The Wii U has been at the butt of many jokes, and Nintendo insist that there is a misconception that the hardware is ‘underpowered’. Rumors are now flying that since the 3.0.0 update, both the Wii U’s GPU and CPU have received significant speed boosts.
Developers are loathed to work on the Wii U hardware due to a number of reasons – lack of a speed bump from PS3 and Xbox 360 being the biggest. Developers have gone on record, stating that Frostbite 3 engine will not work, that Unreal Engine 4 shall struggle to work. Other developers have said the system doesn’t have enough to offer, and indeed others have called the CPU ‘horrible, slow”.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper was impacted by it – “For games in the Warriors series, including Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi, when you have a lot of enemies coming at you at once, the performance tends to be affected because of the CPU,” says Akihiro Suzuki who is the Dynasty Warriors Producer.
Based on rough calculations, the Wii U CPU runs at 1.24GHZ, and is built on a 45nm process. Based on rough calculations, the Wii U CPU occupies the same amount of silicon – and so has a roughly similar amount number of transistors – as a single Xbox 360 core, including the L2 cache in the Xenon tri-core processor.
The rumors show that the CPU of the Wii U has gone from the 1.24 GHZ all the way up to 3.24 GHZ. Meanwhile, the GPU is claimed to have been boosted to 800MHZ, from the previous 550MHZ. That’s a hell of an increase.
Many are already yelling “fake” from the top of the rooftops – but it’s worthy to note that it’s possible that the decision from Nintendo was to actually ship the Wii U console with lower than possible yields. In other words, the systems TRUE speed was 3.24GHZ, but was shipped at 1.24GHZ to lure Sony and MS into a false sense of security. OR perhaps Nintendo rushed the system out, and they wanted to do more testing. Or perhaps, they are crazy?
It’s true Nintendo are often reserved when it comes to showing off how powerful their hardware is – the Gamecube is a famous example of that. But, Nintendo would be INSANE to not tell the world that they were just holding back to see what their rivals were up to. I just don’t understand why they would keep this quiet. It doesn’t make sense, especially since they are fighting tooth and nail to prove to the world that the Wii U is relevant.
I would like to see Wii U owners test the CPU and GPU, to see If they’re putting more heat and using more energy after the update, which would give a basic indication if they are working harder.
There have been claims that the games have felt ‘snappier’ or faster on forums – problem is, that could just be a placebo effect. Another possibility is that a small overclock has happened, say 550MHZ to 600MHZ, and say 1.24GHZ to 1.4GHZ. Another possibility is improvements to driver code, or memory use. Don’t believe me about PC placebo effects? Go to a friends house who doesn’t know much about PC’s. Say you need a bit of time with their PC and say you’ll make it faster. Tell them you’ll overclock it. Pretend to mess about in BIOS and so on, but really, do nothing – but many make it so the PC boots a little quicker. Say change the boot order of the drives, or whatever. And they’ll swear blind you did make their machine faster.
We know that the Wii U has 2GB of RAM, but an astounding 1GB of that is allocated to OS functions. If somehow Nintendo have reduced this, that could also help. Right now, all of these rumors should be taken with the salt truck in tow. But, stranger things have happened.
I’m sure we’ll find out the truth soon enough on if the Wii U was overclocked (or indeed, is running at a faster speed). Right now, I guess all we can do is launch conjecture!