Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Differences between Wii U and Xbox 360 tech specs mirror those of Wii and Xbox 1

Wii, original Xbox, Wii U, and Xbox 360 consoles

A few months ago, a hacker revealed the tech specs of the Wii U CPU and GPU, and tech experts have been discussing and analyzing the numbers ever since. However, there's one thing everyone seems to have overlooked: the differences between the tech specs of the Wii U and the Xbox 360 appear to mirror those of the Wii and the original Xbox.


For comparison, here are the tech specs of all four consoles. I would like to point out that Nintendo has not confirmed the figures for either of their consoles, but they are generally accepted as accurate.

Wii


CPU
-32-bit PowerPC-based Broadway processor
-clocked at 729 MHz

GPU
-ATI Hollywood GPU
-reportedly clocked at 243 MHz

Memory
-88 MB main memory (24 MB internal 1T-SRAM integrated into graphics package, 64 MB external GDDR3 SDRAM)
-3 MB embedded GPU texture memory and framebuffer


Xbox

Image of original Xbox

CPU
-32-bit custom Intel Pentium III Coppermine-based processor 
-clocked at 733 MHz

GPU 
-"NV2A" ASIC. Co-developed by Microsoft and Nvidia.
-clocked at 233 MHz 

Memory
64 MB of DDR SDRAM @ 200 MHz


As you can see, the Wii CPU is clocked 4MHz slower than that of the original Xbox. However, the Wii GPU is clocked slightly faster than the Xbox GPU, and it has considerably more RAM. And now, let's take a look at the tech specs for the Wii U and Xbox 360.

Wii U


White Wii U console and GamePad
CPU
-"Espresso"
-3 PowerPC 750 type cores (similar to Wii's Broadway, but more cache.)
-1.243125 GHz

GPU
-"Latte"
-549.999755 MHz

Memory
-2 GB of DDR3 RAM
     -1 GB reserved for the operating system
     -1 GB for games


Xbox 360


Xbox 360 and Xbox 360S with controller

CPU
-"Xenon"
-PowerPC Tri-Core 
-3.2 GHz 

GPU
-"Xenos"
-500 MHz 

Memory
-512 MB of GDDR3 RAM clocked at 700 MHz
     -32 MB reserved for the operation system
     -480 MB for games

If these figures are correct, the Wii U CPU is clocked slower than the CPU of the Xbox 360 (although the hacker who revealed the specs says the difference isn't as pronounced as it appears to be). And once again, the GPU is slightly faster. The big difference, of course, is the amount of memory, with Nintendo's console having 1 whole gigabyte available for games, more than double the RAM that 360 games have to work with.

Summary


Wii vs. original Xbox
CPU - slower
GPU - faster
RAM - more

Wii U vs. Xbox 360
CPU - slower
GPU - faster
RAM - more

When it comes to console wars, power is overrated


Ever since the tech specs of the Wii U CPU and GPU were finally revealed, there has been no shortage of critics saying "it's not a true next-gen console," "it's too expensive for the specs," and "it's doomed." Some developers have questioned whether the console is even as powerful as Microsoft and Sony's current gen systems. When the next Xbox and PlayStation arrive, they will undoubtedly be far more powerful than Nintendo's console.

When the Wii launched, it was also a generation behind the competition in terms of processing power, and gamers questioned if it was even as powerful as Microsoft's first home console. While the opinions of lay people can be easily dismissed, the views of actual developers carry more weight. Tim Tschirner, producer of FIFA 08had this to say about the Wii:

It's about as powerful as the original Xbox. The video hardware unfortunately is not as powerful. There's just a couple of key things that you can do on Xbox like shaders which you just cannot do on the Wii. It's unfortunate in the sense that for a lot of things we can actually use some of the current-gen code, and other solutions that already exist in the building, where people have already come up with, for example, a shader for the pitch; we kind of have to re-implement this now, but can't use shaders and have to find a different way to make it work. Overall though it's pretty much what the original Xbox was.

-Tim Schirner, producer of FIFA 08

Schirner was not alone in his assessment, and when other developers made similar comments, critics reacted with statements like "the Wii is not a true next-gen console," "it's too expensive for the specs," and naturally, "it's doomed." As we all know, the Wii outsold both of its competitors and completely dominated the sales charts.

The success of Nintendo's weaker system caught many by surprise, but historically the weaker systems have often come out on top. It just goes to show that tech specs alone don't make or break a console.










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23 comments:

  1. The power pc and pentium of the wii and xbox maybe be clocked around the same but that powerpc is probably about twice as fast

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly. mostly people who don't understand computer architecture only look at clock speed.

      The nextgen systems from Sony and Microsoft are going to be using x86 architecture, which I love my gaming PC to death, but its x86 architecture is the most inefficient processor on the planet.

      The AMD Jaguar in the PS4, while slightly faster than the Wii U's processor and more cores, its not exactly blazing. Its a laptop processor in the PS4. The GPU in the PS4 while faster than the Wii U, is only a midrange GPU, not exactly top of the line.

      The PS4 while having 8gb of gDDR5 memory, its being held back by the subpar CPU and midrange GPU.... If you want true nextgen graphics, stick to PC's.

      Delete
    2. Wow! core, you are one delusional fanboy, the new PS4 and Durango are far more powerful than the Wii U. The CP in the PS4/Durango spank the Wii U's CPU and the GPU absolutely demolishes it. And the x86 CISC processor is much better than the 1997 tech PowerPC RISC processor

      Delete
    3. The x86 platform dates back to 1978 or so, so age is hardly a good argument.

      In any case, the whole comparison setup for this article is kind of silly. Clock speeds aren't all that useful for comparing two totally different chip architectures.

