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Nintendo "Stream" Video Card

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April 21, 2011 8:48:07 PM

Hey guys... I'm a big Nintendo fan who has been waiting years for Nintendo to start playing with power again. I was wondering how this proposed video card would compare to the xbox 360 if you were actually pushing them to their limits.

http://gear.ign.com/articles/116/1163325p1.html

"Additionally, IGN has learned that the system will be based on a revamped version of AMD's R700 GPU architecture, not AMD's Fusion technology as previously believed, which will, as previously reported, out perform the PlayStation 3's NVIDIA 7800GTX-based processor. Like the Xbox 360, the system's CPU will be a custom-built triple-core IBM PowerPC chipset, but the clocking speeds will be faster. The system will support 1080p output with the potential for stereoscopic 3D as well, though it has not been determined whether that will be a staple feature. "


So it's an overpowered R700 GPU.. I feel like this is a pretty large step up if you compare these graphics cards head to head and remove any other factors like development costs of games and whether games will actually pus it. Can you guys get into the technical/benchmark side and put this into perspective for me??

Thanks!
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:14:39 PM

Well, the R700 chips were what the HD4000 series was based on. That series varied widely from the very weak RV710 in the HD4350 to the still rather good RV790XT in the HD4890. So "a revamped version of AMD's R700 GPU architecture" could indicate almost any performance level.
The whole thing seems a bit odd to me though. AMD has released two series of cards since then and you could say that those are in fact revamps or incremental updates from the R700 chips. Why not just use one of the newer chips like perhaps the core from the HD6670?
April 21, 2011 9:29:13 PM

I know that it very important to them to have something that is similar to the xbox 360 so that porting will be easy. Could that be a factor in this choice?

I guess we really don't know until we see details specs.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:37:14 PM

Given where tech is at, there's really no reason they wouldn't put in a much faster GPU. I mean for the exact same release price, newer GPUs are giving significantly better performance/$$$.

But yeah, they won't really have any good info for a while but it would be cool if Nintendo brings out some mega powerful console soon lol. Wouldn't be hard to surpass 360 and PS3 capabilities.
April 21, 2011 9:49:13 PM

If they an have it out by the end of the year it would be very interesting because that would give them a 2 to 3 year head start on the next generation of consoles. I'm officially excited for this year's e3!
a c 106 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 11:23:13 PM

Could be some sort of Hybrid chip with some 900 or 800 series features but simpler 700 series shaders. Anyway, rumors are just rumors. We'll see what it's got when it launches
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 11:32:07 PM

Additionally, since it is a rule of consoles to minimize cooling it will probably be a low power (maybe 40nm?) variant of the R700 unless then plan to copy MS's brilliant way to increase long term sales (Red Ring of Death).
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 11:46:31 AM

Quote:
Why not just use one of the newer chips like perhaps the core from the HD6670?


Because for a console, or any piece on integrated equipment, that would be overkill. Plus, heat is a major concern...

When you have only ONE hardware spec, you are coding at a low enough level where you don't need as powerful hardware as you need on a PC. Seriously, when AMD essentially ranted about hte DX spec, they were right; if you want more power out of a piece of hardware, you code in assembly.
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 1:01:47 PM

Well, a 6670 would be very low power (and thus heat). I imagine if they are using an old chip like a R700, they will at least migrate it to 40nm (or will eventually in the 'slim' version).
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 8:51:40 PM

gamerk316 said:
Quote:
Why not just use one of the newer chips like perhaps the core from the HD6670?


Because for a console, or any piece on integrated equipment, that would be overkill. Plus, heat is a major concern...

When you have only ONE hardware spec, you are coding at a low enough level where you don't need as powerful hardware as you need on a PC. Seriously, when AMD essentially ranted about hte DX spec, they were right; if you want more power out of a piece of hardware, you code in assembly.

In what way is it overkill? The whole point of a video game console is to play games and the HD6670 is a low end GPU of the current generation. With a 5-8 year release cycle on consoles I can't imagine how it would be "overkill." HDTV is the current standard. Using a GPU that is at least vaguely capable at 1080p only makes sense. As EXT points out it is also low power/heat.
As for coding in assembly... Developers love that so much and do it all the time, especially for multiplatform games :p  It's hardly an excuse for purposely using an outdated GPU not suitable for current display standards in a yet to be released console. Sony and MS decided to delay new consoles in order to add motion control the Wii started with. This gives Nintendo a chance to leapfrog the competition. If they are cheap and go with something along the lines of a die-shrink of the HD4650/HD4670 they are missing a huge opportunity and will end up at an even larger disadvantage graphically once MS/Sony do release something new. Something along the line of the HD6670 is the weakest chip they should be considering IMO.
a c 169 U Graphics card
April 23, 2011 8:58:38 AM

