The mystery of the Wii U CPU

For more than a year, IBM's supercomputer Watson repeatedly said the Wii U has a Power7 CPU. But a few weeks ago, anonymous developers told Eurogamer the system has a PowerPC CPU with 3 cores. Then, on September 16th, weeks after Eurogamer's article, Watson repeated the claim that the Wii U's CPU is a Power7 chip. So which is it?

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LX-General-Kaos2270d ago (Edited 2270d ago )

Regardless of who is right, I am happy to have both of them help pave the way for next generation of Elite Nintendo gaming. I dont know too much about specs in full detail, but what I have witnessed from the Nintendo Wii U entertainment so far has been top notch. So whatever CPU that is present within the architecture of the Nintendo Wii U entertainment system is taking care of business in a proper way.

Rated E For Everyone

jaosobno2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

Thx for that obnoxious commercial. You've been either brainwashed (since you sound like a marketing zombie) or you are a Nintendo employee.

dboyman2269d ago

His post sounds like spam...

aznrunner18812269d ago

this is clearly sarcastic lol

2v12269d ago

think hes the representative of the nintendo fanboys

NewZealander2268d ago

damn bro negativity much? he stated his opinion, and a good one at that, nintendo delivered nothing new with the wii, and if the wii u can put that right then thats awesome, this is exactly what the original wii should have been.

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Chris5582269d ago

No matter what nintendo does he will like it even if it's crap

Ju2269d ago

Is that really so hard to understand? Power7 is an architecture. And I doubt the WiiU has a "Power7 Chip" build in, but it might as well be a custom implementation of a Power7 (generation) chip - with what ever core count it is; 3 in that case. No console ever had just a chip popped in; they usually are customized.

Nutsack2270d ago

Most likely the WiiUpgrade has the triple core PowerPC CPU. Pretty much the same as the 360 for easy ports of existing games.

Not that hard to understand really.

WiiUpgrade just gets a cheap upgrade to current gen, thats all.

Real next gen arrives with the announcement of XBOX 8 and PSOrbis at E3 2013.

DivineAssault 2270d ago (Edited 2270d ago )

Oh your asking for it arent u? U cant tell Nintendo fans that wii u isnt real nx gen..Look at Dragon Quest X for wii & wii u.. Still cant tell em.. Unless devs build a game from the ground up on wii u, nothing will show its strength.. So most devs wont waste their time risking resources to make new M rated IPs if it wont sell..

ALLWRONG2269d ago

All I see is "u" and "U" throughout your post.

I think the Wii U will be perfect for U.

DivineAssault 2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

your right.. It will be perfect for me.. Once the software gets put out.. For now, its little more than a 360 clone with DS features.. When the heavy hitting IPs are released, i will get one.. Only if the network is good & PS4 isnt here by then... Why would i buy a system to play games i can get on my PS3? i dont want mario, pikmin, or that zombie game.. Rayman Legends is the only game i would consider buying but itl drop in price & or become multiplat after a while.. Sure wii u will drop in price when the nx gen consoles get here too so its a win win for me

WiiUalpha2269d ago

You don't have to b a Nintendo fan to understand tech and how it would cost Nintendo more money to use an older chip....
Seems you have a hard time comprehending things like that d ivine. Lol it shows when u bring dq10 up as proof. Its a straight port of the Wii. I wont explain it again like others have. If u still cant comprehend the basics there is no hope for you. You really need to educate yourself because u looking stupid doesn't hurt Nintendo and nobody can relay b as dumb as u pretend to be....
Yes only Nintendo fans can understand technology.... you keep telling yourself that... We all consider u a joke on the Nintendo side.. you try too hard to make them look bad even if u have to look dumb doing it.

mcstorm2269d ago

Since when has next gen been about power? Were the psx and N64 different gens because the N64 was a lot more powerful than the psx?

This is Nintendo's Next Generation Console that's why its called next gen not because it is the most powerful console it because its there next version of there console.

Just because a console is more powerful than another dose not make it better it all about the games as it is a Games console and the one thing Nintendo Consoles have never been short of is Quality games.

eferreira2269d ago

n64 was more powerful but since it didn't use Cd's Third party companies thought it was too expensive to produce and had memory limitations.

Nutsack2269d ago

Yup, N64 was more powerful and introduced the first real 3D games on consoles pretty much. That made the N64 a total different gen from PSX.

More power means more stuff that can be done, not only in resolution but also physics and stuff. Just look at what the weak supercharged Gamecube hardware did with the Wii. Only 1st party games that don't demand a lot from the system like Mario are good.

A few 3rd party games were just alright, nothing great. Like Madworld, Xenoblade and Sin&Punishment. But because of the lack of power in the hardware they couldn't bring what new IP's like LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War, Uncharted or The Last of Us brought or will bring.

