Xbox Project Scorpio to enable 4K Ultra-HD gaming with 6 teraflops GPU and faster memory
This year, Nintendo is not the only one to release a new console. Microsoft is already working on their upcoming Xbox console that is almost ready. Phil Spencer tweeted that he played his first games on the Project Scorpio unit and everything seems to be going in the right direction.
Reaching 4K and GPU Scaling Across Multiple Xbox Devices
A recently published whitepaper at Microsoft says that the Project Scorpio can run on Native 4K and scale across multiple devices on its developer network. Even though the whitepaper was mostly technical in nature, it still has some great information for consumers.
In the Xbox One, Microsoft used eSRAM or Embedded Static Random Access Memory that provided high memory bandwidth. However, eSRAM was very small in size, something like 32MB. Microsoft is completely removing this intermediate faster memory and is using high bandwidth memory for the entire system. This new architecture outperforms the eSRAM used in Xbox One. This high bandwidth memory may also be the same one used by AMD in their recent GPUs as most console use AMD hardware only.
A 6 teraflop GPU with four times the L2 Cache
Based on the specifications on the whitepaper, the Project Scorpio console may use the AMD Vega architecture. The consumer version of the Vega graphics chipsets will come with HBM2 or the second generation of High Bandwidth Memory. It can be speculated that the new console will also be using that. From the photo to the chipset that Microsoft used during E3 and elsewhere, it is also speculated that there will be 12GB GDDR5 RAM on board.
Previously, it was also rumored that the new console will use the Ryzen lineup of CPUs from AMD, but they may just stick with the AMD Jaguar CPU cores. The older CPU may be running at a higher clock speed than the older version, and may come with a few more tweaks. To make sure that games run in 4K, developers will be using something called “sparse rendering” or “checker boarding” to make sure that games run smoothly even on higher resolutions.
These techniques are also used in PC games and PS4 Pro, where the other assets, such as ambient occlusions, shadows and other secondary details are rendered in a lower resolution, such as 2K or 1080p and then upscaled to 4K. This may not be the true 4K gaming as advertised, but it does not create much difference visually.
Project Scorpio is also said to support HDR and DCC.