The Xbox One Just Leveled Up
I’m actually stunned at how silent it has been on the fanboy battlefields since all the news, and fallout, of E3. With Microsoft chopping and changing policies left right and centre, the playing field has now been leveled, with even game designer John Carmack saying that both consoles were “extremely close” in terms of features and performance. But Microsoft isn’t content on going idle just yet.
In a recent podcast, Major Nelson revealed some more hardware specific changes that the Xbox One has undergone over the past few weeks, resulting in a bit of a boost to the clock speed of the GPU. In addition to that, Microsoft have updated the driver for the GPU to be specific to the Xbox One, which means that the software is 100% optimised for the hardware running it.
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Since E3 we’ve dropped in what we internally call our “mono driver.” It’s our graphics driver that really is 100% optimized for the Xbox One hardware.
You start with the base DX driver and you take out all parts that don’t look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really, really optimizes that experience. Almost all of our content partners have picked it up now.
This is the time where we’ve gone from theory of how the hardware works—what do we think the yield is going to look like, what is the thermal envelope, how do things come together—to really having them in our hands. That’s the time where you start tweaking the knobs because either your theory was right dead-on or you were a little too conservative or you were a little too aggressive.
An example that’s actually been really good news for us, an example of that is we’ve tweaked up our clock speed on the GPU from 800 MHz to 853 MHz. Just an example of how you really start landing the program as you get closer to launch.
It’s just an example where we really get close to the final performance envelope of how the box works and really making sure we have a great product for our developers to build great games against.
Ok, so it’s not the biggest clock speed boost you’ve ever seen, but it’s still something. However, having a driver that is perfectly tuned for the hardware running it is something to marvel at, and it makes me even more excited for all the bells and whistles the Xbox One OS has stored in it.
Just no more RROD please Microsoft.