Is this the Xbox 720; Codename Durango?

Is This Xbox Durango?

It’s no secret that the newest incarnation of Microsoft’s Xbox game console is on the way. For two years the name ringing the halls of the internet has been Codename “Durango”. All developers have been tight-lipped and nothing as much as a peep has come out save for an unsubstantiated eBay auction of a Xbox “Durango” early dev kit.  But leaked information could finally give us a possible glimpse of what Microsoft might have up it’s sleeve for raw horsepower of the system.

Website VGleaks leaked alleged hardware specs for next “next-Generation” of Xbox game console. The specs are not something to scoff at as it falls in like with the promise of power for 4k resolution gaming promised. If true these specs make Xbox “Durango” console gaming surpass the PC in overall performance to stability bleeding edge.

As mentioned insides of the system from VGLeaks rumor follows:

CPU:

– x64 Architecture

– 8 CPU cores running at 1.6 gigahertz (GHz)

– each CPU thread has its own 32 KB L1 instruction cache and 32 KB L1 data cache

– each module of four CPU cores has a 2 MB L2 cache resulting in a total of 4 MB of L2 cache

– each core has one fully independent hardware thread with no shared execution resources

– each hardware thread can issue two instructions per clock

GPU:

– custom D3D11.1 class 800-MHz graphics processor

– 12 shader cores providing a total of 768 threads

– each thread performs one scalar multiplication and addition operation (MADD) per clock cycle

– at peak performance, the GPU can effectively issue 1.2 trillion floating-point operations per second

High-fidelity Natural User Interface (NUI) sensor is always present

Storage and Memory:

– 8 gigabyte (GB) of RAM DDR3 (68 GB/s)

– 32 MB of fast embedded SRAM (ESRAM) (102 GB/s)

– from the GPU’s perspective the bandwidths of system memory and ESRAM are parallel providing combined peak bandwidth of 170 GB/sec.

– Hard drive is always present

– 50 GB 6x Blu-ray Disc drive

Networking:

– Gigabit Ethernet

– Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct

Hardware Accelerators:

– Move engines

– Image, video, and audio codecs

– Kinect multichannel echo cancellation (MEC) hardware

– Cryptography engines for encryption and decryption, and hashing

It will be interesting to see how these specs play into the rumors of the new Kinect 2. Rumored to have some sort of interactive 3D projected features. It might all be moot as these are just leaks of rumors. The consoles wars are, in the end, about the utilitarian use of hardware to max out the current requirements to push gaming graphics but on a set scale.

One other major fact about this spec that might call it into question is the fact it lists an optical disk drive as part of the specs. It’s not just a DVD drive but a Blu-ray drive. Microsoft had talked about completely removing the disk drive in the next iteration of their console and leveraging the Xbox Live store. Also in the start of the Next Gen Console wars Microsoft pushed the HD-DVD format to split the market and push downloadable movies to scuttle Sony’s Blu-Ray format in the Playstation 3. But unlike the Playstation 3, the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive was a $200 external add-on which now is had for $1 or less at flea markets. A plethora of HD-DVD disks movies now go for 50c to $2.

From a tech standpoint one major change is the amount of memory; 8 Gigabytes of DDR ram , the Xbox 360 had only 512 of shared memory between the video card and the system memory usage. This actually while bad for the PC world turned out to make games load faster and sometimes sharper for Xbox 360. The Playstation 3 had 256 MB system ram and 256 Video ram, this causes a famous memory segfault in the file saves of Skyrim for Playstation 3 and was one of the reasons the Playstation 3 version of the game has lacked the updates and DLC like the PC and Xbox versions. As with the Xbox 360 though it seems the memory from the video card and the system shares a 32 Mb reservoir of hyper fast EmbeddedSRAM between the GPU and system ram. Enough to easily push and process large textures of model files in and out of the system ram and GPU at a time.

Originally from the Maryland beltway area. Patrick lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years. Now he is based in the Portland area. In the past Patrick has been an IT engineer, technology consultant, software trainer, technology journalist, blogger, and podcaster. Currently he is returning to school for a degree in Computer Science & Engineering.

Patrick Roanhouse – who has written posts on Plan8.