Microsoft is working hard to improve the memory bandwidth situation on the Xbox One, and they just might have had a breakthrough.
When the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One specification were first revealed (or rather discovered, in case of the latter), it became immediately apparent that Microsoft’s console this time round had a huge disadvantage in terms of raw power. Not only did the PS4 pack 50% more GPU cores, but the memory bandwidth was far higher than that in the Xbox One.
Here’s a quick recap. Sony’s next-generation game console packs a 256-bit wide memory bandwidth, with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 5500 MHz. This translates to an impressive 176 GB/s unified bandwidth that is available to the entire APU (Accelerated Processing Unit, the CPU-GPU core made by AMD) inside the console. Microsoft went with the more traditional (and much cheaper) DDR3 RAM clocked at 2133 MHz. The resultant bandwidth stood at a paltry 68.3 GB/s. However, the company added 32 MB of high-speed eSRAM that boasted of as much as 102 GB/s memory bandwidth available for developers to exploit. But thanks to the unified nature of the memory found in the PS4, developers are going to have a much easier time tapping into the massive bandwidth reserve that Sony’s console offers. To help their case, Microsoft seems to have made a breakthrough with optimizing their eSRAM.
A new report at Eurogamer claims that Microsoft has managed to increase the bandwidth on the final Xbox One hardware to as much as 192 GB/s, roughly an 88% increase with respect to the original bandwidth. The report says that Microsoft discovered in the final Xbox One hardware that their eSRAM can handle read/write operations simultaneously, translating the 102 GB/s (when calculating for separate read/write operations) to a more impressive 192 GB/s. That being said, the eSRAM amount still remains fixed at a somewhat low 32 MB.
Microsoft’s Xbox One game console is scheduled to release this November, 2013. Not so surprisingly, the PlayStation 4 will also be launched in the same time frame.