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How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting the RA

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Microsoft talks us through finding the balance between features and games

Xbox One offers a total of eight gigabytes of RAM, a stupendous leap over its predecessor's 512 MB - but around three gigabytes of this is set aside for entertainment apps, system-wide Kinect features and communication tools like Skype, which run in parallel to games. Naturally, this has provoked a certain amount of upset among those who'd rather each and every byte of memory was set aside for the sole, exclusive purpose of, say, rendering folds in Batman's cape.... read more

How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting the RA

Postby ChaoticP » 29 Jul 2013, 14:29

Nice insight, hopefully this explanation will appease some of the disgruntled gamers. Game consoles have clearly moved beyond just gaming, the decision to dedicate 3GB of ram at first puzzled me, but it makes perfect sense in hindsight.
Last edited by ChaoticP on 29 Jul 2013, 14:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Bugsquat » 29 Jul 2013, 14:32

I'm gonna say one word to you, just one word:
Immersion

P.S. 100th post. Go team!
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby CunningSmile » 29 Jul 2013, 14:54

Bugsquat wrote:I'm gonna say one word to you, just one word:
Immersion

P.S. 100th post. Go team!


Congrats <set off party poppers>

Had a couple of people hit that recently, nice you stuck around after the One announcement as new people are always nice :mrgreen:
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby ShowanW » 29 Jul 2013, 16:12

This was a good read. Makes a lot of sense. I never once thought about an game app running along side a game (or in the game) real time. Now that's seamless immersion if it can be done on the Xbox One.

Or did I completely read this wrong?
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby msbhvn » 29 Jul 2013, 16:38

I hope the "RAM split" isn't a physical split, like 3GB on one part of the motherboard and 5GB somewhere else. Splitting RAM between hardware is one of the biggest failings of the PS3, and the main reason Skyrim worked so much better on the 360 with its unified RAM.

Still, 5GB is more than enough for games right now, and maybe the OSs can be optimised later to free up more resources.
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby James Banks » 29 Jul 2013, 16:48

ShowanW wrote:This was a good read. Makes a lot of sense. I never once thought about an game app running along side a game (or in the game) real time. Now that's seamless immersion if it can be done on the Xbox One.

Or did I completely read this wrong?


You got it right.

So a game can claim the app space. That is interesting. I don't think MS would approve them doing so without a good reason. But good to know the option is there.

I also imagine this is how twitch streaming works. It runs on the app layer so your game doesn't suffer slowdown.
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Hollg » 29 Jul 2013, 17:12

Enjoyed reding this. More like it please.

One of the first big (good) impressions for me was the announcement of the 3 operating systems. It made sense. My most annoying hate on the 360 is waiting, everytime you move to another area of the dashboard it just takes too long. Instant switching impressed me so much that I was sold immedately.

Looking forward to the Xbox One. Would like to see more articles like this one soon.
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby CunningSmile » 29 Jul 2013, 17:28

msbhvn wrote:I hope the "RAM split" isn't a physical split, like 3GB on one part of the motherboard and 5GB somewhere else. Splitting RAM between hardware is one of the biggest failings of the PS3, and the main reason Skyrim worked so much better on the 360 with its unified RAM.

Still, 5GB is more than enough for games right now, and maybe the OSs can be optimised later to free up more resources.


I've read somewhere that MS will reassess the split once they know how much is needed which makes me think its a software split rather than hardware
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Xbox11 » 29 Jul 2013, 19:03

Instead of them telling us reasons why they decided to assign 3gb of ram to Skype and messenger apps and any other crap that doesn't really need to be active while playing games , They could of just dumped the pony Kinect fail 2.0 and included 360 SOC for backwards compatibility and let that run the dashboard apps etc when we arent playing older games, Then kill two birds with one stone, Truth of it is they want to be sure the latest streaming advert for Pizzahut pops up correctly, While browsing the latest DRM protected "Cloud" games, While "Kitt" Err Kinect watches your girlfriend get changed to go out :wink:
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby LeprechaunsWOOD » 29 Jul 2013, 19:03

I believe it may be a software split due to the fact that MS have confirmed that they have built in upgrade-able software and this could be utilised in the future to move resources as the life and evolution of the machine will change and grow. But it seems quite forward thinking to me.
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Maximus T » 29 Jul 2013, 19:37

Xbox11 wrote:Instead of them telling us reasons why they decided to assign 3gb of ram to Skype and messenger apps and any other crap that doesn't really need to be active while playing games , They could of just dumped the pony Kinect fail 2.0 :


Horse riding games never really work, do they? :wink:
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Xbox11 » 29 Jul 2013, 20:23

Maximus T wrote:
Xbox11 wrote:Instead of them telling us reasons why they decided to assign 3gb of ram to Skype and messenger apps and any other crap that doesn't really need to be active while playing games , They could of just dumped the pony Kinect fail 2.0 :


Horse riding games never really work, do they? :wink:


Who knows with the awesome power of Kinect anything is possible :lol: .
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Scottthetitan » 29 Jul 2013, 20:32

What if Microsoft was to announce they could make the 360 hdmi pass through for x1 and developers can add a
software patch which recognizes the 360 to use x1 controller for games
and kinect patch that will allow developers to also make 360 kinect games that experience we
have always wanted that would be a super sale point. Backwards
compatibility FIXED!!! What do you guys think on a educated level?
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Xbox11 » 29 Jul 2013, 20:41

LeprechaunsWOOD wrote:I believe it may be a software split due to the fact that MS have confirmed that they have built in upgrade-able software and this could be utilised in the future to move resources as the life and evolution of the machine will change and grow. But it seems quite forward thinking to me.


It will definitely be a software split, Because god forbid if they ever wanted to allocate more power to anything they would be stuck..

One of the reasons so much power is being allocated to the OS is to have as many hoops as possible for a program to jump through before its cleared to run, I also imagine real time anti piracy detection is playing a big part too , Seeing as they have now dropped the log into live every min in case somebody farted on your hypervisor policy
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Re: How Xbox One's operating systems work - why splitting th

Postby Bugsquat » 29 Jul 2013, 23:24

Scottthetitan wrote:What if Microsoft was to announce they could make the 360 hdmi pass through for x1 and developers can add a
software patch which recognizes the 360 to use x1 controller for games
and kinect patch that will allow developers to also make 360 kinect games that experience we
have always wanted that would be a super sale point. Backwards
compatibility FIXED!!! What do you guys think on a educated level?

On an uneducated level? I'd say that this might just be crazy enough to work. Watch out the entire Microsoft Xbox Division Hardware Team: here comes a man with a plan!
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