Sunday, June 9th 2019

Xbox "Project Scarlett" to be 8K and Ray-tracing Ready, AMD-powered, Coming 2020

Microsoft at its E3 2019 keynote dropped a huge teaser of its next-generation gaming console development, codenamed "Project Scarlett." The console is expected to pack some serious hardware that powers gaming at 8K resolution (that's four times 4K, sixteen times Full HD). That's not all, it will also feature real-time ray-tracing. Microsoft's performance target for the console is to be 4 times higher than that of the Xbox One X. The company is also giving the console its first major storage sub-system performance update in years.

At its heart is a new 7 nm semi-custom SoC by AMD and a high degree of customization by Microsoft. This chip features CPU cores based on the "Zen 2" microarchitecture, which provide a massive leap in CPU performance over the current Scorpio Engine SoC that uses low-power "Jaguar Enhanced" cores. At the helm of graphics is a new iGPU based on the RDNA architecture that powers AMD's upcoming Radeon RX 5000 "Navi" graphics cards. It's interesting here to note that Microsoft talks about real-time ray-tracing while we're yet to see evidence of any specialized ray-tracing hardware on "Navi." In its teaser, however, Microsoft stressed on the ray-tracing feature being "hardware-accelerated."
Microsoft is deploying fast GDDR6 memory on "Project Scarlett." AMD is probably implementing hUMA (heterogeneous unified memory architecture), which allows a common physical memory pool to be used as both graphics- and system-memory. That brings us to the next big innovation, storage. With NAND flash prices in free-fall, Microsoft recons the time has come for SSD to be standard-equipment in an Xbox. These consoles will come in various sizes of SSDs, and the console's OS will use SSD for virtual memory. With Microsoft emphasizing on these being "a new generation of SSDs," we speculate these drives could implement NVMe as opposed to SATA/AHCI.


The introduction of "Project Scarlett" and its competing PlayStation, holds tremendous implications for PC gamers. For one, it raises the bar of what is considered "mainstream" for gaming graphics and technology. This allows game studios to invest in increasing visual fidelity for PC games. 4K could finally become the mainstream gaming PC resolution, as could real-time ray-tracing. GPU manufacturers could dial up their compute and real-time ray-tracing hardware development in the upcoming generations. We could finally see the next "Crysis" like game that roasts our machines but rewards fast hardware with unbelievable eye-candy.
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35 Comments on Xbox "Project Scarlett" to be 8K and Ray-tracing Ready, AMD-powered, Coming 2020

#26
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
8K is likely HEVC video playback--implies HDMI 2.1 support. They're likely targeting 4K 120 fps for gaming.
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#27
matar
its insane 2 RTX titans cant run all games maxed out at 8k and that's $5000 and here the new Xbox will do so at $500 why is it always pc buyers get ripped off insanely...
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#28
Maximuspop
8k for what? brodcast tv is still 1080i
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#29
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
ATSC 3.0 is changing to HEVC which means 120 fps, 4K, and HDR. There's not enough bandwidth allocated per channel to support 8K though.
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#30
rvalencia
xkm1948 said:

Both are late to the party
Surface Pro 4 has M2 SSD.
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#31
BoiseTech
rvalencia said:

Surface Pro 4 has M2 SSD.
M.2 is a form factor. It doesn't mean SATA or NVMe.

SSD is a technology. It doesn't mean SATA or NVMe.

What is the point you're trying to make?
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#32
kapone32
xkm1948 said:

Both are late to the party
Not late but at the point where NVME can be bought to allow a console to stay under $700 US per unit. 2 Years ago this was not possible.
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#33
rvalencia
BoiseTech said:

M.2 is a form factor. It doesn't mean SATA or NVMe.

SSD is a technology. It doesn't mean SATA or NVMe.

What is the point you're trying to make?
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has NVMe M2 2280.

"Both are late to the party " argument is wrong when Microsoft is selling several PC hardware with M2 2280 NVME SSD.
Posted on Reply
#34
Darmok N Jalad
rvalencia said:

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has NVMe M2 2280.

"Both are late to the party " argument is wrong when Microsoft is selling several PC hardware with M2 2280 NVME SSD.
I don’t think he’s saying that MS doesn’t use SSDs at all, he was saying that they didn’t use them in consoles. Surface is not a game console, so it doesn’t relate to his point.
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#35
horik
Ok, but wtf is this¿


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