Submitted by richierich 1015d ago | news

AnandTech Wii U Teardown

When Nintendo announced the Wii U there was a lot of interest in its hardware specs. The new console could very well end up the fastest kid on the block thanks to the sheer age of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I wasn't all that interested in the Wii U, but I did want to get a look at the silicon inside so I grabbed a unit and went into teardown mode. (Wii U)

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bicfitness  +   1015d ago
So the Beyond3D and Neogaf forums are pegging it as a 4770 with an unspecified (for now) buffer. The CPU is just a juiced up, triple-core, over-clocked (1.5 GHz or thereabouts) version of the Wii processor. The memory bandwidth is a bottleneck across the board. One bright spot is the transfer rate of the storage medium, which is around 22 GB/s. Again, you can find further analysis and breakdowns leading to this conclusion on the web. The specs are pretty sad, all in all, but Nintendo is banking on their audience not to care about those things, which they may be correct on.

Still, this won't convince the 360/ PS3 fans who are used to their visual uumph that the Wii U is a worthwhile purchase or even replacement for those consoles as its scarcely better. It is still next-gen, but its looking more and more like a Wii>PS360 scenario all over again.
#1 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
decrypt  +   1015d ago
This is good news overall, It means we will get a Dolphin for Wii U quite fast ;-)

I am happy with these specs lol.
nix  +   1015d ago
did they tear it down after downloading the 5GB update??? q:
Venox2008  +   1015d ago
yea right - quite fast :D :D :D

for the dolphin or ps2 to decent run on pc you need 2-4gb of ram, 2 or 4 cores CPU with decent video card.. so for Wii U dolphin you would need 10x faster new PC minimum i not more
bicfitness  +   1015d ago
Those in denial can read the threads themselves:



The power consumption - due to the lowish specs - on the device is rather brilliant though.
#1.2 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
reynod  +   1015d ago
Cell phones have the best efficiency of any device then, so will u instead plug a cell phone to the TV and play?

No u wont.

Its quite obvious the lower the specs the lower the power requirement, doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Question is are you willing to play at those downgraded levels?
vulcanproject  +   1015d ago
Yeah the GPU itself is only slightly larger than a 4770. However that 32mb of edram has to go somewhere inside the chip and thus take up a bit of room which would almost certainly confine the design to a MAXIMUM of a 4770. Chances are if this is the actual basis of the design it wouldn't share clocks as high as the desktop 4770 either. This is because Wii U's maximum power draw is actually quite a bit LESS than a 4770. This suggests some refinement, but almost certainly heavy downclocking or a slower GPU/shaders disabled.

What is also known now is that the memory bandwidth is only 12.8GB/s to be SHARED with the CPU. A Radeon 4770 had 51GB/s dedicated.

The CPU won't use a lot of bandwidth because it'll be very slow but even so the design must be heavily relying on the GPU's edram to avoid severe bottlenecking on such a skinny memory bus.

In short for the non techies out there, Wii U does indeed have a better GPU than PS3/360, a worse CPU, and a bunch of rather slow system memory.

When i first heard of the leaks about the hardware 6+ months ago I already said that chances are, it'll be like a 360 on steroids. Just a bit more of everything.

Turns out I was quite close, because Wii U is slightly stronger in some areas, and weaker in others. Overall I don't think you should be expecting many games to much exceed what 360 and PS3 are doing already.
#1.3 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Thepcz  +   1015d ago
wish people would make a clear summary of these specs instead of spouting loads of jargon which means absolutely nothing to anyone other than silicon geeks who never go outside.
#2 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
bicfitness  +   1015d ago
It doesn't get any clearer than what I posted. I gave clock speeds and GPU equivalents.
sandman224  +   1015d ago
So is it more powerful than the 360/ps3?
Chard  +   1015d ago
I would also like a clear answer on this question.
Picture_Dancer  +   1015d ago
One thing is comfirmed by developers, processor in WiiU is not as much powerful as the one used in X360 and PS3. That's why Denasty Warriors on WiiU will have less enemies and slower gameplay.

