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Digital Foundry: Spec Analysis: Xbox Project Scorpio

HokieJoe

Member
If they just want to render games at higher resolutions (without drawing more objects etc.) then the CPU doesn't need to do any more feeding than it is now.
Of course that's probably not what many developers will want to do.. but, we'll see.

I think we could be looking at slightly upgraded Jaguar cores (Puma..) at higher clock speeds.


Uhh, they said they went to developers. I very much doubt Jaguar is on the plate.
 

Akai__

Member
It will basically be a xbox one game with better res and framerate. The graphics will stay the same

Better resolution also means better graphics. There is still a difference between a 720p native rendered game, which is upscaled to 1080p and a native 1080p one.

I'm sure devs will find ways to make the Scorpio (and even Neo) version look better. But even if it's only a Framerate bump, I'd be completely fine with it on 1080p. Don't plan to play on 4K anytime soon.
 

jroc74

Phone reception is more important to me than human rights
Sony's spec advantage will go away in 18 months from today.

And return in 12 months past that.

And disappear 12 months after that.

And return in 12 months past that.

Then disappear again.

Then return again.

Exactly

Especially if they both really go the iterative route. We see this exact same cycle with smartphones. And thats on a yearly basis...

I did ask a question in another thread about Zen. If this uses it....whats left to use after that? Someone said (quite a few have said) there will be no next PS4 or XBO just improvements over their latest consoles.

So do they just keep Zen and update ram and gpu? Do they use another cpu after Zen?

Interesting times are upon us folks.
 

Proelite

Member
From what I am hearing even if Sony opts for option B the Scorpio will still be the lead console in terms of raw power.

Option B is more than $499?

I think they should pair back everything for a $299 option to compete with slim. They need either a $299 option with UHD bluray or a high end version to compete with Scorpio. Neo is in a wierd middle.
 

vpance

Member
Option B is more than $499?

I think they should pair back everything for a $299 option to compete with slim. They need either a $299 option with UHD bluray or a high end version to compete with Scorpio. Neo is in a wierd middle.

There is no way they continue to manufacture PS4 at 28nm for the rest of the gen and pass on the cost savings of a shrink. Sony's slim is coming, just a matter of when they announce it.
 

OsirisBlack

Member
So, what is the point of having a console 4 times more powerful if it will only serve to enhance regular Xbox One experiences? If that is all it does, then it will have been a waste of silicon. If it has specific games built around it, then there will be no more continuity and the market will be fragmented. I guess MS does not care since the company will be making money anyway...
 

Vol5

Member
The system won't even be powerful enough to do games in Native 4K at all. No need to worry.

I'll defend MS on this one. It's a closed system. Devs can target the hardware specifically. I fully expect native 4K. 6TF in a closed system is fucking huge.
 

vcc

Member
Yikes. So the neo will under so circumstances be as powerful as the Scorpio?

That sounds about right, They have to scrap plans with the NEO and push it to launch at the same time which seems wasteful. They probably would be better off just carrying on with the existing momentum.

I think both mid gen upgrades are a mistake for both companies. We'll see how it shifts the fortunes of this generation. I think it won't change anything. Nintendo has been out of step for a bit and their 'upgraded' machines late-mid gen hasn't made a splash (wii u, GC).

Both machines will face the same problem. Publishers will drive targeting of the most numerous console. The features for NEO/Scorpio will be token upgrades until they get substantial numbers and the next generation change may come before that. Consumer confusion about models may also hurt. While it seem ludicrous that people would get confused, not everyone is as invested and interested. A lot of consumers are on board with the consoles because it's less complex. Throwing in 2 tiers of consoles on top of things may diminish the concept of consoles advantage. If there is also not much difference or too much difference both can hurt certain consumers.
 
Digital Foundry say:



Is this really the case? Is the prospect of the Neo not coming back more powerful than the X1 really low?

I dunno; will Sony allow MS to deliver a more comprehensive 4K Capable machine? I know they have less pressure on them considering the remarkable success of the PS4 but in this industry you just cant rest on your falafel.

Why not? Do you honestly believe that Sony will lose sleep over having a less powerful console? They have dealt with better hardware before, and it always came back to pricing, timing and software...
 

THE:MILKMAN

Member
Not to dismiss what they're saying - but they would say that. They don't want to commit yet to a new console every 2-3 years as it would further devalue scorpio. They need to stick to the message about upgrading when the time is right and not going any further just yet.

