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Microsoft announces some specs for the next Xbox

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15546/microsoft-drops-more-xbox-series-x-tech-specs-zen-2-rdna-2-12-tflops-gpu-hdmi-21-a-custom-ssd

There's quite a bit there, but what I'm interested in is the 12 TFLOPS for a GPU.  There have only been three consumer GPUs ever released rated at 12 TFLOPS or higher.  Two of them are GCN derivatives, so much less efficient on a per-flop basis than RDNA (or Turing).  If the next Xbox were released today, it would likely have the second fastest consumer GPU ever made, trailing only the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.  Faster than a Radeon RX 5700 XT, faster than a Radeon VII, and likely faster than a GeForce RTX 2080 Super.  That's not bad.

The other notable thing about those high TFLOPS GPUs is that they use a lot of power.  And I mean really a lot of power.  There has never been a GPU rated at 12 TFLOPS or higher single-precision with a TDP lower than 250 W.  That's not just for consumer GPUs, but also professional graphics, server, or laptop cards.

And that raises the question of just how much power the next Xbox is going to burn.  (Yes, I know what the console is called, but its name is stupid enough that I refuse to type it.)  Game consoles generally want to keep their power output low.  That helps to keep the size, noise, and cost down.  If the next Xbox has a 250 W GPU, then once other things are added, it will be by far the most power-hungry game console ever made.

Which is why I don't think it's going to have a 250 W GPU.  The big question is how much more efficient AMD can make their RDNA architecture.  Right now, Navi is about even with Turing on energy efficiency, but that's in spite of being a process node ahead.  Normally, if you have to be a process node ahead in order to be even on efficiency, that means that you're losing badly with the efficiency of your architecture.  AMD is way ahead on die size efficiency, so they certainly got something out of the process node.

But there are two reasons to believe that AMD could have a lot of energy efficiency to gain with RDNA2.  One is the process node.  It's not clear whether it's going to be built on the same TSMC 7 nm node as Navi and Vega 20, or on the new 7+ nm EUV node that AMD is moving to for their upcoming Zen 3 CPUs.  Microsoft said that the next Xbox will have Zen 2 cores, which is already on TSMC 7 nm, but AMD had no problem making Jaguar cores first on Global Foundries 28 nm, then later porting them to TSMC for Microsoft and Sony.

But the other reason is AMD's history.  AMD has historically had no problem with launching new GPU architectures that do a lot wrong on energy efficiency, and then going back in subsequent generations and cleaning it up.  Their first VLIW card, the Radeon HD 2900 XT, was famously hot, late, and slow.  A little over a year later, the Radeon HD 4870 that was heavily derivative of it had caught Nvidia in energy efficiency and about doubled (!) what Nvidia had in die size efficiency.  Yes, the die shrink helped, but Nvidia did as much die shrinking in the intervening year as AMD did.

Or look at their next major architecture, GCN.  Their lead chip, Tahiti (Radeon HD 7970) was something of a power hog.  Eventually, Fiji (Radeon R9 Fury X) would about double its performance on the same process node and in the same power envelope as before.  That AMD could do that on the same process node means that there was a lot to fix in the initial chip.  HBM helped, but that's a small fraction of the energy efficiency gains that AMD was able to get.

If AMD can deliver that sort of efficiency gains for RDNA, then they might not be at an efficiency disadvantage to Nvidia, even after Nvidia catches up on process node.  Microsoft didn't announce a TDP, but they certainly already have guidance from AMD.  If that 12 TFLOPS GPU is rated at 120 W or 150 W, that would be a lot more in line with previous consoles.  To scale Navi up to 12 TFLOPS, you'd be looking at something not far shy of 250 W.  That's quite a difference.
Narug

Comments

  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 6,437
    I'm a bit suspicious about Microsoft's claim until we find out how exactly AMD is doing their ray-tracing. NVidia introduced new metrics like RTX-OPS and tensor flops for their new technology. There's a chance that AMD could also be re-defining how they measure their performance.
     
