Will Xbox One’s eSRAM be the Death of the Console?

Game Druid:

Why is the eSRAM becoming a target for the Xbox One? Is this going to cause the death of the console? One thing is certain that the Xbox One’s eSRAM is no where close to the unified architecture of the PS4. We take a quick look through why this is being made out to be an issue.

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Angels37851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

Just something Ive noticed a lot of people doing on the net: you cannot combine the memory bandwidth of esram and the 8gb of ddr3 in the xbox one.

It simply doesn't work that way. When you use a unified memory pool such as that, the system moves information stored in each pool INDIVIDUALLY because they are NOT the same type of memory modules, therefore they do not read or write or send information in unison. It goes through one THEN the other if utilized. The system need to write to each modual and the programmer needs to adapt the software to go through the 8gb ddr3 ram and THEN the esram by creating 32 mb packages (the amount of space of the esram) .

Adding them together would be like taking the times of two different fast runners running a half mile and combining their times as the fastest mile time in the world. They would beat out a man running a mile by himself because you wouldn't be taking into account certain variables such as him getting tired...or the fact that two of these modules don't work together to suggest combining bandwidth....

On a side not this is not the end of xbox one or the ability of it to produce good looking games, but you simply cannot move weaker hardware through drivers/sdk's to the level of stronger hardware.... in computers suggesting "raw vs specialized" power of a machine is a joke....the only specialization comes from optimization of the hardware you have.

Eonjay1765d ago

Agreed. Also, the GPUs are spawned from the same series of GPU meaning that the APIs have to translate instructions in a similar fashion. Besides tweaks made to the GPU they pretty much function in the same exact manner. One just has more resources at it disposable and can therefore process those instruction faster. Due to the similarities of the GPUs we can say without a doubt that the PS4 will outperform the Xbox One.

I don't see any other likely conclusion.

Hicken1765d ago

At first, I was wondering how you could possibly have ANY disagrees.

... Then I looked further down in the comments. Still spinning. Surprised they can type without frequently falling out of their chairs.

ESRAM does not work the way they keep saying it does, but nor will it be the death of the XB1. It'll just prevent it, for the duration of its life, from being able to catch up to the PS4. Microsoft can release all the duvets and dev tools they want; the only way the XB1 will catch the PS4 is if Sony, for some unfathomable rain, stopped doing the same.

And even then, it might not be enough, as devs will still get better on their own.

But I guess fanboys gotta fanboy. And that means the constant warping and/or rejecting of reality.

mediate-this1765d ago

Google is fun to use bro, all i know is i have all three systems to experience all exclusives. Ps4 the strongest, xbox second wii u third, but they all have good games and will get crazier games in the future.

This regurgitated xbox one is weaker crap is just anoying.

KingDadXVI1765d ago

You clearly have zero understanding of computer engineering or architecture.

You can add the speed or the two pools of ram together if you are drawing different information from them at the same time.

The issue at hand with the Esram is simply that it is more complex for the developer to determine which data is stored in which pool. By optimizing the code you can put different data into the different pools depending on the requirements of that data. Data that requires high bandwidth and low latency goes into the Esram, while data that requires less bandwidth goes into the DDR3.

This is a difficult job for a developer if they do not have tools that assist them in selecting which data should go where and when. By releasing an updated SDK which will make these choices more intuitive for the developer they can optimize the games faster and not have to say, "Well if we had another 3 months we could get 1080p out of the game but the launch is tomorrow so 720p it is."

Bolcato explains it in his answer to this question from GamingBolt:

"Will the process become easier over time as understanding of the hardware improves? “Definitely, yeah. They are releasing a new SDK that’s much faster and we will be comfortably running at 1080p on Xbox One. We were worried six months ago and we are not anymore, it’s got better and they are quite comparable machines."

This is really all great news for the Xbox One. As many have been saying once they developers and MS get things optimized these resolution issues will fade into the background. People won't be talking about this in a year.

The really encouraging news is that we are only 3 months into the launch and it looks like these issues are being dealt with in a much faster way than the mess we had with the PS3 optimization.

Angels37851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )


You just proved my point by saying

"By optimizing the code you can put DIFFERENT data into the DIFFERENT pools depending on the requirements of that data."

I highlighted the key words for you.

when you run two separate processes through DIFFERENT modules doing DIFFERENT tasks their speeds do NOT get combined because they are NOT running in unison, they are running SEPARATELY doing DIFFERENT things.

