Microsoft is in the process of bringing Project Scorpio to the market later this year. The new console will boast the most power we’ve ever seen in a video games system. Not Sony or Nintendo have consoles that can match Scorpio’s massive power. But what do all of the numbers and power really mean when thinking about your gaming experience?
You surely know about the 6 teraflops of processing power for Scorpio, plus the 326GB/s of memory bandwidth. There will be 2.3GHz for the custom CPU, 12 GB of GDDR5 memory, and of course, a massive 1TB internal storage. The latter figure is something you’re surely aware of, but what about the rest?
Microsoft’s Albert Penello dove into the specifics of Project Scorpio’s technical figures and helped provide some effective layman’s terms for what does what. “There are so many numbers and each of them are important to doing different things…Generally, the GPU is about rendering pixels on the screen.
“The CPU is about AI and frame rate. The amount of memory you have is how much graphics quality can be stored. I’m really over-simplifying this, but all of these things need to work together. We need to have enough GPU to be able to drive 8 million pixels on a 4KTV. You need enough CPU to feed that GPU fast enough so that your frame rate [is smooth and consistent]. Also your load times are bound by your CPU.
“Then you need enough memory to store all of those textures and all of that information. We’ve got 6 teraflops and that’s about driving a 4K display. We got to 2.3 GHz on our CPU, which is crazy fast for the technology. We’ve made a ton of improvements like moving the DX12 out of the CPU and into the GPU. It’s about freeing up resources,” Penello said in a new podcast.
If you’re wondering what it all means, hopefully this provides some visibility into why folks are excited for Scorpio. However, there are a million caveats that go along with Scorpio’s theoretical performance. Game developers will ultimately have the largest say in how games run on Project Scorpio.
Third party developers in particular will likely meet an average level of performance for Scorpio. When companies have multiple platforms to develop for, and ones that have contrasting specs (i.e. the base PS4 and PS4 Pro, Xbox One and Project Scorpio), this will make a game’s peak performance a bit watered down.
First party developers from Microsoft will likely be where the most innovation is done. This is not to say third party developers can’t innovate with Scorpio. However, when multi-platforms are involved, it becomes far more challenging. Project Scorpio will launch this coming holiday season. Microsoft will reveal more about the system in the weeks ahead and we’ll be watching right beside you. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Project Scorpio.