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Digital Foundry: Xbox Scorpio

Behlel

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Feb 23, 2015
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Scorpio is meant to sting Sony not combat them. They are a year late in a niche market.
No matter if it's 400$ or 500$, they won't sell much. So does Sony.
This is a first step to rebuild core credibility. Expect all game footage to be from the Scorpio version. Streamers will use Scorpio.
A lot of material and footage suddenly has the Xbox logo.
Only if you live in a world where the PS4 isn't leading by a 2:1 margin you can expect all the footage and streaming from scorpio.
Hell you barely see footage and streaming from the Ps4Pro
 

E-Cat

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Jan 14, 2013
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That's... not happening any time soon. SSD prices aren't falling fast enough and game sizes aren't exactly going down
You're right, SSD's are still about 5x more expensive per GB.
That is changing rapidly, however, and the crossover year looks to
be 2019 - just in time for PS5.

 

EGM1966

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Aug 5, 2011
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Slight
Marginal
A bit more powerful

The downplay is extraordinary. I remember when X1 comparisons were being sung to the stars. Now the rhetoric changes again.
This is a dead end discussion. Both sets of fans always say what suits and implying that one side is worse than the other is equally a dead end.

The rhetoric from Xbox diehards previously was the power difference was actually pretty marginal and nott enough to matter between PS4 and XB1 while the rhetoric from PS4 die hards was the difference was HUGE

Now that's going to swap and I'd still call out both sides: be it the Xbox fans now going on about HUGE jump and PS4 Pro fans saying its marginal.

Neither side will change and neither side is interested in discussion nor worth responding to. They're mindset is determined by their bias not facts.

Calling out either side when it suits just clutters threads IMHO and I wish people would stop feeling the need to do so becuase both sets of fans are and will remain equally bad.

I'm talking the true delusional folks with hyperbole not people with sensible preferences BTW.

The reality Scorpio looks like a nice jump from Pro but its not HUGE as that would require a degree of magnitude which it isn't.

Pro remains a sensible spec for the launch window it had to also achieve a certain price spec. It primarily targeted people with 4K TV using up-scaling to offer what remains a very good experience on a 4K TV (look at DF's very own gushing over Horizon ZD on $K).

Scorpio is an improved spec as you'd expect launching a year later (and TBH in MS position it had to be better than Pro) and similarly seems to be targeting 4K experience. I expect more Scorpio titles to be native 4K but it will also for sure use up-scaling exactly like Pro in many cases to.

Both are also improving experience on 1080p TVs. With Pro, given the earlier launch, this has been a series of improvements most recently with the Boost mode update. Scorpio, again with benefit of launching later, has a more defined set of improvements for 1080p.

Essentially if you have a 4K TV or if you want premier 1080p experience you now have a very viable offer from both parties. If you prefer Xbox ecosystem/exclusives or want the more powerful console fo rthird party games then Scorpio would appear to be your choice. If you prefer Playstation ecosystem/exclusives and are more price sensitive then PS4 Pro would appear to be your choice (I'm assuming on this that Pro will be kept below retail price of Scorpio but that's not a given and of course we don't know Scorpio price but logic dictates Scorpio will be the more expensive option)

If think DF did a good job and I think the basic situation is pretty clear now (apart from price). Nobody should be talking about HUGE / MINIMAL / UNPRECEDENTED though - that's hyperbole whether trying to down-play or up-play the situation.
 
Jun 2, 2013
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One thing I really like is that they will offer downsampling for 1080p owners.

I really hope Sony follows suit, even if it's 1440p or whatever.

I bought my pro for MLB the show and I can't tell you disappointed I am that i don't get downsampling for that game..
I think Sony should give a rule about this to the devs because some games do downsampling just fine on Pro, it's more than capable and it's not like all games don't do it but a few developers have made a few strange choices by not allowing it for some reason.
 

irrotational

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Feb 14, 2014
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I still can't get my head around processing, drawing, shading, and displaying an 8 megabit photo 60 times a second...what a time to be alive!
 

tzare

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I thought cock cycle speed was a fairly important part about chip specs? There's a law about it and everything.

GPU doesn't seem that similar to what's in the pro but I suppose it depends where you start from. The GPU in the Scorpio is much more similar to a PS4 Pro than a Gamecube for example...but I'd say 40% more compute power is different enough to not be "similar" any more.