Lets say the Esram is running animations (which in themselves are smaller files but require higher latency for quicker changes) and the ddr3 Ram is running textures through its memory pool (because textures require MORE memory space) here is where the combining bandwidth doesn't work

lets say to put out HIGH resolution textures you need 170gb/s..... but the ddr3 ram usues 131gb/s you cannot break up the texture pak and have part of it run through the Esram and the other part run though the ddr3.....because these modules are different when recognized by the themselves the architecture of the memory between DDR3 and Esram are DIFFERENT requiring different optimization, different coding, and different uses.

At this point you've hit the ceiling of what you are capable of...and the only other options are gpu and cpu optimization.

THEREFORE combining speeds and transfer rate is called THEORETICAL...because real world use is not practical or DNE.

Learn to read more carefully instead of proving my point within the first sentence of your reply.

Just a heads up.....just because you read an article doesn't make you an expert and give you the ability to claim someones wrong.

in fact your argument is so weak because EVERYTHING in a computer is drawing DIFFERENT information at the same time by that logic you can say that the PS4 runs with nearly 10,000,000 gb/s (gpu, cpu, ram, secondary cpu and secondary ram speeds and bandwidth) We BOTH know thats not true....all those components are again doing Different processes.....some not even relevant to gaming!

Been out of school for 4 years with a major in computer science.

truefan11765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

As I have said over and over again, no one cares about these articles except the 6% of hardcore internet gamers. In the next 3 years people will see Titanfall, Quantum Break, Halo 2, Halo 5, and then Gears of War. That is what people will pay attention to, THE GAMES. No denying the ps4 is more powerful, but I love the multi dimentional aspect of the XB1 and it plays games just as well. I guess this hardware debate is something ps4 fans hold on to, because ps4 is losing the battle that counts, the games. PS don't bring up sales playstation is a worldwide brand as it is in its 4th generation, compared to the xbox in it's 3rd generation. I say all that to say this, none of these stupid ps4 is more powerful articles really matter that much. Price and worldwide brand recognition is why ps4 is selling so well, if you don't believe price persuaded a lot of people you are a fool. The reason these articles keep coming up, is because there have been a ton of articles highlighting how XB1 is bringing the games and Sony is keeping it's customers waiting and waiting. It seems every good news XB1 article is followed by a ps4 is more powerful article. Or when there is some bad news about ps4, like how it was erasing games, a ps4 is more powerful article will pop up as well lol. Anything to sweep the ps4 problems under the rug. Maybe it's just the pathetic people on this site.

denawayne1765d ago

@Angel - all KingDadXVI is saying is that an updated SDK will make the Xbox One utilize the RAM in a more efficient way. Like getting 20 miles to the gallon on a car that has the same size engine as a car 20 years ago that could only get 10 miles to the gallon.

Angels37851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )


I agree with that part of his argument....Its the initial sentence claim that is incorrect.

Heck if he read my first comment I basically agreed with that aspect:

"On a side not this is not the end of xbox one or the ability of it to produce good looking games, but you simply cannot move weaker hardware through drivers/sdk's to the level of stronger hardware.... in computers suggesting "raw vs specialized" power of a machine is a joke....the only specialization comes from optimization of the hardware you have."

I just said even through dev tool updates it wont become more capable than a system with MORE powerful hardware.....I NEVER said it wouldn't that is not the case.

My gaming pc has update to video card drivers every month almost...and it is continually improving performance....but it can only do so much...its not going to change my gtx680 to a gtx 690 (not saying the gap between consoles is that wide its just an example.....

KingDadXVI1765d ago

@Angels "You just proved my point by saying"

"It goes through one THEN the other if utilized"

Not sure who told you that but they are wrong. You do not have to send data to the DDR3 to get it to the Esram or vice versa. SMH, that is the most idiotic thing that I have ever heard. The Esram and Dram have separate channels to the GPU.

"lets say to put out HIGH resolution textures you need 170gb/s..... but the ddr3 ram usues 131gb/s you cannot break up the texture pak and have part of it run through the Esram and the other part run though the ddr3..... "

Quite comical and more evidence that your school years were wasted. I have 7 years in computer engineering and been at it since the 386 days.

Who said you have to break up the textures? I certainly did not. What I said was that by optimizing you put latency/bandwidth sensitive data into the Esram and your larger less latency sensitive data into your DDR3 ram. What I also said was that it was difficult without optimized drivers and SDKs for developers to determine what to put into those pools.

If I am sending and receiving 68Gbps data between the DDR3 and GPU while at the SAME TIME sending and receiving 204Gbps between the Esram and the GPU then total bandwidth to the GPU is 272 Gbps.

Sorry, it is that simple.