Sure, but it is out of their hands to a large extent. They can't assume/demand another 2-4X upgrade in 2-3 years that will do what they want or need. The tech just doesn't work like that.

It makes much more sense to get the most power you can at the start of what is a new node and latest GPU architecture within the console TDP/price limits now and then anything from 2-4 years keep doing the same whilst guaranteeing FC/BC for the new and previous console.

It is all a logistical nightmare all round though (Neo and Scoprio being 6-12 months apart won't help at all) and with a large dose of trying to please everyone. Will be very interesting how it develops.

vpance said:
There is no way they continue to manufacture PS4 at 28nm for the rest of the gen and pass on the cost savings of a shrink. Sony's slim is coming, just a matter of when they announce it.

I still don't think Sony will/have. The cost is what to have AMD redesign the PS4 SoC $100-$200 million? How much for the Neo SoC, another $200 million+?

I'm now wondering if Xbox One S is 14nm but at least to Microsoft $200 million would be a rounding error.

@OsirisBlack. The goalposts keep moving every day....is there panic? Non of this makes sense. How is all this the plan all along!?
 

gatti-man

Member
The system won't even be powerful enough to do games in Native 4K at all. No need to worry.

Yes it really will. It would be dumb to do this since practically no one owns a 4K tv but 6TF in a closed system is enough for 4K gaming. Consoles aren't PCs in that sense.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
That sounds about right, They have to scrap plans with the NEO and push it to launch at the same time which seems wasteful. They probably would be better off just carrying on with the existing momentum.

I think both mid gen upgrades are a mistake for both companies. We'll see how it shifts the fortunes of this generation. I think it won't change anything. Nintendo has been out of step for a bit and their 'upgraded' machines late-mid gen hasn't made a splash (wii u, GC).

Both machines will face the same problem. Publishers will drive targeting of the most numerous console. The features for NEO/Scorpio will be token upgrades until they get substantial numbers and the next generation change may come before that. Consumer confusion about models may also hurt. While it seem ludicrous that people would get confused, not everyone is as invested and interested. A lot of consumers are on board with the consoles because it's less complex. Throwing in 2 tiers of consoles on top of things may diminish the concept of consoles advantage. If there is also not much difference or too much difference both can hurt certain consumers.

This part I will disagree with, only for the fact that they have Ultra Settings on the games for the PC versions already, which do make a substantial difference, depending on the game.

You should know better than to take a comment like that seriously

However your average gamer does not know any better, hence it should not have been made. Blast Processing, yo!

Excuse me for my ignorance, I have a 1080p tv and don't plan to get a 4k for several years. A 4k game running on scorpio would get better framerates if you play it at 1080p?

No, because the system will be outputting the resolution signal from the hardware before it hit's the TV.

Your TV will just down-sample the signal if it is native 4K. Will have no effect on performance, unless they allow for resolution selection in game for 1080p or 2160p.
 

Erimriv

Member
Excuse me for my ignorance, I have a 1080p tv and don't plan to get a 4k for several years. A 4k game running on scorpio would get better framerates if you play it at 1080p?

Wonder if they are going to include game detail settings, like on pc, to choose between framerate or graphics quality.
 

vcc

Member
I wonder if they will sell these at a loss and bank on software/subscription sales.

It'll depend on how scorpio fits into the 'helix' plan. If it helps them push the w10 store and their software as service push then I can imagine them making 0 or taking a small loss.
 

vcc

Member
This part I will disagree with, only for the fact that they have Ultra Settings on the games for the PC versions already, which do make a substantial difference, depending on the game.

Often it's turning on some computationally expensive features or more foliage or more anti aliasing etc... I mean there will be a lack of power enabled game design. This gen they did a lot better collision detection, bigger crowds, bigger areas. They couldn't do that. Better textures and more foliage and more effects certainly help things look good but you're still constrained in the design department by the lowest common denominator.
 

Averon

Member
I cannot imagine what Sony would put into plan B that would jack up the price beyond $499

An UHD player?
Zen cores and OC'd Polaris, which dictate a more elaborate--and expensive--cooling solution?
 

jeffc919

Member
Sony's spec advantage will go away in 18 months from today.

And return in 12 months past that.

And disappear 12 months after that.

And return in 12 months past that.

Then disappear again.

Then return again.

