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Anandtech Wii U Teardown

Zombie James

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Dec 28, 2005
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http://www.anandtech.com/show/6465/nintendo-wii-u-teardown

Not very much new info, but it gets opened up and some basic benchmarks are run.



There are actually three components on this single package, made in at least two different microprocessor fabs. The multicore PowerPC based CPU is the smaller of the two larger chips. This die is made on IBM's 45nm SOI process. The RV7xx derived GPU is the biggest die on the package, and I'm presuming it was made on a 40nm process. I'm assuming the very tiny die in the corner is actually some off-chip memory. Both the CPU and GPU in the Wii U are supposed to have some eDRAM, although the bulk of it is likely dedicated for the GPU.


 

Durante

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There are four 4Gb (512MB) Hynix DDR3-800 devices surrounding the Wii U's MCM (Multi Chip Module). Memory is shared between the CPU and GPU, and if I'm decoding the DRAM part numbers correctly it looks like these are 16-bit devices giving the Wii U a total of 6.4GB/s of peak memory bandwidth.
Anand can no longer correctly calculate memory bandwidth?

33 Watt in-game (though it's just NSMBU) is miniscule.
 

Plinko

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Jul 31, 2007
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Isn't this just pretty much what was confirmed in the other thread?
 

teh_pwn

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Well I'll compliment the design. Seems pretty efficient, should be able to manufacture for cheap.
 

tenchir

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The eDRAM has to be in the neighborhood of 32MB(24MB minimum), otherwise it couldn't emulate the Wii's 1T-SRAM with it's really low latency(6ns?) with the 1GB DDR3. I expect that that embedded RAM to have pretty high bandwidth to compensate for the low BW of the main RAM.
 

Osiris

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There are four 4Gb (512MB) Hynix DDR3-800 devices surrounding the Wii U's MCM (Multi Chip Module). Memory is shared between the CPU and GPU, and if I'm decoding the DRAM part numbers correctly it looks like these are 16-bit devices giving the Wii U a total of 6.4GB/s of peak memory bandwidth.
Wait... DDR3-800?

Seriously?
 

teh_pwn

"Saturated fat causes heart disease as much as Brawndo is what plants crave."
Jun 14, 2004
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Wait... DDR3-800?

Seriously?
Yup. Crazy isn't it? Intel Nehalem used this back in 2007...for system CPU not for video.

I know a lot of Nintendo enthusiasts are blaming rushed ports, but do they expect UE3 to be recoded for a CPU and video ram that's slower than 7 year old consoles?
 

Brad Grenz

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Sep 28, 2009
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Didn't the other thread say 17GB/s? This is significantly slower.
His math is off by half. The possible range based on the chip markers is between 12.8GB/s and that 17GB/s figure. PC Perspective found Samsung chips, while Anand says he is looking at Hynix. It's possible Nintendo used multiple suppliers, and the Hynix chips Anand found may imply an actual clock speed on the low end of that scale, but we can't be sure.
 

Osiris

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Zombie James

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Dec 28, 2005
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Don't take it from me if you don't want too.

Source.
Oh, I see where the confusion is coming from. The number in DDR3-xxx doesn't correspond to the frequency the chips are running at. So yes, DDR3-1600 runs at 800MHz, but Anandtech is saying it uses DDR3-800 which runs at 400MHz and would be 6.4GB/s.

edit: So either Anandtech meant to say DDR3-1600 or it's DDR3-800. Either way, it's bad.
 

Snakeyes

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Sep 20, 2009
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That bandwidth is horrible. Didn't Nintendo learn their lesson on memory bottlenecks back in the N64 days?
 

Plinko

Wildcard berths that can't beat teams without a winning record should have homefield advantage
Jul 31, 2007
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This system will be a disaster in the long run.
A touch of hyperbole considering it's day one, don't you think?

We've had four straight instances (2 console, 2 handheld) where a weaker system was the most popular and produced good libraries of games, and we're calling it a "disaster" on day one?
 

walking fiend

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Apr 13, 2011
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A touch of hyperbole considering it's day one, don't you think?

We've had four straight instances (2 console, 2 handheld) where a weaker system was the most popular and produced good libraries of games, and we're calling it a "disaster" on day one?
I am not sure even if Wii was less powerful than Xbox in general; and then again, Wii launched at 250 with a game.
 

Snakeyes

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That is what everyone said about the DS based on its specs and launch titles and it turned out to be an amazing system.
The DS was still a big upgrade from the GBA and the 2nd most powerful handheld on the market until the iPhone was released.
 

Mlatador

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Jun 28, 2011
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That is what everyone said about the DS based on its specs and launch titles and it turned out to be an amazing system.
Didn't people even say that the 3DS was going to be failure? Or that the Wii was gonna get smoked by the PS3/360?