The Tech Specs for Microsoft's Project Scorpio Have Been Revealed

The Tech Specs for Microsoft's Project Scorpio Have Been Revealed

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Microsoft has revealed the tech specs for Project Scorpio. Just how powerful is it?

We've known for a few days that the first look at Project Scorpio was coming this week, and now Eurogamer's Digital Foundry has posted a breakdown of the console's hardware specifications. Looking over the list of hardware goodies, it's easy to see what Microsoft's goal was: outstrip the PS4 Pro. Here's a chart created by Digital Foundry that compares Scorpio:

project-scorpio-spec-comparison-650

Scorpio employs a tuned up version of the Xbox One's AMD Jaguar CPU, with the clocks on the eight cores spun up to 2.3 GHz. That's just a bit faster than PS4's eight cores at 2.1 GHz. This is basically the same CPU as Xbox One, just clocked faster.

The bigger changes were made to the GPU and memory of the unit. The Scorpio's GPU features 40 compute units and 2,560 shader cores, representing more than triple the graphical power of the Xbox One. For comparison's sake, it's just a little bigger than AMD's RX480 video cards.

On the memory side, Scorpio eschews the 8GB DDR3 and 32 MB ESRAM configuration of the Xbox One. Instead, it's packing 12GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit bus, clocked at 6.8 Gbps. The ESRAM wasn't needed in the new design, thanks to the Scorpio offering five times the memory bandwidth.

That graphical and memory power will allow Scorpio to push games to 4K and maintain good frame rates. Scorpio will also support downscaling from 4K to 1080p, so it will be a boon even for those who don't own a 4K display.

There are still some unknowns about the new console. What will it be called? When will it release? Most importantly, how much will it cost? Those questions will likely be answered at E3 this year.

The bigger question that we should be asking is this: will the additional hardware power be enough to close the sales gap with PS4? Raw power is nice, but Microsoft is going to need to crank up the game offerings to make the additional horsepower worth owning.

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Now that consoles get actual upgrades instead of being an upgrade that deserves that title as it was commonly used before, is it fair to compare the sales figures by generation?

What I mean is wouldn't it make more sense to compare Scorpio's sales to the Pro's sales only?

Also, after Spencer hyping up the Scorpio so much, I expected much more. But I'm not really a programmer for now, just can spout an ill-informed "Dat memory, dog!"

I'm ignoring the XBone's spec altogether. Who gives a flying fuck about that in comparison? If some do, I'd like to see the WiiU there as well.

In addition, just have to rub that one in: It can even play SONY's flagship form of the BluRay medium. I mean 4k BRs. And PS4 can't. Neither can the PS4 Pro. You know, both made by the "inventor" of the medium itself. lol

To someone with more education about the topic at hand: Why did they omit the GPU memory in this sheet? Is there even a reason aside from hiding a potential bottleneck? Is the RAM shared in consoles?

Will consoles ever learn and just use full-sized desktop drives? Please?

Also how much will this "improvement" cost?

Naldan:

To someone with more education about the topic at hand: Why did they omit the GPU memory in this sheet? Is there even a reason aside from hiding a potential bottleneck? Is the RAM shared in consoles?

Fairly certain all that GDDR5 is shared.

LegendaryGamer0:
Will consoles ever learn and just use full-sized desktop drives? Please?

Also how much will this "improvement" cost?

Current speculation is $499, but there's almost nothing to base that on, which is why I left it out.

The Scorpio being able to run games at 4K 60FPS is cool and all, but the console will still have to use the Xbox One's lacking catalogue of games. The Scorpio could run Halo 5 at 8K 120FPS for all I care, but that doesn't suddenly make the campaign less shit. Besides, the Scorpio will still have be to held back by the OG Xbox One, so its not like it will even be able to stretch its legs.

So basically, Microsoft has got to announce some really great games between now and when the Scorpio comes out, otherwise nobody will care. Having a lot of pixels is great, and if that gets your motors going, then the Scorpio is the console to go for, but if you want games that are actually fun to play, then you should probably just still buy a PS4.

Your move, Microsoft. Do something exciting.

Sooo... what does this match on the PC side of things, people who are smarter technology wise than me?

Curious what you'd need to match a XB1 and Scorpio.

KaraFang:
Sooo... what does this match on the PC side of things, people who are smarter technology wise than me?

Curious what you'd need to match a XB1 and Scorpio.

I haven't done a ton of comparing, but off the cuff, a high-end i3, or low-end i5, about 8 GB of RAM, and an AMD RX480 / GeForce GTX 970 should about match it. Call it $650 - $700 as a ballpark.

I could be off on that a little, but I'd guess it's somewhere around that threshold.

ffronw:

KaraFang:
Sooo... what does this match on the PC side of things, people who are smarter technology wise than me?

Curious what you'd need to match a XB1 and Scorpio.

I haven't done a ton of comparing, but off the cuff, a high-end i3, or low-end i5, about 8 GB of RAM, and an AMD RX480 / GeForce GTX 970 should about match it. Call it $650 - $700 as a ballpark.

I could be off on that a little, but I'd guess it's somewhere around that threshold.

So assuming that you're accurate on those figures, it's unlikely they'll sell Scorpio for less than $500 US.

Hmm, if they're going to sell it at 500 USD... I'm not sure many console gamers will want this.

I mean, I don't get it... not now.

Used to be you had a console, a good six+ years with it being top dog, another three or four before games started to dry up for it, forcing a move to a newer console.

Now, now it's... well, "sideways" upgrades. Teeny bit more power, and a lot of platitudes from the companies involved.

