Xbox One vs PS4: ESRAM "Not Much Faster Than GDDR5, Can Never Have Sustained Speed, It's Bottleneck"

Well known industry insider, Pete Todd aka atFamousmortimer has shared another set of juicy details regarding Microsoft's next-gen Xbox console, Xbox One via Twitter. This time details are regarding Xbox One's ESRAM comparison to Xbox 360 EDRAM and how soon developer can make full use of it and whether it will be competitive with PS4's GDDR5?.

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dedicatedtogamers1509d ago

But we've known this. Everyone has known this. The ESRAM was never meant to make the X1 faster or more powerful than PS4. It's a crutch to keep the X1 hardware from lagging behind even more than it already is.

TomShoe1509d ago

The problem is that there's just not enough of it. It's acting as a bottleneck, strangling the usage of resources.

Also, why am I posting at 2AM? I need some sleep.

dedicatedtogamers1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

An ESRAM pool of triple - even double - the size would've done wonders for the X1's overall performance. It's fascinating to read the history of how X1 and PS4 came to be: essentially, X1's setup of ESRAM+8G DDR3 was the "safe bet" and was planned well in advance to allow for the X1's multitasking. For the longest time (leading up to the PS4 reveal, in fact), the "leaked" specs for PS4 had it with 4G of GDDR5, and even then there were comparisons showing how a 4G unified pool of GDDR5 would be able to outperform 8G of DDR3 pushed through a ESRAM controller.

That's why the announcement of a unified pool of 8G of GDDR5 was such a megaton to those who understand this hardware stuff.

Bathyj1509d ago


That true and I remember that at the time. Even with 4gb it was widely believed that PS4 still had the edge. When 8gb was announced MS head honchos must have facepalming something fierce. How could we be so short sighted? Again?

MasterCornholio1509d ago

I'm no computer engineer so please correct me if I'm wrong.

People are saying that Microsoft should have included more esram in the system.

Xbox Ones APU

Now the esram is on the APU itself which means that if we increase its size it would take up more space on the chip. When this happens some other component has to get smaller in order to make room for the esram. Microsoft has two options they can either make the CPU smaller by getting rid of some cores or make the GPU smaller by doing the same. In either case it would lead to a weaker system which would put it further behind the PS4 and increase the problems with resolution and framerate.

Is this more or less correct?

dedicatedtogamers1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

@ MorePowerOfGreen

Don't throw out numbers if you don't know what they mean.

@ Bathyj

It wasn't shortsightedness at all. Microsoft intended in every way for the X1 to be an all-in-one machine instead of a gaming powerhouse. People (not directing this at you, necessarily) look back at the X1 reveal and the 180 and it's only natural to think "Oh, Microsoft just made a quick little mistake, and then they turned it around". Do people realize that these consoles take several years to conceptualize, let alone develop and test?

With the exception of the always online, the X1 we have today is exactly what Microsoft wanted it to be.

Ultra1509d ago Show
sinjonezp1509d ago

Master corn is the only one who stated it the best and he has dislikes. The esram takes up space on the apu, that is why the. Xb1 has less compute units on the chip, that is why the x1 has a weaker gpu. If microsoft was to include a bigger esram like 64 instead of 32, this would have affected the architecture, the heat, and the amount of gpu units on the die. Please people look it up. Additionally, ddr3 was a terrible choice. When running grfx applications, it requires gfx ram, hence why ps went with gddr5. Ddr3 has its positives but in real world gfx, it does not compare to gddr5. When one builds a PC, which these consoles are based on, has ddr3 memory and the gfx cards have gddr5. The most plausible solution should have been to incorporate both modules. However, its design solutions to keep wattage down, and price is understandable. Bottom line, in my opinion, is that the esram is a bottleneck that takes up too much space on the die, reducing gfx cores, and cause difficulties on devlopers. I still like the x1, i just did not like some of these design choices by microsoft.

its_JEFF1509d ago

wait what?!?! what's this 8 gigs of flash memory coming from?

Also, If you're touting the cloud for Xbox... don't forget that Sony has begun work on their Cloud computing tech, don't remember the exact specifics tho. And I could have totally read that article wrong, sorry guys not much of tech head.

