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Old 08-17-2020, 05:30 PM   #1
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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Default Microsoft Xbox Series X's AMD Architecture Deep Dive at Hot Chips 2020

AMD's next-gen console APUs come out of hiding.



Today at Hot Chips 2020, Microsoft will detail more of the internals of the Xbox Series X system architecture. Much of the information in the pre-published presentation covers details we already knew, but with the new slides in hand, there are some additional juicy morsels inside, including a diagram of the processor die. We have the full slide deck at the end of this article, but let's quickly hit a few of the highlights.

Starting off with a bang, while we've known Xbox Series X would have an 8-core/16-thread Zen 2 CPU and a 52 CU GPU, this is the first time we've seen the full die shot. That GPU section is, not surprisingly, massive. The full chip is 360.4mm square, with 15.3 billion transistors. Doing some quick image analysis, the GPU takes up roughly half of the die (47.5% if you want a more precise estimate).



Considering everything stuffed into the silicon, the die size is actually pretty manageable. A Zen 2 CPU chiplet measures 74mm square (with four times the L3 cache compared to the Xbox Series X APU), and then tack on a GPU that has more features and shader cores than Navi 10 (RX 5700 XT), which measures 251mm square. That's 325mm square without the enhanced Navi 2x cores and 12 additional CUs. Alternatively, it's over twice as big as AMD's Renoir APU, which measures 156mm square.

Taking a closer gander at the die shot, it looks as though the full chip includes up to 56 CUs. (Feel free to correct us, as counting these things can be a bit tricky.) That's because with a relatively large die, yields of functional chips can be greatly improved by building in some redundancy. If our counting is accurate, it suggests AMD and Microsoft have only disabled 4 of the dual-CU clusters, and of course all eight of the CPU clusters have to work in order to get a functioning chip.

The presentation also takes some times to discuss the decreased difficulties in chip scaling relative to Moore's Law. While the chip size of the Xbox Series X is in line with previous console hardware (375mm square for the Xbox One in 2013, 367mm square for the Xbox One X in 2017), and transistor counts have more than doubled relative to the Xbox One X (6.6 billion to 15.4 billion), the die cost is higher. Microsoft doesn't specify how much higher, but lists "$" as the cost on the Xbox One and Xbox One S, "$+" for the Xbox One X, and "$++" for the Xbox Series X. As we've noted elsewhere, while TSMC's 7nm lithography is proving potent, the cost per wafer is substantially higher than at 12nm.



Microsoft also provided additional details on the Velocity architecture and its motivation. The Velocity architecture deals with using lower cost SSD storage in place of increasing system memory. In the past, the price for DRAM decreased by 30% each year, but for the past 8.5 years it has been dropping at 5% per year. Flash memory in contrast has continued to decline in price by 23% each year over the same period.

Because SSDs are so much faster than the spinning platters used in HDDs for the previous consoles, there's a huge benefit in game load times. Combined with the sampler feedback streaming, the hardware is able to leverage the flash memory for improved overall performance without the need to massively increase the amount of DRAM.

One of the more interesting new aspects of the next-generation consoles is ray tracing support. We've known both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 would support hardware ray tracing, but we didn't have any clear indication of what level of performance to expect until now. Microsoft at least appears to be downplaying the importance of using ray tracing in games, or at least that's our interpretation. It emphasizes the hybrid rendering approach, much as Nvidia's RTX cards have done, noting it's "not a complete replacement" for traditional rendering methods.

As far as ray tracing performance goes. Microsoft only gives peak performance of 380G/sec ray-box calculations, and 95G/sec ray-triangle calculations. How does that compare with Nvidia's RTX 20-series hardware, where it claimed the RTX 2080 Ti could do 11 Gigarays/sec? We don't really know, as Nvidia didn't give peak performance and Microsoft didn't give typical performance.

The slide does note that it was only a "minor area cost for 3-10x acceleration." That seems relatively similar to what we've seen from Nvidia's hardware. In games that combine ray tracing with traditional rendering, running with ray tracing enabled on Nvidia's RTX 2060 is often two or three times as fast as the previous generation GTX 1080 Ti.

We still don't have concrete details on whether the Xbox Series X will have any additional hardware related to machine learning, for example like Nvidia's Tensor cores that are used for DLSS 2.0. The slides do mention Machine Learning Acceleration, and note an "ML inference acceleration" of 3-10x for a small die area cost, but that could be via FP16 or INT8 calculations run on the CU clusters.

As expected, the Xbox Series X will support HDMI 2.1 output, allowing for 120Hz 4K output, or even 8K60. There's no DisplayPort output, not that it was expected, but that does limit the capabilities if you were hoping to hook the console up to a traditional PC gaming monitor.

The presentation occurs at 7pm PT tonight, at which time we will update the article with more information from the live presentation.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/mi...ture-deep-dive


























































Last edited by Mavrick; 08-17-2020 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:47 PM   #2
Blu Lemmy Blu Lemmy is offline
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I don't read Nerd, but I gather it's good


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Old 08-17-2020, 07:38 PM   #3
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Lemmy View Post
I don't read Nerd, but I gather it's good


All is well and as expected. Although some say that the BoM based on certain factors of this hardware could put the cost of the XSX to build at $470-$530 depending on the fluctuation in price of RAM, so it costs more to build than the PS5 if the Bloomberg report of $450 is accurate.

So MS might take a bigger loss on hardware sold because they are bound to match the price of the PS5.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:45 PM   #4
R3P0 R3P0 is offline
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WOW Way to go MS first time since 2012 id consider buying a Xbox if they only had exclusives I want. The war between MS and Sony is truly going to come down to what system the games are optimized for. This is really impressive!
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Old 08-18-2020, 12:27 PM   #5
NARMAK NARMAK is offline
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Both impressive in their own ways i think and MS in the more "traditional" vein of a console upgrade path from gen to gen.

