Friday, 6 January 2012

Console Spotlight: XBox

When Microsoft entered the video game industry in 2002 with the launch of the Xbox video game console, no one knew the impact it would have and how successful it would become. The console introduced proper online play with Xbox Live and had a killer app launch title in the form of Halo. It was the systems power that allowed all of this to be possible so in the first of our ‘Console Spotlight’ series, let’s have a look at the systems, processors, PCB and chipsets that made the Xbox tick on the inside.

  • 32-bit 733 MHz CPU, custom Intel Pentium III Coppermine-based processor
  • SSE floating point SIMD and MMX integer SIMD
  • 133 MHz 64-bit GTL+ front-side bus to GPU
  • 32 KB L1 cache
  • Shared memory subsystem
  • 64 MB DDR SDRAM at 200 MHz; in dual-channel 128-bit configuration giving 6400 MB/s
  • 233 MHz "NV2A" ASIC  GPU system chipset
  • Geometry engine capable of 115 million vertices/second and 125 million particles/second
  • 4 pixel pipelines with 2 texture units each
  • 932 megapixels/second
  • 970,833 triangles per frame at 30 frame/s or 485,416 at 60 frame/s
  • Storage media
  • 2×–5× (2.6 MB/s–6.6 MB/s) CAV DVD-ROM
  • 8 GB 5,400 RPM hard disk
  • NVIDIA "SoundStorm" Audio processor
  • 64 3D sound channels
  • Integrated wired ethernet
  • DVD movie playback, although additional add-on required
  • 4 controller ports
As well as all these circuit boards and processors, the XBox was the first video game console to have an integrated hard drive that was used for game saves and downloads via XBox Live.

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