Xbox One Specs are Better Than They Were at E3, Says Major Nelson
By now most consumers know the PS4 trumps the Xbox One specs, and it's also $100 less expensive. Microsoft doesn't want Sony to get away so easily.
Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, addressed the Xbox One's somewhat underperforming hardware while speaking on his latest MNR podcast. He excitedly said that during the past couple months the Xbox One has been refined to run faster since engineers have "tweaked up the clock speed on the GPU from 800mhz to 853mhz".
To drive the GPU, Microsoft has also implemented a new driver, further increasing optimization. Major Nelson said:
Since E3, an example is that we've dropped in what we internally call our mono driver. It's our graphics driver that really is 100 percent optimised for the Xbox One hardware. You start with the base [DirectX] driver, and then you take out all parts that don't look like Xbox One and you add in everything that really optimises that experience. Almost all of our content partners have really picked it up now, and I think it's made a really nice improvement.
The alteration of the GPU's clock speed has increased its theoretical throughput from 1.24 teraflops to roughly 1.3. In comparison, the PS4's GPU is around 1.8 teraflops. In other words, it would need a dangerous clock speed to even approach the PS4's theoretical power.
The important thing to remember is that system optimization is almost impossible to measure, and both the PS4 and Xbox One are examples of highly customized hardware. In this case, the numbers don't really tell the entirety of the story. The Xbox One's new driver has impacted the console's capabilities, but can't be quantified. That said, The Xbox One appears to be heading into the next generation with not only less power potential, but also less friendliness for developers. Those two factors could be costly for Microsoft.