A rumor has been recently making the internet that show Microsoft in a bad position when it comes to the Xbox One’s architecture. The rumor, currently being heavily discussed on the Neogaf forums, states that Microsoft is having yield problems with the eSRAM in the Xbox One and they are considering down clocking the GPU in order to ship the console this calendar year.
According to the Neogaf thread, this information has been verified by individuals who’ve do have insider knowledge but no official reports have come from Microsoft so this will remain a rumor.
Essentially the way Microsoft has designed the Xbox One, the eSRAM is supposed to be the “secret sauce” that will help deliver high power gaming experiences, along side the 8GB DDR3 RAM. The reports are saying there is a heat problem with using the eSRAM and down clocking was a possible solution.
Here are some quotes from the Neogaf post:
I am not trying to bring out the MS Defense Force at me, but I’ve heard GPU clocks might be downgraded. 8-900 gigaflops for gaming. The APU is big. This isn’t 100% confirmed though and is being done to improve yields.
CBoat do you mind adding anything?
Also someone has suggested to me sony is doing the same, but I’ve heard from Sony devs the machine is very mature and not facing the issues Xbox One is. Microsoft started late.
Nope. Clocks can only go down at this stage as they try to get acceptable yields.
Releasing useless info such as transistors count but not clock speeds should tell you all.
I’ve heard the same about the ESRAM (as I shared with another poster who mentioned as such in this thread), and truthfully I think that’s where all of the yield issues are coming from. Whether they need to downclock something to improve yields is a different story, but MS’ APU is much more complicated and required a lot more engineers at AMD/ATI for a reason.
I’ve heard the exact same thing as Thuway.GPU is getting DC from 2 different sources. One that told me several weeks ago and the other that reconfirmed yesterday.
For everyone asking- this information is all pretty recent. Around the PlayStation Meeting the Xbox One was way behind (OS + hardware). Engineers were scrambling to get things sorted out. It turns out, they didn’t sort it out. The OS you saw was a complete and total lie. The current plan is to get the yields up, lower the clock rate, and to have enough units out for a sell out in the Fall. For those asking how this affects performance- to be perfectly frank; it is nothing turning down features won’t solve. The mass market will never notice a difference between 1080p and 900p; neither will they care about dynamic shadows / global illumination / or tesselation. Go to your PC – and turn shadows from Ultra to medium, disable tesselation, and lower the resolution to 900p; and you’ll find games run totally fine. Microsoft is purely behind and it’s now time to make drastic decisions. I don’t think any one is happy about the lower clocks, but no one is depressed about it either. The Xbox One is an all-in-on device; and that’s how it will be marketed.
Any changes made to the consoles now would probably effect performance. The initial specs are showing the PS4 will already be more powerful than the Xbox One by about 33% to 50% and any downclocking would probably make that gap even more wide. We reported that Michael Pachter stated Sony’s console would cost less than the Xbox One and now considering these problems and the way the system was designed there might be some truth to that.
E3 is next week and on Monday, June 10th, Microsoft will reveal it’s games lineup for the Xbox One. At that point, we should hopefully know for sure whether these rumors are false.