By your twisted logic you can't add the individual data pipes into each block of ram either not to mention the individual memory modules. How do you think that you actually calculate the bandwidth of a block of memory? You take the number of bits per module and add them up. For example if you have DDR3 you can have a four 64 bit channels giving you a total of 256 bits. Your logic apparently does not allow that because you are accessing 4 different modules.

I don't need to read better but you should get a refund from the school you went to.

Angels37851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )


I think this is stemming from a misinterpretation of what I mean't in my very first post

you quoted me saying:

"It goes through one THEN the other if utilized"

Notice the keyword "IF" as in IF this route of other possible routes is taken...not saying it is the sole possibility.

as for the second part...I never said that you said to break up textures...I was merely providing an example to make the next point.

also I agree that SDK's/ driver optimizations can definitely improve performance.....I do it every month practically for a new Nvidia driver.

I never said there is only one channel for the ddr3 and the esram, you assumed that...because you're right that is idiotic and very incorrect.

The last point is a bit more...based on perspective.

Yes that is how you measure bandwidth of Memory modules, but again....ddr3 and esram are NOT the same.

I guess it more of a agree to disagree moment on this part...which happens:)

Its kind of technicality of the way the system works

@WrAiTh Sp3cTr3

Microsoft is the only one to state that (because they will use every advantage it is a competative business after all bigger numbers=better) every other "professional" not talking about neogaf people....know that is not the case

its more of....a technicality....thats why its theoretical.

even microsoft in the VERY article you posted states "THEORETICAL"

jebabcock1765d ago

@truefan... What new games has ms brought since launch? Every multiplatform Game runs and looks better on ps4.. MS is doing so much better that you could only list 5 Games NONE of which are releasing anytime soon and two are halo games... one a remake... All i can say is wow..

UncleGermrod1765d ago

Well said. What people need to understand is that it is not entirely impossible for many of the moderately demanding games to hit 1080/60 on x1...just that devs need time to figure out clever work-arounds to do so. Of course, not all devs have the resources to this, and at the moment it seems many of the early titles have suffered this fate.

At the end of the day, all you can really ask for at this point is that x1 gradually begins to match the ps4's performance more frequently. It will not always happen, as some of the more demanding titles will likely have to sacrifice frame rate and/or resolution in order to maintain parity in other areas (would we really rather have had CoD ghosts running at 1080 on the x1, but with less particle effects or lower AA??).

Speaking of ghosts, that is one title I really believe could have been rendered in 1080 on x1 had the time, resources, and experience been there. That's precisely the problem, ps4 is more powerful and yet easier to develop for...old news, no?

I think where the x1 will really be able to shine is with it's own exclusives, where hopefully the amount of focus will allow for very pretty games that can still "wow" us and be rendered at higher resolutions.

Prime1571765d ago

Interesting. I like the way you explained it. I only know a little about esram, and where I drew my biggest conclusion about it is that ibm has that 128mb esram computer to have the similar returns.

No one ever talks about what you said, about each having their own cycle, everyone just adds them together and says it's better on paper.

I love the tech stuff, and I know x1 will perform better, but xbox is learning the same problem Sony just learned with the ps3.

Maybe ms will stop forcing the market? Or is that just wishful thinking?

Giul_Xainx1765d ago

(A city bus backs up behind you with a sign that reads out what I am about to say.)

What about the cloud?


neoMAXMLC1765d ago

" PS don't bring up sales playstation is a worldwide brand as it is in its 4th generation, compared to the xbox in it's 3rd generation."

Nintendo is on their 6th generation. Your point?

Oh, and that last line of yours is pretty ironic.

assdan1765d ago

I'm not a tech analyst in any way, but I smelled a massive amount of bs when major nelson went on and said that. If that's how it worked, sony should have just put in a megabyte of ram with a bandwidth of 1000mb/s. The bandwidth of this system is it's major bottleneck. No matter how well they are able to use that esram, it will never be able to catch up to Sony's brute force with the gddr5. I think this console would have been better off if they cloccked the ddr3 significantly higher and left the eSRAM out. Would it be weaker? yes. But they would probably been able to sell it at the same price or less than the ps4.

Ju1764d ago

Of course you can read/write from two sources at the same time on the XO and of course this means those are not the exact same data. But even if, it will still lag behind the PS4. It is almost a requirement if they ever want to come close. The tools need an upgrade because so far those are lagging behind big time - what is surprising is that Sony has the better VS integration than MS who actually builds VS and given the track record with the 360 you'd expect this to be quite the opposite.

