March 30, 2006
Report: Revolution CPU, GPU's Modesty Defined
According to an unconfirmed but detailed report on consumer website IGN, developers currently working with Nintendo's Revolution development hardware have provided specification-based insight into the power behind the upcoming next-generation platform.
The information, which is concerned primarily with Revolution's IBM "Broadway" CPU and ATI "Hollywood" GPU, reinforces Nintendo's strategy with the new hardware as being notably different from its competition, focusing on simpler, more accessible, and innovative titles rather than high-end graphics and horsepower.
According to the report, IBM's "Broadway" CPU employed by the Revolution is clocked at 729MHz (as a comparison, the Xbox 360 runs three symmetrical cores at 3.2GHz) while its ATI-provided "Hollywood" GPU will clock in at a relatively modest 243MHz. Though numbers do not paint the whole picture, it is clear that Nintendo has no plans to match its competition in terms of raw power.
Additionally, according to these reports, the Revolution will operate using 24MBs of main 1T-SRAM, as well as 64MBs of external 1T-SRAM for a grand total of 88MBs on top of the 3MB texture buffer on the GPU.
Of course, this is in contrast to statements made by former Nintendo of Europe senior director of marketing, who said in October 2005 that there would be no significant difference between the graphical abilities of the console compared to other next-generation systems.
However, while there is much speculation at this point as people wait for something more concrete to come from E3 in May, the report from IGN indicates that their information is based upon official Nintendo documentation or benchmark tests with working Revolution kits, and that the Revolution is expected to be only marginally more powerful than the existing GameCube hardware.