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Xbox One rumors point to a higher clock speed, but doubtful on increase in RAM

An increase in clock speed is need to keep competitive with the PlayStation 4.
An increase in clock speed is need to keep competitive with the PlayStation 4.

Update: 8/2/2013 - There has been an update in this mystery case of Clock Speed increase. It has been reported today that Mark Whitten will announce on Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) pod cast that the Xbox One has recieved a bump in clock speed.

"Since E3, an example is that we've dropped in what we internally call our mono driver. It's our graphics driver that really is 100 percent optimised for the Xbox One hardware. 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."

"This is the time where we've gone from the theory of how the hardware works--what do we think the yield is going to look like, what is the thermal envelope, how do things come together--to really having them in our hands. That's the time where you start tweaking the knobs.

Either your theory was right dead on, or you were a little too conservative, or you were a little too aggressive. It's actually been really good news for us, and an example of that is we've tweaked up the clock speed on our GPU from 800mhz to 853mhz."

This quote has been ripped out of a early release of the podcast that was removed from Gamestop. You can find the link here.

It's important to note how odd this is, considering Microsoft never officially gave official specs, so announcing detailed updates to them is surpising. The new speed icreases the Xbox One's performance to a 1.3TFlop GPU - still well under the 1.8TFlop GPU offered in the PlayStation 4.

Update: 7/10/13 - There has been a bit of controversy surrounding this topic. In an attempt to clarify further, I decided to contact my source based on the idea that the increase in clock speed may have been a confusion with the better utilization of ESRAM that Digital Foundry reported on earlier this month.

When I approached my source with this question, this was he response I was given:

"The bump was supposed to have been planned prior to initial reveal. Any actual changes would have taken place during E3 Week. Effectively, the way the RAM is set out in the machine, Microsoft realized they could be more efficient in its use without sacrificing the amount set aside for OS operation. They immediately reacted.

Physical RAM won't be upped in time for November release as it was too late even during initial reveal, but developers are saying, in terms of efficiency of the RAM and the reported yield problems, Microsoft have made some snappy breakthroughs and gave the impression it was a straight up increase in clock speed; hence the rumor."

So there you have it, you can take it for what its worth. As always, this stuff is rumor until confirmed by Microsoft. Read the original article below for reference, and let me know what you all think!

Original article:

The Xbox One launch and reveal has been rough from both a hardware and public reception perspective. One thing that seems to keep coming up in regards to the hardware is the final specifications. With Microsoft being vague in comparison to Sony regarding detailed hardware specifications on top of rumors regarding the GPU being down clocked to meet production numbers, the Xbox One has been considered the lesser console on every front since it's reveal. Microsoft denouncing the importance of hardware performance on multiple occasions does not help their cause.

Some interesting news from this past weekend may bring to light some changes in design direction for the Xbox One though, as new rumors not only counter the previous "down clock" rumors, but also show that Microsoft is listening to developers input while they finalize the hardware specifications.

The rumors state the following:

  • The Xbox One GPU is getting an increase in clock speed
  • The Xbox One DDR3 RAM will increase from 8GB to 12GB
  • The Xbox One development team is asking for developer feedback on changes they would want to see hardware wise.

As I have said in the past, these rumors come and go and it's hard to justify reporting on every one. But when I approached a trusted source of mine regarding them... I was surprised by the answer, to say the least.

Essentially, my source has confirmed that the increase in GPU clock speed is 100% true, with the increase happening in direct response to the PlayStation 4. The increase has been a reality since before the reveal, as they have "been reacting to Sony ever since the first leaks of both systems." The news of this bump in clock speed was announced to first parties only, as they "actively spread disinformation to 3rd parties just before reveal to prevent leaks."

This is where things start to stray from the original rumor though. When asked about the increase in RAM (from 8GB to 12GB), the response I obtained was simply "I have heard nothing like that, the development kits have 12GB of RAM, but as far as I know the retail kits are locked in at 8GB."

The source also went on to state that "it wouldn't be much use given the actual speed (of said RAM)." As for current projects, they also are "too far gone for a bump to be beneficial" as many developers have been developing for the currently announced set of Xbox One specifications. He did mention that the possibility may still be there though, as the increase in RAM would help development of games 2014 and beyond when taking second screen gaming into consideration - something many developers have been focusing on.

But what about poaching developers for suggestions regarding the increase? Well, from my sources understanding, Respawn Entertainment may have been the ones lobbying for the RAM bump. This would actually make sense, as Respawn has been very clear and vocal about how the 5GB of RAM allotted for gaming on the Xbox One has already caused issues in development of TitanFall.

Like I said though, these are just rumors, and as the past has proven, rumors come and go while changing on the fly - please take all of these with a grain of salt.

Regardless, let me know what you think of the possibility of Microsoft increasing the specs of the Xbox One in addition to the reversal of their originally planned DRM policy? Do so by subscribing to me here, on Youtube at and follow me on twitter @NicholasGigante.

My source remains unnamed for obvious reasons. The track history, as you have all seen, has been proven time and time again.

Click here for the original source of rumors.


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