Xbox Series X

Discussion in 'Consoles & console games' started by WhiteLightning, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
    GPU 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
    Die Size 360.45 mm2
    Process 7nm Enhanced
    Memory 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
    Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
    Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
    I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
    Expandable Storage 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
    External Storage USB 3.2 External HDD Support
    Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
    Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

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    Source: https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2020/03/16/xbox-series-x-tech/
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
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  2. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    A few months ago, we revealed Xbox Series X, our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you, the player, at its center. When it is released this holiday season, Xbox Series X will set a new bar for performance, speed and compatibility, all while allowing you to bring your gaming legacy forward with you and play thousands of games from four generations.

    Recently, along with the tech experts Austin Evans and Digital Foundry, we had the chance to take a closer look at some of the technologies that are powering Xbox Series X and talk to the team about the choices they made when defining the next generation of gaming. We spent an entire day discussing everything from the console’s custom processor and latency solutions to backward compatibility and visual enhancements.

    (Editor’s Note: We’ll be using some acronyms and discussing technologies in this post without always defining them. To that end, we’ve created an Xbox Series X glossary that contains many of these terms and more. We’ll link out where applicable, and you can check out the full glossary here, as well as our features on the new Xbox Wireless Controller and how the team is reducing latency.)

    The next generation of Xbox is defined by three primary characteristics: Power, Speed and Compatibility. Let’s take a look at the features and technologies of Xbox Series X delivering those three hallmarks.

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    The Most Powerful Xbox Ever
    Early on in the design of Xbox Series X, the team was determined to deliver the most powerful Xbox ever, which opened a series of discussions about how to define “power” in the next generation of consoles. In past generations, power has been defined primarily by graphics innovation: from the transition from 8 bit to 16 bit graphics, 2D to 3D, SD to HD and finally to 4K.

    Today, gamers are demanding more and more games run at 60 frames per second (fps) with high visual fidelity and precise, responsive input. Developers have come up with creative solutions, such as dynamic resolution scaling, to maintain high image quality while not compromising on frame rate, but this is often done to work around the limitations and constraints of current generation hardware. That’s all about to change with Xbox Series X. It’s not just about making games look better, though. It’s about making games play better too.

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    “While the Xbox Series X will deliver a massive increase in GPU performance and continue to redefine and advance the state of art in graphics with new capabilities such as hardware accelerated raytracing,” said Jason Ronald, Director of Product Management on Xbox Series X, “we don’t believe this generation will be defined by graphics or resolution alone.”

    The team knew they needed to build a next generation console that could run games in 4K at 60 fps with no compromises for developers. They also challenged themselves to deliver a level of performance once thought impossible on console, including support for up to 120 fps for the most demanding and competitive games. While they believe resolution and frame rate are creative decisions best left in the hands of title developers, the team wanted to ensure the system was able to support the needs of the largest blockbusters, competitive esports, and innovative independent creators.

    In order to support those needs, the team strengthened their long-term partnership with chipmaker AMD, which began working with the Xbox team over 15 years ago on the Xbox 360. Sebastien Nussbaum, Corporate Vice President & Senior Fellow, Semi-Custom Products and Technologies at AMD, spoke a bit about what the team created to help power Xbox Series X.

    Thanks to a focus on transformational design and generational performance uplift, Nussbaum said that, for developers, “the console ends up being a playground for technical innovation.” This is due in large part to the raw power of the custom designed processor, powered by an 8 core AMD Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2-class GPU.

    These next generation architectures deliver a new level of performance that lets developers create realistic and immersive experiences like we’ve never seen before, while also allowing the team at AMD to seed a next generation DirectX ecosystem that will continue to push the industry forward.

