Xbox One reserves 10 percent of GPU for Kinect and snap mode

"Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode," Microsoft technical fellow Andrew Goossen told said.

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Both next-generation consoles may be powerful pieces of kit, but both companies are reserving quite a bit of resources just to keep the operating system running. Xbox One reserves 3GB of RAM for its OS, and also holds on to 10 percent of GPU resources. Why? To run Kinect and apps while you play games.

"Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode," Microsoft technical fellow Andrew Goossen told said.

Of course, it's early days for the Xbox One OS, and Microsoft isn't discounting the possibility of reducing the overhead in the future. "The current reservation provides strong isolation between the title and the system and simplifies game development--strong isolation means that the system workloads, which are variable, won't perturb the performance of the game rendering," Goossen told Digital Foundry. "In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality."

Early reports suggest that PS4 is noticeably more powerful than Xbox One, in spite of Microsoft's attempts to boost their console's specs. However, an early look at Xbox One's Dashboard was quite convincing: the ease of multitasking and the smoothness of switching between games and apps on Xbox One was appreciated.

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  • reply
    October 2, 2013 1:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Xbox One reserves 10 percent of GPU for Kinect and snap mode.

    "Xbox One has a conservative 10 per cent time-sliced reservation on the GPU for system processing. This is used both for the GPGPU processing for Kinect and for the rendering of concurrent system content such as snap mode," Microsoft technical fellow Andrew Goossen told said.

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:19 PM

      I'm not 100% sure if I should be super angry about this. please advise.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 1:22 PM

        Its the Xbox one. If you aren't shitting on it, you should be.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 1:38 PM

          Some unbiased and fresh ideas from Shacker JohnnyRey shock the world. Such an outside thinker, really adding to the conversation!

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 1:23 PM

        about 10 percent angry

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:23 PM

      Rabble rabble rabble

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:29 PM

      Lol. They continue to force that ui down people's throats.

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:36 PM

      Shame it's not 20%, then you could just call it the BONE

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      October 2, 2013 1:37 PM

      Still gonna try winning one from Mountain Dew.

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:40 PM

      Well that sucks :( , instead of a weaker GPU than the PS4 it should actually had a more powerful one to compensate for this hit.

      I will say it a hundred times, Kinect is one of MS biggest mistakes in their console history, what a waste.

      How many people on the Shack even care about it or want games built for it, it is such a specialty item that is the biggest problem with it. It is like saying we should pack light guns, DDR mats or even steering wheels(actually I would prefer that) with ever console.

      Kinect should of stayed optional until the demand was big enough and the games where good enough to ever consider packing it with the console. All that money wasted :(

      What else can you say, I suppose all that R&D had to pay off but if no one uses it, seems like such a waste of rad tech to be just used as an elaborate smart remote and really that is about it.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 1:46 PM

        Kinect is honestly one of the main reasons I'm interested in the XBO. It at least provides a bit of differentiation between the two consoles instead of your purchase decision boiling down to which platform exclusives you prefer.

        Whether or not they actually utilize it and make it worthwhile is another argument. I love the technology, it provides some really unique and cool things - but those don't necessarily translate to a fun gaming experience.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:16 PM

          I honestly was interested in the XB1 for the kinect as well. I would probably never use it for gaming. I was interested in it purely for the things it could do outside of playing a kinect game.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 2:41 PM

            I think we're probably under valuing what the Kinect can do. It's one thing that it was an optional accessory on the original system, but they've made it mandatory and augmented it's capabilities. I think that means even just adding stuff like voice recognition to games could become the norm - except that devs will code to the lowest common feature denominator so maybe not.

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 2:48 PM

              many EA games like Madden and Mass Effect have added voice controls for the 360 versions already

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 1:50 PM

        1. I said it before when everybody started freaking out about the notion of a vastly underpowered GPU, but this is what that 32MB DRAM is embedded for. The implementation has to be seamless or "integrating" the console with your television/cable box/dtv or what ever is going to be a pain in the ass nobody will want to endure.

        2. This doesn't have a lot to do with Kinect, specifically. At least, there's no reason Kinect can't be implemented with a big penalty that I can see. Not that this is necessarily a big penalty already.

        3. Just imagine for a second that the damn thing functions as it should. Is that terrible or will you lose sleep at night knowing that the XBox One isn't using as much as 10% when you are playing your game?

