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Hackers Discover Wii U's Processor Design and Clock Speed 173

MojoKid writes "Early, off-the-record comments from game developers indicated that the Nintendo's Wii U console horsepower was on par with, or a bit behind the Xbox 360 and PS3, which raised questions about just how 'next-generation' the Wii U would be. Now, Wii and PS3 hacker Hector Martin (aka Marcan) has answered some of these questions and raised a few others. According to his findings, the Wii U's CPU is a triple-core design clocked at 1.24GHz. Marcan identifies the base design as a PowerPC 750, which makes sense. Nintendo used PowerPC 750-derived processors in both the GameCube and the Wii. Retaining that architecture for the Wii U would simplify backwards compatibility and game development. Now factor in the GPU, which is reportedly clocked at 550MHz. Some have favored the Radeon HD 4000 series as a basis for the part; I still think a low-end Radeon 5000, like Redwood Pro, makes more sense. That GPU was built on 40nm, measured 104mm sq, clocked in at 649MHz, and had a 39W TDP. The die size discrepancy between the Wii U and Redwood Pro would account for the 32MB of EDRAM cache we know the Wii U offers. Nintendo may have propped up a relatively weak CPU with considerably more GPU horsepower."
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Hackers Discover Wii U's Processor Design and Clock Speed

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  • by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @03:42PM (#42146123)

    I guess one could argue that you don't want a bunch of ports on your system, but most people can't afford to buy all the consoles and will choose whichever they can expect to get most of the games they want to play. This will, once again, turn into "and then there's the Nintendo port" that's a radically different game, since at that point it's cheaper to start fresh than adapt. And a lot of studios won't even bother, I suspect, leaving yet another Nintendo generation filled with shovelware and crap kid games that are dirt cheap to make because they're so bad.

    Nintendo's games are actually much more popular than the FPS/MMORPG crap on other consoles and the PC. Not being able to port this garbage is probably a net plus – Nintendo is going for a completely different (and larger) demographic. There is more to life than young men in the 14-25 age bracket.

    If the allegedly underpowered hardware of the Wii U offends you, congratulations – you're not the target audience.

  • by aNonnyMouseCowered ( 2693969 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @09:49PM (#42151085)

    Yes, an ex-Nintendo developer even had a name for this philosophy of building hardware using non-bleeding edge components: []

May all your PUSHes be POPped.