    “Xbox Series X is the biggest generational leap of SOC [System on a Chip] and API design that we’ve done with Microsoft, and it’s really an honor for AMD to be a trusted Microsoft partner for this endeavor,” said Nussbaum. “The Xbox Series X is going to be a beacon of technical innovation leadership for this console generation and will propagate the innovation throughout the DirectX ecosystem this year and into next year.”
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
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  3. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    One of the biggest (and most noticeable to players) features in Xbox Series X will be support for hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing, which simulates the properties of light and sound in real time more accurately than any technology before it. To give us a better idea of how this technology directly impacts games, Clayton Vaught, Technical Director for Minecraft, ran us through a technical demo of how raytracing could impact one of the world’s most popular games.

    Switching back and forth between current visuals to hardware accelerated DirectX Raytraced visuals, Vaught walked around a pre-built Minecraft world to show off the ways realistic lighting completely changes the game. Shadows cast from objects soften or harden depending on how far away from the object you are, while lava gives off a warm orange glow that dissipates over distance and reflects off of minecart rails. Even the moon casts its own rays, streaming down through cracks in the walls and reflecting off particles in the air. The Raytraced visuals fundamentally change the way Minecraft feels, drawing the player in and immersing them in a much more realistic world.

    The most impressive feature (at least for yours truly) was the way light now passes through transparent objects like glass, picking up the color on its way to your eyes. This was beautifully demonstrated while walking through a hallway lined with a veritable rainbow of colored glass cubes, each of which cast a different colored shadow on the floor. The big wow moment came from the most unassuming of substances: water. With raytracing on, water was now fully transparent and allowed light from the moon to pass through it to the player underneath and realistically reflect off the seaweed swaying in the current.. It was really an impressive demo that brought what hardware accelerated DirectX Raytracing in Minecraft could deliver to life in a way I never imagined.

    To close out the segment on the power of Xbox Series X, The Coalition’s Technical Director, Mike Rayner, came up to show us how his team is planning to optimize Gears 5 for Xbox Series X. The team showcased a technical demo of Gears 5, powered by Unreal Engine, for Xbox Series X using the full PC Ultra Spec settings, which included higher resolution textures and higher resolution volumetric fog, as well as a 50% higher particle count than the PC Ultra Specs allowed. They also showed off the opening cutscene, which now runs at 60 FPS in 4K (it was 30 FPS on Xbox One X), meaning the transition from real-time cutscenes to gameplay is incredibly smooth.

    There were also some noticeable improvements in a few other areas as well. Load times were extremely fast, and the team was able to turn on some features that, while previously implemented, had to be turned off for the Xbox One X version. This included contact shadows (providing extra depth to objects) and self-shadow lighting on plants and grass, making every scene feel more realistic. Rayner also shared that the game is already running over 100 FPS and that the team is investigating implementing 120 FPS gameplay for multiplayer modes, giving players an experience never before seen on consoles. Most impressive of all? The fact that the team was able to get all of this up and running in a matter of weeks.

    The team also announced that they will have an Xbox Series X Optimized version of Gears 5 available at Xbox Series X launch, which players will get free if they own the Xbox One version of Gears 5 and will leverage Smart Delivery depending on which console you’re using.
    Improving Immersion and Embracing Speed

    The next major tenet of the Xbox Series X is speed, which can be defined in a large number of different ways. Modern devices have changed our expectations on how quickly you can move between experiences or applications. Most of us want to be able to instantly jump into an experience or return right to where we left off. This influenced the team designing the system architecture, as they wanted to ensure they enabled gamers to spend more time playing and less time waiting.

    A big part of that revolves around the addition of a solid-state drive (SSD). We have reached the upper limits of traditional rotational drive performance, so the team knew they needed to invest in SSD level I/O speeds to deliver the quality of experience they aspired to with Xbox Series X. This was an area where the team really wanted to innovate, and they knew this could be a game changer for the new generation. But they didn’t want the I/O system to be just about your games loading faster.