I disagree. I don't think either company is going to start releasing new HW every other year. More likely every 3-4 years, and probably within 12 months of each other to avoid losing players to the other system.

I also agree with the sentiment that Sony is probably not overly concerned about the Scorpio being more powerful. They may want to go with option B versus option A, to close the gap some, if that's really a thing. But they may be perfectly happy to release first rather than be the most powerful, especially if they can come in at a lower price. I'll probably switch over to xbox to have the more powerful system but many players will not now that they are invested in PS with a library of games, friends, etc. and Sony is starting from a much better position with the larger install base.
 

thelastword

Banned
It's a tech article about something at E3.

I don't get your post.
This is more speculation than a tech article, it's basically making assumptions like we've been doing about these iterative consoles from the last few weeks. The information MS gave was very vague and yet they announced their console first. Where are the details on the CPU? Why couldn't they just say they would give 12GB's of RAM?

DF said:
First up, let's discuss the GPU - the area of the spec that Microsoft is clearly most proud of. The rumoured six TFLOPs of processing power is confirmed, out-stripping the 4.2TF found in PlayStation Neo by quite some margin. It's around 40 per cent faster, calling to mind the advantage PS4 had over Xbox One.
So a 40% better GPU is now better by a wide margin, but it was pretty negligible between the PS4 and XB1 for DF.

Now that MS is talking about "those sweet uncompressed pixels", I don't think we're too far off from DF making a big deal about resolution again, "that it matters" again...... and 5-10 fps differences matter and will be a 'world of difference" again.

I just don't understand how these guys even put their speculation pieces together. AMD's RX480 is a 36CU GPU at 5.5TF, but DF speculates that a Vega is needed to reach 6TF when we all know that there's a 40CU Polaris that's going to be more powerful than the RX480 in TF. To say that the GPU is simply not Polaris and the reasoning given makes no sense. They instead speculate the GPU will be a lower clocked Vega at 56-64 CU's, and yes, given the timeline, a low end Vega will be ready, but it does not detract from the fact that polaris can give you 6TF's of performance.

Even now, Sony can increase the GPU clock rate and improve TF, so it really means nothing until we get full details. The other thing is that DF speculates VEGA, but there's no use of HBM2 there, especially for a console which is flip-floppy on whether all titles will be available on XB1 and Scorpio. Surely, speaking about all that power, you would want to showcase it with exclusives since MS maintains it's up to developers if they want to have their game only on Scorpio.

What I can bring into this conversation is that Vega's timeline has moved up recently, it was moved up to October 2016 from early 2017, but it's Vega10 and not the more powerful Vega 11, yet, they've pushed Vega 10 up schedule to compete with the 1070's and 1080's from Nvidia. Interestingly, October 2016 falls just in-line with Sony's rumoured Neo release, I'm also pretty sure that the Vega 10 GPU's would also easily exceed 6TF of power even at lower clockspeeds, since Vega has an even higher performance per watt ratio over polaris. So at this point, unless we get minute details of the specs for each console we won't know what these consoles will be able to do in real-world performance. If we're still speculating on polaris vs vega, then we are no where close in determining capabilities for 4k and such.

It's also strange, that DF is now beating the driums of GPGPU to inadvertently support or justify a potential 8 core jaguar CPU in the Scorpio. All of a sudden GPGPU will mitigate the shortcoming of the Jaguar CPU's, interesting stuff from DF. Certainly, MS speaking of an uber powerful console and still putting a 8 core Jaguar CPU in there in late 2017 would need a lot of "wool over the eye" justification.

There's no way these devs can speak of 60fps, especially that Bethesda dev "who's just waiting on Scorpio to have his vision and art come alive", ;), I'll tell you something, it's not happening with Jaguar CPU's, but that statement form Bethesda is certainly ironic with their output in recent years.


It's also strange that DF made this statement.

DF said:
But it has to be said that we have seen developers start to extract more from Xbox One and PS4 than we see on equivalent PC parts - something borne out from the E3 demos of Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3, which are - remarkably - running on hardware equivalent to AMD's £80 R7 360 graphics card. So maybe - maybe we will indeed see 4K native titles.

Is this DF's own submission of "coding to the metal"? So we are seeing better results on consoles from similar pc parts shared with consoles? It's interesting that DF's tune for the better part for this gen was that the 750ti was keeping up with a PS4, disregarding the fact that the PS4 GPU was better and not acknowledging that perhaps the devs did not do a good enough job with the console offerings. Now, not only is the PS4 doing better than the 750ti, it's even doing better than an equivalent GPU? Interesting...........