i think its an extremely poor choice to use such an old gpu. They already made that mistake in the wii and had something that could not produce HD. Unless by "revamped" they mean took the core bits from it and made something completely new, then this console will be *** compared to the next xbox and sony PS. Its already only going to be using a 3 core cpu similar to the xbox now they want to pair a gfx chip thats 2 generations behind current pc tech. Sure its a big step up from the wii but its still old tech. I hope at the very least they put a decent amount of ram in it unlike every other console to date. RAM is cheap.
April 26, 2011 8:37:46 PM

iam2thecrowe said:
i think its an extremely poor choice to use such an old gpu. They already made that mistake in the wii and had something that could not produce HD. Unless by "revamped" they mean took the core bits from it and made something completely new, then this console will be *** compared to the next xbox and sony PS. Its already only going to be using a 3 core cpu similar to the xbox now they want to pair a gfx chip thats 2 generations behind current pc tech. Sure its a big step up from the wii but its still old tech. I hope at the very least they put a decent amount of ram in it unlike every other console to date. RAM is cheap.



Even at worst case scenario with video card it is not a repeat of the Wii. The Wii was never better than the original Xbox wheras this system will destroy the PS3/Xbox 360, they are going back to a dual analog controller, and are going to have a 2 to 3 year head start over their competitors. There is also some question as to whether games will increase all that much in terms of visual effects for next gen due to the fact that we will still be restricted to 1080p televisions. This past gen had a giant leap because of the resolution increase. I mean if it can run the frostbite 2 engine on a 1080p tv a smooth frame rate will many gamers care beyond that. The days of enormous leaps in graphics may be coming to an end. But I could be wrong.
a c 125 U Graphics card
April 26, 2011 9:03:23 PM

You don't need higher res to get better visuals... Obviously. The question is, will devs bother making the Nintendo games of their multiplatform releases look any better? PC usually doesn't look much different so I doubt they'll go through the effort there. But we'll see. At least the first party titles could look really awesome (comparatively).

It's also wierd that the controllers are rumoured to have LCD screens on them. Maybe it'll be a touch screen... useful as an inventory or map or something. Could be cool (I remember using my Gameboy Advance with Final Fantasy Crystal for that).
April 26, 2011 9:11:13 PM

jyjjy said:
In what way is it overkill? The whole point of a video game console is to play games and the HD6670 is a low end GPU of the current generation. With a 5-8 year release cycle on consoles I can't imagine how it would be "overkill." HDTV is the current standard. Using a GPU that is at least vaguely capable at 1080p only makes sense. As EXT points out it is also low power/heat.
As for coding in assembly... Developers love that so much and do it all the time, especially for multiplatform games :p  It's hardly an excuse for purposely using an outdated GPU not suitable for current display standards in a yet to be released console. Sony and MS decided to delay new consoles in order to add motion control the Wii started with. This gives Nintendo a chance to leapfrog the competition. If they are cheap and go with something along the lines of a die-shrink of the HD4650/HD4670 they are missing a huge opportunity and will end up at an even larger disadvantage graphically once MS/Sony do release something new. Something along the line of the HD6670 is the weakest chip they should be considering IMO.



This might be a new strategy from Nintendo..... What does it matter if 3 years from now Sony and Microsoft come out with something more powerful if 6 years from now Nintendo outdoes them again. Nintendo fans would still be getting the most power 40% of the time whereas Sony and Microsoft would never really ever have the advantage because they'd always either be on par with eachother and ahead of nintendo or on par with eachother and behind nintendo. It's also common knowledge that it takes time to really make use of the latest technology so by the time the next xbox was being fully utilized nintendo would come in with something similar thus easy to develop for but much more powerful. It could be interesting. To me this beats only having improved graphics every 8 years. Who says they have to release at the same time anymore.
April 26, 2011 9:58:23 PM

wolfram23 said:
You don't need higher res to get better visuals... Obviously. The question is, will devs bother making the Nintendo games of their multiplatform releases look any better? PC usually doesn't look much different so I doubt they'll go through the effort there. But we'll see. At least the first party titles could look really awesome (comparatively).

It's also wierd that the controllers are rumoured to have LCD screens on them. Maybe it'll be a touch screen... useful as an inventory or map or something. Could be cool (I remember using my Gameboy Advance with Final Fantasy Crystal for that).



Yeah it has been confirmed by IGN's sources that it use a touch screen which could be used for anything really. An iphone keyboard would be cool, and put all your spells, and abilities on the touch screen as well. Could be cool and will remove cluter from your 1080p tv. Apparently you'll also able to run actual games off the controller without turning the tv on which is cool in households where there is a demand over the tv.

I don't think devs will put major effort into the nintendo games but I do think it wouldn't take much effort to get native 1080p, better frame rate, and improved aa which would make a difference. I'm excited for it because I think that Nintendo will start making some of their games more "hardcore" focused. It's been a long time since Nintendo has really tried to make a game the best game ever. I want to be wowed by Nintendo again like I was with Metroid Prime 1 and Ocarina of Time on N64.
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