Lets be fair now, the Wii only brought more rehash of 1st party games, and a lot of hardware sales through sh!tty WiiFit stuff for fat kids and lazy moms. It didn't bring a whole lot new and improved stuff for gamers now did it?

New powerful hardware get developers to try new stuff, can't deny that

stragomccloud2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

You know it actually takes more effort to type "upgrade", than "U", right?

As far as being similar to the 360 though. I guarantee it is a completely different beast.

You know that it actually costs a company more to manufacture older technology right? So, there is no way that this even close to on par with, it probably exceeds those older chip sets immeasurably.

The infrastructure just isn't there anymore, except for specifically manufacturing older 360 and PS3 chipsets.

Though 720/PS4 will definitely be more powerful(coming out at least a year later), the gap probably won't be anything like what people are expecting. Really it won't.

If you want a real hardware jump, get a PC. Oh and expect to pay at least $1000. Not knocking PCs, I am actually a PC gamer first, and a console gamer second.

Pillsbury12269d ago

I have never met anybody that hates Nintendo more then nutsack. He tries way too hard to talk smack about it. I think he secretly has a thing for them.

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samtheseed2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

IBM never tweeted it would be a Power7 chip, they said 'the same technology' as Power7 chips, which means it will have some of the same features but isn't a true Power7. A custom chip.

samtheseed2269d ago

Note the use of the word 'Custom'.

They never said it was a Power7 CPU.

DeadlyFire2269d ago

They have actually. But an important thing to note is that you can build Power7 based features onto anything on the PowerPC platform. So indeed it is likely a combination of both.

Which still means WiiU could have up to 12 threads and 3 core CPU at around the same clock rate as a Power7 CPU.

WrAiTh Sp3cTr32269d ago

Are you dense? A "custom" what? A " custom" what? Crayon?

dantesparda2269d ago

Yeah WrAiTh, i think he's dense. This the problem with fanboyism, everyone hears and believes whatever they want to. To me its clear its saying a custom Power7

Ju2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

" So indeed it is likely a combination of both. " both of what? Power7 is an architecture or call it a generation. When IBM made the Cell and 360s Xenon it was based on a G3 design simply for the reason of power consumption.

There were two cpu lines, the 601/602/604/G3/G4 line, and the Power line. Similar designs, but different targets. There never was a G5 (Apple used the term, or it was also called the PPC970 - but that was some sort of hybrid).

The Power series was a pure server chip...while the 60x series was a consumer level desktop chip. When the CELL was designed, the latest server generation was the Power6 but IBM recognized that they could use a lot of the CELL/Xenos tech to merge into future Power chips. The Power7 is the result. Next gen Power6+G3, if you will. A server class CPU with desktop power attribute.

And with every console generation, IBM does custom designs for their customers. Gekko was a G3 design - and so was the Wii CPU (with some extensions). Obviously, for the WiiU goes the same route. Latest IBM generation in a custom chip. Hence Triple core based on Power7. Makes sense, doesn't it?

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herbs2269d ago

Most likely the tri core enhanced Broadway (Espresso) CPU which is probably only slightly better than the Cell, Xenon but much more efficient-reliable. However with the dedicated sound chip and GPGPU taking a huge load off, not to mention double the ram and disc reading speed, it will most definitely run circles around Xbox PS3...

They just have to figure it all out first ;)

wishingW3L2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

you talk like if the GPU on the Wii were a Larrabe or something but is just a normal GPU. GPGPU refers to an implementation and nothing more. And is obvious that the CPU on the Wii U will be weaker than current gen since:

If the rumor about the CPU being a tri-core Broadway is true then logic says that there is no way in hell that it will be a "bit" more powerful than the Cell, in fact, is quite the contrary. Do you even know how many flops the Cell can push? I mean, IBM uses the architecture to make freaking Super Computers for god's sake!

And that's the reason of the GPGPU implementation. Wii U CPU is weak. And using the GPU for CPU tasks will only hinder its performance on the visuals department.

ChickeyCantor2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

That article isn't saying much. A lower clock speed doesn't mean lower performance. It's far more modern considering the 360/PS3 have CPU's from anno 2005-2006. It's probably more sufficient than the Cell or Xeon.

"in fact, is quite the contrary. Do you even know how many flops the Cell can push?"

Do you even know how many flops this system can push?
You are riding on assumptions. Stop.

"And that's the reason of the GPGPU implementation. Wii U CPU is weak."

No a GPGPU allows developers to offload some processing to the GPU to actually do more. The Cell was already trying to do something similar for visuals.

You can bet on it that the next PS and Xbox will have a GPGPU. This says nothing about the CPU. It compliments the CPU.
Because why pay for a GPGPU to compensate the "weak" cpu. If they could just have a GPU and put a "stronger" CPU in.

