Thursday, March 30, 2006

Revo Tech Specs...Supposedly

Now I have never been a fan of anything IGN or Matt Cassamania. Just don't like them. But he does give us news. Anyway he has talked with "insider developers" and they have given him the tech specs as follows: Insiders stress that Revolution runs on an extension of the Gekko and Flipper architectures that powered GameCube, which is why studios who worked on GCN will have no problem making the transition to the new machine, they say. IBM's "Broadway" CPU is clocked at 729MHz, according to updated Nintendo documentation. By comparison, GameCube's Gekko CPU ran at 485MHz. The original Xbox's CPU, admittedly a different architecture altogether, was clocked at 733MHz. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 runs three symmetrical cores at 3.2GHz. Nintendo's Revolution console, as seen on-display at the Game Developers Conference 2006 Clearly, numbers don't mean everything, but on paper Revolution's CPU falls performance-wise somewhere well beyond GameCube and just shy of the original Xbox. However, it's important to remember that there is no way to accurately gauge the performance difference between GCN's PowerPC-based architecture and the the Intel-based CPU of Xbox. Further, even if we could, these numbers are only one part of the equation. Revolution's ATI-provided "Hollywood" GPU clocks in at 243MHz. By comparison, GameCube's GPU ran at 162MHz, while the GPU on the original Xbox was clocked at 233MHz. Sources we spoke with suggest that it is unlikely the GPU will feature any added shaders, as has been speculated. "The 'Hollywood' is a large-scale integrated chip that includes the GPU, DSP, I/O bridge and 3MBs of texture memory," a studio source told us. The overall system memory numbers we reported last December have not greatly fluctuated, but new clarifications have surfaced. Revolution will operate using 24MBs of "main" 1T-SRAM. It will additionally boast 64MBs of "external" 1T-SRAM. That brings the total number of system RAM up to 88MBs, not including the 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. By comparison, GameCube featured 40MBs of RAM not counting the GPU's on-board 3MBs. The original Xbox included 64MBs total RAM. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 operate on 512MBs of RAM. It is not known if the 14MBs of extra D-RAM we reported on last December are in the current Revolution specifications. Now as he described it the Revolution would be as powerful as the Xbox. So not bad. Xbox had some really good hardware. Now in the title the reason I said supposedly for a couple of reasons. The main one of those reasons is that these are developers giving the specs of the current dev kits they have. Now last time I checked final dev kits have not even been released for the Revo. If I remember correctly final dev kits are too be released in June. So these are either Alpha or Beta kits. But the last dev kits sent were beefed up GC's with a revremote attached. So that would basically be this. So this is where I'm skeptical. This is the specs of a early dev kit. So I don't think these are the actual specs but the specs of an alpha or beta dev kit which would make sense by going through the words of Nintendo. So then what would we expect the final dev kit numbers to be. Well I don't know but it will either be a big step up or just a tiny step up. Just how it works. But I would say these specs are definetly the ones of an unfinished set of dev kits. I could be totally wrong so take this analysis as specualtion but of course Matt's insiders could be wrong also so once again rumor. Well I'll be sure to keep you updated on more Revo "news". Zucas

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