    Enter Xbox Velocity Architecture, which features tight integration between hardware and software and is a revolutionary new architecture optimized for streaming of in game assets. This will unlock new capabilities that have never been seen before in console development, allowing 100 GB of game assets to be instantly accessible by the developer. The components of the Xbox Velocity Architecture all combine to create an effective multiplier on physical memory that is, quite literally, a game changer.

    “The CPU is the brain of our new console and the GPU is the heart, but the Xbox Velocity Architecture is the soul,” said Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X at Microsoft. “The Xbox Velocity Architecture is about so much more than fast last times. It’s one of the most innovative parts of our new console. It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger, more compelling worlds.”

    A big beneficiary of this technological upgrade are large open world games where players have freedom to play and explore in their own way and at their own pace. Titles such as Final Fantasy XV, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Red Dead Redemption 2 have redefined expectations of a living, dynamic world this generation.

    To make these universes even more dynamic and feel like large, high fidelity worlds requires a massive increase in processing power and the ability to stream assets in extremely quickly to not break immersion (epic elevator rides or lengthy hallways are good examples of how developers creatively hide assets loading in). Developers will also be able to effectively eliminate loading times between levels or create fast travel systems that are just that: fast.

    You also can’t talk about speed without also talking about latency.

    “Competitive gamers and the best gaming experiences demand precise, responsive controls,” said Goossen. “The Xbox team analyzed the entire end to end input pipeline, from the controller to the console and from the console to the display and we challenged ourselves to identify every opportunity to further reduce latency to provide the best experience for gamers on Xbox.”

    This has included developing brand new technology such as Dynamic Latency Input (DLI) as well as helping to shape the HDMI 2.1 specification by adding new gaming-centric features such as support for 120hz, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). The team has also been working with the industry’s leading TV manufacturers for the past two years to ensure the display ecosystem is ready for the features coming with Xbox Series X.

    While it can be difficult to notice the improved latency from any one of these improvements alone, when they all add up, it makes for a profoundly more responsive experience.

    Finally, there are the player experiences that will be greatly improved thanks to the speed afforded by Xbox Series X. The most noticeable of these is loading times, which will be greatly decreased thanks to the processing power of Xbox Series X.

    There’s also the new Quick Resume technology that we outlined in our last blog post. With current gen consoles, you can resume the last game you played. However, since most players play (on average) three to four games a month, the team wanted to give them the option to switch between them easily and quickly. With Quick Resume, you can resume multiple games with the press of a button, instantly jumping back into the action, right where you left off, for multiple titles at the same time.

    Since game states will be stored directly in the system’s SSD, they’ll even persist after you turn off the console, unplug it entirely, or even take a system update. One of the testers on the team unplugged his console for a week, then took an update, and was still able to continue right where he left off without so much as a loading screen.
    Game Compatibility Continues in the Next Generation

    The third and final pillar for Xbox Series X is compatibility. Through the Xbox One generation, the team has shown their passion and commitment for compatibility, putting the player and their favorite games at the center of everything they do. As gamers themselves, they understood that we all have our favorite memories, franchises or titles that we want to continue to play even as technology and game design continues to advance.

    “The community’s response to Phil’s announcement of 360 backward compatibility at E3 2015 was one of the biggest career highlights for me in my time as part of Team Xbox,” said Ronald.

    For the next generation, the team knew from the outset that they wanted to double down on compatibility. That vision helped influence the design of the system and, through a combination of hardware and software, they committed themselves to ensuring the thousands of games on Xbox One, including Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, will play even better on Xbox Series X.

    “The team came and told us about Xbox Series X. They said ‘What can you do with even more power?’ So, the challenge was set. They gave us the Xbox One X and it was like we got this big playground to play with,” said Peggy Lo, Principal Program Management Lead, Backward Compatibility. “Then we got the Xbox Series X and it was like we had a whole amusement park to play in.”

    Players will see the benefits of the improved hardware of Xbox Series X for backwards compatible games, including improved boot and load times, more stable frame rates, higher resolutions and improved image quality. The Compatibility team is also continuing to create entirely new techniques and innovation that we can use to further enhance the existing catalog of games when running on Xbox Series X.