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 1:53 PM

        It's not even out yet. People thought the Wii was stupid but that sold amazingly. People thought the iPad was stupid but that sold amazingly.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 4:12 PM

          The only thing that most people thought was stupid about the wii was the name

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 2:15 PM

        You're the last person to have any credibility with regards to Kinect being a mistake or not. We love you valcan, but you are the exact opposite of the demographic it's targeted towards, and while you spend thousands upon thousands in the PC realm and are the PC suppliers' wet dream, in the console realm you won't really spend all that much more in hardware dollars than say, a standard family of four.

        The bottom line is that MS wants one of these in every living room possible, they want the living room platform that Gates was talking about 20 years ago. The Kinect really is in no way a roadblock for that plan.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:38 PM

          Well, beside the price, I agree with you. It's a $100 roadblock for that plan.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:49 PM

          Really, I did buy a Kinect on launch day and was juiced up about it when I first got it, but then I used it, basically it was a one hit wonder I had fun during Christmas and then I put it in a box(tried a few games and they really where disappointing). I used the Wii 100% more than the Kinect and I was hard core a Wii hater.

          It never felt more than a specialty controller with bad software. Really practically no game was developed like say DDR games, Car games(wheel support), Light gun games(house of Dead, Time Crisis), or Rock Band which where all 100% perfectly tuned with the specialty device. If there was a amazing Kinect 1 game what was it I don't remember any?

          Regardless of the above, for two years did Xbox 360 owners and media rave about how great Kinect 1 was and how amazing the X Kinect 1 game(s) was?

          Its like if Valve made HL3 for its fans that would make sense they 1000% are dying for it can you say the same for the Kinect 2. Take any console owner do you really think having a Kinect 2 was at the top of the list, if it is what do they expect to play or use it for?

          That is all I am saying I think the tech is rad but its just not something I would see as ever gamer wants it and has to have it so why on earth would you waste that portion on money in the console and tell gamers they want it when as far as I know they don't.

          Do that seem like a good decision to you? I bet if you did a poll if Xbox One owners would rather have a pimp steering wheel or Kinect the majority would all pick the Steering wheel.

          Maybe I have it all wrong, but I don't just play PC games I play everything.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 2:54 PM

            oh ffs valcan learn how to spell the most common verb in the english language. It's "they were" not "they where"

            usually I wouldn't say anything but that's three times in your last two posts... seriously man your posts are barely readable.

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 3:35 PM

              English is not his first language, dude.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 4:13 PM

                Valcanism is his first language.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 4:29 PM

                So should I read his posts in Apu's voice?

                "This is not a library! "

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 4:29 PM

                I know he's from eastern Europe, and I'm not saying this to attack him... It's just that he has a tendency to get super excited and type these long stream of consciousness posts in a hurry, and half of the time I honestly cannot understand what he is writing unless I make a considerable effort. It frustrates me.

                Anyway, there are plenty of shackers whose first language is not English (myself included, and this could be why I seem to have a harder time deciphering his posts than most) but we slow down and proofread once or twice before hitting that Post button to compensate :)

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 2:46 PM

        Valcan I find it very strange that someone who can get so passionate and excited over paper announcements and simple screenshots where you have no underlining context of how something is really going to work, that you've somehow gotten sucked into the shit show being drummed up by console warriors, where again, there is little real world context of what some of these announcements mean to actual gameplay/performance.

        Before you write it off as just a smart remote, lets see what it gets used for. If we end up with a bunch of shit waggle games like the Wii, we'll come back and dump on it together. :)

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:50 PM

          Not to really defend this particular point, but beside Happy Action Theater and Dance Central, that's exactly what happened. You either had shit (Steel Battalion) or shit (Star Wars Kinect).

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:55 PM

          I wish the Kinect 2 is going to be awesome, but I had the first one and it was not good, everything from E3 and the media thus far to people that have used it are not to pumped so I am concerned I can not forget the Kinect 1 experience it still lingers.

          Well what Kinect game should I be juiced up for drop me some names, I can not find anything than Kinect Sports Rivals.

          I guess I should just wait and try it out when I get my Xbox One in Nov, maybe I will eat my words heck I would love to, we shall see.

          Right now I just don't know....

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 4:31 PM

            I saw Fantasia at E3 and it looked like the kind of game Kinect was made for.

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 5:29 PM

              I don't know dude -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igCsmrAKods not convinced, atm I would play RockBand over this any day it doesn't seem fun like Rock Band at all, who knows... maybe when you try it it might be cool. But if you played RB hard core and look at this well.... yeah.

