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Consoles Versus PCs

The Battle Of The Consoles: From Atari's 2600 To Microsoft's Xbox
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However, there has always been a debate between what plays best-consoles versus PCs. The difference is greater than you think, with PCs sporting big hard drives and non-standard controllers, consoles placed in living rooms and connected to TVs, computers in 2nd bedrooms with big monitors on desks. Which brings us back to the three consoles now vying for space in our living room, the first almost indistinguishable from the PC, the second straddling the two, and the third the only pure-play gaming console. These are, respectively, Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's Playstation 2, and Nintendo's ATI-powered GameCube.

XBOX PlayStation GameCube
CPU 733 MHz Intel 300 MHz Toshiba 486 MHz Power PC
Graphics Processor Unit 233 MHz custom chip, jointly developed by NVIDIA and Microsoft 150 MHz Proprietary 200 MHz "Flipper"
RAM 64 MB 32 MB 43 MB
Memory Bandwidth 6.4 GB/sec 3.2 GB/sec 3.2 GB/sec
Polygon Performance 125 M/sec 66 M/sec 6-12 M/s
Simultaneous Texture Fills 4 1 N/A
Compressed Textures 4 g/sec 2.4 g/sec N/A
Storage 2-5x DVD, 8 GB hard drive, 8 Mb storage card 4x DVD player, 8 Mb memory card 1 Mb digicard
I/O 4 Game controllers, Ethernet 10/100 2 game Controlle, USB, Firewire, PCMCIA 4 Game controllers, high speed serial port x 2, high speed parallel port
Audio Channels 256 48 64
3D Audio Support in Hardware Yes (64 3D channels) No N/A
Midi and DLS Support Yes Yes N/A
Hardware Audio Filtering and EQ Yes No N/A
DVD Movie Playback $30 remote accessory required Yes No (Optional in Japan_
HDTV Movie Support Yes No N/A
HDTV Game Support Yes No N/A
Maximum Resolution 1920 x 1080 1280 x 1024 N/A
Maximum Resolution (2X 32 bpp Frame Buffers + z) 1920 x 1080 640 x 480 N/A
Operating System W2K Kernel Closed, Sony proprietory Closed, Nintendo proprietory
US Launch Date 15-Nov-01 October 2000 18-Nov-01
Broadband Enabled Yes Future upgrade Future Upgrade
Source: Dundee Securities Corp.
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