Xbox 2: Processor, graphics chip and backwards compatibility revealed

Apparently - read on for unconfirmed chatter.

Posted by Staff
Xbox 2: Processor, graphics chip and backwards compatibility revealed
According to reports reaching to the very upper leaves of the technology news tree, Microsoftís Xbox division has suffered a serious information security leak, with a considerable portion of the Xbox 2ís bottom being accidentally flashed to the world.

Information suggests that a good portion of the finalised specifications have been leaked, likely to be from a development source with the ink on the obligatory NDA still wet on the parchment.

The GPU will supposedly be based around ATiís R500 and will be fully compatible with DirectX 9 and 10. As well as a standard graphics rendering core, the as-yet unnamed processor will feature embedded DRAM to act as a frame-buffer, capable of wrestling an image of 480i, thus making fully anti-aliased high-definition TV possible for the first time.

The RAM allocation is said to have increased from 256MB to 512MB, operating on a 256-bit bus - a figure likely to exceed the possibilities on offer to competitors at launch.

Three IBM 64-bit microprocessors, as used in Apple Computer's high-end G5 PowerMac, will be incorporated, lending the new machine more computing power than most current PCs.

According to sources, compatibility with the current model Xbox isn't guaranteed, mainly due to the Intel and nVidia CPU/GPU combination it employs. Possible licensing issues, in terms of using nVidia middleware libraries and compilers, are also a concern. However, some state that a full software emulation of the current Xbox would not be out of the question.

Stay tuned for much, much more on all this on the run up to E3.
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Comments

omer48912 3 Feb 2004 14:10
1/2
Hey if Xbox 2 is going to have all that power then it could just run Xbox games trough emulation. I am not even thinking that Xbox 2 will not run Xbox games as I am sure that they will get some way to do it.
And if Xbox 2 is going to have 3 IMB CPUís and RV500 how much will this cost £1000 or are they going to sell it with something like £700 loss per each Xbox 2 sold.

I like the idea if having top end ATI GPU in Xbox and smart move for Microsoft to move from Intel to IBM.

We will have to waif for E3 to see if any of this is truth or just someoneís imagination.


config 6 Feb 2004 09:11
2/2
omer48912 wrote:

>Hey if Xbox 2 is going to have all that power
>then it could just run Xbox games trough
>emulation.

I think you underestimate power needed to perform decent emulation. It's only recently that PCs have been able to smoothly emulate games written for the Amiga with its 7MHz 68000 and custom chipsets. Now think how much grunt would be required for a PowerPC based system to emulate a P3 733MHz with nVidia chipset. DirectX may go some way to fixing the problem, but there is bound to have been use of nVidia specific libraries and shaders.

>I am not even thinking that Xbox 2
>will not run Xbox games as I am sure that they
>will get some way to do it.
>And if Xbox 2 is going to have 3 IMB CPUís and
>RV500 how much will this cost £1000 or are they
>going to sell it with something like £700 loss
>per each Xbox 2 sold.

Doesn't matter. MS will take the hit if it means they can get their fingers into your wallet for ever bit of media you ingest.

>I like the idea if having top end ATI GPU in Xbox
>and smart move for Microsoft to move from Intel
>to IBM.

Is it? Surely the lure of Xbox for PC developers was the familiar environment and ease of porting (shoveling?) the existing titles.
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