Xbox Scorpio Tech Analysis: Can It Deliver A “Uncompromised AAA” 4K Gaming Experience?

The Scorpio is not an an uber-powerful 4K/60/Ultra monster but it’s not so anaemic as to be incapable of 4K gaming.

Posted By | On 14th, Apr. 2017 Under Article, Graphics Analysis


The not-quite-ninth-gen console arms race has heated up: Microsoft unveiled preliminary specifications for Project Scorpio. With just months to go before Scorpio’s release, important questions remain unanswered.

The PS4 Pro proved that consoles could deliver a better-than-1080p experience on 4KTVs, albeit at sub-native resolutions. The Pro featured graphics hardware that was along the lines of the R9 380 in terms of horsepower–a definite step forward for consoles, but not enough to cut the cake at 4K. Unsurprisingly, few titles apart from indies (and those titles that don’t push the system) and last-gen remasters like The Last of Us, ran at anything approach native 4k resolution, with most instead opting for a non-native framebuffer, augmented by frame reconstruction tech such as checkerboarding. The relatively meagre gains in CPU power put a hard limit on the Pro’s capabilities–it was meant to and is a box that runs PS4 games at higher resolutions and more consistent (but not necessarily higher) framerates.

With Scorpio, Microsoft’s marketing pitch bears a superficial resemblance to the Pro’s positioning: we’re talking about a (relatively) affordable box that can run Xbox One titles at 4K, with broadly equivalent visuals and performance. The key difference here is that Microsoft’s intending to deliver a native 4K experience, without halfway-house frame reconstruction techniques. This requires significantly more powerful hardware than the Pro.

"Scorpio’s mildly augmented 2.3 GHz processor cores will ensure a better lock on existing framerate targets."

Microsoft’s been throwing the “6 Teraflop” figure around for quite sometime, but it’s just now that we’re coming to understand what that entails. The PS4 Pro’s GPU wasn’t too different from an off-the-shelf Polaris 10 running at conservative clockspeeds. With Scorpio, we’re looking at something else entirely. Scorpio’s GPU is a 40 CU part that essentially sits in between Vega and Polaris in terms of features. At present, there is no other 40 CU Polaris part: Scorpio’s graphics core was built from scratch specifically for the console. Interestingly, Microsoft’s managed to get the Scorpio’s GPU running at a remarkably high clockspeed for console, at 1176 MHz. This is within spitting distance of the RX 480’s typical boost clocks. Console GPUs are typically clocked low to account for power and thermals–this speaks volumes about the efficiency of the 14nm process.

The increase in VRAM to 12 GB of (with 8 GB available to games) is essential. I run a Fury–a 4 GB card–in my personal system. It stutters and runs out of VRAM at 1080p in some games. Whether or not that’s due to an appalling lack of optimization effort (The Witcher 3, in contrast, features fantastic texture work and utilizes only around 1.5 GB of VRAM), the reality is that games increasingly use up a lot of VRAM, and that amount skyrockets when you crank up the resolution. 8 GB is the present sweet spot. Due to this being a shared pool for both VRAM and system RAM, actual VRAM usage is likely to be a bit lower on Scorpio. Still, this is a much-needed step up. In addition, the increase in memory bandwidth to 326GB/S will help Scorpio cope with the massive increase in in-game resolution.

I was disappointed but not entirely surprised with Microsoft’s decision not to move to a Ryzen-based CPU for Scorpio. As with the PS4 Pro, the bump in processor speed won’t necessarily enable title to hit 60 FPS, in tandem with the more powerful GPU. Rather, the bump in power will help with minimum framerates that tank in CPU-intensive locations. Scorpio’s mildly augmented 2.3 GHz processor cores will ensure a better lock on existing framerate targets.

"Considering that software’s already been available, the data on how to get it running at 4K is already available. With that in mind, the Scorpio makes a much better case for itself than the PS4 Pro."

At the end of the day, however, regardless of the figures, the question doesn’t change much: Can the Xbox Scorpio deliver a playable, native 4K experience? From long experience with AMD parts in and around the Scorpio’s performance profile–parts like the RX 480, R9 390X, and R9 Fury, I’d hesitate to claim that the Scorpio’s capable of offering a truly “uncompromised (with every graphical parameter notched upto Ultra setting)” 4K experience: At this point, I am just about fed up trying to get my  R9 Fury to perform acceptably at 4K on multiplats–30 FPS is attainable, but just barely, and with a bit of settings tinkering on every game. Keep in mind that the Fury’s substantially more powerful than the Scorpio’s GPU, and I am using an overclocked Fury at that.

On the flip side, console games rarely run at anything approached maxed out visual settings on PC–there is a surprisingly large amount of leeway for performance optimizations to scale eye-candy without fundamentally altering the game’s visual make up. Modern engines like Frostbite are built with scalability in mind. What’s remarkable is that Microsoft themselves have developed an inhouse tool called PIX (Performance Investigator for Xbox), to essentially work backwards: Microsoft engineers built Scorpio with the assumption that games would run primarily at 4K.