              I really loved the concept of Rock Band shit I bought a real drum kit and a Midi adapter, that was probably the most epic none game pad experience ever, next to a real good racing wheel/pedals and dual light guns with the DC and House Of The Dead 2.

              I want to believe :(

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 5:42 PM

                Standing up like a putz in the middle of the room, holding out your hands forward to move is not fun. Moving your arms around to control a scripted action is not fun. Kinect would be cool if they somehow figured out how to implement motion control like Nintendo did with Skyward Sword and motionplus. Literal 1:1 motion where your arm and hand have direct control over Link's arm and hand. It would be very cool to sit on the couch and make these motions and have that type of nuanced control with no controller - but will that ever be possible?

                • reply
                  October 2, 2013 6:04 PM

                  it will be much harder to accomplish without any iterative steps between no motion controls and perfect 1:1 mapping.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 6:11 PM

            I had the first one and it was not good

            That's somewhat understandable given your expectations of technology. But I've seen people who are not regular gamers, and casual-to-regular gamers enjoying the shit out of the thing, so I understand why MS is trying to do what it is doing.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 3:13 PM

          Of course we can't get pumped about the Kinect 2. What can it do? Well... lots of things...

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 3:40 PM

            I'm not saying you should be hyped for Kinect 2. I'm saying it's odd to write off the system at this stage, without even using it. This is the same shit people did with the PS3 before/at it's launch and I would say the PS3 ended up being a fine system.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 3:31 PM

        Well I think your right even if some does not object to kinect itself they will have problems with the price of it being included.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 4:10 PM

        Kinect is awesome... for PC users.

        Cheap 3D scanning and mo-cap. Mine is indispensable.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 5:01 PM

          haha ya I was gonna post that the kinect is actually really useful and cool, just not for games.

          It's a fantastic asset creation tool for mocap and scanning like you mention. We're considering mucking around with some of the mocap tools available for it. Isn't there one on steam?

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 5:28 PM

            Ipisoft make the no-cap one on steam. It's fairly good, especially with 2 Kinects.

            Skanect is another good application for it. With a bit of patience you can get some impressive 3D scans.

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 5:06 PM

          and Project Spark is using it for that on the Xbox One (and PC)

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 4:34 PM

        bitches I am about to go into full blown valcan_s defense mode!!! Sorry your 8800gt's can't handle shit anymore, haters!!! Have fun with Zumba Fitness, pansies.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 5:55 PM

        I kind of agree with how you feel about Kinect... but then I remember how cool I thought it was when I first heard about it. Really, the hate I have for Kinect now is only because the actual device never lived up to what I thought it would be. If Kinect 2 actually does end up delivering on all those promises... I don't know, it could be a very cool thing. I still believe that some future version of this technology could be how we interact with computers in the future. I just don't think we are there yet.

      • reply
        October 3, 2013 6:29 AM

        Kinect 2 is part of the reason I am looking forward to the X1. It actually provides new input methods which means hopefully more immersion in games. If it works correctly I should be able to tap the side of my head to enable night vision in the next Batman game. In Dead Rising 3 it listens to me and my room -- and any noise I make it input into the game.

        To make developers want to use Kinect you need near 100% adoption.

        This also ignores just the voice commands, IR blaster, etc...

        Right now I am getting both the X1 and PS4.

        To me though the PS4 is just a beefier PS3. I will turn on the PS4 when there is a PS4 game I want to play, otherwise it will be turned off.

        The X1 on the other hand will quickly become the center of my entertainment system. I will plug my DirecTV into it. From there every day when I get home it will be "Xbox On" -- which will turn on my Xbox, TV and DirecTV box. There I will say Xbox ESPN or whatever. Then the Xbox will stay on until I go to bed. I will be tied into my TV, more tied into when my friends get online and the Xbox will now be the center of my home entertainment. This is made better because of Kinect.

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 1:46 PM

      ouch. you'd think it would perform better with dedicated resources like that.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 2:25 PM

        what does this even mean?

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 2:44 PM

          nothing i was just hoping to speak with you.

          how are things?

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 2:22 PM

      Good to see there are still some MS fans out there, got to keep it competitive! It's funny how news like this can spark such stupid ideas though, it's like 'oh look at how stupid MS is, why would they waste such resources!' Pretty sure the engineers know what they're doing and wouldn't try to hurt the technology on purpose. They need a bit of credit for going head to head with Sony ffs. If it was only Sony and that other company we'd be paying 1000 bucks for the new PS4 so be happy they are where they are people!

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 3:23 PM

      what if I don't give fuck about Kinect?