The DX12 hardware-based instruction set certainly sounds like it will make a big difference to CPU bottlenecks so in my layman's view that is also enough reason to say they are not "similar" any more.

The PS4 Pro chip is also deliberately designed as two original GPU chips mirrored, to help with compatibility and probably power/heat as well. It's a clever idea but a different one from the Scorpio approach.

In console terms Scorpio is a bit of a beast and early indications (which may be wrong) are that it will only be outperformed by the latest GFX cards in beastly PCs.

IMHO people are right to be excited for it, either because they might get one, or because of what it prompts PS to do next in terms of upping their specs.

I also feel you're being a bit dismissive in two paragraphs about the effort of a team of probably hundreds of people in total, working hard over 3-4 years to try and come up with a good console design.

Do you know what you're talking about? Would be good to know if you are in the games industry or software/hardware more generally...

Fake edit - deliberately left in the mis-spellling at the start - there is something Freudian about debating the worth of something based on a measure of "size".
Clock speeds are important, but it is easy to see what the improvements are: 40% more GPU raw power (6TF) and 9'5% CPU power.
Add the DX hardware instructions seem to reduce CPU impact about 50%, 50% of what? of 40% CPU usage at max? that would mean freeing a 20% of cpu , that would add to that 9,5% due to higher clock speeds. So we have a similar gain, a bit unbalanced tbh, about 30% - 40% overall better performance than PS4Pro a year later. So it is a nice bump, but it is not something extraordinary, out of this world. And considering it is aiming for 4K, well 6TF is probably not exactly enough to deliver everything at 4K, more than ps4pro for sure, and also CPU is better but not enough to double the framerate from 30 to 60.
So it is an 'updated' Pro really.

The only' insane' thing may be the cooling,new to the console space, that may be more advanced, but also at a cost
 

amstradcpc

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May 26, 2009
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I thought cock cycle speed was a fairly important part about chip specs? There's a law about it and everything.

GPU doesn't seem that similar to what's in the pro but I suppose it depends where you start from. The GPU in the Scorpio is much more similar to a PS4 Pro than a Gamecube for example...but I'd say 40% more compute power is different enough to not be "similar" any more.

The DX12 hardware-based instruction set certainly sounds like it will make a big difference to CPU bottlenecks so in my layman's view that is also enough reason to say they are not "similar" any more.

The PS4 Pro chip is also deliberately designed as two original GPU chips mirrored, to help with compatibility and probably power/heat as well. It's a clever idea but a different one from the Scorpio approach.

In console terms Scorpio is a bit of a beast and early indications (which may be wrong) are that it will only be outperformed by the latest GFX cards in beastly PCs.

IMHO people are right to be excited for it, either because they might get one, or because of what it prompts PS to do next in terms of upping their specs.

I also feel you're being a bit dismissive in two paragraphs about the effort of a team of probably hundreds of people in total, working hard over 3-4 years to try and come up with a good console design.

Do you know what you're talking about? Would be good to know if you are in the games industry or software/hardware more generally...

Fake edit - deliberately left in the mis-spellling at the start - there is something Freudian about debating the worth of something based on a measure of "size".
PS4 Pro is 8,4 tflops half precission.FP16 has already started to be used(see DICEs GDC about its checkerboard algorithm).
As far as we know Scorpios GPU is 6 tflops half precission.So GPUs could be not so similar.
 

leeh

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Dec 30, 2014
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Clock speeds are important, but it is easy to see what the improvements are: 40% more GPU raw power (6TF) and 9'5% CPU power.
Add the DX hardware instructions seem to reduce CPU impact about 50%, 50% of what? 40% oc CPu usage at max? that would mean freeing a 20% of cpu , that would add to that 9,5% due to higher clock speeds. So we have a similar gain, a bit unbalanced tbh, about 30% - 40% overall better performance than PS4Pro a year later. So it is a nice bump, but it is not something extraordinary, out of this world. And considering it is aiming for 4K, well 6TF is probably not exactly enough to deliver everything at 4K, more than ps4pro for sure, and also CPU is better but not enough to double the framerate from 30 to 60.
So it is an 'updated' Pro really.
In regards to the GPU, people are using the TFLOPS number as a solid percentage for GPU boost, without taking into account that the Scorpio is clocked much higher than the Pro, which means other things like the ROP's recieve a large boost also.

