HowStuffWorks: How Does The Xbox 360 Work?

As with any computer, the CPU is the heart of the Xbox 360. Microsoft has outfitted the 360 with a 165-million transistor, multi-core processor running three 3.2-GHz PowerPC cores.

Each core on the chip functions as a separate processor. Recently, hardware manufacturers have started combining several cores, or processors, onto one chip. This is a multi-core processor. Multi-core processors offer a combination of tremendous computing capabilities and efficient power consumption. They split
heavy work loads over multiple powerful processors rather than giving all the work to one super-powerful processor.

The other interesting thing to note about the Xbox 360 CPU is that each core is capable of processing two threads simultaneously. Think of a thread as a set of instructions for a program's job. The core processes these instructions and does the heavy lifting to get the job done. A conventional processor can run a single execution thread. Because the Xbox 360 cores can each han...

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
xtremegamerage2922d ago

Yes they replaced the hamsters on the wheel with field mice.

awiseman2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

In b4 all the "By rrod".

On topic, this kinda old, and it relates to the Xbox fat design, the Slim has an entirely new interior.

norman292922d ago

My house has a new interior but it still works the same way as before, much like a Xbox360 tbh

killershadow1172922d ago

Those two things aren't related at all. That's like comparing a tree outside with your Mom, you cant, unless your mom is over 20 feet tall and weighs over a ton.

ECM0NEY2921d ago

and if thats the case norman... Can I get your moms digits?

DanteKnightsTemplar2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

did they mention the self destruct initiate mechanism?

Moentjers2922d ago

no, and it still remains unclear who initiates it.

Ame_No_Shiryuu2922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

well.., speak of performance.., anybody could explain this..?,

it says :

Now that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 specifications have been announced, it is possible to do a real world performance comparison of the two systems.

There are three critical performance aspects of a console:

1.Central Processing Unit (CPU) performance.
The Xbox 360 CPU architecture has three times the general purpose processing power of the Cell.

2.Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) performance
The Xbox 360 GPU design is more flexible and it has more processing power than the PS3 GPU.

3.Memory System Bandwidth
The memory system bandwidth in Xbox 360 exceeds the PS3's by five times.
----------------------------- ------------------------------- -------
and according to nowadays FACT!, is it xbox 360 was really more powerful than PS3..?, or is it a biggest LIES in gaming history..??

2922d ago Replies(1)
Angels37852922d ago (Edited 2922d ago )

Go to IGN and search "xbox 360 vs playstation 3: the hardware throwdown" in this more recent article the ps3 is the clear winner...........just goes to show IGN's ignorance. In your article it said that the ps3 was not a fusion system when it in fact is, which makes the ps3 more powerful due to its multiple cores in the CPU. Plus if you think about it the Xenon processor in the xbox 360 was an idea based off the Cell processor (I think there is a book that outlines this).

talltony2922d ago

The games say ps3 is the much more capable system so their is no need for debate anymore.

DevastationEve2922d ago

The Xbox 360's main adavantages have always been 1) the fast bandwidth provided by the 10MB edram, and 2) Xenos being a much more modern GPU than the RSX in the PS3.

The two consoles just work differently, but ideally Xbox 360 would be the easiest to work with. Going with unified memory makes it easy to load larger workloads, while going with a unified shader GPU makes load balancing in game engines more efficient as all shader pipelines can be loaded with either pixel, vertex, or geometry shaders. Plus Xenos has other features that make it really functional.

The games have always proven that Xbox 360 was built quite well.

Angels37852922d ago (Edited 2921d ago )

I agree with what you said 100%. Except the GPU relies on the processors especially in fusion systems (both the xbox 360 and the playstation 3 are fusion systems) so if the processor has more cores, it means its more powerful and its easier to multi task with each core doing a specific job and the GPU aiding. Plus if you read the "Xbox 360 vs playstation 3: the hardware throwdown" on IGN it says the Xenos has up to 512 MB GDDR3 RAM (shared w/ system RAM) and the RSX has 256 MB GDDR 3RAM (additional 224 MB can be shared w/ system RAM) which adds up to 480. So like you said the Xenos is a much more modern and easy to use GPU, but the GPU as you may know is not even half responsible for rendering the graphics in a fusion system.

Thats where the CPU comes in. The GPU is responsible for sending what it wants to the processor, so the CPU becomes a big part of what you see on screen. If you don't believe me just look at multiplatform games, the reason they are 95% of the time slightly better or even superior is because of the Xenos GPU which is used heavily in multiplatform games so the developers can easily port from the 360 to the ps3. Which is where you see the ps3's weak GPU in action due to multiplatform games being more reliant on it. Thats why even when a multiplatform game is developed on ps3 then ported to 360 the 360 version will still from a technical standpoint will always be superior no matter what (even if it's not noticeable to the naked eye) just based on the multiplatform development techniques of today. This excludes mass effect 2 and Final fantasy on ps3 where the developers are simply using a completely different engine for each console.

But then when you look at exclusive games like the fantastic looking Alan Wake, Gears of war 3, Uncharted 2, God of war 3 you start to see the best of the best in graphics, which is where the ps3 shines. Exclusive developers want to take advantage of the systems best qualities right? So Microsoft takes advantage of the GPU and Sony takes advantage of the CPU and it's large amount of cores in the Cell processor. So in the end the best looking games end up on ps3 due to the CPU being much more important in the grand scale of things because in fusion systems the CPU handles a majority of what goes on on screen. In the end the better GPu does not mean superior graphics. What I find interesting is the fact that the cell is like our brain in that a lot of it is not used and many developers don't know/ might not ever know how to full optimize it. The Cpu in the 360 however is fully taken advantage of due to the large amount of info coming to it from the GPU. Ps3 CPU specs 3.2 GHz Cell processor, 7 single-threaded cores (plus 1 backup core), Maximum 230 GFlops. Xbox 360 specs 3.2 GHz Xenon processor, 3 dual-threaded cores, Maximum 77 GFlops. The GFlops are the key components in superior graphics (if utilized correctly) and as you may have noticed the ps3 has 3 times the amount of Gflops and that the processors run at the same speed. All the information I have stated can be confirmed in the IGN article I mentioned earlier in this post .

DevastationEve2919d ago

Well here's the thing about RSX and having extra memory. Because CellBE is architecturally tied to the XDR memory, developers can only utilize that memory when CellBE accesses it. In other words when they offload work from the RSX they can then see benefits of having more memory. But the two pools cannot be combined to create a larger memory space for EITHER component. So the game workload still has to comform to those limits.

By architecturally I mean that CellBE is tied to the XDR rambus memory through the FlexIO rambus controller, similarly to how a GPU's memory is tied (or soldered, LOL) to its GPU board.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2919d ago
Show all comments (30)
The story is too old to be commented.