Wednesday, April 11th 2012

Xbox Durango Packs 16-core PowerPC CPU

A report in the the latest issue of Xbox World print magazine suggests that developer kits (devkits) of Durango (next-generation Xbox console), were implementing a "state of the art" 16-core IBM PowerPC CPU, its companion graphics processor is AMD-made, spec'd equivalent to AMD Radeon HD 7000 series, as previously reported. The 16-core CPU is said to have been implemented with a far-sight on the platform's longevity. "It's a ridiculous amount of power for a games machine - too much power, even. But remember, Kinect 2 could chew up four whole cores tracking multiple players right down to their fingertips, so it'll need a lot of power," the Xbox World article commented.

Source: CVG
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93 Comments on Xbox Durango Packs 16-core PowerPC CPU

#2
LDNL
A 16 core for what? ~300€/$? Sounds too good to be true
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#3
NC37
So...multithreaded is in...good graphics is, on the sidelines? Oh well. Interested to see final specs. A lot of cores doesn't always translate to extra performance. Bulldozer showed us that.

Since Sony is going the APU route I'm sure they'll likely have to customize that a bit if they are facing 16 cores here. Wouldn't be surprised if AMD puts in a few new tricks for devs to take advantage of in the hope of offsetting that.

Can't wait to see PC games in a few years.
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#4
xenocide
by: HammerON
Interesting...

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=163948
Hey, that's me! :D

But yea, I'm interested in seeing what exactly is under the hood of the "Orbis" and "Durango" at this point. I'm sure performance will be close, but the exact tech is always interesting. As I said in the topic, I wouldn't be surprised if this CPU were legit and was using a setup similar to Bulldozer, with a loose definition of cores, being something like a Quad-Core, each core allowing 4 threads, making it a "16-Core".
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#5
micropage7
16 core? so the console got the first one than desktop?
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#6
THE_EGG
16 core hey? Maybe it will be like a year ago where fewer, more sophisticated cores (nvidia) were better than lots of less sophisticated cores (ati). I doubt this 16 core will be that fast tbh.
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#8
Yo_Wattup
You are all forgetting that every Xbob 'durango' game will be optimized for these 16 cores, unlike PC where no game is really optimized because all PCs are different.

So If all Durango (god what a stupid name) games are optimized for 16 cores, it should be at least, what, 3-5 times better than 360 in CPU performance alone. Gaming wise.
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#9
xenocide
by: Yo_Wattup
You are all forgetting that every Xbob 'durango' game will be optimized for these 16 cores, unlike PC where no game is really optimized because all PCs are different.

So If all Durango (god what a stupid name) games are optimized for 16 cores, it should be at least, what, 3-5 times better than 360 in CPU performance alone. Gaming wise.
Per Core performance would take a hit with this many cores, for sure. You'd probably end up with 16 Cores where each core has 1/4 the performance of a traditional core.
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#10
Filiprino
Bulldozer also has 16 cores, with a high TDP :P

In Durango they also have to commit to a lower TDP, so things can be worse.

PlayStation 4 is rumored to have an AMD APU, probably Trinity based.
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#11
jigar2speed
by: NC37
A lot of cores doesn't always translate to extra performance. Bulldozer showed us that.
Apologies to intervene but you really have no idea, bulldozer is not a 8 core processor. This was the main reason you saw marketing department getting fired left and right from AMD. All the false information of 8 Cores and 4 modules backfired on the face of AMD, which they could have avoided by keeping the things simple. :)
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#12
Filiprino
by: jigar2speed
Apologies to intervene but you really have no idea, bulldozer is not a 8 core processor. This was the main reason you saw marketing department getting fired left and right from AMD. All the false information of 8 Cores and 4 modules backfired on the face of AMD, which they could have avoided by keeping the things simple. :)
Bulldozer is an 8 core processor with 4 256 bit FPUs that can be split into 2 128 bit FPUs, totalling 8 128 bit FPUs.
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#13
Yo_Wattup
by: xenocide
Per Core performance would take a hit with this many cores, for sure. You'd probably end up with 16 Cores where each core has 1/4 the performance of a traditional core.
Are you high?
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#14
hardcore_gamer
Please note that the cores are PowerPC RISC cores. Clock to clock, their performance is way below the performance of x86-64 cores. But the 16 core CPU is nothing short of impressive. Too bad the GPU is similar to a 6670. And if it implements an always-online DRM, it's a no-buy for me.
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#15
Rowsol
So... high end cpu, crap gpu. Yep, sounds like the current systems.

