For an update on this, including a 10 percent performance boost coming to the xbox one check out the follow up article.
Ashan Rasheed, perhaps better known as Thuway has made a series of comments regarding Driver Updates and better performance on Microsoft’s Xbox One console. Thuway is a known industry insider, and regularly breaks news before it happens. The first comment was regarding the Xbox One’s Driver situation:
“I am trying to get a good read on when the next Xbox One driver update happens. Should mean great things. Sometime in the next few weeks,” he said.
A driver update for Microsoft’s Xbox One would likely help optimize the machines Graphics performance from the AMD GCN architecture inside the system. It could also be for the Kinect 2.0 system, to perhaps fix bugs and known issues with the interface. It’s also possible that it will also slightly reduce OS / driver footprint and general optimizations. Unfortunately, there’s not sufficient information to know what exactly this driver update will tweak inside Microsoft’s Xbox One.
“Make no mistake about it. The team at Redmond working on the Xbox OS are probably the best OS programmers in the world.” He said
Thuway certainly seems confident in Microsoft’s abilities. The Xbox One’s Operating System setup is certainly more complex than that of the PS4. The Xbox One has three operating systems. A control OS, (Hypervisor) which tells the other two operating systems how to behave and generally manages them. The second OS is for the Windows GUI that you’ll see and interact with, hosting all of the apps. The third OS, and the one with the biggest time slice of CPU time and the largest portion of RAM is the Xbox One’s Game OS.
Memory aside from GPU performance is one of the largest discussed topics of the next generation consoles. The Xbox One is using 8GB of DDR3 memory (along with 32MB of ESRAM). Sony’s Playstation 4 meanwhile uses 8GB of GDDR5 RAM.
“I should leave a footnote: developer who made RAM comment was not complaining, only giving a straight answer.” said Thuway.
“Developers are very happy with these next gen machines, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking developer ambition stops at 6 GB of RAM.” he further added a moment later.
With the Xbox One setting aside about 6GB of its total of 8 for games, developers will quickly find out they’re going to run out of memory. Recent quotes by the developers behind the middlewear Havok engine have already posed concerns that artists will run out of RAM quickly. For developers in the previous generation, both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 were limited on RAM. With only 512MB each, developers were restricted in their artistic visions.
It also meant the requirements of using a lot of compressed and lower resolution textures than they’d perhaps have liked. Streaming textures and other assets (as discussed in my Killzone article here) were vital to get good performance out of the machine. Plus of course, the usual ‘hide loading screens in elevators’ or perhaps in short and unskippable cutscenes.