I think I'm already gearing for less PC vs Console faceoffs when Scorpio releases, just as we've been seeing less and less of the 750ti angle when it fell behind and no longer suited their angle. So all these faceoffs which concluded PC is better anyway when PS4 had the better console version.... as if that was news to anybody. So if the statement above is that DF is saying 4k might be possible with coding to the metal, then the wheels are already turning. Perhaps the Scorpio might be able to compete with the 1080 afterall ;) ........
$100 more for a CPU upgrade, that sounds crazy. Had to be more than just CPU getting bumped with that.
Well I hope you don't think the UHD player comes in the S for free. If Sony is going with a better CPU, I think they might increase the memory too, I'm sure an extra 4-8GB's might be cheaper for them than 3 years ago, they can dedicate as much to the OS and have 8-12 GB's strictly for gaming if they go the 16GB route. More efficient and better cooling might also be on the cards, especially if they want to beef up the clock speeds to better match the desktop parts. Better Wifi hardware, more durable controllers, better hardware for streaming/media etc...to meet 4k standards.

Having said all that, it's also possible that they can improve all the things I mentioned above with the current BOM for the PS4. I'll tell you this though, A quad core Zen with hyperthreading will be more than worth the extra $100.00 for locked 60fps, better A.I and drawcalls.
 

J-Rzez

Member
At this point if the performance is true from Scorpio it might as well be labeled straight up as a next-gen console. This is something many suspected, even myself, if they got trounced by Sony after the initial unveiling. Only smart thing they're doing is saying they'll keep making games for the One, but to be honest, and same goes for Sony, I will believe it when I see it when they continue making their flagship games target the old hardware and just dial up the visuals for the new machine, a-la PC gaming. You think for example they want Naughty Dog, one of the most impressive tech utilizers in the industry to be locked to the old hardware? It's not feasible to create two totally different versions of the same game for many, especially 3rd party.

MS on the other hand, I can see them forgetting about the One very-very fast. If Scorpio launches next year, the One has a shelf life of one, maybe two years tops left in it.

Perhaps we didn't hear about Neo because MS stole their thunder. Maybe Sony is going MS route now with Neo as a band-aid, the new slim, and scrambling for a new machine. Who knows other than right now it's a real mess for consoles. I'm for faster, newer hardware gens, I think they just need to be more clear what's going on for others.
 

thelastword

Banned
From what I am hearing even if Sony opts for option B the Scorpio will still be the lead console in terms of raw power.
If the GPU stays the same in NEO, and in that case we're only talking about the GPU............However, if MS stays with jaguar and Sony beefs up their CPU, then Sony will have a better CPU and MS a better GPU, just like the PS3 vs 360. Just like the 360 was not considered the most powerful console, I would not call the scenario you mentioned as MS having the better console overall.

How about if Sony beefs up their CPU and up the clock to 5.5tf on the GPU, I think that is also achievable and narrows down the GPU divide much more, and in that case it's clear that the NEO would be better overall. Of course at that point, if the consoles were so close it would be all about what developers were on each platform, to appropriately differentiate them,
 

creatchee

Member
No, because the system will be outputting the resolution signal from the hardware before it hit's the TV.

Your TV will just down-sample the signal if it is native 4K. Will have no effect on performance, unless they allow for resolution selection in game for 1080p or 2160p.

This is sort of correct, but you're saying it incorrectly. The game's assets are rendered at 4K and then outputted to the TV at whatever resolution output you have selected on your console. If you choose output at 1080p, it's downsampled from the original 4K render. The TV is a slave to whatever resolution is fed to it, unless it has some proprietary upscaling engine that fakes a higher resolution.
 

Proelite

Member
If the GPU stays the same in NEO, and in that case we're only talking about the GPU............However, if MS stays with jaguar and Sony beefs up their CPU, then Sony will have a better CPU and MS a better GPU, just like the PS3 vs 360. Just like the 360 was not considered the most powerful console, I would not call the scenario you mentioned as MS having the better console overall.