    The Xbox team is so committed to the concept of compatibility and cross generation play, that not only do your games move forward with you, but so do your Xbox One accessories, your game saves, and progression. In fact, your entire gaming legacy moves forward with you to the next generation.

    What’s more, the team has also designed the system to enable cross generation multiplayer, as well as introduce new features such as Smart Delivery, which ensure

    The future of gaming has never been more inspiring. Creativity in games is flourishing. New services empower you to discover more games—and bring you closer to the games and creators and streamers you love. The cloud creates a massive opportunity to stream console-quality games and play with the people you want, wherever you want. And for many of us, nothing is more inspiring than the dawn of a new console generation.

    We know you expect the next generation of consoles to set new standards in graphical power and processing speed, converging together in games that look incredible and feel alive. This will be defined by worlds that are visually astounding and immediately immersive, with innovative leaps in CPU, GPU and storage technology to give you frictionless access to new stories and new creators constantly.

    We’ve been using Xbox Series X in our internal Takehome program and are energized by the feedback we’ve been receiving. At Xbox we value being open and transparent with you, and I’m proud to be able to share details about some of the technologies we are enabling for the next generation, and look forward to boldly sharing more as we head towards E3.
    Xbox Series X

    A superior balance of power and speed

    Compared to the previous generation, Xbox Series X represents a superior balance of power and speed in console design, advancing on all technological fronts to delivering amazing, dynamic, living worlds and minimize any aspects that can take you out of the experience. Our job at Team Xbox is to give teams the tools they need to achieve their ambitions and tap into the console’s power with efficiency, a few of which we’re detailing today. Raw power is just part of the story:

    Next Generation Custom Processor: Xbox Series X is our most powerful console ever powered by our custom designed processor leveraging AMD’s latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures. Delivering four times the processing power of an Xbox One and enabling developers to leverage 12 TFLOPS of GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) performance – twice that of an Xbox One X and more than eight times the original Xbox One. Xbox Series X delivers a true generational leap in processing and graphics power with cutting edge techniques resulting in higher framerates, larger, more sophisticated game worlds, and an immersive experience unlike anything seen in console gaming.
    Variable Rate Shading (VRS): Our patented form of VRS empowers developers to more efficiently utilize the full power of the Xbox Series X. Rather than spending GPU cycles uniformly to every single pixel on the screen, they can prioritize individual effects on specific game characters or important environmental objects. This technique results in more stable frame rates and higher resolution, with no impact on the final image quality.
    Hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing: You can expect more dynamic and realistic environments powered by hardware-accelerated DirectX Raytracing – a first for console gaming. This means true-to-life lighting, accurate reflections and realistic acoustics in real time as you explore the game world.

    Immersion in an instant

    The next console generation will be defined by more playing and less waiting. And when play begins, we know many gamers demand ultra-low latency to be as immersed and precise as possible. To this end, the team analyzed every step between player and game, from controller to console to display, and asked how we could make it faster.

    SSD Storage: With our next-generation SSD, nearly every aspect of playing games is improved. Game worlds are larger, more dynamic and load in a flash and fast travel is just that – fast.
    Quick Resume: The new Quick Resume feature lets you continue multiple games from a suspended state almost instantly, returning you to where you were and what you were doing, without waiting through long loading screens.
    Dynamic Latency Input (DLI): We’re optimizing latency in the player-to-console pipeline starting with our Xbox Wireless Controller, which leverages our high bandwidth, proprietary wireless communication protocol when connected to the console. With Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), a new feature which synchronizes input immediately with what is displayed, controls are even more precise and responsive.
    HDMI 2.1 Innovation: We’ve partnered with the HDMI forum and TV manufacturers to enable the best gaming experience through features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM allows Xbox One and Xbox Series X to automatically set the connected display to its lowest latency mode. VRR synchronizes the display’s refresh rate to the game’s frame rate, maintaining smooth visuals without tearing. Ensuring minimal lag and the most responsive gaming experience.
    120 fps Support: With support for up to 120 fps, Xbox Series X allows developers to exceed standard 60 fps output in favor of heightened realism or fast-paced action.

