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Wii U Cracked Open, System Memory and Speed Revealed

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 18, 2012 3:07:42 PM PST

Report: Wii U Cracked Open, System Memory and Speed Revealed
Luke Plunkett

Nintendo, like many hardware manufacturers, was cagey about the final specs for the Wii U, choosing not to reveal the system's overall memory prior to release.

Now that the Wii U is out, though, it hasn't taken long for someone to tear one apart and do the detective work themselves.

The crew at PC Perspective raced home and opened a launch-day Wii U up on a livestream. While they didn't solve all the system's mysteries, like what its GPU is like, they did claim to ascertain how much system memory the Wii U is packing, and how fast that memory is.

According to PC Perspective's teardown, the Wii U has 2GB of DDR3 memory (provided by Samsung). User AlStrong on the Beyond 3D forums says this means the memory runs at a maximum speed of 17GB/s.

For reference, NeoGAF user Durante writes for comparison's sake:

360: 22.4 GB/s + eDRAM for framebuffer
PS3: 25.6 GB/s main memory BW + 22.4 GB/s graphics memory BW, no eDRAM

GTX 680: 192.2 GB/s :P

That's raw speed, mind you; the Xbox 360, for example, only has 512MB of DDR3 memory, but can do more courtesy of the system's eDRAM. What we don't know yet is how fast the Wii U's eDRAM is, and how much it's going to help matters when we do. Which is a pretty important thing not to know.

It's a little silly Nintendo can't release this kind of information themselves, as not doing so has left us with half-truths, which as you can probably predict can often confuse more than no-truths. I mean, it'd be easy to look at this and assume the Wii U is, in simple terms, a less powerful machine than its current-gen competitors.

But it's far from the whole story, and we won't get that until people have had time to really get under the console's skin and do some tests on the complete range of hardware.

You should also note that these findings come as a result of a fairly speedy third-party appraisal; you might do well to wait and compare the findings against those of others once the machine has been thoroughly torn down before considering them as gospel.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:11:54 PM PST
I'm not sure if the spec are good or not...

I wonder how the Wii U will stand up to both the 360 and PS3.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:12:20 PM PST
Zeno says:
So I wonder if they've already hacked the Wii U?

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 3:14:38 PM PST
DVvM says:
"It's a little silly Nintendo can't release this kind of information themselves"

It's not that they can't, it's that they see no reason to. They're not trying to sell you the Wii-U on the basis of the hardware numbers. They're trying to sell you the Wii-U on the basis of the controller and the games. If you're the sort of person who makes buying decisions based on technical specs, why are you even looking at Nintendo hardware to begin with?

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 4:35:57 PM PST
As I suspected. I've been playing it today and while ZombiU offers the closest visuals to PS3/360, it also looks a little washed out. Not sure if it's native 720p or not. Perhaps Eurogamer will do a tech analysis on ZombiU and we'll find out. Its graphics are more than good enough, but it's like the Wii, a generation behind. The weirdest thing about the Wii was that it was pretty much the Gamecube. At least this time this is the first HD Nintendo system you're getting.

Posted on Nov 18, 2012 7:19:36 PM PST
So I open up my WiiU ...whats up with the Xbox 360 grey power brick!
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  Nov 18, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 18, 2012

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