PIX enabled Microsoft to build Scorpio to meet the performance requirements of existing titles, to identify stress points and opportunities for asset scaling. Historically, console games have been built with console hardware in mind. This creates trouble at both the beginning and end of the console’s life cycle, with early titles failing to fully utilize available resources, and later titles forced to cut corners just to work. In Scorpio’s case, the hardware was built with a particular set of software in mind: AAA titles from the past four years or so on the Xbox One. Considering that software’s already been available, the data on how to get it running at 4K is already available. With that in mind, the Scorpio makes a much better case for itself than the PS4 Pro.

"Unlike the PS4 Pro, the Scorpio’s built with that specific objective in mind–it’s not an uber-powerful 4K/60/Ultra monster. At the same time, it’s not so anaemic as to be incapable of 4K gaming."

The Pro (which is still the most powerful console on the market, by the way), is in a sense, a victim of inaccurate marketing. It doesn’t feature hardware that’s truly 4K-capable in games. Despite this, it’s positioned as a “4K console,” an upgrade for owners of 4KTVs. Hardware at the Pro’s level of performance positively sings at 1080p, allowing for scaled-up visuals and more consistent framerates. Unfortunately, the Pro’s essentially typecast as a “4K console,” meaning that games on the Pro end up running at uncomfortably high resolutions. As owners of GTX 960 and R9 380-class hardware know, it’s quite possible to run games at resolutions higher than 1080p–they just don’t run very well. The Pro often ends up performing worse than the PS4 at 1080p. At the end of the day, a sub-native presentation and janky framerate just don’t add up to a meaningful 4K experience.

The Scorpio is significantly more powerful than the PS4 Pro, and Microsoft’s not afraid to say it. Unlike the PS4 Pro, the Scorpio’s built with that specific objective in mind–it’s not an uber-powerful 4K/60/Ultra monster. At the same time, it’s not so anaemic as to be incapable of 4K gaming. The Scorpio’s all about taking an existing experience and elevating that to 4K, as is, no trickery involved. The specs Microsoft talked about certainly point in that direction.


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  • DA-ROOSTER

    Xbox Scorpio-True native 4K gaming console

    PS4 PRO-Checkerboard rendering fake 4K “It’s actually a 1080p console”

    • Nemesis

      Xbone – lies lies, cloud power, Esram

      Scorpio – lies lies, False Advertising, cancelled games, no exclusives

      PC – xbox slayer

    • kma99

      U don’t even have a capable pc

    • Vulcanproject

      There is no major difference in performance between Xbox One v PS4 and Pro v Scorpio. The gap is very similar.

      Microsoft’s problem wasn’t even Xbox One’s inferior hardware though, it was their software. Scorpio doesn’t change that and additional hardware performance doesn’t alter the game enough.

      PS4 Pro has a year head start, a larger captive audience of PS4 gamers that might upgrade, a larger exclusive and acclaimed game lineup and will probably end up a lot cheaper than Scorpio.

      Microsoft also did something excellent for gamers but foolish for their console- Play anywhere. By confirming every Microsoft game would also appear on PC they remove the motivation of many PC gamers to buy an Xbox or Scorpio.

    • wrong — per Digital Foundry’s latest deep dive: specifically into the CPU/GPU SoC for Scorpio: “The Scorpio Engine’s GPU is targeted specifically for 4K rendering with ultra HD textures, with support for HDR and wide colour gamut. Microsoft’s guiding principles involved making it as easy as possible for developers to access the full power of the hardware.”

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-the-scorpio-engine-in-depth

    • Vulcanproject

      It’s not wrong, Xbox One was no more suitable for 1080p than PS4 Pro is for 4K. The performance difference between the two ‘half generations’ is similar.

      If Scorpio targets 3840 x 2160 for a particular multi format game than Pro will almost certainly be able to do 3200 x 1800 on the same game. Indeed we see many PS4 Pro games target this resolution already.

      Sony realized early on their hardware would likely not be able to target ‘native’ 4K on many titles.

      So they put in place several good solutions- checkerboard rendering which is a considerably better form of scaling than that employed on most 900p Xbox One titles and encouraging developers to utilize dynamic resolutions and settings on their games. This maintains frame rates and only loses ultimate eye candy for a short period of time during the highest stress on the game engine.

      The advantage of these techniques are apparent above straight full screen software upscaling- the lesser resolution is far far less noticeable to the end user. PS4 Pro has better scaling techniques than the ones Xbox One ever had.

      Besides this we aren’t talking about 900p any more. 1800p is still a MASSIVE resolution for games and much nearer the upper limit of what is noticeable to most people inside their living rooms and their setups. There is an upper limit here of how much resolution you can usefully see in an average home console environment.

      As a result to most people the difference in games on Pro and Scorpio are likely to end up looking LESS than the difference between Xbox One and PS4.

    • Will see, being able to do Ultra with 4K on Forza with 12% overhead still without optimizations done, speaks volumes for what they’re going to be able to push imho, but will see…

    • Vulcanproject

      You can do that game 4K 60FPS on a GTX1060 on PC. I’ll refer you to my ‘Play anywhere’ point.

      There is no question Scorpio is faster but the real question is, will it matter much and be noticeable?

      Arguably it’ll be even less noticeable than the gap between PS4 and Xbox One because we’re so much further up the resolution ‘tree’ so to speak and the scaling techniques are considerably superior.

