Xbox One’s eSRAM Accelerates Memory Operations, Devs Scaling Down Resolution For Better Performance

"Of course people are scaling down resolution, because the more stuff fits in eSRAM the better performance," explains Shadow Warrior's Lead Engine Programmer, Krzysztof Narkowicz.

Posted By | On 24th, Jun. 2014

Shadow Warrior (8)

Not too long ago we confirmed that Shadow Warrior will be running at 900p on the Xbox One, compared to 1080p on the PlayStation 4. Continuing our coverage of Shadow Warrior we asked the game’s Lead Engine Programmer, Krzysztof Narkowicz about how they approached the challenging situation with eSRAM.

“On Xbox 360 eDRAM usage was required for every rendering pass, so it was crucial to fit there. That’s also why many games had strange subHD resolutions like 1280×672,” he explains.

“With Xbox One it’s a bit different. eSRAM works like an optional additional cache. It just accelerates selected memory operations and there isn’t some hard limit like on Xbox 360. Of course people are scaling down resolution, because the more stuff fits in eSRAM the better performance. We manually manage eSRAM during every rendering pass, moving data between eSRAM and DRAM from time to time. Every time trying to fully utilize available eSRAM for bandwidth heavy operations.”

It looks like eSRAM does have its benefits, after all it has a very high bandwidth of 204 GB/s but as usual it will take time for developers to master it. For the time being developers are pushing for better performance parameters like frame rate instead of resolution. Microsoft have been pushing hard to give more resources to developers by releasing a new SDK earlier this month and freeing up GPU resources for those developers who don’t want to use Kinect in their games. It’s already evident in games like Destiny where the developers have managed to achieve a 1080p resolution.

Shadow Warrior releases on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year. The PC version was released last year and it turned out to be a pretty solid reboot.


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