The GPU in Scorpio will perform significantly better than a representive 6flop card.
 
Jan 9, 2007
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Scorpio is meant to sting Sony not combat them. They are a year late in a niche market.
No matter if it's 400$ or 500$, they won't sell much. So does Sony.
This is a first step to rebuild core credibility. Expect all game footage to be from the Scorpio version. Streamers will use Scorpio.
A lot of material and footage suddenly has the Xbox logo.
Are you kidding? Companies don't do this stuff out of pride. The other stuff I generally agree.
 

f@luS

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Good. Can't wait. Barely play my Xbox one as multi games I take on PS4 (pro now ) and not a lot of exclusivity.
For 4K it will be good but mind that right now 2160p checkerboard looks already one native for'me (horizon is even more crisp than some native 4K game I have )
Both system are good and performances are what we can expect for one more year release date
 

tzare

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In regards to the GPU, people are using the TFLOPS number as a solid percentage for GPU boost, without taking into account that the Scorpio is clocked much higher than the Pro, which means other things like the ROP's recieve a large boost also.

The GPU in Scorpio will perform significantly better than a representive 6flop card.
i have no fucking clue about GPU tech , so i use TF as the metric, just like MS themselves used to tease Project Scorpio.
That said, doesn't that TF count come from gpu speed,and other elements of the GPU itself(CU, ROPS etc..) ?
In fact if the GPU can punch above those 6TF, by how much would that be? and wouldn't that be even more unbalanced then the PS4PRo , considering the jaguar based CPU (even with its improvements)?
 

E-Cat

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PS4 Pro is 8,4 tflops single precission.FP16 has already started to be used(see DICEs GDC about its checkerboard algorithm).
As far as we know Scorpios GPU is 6 tflops single precission.So GPUs could be not so similar.
FP16 is not single-precision.
 

leeh

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Dec 30, 2014
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i have no fucking clue about GPU tech , so i use TF as the metric, just like MS themselves used to tease Project Scorpio.
That said, doesn't that TF count come from gpu speed,and other elements of the GPU itself(CU, ROPS etc..) ?
In fact if the GPU can punch above those 6TF, by how mauch, and wouldn't that be even more unbalanced regardic the CPU, than the pro?
The FLOP number is just the floating point operations it can do it per a second. There's other things like it's fill-rate and caches, which are also effected by clock speed but not encompassed in the TFLOP number.

It's fill-rate and memory bandwidth is vital in 4k. This is something the X1 skimped on has it had half the ROP count compared to the PS4. I'm sure there's a few things outisde of that as well, but I'm not really good at this either.
 

antyk

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Jun 17, 2016
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PS4 Pro is 8,4 tflops single precission.FP16 has already started to be used(see DICEs GDC about its checkerboard algorithm).
As far as we know Scorpios GPU is 6 tflops single precission.So GPUs could be not so similar.


In regards to the GPU, people are using the TFLOPS number as a solid percentage for GPU boost, without taking into account that the Scorpio is clocked much higher than the Pro, which means other things like the ROP's recieve a large boost also.
You do realise that clock speed is used to calculate TFLOPS, right? It's literally "Operations Per Second" and clock speed is exactly that...
 

leeh

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You do realise that clock speed is used to calculate TFLOPS, right? It's literally "Operations Per Second" and clock speed is exactly that...
Yes ofc the clock speed boosts the TFLOP number, but then there's many other components of a GPU which are important, don't contribute to the TFLOP number and will benefit massively.

Like, the GPU is over 200Mhz higher clocked than the Pro. That's a large OC.
 

Dictator93

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Isn't The Division already native 4K/30FPS on Pro? The game was 1080P/30 (dynamic Res but barely ever dropped) on Xbox One, so there was probably a lot of headroom left for Pro to reach that number.



The Division is using some temporal reconstruction technique, when the camera moves it looks decidedly not native. Very far from in fact.
 

tzare

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The FLOP number is just the floating point operations it can do it per a second. There's other things like it's fill-rate and caches, which are also effected by clock speed but not encompassed in the TFLOP number.

