In an interview with the always colourful Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, Microsoft’s corporate VP Marc Whitten, has announced that the graphics processor within the company’s next-gen Xbox One, is now a little bit faster, thanks to driver optimisations and a clock speed bump.
Describing the current situation with the One as constantly changing, he detailed how the operating system for the Xbox One had now entered its beta testing phase, with new builds going out to developers every day. That’s also led to a refining of the DirectX 11 driver initially used. “We internally call it our mono driver,” said Whitten. “You start with the base [DirectX] driver, and then you take out all parts that don’t look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have really picked it up now, and I think it’s made a really nice improvement.”
Another software tweak came during the testing of the Xbox One’s thermal envelope – a stressful time for the dev team I’m sure. Anyone that’s had an Xbox 360 at some point during the past eight years has probably encountered their own Red Ring of Death, where the thing would get so hot it would melt the solder, killing important connections and almost always resulting in the use of the console’s warranty. In the end Microsoft spent over a billion dollars replacing faulty consoles, so chances are it was keen not to repeat that mistake.
Which is why I’m sure the devs were all pleased to see that the One ran cooler than expected, allowing them to push out another 53MHz on the GPU, meaning it’s now clocked at 853MHz.
KitGuru Says: Don’t worry, it should be cool enough. There’s a huge fan sitting over the CPU/GPU and we’re told it still runs almost silent, so a lot more thought has gone into the thermal dynamics of the One than went into its older brother.