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Microsoft to boost Xbox One’s GPU performance with patch

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One does not have as powerful graphics processing unit (GPU) as Sony PlayStation 4 does. Moreover, it actually reserves 10% of GPU performance for needs of Kinect 2 motion sensor. A new patch for Xbox One is anticipated to cease reserving GPU horsepower for Kinect and boost performance in demanding video games instead.

Although the hardware architecture of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One is very similar – x86 AMD “Jaguar” general-purpose processing cores as well as AMD Radeon GCN graphics processing units – performance of the two consoles is different. The Xbox One’s GPU features 768 stream processors (12 compute units), whereas the PS4’s GPU sports 1152 stream processors (18 compute units), which is why the latter provides higher frame-rates than the former in numerous games.

Besides the fact that Sony seems to have more powerful GPU, Microsoft reserves 8% of Xbox One’s GPU horsepower for Kinect 2 motion sensor’s video processing and 2% for audio processing in all cases (even when a game does not use Kinect), which further reduces the amount of frames the console can render in a second.


Apparently, Microsoft understands all the caveats its decision to reserve 8% of GPU horsepower for Kinect’s video processing has, which is why it is working on a patch that will remove the requirement and will boost graphics performance of the Xbox One, reports HotHardware citing an industry insider.

While 8% performance boost may seem insignificant, it should be pointed out that in many cases the difference between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is significant because of numerous factors, of which necessity to process Kinect data is only one. Another important factor is Xbox One’s SRAM cache, which is not used efficiently in some cases.

KitGuru Says: It is noteworthy that less than three months after the launch of the Xbox One the platform holder is looking for ways to rebalance it by reducing the focus on Kinect and boosting traditional graphics performance. 

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