    The next generation of game compatibility

    The benefits of the next console generation extend in every direction, bringing greater visual fidelity and improved loading speeds to your existing gaming legacy, in addition to new games. We’re continuing our commitment to compatibility with Xbox Series X and investing in technology that makes game ownership easier across generations.

    Four generations of gaming: Our commitment to compatibility means existing Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, look and play better than ever before. Your favorite games, including titles in Xbox Game Pass, benefit from steadier framerates, faster load times and improved resolution and visual fidelity – all with no developer work required. Your Xbox One gaming accessories also come forward with you.
    Smart Delivery: This technology empowers you to buy a game once and know that – whether you are playing it on Xbox One or Xbox Series X – you are getting the right version of that game on whatever Xbox you’re playing on. We’re making the commitment to use Smart Delivery on all our exclusive Xbox Game Studios titles, including Halo Infinite, ensuring you only have to purchase a title once in order to play the best available version for whichever Xbox console they choose to play on. This technology is available for all developers and publishers, and they can choose to use it for titles that will be release on Xbox One first and come to the Xbox Series X later.
    Xbox Game Pass: In addition to games from across four generations of consoles, our leading game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, will continue to have our first party games, like Halo Infinite, included at their launch. We look forward to millions of you experiencing the Xbox Game Pass portfolio and immersing yourselves in a deep library of high-quality games, playing those you love now and also discovering your next great adventure.

    A generation with players at the center

    Xbox Series X is our fastest, most powerful console ever, designed for a console generation that has you at its center. This means a high-fidelity gaming experience enclosed in a quiet and bold design, with the ability to discover thousands of games across four generations, all with more playing and less waiting.

    Whether it’s empowering amazing creators at our 15 Xbox Game Studios, fueling game discovery with Xbox Game Pass, or expanding what and where you can play with Project xCloud, Team Xbox stands for frictionless pathways between players and the best experiences our remarkable art form has to offer. Xbox Series X represents that same commitment for players who want immediate immersion in games that also look and feel better than ever.

    We can’t wait to share more details about the new Xbox with you in the coming months.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  4. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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  5. serbicu

    serbicu Ancient Guru

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  6. UnrealGaming

    UnrealGaming Ancient Guru

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    Really looking forward to some awesome looking, more complex game worlds.
    This is a substantial jump in the base hardware specs game devs will be targeting for next gen games, compared to the godawful jaguar cpu ( and other old tech ) in the current consoles. Which has been a limiting factor in the kind of games we were getting for many years.
     
  7. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    Dont agree with you on this. I think the limiting factor in games right now is imagination or lack of it. The hardware is already good enough for almost everything and the extra power from the next consoles is going to be used mainly on improving graphics.
     
  8. UnrealGaming

    UnrealGaming Ancient Guru

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    Literally nothing to do with what i was commenting on. You're disagreeing with something in your own head. I was not giving a stance on imagination.

    Just a completely factually inaccurate statement. Can you make good games on PS2? Yes. On PS4? Yes. Are they good for "almost everything"? No. Maybe in your own head. But that's got nothing to do with me.

    Literally what my comment is about. More broadly about anything that better hardware can enable.
    Its a thread where full, detailed hardware specs, videos related to that, have been posted and that's what I'm commenting on. Clearly. Obviously.

    How do you manage to twist something so clear, reasonable, in-context of the thread, into some logical fallacy of a reply that just doesn't at all follow from anything you're replying to. I Am Stunned. And sad that I wasted my time typing this, instead of enjoying my life. FCK.
     