FamilyGuy1509d ago

This is so rehash

Why are we having this conversation again?
This exact same discussion happened two months before the PS4 and X1 launched.

Is this meant to be a reminder or what?
I sure as hell haven't forgotten yet.

Old news.

vigilante_man1509d ago

If you are going to do it - go the whole way!

When Sony were considering this route before they decided on GDDR shared pool of RAM they were considering speeds of over 1,000 GB/s peak output.

Imagine how powerful that would of proved over time?

Microsoft did it with only a max output of 204 GB/s at peak. Just one of the many weird decisions from Microsoft for the XB1 (power brick, massive case with huge fan meaning cannot stand it up or stack another device on top, etc.)

johndoe112111509d ago


It depresses me when other people have 2 and 3 bubbles and they have alot of smart things to say and you use your one bubble to make utterly senseless comments that have been proven to be false by every industry professional except the ones working in microsoft and misterxmedia. You should dedicate your bubble to other people.

This gen is going to be a very long and depressing one for you and every other irrational microsoft drone who is putting their hopes in "teh power of teh claawwds". Apparently no matter how many industry professionals say that cloud computing is NOT going to be a big benefit in the gaming industry right now (at least not how microsoft is saying they are going to use it) you people seem hell bent on believing otherwise.

"MSFT's plans were to enhance the console's performance by many times its local capability so the console's power was scalable with new tech. "
This statement makes as much sense as trying to race a train with a pogo stick. They make a weak a$$ system that is struggling to do 1080p 60fps so much to the point that they have to gimp the kinect now in order to try and drain as much power possible for the system and you have the audacity to talk about power being scalable with new tech??? You're right, they down scaled the kinect because the bone couldn't handle the new tress fx tech.

Why why why is it so hard for some of you xbox supporters to see logic? It's as if microsoft hypnotized the lot of you.The ps4 is going to choke???? The ps4 is already doing 1080p 60fps and developers haven't even learnt the system properly yet. you keep spouting MS BS jargon about adding memory bandwidths not even understanding what the hell it all means.

Mark my words you will spend the rest of this entire generation waiting and hoping and making excuses for features and graphics that you will never see and at the end of it all you will feel like an idiot for believing in all that microsoft fake tech. Either that or you'll make some lame brain excuse why it never happened and start the cycle again by putting your undying faith and loyalty in the xbox two.

mmj1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

"An ESRAM pool of triple - even double - the size would've done wonders for the X1's overall performance."

Only way they could compete with PS4 was to scrap the ESRAM (which is a band aid for slow DDR3), fit 8GB GDDR5 and a better GPU.

Kayant1509d ago


"Dude is damage controlling PS4's 180gb of peak Ram bandwidth vs XB1's 204gb of peak Bandwidth with ESRAM" - In the real world you not going to be hitting that peak often. We know PS4 is able to provide a higher continual bandwidth output.

"Doesn't matter PS4 is going to choke in the future trying to compete with XB1 when it comes to cloud compute enhanced games" - Just like XB1 with choke when GPGPU compute is being used.

tagan8tr1509d ago

@MorePowerOfGreen Why do you even waste your time no one is buying what your trying to sell about 180 vs 204. What diff is 204 if its in a microscopic portion? I have a diamond its .0000204 Carat, but its a diamond right?

mewhy321509d ago

Hey. What ms should have done was used GDDR5 like Sony did. They got caught off guard. What the world thought was that the PS4 was only going to have 4gig of GDDR5 but it actually ended up with 8. IF the latter had been true then the bone would have been in a better position, well still behind in the GPU category. But with things as they are it's too late to change now and this will continue to hinder the devs in what they will be able to do on the bone when compared with the superior tech of the PS4.

andrewsqual1509d ago

@MorePowerOfGreen Yes because Sony didn't announce at E3 2012 that they bought one of the largest and specialised companies at Cloud Computing. Just because Sony don't talk about "teh cloudz" everyday doesn't mean they don't have massive plans for it. They know exactly what we all want to hear AND see. Not just all talk like Microsoft has been since 21st May 2013 and you now yourself too.