It's fill-rate and memory bandwidth is vital in 4k. This is something the X1 skimped on has it had half the ROP count compared to the PS4.
so, they just have a more balanced system, which is nice, and expected, and makes sense since they are targeting 4K gaming, so all those improvements are very much needed to deliver 4K.
In the end, it is a nice system, a step above PS4Pro, but also a year later. My point is that it just the logical improvement, not 'OMG' or 'pfff' either. Just a nice system (pricing aside) for 2017, in line with what PS4 Pro was for 2016.
It is obviously a much meaty improvement compared to vanilla XBO than PS4Pro was to vanilla Ps4, that is obvious.

Like, the GPU is over 200Mhz higher clocked than the Pro. That's a large OC.
But that large OC is one of the main reasons why Scorpio's GPU is 6TF and not 4.2. If it was the same speed it would be , i don't know, 4,5TF maybe
 

Frankfurter

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PS4 Pro is 8,4 tflops single precission.FP16 has already started to be used(see DICEs GDC about its checkerboard algorithm).
As far as we know Scorpios GPU is 6 tflops single precission.So GPUs could be not so similar.
?

Single precision is FP32, so yeah it's very likely that Scorpios GPU is 6 Tflops @FP32 (it's pretty much a lock).
 

E-Cat

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at this point i assume it's just used as a meme anymore
everything else is just to ridiculous

btw has Ps4 Pro also double the amount of GPU L2 cache per CU over original Ps4 and Xbox One like Scorpio?
It's foolish to use such memes on a forum as technically illiterate as GAF and expect people to get it. It's a sort of console wars version of Poe's law.
 

hanspampel

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so, they just have a more balanced system, which is nice, and expected, and makes sense since they are targeting 4K gaming, so all those improvements are very much needed to deliver 4K.
In the end, it is a nice system, a step above PS4Pro, but also a year later. My point is that it just the logical improvement, not 'OMG' or 'pfff' either. Just a nice system (pricing aside) for 2017, in line with what PS4 Pro was for 2016.
It is obviously a much meaty improvement compared to vanilla XBO than PS4Pro was to vanilla Ps4, that is obvious.

But that large OC is one of the main reasons why Scorpio's GPU is 6TF and not 4.2. If it was the same speed it would be , i don't know, 4,5TF maybe
Xbox Scopio would be 4.7TF at Ps4 Pro frequency
Ps4 Pro would be 5.4TF at Scorpio frequency
 

Can Crusher

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Console wars are expected, but I don't see how Scorpio specs can be used against Ps 4 pro. It's exactly the same concept, and while this system is only coming out later this year, PS4 Pro will have been around for the best period of the generation and been used as a showcase for the best looking game of the generation.

From a marketing standpoint, 4K will be available in both.

There's nothing impressive or particularly smart about Scorpio specs and concept, when you consider release date and state of the market.

There's a reason why many were praying to every god on earth for a Vega and a Zen variation. And it's no coincidence that MS decided to release the specs in such a controlled environment. The DF unveil is very informative, but also very excited for the mere fact that it exists. Clearly MS made somebody feel very special, and they really needed for the hardcore xbox fans to not be dissappointed that this was not the world beater they were anxious to see.
 

tzare

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Xbox Scopio would be 4.7TF at Ps4 Pro frequency
Ps4 Pro would be 5.4TF at Scorpio frequency
nice, so that just confirms my point, those 6TF for Scorpio are mainly due to that overclock.... There are other factors too, but that seems to be the main one, so nothing incredible, just an updated GPU that runs at a higher frequency. Again, nice and a logical improvement, but that's it.
 

antyk

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Yes ofc the clock speed boosts the TFLOP number, but then there's many other components of a GPU which are important, don't contribute to the TFLOP number and will benefit massively.

Like, the GPU is over 200Mhz higher clocked than the Pro. That's a large OC.
Yes, and Scorpio will usually be drawing more (either full 4K or higher close-to-4K resolution) than a Pro, therefore all of those other elements should scale accordingly: ROPs, caches, bandwidth, etc. Nothing extraordinary in that.
 

Ushay

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So... who's day 1? I know I am!!! Hype.
Pretty much a lock for me. I have a 4k TV (KS7000) for this very purpose, Scorpio enables me to get the most out of it too in terms of gaming and media.

