The next Xbox could be closer to PC gaming than ever

Discrete graphics and an ultra powerful CPU suggest that high-end PC gaming could have a new challenger

A possible dump posted on Reddit suggests that the Xbox Scarlett could have a beast of an engine – the Arcturus GPU could feature 64 ‘Arcturus Engines’ and a total of 4,096 GPU cores. For comparison the current console king, the Xbox One X, features 2,560 GPU cores. This thing could be more of a beast than we thought.

The leak also suggests a core GPU clock speed of 1.4GHz and a GPU memory size of 22GB. The CPU in the dump is running at 3.3GHz.

The problem is that all of this GPU power will be expensive, and unlike existing consoles this might mean that the GPU will be a separate entity to the usual ‘system on a chip’ implementations we’ve previously seen. If this is the case it’ll mean that the architecture will be closer to a standard PC than it is to existing machines and opens up the possibility of upgradeable graphics in the future if that’s something Microsoft want to consider.

The cost issue alone is likely to drive this new architecture – having everything on one chip may have been convenient given the increasing size of dies and more complex 7nm manufacturing means that trying to combine GPU and CPU into one unit would be both impractical and prone to a higher error rate than would be the case with discrete hardware.

We’d be surprised if Microsoft’s third party studios aren’t already working on dev kits that are close to what we can expect to see when the new console debuts and this leak suggests that the actual hardware is out there and in use.

Colin Polonowski Colin Polonowski

Updated: Feb 01, 2019

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The next Xbox could be closer to PC gaming than ever | The Digital Fix