truefan11509d ago

Why is this still a debate, ps4 is more powerful than the xb1. MSFT went with ddr3 because of the multi tasking capabilities. At the end of the day, we buy consoles to play games and XB1 is winning in that department. The multiplats will most likely look better on ps4, but with the amount of resources MSFT has invested in games I expect XB1 to have the better games this gen. So far XB1 had the better launch lineup and will have the better 2014 lineup.

scott1821509d ago

Most powerful system and the games out/coming that most excite me. Love Sony as a company, they just use their huge pool of first party talent to do the talking, can't wait to see what they have cooking.

gaffyh1509d ago

@MasterCornholio + sinjone - They could have put more esRAM on the APU, but they would have had to increase the die size in order to keep the current GPU/CPU compute units. This would have meant redesigning the motherboard completely, and the whole size of the console itself.

It was possible, but it would have meant that MS pushed the console back at least 6 months.

Kryptix1509d ago



Xbox One will have a better line up in 2014 and you know this since the first month of the year? Lend me your fortune telling crystal ball so it can show me how much of a fool you're gonna look like during this coming E3. Didn't the last 3 years of the Xbox 360 tell you anything about exclusives? Wait, you didn't know because you don't know the true meaning of getting constant exclusives. lol

Pogmathoin1509d ago

JohnDoe, agreed, but the comment you made, 'This gen is going to be a very long and depressing one for you and every other irrational microsoft drone who is putting their hopes in "teh power of teh claawwds"' is not the right thing to say. i know, and since the PS4 reveal that there was going to be a big difference. The pricing was the icing on the cake. But I still got both systems. They both have something to offer. I hated the original Kinect too, but the X1 version is really much more improved and responds really well. Most who make comments disagreeing are simply trolling. I made a decision to get X1 too, happy with it, and the power of it does not matter, and that is the case for most X1 owners I think. Most of these articles about the power of X1 are posted by fanboys such as Maria, and first comments from the likes of Dedicated, Xheavy with the intellectual copy and paste of told you so, known for years blah blah....the games I have played so far on X1 have been good for me, hopefully lots more to come, on both systems. Enjoy gaming John....

its_JEFF1509d ago

@johndoe11211 You sir are trying to reason with some who is unreasonable. Very valid attempt but he's honestly too far gone.

You used a very interesting word, "hypnotized." I've seen it from both sides, it's really crazy. Being a fanboi is fine, but there's another level above that where they turn into "followers" of the cult leader, in this case MS or Sony. Where nothing bad can be said about the "leader" the leader can never be questioned. The leaders is always right and the leaders always makes the right decision.

They're definitely drinking the koolaid!

sinspirit1509d ago


Flash is nothing more then storage in this case. OS, video replays, or standby features. It isn't going to enhance any of your gameplay.

GDDR5 runs much cooler at faster speeds with far less power consumption. This is one of the main reasons it was decided for PS4 is because it is a win/win situation for the product produced.

Please don't argue about past rumors as if they were set in stone facts. The most precise rumors were as dedicatedtogamers said.

Everyone knows how closely Sony worked with the developers as well as hardware manufacturers ever since PS3 launched. There is absolutely no proof let alone logic in them changing hardware specs within a month. Sony showed off their official hardware far before Microsoft showed off theirs so if anyone is following it is Microsoft. Not only that but they released it before Microsoft released their console and it is so clear how much more work went into the PS4's form factor and architecture that none of it was simply changed overnight.

morganfell1509d ago

Some things do not need damage control 5th account power of green. Truth and the simple explanation doesn't need damage control at all:

+ Show (21) more repliesLast reply 1509d ago
showtimefolks1509d ago

don't understand much of this but sony has done something right and future proof while MS chose a easy way out that's hurting them now and will hurt them more moving forward

that's what you get when you get actual feedback from development community. Its a console made by gamers for gamers and that's why its gonna do so well throughout next generation

last gen sony took the risk with Bluray and it paid off in the long run

Now with GDDR5 sony is looking to get some sort of advantage over its competition

AngelicIceDiamond1509d ago

"don't understand much of this but sony has done something right and future proof while MS chose a easy way out that's hurting them now and will hurt them more moving forward"

Curious as to how.

showtimefolks1509d ago


like i said before i don't understand much but as a casual tech guy i would imagine having faster ram moving forward in few years will somehow matter

think about it the earliest we will see next xbox or ps is 2019 so going into years 2016 and beyond depending on slower ram or something which is not only faster but future proof

but i could be wrong so if i am than i am sorry

AngelicIceDiamond1509d ago

"The ESRAM was never meant to make the X1 faster or more powerful than PS4."