      Then there are the problems Microsoft have with PS4 Pro’s head start, software selection, user base and inevitably much lower price.

      All that extra hardware for Microsoft will cost, and by the time it arrives PS4 Pro will be a year old and probably ripe for a price cut.

      It won’t be much use if Sony can sell Pro for around $300 bundled and Scorpio ends up like $450-500 will it?

    • I don’t think PS4 Pro will have that big of a price cut as everyone is expecting. A $100 price cut assumes that PS4 Pro will have sold enough units to gain economies of scale such that a lower price point is possible b/c the cost dropped by an equivalent $100. Based on the sales figures however (100K units during holidays max), that hardly seems like that will happen.

      MS could sell it at 499 but I don’t think that will happen. My guess is it will go for 399 to 449 and take the loss up front. They learned their lesson the hard way with Kinect and the og XB1 on that. Plus Spencer has said, they’re looking to have the Scorpio price pt be a continuum of the XB1S price point. So if the XB1S starts at 299 for 500GB then 349 for 1TB, and 399 for 2TB (which they don’t even sell anymore) it stands to reason that it would be either 399-449 for XB1 Scorpio.

      My thing on Scorpio’s power is if they have that much overhead before optimizations, they can do all sorts of special effects that they couldn’t afford on the base XB1. Or they could do enhanced AI and facial animations like Shadow of War has said they were going to do with all the extra horsepower. There will be areas where many game devs use that extra horsepower for added visual flair – we already saw that in the first half of this gen with PS4 getting better lighting vs XB1 with games like Watch Dogs, more than just resolution.

    • Vulcanproject

      I only said ‘about’ $300. Sony will have had a year to refine their manufacturing and so forth. It’s already been bundled for $400 now.

      Even if they cut it to a solid $350 with bundles then I am extremely skeptical Scorpio will be anything less than $450 (not bundled), that’s still a huge $100 price gap and apparent value gap.

      A 12 percent overhead really isn’t that much though for Forza 6. I will have to point out Forza 6 itself will be two years old this September. You expect Forza 7 to push the original hardware even further, which would automatically reduce that claimed figure further.

      Realistically with such a small number you could somewhat refine aspects of your engine but you aren’t blowing the doors off. Those pesky diminishing returns again

      Indeed ‘Ultra’ on the PC version of Forza 6 is nothing much beyond refinement of the Xbox One version anyway. Yeah it has nicer image quality and better reflections, but it’s not an enormous leap beyond pure resolution. I own and play both versions, 4K/60FPS on PC.

      I wouldn’t expect too much different from this for Scorpio games if we are honest. You’ll get sweet HDR and image quality with some refinements, but that’s it.

      Such is the demand from going up to 4K from 900/1080p, you need such a massive performance jump just to stand still on asset quality.

    • Are you kidding? Ultra 4K Forza 6 is more like Forza Apex on PC.

      And no, wrong again, Forza 6 is the same engine on Forza 5, where it used greater than 95% of the resources on XB1 with normal settings. With Ultra and 4K textures and twice the available remaining resources –before any optimizations– they can ring out a ton more.

      That’s another comparison where PS4Pro won’t have an advantage, it’s still using 1080p textures and not 4K textures so things will always be more blurry on a large TV.

    • Vulcanproject

      You don’t even know what you’re arguing against. I highlighted how the ‘Ultra’ settings on apex are only really refinements of the Xbox One version, and don’t add hugely to the visual fidelity of the game. I should know. I own and play both.

      The engine is the ‘same’ in the sense it has been constantly refined for years. Forza 7 will undoubtedly push the original hardware further with optimizations and improvements.

      But they ported Forza 6 across- a two year old game that simply won’t be pushing Xbox One as hard as 7 will inevitably. Which means by the time they have added the extras from 7 the ’12 percent’ you quote is only going to be diminished.

      And as I said 12 percent isn’t a lot.

      You think that Scorpio will dish out massively better assets than Xbox One will, but it just won’t. it’ll have better image quality and HDR and better AA, but it’s not going to look like a totally different next gen game for an additional 12 percent (and less) GPU performance.

      You are claiming and expecting a huge visual leap over Xbox One/PS4 generation games but I’m delivering a dose of reality to you now- it isn’t happening.

      Essentially Scorpio needs most of that performance to just deliver 4K and HDR native. There really won’t be massively significant upticks in textures or model assets or anything else.

    • I think you’re one of those people that pixel counted PS4 when it was always 1080p vs XB’s 900p and now you and many others are in full damage control lol 🙂 Visual fidelity includes all the factors you just mentioned plus polygon count.

    • Vulcanproject

      Incorrect. Actually I’m a PC gamer primarily with interest in hardware. Hence me having played Forza 6 Apex extensively on PC alongside the console version. I am intimately familiar with both versions.

      There is no damage control. Scorpio will absolutely be faster than PS4 Pro. Just not as fast as it seems many claim. Scorpio will do higher resolution games than PS4 Pro, but that is all.

      The gap in performance is only enough to account for more pixels to reach native 4K, and not much else. Much the same PS4 versions of games are usually not much beyond a full 1080p pixel count over Xbox One.