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 3:33 PM

        Oh, you will, mister. And you'll like it.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 3:43 PM

        Then you don't plug it in/use it and you play games that don't require it?

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 6:04 PM

        Don't buy an XBox One. If you want to play Titanfall, build a PC. Problem solved.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 3:40 PM

        Has there been any new gameplay shown since E3 for it?

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 3:49 PM

          Not that I know of, I have only seen some spy came stuff of actual games but that is it.

          Odd hey, you would think they have some major titles at launch or in the pipe, I guess Kinect sports rivals is their big thing but it has been real quiet since E3 and even @ E3 it was quiet.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 3:58 PM

            Found this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnlHwThlrqA Wave race in Kinect Sport Rivals

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 4:08 PM

              aaaand we're back to 250ms+ delay.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 5:48 PM

                yeah the lack of delay was like the one thing that was having me think "hey xbone may be alright to get at some point with that fancy kinect" but now? ugh. whoever is designing the hardware at MS right now doesn't get it.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 6:55 PM

                A lot of this will depend on the TV. Even in Game Mode a bunch of TVs have 50+ ms of latency. There's only a couple that are 16ms or thereabouts.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 3:43 PM

        whoah. it looks like they've improved the input delay considerably in the first video. it's damn-near realtime.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 4:07 PM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 4:28 PM

        It looks to be the same tech demos as E3.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 7:13 PM

        What if it detects you're having a heart attack? Does it call the police?

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 6:18 PM

      10% of 1.75 GHz is 175 MHz. That doesn't sound "conservative" at all.

      • reply
        October 2, 2013 6:27 PM

        what does it sound like relative to the processing power required for multitasking and multi person voice and skeletal tracking?

        • reply
          October 2, 2013 6:40 PM

          Slicing off processor time is the lazy way out; it means that the OS isn't able to preemptively schedule processes as well as it possibly could.

          Hardware design has been full of clever hacks (hell, the reason why the 8088 was little-endian was for optimizations back when CPUs were really slow). Saying "we're walling off 10% of GPU clock cycles" suggests a rushed design. Even the talk of "maybe the next-gen Kinect will have more onboard processing" fizzled, apparently from a failed design path. "Nope; let's just reserve 10% of the GPGPU so we can guarantee Kinect processing and snap mode."

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 6:45 PM

            Doing hard GPU reservations is...hard. They have a method to do it and are guaranteeing that games get 90% no matter what, which is what a game developer wants to hear (guaranteed reservation).

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 6:50 PM

            what exactly would be the point of not making a hard line? So that you can make each game developer implement 100% power mode and 90% power mode since they can never be guaranteed that the user won't try to snap something in or use Kinect for something else? Consoles also reserve hard lines for OS memory when they could in theory page in and out some of that OS functionality that is unused at any given moment. But what's a game developer going to do with that newly reclaimed memory knowing it can disappear at any moment if the OS needs it? They'd be doing a ton of complicated scaling work for almost no benefit.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 6:58 PM

            Yeah, the window skernel can't do pre-emptive scheduling.... WTF? THey mentioned in their architecture talk that they specifically do the time slicing so that your game won't slow down because the system is doing stuff in the background. Slicing off a fixed allocation means the OS can do stuff like maintenance (e.g. download patches), Skype calls, the "snap" apps, voice recognition etc. without ever impacting the game performance.

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 7:05 PM

              Alright, but then why did he say this?

              "In the future, we plan to open up more options to developers to access this GPU reservation time while maintaining full system functionality."

              This news also comes out after the news that Watch Dogs is limited to 30 FPS, and Ryse can't do 1080p. Maybe they should've waited two more weeks to announce this.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 7:11 PM

                None of those facts are related. Most devs are doing 720p at 30hz at least until more people have 1080p TVs

                • reply
                  October 2, 2013 8:34 PM

                  1080p has been the majority market share since 2011. If it's not enough now it never will be.

                  • reply
                    October 2, 2013 8:55 PM

                    if it's 60% now that's not a great share, in 4 years if it's 85% that's absolutely a different state to evaluate which you target

                    • reply
                      October 2, 2013 9:11 PM

                      The whole frame rate vs fidelity thing, it's unfortunate it even needs to occur.

                      if only these pesky consoles could get out of the way for constant graphics tech improvements, etc.

                      and if only powerful gaming pc's were as affordable as consoles.

                      • reply
                        October 3, 2013 12:30 PM

                        Gaming PCs that render games at 720p are quite affordable.

