Digital Foundry Microsoft Xbox Scorpio Reveal [2017: 04-06, 04-11, 04-15, 04-16]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by iroboto, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. bunnybug

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    I thought DX12 into GPU was the "killer customization" of Scorpio, now we find out this thing was already in Xbox One/One S
     
  2. 3dilettante

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    Wouldn't that depend on whether AMD is permitted to use Microsoft's custom microcode payload in discrete products, assuming DX12 on the PC can transparently work with it?
    Since it is a custom feature, Microsoft might be able to reserve it for private use or restrict it from disadvantaging other IHVs under Windows.

    I don't see where the DX12-optimized Jaguar concept comes from. They were re-implemented for the process node and may have some secondary tweaks, but it's the GPU's command processor and its software payload that is involved with the "hardware" D3D12 functionality.
    The Xbox One's custom DX11 implementation had accelerated functions already before DX12 was brought in.
     
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  3. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    No.
    The killer customization of Scorpio is the profiling done to alter the specs of the overall system to support Xbox one games at 4K. It's true that what they've done could only be done at a mid gen refresh, without the data points it would be hard to profile.
     
  4. 3dilettante

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    It might have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication between Goossen and Leadbetter. The article that provides sections of the conversation that might have lost some context, but Goossen's original quote prior to the update is ambiguous in that it describes Xbox rather than Scorpio in particular, and can be interpreted to be discussing gains developers have already seen.

    From http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-project-scorpio-tech-revealed
    That this capability is described as being expanded with Scorpio may be in line with how GCN 3 and higher GPUs were more flexible in the microcode features they could load or update, due to microcode capacity or specific hardware features.
     
  5. mpg1

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    Yeah it's hard to know with the snippet about DirectX 12 in that article. Who knows in what context they were talking or what question was asked. Re-reading it it sounds like it could have been a general tech answer..
     
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  6. Anarchist4000

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    Thinking about it, the ACE/HWS addition would be new relative to XB1 and likely reduce CPU usage as it handles synchronization. I'll admit I don't know how async draw calls were handled on console, but comparable PC hardware isn't receiving support anymore. This may be what the CP optimization brought as you suggested.

    It's also possible it's fixed on Scorpio as the HSA features AMD swapped in aren't relevant on Scorpio. If the implementation was somewhat final, a hardwired element, along with smaller programmable element for indirect execution or new features, might be what they described.

    The async scheduling hardware would be the major DX12 hardware requirement relevant to the command processor.
     
  7. Scott_Arm

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    I don't know. Gamers are buying 4k monitors and expensive GTX1070 and GTX1080 gpus to drive them. Then you have people who want UHD BluRay etc. There are people that care about increased resolution. I don't know if they've all been tricked into it. That's kind of where PS4 Pro and Scorpio fit, in that high-end gamer niche. Sony pretty much explicitly said they're made pro to retain consumers that switch to PC mid-gen. Dice even says console gaming was due for a resolution upgrade in one of their GDC presentations, the one where they talk about checkerboard rendering in Mass Effect. I've seen some devs that are not that hyped about it. But that's kind of the point. There is a market for it. Some people want it. Not everyone has to. If you don't want it now, skip the "mid-gen" or whatever you want to call it and just buy the next console.

    I also don't really know if microsoft has any incentive to sell 4k tvs. Sony does, but I don't think I'm cynical enough to believe that's primarily why they made PS4 Pro. I think their story about keeping people on the platform instead of migrating to pc mid-gen is pretty believable.
     
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  8. Anarchist4000

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    Some of the discussion I've seen was more against 4k+ the panel manufacturers were pushing as opposed to HDR, color depth, variable refresh, etc that are arguably more meaningful upgrades. Pixel density on 4k is pretty good except for large TVs.
     
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  9. Nisaaru

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    Any thoughts why they need 362sqmm for the SOC when a RX480 with 36CUs needs 232, 8 Jaguar cores should be around 12sqmm(3.1sqmm at 28nm) at 16nm, 4 extra CUs, the extra GDDR5 controller unit and small stuff we know about can't take almost 120sqmm. They say no L3 for the CPU what do we miss here? extra blown up caches for the RX480 or just more redundancy to compensate for the higher clock affecting yield?
     
  10. AlBran

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    3.1mm^2 for 28nm Jaguar core does not include the L2 cache. Just measure the the two quads in the chipworks photo.

    IIRC, 16nmFF is slightly less dense than 14nmFF as well.

    There's probably other additional hardware from MS.

    I believe it was mentioned that there are 4 disabled CUs.
     
    #370 AlBran, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  11. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    I think it was against locking HDR to 4K panels. If there was a quality screen with HDR that was cheaper than the 4K variant it would sell very well.
     
  12. iroboto

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    Agreed. I was thinking along the lines of the release of the Radeon 7790, which contained all the features found in Xbox One. I was under an impression that it was possible such a thing happened with Polaris. It would be next to impossible to test this feature though.

    I'm not sure how a development studio would be able to confirm the increased output as a result of these customizations. I assume one way could be that to compare a PC spec build of Scorpio, versus the actual dev kit and see where they land in draw call performance.
     
  13. Nisaaru

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    There are also disabled units in the RX480 so that's pretty much a wash at least if we assume the same kind of redundancy. Even with 2*2MB L2 extra that's still a lot unexplained room.
     
  14. AlBran

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    There are no disabled units in the 480. There are only 36CUs.

    Define "a lot" ? It's known that MS added some additional bits. A high speed GDDR5 bus isn't going to be small either, so +50% is going to be considerable.

    Perhaps there is some amount of dead space for thermal/power density reasons as well. See Durango/Liverpool layouts.
     
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  15. Nisaaru

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    AMD's RX480 has no disabled CUs for redundancy?
     
  16. randgris

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    Xbox One has 4 Render Backend right?
    Scorpio now has 8 Render Backend...But why?
     
  17. mosen

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    This quote is from Andrew Goossen 2013 interview with DF:

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-the-complete-xbox-one-interview

    So MS wanted this custom feature on PC side, too.

    If I remember correctly Xbox One has 2MB SRAM between two cluster of Jaguar CPUs. This might be the case for Scorpio too but at higher capacity (e.g. 4/8MB or higher because of 4k contents).
     
    #377 mosen, Apr 8, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  18. dobwal

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    Happy with mediocrity? Where did Cell get Sony? The reality is that regardless of how cutting edge you as a console manufacturer may want to be, you can't step up every 4-8 years and expect to rival the latest and greatest from intel/AMD/nvidia with tech that's meant for a $300-$500 device.

    Smart engineering in the console space went a long way in the 80s-90s when the general purpose CPU was the primary workhorse for PC rendering and gpus were a new thing centered around small companies mostly servicing a fledgling market. But we are past those times and now we have a few companies that collectively generate billions annually by producing processors specifically designed for gaming. Showing up every few years to outsmart those who spent everyday for decades trying to outsmart each other isn't a sound strategy. It's smarter to appropriate their designs instead trying to invent tech thats more performant while being cheaper. Because in the long run, the former strategy will prove to more fruitful than the latter.
     
  19. LeStoffer

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    Nice DF article. It certainly seems to me that Microsoft has made some smart choices without complicating things unnecessarily. It is all about making the right compromises in a Console within a silicon and cost budget. I might very well be in the market for one for the family. :yes:
     
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  20. Inuhanyou

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    Is it just me who thinks MS knocked it out of the park features wise? Not so much the hardware itself, don't care about that...but their commitment to making a statement on making sure all of the library is treated with consistency and respect with that more capable hardware is great to see.

    Is this the advantage of being a software oriented company over a hardware oriented one?
     
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