    • Ok, but will see. The first half of this gen almost all dev’s maxed out performance on the PS4 and then scaled downwards for XB1. I see no reason to think they’re suddenly going to peak with PS4 Pro and ignore all the power Scorpio has to make things even better, which I still think will be demonstrably better.

    • Vulcanproject

      They didn’t max it out and downscale games for Xbox One though. Later on developers may had lead development on PS4, but only because that console had clearly sold a lot more.

      Obviously that could easily apply to PS4 Pro, considering it has a year head start and millions more install base.

      In any case the machines are so similar in their design and architecture it just won’t matter that much which console is lead on.

    • Are you kidding? Practically every tech analysis DF did over the past 4 years was showing PS4 with a ‘better’ result. I expect that to flip-flop now.

    • BTW, DF released another article today that I thought I would share if you haven’t seen it yet. Of particular note is the 2nd to last paragraph: “The question of how Microsoft has managed to extract desktop GPU-like clock-speeds from a console SoC, and by extension, how the Xbox team has delivered six teraflops of GPU power, is now answered. The end result is a 43 per cent increase in raw compute compared to PS4 Pro, with a processor we estimate as being 12 to 16 per cent larger in terms of die area.”

      43 percent more power than the PS4 PRO is more than a little upgrade.

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-project-scorpio-hardware-deep-dive

    • Vulcanproject

      What’s your point? That I’m correct even according to Digital Foundry’s calculations?

      PS4 had ~41 percent more GPU compute performance than Xbox One.

      This is also expressed as Xbox One having about 70 percent the performance of PS4. It’s the same thing. Maths is fun.

      You are proving me right, the gap is pretty much the same as it was but scaling techniques mean it’ll probably look smaller.

      Carry on….

    • And yet you said PS4 vs XB1 had a more noticeable difference. You’re contradicting yourself…

    • Vulcanproject

      No, you’re just not reading.

      My claim was the difference between PS4 and Xbox One is pretty much the same between PS4 Pro and Scorpio. You argued this for ages, now post a link to an article THAT PROVES ME CORRECT!

      Then I explained why the gap on screen will probably appear smaller: because of the fact the resolutions are waaaaay higher and the scaling techniques PS Pro has been employing are waaaaay better than what most Xbox One games haves used.

      Don’t make me say this again. Just read properly.

    • You’re full of $#*!. You never said “My claim was the difference between PS4 and Xbox One will be pretty much the same between PS4 Pro and Scorpio. ” until now. You have been constantly saying the differences b/w the two would be negligible. I don’t have time to continue to speak with people contradicting themselves, lol. Such a knucklehead…

    • Vulcanproject

      I’ll quote MY VERY FIRST SENTENCE OF MY VERY FIRST POST (that you replied to no less!)

      “There is no major difference in performance between Xbox One v PS4 and Pro v Scorpio. The gap is very similar just this time in Microsoft’s favour.”

      Can you not read? Serious question.

    • Orion Wolf

      Its pointless mate, I mean “If Scorpio targets 3840 x 2160 for a particular multi format game than Pro will almost certainly be able to do 3200 x 1800 on the same game. Indeed we see many PS4 Pro games target this resolution already.” based on nothing, but his own supposition.

      You quickly realize this is not an impartial speculation just wishful thinking i.e. let’s hope Scorpio isn’t (too much) better than the Pro. I could claim the same nonsense, which considering everything that was shown and stated could be argued as true, but thing is I have no idea, let alone be “almost certain”.

    • My only thing is the difference between Scorpio and Pro will be more visible than the difference between PS4 and XB1…

    • Orion Wolf

      Yeah, I’ve seen the same arguing point be thrown out quite a lot lately. No matter that Leadbetter himself stated that there is no contest between the pro and the Scorpio.

      Actually I would like to see Sony drop DriveClub on the pro and see how it performs at 4k60fps ultra, we could get a much better representation of the difference, but sadly that (as it would seem) isn’t happening.

      Another thing people are running too, is how racing games are “super easy” on the HW, yet they don’t mention the framerate drops on even the 1070, while that not being the case with the Scorpio. Could also talk about the (speculation as of right now) non-final devkits the engine was running on, devkits that were performing under 80% of their full efficiency, the 2 days of porting aka no Scorpio specific optimizations etc. however, I’m still not going to go and say “it can do this or can do that for certain”, but claiming its not that different from the pro is moronic.

    • Agreed.

    • Orion Wolf

      See what I’m talking about, the guy acts like he was there with the design team. “the CPU technology has been customized to the point where Microsoft doesn’t refer to them as Jaguar architecture any more, but that is clearly the starting point from which the Project Scorpio design began” and yet everyone ran with “its the same Jag, thats in the Pro” because of how Leadbetter decided to call it.

    • Vulcanproject

      I can run Apex on ultra settings with dynamic (essentially what the consoles use), 4K AND record the gameplay on the same machine with a GTX1070.

      Frame rate worse case scenario ends up with a minimum of about 75FPS and average of 85-90. Worse case being rain, full set of cars and track side models etc. In ‘normal’ weather average frame rate rockets well beyond 100FPS.

      Which means GPU usage if you lock to 60FPS is averaging ~65 percent and maxing out extremely rarely ~80 percent worst case scenario.

