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Overall system floating-point performance Central processing unit

The central processing unit (CPU), named Xenon (Microsoft) or Waternoose (IBM) is a custom IBM triple-core PowerPC-based design. [3]

  • 90 nm process, 165 million transistors
  • Three symmetrical cores, each one SMT-capable and clocked at 3.2 GHz
  • One VMX-128 (IBM's branding for AltiVec) SIMDunit per core
  • 128×128 register file for each VMX unit
  • 1 MB L-2 cache (lockable by the GPU) running at half-speed (1.6 Ghz) with a 256bit bus
  • 512 megabytes of L-2 memory bandwidth (256bit x 1600MHz)
  • DOT products performance: 9,6 billion per second
  • ROM storing Microsoft private encrypted keys.

Graphics processing unit

Xbox 360 GPU; note the smaller eDRAM die to the left of the main Xenos die.

The graphics processing unit (GPU) is a custom ATIR500-based "Xenos"

  • 325 million transistors total
  • 500 MHz parent GPU (90 nm process, 235 million transistors)
  • 500 MHz 10 MB daughter embedded DRAM framebuffer (90 nm process, 90 million transistors)
    • NECdesigned eDRAM has internal logic for color, alpha blending, Z/stencil buffering, and anti-aliasing.
  • 48-way parallel floating-point dynamically-scheduled shader pipelines
    • 3 groups of 16 arithmetic logic units
    • 1 ALU per fragmentpipe for vertex or pixel shader processing
    • Unified shader architecture (This means that each pipeline is capable of running either pixel or vertex shaders.)
    • Support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0, limited support for future DirectX 10 shader models
    • 2 Shader operations per pipe per cycle
    • 96 Shader operations per cycle across the entire shader array
    • Shader performance: 48 billion (48,000 million) shader operations per second (96 shader operations x 500MHz)
  • 8 ROPs in daughter die
  • 16 Filtered & 16 unfiltered texture samples per clock
  • Maximum polygon performance: 500 million triangles per second
  • Texelfillrate: 8 gigatexel per second fillrate (16 textures x 500MHz)
  • Pixelfillrate: 16 gigasamples per second fillrate using 4X multisample anti aliasing (MSAA) or 4 gigapixel per second without multisample anti aliasing (8 ROPs x 500MHz)
  • Dot productoperations: 24 billion per second or 33.6 billion per second theoretical maximum when summed with CPU operations.


  • 512 MB 700 MHz GDDR3 (1400MHz effective) RAM (Total system memory is shared with the GPU via the unified memory architecture.)

System bandwidth

The system bandwidth comprises:

  • 22.4 GB/s memory interface bus bandwidth (700 MHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle (one per edge) on a 128 bit bus)
  • 256 GB/s eDRAM internal logic to eDRAM internal memory bandwidth
  • 32 GB/s GPU to eDRAM bandwidth (2 GHz × 2 accesses per clock cycle on a 64 bit DDR bus)
  • 21.6 GB/s front side bus (aggregated 10.8 GB/s upstream and downstream)
  • 1 GB/s southbridge bandwidth (aggregated 500 MB/s upstream and downstream)


  • 115 GFLOPS theoretical peak performance for CPU
  • 1 TFLOPS theoretical peak performance of CPU and GPU combined


  • All games support at least six channel (5.1) Dolby Digital surround sound
  • Supports 48 kHz 16-bit audio
  • 320 independent decompression channels
  • 32 bit processing
  • 256+ audio channels
  • No voice echo to game players on the same Xbox console; voice goes only to remote consoles
  • Voice communication supported by the console, not by each game. This allows players to communicate online even if they are playing different games.
  • Uses XMA codec (advanced audio technology from Microsoft)


  • VC-1at non-HD NTSC and PAL resolutions
  • VC-1or WMV will be used for streaming video
  • VC-1supports DVD quality and high definition quality video
  • Bink Videois licensed for games like Project Gotham Racing 3
  • additional MPEG2 decoder for DVD video playback

DVD drive

A 12X DVD-ROM SATA drive, capable of reading DVD+R/RW discs and DVD-R/RW, is part of the console, with game titles shipping on single or dual-layer DVDs. The other supported formats are: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-R/RW, WMACD, MP3CD, and JPEG Photo CD.

It has been confirmed by Yoshihiro Maruyama, Japan's chief of Xbox operations, that Microsoft will never release games for Xbox 360 in a format other than DVD. [4]

Bill Gates has confirmed during his keynote speech at CES 2006 that an external HD-DVD drive will be released for the 360 this year.[5] However, Peter Moore has stated that if HD-DVD loses the format war, Microsoft may release an external Blu-Ray drive.[6]

Xbox 360 games are set to the standard 7.95GB of storage available on a dual-layer DVD. Due to the limited space of standard DVDs, some games made for the system may span multiple discs, although procedural generation of textures and models (as seen in the PC game .kkrieger) may reduce the need for multiple discs.


The Xbox 360 has two 80mm exhaust case fans to remove air heated by the processors. It is louder than the Xbox because of this.

Physical characteristics

  • Weight 3.5 kg (7.7 lb)
  • 30.9 cm (L) x 25.8 cm (W) x 8.3 cm (H) (12.16 x 10.15 x 3.27 in)


  • Support for WMV HD and progressive or interlaced DVD video playback.
  • Media Center Extender capability
  • The console makes use of regional lockout. Games bought for the console in a specific region can only be played in a console from the same region, though some games are region-free. DVD playback on the console has similar lockouts.
  • All games must support a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a minimum of 720p HD resolution with 2x full-scene anti-aliasing enabled. The GPU can downsample 720p to lower display resolutions (including 480i SDTV and 480p) and dynamically crop or scale 16:9 to fit 4:3 screens. Some games will optionally support native 1080i and 480p video resolutions as well.
  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • Microsoft claims all games will support custom music. There are several ways to utilize the custom soundtrack option: by ripping music from audio CD's, by streaming music directly from a PC, plugging in a USB Flash Drive, or by plugging in a USB-capable portable music player.



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