The XBox One may been facing yet more trouble – this time from the heat that the APU is producing. Various sources are citing Microsoft are lowering the clock speed from 800MHZ, from anything between 100-200MHZ. The reasons are due to the APU of the XBox One being large. This is causing heat issues in the system – and heat was the reason for the Xbox 360’s RROD (Red Ring of Death). To further add to their woes, the ESRAM is apparently having issues to – to do with yields no less.
All of this is fairly ironic, IF true. The reason Microsoft went with the ESRAM and Move Engines in their APU was due to them being worried over the yields of GDDR5 RAM. GDDR5 RAM is of course being used at the heart of the PS4. Microsoft needed to sacrifice GCN cores (12 compared to the PS4’s total of 18) to fit in the ESRAM and hardware move engines into the APU.
If Microsoft do need to ramp down the speed of the GPU, it will mean that the system will only be capable of putting out 50 percent of the performance of the PS4. Currently, the Xbox One manages 1.2TFLOPS, however, this change could mean that the speed will drop to only 900GFLOPS. Compare that to the PS4’s 1.84TFLOPS and you’re left at quite the difference.
It is still a step up from the XBox 360 and Playstation 3’s 240GFLOPS of computing performance, but only around 3.75 times, compared to the 5 times. Microsoft of course, would be all to keen to point out the ‘power of the cloud’ at this point. But, as we’ve investigated, the Xbox One cloud (powered by Microsoft’s Azure technology) can’t help in instances were instant reaction to data is required. For example, in fighting games, cloud based computing won’t help with character impacts. It can be used for weather effects, and for some AI offloading – but honestly, the loss of 300GFLOPS of power is going to hurt.
Multi platform releases are obviously going to suffer – either from less AA, texture filtering – or possibly even a lower frame rate or internal resolution. 50 percent less GPU power than your rival is nothing to be sneezed at.
Remember – these rumors have NOT been confirmed as yet – so take them with the usual pinch of salt for now.