      I’ll repeat, this is while recording in very high quality 4K on the same machine running the game.

      Scorpio’s is what, 88 percent? Mkay.

      Claiming that it is not that different from Pro is smart. Essentially the consoles use the same type of CPU, GPU and memory, except with different numbers of their configuration. But basically, they are hugely similar in architecture, much more than they differ.

      If you don’t even know this why are you even commenting on this matter….

    • Vulcanproject

      It won’t be. For the points made. The gap isn’t particularly larger, the resolutions are much higher, and PS4 Pro benefits from better scaling techniques utilized by developers than most 900p Xbox One has.

      There is no denying Scorpio is faster, the argument is the gap isn’t as big as people would have you believe. It’s no bigger than we had between Xbox One and PS4. Simple maths show that.

    • Vulcanproject

      What are you babbling on about? We do see PS4 Pro games targeting 1800p. And based on supposition?

      No, based on maths.

      3200 x 1800 is 70 percent of the resolution of 3840 x 2160. This is roughly the gap. I emphasize roughly, but it is a fact.

      PS4 Pro’s hardware is about 70 percent as fast as Scorpio’s. Indeed, 4.2 teraflops is 70 percent the GPU performance of 6 teraflops! PS4 Pro has ~70 percent of the RAM. It has ~70 percent the memory bandwidth. It definitely has more than 70 percent of the CPU performance.

      Of course fill rates are a better measurable metric of GPU performance but the truth is, PS4 Pro is going to be there or thereabouts.

      We have seen what PS4 Pro can do, and that is translate most of it’s titles into much much higher resolution equivalents. The evidence is there, it isn’t my fault if you are too ignorant to even understand.

    • Vulcanproject

      Xbox One is about 70 percent as fast as PS4. Which is why we saw multi format titles running about 70 percent the resolution of PS4. Makes sense right?

      1600 x 900 is 70 percent of 1920 x 1080. 900p v 1080p.

      PS4 Pro’s hardware is about 70 percent as fast as Scorpio.

      Do I have to spell it out for you further?

  • Gamez Rule

    “I’d hesitate to claim that the Scorpio’s capable of offering a truly “uncompromised (with every graphical parameter notched upto Ultra setting)” 4K experience: At this point, I am just about fed up trying to get my R9 Fury to perform acceptably at 4K on multiplats–30 FPS is attainable, but just barely, and with a bit of settings tinkering on every game. Keep in mind that the Fury’s substantially more powerful than the Scorpio’s GPU, and I am using an overclocked Fury at that.”

    So if that’s the case how can Scorpio do 4k 60fps without compromise?

    • Reclaimer13

      Here’s how scorpio is gonna work, or at least how it’s supposed to work. For games that run at 900p-1080p/60fps on the base xb1, scorpio will run them at native 4k/60fps, without “compromising” the graphical fidelity or frame rate to get those games to run at native 4k/60fps. For games at run at 900p-1080p/30fps on base xb1, scorpio will run them at native 4k/30fps, again, without compromising graphical fidelity or frame rate. Games that run at lower than 900p on base hardware will use checkerboard rendering.
      They never said every game was gonna run at 4k/60fps uncompromised.

    • Gamez Rule

      The E3 video ( see link ) just states *the highest res- the highest framerates, without compromises* nothing about 900p games or 1080p games, while Phil stated on that E3 stage that “Scorpio will do games in true 4k gaming without sacrificing visuals” so yet again nothing about 1080p or 900p games.

      Scorpio has been advertised by MS as a *TRUE 4K Gaming* console without compromises. I cannot see that being correct when not even a 1080 Ti cannot play all games at 4k at 60fps without compromises taking place.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7e5e8nNY3w

    • Reclaimer13

      I told you what scorpio was built to do. Games that run at between 900p and 1080p/60fps ON THE BASE XBOX ONE will run at 4K/60fps on the scorpio and run at equivalent or better settings to that of the base hardware. Similar to how the potato pro uses checkerboard to achieve faux k, the scorpio will do it natively on most triple A games. Go read the eurogamer article man.

    • Gamez Rule

      I have read DF and EG articles. And yes Scorpio is a powerful console when compared to other consoles on the market, but like this article pointed out, if a R9 Fury which is substantially more powerful than the Scorpio’s GPU has to have settings tinkered on every game to perform acceptably at 4K at 30fps then Scorpio must have compromises made to run games at 4K at 60fps.

    • theduckofdeath

      Because like every PC nut (myself included), he’s likely going for native monitor resolution at custom ultra settings. So 4K custom ultra settings (all PC games are different and some have a plethora of settings) on a powerful yet old card with only 4 GB frame buffer.

      The reason a game has frame rate drops or can’t hit a certain level isn’t some uniform amount of Tera FLOPS. Parts of the render pipeline maybe to taxing, slowing down the frame cycle. Or the CPU may become too busy.

      What MS and DF described, reiterated here, sounds relatively plausible. All their top XB1 games have been analyzed for bottlenecks. The tight spots where the troublesome frame computations “banged their heads” or were too wide to fit have been rebuilt. Each compute unit was redesigned to play existing XBOX games at 1080 and the intended frame rate, same visuals. Only then did they scale up the design to 4K resolution AMD textures, leaving some head room.

