MS releases Xbox One S All Digital edition (No Optical Drive)

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by mrcorbo, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Jay

    Jay
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    That would mean changing the memory controller. At that point might be cheaper to do the scorpio engine reduction.
    Also the esram might shrink well, but cut down scorpio engine might be smaller, memory controller everything would remain same so less design changes apart from less cu's.
     
  2. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    not really.

    A cut down scorpio may not be able to emulate esram properly.
    So you've got a completely different set of problems here.
     
  3. Jay

    Jay
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    Doubt the cost of changing the apu to ddr4 is part of their contract.

    They'll already know what minimum speed gddr5 should be required to maintain compatibility. Based on extrapolation from all those simulations they ran.

    But yeah, considerations how ever they shrink it if they do.

    Think Albert recently mentioned cost of shrink isn't cheap. But I may be misremembering.
     
  4. iroboto

    iroboto Daft Funk
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    they could also use GDDR5, but 384 bit bus ain't going to work unless they ship with 12 GB.

    I think it's easier to ship with esram.
     
  5. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    A cut down scorpio means switching to GDDR5, and it'd be a separate compatibility profile from Scorpio (unpatched scorpio titles sans forced AF, essentially). They would need some way to deal with redundant/wasted buffer transfers that might normally take place as a result.

    Switching to DDR4 means having to deal with different memory channels unless I guess it's 16x 8-bit channels running at double clock (still a niche DDR4 spec @ 4266) instead of 16x16-bit channels (DDR3)? I'm not sure how the config would work there for least headaches or if there'd be much savings there since it'd need 16 chips (unless they get some sorta twin 16-bit DDR4 somehow.... and might as well consider GDDR6 at that point :p)

    Switching to GDDR6 might be the best way to go about any of that since it'd be a relatively mid-spec bin to compensate for bandwidth losses (transparent ESRAM buffer swaps), and it'd have the functional bits (ha ha ha) for the memory channel configuration.

    e.g. 16gbit x 4 chips x (2x16-bit channels per chip)

    Should be interesting to see how they deal with the DDR3 situation.
     
    #185 AlBran, Mar 7, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  6. Jay

    Jay
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    Just a note, they already have BC profile for unpatched games. That's what I was suggesting they could go with.
    Sounds reasonable, this would require it to run like in BC mode, may not be too bad patching it into OS.

    To be honest whatever they go with I think they should give it a 15+‰ boost to gpu, not trying to even match ps4, just to help it in its twilight years, some games are getting close to unplayable now, put that in xcloud and add streaming to the mix, could give pretty bad experience, and they don't need to give bad first impressions.
    This could be a good opportunity to refresh 1S all around.
     
    #186 Jay, Mar 7, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
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  7. function

    function None functional
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    DDR3 is still cheaper than DDR4 on DRAM Exchange. If this new discless model is only intended to see out the remaining lifespan of the X1 / X1S then it might very well be cheaper to just continue on as before. This is probably what we'll get, I reckon.

    I personally like the idea re-using The Scorpion Thing though, however unlikely it is.

    A new chip assembled from already re-designed blocks, taking the CPU and GPU enhancements MS have already paid for, to fix issues X1 games run into. Drop 1/3 of the memory and memory bus, ditch half the GPU, lower clocks somewhat allround and it'll still be a lot faster than a 1S at running 1S software. You'd use half the number of memory chips, have a smaller PCB, be using the lowest bin and cheapest GDDR5, retain features such as system level aniso filtering, and X1 games with crappy frame rates would magically and transparently be fixed, while also looking a little better. Developers won't even have to target the system (you wouldn't let them).

    Thing is, that's another new chip to be working on while you're already working on at least two others, and another entire production line instead of just a different case for the same internals. You could replace the 1S internals too, but then you're juggling SKUs in the year before your two (?) new systems land.

    I think with this being an investigation into discless, MS will be looking for minimum costs, and lowest retail price. Low upfront costs with Gamepass and Live bringing the bacon in the long term. Also getting discless into the market before "next gen" removes controversy for the new machines.
     
