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Xbox One Pros and Cons and Hardware Review

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This post will be an in depth look at the Xbox One. Things that will be looked at will be the hard drive size, games available, kinect, online DRM policy, and much more. I will also try to add links to all my sources at the bottom of the page, so if you’re particularly interested in any of the items, check out the link at the bottom. I also have a comparison post between the Xbox One and the Playstation 4 here. If you see any thing that is left out or innacurate, leave a message in the comments at the bottom, or on my youtube video for the comparison here.

Xbox One with Microsoft Kinect Facebook Cover

Xbox One Hardware

There are several important features that really matter for the hardware for a gaming console. These are GPU (video card), CPU (processor), RAM (memory), hard drive size, wireless devices, optical drive and sensors. I will explain each of these with a bit of detail.

GPU

The GPU in the Xbox One is probably it’s most important hardware specification. The GPU really is the biggest bottleneck in terms of what the games will end up looking like on the screen. It doesn’t all rely on the GPU, a console could still look terrible with a great GPU (if it is really badly programmed, or the other hardware really sucks) but usually the GPU really makes the console. In the Xbox One there is a D3D 11.1 chip, which doesn’t mean much, but the numbers behind it say a bit more. This has 768 GPU processing cores, which supposedly will be making about 1.23 TFLOPS (1.23 Trillion calculations per second).

This probably won’t mean much to the average user, but you can compare it to others to get an idea. The Xbox 360 was rated at about .23 TFLOPS, and that was with worse other hardware (CPU, Ram) so the Xbox One is 5 times faster than the Xbox 360 just on the GPU, so you can expect a significant increase in the quality of the games coming out for the Xbox One. You can see a chart here that shows the TFLOPS of the Xbox 360 vs Xbox One vs Playstation 4: Link to chart.

CPU

The CPU in the Xbox one is also important, and will be a AMD Jaguar running at 1.6 GHz. This will be an important improvement over the Xbox 360, because the CPU in that ran at 3.2 Ghz. Higher Ghz processors usually produce significantly more heat, so on top of the new processor being significantly faster, it will also run a lot cooler. And as anyone reme,bers the Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death, this should help prevent a Xbox One Red Ring of Death.

Also, the CPU will have 8 cores and 8 threads. This basically means that it will be able to do more at once, and since the games will be written specifically to take advantage of the cores, it will be a huge improvement. The Xbox 360’s processor had 3 cores and 6 threads, so basically had 3 real cores, and three hyperthreaded cores. The new processor has all real cores and threads, so should be amazing when software is written to take advantage of the multi threaded processing power.

Ram(Memory)

Supposedly the Ram was a large bottleneck in the Xbox 360 from what I’ve heard. Ram basically acts as a table for the computer to put stuff on. You can think of the Hard Drive as a filing cabinet, and ram as a table. If it needs something right away, it puts it on the table (ram) to access faster, and if it only needs it once in a while it puts it in the filing cabinet (hard drive) to use later. This means that the more ram you have, the more table space you have, so the faster you can do things in general. You could have infinite ram, and it won’t speed up the console at all, if you’re not using it to capacity. On the Xbox 360, the ram couldn’t hold all the information that was required to speed up games, so it was a bottleneck.

The Xbox One will have 8 GB of GDDR3 ram, which is a significant improvement over the Xbox 360, which only had 512 MB of ram (.5 GB). This means that the Xbox One has 16 times as much ram! Also, this is a newer version of ram that runs a lot faster, so it’s like a new and improved table on top of there being a lot more table space.

Hard Drive Size

The hard drive in the Xbox One will be a 500 GB in the base model. There isn’t currrently a model with a hard drive bigger than that, and unfortunately the Xbox One hard drive WILL NOT be upgradeable. This is a big letdown, becuase if Microsoft offers a hard drive upgrade, it will probably be quite expensive, as with the Xbox 360 the Microsoft hard drives were about 3 times as expensive as a normal consumer one, with no added benefits.

500 Gb is a pretty big size though. According to Western Digital, a 500 GB hard drive can store (link here):
Up to 100,000 digital photos
Up to 125,000 songs (MP3)
Up to 12,500 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
Up to 38 hours of Digital Video (DV)
Up to 190 hours of DVD quality video
Up to 60 hours of HD video

The speed of it has not been announced that I can find, but I would guess it would be a 7200 RPM drive (vs a 5400 rpm) to improve load times. That would be my best guess, but I will update it when I get exact information.

Wireless Devices

The Xbox One will include an 802.11 N wireless card, as well as WIFI direct. The card does not seem to be backwards compatible with Wireless A/B/G so don’t expect to use your old Linksys WRT54G with the Xbox One. The WIFI direct will supposedly be used for the controllers, which should actually allow a really good range for the controller, but is not as compatible as the bluetooth standards that are more common.

Optical Drive

The Xbox One will include a DVD drive and Blur Ray Drive combo. There isn’t too much more to say about this. It will play movies and games on Blu Ray and DVD, including 3D.

Sensors

The Xbox One includes a very important sensor, the Microsoft Kinect. And love it or hate it, it’s mandatory. The kinect will have to be connected to the Xbox at all times, but it is included in the $499 price.

Supposedly the Kinect will be incredible precise, able to track eye movements, multiple people, and muscle movement. It will be a huuuuuuge upgrade over the original Microsoft Kinect.

I didn’t realize how long this post was getting, so the rest will be continued on Page 2, which will be up shortly. I’ll add a link here when it’s ready.

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