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Hardware Interesting article about Xbox Series S "holding down next gen"

Jun 13, 2020
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Very interesting article on Verge about Xbox Series S and whether it will be a "problem" for next-gen or not.
I quote below some important things:


“We did a lot of analysis of what it would really mean to run a game at 4K with 60fps and then to scale that down to 1440p at 60fps,” says Jason Ronald, Microsoft’s director of Xbox program management, in an interview with The Verge. “The reality is you don’t need as much memory bandwidth because you’re not loading the highest level MIP levels into memory. You don’t need the same amount of memory as well.”


Microsoft believes developers have a number of ways to build Xbox Series X games for 4K resolutions and then downscale them to 1440p for the Series S. “Developers have a whole host of different techniques, whether that’s changing the resolution of their title, things like dynamic resolution scaling frame to frame — that’s something we’ve seen a lot of adoption of, especially towards the end of this generation,” explains Ronald. “And obviously the ability to enable and display different visual effects, without actually implementing the fundamental gameplay.”

So how will the Xbox Series S compare to the older Xbox One X? It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that. The Xbox Series S runs AMD’s latest RDNA 2.0 architecture, while the Xbox One X was based on AMD’s older GCN architecture.


“With RDNA 2 we get basically a 25 percent performance uplift over GCN with no work by developers at all,” claims Ronald. “There’s a significant amount of efficiency we’re getting out of RDNA2 relative to GCN. Then we look at other things like using float 16 or variable rate shading, and we’re seeing on the order of 10-20 percent performance benefits from there as well.”


That should mean raw GPU performance on the Xbox Series S is similar to the Xbox One X, but the target resolution is 1440p instead of 4K. This is why the Xbox Series S will play games designed and enhanced for the bigger Xbox Series X, alongside Xbox One S versions of games that haven’t been tweaked instead of Xbox One X enhanced titles.

“In general on the GPU side the Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU, but it brings all the next-gen features like ray tracing, VRS, mesh shaders, and obviously when you look at the massive leaps in CPU performance and I/O performance, that’s why Xbox Series S is designed to deliver that true next-gen experience just targeting a lower resolution than Xbox Series X.”


The CPU improvements and addition of an SSD for the Xbox Series S will mean games can run a lot more smoothly than they ever did on the Xbox One X. “There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”


“Historically, console generations have really been defined by how games look,” says Ronald. “This generation a lot of it is going to be how do they feel? How do they play? When you think about these large open worlds and keeping players immersed in it, I don’t want pop in, I don’t want load times.” Ronald says buttery smooth gameplay is going to be a priority for Microsoft over the generation of both of these consoles.


Microsoft is also relying on a technique called sampler feedback streaming in the Xbox Series S and X to improve the efficiency of SSD bandwidth. Sampler feedback streaming gives developers much more control over how data is delivered to the GPU for rendering, meaning only the textures that a GPU needs for a scene will be loaded into memory. This should provide some significant performance enhancements alone.
“When we think about the Xbox velocity architecture or sampler feedback streaming, those are areas where we expect a lot of innovation over the generation,” explains Ronald. “With something like sampler feedback streaming, it can deliver performance well beyond the raw hardware specs itself. So much of this generation is about efficiency.”




The article references every single tweet (now deleted) from developers expressing some concern,
and in fact Tom Warren is chasing them down for further comments:

So, expect more I guess


more here:



Edit:
I will also stick here another interview regarding Series S, with David Springate, game director of Dirt 5


When asked about Series S console, Springate said it's really easy to develop for the console, which he described as just a Series X console that targets 1440p instead of 4K. He explained that developers can easily dial back the resolution and sometimes lower the crowd numbers or intensity of the weather when tuning the game for Series S.

