Monday, 27 November 2006

Inside the Xbox 360

Gaming has reached new levels with newer and meaner machines coming into the market. The Xbox 360, PSP3, and Wii are all set to fulfill gaming dreams. What makes a console powerful and state-of-art is its hardware.

The Xbox 360 has a 20GB hard drive; wireless controllers; headset; DVD remote; Ethernet cable; AV cables; and external power supply.

• Inside the mean gaming machine, the Xbox 360 is a powerful computer. The Xbox 360 harbors a customized IBM Power PC CPU with three processing cores with 3.2 GHz power. The system has a 3.2 GHz tri-core PowerPC based CPU and a 500 MHZ GPU.

• The ATI graphics processor has a capacity of 500 million triangles per second. It has a chip, Xenos, designed by ATI. This raises the 3D effects and graphics to astounding levels of clarity and definition. The X box 360 is said to have a 16 giga samples p/s fill rate along with 4X antialiasing and 48 billion shader operations per second and a9 billion dot product operations per second. The specifications are breathtaking and according to the CNET editors review, “ it is hard to compare or comment on a machine with futuristic capabilities and one that is yet to have a comparison.” What the Xbox 360 will have is realistic graphics.

• The memory system is GenX and has a 512 MB of 700 megahertz GDDR3 RAM on a 128-bit bus. The system has a unified memory architecture which is shared by the CPU and GPU.

• The bandwidth is high and is utilized for z-buffering, alpha blending, and antialiasing. The system is designed to be efficient and save time and space on the GPU die.

• The Xbox 360 has a six channel Dolby Digital surround sound. The sound files are encoded and an MPEG-2 decoder is included in the DVD video playback. The voice communication is handled by the console and allows cross-game communications. The system is sophisticated and has no voice echo.

The CNET Editor’s review has awarded the Xbox 360 a rating of 8.4 /10. According to the reviewers the Xbox360 will support high definition gaming. The Xbox 360, a gaming console developed by Microsoft is user-friendly and sturdy in design. The system offers downloads, communications, and excellent gaming opportunities. A GenX media hub the Xbox 360 allows playing of DVDs, CDs, TV shows, and games. It has the power and performance of a high-end gaming console which includes great networking. What is negative about the X box 360 is that it has a few design flaws that need ironing out. The power supply is oversized, the fan noisy, there is no inbuilt wireless networking, no DVI or HDMI output, a substandard DVD player, and no suitable storage for high definition content.

Opinions on the Xbox 360 are widely divided. A firm consensus can only be reached twelve months or so after the release when gamers and developers world wide begin using the console and discover the flaws and hidden facets.