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  8. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    it's such a pity in a way, that some stores disappear.... :-(:-( Physical games are going to stay in the long while, I think, for collectors only... :/ My last physical purchase was Doom 2016 for the Xbox One. But that's because I am from a very small village, and the nearest store is like 40 minutes away.

    Still, when I bought Doom 2016 for XB1 there was a girl there in the Game store that I liked soooo much, I had a huge crash on her before.... That Game store is now closed btw . :/

    Also, physical games are famous -and infamous, it depends- for their covers, good and bad -it would be very fun to have a bad covers in the history of videogames thread-
     
  9. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    Right, but there's an implicit assumption being made there with respect to the bandwidth requirements necessary for the forced AF or even to deal with the bandwidth contention (note that full 320GB/s is available even for unpatched games even if half the GPU is not), which was what I was getting at. Because the games are unpatched, numerous titles are operating under the assumption that there is a split memory pool, and ESRAM <-> DDR3 swaps may occur on the fully shared bus that may lead to a pitfall in performance if there's not enough headroom. How much overhead they need is not discussed, which is what I was concerned about.
     
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  10. Jay

    Jay
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    I do think that it would be worth an gpu upclock in performance which should overall mask any deficiency that it would have against esram.

    Using ddr4 would probably require more R&D, where they already have stats and actual silicon for gddr5.

    But I have little hope that this will be done, it's more an interesting talking point around a shrink and what could be done with it.
    Would a shrink and keeping ddr3 for the next 3+ years be worth it.
    Or no shrink because xcloud is only for infrastructure testing and 1S(ADE), will also be dropped soon after next gen release?
     
  11. function

    function None functional
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    I don't *think* BW would be an issue - internally the esram is very fast for simultaneous read/write operations, but there appear to be very few cases where it allows the X1 to outperform, say, PS4 over the course of a whole frame. And that's even without Delta Colour Compression - Scorpio / PS4Pro can do a lot more with the same bandwidth in terms of ROPerations.

    In terms of esram <-> DDR3 transfers, I would assume that said transfers are mimicked by by swapping around a virtual address and pretending a 'real' transfer has taken place. Might even be faster and lower overhead than the real thing!

    If the AF overhead was too much, you could always tone it down a little. Witcher 3 (upatched) ran with a 40% bump in res, with higher frame rates and high AF, so Scorpio seems like it would have the overhead to be cut down somewhat and still exceed the OG X1.

    Just speculation of course, but I do think there's a lot of potential for a cut down 1X to handle worst case scenarios and run a whole load better 99.9% of the time.

    One of the problems with a GPU clock bump is that it doesn't get around the 1X's biggest issue, which is that if you're putting buffers in DDR3 (because esram is so pitifully small) you're crap out of bandwidth. Just as a thought experiment, if we were to speculate that out of the 68 GB/s of DDR3 BW, if you actually acheived around 55 GB/s typically in real world, and 30 GB/s of that was generally being lost to the CPU, you'd have about 25 GB/s left for GPU operations.

    Now if you were to switch to DDR4 3200, that would be 102 GB/s theoretical, about 80 GB/s typically, and 50 GB/s for the GPU. That would be a huge boost for games bottlenecked by the DDR3. If you were to also add DCC with the ROPs, the thing would fly.

    Actually, I wonder if you could use 128-bit GDDR5 with four channels and a clamshell arrangement? It'd certainly give you more BW than DDR3 (88GB/s at PS4 speeds) for decent performance uplift and it would allow for a very small footprint on the PCB.

    I don't think a shrink to 7nm is worth it if the console is only going to last as long as the X1. With a 256-bit bus you'd struggle to get the area advantage the process offers, and the development outlay would be huge. If you're going to shrink a current system, X1X makes more sense as it's a big chip with a high power consumption. But I'm not sure that a shrunk 1X would be cheap enough to push out as a discless Live / Game Pass machine.
     
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  12. Jay

    Jay
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    I was talking about a bump in performance regardless of route taken.

    I agree that a frequency bump with the current X1 will still be limited due to esram size, ddr3 speed etc, but alu performance seems to be what is also holding it back a lot.
    Also I'm not suggesting that it gives the X1 a massive uptick, more so to stop it having huge framerate drops and to have a chance of not crashing the resolution as much.