                    • reply
                      October 2, 2013 9:13 PM

                      I don't find that very convincing. If most of your player base - by a significant margin - can see the benefit, I can't imagine market penetration beyond that matters much.

                      • reply
                        October 2, 2013 9:50 PM

                        if 40% can't that's a pretty significant loss considering the power could be applied in a way which 100% of your customers could see

                  • reply
                    October 2, 2013 9:03 PM

                    It's not even about that. People don't sit close enough to get the full benefit of 1080p, not to mention 720p or 900p with high quality upscaling.

                    • reply
                      October 2, 2013 9:09 PM

                      Thats a potentially valid argument, I was just doubting his statement about it being related to more people needing 1080p sets.

                    • reply
                      October 2, 2013 10:27 PM

                      Not a valid argument just about everyone moves up closer to their screen when they are playing a game they love. "high quality upscaling" makes me laugh as it changes absolutely nothing quality wise.

                    • reply
                      October 2, 2013 10:42 PM

                      It's noticeably different actually.

                      • reply
                        October 3, 2013 12:11 AM

                        Noticeable, but not worth 2x the cost. After 720p you hit diminishing returns quickly, and there are other areas where we haven't, yet. E.g. 60Hz for one, or more enemies on screen, etc.

                        • reply
                          October 3, 2013 12:09 PM

                          It really depends on what game you're playing. For me driving games and games like GTA that have a long view distance with a very distant vanishing point that you actually have to pay attention to really benefit from the extra pixel density. Currently at 720p anything beyond a block of view distance in GTA becomes a mushy mess and it's terribly distracting and really takes me out of the game. I'd take the extra pixels over an extra 20fps or whatever may need to be sacrificed...

                          I can't see how GTA 5 in its current form couldn't be run at 1080p on a next gen system and also have increased FPS and other visual improvements.

                    • reply
                      October 3, 2013 12:35 PM

                      Ya, bullshit. I sit 8ft from my 42" HDTV and the difference in detail between games on my 360, and those on my PC, is drastic. It's most noticeable on textures that were designed for and look fine at 720p. Everything is sharper, more detailed - distant objects are not 'blurry'.

                • reply
                  October 2, 2013 10:40 PM

                  Uhhhh I call bullshit. I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell that > 50% of launch titles will be 720p/30hz.

                  • reply
                    October 3, 2013 12:14 AM

                    Lunch titles are probably ore likely to spend their extra perf on something easy like bumping up the resolution or frame rate. I wouldn't bet against plenty of games going for more quality over res or fps eventually though. I'd want 60hz, but don't really care about 1080p.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 8:08 PM

                You'll just have to see won't you? Presumably it'll be similar to the way they did it on the 360, where you had two modes (guid up, guide not up) and had to run well on both even though one had significantly fewer resources.

          • reply
            October 2, 2013 7:09 PM

            You certainly are out doing Haxim for subtle trolls.

            • reply
              October 2, 2013 9:14 PM

              I legitimately didn't know that dynamic GPU reservations were not easy, and not like CPU time scheduling. But no, honesty is punished with accusations.

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 9:41 PM

                CPU time scheduling would also be retarded. The point of consoles is to be a fixed target. You don't want to that to arbitrarily fluctuate, nor do you want the "guide" stuff (e.g. skype) to have no guaranteed cycles if the game is busy (because then that experience looks awful). The solution is to split the reservations up. The people who write apps (that can be snapped) target their 10%, and the game targets their 90%, and neither game ever starts running sluggishly because the other is busy (the hypervisor OS stuff the xb1 has enforces this).

              • reply
                October 2, 2013 10:47 PM

                "10% of 1.75 GHz is 175 MHz. That doesn't sound "conservative" at all."
                "Slicing off processor time is the lazy way out;"
                "I see it as laziness. They basically want to force all XBox One buyers into downloading the newest firmware,"
                "Those who keep repeating "get used to tiles" are sheep who are easily swayed by eye candy, and can't appreciate UI consistency."

                So you're not trolling? You're just shit posting? Or are you really that uninformed on how things work? I guess I can't tell anymore.

    • reply
      October 2, 2013 8:54 PM

      Kinect is one of those tech items that 10 years from now people will be using it for all kinds of shit, except on anything Xbox related.

    • reply
      October 4, 2013 1:39 PM

      or.... it is so they can create the illusion of progress as they slowly release resources

      strike board room deals to keep indie titles... again... from accessing most of the consoles resources


      i am bored of their business model

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