Microsoft explains how it achieved Faster Loading Times on Project Scorpio

Project Scorpio Leak, DX12 preferred API

Yesterday, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry revealed the final specs of the Project Scorpio as they had an exclusive look at Microsoft’s upcoming mid-gen console refresh. However, it’s not only the spec details that have revealed; Redmond also talked about various technical aspects related to Scorpio.

Project Scorpio is designed to have significantly faster loading times. The console is built from the ground up to run all content so this ability is especially a considerable technical achievement for the company. Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow, Graphics at Microsoft, explains how they were able to achieve this feat:

We’re able to say that game loads will be fundamentally faster. There are three ways we say that – one of which is the CPU boost. The 31 percent CPU boost in terms of clock will help games that are CPU-bound in terms of their IO.

The second one is that we’ve improved the hard disk speed. We’re actually promising developers a 50 percent improvement in overall bandwidth for the purposes of driving 4K textures, but this also helps us in this situation where you’re running existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles. They will also benefit from the faster hard disk.

If Xbox One games take five gigs, we have three gigs left over. We do a file system cache on that. Any repeated IOs… if you go into a race and come out or if you go into a fight and come out, we’ve got a nice boost right there for load times as well.

Project Scorpio's faster loading times explained
Credit: Eurogamer.net

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Another major update for Scorpio is it’s benefiting from unique Direct3D 12 features. According to Goossen, this is “a massive win” for the firm as well as the developers who’ve adopted D3D12 on Xbox. The technology would essentially allow developers to cut their CPU rendering overhead by half, which is incredibly impressive isn’t it?

Last but not least, Goossen mentioned that all of their titles will get full anisotropic filtering by default when running on Scorpio. This will be a huge boon, especially when we take into consideration the smoother frame-rates and no screen-tear at all.

We built into the hardware the capability of overwriting all bilinear and all trilinear fetches to be anisotropic. And then we’ve dialled up the anisotropic all the way up to max.

Project Scorpio is planned for a Holiday 2017 launch. The specs sure sound promising: an eight-core custom Jaguar x86 (evolved) CPU clocked at 2.3GHz; GPU having 2560 cores at 1172MHz; 6 teraflops compute performance; and 12GB GDDR5 RAM with 326GB/s memory bandwidth.

What are your thoughts on Scorpio’s hardware advancements? Let us know in the comments below.

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