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
    They didn't explicitly say 12 TFLOPS single-precision.  But if they had meant half-precision, then the Xbox One X is likely already right around there, though I'm not 100% certain that it has half-precision instructions.  And TFLOPS does explicitly specify floating-point.  If it were some gimmick like counting tensor operations, that would probably yield a much larger number than 12 TFLOPS, at least if we assume that the next Xbox will offer significantly higher single-precision TFLOPS than the One X.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    edited February 26
    Also keep in mind consoles have not traditionally used a discrete GPU - these are closer to an APU than anything, so you have CPU and GPU cores on the same die.

    AMD's chiplet design could certainly help a lot there, but it's still going to be all that TDP underneath one heat spreader on one die.

    I saw the original release on this and thought - wow, the first time a console will beat out my PC, and not by just a little bit either. So I think you may be right, they may have taken a liberal interpretation of the TFLOP definition to get at 12.

    ... or Navi 2.0 really does kick that much @ss. But I'm not exactly holding my breath on that one.
  • NarugNarug Member UncommonPosts: 755
    ugh...man marketing hype bullsh..errhmm (Not you personally Quizzical)

    12 teraflops is nice but that's just dreamland talk for basics.

    Sorry I'm spectical when Halo 5 wasn't even in 720p, much less 1080p, and this gen should've been such.

    If they're saying 120fps and raytracing I want some of what they're smoking.
    Maybe they hit the damn shrooms too much?

    Anyway isn't even Nvidia having trouble hitting 60 frames with raytracing?  AMD is going to vendor them again I far as I know.

    Sometimes it's hard to speculate on future tech but damn I guess its shroom time?
    Asm0deus

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  • blueturtle13blueturtle13 Member LegendaryPosts: 12,370





    Digital Foundry does a great job of breaking down what is known. (publicly anyway)

    On an inside note there is a bit more detail to be uncovered that is not shown in the recent tech reveal. ;)
    AmazingAvery

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  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 1,909
    Regardless of if this is mostly hype, It's showing that the next Xbox will be no slouch. Between their more recently acquired first party developers and game pass (which is useable on PC btw) microsoft is looking great.
    Narug
  • NarugNarug Member UncommonPosts: 755
    Utinni said:
    Regardless of if this is mostly hype, It's showing that the next Xbox will be no slouch. Between their more recently acquired first party developers and game pass (which is useable on PC btw) microsoft is looking great.
    That I don't doubt at least

    AC2 Player RIP Final Death Jan 31st 2017

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    Refugee of Dereth

  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,677
    edited February 27
    Its also supposed to be fully backwards with all generations of the Xbox, we’ll see how that works out but I would be honestly surprised if that was the case.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
    lahnmir said:
    Its also supposed to be fully backwards with all generations of the Xbox, we’ll see how that works out but I would be honestly surprised if that was the case.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Backward compatibility to the Xbox One and One X should be pretty trivial.  The new hardware is pretty uniformly faster at everything.  The original Xbox was also x86, and both the CPU and GPU would have been very slow by today's standards, so that shouldn't be a problem, either.

    The hard one is the Xbox 360, which had a PowerPC processor.  If the performance difference is large enough, sometimes, you can just go for emulation and eat the inefficiencies of doing so, but we might not be there yet.  They couldn't really do that with the Xbox One, as Jaguar cores are so slow and they were relying on having many core.

    Microsoft might have asked AMD for a few tweaks specifically to make it easier to have backward compatibility to the Xbox 360, such as making some cache be at least 10 MB so that it can pretend to be the eDRAM from an Xbox 360.  I'm certainly not privy to exactly how development happened, but when AMD is making a custom chip anyway, they're plenty willing to make tweaks that the customer requests.
  • xD_GamingxD_Gaming Member EpicPosts: 2,686
    This could be an insight on the big Navi ? 
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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
    xD_Gaming said:
    This could be an insight on the big Navi ? 
    That depends.  Will big Navi be RDNA2 like the next Xbox?  Or will RDNA2 be called something else instead of Navi?  And will it be on the same process node?  Moving from the 7 nm node that they're using now to the EUV version will probably help quite a bit with energy efficiency.
  • lahnmirlahnmir Member LegendaryPosts: 3,677
    Quizzical said:
    lahnmir said:
    Its also supposed to be fully backwards with all generations of the Xbox, we’ll see how that works out but I would be honestly surprised if that was the case.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    Backward compatibility to the Xbox One and One X should be pretty trivial.  The new hardware is pretty uniformly faster at everything.  The original Xbox was also x86, and both the CPU and GPU would have been very slow by today's standards, so that shouldn't be a problem, either.