And while MS is trying to figure out how to get their sh!t under control...Sony is adding GPGPU support to their SDK (gpu ray casting, physics, for example). FYI.

mewhy321764d ago

I agree. You cant combine the two bandwidths. The ESRAM is tiny. As many devs are finally openly complaining that it's too small to proberply do 1080p 60fps games. The DDR3 is a factor in this as well. ms should have bit the bullet and put better pool of high speed ram on the board or at least put a bigger pool of this ESRAM on the GPU. But as it stands the tiny ESRAM and weaker GPU of the bone make it vastly inferior to the PS4's GDDR5 and massive GPU.

Cuzzo631764d ago

All the tweaks and firmware will not add extra gpu cores, better fill rates or shader output. It's more than jus ram. Ps4 has the better gpu period lol. Reality is hard to realize i see for some. A dream is just a dream

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 1764d ago
dedicatedtogamers1765d ago

Won't be the death. It'll simply hold it back. Nothing more; nothing less.

Bigpappy1765d ago

Nope when optimized, it will improve bandwidth.

I am not going to say any more than that right now. The update an soon to be released games will speak for themselves.

Eonjay1765d ago


You cant really improve bandwidth without bumping up the clock speed but you can find wayz to better manage how that bandwidth is utilized. Expect everyone to make changes to their SDK throughout the generation. The longterm question is how Microsoft will address future memory requirements as artis5 seek to add more to each frame.

Things like tress effects are whats really holding back X1 versions of games due to the large memory requirements and the need to snyc that to frames. Such effect have even been shown to slow down the PS4. So in the end you either have to Micromanage your memory or you have to find methods that use less memory period.

MRMagoo1231765d ago


The exact same thing that happens when PS4 is more optimised and PC is more optimised, the gap wont get any smaller , it will actually get bigger as time goes on, no point in arguing with you tho because its like explaining physics to a cow.

UncleGermrod1765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

To me, it is a full-blown joke for anyone to say the xbox one is dead, or will die. Regardless of where they go with price, I think it is clear at this point that xbox is alive an well. The major disappointment here is that MS really came such a long way last generation, only to seemingly hand back the lead to sony this time.

The console should be fine, but it is up to MS how aggressive they want to be in trying to match sony. There is a lot of time to go, and MS seems to be getting their s*** together now.

I doubt the console will ever surpass ps4, especially considering japan. At the same time, I do not think the number would be any thing like the ps2/xbox era. Just because sony has been doing so great doesn't necessarily mean that the xbox brand is going just means they need to be really smart about things from here on out, and do whatever they can to keep their hands around as much market share as possible.

EDIT: sorry, i seem to have placed this reply under the wrong comment.

Sammy7771765d ago

firstly it is a blog post not a full fledged site. Weak Hardware would definitely impact sales but won't kill the Xbox One . There are millions of Xbox One fans in USA who would atleast keep the console alive. Europe and Asia were always lost causes and Ms shouldn't waste money concentrating on those regions

1765d ago
CryofSilence1765d ago

Death of the console is a rather premature jump of the gun. At worst, it will be a handicap. It will likely be a boon for the console, given its decidedly weaker GPU.

ABizzel11765d ago

Please just stop it. The eSRAM is one of the benefits the box has, the problem is the small amount, but in no way is that going to "kill the XBO".

MRMagoo1231765d ago

Its a benefit for things that arent games related i guess but for games its a bottleneck along with the gpu.

ABizzel11765d ago


No it's not. The eSRAM as I sad is a benefit to the XBO, the problem is the amount is so small. The GPU can't be a bottleneck, it's just not as powerful as the PS4.

The main problem is XBO's DDR3 is far slower than the PS4's GDDR5, and the small amount of eSRAM can't make up the difference except in a couple of task at a time, while everything on the PS4 is rendered quickly.

The XBO will be just fine, it's just not the most powerful console on the market, and eSRAM is not going to kill it. It's stupid to think that. MS focus on being an AIO device is a reason they'll suffer, have a weaker console that cost $100 more is a reason they'll suffer, inferior 3rd party games is a reason they'll suffer, but a piece of RAM isn't.

The XBO died because of a piece of RAM. Please just stop it.

lifeisgamesok1764d ago

The creators of DirectX know what they are doing if they say the modules can be added i believe them

They are the engineers not N4G

Anyone wanna post a degree?

Cuzzo631764d ago (Edited 1764d ago )

Can they add extra fill rates, gpu cores, shaders? It's more than just the ram. No need for a degree, ITS ON WIKI. LMAO

Kayant1764d ago

Lmaooooooo are you seriously quoting Panello there. Looool damn the same guy that was proven wrong, completely dodged the question about multi-plat differences and has yet to go back to gaf to apologise like he said he would if he was wrong.