Springate made it clear that Dirt 5 won't have a 30 FPS option on Series S as that does not make any sense since the console is "a great piece of kit, it's amazing". However, a 60 FPS mode with better visuals may be something that they offer in the final version in addition to 120 FPS mode.



link:
 
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Jokerevo

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yeah sure that's the blurb but the tweets from devs....is much more revealing. They actually have to work with this dual config and err..it's a bit like funnelling 12 buckets of water into a bucket that holds only 4 buckets...you're gonna spill some and a lot is going to go to waste.
 
Jun 13, 2020
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Lol, he used Gavin Stevens as a quote. Quality journalism.
Especially for you, you can read what the director of Dirt 5 has to say about Series S:


When asked about Series S console, Springate said it's really easy to develop for the console, which he described as just a Series X console that targets 1440p instead of 4K. He explained that developers can easily dial back the resolution and sometimes lower the crowd numbers or intensity of the weather when tuning the game for Series S.

Springate made it clear that Dirt 5 won't have a 30 FPS option on Series S as that does not make any sense since the console is "a great piece of kit, it's amazing". However, a 60 FPS mode with better visuals may be something that they offer in the final version in addition to 120 FPS mode.





 
Feb 15, 2013
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TheVerge said:
That should mean raw GPU performance on the Xbox Series S is similar to the Xbox One X

The Series S is on the same performance level as a last gen console in GPU horsepower says MS themselves. This is different to what Xbox fans have been trying to sell us.
 
Jun 13, 2020
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It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that.

Thanks pal!
...because the Xbox Series S runs AMD’s latest RDNA 2.0 architecture, while the Xbox One X was based on AMD’s older GCN architecture.
With RDNA 2 we get basically a 25 percent performance uplift over GCN with no work by developers at all,” claims Ronald. “There’s a significant amount of efficiency we’re getting out of RDNA2 relative to GCN. Then we look at other things like using float 16 or variable rate shading, and we’re seeing on the order of 10-20 percent performance benefits from there as well



so, what are you implying here?
or are you kingtrash by any chance? :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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M1chl

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yeah sure that's the blurb but the tweets from devs....is much more revealing. They actually have to work with this dual config and err..it's a bit like funnelling 12 buckets of water into a bucket that holds only 4 buckets...you're gonna spill some and a lot is going to go to waste.
Oh yeah because dual config is something really hard.
 

Mr Moose

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Lol, he used Gavin Stevens as a quote. Quality journalism.
Came to say the same thing lol.

There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”

“In general on the GPU side the Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU"


 
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Self

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so, what are you implying here?
Implying? Read the text pal!

"It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that."

Translated for you: There is more to the S then just raw TF's.
 
D

Deleted member 775630

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Came to say the same thing lol.
Gavin Stevens is an Xbox fanboy, but that doesn't mean that what he is saying about the consoles are wrong. Still no one took the time to properly refute what he has said
 
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The Series S is on the same performance level as a last gen console in GPU horsepower says MS themselves. This is different to what Xbox fans have been trying to sell us.
Well, the xbox fans can also very easily tell you that that last gen console you are referring to, had double or more the performance of ps4pro at 4k target resolutions, and this one is aiming only at 1440p
 

Mr Moose

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Gavin Stevens is an Xbox fanboy, but that doesn't mean that what he is saying about the consoles are wrong. Still no one took the time to properly refute what he has said
What about this part?

There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”

“In general on the GPU side the Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU"


 
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Implying? Read the text pal!

"It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that."

Translated for you: There is more to the S then just raw TF's.
nah, you should read what I repied to you above for the correct translation. :messenger_winking:
 
D

Deleted member 775630

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What about this part?

There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”

“In general on the GPU side the Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU"


What's wrong about that? That it doesn't render it at 4K? That has to do with the amount of RAM.
 

Shrap

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What's the deal with Tom Warren anyway? Is he on Microsoft's payroll or is he trying to get a job with them? He has insider info only with Microsoft and always has high praise for them. Also, I've just gone through his tweets over the last few days and it seems like he isn't a fan of Sony:





I'm genuinely curious to know if he's just a fanboy or actually involved with MS.
 
D

Deleted member 775630

Unconfirmed Member
Read it again.

Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X
because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance
Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU
Oh sorry, missed that. I did went back to read the original article, and you're taking stuff out of context. I do think it's bad writing, so it's not super clear.

Comparison to Xbox One X
“In general on the GPU side the Xbox Series S is effectively the same performance as an Xbox One X GPU, but it brings all the next-gen features like ray tracing, VRS, mesh shaders, and obviously when you look at the massive leaps in CPU performance and I/O performance, that’s why Xbox Series S is designed to deliver that true next-gen experience just targeting a lower resolution than Xbox Series X.”

Comparison to Xbox One S
“If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”
 
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M1chl

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What's the deal with Tom Warren anyway? Is he on Microsoft's payroll or is he trying to get a job with them? He has insider info only with Microsoft and always has high praise for them. Also, I've just gone through his tweets over the last few days and it seems like he isn't a fan of Sony:





I'm genuinely curious to know if he's just a fanboy or actually involved with MS.
Best way is to ignore him, he is really obnoxious
 

Mr Moose

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Oh sorry, missed that. I did went back to read the original article, and you're taking stuff out of context. I do think it's bad writing, so it's not super clear.

Comparison to Xbox One X


Comparison to Xbox One S

It says One X though, not One S:

“There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”

It doesn't make sense.
Nothing out of context, it's all right there like I posted.
 
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Portugeezer

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The Series S is on the same performance level as a last gen console in GPU horsepower says MS themselves. This is different to what Xbox fans have been trying to sell us.
MS is right in some respects, as a lot of the GPU power is used to push native 4K.

But UE5 demo was already native 1440p, so the idea of just going from 4k to 1440p on Series S is not so pretty.
 
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cormack12

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I thought 1440 was the natural upscale for 480 (3 x Xbox) and 720 (2 x Xbox 360) titles.
It doesn't make sense to scale 2160 to 1440, but to 1080 (-2 x) surely
 
D

Deleted member 775630

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It says One X though, not One S:

“There are also opportunities where we can enhance the titles on Xbox Series S even further than what we can do on Xbox One X,” says Ronald. “If you look at the raw power of the Xbox Series S, if a title wants to go in and double its frame rates it’s actually really easy, because we’ve more than doubled the GPU performance and more than doubled the CPU performance, so it’s relatively easy for a developer to go in and enable that if they choose to update their title.”

It doesn't make sense.
Nothing out of context, it's all right there like I posted.
Yeah but you're smart enough to know that that specific part is comparing it to the Xbox One S.
 

MrFunSocks

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Well now we know why the id engine programmer deleted his tweets hahaha.

He’s either packing his desk or he’s been told to stfu by his new bosses.
 
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ZywyPL

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I think Series S will be the most interesting suspect in the upcoming DF analysis/comparisons. So far we're reading mixed/opposite reactions, but without the actual games running side by side it's impossible to make a judgement.
 
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mckmas8808

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Implying? Read the text pal!

"It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that."

Translated for you: There is more to the S then just raw TF's.

Haven't other people said the exact same thing when comparing the PS5 to the XSX though?
 
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Andodalf

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What's the deal with Tom Warren anyway? Is he on Microsoft's payroll or is he trying to get a job with them? He has insider info only with Microsoft and always has high praise for them. Also, I've just gone through his tweets over the last few days and it seems like he isn't a fan of Sony:





I'm genuinely curious to know if he's just a fanboy or actually involved with MS.

I know this is tough to take, but just because someone doesn't suck Sony at every opportunity, It doesn't mean they're being paid by MS.
 

Clear

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I know this is tough to take, but just because someone doesn't suck Sony at every opportunity, It doesn't mean they're being paid by MS.

If something looks like a dog, acts like a dog, and barks like a dog... chances are its a dog,

Replace dog with MS Shill and you have Warren in a nutshell.
 
