts those small numbers into perspective, they can be helpful.


    The GPU upclock gained them ~7%, so it knocked out a lot of the reservation to begin with, compared to baseline.

    Overall it's good to see they are aggressively thinking about performance like this though (though, it means they should have specced beefier to begin!). This makes me hopeful they will give the rumored 1GB of RAM limbo back to games soon for a total of 6GB, though I've heard NOTHING about that.
     
  18. Jay

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    So your saying if they specced beefier to begin with they then wouldn't have bothered to try to optimise the system?
    Or wouldn't need to?
    Why would it be any different than it is now?
     
  19. Shifty Geezer

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    Not the title. It implies there's more GPU power that'll be made available without explaining where from, and given a penchant for some internet perusers to believe in secret extra hardware, and to seek understand from one-liner titles instead of reading whole articles, I felt it worth qualifying at first glance where the extra GPU power was to come from.
     
  20. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Well the issue I see is what do they mean by "10%" of the resources reserved to begin with.
    They might reserve ALU, but I don't think the thing they are doing with even 10% of the those ALUs are for example eating 10% of the bandwidth the GPU uses while doing its job.
    Lower the amount of reserved resources is nice though abit like with arbitration about the number of CUs vs clock speed I don't think that giving back (most likely some ALUs time) is going to make the difference the number could lead one to assume.
    I don't believe that they were reserving 10% of the ALU time and 10% of the bandwidth, 10% of the fixed function hardware, etc.
    Still nice there is no disputing it. The big issue is that MSFT puts them selves in a situation where they have to be open but they are not managing it properly, from a PR pov that should be announced at the same time as the up-clock for greater impact (now matter how it translates in the real world, it is not like internet people cares about Durango CPU running faster, being freed of sound processing => you are not only freeing cycle but cache, unnecessary coherency traffic, etc. Not a nigh and day difference, not irrelevant either).
     
    #820 liolio, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2013
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