      Few 60 fps games exist on XB1, so few will need to entertain the notion of 4K@60 fps.

      AMD Fury X is an upper tier solution, and a general one. It has brute force, and is not tailored to a particular libraries issues.

    • Gamez Rule

      So when 3rd party games start hitting Scorpio we will see IF they really are *TRUE 4k* games without compromises taking place.

      I can’t see that happening myself. I still believe that games will have to be adjusted to keep running at Native 4k at 30/60fps?

    • theduckofdeath

      MS targeted the existing library, so from what was said in the DF article, whatever was 30 fps at 900p/1080p will likely be 30 fps at 4K with 4K assets and otherwise, at least the visual settings. I’m sure MS benchmarked and gathered data on more much than their own titles, though in the end, the really can guarantee MS developed games.

      Over time, yes, games will become more demanding and have to use dynamic scaling. The only games at 60 fps now are Forza main series, fighting games and CoD (for the most part).

      I’m curious to see how Halo 5 does in 4K, as a lot of concessions were made to get it running 60 fps on XB1.

    • Edonus

      I think this a misconception I see a lot. Game will become more demanding but we are at the forefront of design. Resolution and frame rates are grunt work……everything else like characters on screen, AI, effects, character models and etc. are damn near maxed out. There is no game we cant make or story we cant tell in gaming. The Ps4 and standard X1 are victims of extremely sloppy coding and very little efficiency. Their mid gen refreshes are actually just crutches for devs to continue using old engines and being sloppy and in efficient.

      The only other thing that jumps out and is still a secondary or background effect is multiple lighting sources. It will be cool when they crack that code.

    • Hiyperion

      “everything else like characters on screen, AI, effects, character models and etc. are damn near maxed out.” not even close to that. Just take into account something as tasking as raytracing/path tracing, there’s a reason why movie companies have server farms to do the gfx, the same goes for AI and destruction, have you seen the demo of crackdown?

      http://gamingbolt.com/photorealistic-graphics-may-be-attainable-with-40-tflops-says-epics-tim-sweeney

    • Gamez Rule

      I would like to see Titanfall 2 running on Scorpio to see if that is true 4k at 60fps without compromises taking place, as well as Starwars Battlefield The Witcher 3, Assassin’s creed unity. I really think Scorpio cannot run those games at 4k at 60fps at ultra settings.

    • theduckofdeath

      Yes, I agree. Those game will be 30 fps at 4K, just as they ran at 30 fps on XB1.

    • mike ertier

      It will, they have promised powerful 4k true 60.

      Plus its not weak like NVidia GPUs.
      Uses exclusive Vega DX12

    • Jpilgrim82

      Don’t bring your Nvidia hate into this. If Nvidia is so weak then why haven’t they had any challenge from AMD at the high end for years now? They have literally owned the high end market for quite a while now!

    • mike ertier

      It will do that easy if 4K 60fps forza is only 69% GPU power.

    • Eddie Battikha

      We’ll see how it goes.

    • Hiyperion

      “The reason a game has frame rate drops or can’t hit a certain level isn’t some uniform amount of Tera FLOPS. Parts of the render pipeline maybe to taxing, slowing down the frame cycle. Or the CPU may become too busy.”

      +a horrible optimization/porting job

    • Reclaimer13

      Forza 6 ran at 4k/60fps locked on scorpio at console settings using 4k assets and only taxed the gpu 64%. When they turned the settings up to above pc ultra settings it still ran at a locked 60fps with still some headroom. People say forza isn’t a demanding game to run but even the gtx 1080 couldn’t hold a locked 60 at the same settings.

    • Gamez Rule

      How do you know a GTX 1080 GPU cannot hold 60fps at those settings?..What are those settings exactly that Scorpio was running at?

      Here is Forza MS 6 beta running at 70+fps in gameplay at ultra custom settings on PC at 5K ( yes 5k resolution ) in rain racing. Do you really believe that Scorpio could do that?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcNJ1AO754w

    • mike ertier

      The reason why the 1080 can’t hold 60 is because it’s weak!
      AMD Tflops are 30% better per clock at DX12

      The Scorpio is based on a hidden Vega layer that’s not yet unlocked. Wait until E3 when the NDA expires on the tech it uses to be able to do Full 4k AT A LOCK 60 with only 69% power been used.

      The 1080 is weak and slow at DX12 + only has slow 8GB ram versus the Scorpios 12GB ultra fast RAM

    • Ralf

      “The Scorpio is based on a hidden Vega layer that’s not yet unlocked. Wait until E3 when the NDA expires on the tech it uses.”

      You are another idiot from MisterX forum??.

    • mike ertier

      No, its well researched.

    • Gamez Rule

      I have placed a video on here that clearly shows a PC running FM6 b- at 5k resolution ( yes 5k ) while set at custom ultra settings using a GTX 1080 GPU racing in the rain holding above 70fps so please don’t say that 1080 can’t hold 60fps ☺

      Also the Scorpio only allows 8GB of RAM for gaming needs as 4GB is held back for OS.

    • Reclaimer13

      It was a typo on my part. I meant the gtx 1070. If you read the eurogamer articles like you claim, you’d have known that was a typo.

