Gaming

Xbox Velocity Architecture: Microsoft presents the Series X storage system in more detail

The official Xbox.com site has split an article proposed by Jason Ronald in which he details point by point the specifics of the Xbox Series X. Computing power, data transfer speeds, streaming and middleware, the Xbox Velocity Architecture will soon have no secrets for you.

Like Mark Cerny and his conference on the development of the PlayStation 5, Jason Ronald as Director of Development for Xbox Series X proposes to go into the details of the specifics of the future console of Microsoft via an article directly published on the Xbox.com site, property of Microsoft. From the beginning of this article, Jason Ronald recalls the heavy argument of this machine, namely its couple of AMD processors, Zen 2 for the CPU and RDNA 2 for the GPU, for a gross power advertised at 12 Tflops. Enough to keep the sugared alley high at the supposed 10 Tflops of the PlayStation 5. These two processors will be accompanied by 16 GB of RAM of the GDDR6 type, including 10 GB adapted to the processor rates, at 560 GB / s. This is enough to avoid any limitation on this side.

Xbox Velocity Architecture: Microsoft presents the Series X storage system in more detail

Because memory accesses are more and more voluminous, mainly due to the increase in the size of textures, the speed limits imposed by mechanical disks have forced Microsoft (and Sony) to abandon this technology in favor of SSD. This new generation of read only memory, coupled with an NVMe interface, makes it possible to obtain data rates much higher than with conventional hard disks, of the order of 40 times. The speed of the new 1 TB disc on the Xbox Series X promises a speed of 2.4 GB / s of raw data, even though the console will allow you to expand the storage capacity via an additional port, without loss of throughput (provided you use the recommended SSD). The value is impressive, but it remains lower than that presented by Mark Cerny during the conference broadcast on March 18, the PS5 SSD promising a speed of 5.5 GB / s.

Microsoft nevertheless claims that with the game of compressions and decompressions, in particular thanks to a hardware acceleration and a new proprietary algorithm (BCPack), throughput could reach levels similar to PlayStation 5. As Jason Ronald’s demonstration is based on completely theoretical 1: 2 compression, the console still has to prove the effectiveness of its system against its competitor.

Xbox Velocity Architecture: Microsoft presents the Series X storage system in more detail

The Xbox Velocity Architecture also brings its share of new features in terms of storage management and input / output, to allow developers to manage transfer priority themselves, caching, and thus minimize latency between a request for data and its full exploitation. Another advantage of optimizing these data transfers, the new architecture will free up RAM often saturated with multiple textures (the same texture at a different level of definition), these can now be stored in the SSD and then transferred to the RAM only when necessary. A technology called Sampler Feedback Streaming by the Xbox team.

With easy access, prioritization, and SSD throughput speeds, the Xbox Velocity Architecture promises to open the door for developers. Elimination of loading times, new game design freer in terms of size and complexity, new visual boundaries, the next generation of Microsoft consoles should take full advantage of these increased data transfers. In any case, this is the promise made by Jason Ronald. A promise that is reminiscent of that made by Mark Cerny last March, and which shows that the two console manufacturers remain on relatively similar strategies.

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