The analysis has just emboldened my choice. Now I'm content with this and Switch for my son (and me haha!).

What MS have achieved with this console brings back memories of the kinds of forward thinking MS brought with the 360.
 

fataliteter

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The new Xbox will devote additional RAM to the OS. I think one of the Eurogamer articles mentioned that this will enable it to power the UI at 4K resolution.

My question to the tech literates is: Will this increased allocation make it easier to implement PiP in the future? I know MS is not officially working on this at the moment, but the removal of Snap in the latest update was very disappointing, and I hope there is a possibility of a similar feature being reintroduced when Scorpio launches.
 

Kayant

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If you can make a case for a different conclusion I'm listening.
Starting from the beginning about Pro being half assed let's look at timeline here

Pro came out November and featured the same amount of compute units as the top polaris card at that time being the 480

Scorpio is coming out about a 1 year after and upped that to 40.

Now given the time frame and what Sony was able to achieve then would you really consider that half assed? Of course they may have been able to get more CUs also but we still don't know the price of Scorpio or how much MS benefited from not targeting that timeframe with things like improvements to manufacturing process and the like.

Now we look at the CPU both are still Jaguar cores to ensure comp as well as Zen not being in AMD's semi custom roadmap until next year. One is 2.1Ghz the other is 2.3Ghz again given time, manufacturing process improvements, possible chassis size and the fact MS more than likely has better cooling can you really consider what Sony was able to achieve then half assed?

You said
The PS4 Pro was marketed as a machine to play PS4 games at 4K
As far as I remember it was more marketed as a "super-charged" console to better support 4K, enable higher framerates.

We can see this from House/Cerny in the
Playstation Meeting and interviews or ads
Saying it was market as "a machine to play PS4 games at 4K" is strictly true.

I highlighted that post wrong but the point I wanted to make is that Scorpio being able to play XB1 games at 4K at Xbox settings is still just a theory so saying Matt isn't being objective is a bit silly. And it's not a fact PS4 doesn't have the "graphical horsepower required for native 4K at console settings" because as Matt mentioned it depends entirely on the game and what the devs are aiming for. It's why I don't like saying a x gpu is a "4K 60fps" card or etc because at the end of the day it depends on the game and what settings a user wants.
 

leeh

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Yes, and Scorpio will usually be drawing more (either full 4K or higher close-to-4K resolution) than a Pro, therefore all of those other elements should scale accordingly: ROPs, caches, bandwidth, etc. Nothing extraordinary in that.
It's not just 40% percent though, that's my point. Due to the clocks between them, it means it's more powerful than that 40%.

so, they just have a more balanced system, which is nice, and expected, and makes sense since they are targeting 4K gaming, so all those improvements are very much needed to deliver 4K.
In the end, it is a nice system, a step above PS4Pro, but also a year later. My point is that it just the logical improvement, not 'OMG' or 'pfff' either. Just a nice system (pricing aside) for 2017, in line with what PS4 Pro was for 2016.
It is obviously a much meaty improvement compared to vanilla XBO than PS4Pro was to vanilla Ps4, that is obvious.

But that large OC is one of the main reasons why Scorpio's GPU is 6TF and not 4.2. If it was the same speed it would be , i don't know, 4,5TF maybe
Well you can call it more balanced, or you can simply say, it's more powerful.

That's the one. Not even transparency. The feels.
 

tzare

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It's not just 40% percent though, that's my point. Due to the clocks between them, it means it's more powerful than that 40%.


Well you can call it more balanced, or you can simply say, it's more powerful. Bit of downplaying there.
wtf, i am not downplaying anything. It is more powerful than PS4PRo , 40% gpu more powerful and a bit less CPU wise. And that , with the logical improvements in other areas ,like RAM, bandwith, makes it much more balanced than vanilla XBO, and similar to PS4Pro's CPU/GPU balance (maybe a little lesss or maybe a little more, time will tell), which some consider unbalanced due to CPU nature.

ANd this is a year later. Those are the facts. Nothing is downplayed or hyped, at least from my limited tech knowledge. I don't believe in secret sauces btw.

pd. stealht edit .... i see. I mean, it is fucking obvious that is more powerful, who is denying that? It is nonsense. debating if the upgrade is more or less that is another thing, despite the data we have that is also clear, whe have numbers!