    • Gamez Rule

      Even when you made that mistake you still posted “People say forza isn’t a demanding game to run but even the gtx 1080 couldn’t hold a locked 60 at the same settings” and that’s not current as everyone knows.

      As DF stated..

      “The closest equivalent to PlayStation 4 Pro’s GPU in the PC space, in pure performance terms, is the Radeon RX 470 or an underclocked RX480”

      As well as..

      “Out of interest, we tested Forza 6 Apex with similar settings at 4K on GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080. Frames were dropped on GTX 1060 (and a lot of them when wet weather conditions kicked in), while **GTX 1070 held firm with only the most intense wet weather conditions causing performance dips**. Only GTX 1080 held completely solid in all test cases.”

      So yes I was correct in what I posted even if you made a typo/

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-scorpio-is-console-hardware-pushed-to-a-new-level

    • Reclaimer13

      yes what I meant to say was “People say forza isn’t a demanding game to run but even the gtx 1070 couldn’t hold a locked 60 at the same settings”

      Like I said it was a typo.

    • Gamez Rule

      Until the final game is released with settings made available to DF we can only guess that’s the case.

    • Reclaimer13

      “And also remember that DF stated “we should stress that this is basically an Xbox One port, not representative of the full quality we’ll see in final software” It’s ForzaTech.”

      ^this quote means the game will run and look even better on scorpio once it’s fully optimized.

    • Gamez Rule

      Could do yes.

    • Per Digital Foundry’s latest deep dive: specifically into the CPU/GPU SoC for Scorpio: “The Scorpio Engine’s GPU is targeted specifically for 4K rendering with ultra HD textures, with support for HDR and wide colour gamut. Microsoft’s guiding principles involved making it as easy as possible for developers to access the full power of the hardware.”

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-the-scorpio-engine-in-depth

    • Troy Marcel

      The reason why battlefield is crap resolution wise is it’s old tech with a few improvements. Dice have never made a game run parity on xbox one, that’s what i believe anyway. Things will change now the Scorpio is a known quantity and if things don’t they will be hounded for it.

  • Cenk Algu

    the beast will destroy the competetion.

    • Tomaterrrx

      Depends on the price

  • You got at least one thing wrong in your article, Scorpio’s SOC is built on 16nm not 14nm.

    Also, Forza has already been demo’ed at Ultra settings on PC with 4K assets with overhead to spare, it’s not unlikely there will be other games that can achieve the same thing.

  • Hugo Azevedo

    “The Pro often ends up performing worse than the PS4 at 1080p.”

    What a load of bullshit, Gamingbolt keeps being trash and probably hasn´t played Horizon or Tomb Raider on Pro or many other games like Division and see the big upgrades, also when you compare Scorpio with Pc Gpus you make my laugh, since when does Consoles engines work like Pc Gpus? Digital Foundry already said Scorpio GPU is in line with a 1070 and you throw random bullshit and compare it with your Pc with a R9 based on old architecture?

    You are as dumb as it gets and your articles are as useless as your website, go seek another job.

    • kee1haul

      Figures are out there. It was true in alot of cases.

    • Tomaterrrx

      Most of them are patched now. It’s a non issue right now.

  • Nemesis

    Deus Ex Mankind Divided

    R9 Fury X (8.6 tflops)
    R9 Fury (7 tflops)
    difference: 3-4 fps

    https://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2016/08/23/deus-ex-mankind-divided-benchmarked/5

    No weak scorpio can’t handle true next gen games…

    We need Vega architecture

    • Cenk Algu

      in your dreams may be but in reality te Scorpio itting native 4K without compromises.

    • kee1haul

      you just saw a demo of a 4k 60 game running on scorpio with 33% overhead left over right?

    • Troy Marcel

      Ah you’re wrong, pc and consoles do things differently. PC has to cater for a vast range of hardware whereas consoles are locked in spec wise. Scorpio will be a huge upgrade visually compared to the Pro.

    • false — per Digital Foundry’s latest deep dive: specifically into the CPU/GPU SoC for Scorpio: “The Scorpio Engine’s GPU is targeted specifically for 4K rendering with ultra HD textures, with support for HDR and wide colour gamut. Microsoft’s guiding principles involved making it as easy as possible for developers to access the full power of the hardware.”

      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-the-scorpio-engine-in-depth

  • Eddie Battikha

    I tell it how it is, I got a new 55 inch LGB6 last October from eBay for $1699 total. Then I got the PS4 Pro at launch and I couldn’t believe how NBA 2K17 and how FIFA 17 looked in 4k Native, I was impressed with Sonys check rendering technique on third party games . It looked awesome on Tomb Raider and looked even better on Horizon Zero Dawn, very awesome from a $399 console, But it was so obvious to me PS4 Pro was made for PSVR. Plain and simple PS4 Pro is a small introduction to what 4k gaming will be in the future. Now Project Scorpio is a higher Middle introduction to 4k gaming which is a full step over PS4 Pro. 3rd party games should look awesome on Scorpio compared to PS4 Pro. It’s all pointless though, we’re back to PS2 vs Xbox where better software beats better hardware. Sony has the developers on there side with a way bigger fan base with a lot more Triple AAA titles being released in the next year, like how it was during the PS2 vs Xbox era. Honestly we won’t see a Real 4k gaming Console till Fall 2019 which is PlayStations 25th Anniversary and when PS5 will launch.