I thought games benefited way more from a good gpu...
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#16
hardcore_gamer
by: btarunr
The 16-core CPU is said to have been implemented with a far-sight on the platform's longevity
But the 6670-ish GPU won't help the platform's longevity. PS4 also have similar GPU.

Ten more years of dumbed down games for PC:banghead:
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#17
Grings
Does this mean we will need at least 16 core pc's to play bad ports properly now? :(
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#18
RejZoR
CPU is imo not the problem. It's the gfx part that will get obsolete rather quickly. I mean, i still run Core i7 920 @ 3,8GHz and even though its fairly old CPU, it can churn out loads of power even today (like 3 years later). However, i'm not sure i could still play the same with a 3 years old gfx card. In my case, that would be what, HD4870 that i had 4 gfx cards back? I don't think so.
So, instead of stuffing gazillion of CPU cores in it, they should think about how to extend GPU life time without sacrificing compatibility, costs and just the fact that you'd have to eventually upgrade it or change the console.
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#19
Grings
by: RejZoR
CPU is imo not the problem. It's the gfx part that will get obsolete rather quickly. I mean, i still run Core i7 920 @ 3,8GHz and even though its fairly old CPU, it can churn out loads of power even today (like 3 years later). However, i'm not sure i could still play the same with a 3 years old gfx card. In my case, that would be what, HD4870 that i had 4 gfx cards back? I don't think so.
So, instead of stuffing gazillion of CPU cores in it, they should think about how to extend GPU life time without sacrificing compatibility, costs and just the fact that you'd have to eventually upgrade it or change the console.
On the current consoles, memory was an even larger problem, loads of games run lower textures than they need to for there gpu due to other parts of the game using too much memory. I think both only had 512mb in total to use.

Memory is also probably the only part of a console it would be feasible to make upgradeable. A graphics card update for consoles would never work due to the high price an upgrade card would cost, only a small percentage would bother getting it.

A pair of empty DDR3 slots (or DDR4/whatever is out when released) would be the best upgrade option for this or Sony's console, though proprietary masters Sony would never do that when they can charge 3-4 times as much for their own product (see psvita's memory card prices in comparison to micro sd cards)
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#20
LAN_deRf_HA
by: Rowsol
So... high end cpu, crap gpu. Yep, sounds like the current systems.

I thought games benefited way more from a good gpu...
I think console cpus (PS3/360) are geared towards graphical processing, sharing that workload with the gpu. Though as I understand it that makes them less efficient at AI and physics processing. The best solution is like in tegra where there's a bunch of specialized cores that are very efficient for a specific task. Which actual makes me wonder if these 16 cores might not be differentiated just like tegra. If they had the sense to do that it could make for a much more powerful console than we're expecting, and by giving dedicated hardware for things like AI and physics it should make future games have radically better gameplay.

That said I don't have much confidence in that ideal scenario.
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#21
Shihabyooo
by: btarunr
The 16-core CPU is said to have been implemented with a far-sight on the platform's longevity.
Please, kill me now...:cry:
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#22
hardcore_gamer
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I think console cpus (PS3/360) are geared towards graphical processing, sharing that workload with the gpu.
Cell broadband engine used in PS3 has good graphics processing abilities. However, only a few games use this ability,mostly PS3 exclusives. The PowerPC processor used in xbox 360/720 lacks the streamlined coprocessing elements found in a Cell processor and hence lacks the graphics capabilities. X86-64 used in PS4 is also not good when it comes to graphics workloads : The main reason why Larrabee failed.
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#23
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
Give me a dual-socket C32 motherboard and a couple of 8-core Valencia chips and I too, could have a 16-core powerhouse. You can do it too! :p
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#24
Mussels
Moderprator
i just dont see this happening, 16 core CPU's are just too niche. supply problems, high TDP, low per core performance... none of this will help out a console.
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#25
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: Mussels
i just dont see this happening, 16 core CPU's are just too niche. supply problems, high TDP, low per core performance... none of this will help out a console.
RISC CPU cores tend to be smaller than CISC's. Depending on when this CPU could come out, I could be on a smaller process that could cram a lot of processing power in a CPU. Not to say that a console needs this, but I don't see it being unreasonable. MS isn't saying this is coming out this year. I could easily see this in 2-3 years from now.
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