We will have to wait more to find out is the rumour that WiiU memory is slower than PS3/360 true.
VverdugovV  +   1015d ago
It's more or less on par with with PS360 from what I've heard.
emartini  +   1015d ago
There are mixed reports. Some devs went as far as saying its twice as powerful as the ps3 and 360. Others said its not on par. One thing for sure. Im confused. Im not a huge tech savy guy so I come on here to your all your replies
#3.2.1 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report
bicfitness  +   1015d ago
In some respects - disc read speed, moderately more powerful GPU, AMOUNT of memory available - yes. In others - CPU, RAM SPEED and bandwidth available for games - no.

Its a toss up. In essence its about the same, though with a fancy new controller.
Picture_Dancer  +   1015d ago
Why all the disagree with my post?
sway_z  +   1015d ago
"Why all the disagree with my post?"

Well maybe Nintendo enthusiasts are reading this, and maybe they're not enthusiastic about your post??

...what you think?
Argil  +   1015d ago
IF the Wii U GPU is similar to an 4770, the answer is YES.

The 4770 has 826 million transistors.
The Xenos GPU in X360 has 105 million transistors.

I know it's more complicated than just counting transistors, but if anything, the 4770 is more modern than the Xenos.
vulcanproject  +   1015d ago
Xenos is a 330m transistor GPU because the GPU is the combination of the main core + extra logic and edram on the daughter die. In other words Xenos was two separate chips until they shrank them and dumped them all on one die with the CPU recently. PS3's GPU is 300m transistors on one core.

Wii U's GPU is certainly faster then even 360's, but the amount it is faster is not a huge margin because it is almost certainly running at less clocks than a 4770 or sections disabled for yield purposes. It is also going to be restricted somewhat by such a slow unified memory bus even with the edram it has. Chances are it isn't more than twice as fast as Xenos in practical terms.

I have said many times GPU is incredibly important but in light of the fact the system has basically an archaic CPU and such slow memory albeit plenty of it, Wii U is going to be on par with PS3/360 probably on average, potentially worse if a game has a heavy CPU load for example RTS games or whatever. It'll be better if a developer gets hold of it and uses the superior GPU heavily.

But not much better.

There is no way for example it'll particularly challenge a low end gaming pc like the ones you see guides for on here to build.
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maniac76  +   1015d ago
My samsung galaxy note 2 with the quads and 2 gb of ram could take on the wii u rofl. Who cares,.least we get nin characters in game in hd witha proper browsa,plus indie devs with that unity engine. Tide us ova till the real next gen hits
sway_z  +   1015d ago
So Nintendo releases an underpowered console....STOP THA FRICKEN PRESS!!!

...just what the hell were you all expecting???

I'll bet my last dime Nintendo are the only one's who actually make Wii U stand out...as for 3rd parties...humbug!
Schawk  +   1015d ago
Nice thing about the wiiU it can stream the game to the gamepad and play 2 players with a screen each on games like COD

And another bonus is i can play games that stream to the gamepad anywere in the house so basicly its like a handheld to play your games on also depending on your house layout,

There are also very good gameplay on youtube how the wiiU performs with Black Ops 2, reports are that the game is smooth and the online runs very well.
#6 (Edited 1015d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
NYC_Gamer  +   1015d ago
Wii-U isn't the huge leap over PS3/360 that many were expecting...Nintendo fans should be happy though they will finally be able to play Mario and Zelda in HD.
keabrown79  +   1015d ago
eh, it playes Nintendo games in HD and i'm sure they will do something inventive with it. That's all I really expected it to do. I'm fine with it being my first part Nintendo machine and my Xbox/nextbox being my main console for multiplats.
keabrown79  +   1015d ago
At the very least next generation won't be as bad switching back and forth between Wii U/PS4-720 as it was this gen switching back and forth between the Wii/PS360.

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