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Hacker Reveals Wii U CPU Clock Details

by Zack Kaplan - December 1, 2012, 11:33 am PST
Total comments: 27 Source: (Description), Eurogamer, http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-w...

A peak under the hood of Nintendo's latest.

Hector Martin, a hacker with experience in exploiting both the Wii and PlayStation 3, recently revealed specific details of the Wii U's CPU clock.

Martin posted some of the figures on his Twitter account:

 "1.243125GHz, exactly. 3 PowerPC 750 type cores (similar to Wii's Broadway, but more cache). GPU core at 549.999755MHz." 

The specs indicate that the Wii U nearly doubles the clock speed of the Wii, while tripling the core count.

According to Martin, the internal designation of the Wii U CPU is "Espresso" and the AMD graphics chip is called "Latte," which correlate with the use of the "Project Cafe" codename prior to the console's formal naming.

When asked, Martin suggested the figures came from hacking the system, and not from a leak of information.


EyothrieDecember 01, 2012

That's a really low CPU clock speed.  I assume that the more modern GPU will be able to handle some of the tasks normally handled by the CPU.  Lets hope so, at least. 

ShyGuyDecember 01, 2012

I wonder if Nintendo could increase the clock speed with a firmware update. Didn't the increase the speed of the PSP that way?

EasyCureDecember 01, 2012

Quote from: Eyothrie

That's a really low CPU clock speed.  I assume that the more modern GPU will be able to handle some of the tasks normally handled by the CPU.  Lets hope so, at least. 

Hasn't that already been confirmed though? I'm sure I read it somewhere on this site.

the asylumDecember 01, 2012

wow they weren't kidding when they said the wii u's clock speed was pathetic

joshnickersonDecember 01, 2012

The Genesis clock speed was faster than the SNES, but that ended up meaning dick in the long run.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, December 01, 2012

I don't think third-parties were ever going to take the Wii U seriously, but the low whatever gives them a great excuse not to.

Shorty McNostrilDecember 01, 2012

Appparently the same guy has heard rumors that:

"If you want more evidence that MHz isn't everything, a little birdie points out that Durango (Xbox 720) is specc'ed to have a 1.6GHz CPU."

Mop it upDecember 01, 2012

Quote from: joshnickerson

The Genesis clock speed was faster than the SNES, but that ended up meaning dick in the long run.

This isn't entirely true. Genesis games generally ran more smoothly than SNES games, and that's because of its faster CPU. Just check out how much better the framerate is in Virtua Racing on Genesis compared to Stunt Race FX on SNES:

Virtua Racing

Stunt Race FX

Similarly, I imagine the low clock speed of the Wii U is the main reason why most third-party games on it have framerate issues.

That's not a good comparison since both Virtua Racing and Stunt Race FX had additional CPUs built on the cartridges. Virtua's was 23MHz and the FX chip was 21MHz (or half that in the earliest games).

Mop it upDecember 01, 2012

I know it isn't the greatest, but it's the one I remembered and I didn't feel like looking up some other games.

ThePermDecember 01, 2012

this doesnt mean anything

say clock speed = C
operations per cycle = O
and C * O = P, for power

if C = 3000 and O = 64 then P = 192,000
if C = 1500 and O = 128 then P = 192,000

also there is more m for memory
If most of O and C were  previously wasted moving around M then most of C didn't do anything worth a damn. If there is more M then there is more use from O and C

Kytim89December 01, 2012

Any chance that Nintendo weakened the CPU to reduce the generation of heat by the system, and thuse avoid a RRoD situation? This could explain why Nintendo gave the Wii U a streamlined designe in order to keep the system cool. If this is the case then I think Sony and Microsoft will do the same with their next home consoles. 

yoshi1001December 01, 2012

Guess Nintendo should have put a blast processing module in the Wii U.  ;)

It's virtually impossible to compare hardware specs these days, as there are so many variables involved in performance, not to mention the needs of the game being played.

BlackNMild2k1December 01, 2012

Just tell us how many bits the Wii U is, then we will know it's true power.

Stark_NebulaDecember 01, 2012

I wish people realized that things such as architecture, threads per core, RAM/CPU/GPU efficiency, latency and a slew of other things contribute to a console's performance.

And to Mop it Up, since the ports of other games where coded to used the the CPU as the main source of processing power rather than the GPU, it would make sense. Nintendo's games probably use more power but are coded efficiently and to the specs of the system.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterDecember 01, 2012

Hey everybody go to the general gaming section and look at the rumored 720 CPu clock speed from the same source!

ShyGuyDecember 01, 2012

Quote from: Caterkiller

Hey everybody go to the general gaming section and look at the rumored 720 CPu clock speed from the same source!

I bet those dirty GAFfers are having a bitter tears party over low speed Xbox 4 rumors.

SirpennywiseDecember 02, 2012

I believe more in content over graphics/computing power, The Wii did amazing things with 1/3 of the specs. With that said.

There is more to producing games than raw processing power / ram / GPU etc.. if those were all that mattered PC games would be decades beyond consoles. My home PC has 8 cores running at double the WIIu's clock speed with 10X faster GPU and yet the games don't look a whole lot better than whats on the consoles.

Numbers don't matter to the average consumer, Wii's have always been targeted at the family and they have done incredibly well with that. the graphics can be toned down as long as they keep producing amazing and innovative content.

People will continue to buy their products and game companies see that and hopefully will produce titles for them.

MagicCow64December 02, 2012

This clock speed conversation is just a distraction.

How many polygons can the Wii U output?

Polygon count is more of a function of the graphics chip than the CPU, and there's no question that the Wii U's graphics chip is a significant improvement over the other consoles.

BlackNMild2k1December 02, 2012

BITS DAMNIT that's all we need to know. How many BITS is the Wii U!?

I heard it's a 256Bit system. That's 4x as good as the Jaguar or the N64. 8X more powerful that PS2!!

But only twice as powerful as the Dreamcast.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterDecember 02, 2012

Ok so there are or were a few of us here that really got upset over this CPU speed issue. So how long before we see a game that totally erases this out of our minds because of it's amazing visuals but who will be the first one to say, "But it could have been better with a faster CPU!"

I'm going with E3 2013 and... Chozo...


EasyCureDecember 02, 2012

Hasn't everyone been raving about how amazing Rayman Legends looks? Or does that not count because it's not based on the Unreal engine? ;)

Blur256December 02, 2012

Sure the cpu is slow However, today's gaming standards are geared toward the gpu. Without a fast gpu a system is pretty much useless while trying to run today's standard of games. Also, what people fail to realize is the fact that we haven't even seen the Wii-U's true potential, just wait till next year and we finally get a glimpse into games that are being made specifically for the system. Also, from what I hear nintendo has some sort of software in the system which actually ghosts the systems true clock speed on the cpu, either way only time will tell.

iDraTionDecember 03, 2012

It's a triple core processor, so if things are coded for it well, it seems like it should be more than sufficient.  Boiling a video game down to its numbered rating is about as accurate as boiling down a processor to its clock speed.

ThePermDecember 03, 2012

The xbox 360 had a triple core processor. What this will amount to is programmers bitching about the lack of clock speed for a few months before they realize that the system has a way better gpu than the xbox 360 and way more ram. The thing about processor power is its usually underutilized because there isn't enough ram.

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