I have no clue who stated that. All I heard was the ESRAM was suppose to make things quicker for the console not surpass the PS4.

MasterCornholio1509d ago

The closest thing that I can recall is some people arguing that Microsoft's ESRAM was better due to its higher peak performance. Performance that can never achieve under normal conditions which renders that figure redundant.

dedicatedtogamers1509d ago

I think we're saying the same exact thing. The ESRAM was not included in the console as a means to be as powerful as the PS4. Rather, they included it to compensate for the inherent limitations of DDR3.

MysticStrummer1509d ago

"I have no clue who stated that"

People like MorePowerOfGreen up there are still saying it.

come_bom1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

"Xbox One vs PS4: ESRAM "Not Much Faster Than GDDR5, Can Never Have Sustained Speed, It's Bottleneck""

Everybody knows that Microsoft screwed up with the Xbox One, even Microsoft. They are just too stubborn to admit it.

ambientFLIER1509d ago

Only the ps4 trolls think that. The people that actually bought one generally like it.

TheKayle11509d ago

u have no idea of what u r talking about...jsut first post n4g trolling as always...and i explain wjy

1) ms dosnt have any idea of what sony was building if they had they would not bbet on that weaker gpu

2) the esram isnt there to compete with the gddr5 is an evolution of what devs found nice...on the x360

BlackTar1871509d ago


I think you fail to realize or understand the way and how corporate espionage is used in everything.

MS and SONY all had somewhat of the ideas of what was being used. Maybe they don't know the exact details but you can bet they had a estimate with a min and max at that.

I can almost bet Sony was a holder of info about xbox one and chose 8GB to throw it off completely. We need to understand that secrets now are very hard to keep. For ex. Tarantino movie script the dude gave it to 3 people so 3 people were intrusted with a secret and it slipped. The way to keep secrets secret is to get rid of anyone who isn't you :).

CryofSilence1509d ago

I know you're trying to communicate a message. I just have no idea what it is.

Metfanant1509d ago


the problem with doubling or tripling the size of the ESRAM pool would be a ripple effect on the rest of the silicon...

the APU itself is already rather large...with GPU space being sacrificed for the existing ESRAM...tripling the size of the ESRAM pool means either A. increasing the size of the APU a whole bunch...OR decreasing the size of the existing, already less powerful GPU...

frostypants1509d ago

@MorePowerOf Green: "16gigs of memory(8gigs of RAM, 8gigs of flash"

Oh my God man, really? You seriously don't know the difference between system memory and storage memory? Why not just include the hard drive and claim that the One has 516GB of memory while you're at it?

Jesus...computers 101, kid.

BlackTar1871509d ago

I tried signing up for MisterX blog(pretty sure is Green or greens brother or something) I posted one thing and was removed lol.

I would love to screeenshot his entire webpage for people to read so they wouldn't give him hits and views but im too lazy

tuglu_pati1509d ago

ok, i thought we already knew this. Why are we beating a dead horse?

badz1491509d ago

Because it's fun? Maybe? I don't know too but the dead horses (truefan, MorePoG etc) are indeed still talking crap.

MysticStrummer1509d ago

Like badz said, that horse isn't quite dead, judging from the comments of some people on here.

GraveLord1509d ago

Yeah it annoys me that we're still talking about this. How many years until people finally accept they have the weaker system?

lifeisgamesok1509d ago

With tiled resources for developers that use it 32 MB's of ESram can equal to 12 GB's of textures so when it's incorporated it'll be huge for Xbox One

MysticStrummer1509d ago

PS4 can do that same thing. "Tiled resources" is just MS's name for it.

rainslacker1509d ago

That's not how tiled textures work. The idea of ESRAM is at direct odds to how tiled resources work. I know it's hurts, but go do some research to find out why.