Right it also begs the question as to why they are so far out with their dev tools compared to PS4 since when these consoles where announced.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1764d ago
Angels37851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

Its not the death of the console as optimization and familiarity are always present over time, but it will not catch up to stronger hardware. Its just not possible.

jhoward5851765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

The Bottom line is that the Xbox One’s eSRAM will NOT be the death of the console.

I really hope so...cause I wasn't expecting the x1 to run in to so many problems early on.

The gap between the x1 and the ps4 are huge. so i'd really like to see what MS is going to do with the x1 this GEN.

1765d ago Replies(1)
idontcare1765d ago

Huge?? I haven't seen one game that looks a lot better on PS4. And even if ... i would always choose xb over ps because i think the whole system is more thought out and i like the games more.

No_Limit1765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

Same here, I have both systems ATM and to tell you the truth, I think I might just Craiglist my PS4 for the time being because there are no games that interest me in the near future until Naughty Dog and Santa Monica release their AAA games.

And there is nothing on the PS4 now that scream a massive difference just like how the original Xbox and PS2 situation (sure the Xbox looks a bit better but the PS2 looks 95% close enough and has massive games advantages).

Right now I am loving my XB1 and playing the living heck out of Dead Rising, Killeer Instinct and patiently awaiting the release of Titanfall.

Godmars2901765d ago

Wont the question be if the XB1 does fall behind, cannot survive for five or even ten year, if MS will launch a new console? Will the brand actually be strong enough to sell anymore and how what could be an otherwise early/premature release as far as the industry is concerned effect it?

People are already looking at Nintendo for a WiiU successor just for them to catch up. So in another two to three years the overall benchmark might be changed again?

theWB271765d ago


The X1 is not selling bad. Last time figures were released it was selling at a record pace.

At the same time there happens to be another machine selling better.

That doesn't make the X1 a failure. The Xbox brand isn't damaged even after the RROD AND the DRM fiasco. Why would coming in second place be bad?

Nintendo is in a WHOLE different place. They released their first HD console which happened to be slightly more powerful than machines that released 6+ years earlier. They're behind in their online infrastructure and have basically 0 major 3rd party support.

Xbox is ok. Live rakes in money....360 has been profitable for years (RROD messes with those numbers) each X1 is sold at break even or profit. There's nothing about the X1 that indicates it won't be able to survive the full of this gen.

Godmars2901765d ago

Not talking about how the XB1 is doing *now* but how it may be doing in six months. A year. If within a year MS releases a new version which is practically going to cripple it further, make it more inclined towards the DRM version which put them into the position they're in now, while keeping the Kinect. Another part of the mess.

There's no real point in arguing XBL because for most of its existence its been nothing but free money for MS and the only counter balance for all of the losses the division has suffered since the first Xbox.

Ron_Danger1764d ago


"The X1 is not selling bad. Last time figures were released it was selling at a record pace. "

Record pace?! As what?! The fast selling runner up?

Sammy7771765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )


The Xbox One isn't selling well at all outside USA. November and December saw diehards uptaking the console. If you look at european numbers , it is disastrous for Xb1. Barely any game is being seen on Euro charts from January onwards. It was a big blunder for Ms to launch with an overpriced and underowered console. No esram won't kill Xbox One but could end up losing most its marketshare to Ps4

please look at the weekly charts on neogaf to get an idea Xbox One version of tomb raider failed to even chart in top 10 at most places let alone sell as well as ps4 version for reference and i know xb1 launched to 9 euro regions only

theWB271765d ago

Disastrous...ok ; ) disastrous are these numbers?

Bigpappy1765d ago

You were doing fine until you use tomb raider as evidence that X1is not selling well. It is the ps4 finesse who got excited and bout that remake at full price because it was said to be 60fps. Has nothing to do with Xbox selling or not.

jackanderson19851765d ago

not saying the PS4 isn't selling better but you realize it's only estimated at most 80000 copies of the new tomb raider were sold in europe yeah? and that's combined xbox and playstation sales....

MorePowerOfGreen1765d ago

Well that was fast damage control. Yeah something that will help unlock its full potential will be its death LOL.

deadfrag1765d ago (Edited 1765d ago )

Green is still waiting for Microsoft to show the hidden Gpu that he so much defended before the release of the Xboxone,i think he still thinks its there hidden.

LeCreuset1765d ago


Yes, it was fast damage control, and if you had bother to read the article, you would know why.

DoesUs1765d ago

LMFAO! You STILL think there's hidden magic? It is you after all! For anyone remotely interested, Mistexmedia has an account on N4G call iMad. Tells you all you need to know really.

For the gazillionth time, not that you need to know, but there is no, I repeat there is no hidden secrets in the XB1. End of story.