The TRUE Power Of The Wii-U [CPU, GPU Details Uncovered]

grumpy_new_yorkergrumpy_new_yorker Reppin' The 631Posts: 5,060 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 2012 in The Arcade
The Wii-U is "BARELY" on par with the current gen systems specs wise...

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A hacker has uncovered precise speeds for Wii U's CPU and GPU. But what does that mean?

Nintendo has often declined to get into specific details about the architecture powering its consoles. But that hasn't stopped the hacking community. Overnight a well-known hacker 'Marcan' revealed very precise details about the CPU and GPU powering Wii U, including some code names for various chips that clearly highlight why the system carried the codename 'Project Cafe' a year and a half ago.

Wii U has more in common with Wii (and by extension the GameCube) than current gen counterparts like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. To that end, Marcan notes that directly comparing clock speeds as apples to apples isn't entirely logical. Calling Wii U 'Espresso' CPU "similar to Wii's 'Broadway' [CPU]," Marcan broke down the chip as having three cores (compared to Wii's one), with each clocking at a very precise 1.243125GHz (compared to Wii's 729 MHz and GameCube's 485 MHz) and capable of running one thread of data at a time.

For reference, the 360 and PS3 CPUs run around 3.0 GHz, albeit carrying different core and thread capabilities. Eurogamer effectively called the difference a "wash," noting the 360 processes threads of information at approximately 1.6 GHz. Marcan also noted he thought Wii U's core design was "saner" compared to the 360 and PS3.

Meanwhile the GPU powering Wii U carries the codename 'Latte', and runs at a speed of 549.999755MHz. Wii's 'Hollywood' GPU clocked at 243 MHz, and the GameCube, 162 MHz. The Xbox 360 GPU speed is 550 MHz.

That's a lot of numbers, but it's safe to say that more and more evidence is placing Wii U alongside Xbox 360 and PS3 versus a drastic leap over the current generation. Developers are definitely coming to terms with what Nintendo's new system will be capable of, but it's also clear that Nintendo's divergent approach has once again focused on finding innovation in control and software versus attempting to compete in terms of raw power. As Marcan concluded, "...don't compare [Wii U] clock per clock with a 360 and claim it's much worse. It isn't."

http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/11/29/wii-u-cpu-gpu-details-uncovered
MikeydaGawd

Replies

  • focusfocus The #1 Nigga, I Don't No Need Hype. Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    The Wii U is Powerful, It’s Just Next Generation Powerful
    29. November 2012 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc

    So, let me preface this by explaining that I feel some developers are completely misunderstanding the Wii U. As with any new generation of consoles, there are bound to be some kinks the developers don’t yet understand with the new hardware. Out the gate, lets tackle the main complaint. The “slow” CPU. You see, the clock speed of the CPU is slow. In fact, it’s intentionally slow. It’s true that the CPU of the Wii U is a Power-Based custom IBM processor. For those wondering, it’s not a Power 7 based. Essentially, it means it’s built upon the same technology as the Wii. That’s on purpose mind you.

    The the CPU is more than just the Wii’s version times three. For starters, it uses a newer technology from IBM called 45nm SOI process. This is a massive improvement over the 90nm SOI process the Wii version had. Essentially, this makes the processor “overclock” at higher end speeds while reducing power consumption. Essentially, it makes the Wii U’s processor run even faster than it’s clock speeds with higher efficiency and lower power output. Of course, that’s only going to make the processor run just a bit better, so it still is fundamentally slow. However, the CPU uses a significant amount of eDRAM. What this allows the Wii U to do, essentially, is move more data at once compared to the Wii processor times three. You can store more data in the eDRAM and as such, move more at once as well. So, the processor is slower, but similar to the Power 7 tech, it moves more data at once at that slower rate than the standard processor at such rates.