    The hard one is the Xbox 360, which had a PowerPC processor.  If the performance difference is large enough, sometimes, you can just go for emulation and eat the inefficiencies of doing so, but we might not be there yet.  They couldn't really do that with the Xbox One, as Jaguar cores are so slow and they were relying on having many core.

    Microsoft might have asked AMD for a few tweaks specifically to make it easier to have backward compatibility to the Xbox 360, such as making some cache be at least 10 MB so that it can pretend to be the eDRAM from an Xbox 360.  I'm certainly not privy to exactly how development happened, but when AMD is making a custom chip anyway, they're plenty willing to make tweaks that the customer requests.
    Yeah, I was aware the 360 was the difficult one. I am not worried about the original xbox or the One backwards compatibility but purely the emulation bit, I want the full 360 library available, not the current selection and preferably no emulation at all. We’ll see, thats the part I remain skeptical about.

    /Cheers,
    Lahnmir
    'the only way he could nail it any better is if he used a cross.'

    Kyleran on yours sincerely 


    'But there are many. You can play them entirely solo, and even offline. Also, you are wrong by default.'

    Ikcin in response to yours sincerely debating whether or not single-player offline MMOs exist...



    'This does not apply just to ED but SC or any other game. What they will get is Rebirth/X4, likely prettier but equally underwhelming and pointless. 

    It is incredibly difficult to design some meaningfull leg content that would fit a space ship game - simply because it is not a leg game.

    It is just huge resource waste....'

    Gdemami absolutely not being an armchair developer

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    It’s possible, albeit not probable, that MS could go the same route as Sony did with the fat PS3. It actually had a PS2 chipset in it for backwards compatibility.

    it also cranked the cost up pretty significantly and was dropped from all subsequent hardware revisions.

    Given the advances in speed and just the sheer power available in those specs, I’m betting on a virtualized emulator. The 360 was only a tri core, and it did have ATI graphics
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
    Ridelynn said:
    It’s possible, albeit not probable, that MS could go the same route as Sony did with the fat PS3. It actually had a PS2 chipset in it for backwards compatibility.

    it also cranked the cost up pretty significantly and was dropped from all subsequent hardware revisions.

    Given the advances in speed and just the sheer power available in those specs, I’m betting on a virtualized emulator. The 360 was only a tri core, and it did have ATI graphics
    It probably wouldn't take very much die space to put three PowerPC cores into the main chip.  The real barriers to doing that would be licensing (which is probably fixable by throwing money at it, though how much depends on whether IBM wants to play ball) and porting the cores to the process node.  Plenty of AMD CPUs already have at least one ARM core in them, so there's no technical reason why they couldn't have PowerPC cores, too.
  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,061
    edited March 2
    Dunno if licensing would be an issue anymore

    https://www.eejournal.com/article/ibm-gives-away-powerpc-goes-open-source/

    I don’t know about the Xbox, but the PS4 (and maybe later revisions of the PS3, not certain) already have an ARM in there to use for sideloading while in standby. I don’t think it’s on the main die though
    Quizzical
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 22,127
    Ridelynn said:
    Dunno if licensing would be an issue anymore

    https://www.eejournal.com/article/ibm-gives-away-powerpc-goes-open-source/

    I don’t know about the Xbox, but the PS4 (and maybe later revisions of the PS3, not certain) already have an ARM in there to use for sideloading while in standby. I don’t think it’s on the main die though
    Interesting.  Porting the architecture whatever process node the next Xbox will use would still cost money, but that seems doable.  It wouldn't be all that surprising to see the AMD chip have three tiny PowerPC cores in it just for Xbox 360 compatibility.  That might well only take a few mm^2 of die space.
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