Xbox One developers will have access to slightly more GPU power than expected. When Microsoft announced the console, the GPU clock speed was cited as 800 MHz. However, Microsoft's Marc Whitten has confirmed that the GPU will be overclocked when the console ships later this year. The new clock speed is 853 MHz--a 7 percent increase.
"This is the time where we go from the theory on how the hardware works... to really having them in our hands. That's the time where you start tweaking the knobs. Either your theory was right, or you were too conservative," Whitten told Major Nelson in his latest podcast.
Increasing the clock speed may cause concern over potential overheating--an issue Microsoft will want to avoid given the RROD fiasco of the 360 generation. However, it appears the system was designed with heat in mind. One rumor suggests that the console was designed to be on for ten years continuously. With always-on no longer a requirement for the console, it's likely Microsoft has some wiggle room to overclock its GPU.
The surprise performance boost for Xbox One is undoubtedly good news. However, even with the increase in clock speed, Xbox One may still be unable to match PS4 spec. But as these two consoles become increasingly similar, the gulf between them is becoming ever smaller.