This past week saw the emergence of a number of reports discussing specs for the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, but a new article has surfaced that cautions people to think a bit more about what the industry has heard.
According to a report from MCV yesterday, there were two major reports released from VG24/7 and NowGamer, and the two presented vastly different pieces of info regarding the next-generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony.
VG24/7 stated that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 would power 1.84 teraflops and 1.23 teraflops, respectively; while the NowGamer reported Sony and Microsoft’s consoles would sport 3.2 teraflops and 4.2 teraflops, respectively.
PC veteran writer Mike Jennings took it upon himself to try and make some sense of the findings and zero in on who actually had the facts straight.
“The HD 7660D has 614.4 Gigaflops of power, while the whole chip has 736 Gigaflops. That’s a country mile behind the 3.2 Teraflop figure that’s doing the rounds.
“Plenty more evidence suggests the 3.2 Teraflop figure simply isn’t anywhere close to reality.
“There’s no way an APU could contain a graphics core of that power while also packing in a processing module too: the power requirements don’t add up, and the heat generated would be too much for a console to bear,” Jennings wrote.
He went on to talk about another aspect of these findings that separates the two reports.
“Another major concern is cost. Sony might price the PS4 highly for the console market, but that level of GPU is way out of its league.
“Sony would be able to buy the cores for cheaper than retail prices, sure, but it’s also got to factor in the rest of the APU, memory, storage, a motherboard, a Blu-ray drive and a high-end case – as well as its profit margin.
“The 4.2 Teraflop figure for the Xbox 720 is similarly silly. NowGamer says the next Microsoft console will be based on three SOC modules, with one based on the Radeon HD 8850 GPU and two using HD 8900-series cores.
“Even downclocked, the combined power could be enough to hit that mythical 4.2 Teraflop figure, but I still don’t reckon it’s plausible – again because of heat and cost,” Jennings wrote.
Jennings said making the Xbox 720 one of the most power consuming devices ever is not something Microsoft necessarily wants to do.
“That would make the Xbox 720 one of the most expensive and power-hungry consoles ever made and, given the hardware that’s allegedly being used, it’d be one of the biggest and loudest ever, too. Considering the Xbox 360’s reputation, I’m not sure that’s what Microsoft wants to do.
“It’s easy to get caught up in speculation when talking about new consoles, but it’s worth tempering rumours with a healthy dose of reality.
“AMD cramming a graphics core that’s faster than its best discrete cards into an APU that’s cheap enough, frugal enough and cool enough to run inside a console is a flight of fancy.
“Similarly for Microsoft: producing three SOC products, each with its own high-end GPU, makes little sense when an extremely capable single graphics core would do the job just as well and for a lot less cash,” Jennings wrote.
The truth is somewhere in between, but what did you think about the two reports?