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Xbox One holding back some power for the future

by William Schwartz

xbox-one-controller

It looks Microsoft has been holding back a significant chunk of Xbox One GPU performance, to be unlocked at a later date.    Digital Foundry recently confirmed that the company is planning on using 10% of the GPU for Kinect and application functionality.   Speaking with a couple of Xbox One developers, the new information came to light.

We plan to open up more options for developers in working with the GPU

“Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing.  This is used both the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode…In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality,” said Microsoft’s Andrew Goosen in the interview.

So how is that this can actually occur?  Goosen’s very technical explanation points to asynchronous compute queues and concurrent render pipes as the answer.   The way that the console is designed allows the hardware to render content at high and low priority processing.

There’s no telling when this GPU performance will be “unlocked”, it likely won’t be before the Xbox One launches on November 22nd.

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