Your logic doesn't add up.

DeadlyFire2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

In theory Cell can push 256 Gflops.

Do you know how many Gflops a typical CPU pushes out? Both Server and otherwise its at 100 at most. Some new ones push out 110. So in that regard its very useful for servers. In the next 5 years 1 Tflop APUs will be the norm. Intel, NVIDIA and AMD all have one coming in the next 1-2 years. IBM's Power8 also is likely to be a candidate for this tech.

WiiU likely pushing 600-1000 Tflop. As the norm for AMD 4800 series is 800-1000 Tflops and that was their aim at first. So if you look at the most modern GPUs on the mobile spread and put them side by side with AMD 4800 series you will find one that has low TDP, and is in that range and matches up right nicely with AMD 4800 series GPUs. I believe AMD 7770M is the most likely candidate. As any GPU can be converted into a GPGPU if it allows for OpenCL. Personaly I am hoping the aim is 800-900 Gflops.

Do you know that Power7 is Cell 2.0 or its parallel. Compare Cell to Power 7. It doesn't shift very significantly to my eyes in power from a tech standpoint. It goes up to 264 Gflops instead of 256 that the Cell utilizes.

Nintendo could easily build a CPU on the PowerPC platform with all of Power7's CPU features. Even at three cores there is potential for 9-12 threads in those three cores. Compared to the 6 threads that current gen consoles use for development. It could mean lower Gflops for the CPU, but you don't see Gflops on the screen for graphics in most cases. In PS3 you do some, but its still not enough for 1080 support in most games. As it requires another layer in the programming that most developers just skip around. So its never really utilized much.

On x86 you never really see Gflops from the CPU really pushing anything. Its the GPU element even in the APUs that push the graphics. In special designs like consoles you can likely see some of that, but the CPU is there to be central to guiding tasks and not graphics assistant in most cases. In WiiU it likely will have 100-200 Gflops at most in the CPU. That is still more than most modern x86 CPUs.

PS3 altogether in theory could output a decent amount of Gflops. Yes true we all know this, but WiiU breaches that and goes further with a much more modern GPU.

There is no need to argue about power versus the Cell as PS4 is coming along too you know and it will outdo the WiiU in that regard, but Nintendo has the newest CPU/Graphics Tech.

Even at its weakest would be 600-700 GFlops which is potentially more than the PS3 can put out. 230 Gflops + 400 = 630 Gflops. Since WiiU already features games with 1080p with 60 fps. Its more likely that the GPU is a bit stronger than that.

WiiU has at minimum a GPGPU with 576 Gflops + 100-200 Gflop PowerPC CPU based on Power7 features. My guess is 136 Gflops for WiiU CPU.

At most though WiiU has 800-1000 Gflop GPGPU + 100-200 Gflop PowerPC CPU based on Power7 features. I honestly believe WiiU has 830-920 Gflop GPU + its CPU, but that is just my theory.

Ju2269d ago

Just a note. You guys know what the "GP" in GPGPU stands for? "General Purpose' as in it can execute general purpose instructions (to some extend). While true, it is used to execute operations on large data sets, eg. pixels, geometry and more (e.g. like NVidia's Physix runs on GPUs). Latest generations are all GPGPU. There is nothing else in the pipeline any more. Compute shaders, right? The WiiU is quite powerful. It will go the same route as any other console. It will take a while until the tech will be put to good use. And ports from current consoles don't help, either. But its a neet little machine, I give Nintendo that.

neogeo2269d ago

I would still be happy if it has the 32mb of embedded EDRAM

it gave 360 a nice boost in games with only 10MBs

Agent_hitman2269d ago

Until this day, Wii U's CPU is still a mystery and Nintendo is keeping it totally classified.

Maybe that company is scared that consumers might reject or refuse to pre-order the console if they found out that inside it's black/white box is a low-end Tri-core IBM lackluster PPC core..

iamnsuperman2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

I think a large majority of people do not have a clue which CPU is better. I for one have no idea about CPUs and quite rankly I (like most consumers) would buy a consoles based on the games/serivce they shown off

Salamander2269d ago (Edited 2269d ago )

"Mommy i dont want a tricore ibm wackwustre PPC core! i wanna pwaystation 4" said little Nutsack shopping with his mother.

"Mommy i wanna pway grown up games wike the big kids pway!" It seems like little Nutsack has something to prove.

neogeo2269d ago

Have a bub because you only have 1 and you can't even reply to me.

Anyway you could be right on your end, but I like to hope it's the opposite and that it's a beast that Nintendo does not want anyone to know about because they know the longer it's a secret then Sony and MS wont try to out due it. I just don't think it's likely.

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