Sony took a somewhat performance hit in CPU & GPU fronts but it seems that like a car needing exponentially more power for minimal speed gains after say like 200+ mph. This "arms war" won't really be what wins a generation per se. Its always been content and funnily enough, differentiation which Nintendo learned from with the Wii and continues down. MS on the other hand is in a precarious balancing act with how they now have this powerful hardware yet then want to give gamerd xCloud and Game Pass Ultimate for lower powered or different devices.

I do think for all the power, right now MS haven't been able to keenly show off how that's being leveraged.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:19 PM   #6
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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The SoC cost twice as much as that in the One X. This thing certainly cost more to build than the PS5. The one X BoM was circa $440

7nm SoC production cost drives up Xbox Series X console price

Higher 7nm+ SoC manufacturing costs (low yield + high wafer costs) could drive up the Xbox Series X's MSRP, Microsoft hints.

The Xbox Series X will have an expensive price tag due to higher-cost chip production, Microsoft today confirmed in a presentation.

The Xbox Series X's 7nm+ SoC costs more to make. Wafer prices are higher because of the newer 7nm enhanced process, which is optimized for higher transistor density in a smaller die. The Series X's SoC has 15.4 billion transistors on a 7nm chip, a 133% increase from those in the Xbox Series X's 16nm FinFet SoC.

Microsoft notes 7nm enhanced offers massive node savings compared to the 16nm FinFet process that was used in the Xbox One X/One S. Microsoft also says 7nm+ has a lower yield, but that's compared to the mass-market availability they're used to. 7nm+ is a new process and lower yields are to be expected.

As such, the Xbox Series X's SoC may cost twice as much as the Xbox One X's SoC, which will drive up the console's final costs. How much we don't know, but bear in mind the Xbox One X debuted for $499.

This isn't the only price increase, though.

The 16GB GDDR6 RAM will cost more than the 8-12GB GDDR5 RAM used in the Xbox One family (DRAM has only gone down by 5% in the last 8.5 years), and the PCIe 4.0 SSD flash memory will also cost more than the mechanical HDDs used in existing consoles. So ultimately, everything in the Series X will cost more--including the new 140mm cooling fan.

The Xbox Series X could debut at, say, $549 or thereabouts. Or Microsoft could eat the costs and roll it out for $499 (this doesn't seem likely though).

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Old 08-18-2020, 04:22 PM   #7
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I think all this means is that MS will be taking a hit on units sold as I don't think for one second they will price it higher than PS5.
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Old 08-18-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavrick View Post
I think all this means is that MS will be taking a hit on units sold as I don't think for one second they will price it higher than PS5.
Good thing they have a successful Trillion dollar parent company lol
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NARMAK View Post
Good thing they have a successful Trillion dollar parent company lol
Apple is there parent company??? FYI MS is billion dollar only 1 company has ever posted trillion dollar revenues its been Apple
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Old 08-18-2020, 07:49 PM   #10
NARMAK NARMAK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3P0 View Post
Apple is there parent company??? FYI MS is billion dollar only 1 company has ever posted trillion dollar revenues its been Apple
I was referring to market cap but thanks for sharing
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:09 PM   #11
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All this tech porn...
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Old 08-19-2020, 05:23 AM   #12
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The new Microsoft Flight Simulator.... If I get a new X-Box, will I have full functionality for that title, or would I have to get a new computer for that??
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye Candy View Post
The new Microsoft Flight Simulator.... If I get a new X-Box, will I have full functionality for that title, or would I have to get a new computer for that??
No specific information on XB version has been released yet other than the fact that it will be released on XB.

The priority was to release it on PC first. I am guessing we'll hear about XB version soon but no idea when.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:38 PM   #14
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There appears to be a rumor going around that MS and WB Games may have joined together. I’ve seen some things on Twitter, but ultimately I don’t think it’s anything.

But I figured it’d still be fun for Xbox fans to speculate about.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:41 PM   #15
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocklobster View Post
There appears to be a rumor going around that MS and WB Games may have joined together. Iíve seen some things on Twitter, but ultimately I donít think itís anything.

But I figured itíd still be fun for Xbox fans to speculate about.
Looks like they are no longer for sale as of the 9/8/20 https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2...gaming-studios
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:49 PM   #16
rocklobster rocklobster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavrick View Post
Looks like they are no longer for sale as of the 9/8/20 https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2...gaming-studios
LOL, I posted this in the wrong thread [facepalm]

Iíll reply in the proper one
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:53 PM   #17
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Old 08-20-2020, 11:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blu Lemmy View Post
I don't read Nerd, but I gather it's good
What do you do for a living again, Lem?
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Old 08-20-2020, 03:47 PM   #19
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They don’t really spend a lot of time talking about audio, I really wonder why MS isn’t at least trying to counter PS5’s 3D audio? True, Windows Sonic has had spatial sound since 2018 and Project Acoustics but I don’t think XO used it, so it’s a new bullet point for XSX.
I suppose they could be waiting for that Bang & Olufsen collaboration before they really promote 3D audio. Sony already announced their Pulse 3D headset so they have a reason to push their 3D tech, although their Pulse 3D headset will surely be more affordable than anything from B&O.
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Old 08-21-2020, 06:31 PM   #20
Mavrick Mavrick is offline
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What we've all been waiting for


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/d...chips-analysis
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heyadol (08-22-2020)
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