How about if Sony beefs up their CPU and up the clock to 5.5tf on the GPU, I think that is also achievable and narrows down the GPU divide much more, and in that case it's clear that the NEO would be better overall. Of course at that point, if the consoles were so close it would be all about what developers were on each platform, to appropriately differentiate them,

Sony probably has room for four core zen + Polaris 10 on a PS4 sized APU. It'll get really hot though, especially a full 1266 mhz clock on the gpu. Where talking launch PS3 level of TDP concentrated in a smaller area.

$599 big and hot console all over again.
 

OsirisBlack

Member
How about if Sony beefs up their CPU and up the clock to 5.5tf on the GPU, I think that is also achievable and narrows down the GPU divide much more, and in that case it's clear that the NEO would be better overall. Of course at that point, if the consoles were so close it would be all about what developers were on each platform, to appropriately differentiate them,

Neo would still punch in under the Scorpio but not by much.

Edited to add:
For the sake of keeping confusion down 5.5 was the exact number I have heard floated about option b but the price is pretty steep. I do have a number but cannot share it yet I'm waiting on someone else to post the actual data (Should be soon) before I do another long post.
 

gatti-man

Member
If the GPU stays the same in NEO, and in that case we're only talking about the GPU............However, if MS stays with jaguar and Sony beefs up their CPU, then Sony will have a better CPU and MS a better GPU, just like the PS3 vs 360. Just like the 360 was not considered the most powerful console, I would not call the scenario you mentioned as MS having the better console overall.

How about if Sony beefs up their CPU and up the clock to 5.5tf on the GPU, I think that is also achievable and narrows down the GPU divide much more, and in that case it's clear that the NEO would be better overall. Of course at that point, if the consoles were so close it would be all about what developers were on each platform, to appropriately differentiate them,

This isn't really possible and definitely will not happen.
 

vpance

Member
I still don't think Sony will/have. The cost is what to have AMD redesign the PS4 SoC $100-$200 million? How much for the Neo SoC, another $200 million+?

They would recoup those expenses with the next 10M sold, easily.

Yes

Not just a CPU upgrade.

From what I am hearing this is accurate.


Scorpio not a clue, Neo Yes.

IMO if Sony can bump it to at least 5TF for release this year at $549 max, that would be the sweet spot.
 

Averon

Member
Neo would still punch in under the Scorpio but not by much.

Edited to add:
For the sake of keeping confusion down 5.5 was the exact number I have heard floated about option b but the price is pretty steep. I do have a number but cannot share it yet I'm waiting on someone else to post the actual data (Should be soon) before I do another long post.

If Sony can get the Neo close to 5TF and still keep it at only $499, I'd be happy.
 
I think Sony should just get close enough to Scorpio specs where the difference is negllible. I think releasing first is more important than higher specs, and you get a holiday all to yourself.

I would just test the waters and see if people want to buy a state of the art ps4 at $599. It shouldn't hurt right, we do have our trust PS4 afterall.
 

haveheart

Banned
RX 480 at 1266Mhz (the rumored clock) is a 5.84TFs GPU.

nVidia 6.5 TFs is more like over AMD 8 TFs.


ah ok, didn't know that. I thought TFlops is a objective measure...

Please understand, I don't want to take a side, I rather find these new cycles of updated consoles very ominous.

Who would want to buy a closed system that will be outdated every 24 months. The point most people buy a console is that it'll last for "one generation". PC components, on the other hand, have to be upgraded every 24 months or so. And if you choose to invest the price of a scorpio every two years into your gaming setup, you will always be top notch.

So why would you want to invest that money into a completely new but closed system every two years?

I really hope that that's not the future of console gaming but rather the indication that current consoles were weak hardware-wise when released (they were, right?)
 

daveo42

Banned
Neo would still punch in under the Scorpio but not by much.

Edited to add:
For the sake of keeping confusion down 5.5 was the exact number I have heard floated about option b but the price is pretty steep. I do have a number but cannot share it yet I'm waiting on someone else to post the actual data (Should be soon) before I do another long post.

I'm guessing both consoles would share the same fate if they released the same time, unless Sony plans on releasing their option B earlier than Microsoft. Is Sony looking at a new accecclerated timeline or is their option B still a ways out?
 

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Digital Foundry saying the Scorpio is likely to use a version of the Jaguar CPU sounds crazy, surely a Zen CPU is more likely.

The Scorpio is going to be a flagship for the Xbox brand, I think its going to be more expensive than people expect.

No need to get a better CPU if all the extra GPU power is specifically there to render in 4K.
 
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