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MarkMe2525

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The Series S is on the same performance level as a last gen console in GPU horsepower says MS themselves. This is different to what Xbox fans have been trying to sell us.
I don't have a dog in this fight but wanted to point out that they are referring to raw compute performance. Think of the vega 64 card which had as much or more compute capabilities than the nvidia equivalent. Nvidia still outperformed the card by a good amount in the vast majority of games because of the gaming centric architectural differences. I think we are looking at a similar scenario with the series s GPU. Of course, that power is also being focused onto 1440p vs 4k which leaves a lot more spare horsepower.
 

ethomaz

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What's the deal with Tom Warren anyway? Is he on Microsoft's payroll or is he trying to get a job with them? He has insider info only with Microsoft and always has high praise for them. Also, I've just gone through his tweets over the last few days and it seems like he isn't a fan of Sony:





I'm genuinely curious to know if he's just a fanboy or actually involved with MS.
He is involved with MS.

Him, Cohen and that Brams guy are related to MS.
 

mckmas8808

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May be it is ok for cross-gen games it may not matter much. But Unreal5 demo was 1440P on PS5, Minecraft RT demo was 1080P on the SX. SS should be doing those at 720P I guess. Not sure why they decided to release such a gimped console.

Not enough people seem to understand this point yet. Even most of the video game's media just doesn't get this yet. I'm not sure why people don't realize that the most "next-gen" like demos so far haven't been in 4K. There's a reason people!
 
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Haven't other people said the exact same thing when comparing the PS5 to the XSX though?

The same stupidity, yes.

One more time, because I think that some people when presented with information, instead of becoming smarter they are becoming dumber.
And we don't want that, do we?

<<It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that, because the Xbox Series S runs AMD’s latest RDNA 2.0 architecture, while the Xbox One X was based on AMD’s older GCN architecture.

With RDNA 2 we get basically a 25 percent performance uplift over GCN with no work by developers at all,” claims Ronald. “There’s a significant amount of efficiency we’re getting out of RDNA2 relative to GCN. Then we look at other things like using float 16 or variable rate shading, and we’re seeing on the order of 10-20 percent performance benefits from there as well
>>


So, when Jason Ronald says "you can't just compare 6TF OF GCN with 4TF OF RDNA2" he means exactly the same thing cerny told you that 36 ps5 CUs are equal to more than 58 ps4 CUs, and that RDNA2 teraflops are better than GCN teraflops.
It's a cross-architecture comparison.
Now, unless PS5 is not RDNA2 and is ....GCN, the thing both of you wrote and re-wrote as a "conclusion about ps5 - xbox series X" is ...wrong!
 

mckmas8808

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One more time, because I think that some people when presented with information, instead of becoming smarter they are becoming dumber.
And we don't want that, do we?

<<It’s easy to look at the raw teraflops numbers and immediately think 6 teraflops is better than 4 teraflops, but it’s more complicated than that, because the Xbox Series S runs AMD’s latest RDNA 2.0 architecture, while the Xbox One X was based on AMD’s older GCN architecture.

With RDNA 2 we get basically a 25 percent performance uplift over GCN
with no work by developers at all,” claims Ronald. “There’s a significant amount of efficiency we’re getting out of RDNA2 relative to GCN. Then we look at other things like using float 16 or variable rate shading, and we’re seeing on the order of 10-20 percent performance benefits from there as well
>>


So, when Jason Ronald says "you can't just compare 6TF OF GCN with 4TF OF RDNA2" he means exactly the same thing cerny told you that 36 ps5 CUs are equal to more than 58 ps4 CUs, and that RDNA2 teraflops are better than GCN teraflops.
It's a cross-architecture comparison.
Now, unless PS5 is not RDNA2 and is ....GCN, the thing both of you wrote and re-wrote as a "conclusion about ps5 - xbox series X" is ...wrong!

But if you are smart, you'd know there's more to console power than just TFs. Stop being a homer. Lets try to sound smart about this.
 

VAVA Mk2

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If anyone remembers The Verge's video on building a gaming PC, I would shy away from them in general as a primary source or commentary on gaming stuff...
 
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