Man, never been so glad to be a PC owner... I may pay a little more, but I have more gaming freedom AND the ability to put new parts into it to keep her running for far longer.

I mean, I just built my 1st new PC in 12 ish years... and that was only because the LITERAL last 2 games I wanted to play wouldn't run on her.

Hums, I can't see this doing well without some MAJOR PR work... Substantial... substantial work/investment of funds.

Naldan:
To someone with more education about the topic at hand: Why did they omit the GPU memory in this sheet? Is there even a reason aside from hiding a potential bottleneck? Is the RAM shared in consoles?

Pretty much all games consoles (except the PS3, which was incredibly weird) use shared RAM for processor and GPU. One of the biggest advantages the PS4 has over the Xbone is that Sony specced proper GDDR5 graphics card RAM whilst Microsoft used normal DDR3. GDDR5 is a variant of DDR3 made with very high memory usage in mind (like 3D rendering) and it gives the PS4 a big advantage over the Xbone, probably more than the slightly higher clock speeds of the systems CPU and GPU, but it is expensive.

DDR3 is much cheaper to produce, uses less power and is more than fast enough for processor based tasks that don't need huge amounts of memory, but for 3D rendering it doesn't have the memory throughput that GDDR5 has, which creates a bottleneck.

Whether Microsoft have spent the cash for proper graphics card memory this time or gone with normal DDR3 again will have a huge affect on the Scorpio's performance, I expect they haven't cut corners this time.

Regarding generations. I think it's fair to keep with generations as they have stood before. These upgrade are only upgrades, if we start seeing games that can't run on the PS$/Xbone at all we might have throw the idea of generations out the window. As it is these are the same generation as their predecessors, but slightly faster, when truly all new hardware comes out in presumably another three years we'll be up to Gen 9.

LegendaryGamer0:
Will consoles ever learn and just use full-sized desktop drives? Please?

Also how much will this "improvement" cost?

You mean people still fit those whirring house bricks to PCs?!?!

M.2 and 2.5SSDs for all! 3.5in drives are banished to the NAS box in the attic that no one can hear.

Thank you! Should have thought about it more, never have heard of GPU Ram in a SNES, either. Still, feels strange to me. Also didn't know that DDR5 is actually "just" a variant of DDR3. Makes me wonder if DDR3 is just a variant of DDR(1), and that in return still uses parts of the Quake 3 engine, which also still has Quake 2 lines flying around.

I have the feeling that the hardware industry has been stagnating in comparison to the early 2000s.

Naldan:
Thank you! Should have thought about it more, never have heard of GPU Ram in a SNES, either. Still, feels strange to me. Also didn't know that DDR5 is actually "just" a variant of DDR3. Makes me wonder if DDR3 is just a variant of DDR(1), and that in return still uses parts of the Quake 3 engine, which also still has Quake 2 lines flying around.

I have the feeling that the hardware industry has been stagnating in comparison to the early 2000s.

GDDR5 is a variant of DDR3, it's not actually DDR5. DDR5 isn't a thing that exists yet, although JEDEC announced standards for it last week.

Computing standards are confusing!

fix-the-spade:

You mean people still fit those whirring house bricks to PCs?!?!

M.2 and 2.5SSDs for all! 3.5in drives are banished to the NAS box in the attic that no one can hear.

I mean, I *could* pay over $200 for just under a TB of storage, or I could pay ~$150 for a 4 tb hdd and actually fit all my games.

SSD is nice, and I would always include *some* in a build, but at least until the prices come down, I'm 100% rocking dual drives.

fix-the-spade:

GDDR5 is a variant of DDR3, it's not actually DDR5. DDR5 isn't a thing that exists yet, although JEDEC announced standards for it last week.

Computing standards are confusing!

I could swear I knew this at one point in time, but life is distracting from the really important things. I'm serious.

Thank you, that actually makes sense as to why I read in the past something about a stupendous advancement in RAM development and being 'rather' disappointed by GDDR5. Not by much, since the only thing I can measure it by is benchmarking and remembering the previous results instead of actually developing for the PC. Hope this will change in the next few years.

Thank you so much!

Apart from the Blu Ray drive and HDD storage, the other specs don't matter. Whichever of it and the PS4Pro is lower will be the standard for the hardware generation since devs have no interest in tuning for individual platforms. The textures won't be higher quality, the post-processing won't be improved and the performance will be forced to be the same.

Well, that's all well and good, but games are still going to be made for the Xbox One specs. Which means these will have just graphical upgrades (or a more solid framerate).
Can't use these specs to actually make bigger and larger games because it still needs to run on the PS4 or the Xbox One.
So what's the point? 4K? In this age where graphical fidelity is getting increasingly diminishing returns?
Is it VR? Because it seems like a very expensive box for VR games.

I don't really get the need for these slightly powerful consoles. Especially in the Xbox's case where you can now just play it on a PC.
I heard something about how the Scorpio will encourage more devs to work with Microsoft. How? By making Scorpio exclusive games? Because that's alienating their main install base.

Surely people don't want this just because it makes their games just a bit prettier, can they?

Naldan:

I'm ignoring the XBone's spec altogether. Who gives a flying fuck about that in comparison? If some do, I'd like to see the WiiU there as well.

XB1 owners who use that direct comparison to help decide whether they feel its worth buying a new console for their existing games?

Elijin:

XB1 owners who use that direct comparison to help decide whether they feel its worth buying a new console for their existing games?

Sometimes, I wonder if someone peed in my cereals in the morning when re-reading my posts. That wording...

Anyway, an XBone owner could always be sure that the other one is way more powerful.

 

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