    Again though, the CPU is not Power 7 based, so it only increases the performance level by a certain amount. Certainly though, the performance increase does fundamentally make it have a higher efficiency than whats in the current gaming consoles. It just wont win any awards in the next generation. However, thanks in large part to the super beefy GPU (by console standards), the Wii U doesn’t need a beefy processor. The GPU is based on a Radeon HD 5670. As the console break down shows, thanks to even more eDRAM, the Wii U version of the Radeon HD 5670 that has been custom built is actually more powerful than the original PC version of the card. This is extremely vital, because the HD 5670 is in fact a GPGPU.

    A GPGPU are quickly become standard in gaming rig PCs for a few reasons, but chief among them is the fact that GPGPU’s actually handle several functions that the CPU traditionally does, except it does them better. In layman’s terms, some of the most CPU (processor) heavy applications like Physics are actually handled by the Graphics Card (GPU). This means, in a Wii U, while the CPU can handle these tasks, the console is actually built around the notion that the GPU will tackle said tasks.

    The downfall of the GPGPU is that if it’s not being used in the fashion it’s intended to, which means taking on heavy graphical processing and extreme mathematical equations to perform in the game (aka, if you’re not heavily using the GPU and it’s processing), it actually performs slower. So if you run the bare bones through it, throw everything else at the processor, it not only over strains a processor not meant to handle such functions, it actually causes the GPU to under-perform, and as such… create problems. This is chiefly why games like Mass Effect 3 are having issues, and why Batman Arkahm City Armored Edition are having massive frame rate issues.

    In essence, it’s not that the Wii U is underpowered. Rather, it’s the the Wii U uses more advanced technology that actually takes away the stress normally associated with a CPU, and in turn lowers power consumption, heat level, and ultimately leads to producing some of the best graphical capabilities on the market. Essentially, with everything customly aimed towards gaming, the Wii U is like a middle of the road gaming PC. A middle of the row gaming rig absolutely destroys the PS3 and Xbox 360.

    Now, this doesn’t mean everything is peachy. Unless the PS4 and the 720 are being silly, both should also feature GPGPU’s like the Wii U, and will both likely have better processors than the Wii U. So, the Wii U will be behind, but it’s unlikely the PS4 and 720 will feature GPU’s that are any beefier than the Wii U. In fact, since they may have better processors (or, should based on normal conventions), it’s conceivable the other consoles in turn have less powerful GPGPU’s since the processor can help maintain some of what is lost.

    I know, it’s a lot of technical jargin, but armed with this information you can see that the Wii U is actually going to hold it’s own quite nicely. It just requires people, like the DICE dev, to fundamentally change the way in which they make games take advantage of the hardware. Similar issues arose with the PS3 and it’s CPU back in the day, and now the issue rises up with the Wii U and it’s GPU.

    In the future, developers would be wise to truly take hold of the beefy GPGPU in the Wii U and push it as hard as they can. With all the extra eDRAM running around, and all the processing power the GPU has to handle such aspects like Physics, it’s no wonder current generation games are struggling. Current generation (or last generation for us Wii U owners) are extremely CPU based games. Heavily reliant on the CPU pushing through. In the next generation, this is going to change significantly. The Wii U is already there. It’s just going to take time for console developers to get into the mindset to take advantage of the GPGPU featured in the Wii U, just like what will happen in the other next generation consoles.

    In layman’s terms: The Wii U is a sexy, misunderstood, true next generation gaming system that requires developers to change the way in which they program their games in order to get significantly better looking, and better performing, games than what are currently out there. Any concerns over a slow processor are completely negated by the fact the Graphics Card on the Wii U can actually handle some of the larger processes, like physics, usually reserved for the processor.

    The Wii U is going to be just fine folks. While it wont be as powerful as the PS4 or 720, that beefy GPGPU is going to ensure the Wii U can stay up with the new systems that are coming. Naturally, the biggest reason to go against console convention and use a GPGPU like the Wii U does is costs. GPU’s are just a lot cheaper, and when you start to be able to toss the larger processes at them like Physics, it pretty much increases the efficiency of the entire console 10 fold. The Wii U is doing something that the PS3 and 360 can only dream of doing presently. Truly, they have to catch up, as do the developers, because the way the hardware processes games is changing, and the Wii U is perfectly set up for that shift.

    http://n4g.com/news/1126292/developers-have-it-wrong-the-wii-u-is-powerful-its-just-next-generation-powerful
  • blackkevblaziniblackkevblazini Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Clock speed of the CPU don't mean shit....A 1.7ghz Core I7 would eat a 3.0ghz Pentium 4...If the GPU in the Wii is a GPGPU like everyone says it is then the CPU is offloading some of it's tasks to the GPU.

