This is Project Scorpio: the jewel in the crown of consoles

If Xbox 360 was a more than worthy competitor of the PlayStation 3, the Xbox One suffered comparatively in terms of power compared to the PlayStation 4. Microsoft, aware of that “fame” that dragged its console, has been struggling for the last Years in developing a tremendously powerful machine, which will be very difficult to beat: Project Scorpio.

Absolute back compatibility and an adjusted price
As Digital Foundry tells us, from Microsoft say that Project Scorpio does not replace any console, but to occupy its own space as a premium product with a price according to its characteristics. Thanks to backward compatibility

And the only application store, the previous consoles will not be obsolete and will be able to coexist with Project Scorpio without seeing their sales very compromised or jeopardize their existence.

Although we do not know an official price, since Digital Foundry venture to imagine a price around $ 499. As for the final name of the device, Microsoft has not given any clue beyond this console will be part of the family of Xbox One, so it would not be surprising to keep this name (with some added). The idea is that Scorpio coexists fully with Xbox One, offering the same catalog, the same style of game, etc. The difference will be the quality of the components, how much money we are willing to pay to enjoy the gaming experience.

An amazing GPU

While we all expected the 12GB GDDR5 RAM, the 326GB / s memory bandwidth and the famous six teraflops, what no one expected was achieved in the custom-designed GPU and running at a previously unseen clock speeds In a console, achieving a performance that nothing has to envy desktop computers.

They claim that the performance is incredible. They have been able to watch a demo of Forza Motorsport running at native 4K reaching very wide the 60 fps, so it seems that the native 4K will be guaranteed for most of the games and we will have surplus power applicable to other visual improvements.

4K Native and Scorpio Engine
As for 4K, it is interesting to note the statements of Kevin Gammill, Group Program Director of Xbox, who states that “for me, the 4K involve a series of very specific things, well beyond sending the 8 million pixels to the screen When you play.It is about offering those pixels with 4K resources so that they look great, offer them with HDR and a wide range of colors, without the frame-rate is lower than you would have in the 1080p version of the game. Forget about the spatial audio, which definitely helps the immersion of the player. ”

One of the keys to the new Microsoft console is the Scorpio Engine, a new SoC developed in collaboration with AMD. To achieve this SoC has done a huge job to measure for the result is excellent, have not limited to ask one and other components to AMD.

The final result? 40 Radeon computing units in the Scorpio Engine, with a speed of 1172MHz (compared to 911MHz PS4 Pro). This is perhaps the most remarkable, but not the only thing that has been done: the number of shader engines has also doubled, thus achieving a 2.7-fold improvement in the ratio of triangles and vertices when you include the speed boost of clock. The number of rendering back-ends has been doubled, thus increasing the fill-rate by 2.7 times. The size of the L2 cache of the GPU has quadrupled. Scorpio Engine is a marvel of engineering.

I miss Ryzen, but I do not need him

Regarding the CPU, it was speculated that Scorpio could use Ryzen technology from AMD, but finally we found eight cores that represent an evolution of Jaguar technology, organized into two clusters with a total of 4MB of L2 cache. They are CPUs made to measure for Scorpio and that run at 2.3GHz. As Nick Baker explains, the goal was to “maintain 100% backward compatibility with Xbox One and Xbox One S while increasing performance.”

Project Scorpio’s new x86 cores are 31% faster than the Xbox One cores. However, the most revolutionary aspect of CPU redesign is in the command processor that manages the GPU. It has been possible to make the jump to Direct3D 12, making all the high frequency API invocations that make the games are implemented natively in the logic of the command processor, so that the game communication with the GPU is ultra efficient. It has managed to do without the Ryzen cores to not compromise the price of the equipment at the same time that did not put at risk the performance, thanks to the enormous work as it has been done with the CPU.

A tremendous speed of clock that does not compromise the heating of the equipment
As we have said, something that has surprised us all is the GPU clock speed, with a frequency that until today nobody had dared to reach to minimize the heating of the devices. How has Microsoft achieved this? It is explained by Leo del Castillo, general manager of hardware design for Xbox. “One of the things we do is basically adjust the voltages of each of the chips and optimize them so that the chips get exactly what they need to accomplish their tasks, which offers a much greater degree of efficiency for the system and we Lets you discard a lot of wasted energy that would translate into more heat. ”

It is a technique called “the Holvis method”, in honor of the engineer who developed it. Microsoft uses a heatsink with a steam chamber, opting for a custom centrifugal fan design. Del Castillo literally set up a pre-production Scorpio unit before Digital Foundry people and the result is a simple, elegant and modular design that takes up almost all of the available space. The hard drive sits on dampers designed to absorb vibration, the UHD Blu-Ray drive is very similar to the Xbox One S, the internal power supply is a universal PSU 245W, the most efficient in the history of Xbox. On the other hand, the layout of the ports is equal to that of Xbox One S. The design of the case is a small secret that will be revealed in E3 and that, according to Microsoft, will surprise users well.

All these numbers and data translate into unprecedented performance and image quality. Microsoft promises that the 900p and 1080p Xbox One games will run to 4K natives in Project Scorpio and, to prove it, showed a demo of ForzaTech with the Xbox One engine running at 4K natives and 60 fps tremendously stable. As seen in the image that we have attached before, the use of the GPU is 66.19%, leaving lots of free power to improve the graphics. Certainly, a beast is born. Project Scorpio was born.

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