      I wouldn't doubt that there's something similarly retarded being done on pro-Sony sites (never all that interested in the PS even without Sony's shenanigans elsewhere making them unappealing to me, so I don't follow those sites), but that doesn't make it any more useful here.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous said: The power pc and pentium of the wii and xbox maybe be clocked around the same but that powerpc is probably about twice as fast

      I seriously doubt that. Did you read the full article? The producer of FIFA 08 said the Wii is slightly less powerful than the original Xbox. If they had trouble getting the game to run as well as it did on Microsoft's first console, how could it be twice as fast? Also, why does it matter if the Wii is weaker than the original Xbox? It was still a great system.

      Delete
  2. Three months after the Wii launch, demand was several times supply, three months after the Wii U launch big box chain stores are massively discounting the Wii U to get rid of their piled up stagnant stock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually the Wii u is still selling better than the Xbox one and ps4

      Delete
  3. The original Wii was marketed like CRAZY. The Wii U hasnt been marketed at all. The average consumer doesnt know it exists. Not really sure why Nintendo is taking this approach. Maybe they dont feel rushed. Maybe they want more games and less bugs before they make a big marketing push.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Almost" double? 1GB is twice that of 512MB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, technically a Gigabyte is 1024 Megabytes. I'm glad you caught that.

      After reading what you said, that got me thinking, and I did some research to find out how much RAM the Xbox 360 has reserved for the operating system. Apparently the 360 OS uses up to 32 MB, which leaves 480 MB for games to use. That means Wii U games have more than double the RAM that 360 games have to work with. As a result of this finding, I have updated the article. Thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  5. I don't really get it because the xbox 360 was released in November 2005, but the wii was released in November 2006 almost a year later (about 361 days) and yet it not as "powerful" as the xbox 360, i am dissapointed in Nintendo, you would think instead of rushing their console they would wait about maybe a year and make it way better than the 360. But they still rushed with the Wii U.

    I'm not trying to be a fanboy or a troll. I like nintendo, I even have the Wii U but I still prefer the xbox 360.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That hacker is bad at hacking XD Recently it has been confirmed that the WII U has a fantastic GPU! Everyone is now looking at the CPU for any hidden secrets. When Nintendo were saying "WII U isn't underpowered" they weren't kidding! The GPU of the WII U is one of or mabey even the most powerful at the moment. It is nearly 4 times as powerful as the PS4's and Xbox one's! When you read the link you will be so shocked! http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Wii-U-Memory-Bandwidth-GPU-More-Powerful-Than-We-Thought-62437.html

      Delete
  6. Nintendo looked always for gameplay then graphic look at Wii has Wii remote and Xbox360 & ps3 has crappy standard controller

    '-kosta

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wii remote sucks,it is only good for its own title games, which is why has time passed more and more ppl went to ps3 or xbox 360 side. wii games just wasnt keeping up and both ps3 and xbox came out with their own motion based system which pretty much ended wii's niche

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, did really nobody here notice that the XBOX 360 RAM has about twice as much memory bandwidth as the Wii U with it's DDR 3 RAM? The PS3 is even farther ahead in terms of memory bandwidth and CPU speed. (It only lacks in GPU performance)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That hacker is bad at hacking XD Recently it has been confirmed that the WII U has a fantastic GPU! Everyone is now looking at the CPU for any hidden secrets. When Nintendo were saying "WII U isn't underpowered" they weren't kidding! The GPU of the WII U is one of or mabey even the most powerful at the moment. It is nearly 4 times as powerful as the PS4's and Xbox one's! When you read the link you will be so shocked! http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Wii-U-Memory-Bandwidth-GPU-More-Powerful-Than-We-Thought-62437.html

      Delete
  9. Bla bla bla, the reality is that Microsoft and sony makes a new consoles to make games that actually can make for their last consoles. Actual consoles for this companies has much in common with predecesors, games at 1080p at 60fps. If you look and play these games without an a fever fom an crazy fan you can see that these games are not more than the double in grafics than the last consoles. Ps3 and 360 still has enough room to software improvement for great grafics , but kids payd $400 to $700 dolars for a new noxes for the promise that new games are under developments. I still own mi ps3 and 360 and games cost from $7.99 to$14.99 on used market and also the consoles I pay $130.00 for each one and I own more than 60 games and count.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bla bla bla, the reality is that Microsoft and sony makes a new consoles to make games that actually can make for their last consoles. Actual consoles for this companies has much in common with predecesors, games at 1080p at 60fps. If you look and play these games without an a fever fom an crazy fan you can see that these games are not more than the double in grafics than the last consoles. Ps3 and 360 still has enough room to software improvement for great grafics , but kids payd $400 to $700 dolars for a new boxes for the promise that new games are under developments. I still own mi ps3 and 360 and games cost from $7.99 to$14.99 on used market and also the consoles I pay $130.00 for each one and I own more than 60 games and count.

    ReplyDelete
  11. The comment above me is retarded.

    ReplyDelete
  12. When will you ppl learn or if you ever do graphics don't make games fun plus I will get a wii over a Xbox one or Ps4 anytime

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow! That hacker is bad at hacking XD Recently it has been confirmed that the WII U has a fantastic GPU! Everyone is now looking at the CPU for any hidden secrets. When Nintendo were saying "WII U isn't underpowered" they weren't kidding! The GPU of the WII U is one of or mabey even the most powerful at the moment. It is nearly 4 times as powerful as the PS4's and Xbox one's! When you read the link you will be so shocked! http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Wii-U-Memory-Bandwidth-GPU-More-Powerful-Than-We-Thought-62437.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. let me get this straight, the Wii U GPU is slightly faster than the 360's? I thought it was a stronger GPU...smh

    ReplyDelete

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