Dehnus1509d ago

It also depends on what you want to do. Certain operations are fantastic to have 32MB of Esram for because they are heavily latency reliant. Others are more reliant on Bandwidth and not so latency dependant (Most of the old school Graphical engines fall in this this case).

MS made a mistake to sell it as "OMG LOOK AT BANDWIDTH RAAAAAAAAH!". It never was intended for that, outside of maybe as a "stopgap" to catch up to the PS4's GDDR5 ram. But just like the 360's EDRam, some really creative developers used it for other things than frame-buffer (certain physics operations are fantastic in it ;)). They should have had an in house studio make a demo of that instead of hammering on "POWER OF CLOUD!" without a demo to conceptionalize it!

Blaze9291509d ago

another "Well known industry insider" eh? I can see where this is gonna go...

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1509d ago
corvusmd1509d ago

Those that can't create games, blog....

GuruMeditation1509d ago

And those who cannot blog, whinge

theWB271509d ago

"GuruMeditation + 3m ago
And those who cannot blog, whinge"

Those who cannot burn, misspell.

GuruMeditation1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

None of those words were misspelt lol?!? Unless you were referring to whinge and thought I meant 'whine', which I didn't... to which I might reply: those who cannot rebound-burn, don't try :)

Dannycr1509d ago

Those who cannot touche...damn I got nothing.

MRMagoo1231509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

LOL i am wasting a bubble here but you 2 guys made me laugh lol nice back and forth but theWB27 would have looked less silly if he hadnt said anything at all. Every time someone uses touche i cant help but think of ben stiller in dodge ball lol, if i could make a meme with him saying touche i would use it now.

Why o why1509d ago

[email protected] all above me baring murda dolls, Good sports

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 1509d ago
theWB271509d ago

So pretty much the same stuff that's been regurgitated since the specs were revealed almost a year ago?

Basically the X1 received too much positive news with the game leaks stuff and now lets tout some negativity to bring everything back into place.

It's crazy how Dodd proclaims how much he loves his X1 on Gaf and yet tweets the stuff he does.

Yes...the X1 can run games at 1080p 60fps.

GuruMeditation1509d ago

He can still love his x1 and yet tweet realistically about the challenges it faces, surely? I criticise things I'm passionate about all the time, it's called being objective.

theWB271509d ago

What's the point of retweeting things, negative, that's already known and has been known for quite some time at the exact time the console is receiving a little positive vibe.

Especially when when the conversation turns to games. People were discussing games and their opinion on that...but Dodd brings up specs again?

That's not objective to me. He can support it all he wants and hope it does good, but what's his motivation for the negativity (specs) when the conversation finally turned to games?

Kayant1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )


Hmmmm he was asked a question and he went on to answer said question. He is not re-tweeting anything.

Also where in the discussion where they talking about games?

There was only one question about games which was will 1080p 60fps be better with more experience with ESram. To which he replied sure but the concept of embedded memory is not new to devs.

Nice try spinning.

kakashi811509d ago

I feel like MS should have went with a slightly better gpu along with 48it-64mb of ESram.

-Foxtrot1509d ago

" I criticise things I'm passionate about all the time, it's called being objective. "

Unfortunately on here it's called being a troll or a hater.

It's annoying

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Si-Fly1509d ago

...But they'll be xbox live arcade games or 360 rehashes.

1nsomniac1509d ago

...the logic of a fanboy.

KakashiHotake1509d ago (Edited 1509d ago )

Microsoft's Penello already admitted it's not powerful enough. lol

Magicite1509d ago

games which are not really next-gen.

Hicken1509d ago

I'm a huge sports fan. Love my Falcons, Hawks, and Braves. Will NEVER put another team before my hometown teams.

BECAUSE I love them, I'm able to criticize them. When players screw up, when management makes a bad trade, when coaches make poor calls. They can't improve if the people who love them don't think there's anything wrong, right? If nobody holds them accountable for when the screw up.

The same goes with gaming. What good is it to be a fanboy who can't see what your preferred company does wrong?