    Raw numbers look sweet on paper but don't really mean shit if the system is a bitch to program for.The Sega Saturn had 2 CPU's, 3 GPU's and 2 sound processors and theoretically should have shitted all over the Playstation AND N64 but the damn thing was so complicated developers had a hard time just getting some games to work on it. The PS3 has a retardedly overkill beast of a 9 core CPU in it but I can think of about 2 games where you could tell it, and both have the word "Killzone" in the title.

    It's too many conflicting reports on the whole Wii U tech specs issue, Nintendo just needs to release the exact specs of the thing and put this whole shit to rest.
    focus
  • earth two supermanearth two superman ladies please dont fight. E2S is here all night! Posts: 15,884 Regulator
    edited December 2012
    article vs article (one of which is from a site called 'zelda informer lmao. yeah they wont be biased)

    fascinating. Has anyone here actually, oh i don't know, BOUGHT A WII U to give an actual opinion, not a copy and paste one? who cares if its next gen or not. I doubt nintendo does. Wii sure as hell wasnt and it did fine for itself.
    funkdocdamcSionkanggoodiePimpMVP
  • focusfocus The #1 Nigga, I Don't No Need Hype. Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    article vs article (one of which is from a site called 'zelda informer lmao. yeah they wont be biased)

    Except that facts can't be biased and everyone who actually talks specifics, instead of just generalized "its slow, it's horrible" rhetoric all say the same. Not to mention there is nothing biased about what he said, he stated the pros as well as the cons in great detail. Speaking of Zelda though...

  • earth two supermanearth two superman ladies please dont fight. E2S is here all night! Posts: 15,884 Regulator
    edited December 2012
    and of course, a hurt-coon-feelings-he-cracked-on-my-article-so-let-me-post-a-video post.

    anyways, once again, has anyone here actually even bought a wii u to give an actual opinion on the games and how it runs, not an article on whats under the hood

    VulcanRaven
  • focusfocus The #1 Nigga, I Don't No Need Hype. Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    and of course, a hurt-coon-feelings-he-cracked-on-my-article-so-let-me-post-a-video post.

    anyways, once again, has anyone actually even bought a wii u to give an actual opinion on the games and how it runs, not an article on whats under the hood

    LOL. And as always, as soon as facts are introduced into the discussion, things have to get personal to distract from the lack of a rebuttal. Why are you mad about the article or anything I have said? Was it an attack on you somehow in any way whatsoever? And what? How would opinions on how individually developed launch games be more important or change the facts of what is under the hood? It's like some of y'all don't understand the basics of game development. LOL.
  • focusfocus The #1 Nigga, I Don't No Need Hype. Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Nope. They are sold out. LOL.
    focus wrote: »
    How would opinions on how an individually developed launch games be more important or change the facts of what is under the hood? It's like some of y'all don't understand the basics of game development. LOL.

    Thats what I thought. LOL.
  • VulcanRavenVulcanRaven Rise from the ashes MarylandPosts: 13,385 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • blackkevblaziniblackkevblazini Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Mad Jack wrote: »
    ROFL @ posting a tech demo to defend the Wii U.

    That shit at least looks easily doable in this time of day unlike them 2030 tech demos Sony was talking bout the PS3 could do in 2005.

    Them shits they was passing off as real PS3 games back in 2005 still look impossible today even with a beast computer.

    focus
  • focusfocus The #1 Nigga, I Don't No Need Hype. Posts: 4,529 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mad Jack wrote: »
    ROFL @ posting a tech demo to defend the Wii U.

    A tech demo being used to...demo tech. Imagine that.

    blackkevblazini
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