    I also agree with you regarding if it's worth the cost to going 7nm, I've kind of been arguing I'm not sure it would happen.
    My view is if it does then maybe not going with the X1 apu may be a better way forward due to things like ddr3 costs etc.

    The only reason I could see 7nm being worth it is the fact it would be in X1S, X1S-ADE, xcloud, and even then only makes sense if they planned for it to be out for a very long time which I'm far from convinced by, as sales aren't going to increase by a magnitude from here for years.
    I don't see X1 based xcloud being useful for anything other than game streaming, when MS has talked about it being used for other tasks. Which makes me suspect X1 xcloud is just to test infrastructure in the short term.
     
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  13. Cyan

    Cyan orange
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    what if... nothing happens? Michael Patcher thought time ago that this would be a bad idea.

    https://www.vg247.com/2014/01/30/xbox-one-disc-free-console-analyst-weighs-in-on-rumor/

     
    #193 Cyan, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  14. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    It's debatable, I think. Cross gen will be around for a while IMHO. They may have hit their peak market penetration at <50M units, certainly. On the other hand, they may see it as a risk expense worth amortizing (lowered Bill O' Materiele) as part of their xCloud streaming endeavour if that makes sense, and power efficiency is the name of the game for scaling up servers across the world.

    As I've brought up a while back, there would be concerns for die area for phys I/O, so again it'd be interesting in the context of a major overhaul (or not) as to what they end up doing because of the memory issue.

    It's the catastrophic pitfall of the shared bus that's a concern. The game code just runs, so the swaps can happen specifically. I'm not sure how you try to fake that into not transferring or waiting (extra latency really bad for the CPU now) on the memory controller - I guess that is what I'm wondering (since ESRAM is a seamless part of the memory page table) ?

    :confused:
     
    #194 AlBran, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  15. Jay

    Jay
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    I think there could be the usual maybe even longer cross gen, but I don't think that means that they will produce X1's for that long.
    Considering the state that X1 game performance is at currently, and it will only get worse, it would be better to stop production of X1, and given Lockhart I see little reason for 1X production either.

    Funnily enough, considering the amount of X1's compared to ps4, should be less off a concern for MS to try to push next gen more.

    Maverick and X1S even as an entry priced device, game performance won't be very good once next gen hits. Should've released maverick same time as X1S.

    Edit:
    Worth adding I'm talking about dropping production, not dropping support. OS, services etc continues.
    Plus could be used as streaming box you already have hooked up to TV.
     
    #195 Jay, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  16. eastmen

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    Does game stop matter at this point ? They are on the brink of bankruptcy and couldn't even sell themselves. As for other stores I think they would be all for digital games. Do you think a target or Walmart the burden on physical media ? Go into a target or Walmart and look how much room is devoted to these games and how little they actually carry. I've spoken about this before but for the $5-10 they make off a game they devote a lot of floor space and man power to it. Gamecards take up less space , you can fit more and they have shrink of 1 cent. If the game no longer sells and you don't want to keep it on shelves you throw out a bunch cardboard valued at 1 cent each. So the big box retailers wont care and would actually be happier since they can devote more space to the higher mark up product.
     
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  17. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    When the game console market already tipping over 50% digital sales for some publishers in 2018, physical game media does not matter. It'll matter even less in 2020. PC gaming has thrived without it for decade(s), and so will console gaming.
     
  18. fehu

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    Gamestop and such don't have to choose between selling a pc with bluray or not together with GTA5
     
  19. Silent_Buddha

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    While I highly (very highly) doubt HBM is coming to consoles with the next generation, would that alleviate much of the concern over a shared memory bus?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  20. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    My impression is that it'd be really bad for the CPU's access patterns (assuming APU), but I'm not 100% on that.

    Not sure where chiplets fall either, but that's a next gen thread point to discuss (especially for dual SKU, it might be interesting if they can work out the phys I/O necessary, but it's dubious at this point).
     
    #200 AlBran, Mar 11, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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