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    • Jpilgrim82

      Yeah but people forget that hardware capability and ease of development are what brings games. The 360 was easier to develop for and they had tons of dev support. Xbox Scorpio will again bring that ease of development back to Microsofts favor. We might see developers swing back to favor Xbox during this cycle. Not only will it be easier as far as development but they can also show off their games in greater detail. I believe Scorpio will do wonders for Microsoft as far as games go.

  • Syed Faisal Xussain

    The author forgot to mention that the GPU has a DX12 hardware engine built in which decreases CPU overhead by a lot. So it’s not just a simple CPU clock bump as it may seem but the processor having to do less work in the first place. Ryzen would introduce compatibility issues with existing library of games and would drive the cost up. Funny that people want crazy upgrades but at the same time want a price point like PS4 Pro. Already some people are saying that the Scorpio will be too expensive with its current “modest” specs.

  • This article is now obsolete — per Digital Foundry’s latest deep dive: specifically into the CPU/GPU SoC for Scorpio: “The Scorpio Engine’s GPU is targeted specifically for 4K rendering with ultra HD textures, with support for HDR and wide colour gamut. Microsoft’s guiding principles involved making it as easy as possible for developers to access the full power of the hardware.”

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2017-the-scorpio-engine-in-depth

    • Gamez Rule

      Also stated on the same link as shown via EG

      “In terms of the panoply of implementations we’re going to see for Scorpio native games, I expect quite a range I wouldn’t be surprised to see games running at 1080p on Xbox One… *they might use checkerboard* and then they use the remaining GPU to really impact visual quality,” Goossen continues.

      “For the very small handful of titles that run at 720p today, our expectation is that they can *checkerboard up to native 4K* if they want to do that. I also expect variations of titles that are perhaps running at 900p at 30fps on Xbox One today that they can leverage the 31 per cent boost to CPU clock along with a bunch of other optimisations in conjunction with our D3D12 offload to potentially offer 1080p60 rather than 900p30. It’s totally up to developers.”

      So IMO it’s best if we wait to see how 3rd party games take advantage of Scorpio as there is a lot of *checkerboard* being thrown around,

    • I told the other guy I think many of the PS die hard are in full damage control after PS4 was clearly the better resolution console for the first half of this gen. I doubt dev’s are just going to ignore that extra power now that’s available which is what your suggesting they would do – which no one did when PS4 was able to hit 1080p native on so many titles vs XB1’s 900p. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

    • Gamez Rule

      I think devs will still use PS4 as the lead platform for games as they have done this whole gen due to the larger user base and console support from so many devs. I really cannot see that changing.

      What I can see happening is that Scorpio will see improvements for games BUT devs not taking full advantage of the hardware ( just like they don’t with PS4-Pro )

      Scorpio games may be native 4K while PS4-Pro is at 1800p but in most third party games they will be very similar in the AA department, shadows, draw distances, etc. The Scorpio will really only shine via first party support IMO ( just like PS4-Pro games do ) Example: Horizon: Zero dawn.

      Time will soon tell my friend.

    • I don’t see it that way. I see it as artists trying to make their work reach their vision as much as possible, and that means they use whatever resources are available to make that happen.

    • Gamez Rule

      But that hasn’t took place on PS4-Pro, so really what makes you think it will happen on Scorpio when also knowing that PS4 is the leading platform devs work by?

    • What are you smoking, lol? PS4 Pro has had plenty of patches to make 1080p games more nicer and higher res, better fx, etc.

    • Gamez Rule

      But third party devs still haven’t been taking full advantage of the hardware within PS4-Pro. They have to balance the PS4-Pro with base PS4 hardware, and IMO that’s what will happen with Scorpio. The hardware just wouldn’t be used fully due to Xbone hardware and PS4 being the lead platform.

    • Disagree, lots of AAA 3rd party titles have taken advantage of that extra power. Rise of the Tomb Raider being the best one I can think of, but almost all big AAA games have – ME Andromeda, FFXV, etc. Some patches aren’t great, like FFXV, admittedly, but at least they are enhanced.

      You got to remember also that the number of *new* 3rd party releases since Pro released is minimal. Pro has had less than 1/2 a year on the market. I expect that to change this Fall/Holiday for both platforms.

    • Gamez Rule

      Well as they say…Time will tell.

      But I believe that just like PS4-Pro not being used to it’s full potential neither will Scorpio.

    • Well, I don’t get that people are saying that also. If a AAA game has a PC version it’s almost always guaranteed to have a 4K version on both consoles. They already do it for PC so it’s just a matter of doing the same for PS4 Pro and XB Scorpio…

    • Gamez Rule

      If only that was the case.

    • Just think happy hopeful optimistic thoughts, lolol. Ooh shah 😉

    • Jpilgrim82

      I think the opposite will be true with Scorpio. I think it’s full potential will be shown quite often. Microsoft has made it a priority in building this console to make it easier for devs to scale their games up. Seems like Microsoft put a lot of thought into all areas of the hardware and software development when building this console.


 

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