  9. H83

    H83 Ancient Guru

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    Aren´t you over reacting??? I just said i had a contrary/diferent opinion and explained why, if don´t agree with it or think i misunderstood it, no problem. No need to react like this but ok.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020
  10. haste

    haste Maha Guru

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    XSX... well, no surprise there. Everything as expected. Except of memory size. 16GBs (instead of 24/32) is real disappointment, but considering prices and availability of GDDR6, it was the necessary compromise. There is one thing worth pointing out though... the CPU clocks and possibility to run all 8 cores@3.8GHz or 16HW threads @ 3.6GHz. With this CPU and GPU combined, their cooling better be really stellar, so we won't see another "red circle of death" this time around...
     

  11. XP-200

    XP-200 Ancient Guru

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    By the time this comes out i will have about £ 100 in ms reward points saved up, plus my XBX trade in will possible net me a min of £150 cash, so if this is priced at the £500 mark then it would cost my £250 in actual cash out my own pocket, and at that i will be grabbing one on pre order for launch day, moreso when i remember i paid £429 for a Asian NTSC 20 gig phat ps3 or £280 for a xbox 360 back in the day.......and i never pre order, but for such a nice bit of kit i will make this one exception......can't wait.
     
  12. Horus-Anhur

    Horus-Anhur Master Guru

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    One thing got me a bit concerned.
    Yesterday Andrew Goossen, from Microsoft stated:
    “Without hardware acceleration, this work could have been done in the shaders but would have consumed over 13 TFLOPs alone. For the Xbox Series X, this work is offloaded onto dedicated hardware and the shader can continue to run in parallel with full performance. In other words, Series X can effectively tap the equivalent of well over 25 TFLOPs of performance while ray tracing.”

    Here's the thing, an GTX 1080 Ti wich doesn't have hardware RT can do 1.2 Gigarays per second. This card, at 1900Mhz, does 13.6 TFLOPs.

    If we consider the statement done by Andrew Goossen, then the ray tracing cores in the Xbox Series X will only do around 1.2 GR/s.
    This seems to be very low. Even the RTX 2060 has 6 GR/s while being the weakest card of all the RTX line.

    Am I missing something, or is the Xbox Series X ray tracing capabilities really limited.
     
  13. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    Yes, you're missing the fact that Pascal is Int OR FP execution, not concurrent Int+FP execution like Volta uses, and Radeons have been capable of concurrent execution since whatever was released back in 2011.
     
  14. Horus-Anhur

    Horus-Anhur Master Guru

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    So where would that put ray tracing performance on the xbox Series X?
     
  15. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    We don't know, Radeon Flops have never translated into performance the same way nvidia's do.
     

  16. Horus-Anhur

    Horus-Anhur Master Guru

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    That's true, but the difference isn't huge.
    Even if Radeon FLOPs were twice as fast, it would still mean that the XBSX only does 2.4 GR/s
     
  17. UnrealGaming

    UnrealGaming Ancient Guru

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  18. haste

    haste Maha Guru

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    If we can trust all the information stated in DF's video (which is not always the case), he stated that their HW accelerated BVH can trace up to 380B rays. So this would be your theoretical peak RT limit. From this number we can only assume that even in RT, the real bottleneck will still be rasterization/fillrate, shading and memory bandwidth.
     
  19. Horus-Anhur

    Horus-Anhur Master Guru

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    It's not 380 billion rays. It's 380 billion intersections.
    How many rays that equates to, is beyond me.

    Regardless, performance was a bit limited. Just above 30 fps at 1080p.
     
  20. haste

    haste Maha Guru

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    You are mixing 2 things in one. Finding intersections is what the BVH is for (in both AMD nad NVIDIA GPUs now), that is the actual HW accelerated ray-tracing. If you find the "intersection" (more like tree leaf), then you need to run standard pipeline, including rasterization, shading etc... on the new found pixel.

    And as I wrote before, if they can do 380B searches per second, the bottlenect will be, once again, in the default pipeline.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2020

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