Insiders stress that Revolution runs on an extension of the Gekko and Flipper architectures that powered GameCube, which is why studios who worked on GCN will have no problem making the transition to the new machine, they say. IBM's 'Broadway' CPU is clocked at 729MHz, according to updated Nintendo documentation. By comparison, GameCube's Gekko CPU ran at 485MHz. The original Xbox's CPU, admittedly a different architecture altogether, was clocked at 733MHz. Meanwhile, Xbox 360 runs three symmetrical cores at 3.2GHz.
Nintendo's Revolution console, as seen on-display at the Game Developers Conference 2006
Clearly, numbers don't mean everything, but on paper Revolution's CPU falls performance-wise somewhere well beyond GameCube and just shy of the original Xbox. However, it's important to remember that there is no way to accurately gauge the performance difference between GCN's PowerPC-based architecture and the the Intel-based CPU of Xbox. Further, even if we could, these numbers are only one part of the equation.
Revolution's ATI-provided 'Hollywood' GPU clocks in at 243MHz. By comparison, GameCube's GPU ran at 162MHz, while the GPU on the original Xbox was clocked at 233MHz. Sources we spoke with suggest that it is unlikely the GPU will feature any added shaders, as has been speculated.
'The 'Hollywood' is a large-scale integrated chip that includes the GPU, DSP, I/O bridge and 3MBs of texture memory,' a studio source told us.
The overall system memory numbers we reported last December have not greatly fluctuated, but new clarifications have surfaced. Revolution will operate using 24MBs of 'main' 1T-SRAM. It will additionally boast 64MBs of 'external' 1T-SRAM. That brings the total number of system RAM up to 88MBs, not including the 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. By comparison, GameCube featured 40MBs of RAM not counting the GPU's on-board 3MBs. The original Xbox included 64MBs total RAM. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 operate on 512MBs of RAM.
IGN: Revolution's Horsepower
Man I understand Nintendo acting like they are doing a totally different thing and to not compare them with Microsoft or Sony, but wow - when the hardware isnt even better than the original XBOX, what the heck does that say for the future of this platform? In 2 years would you still be happy with this, heck by that time your cell phone will probably equal this. This is troubling for sure if you ask me. If the Revo's controller is a flop, this console will die a horrible horrible death and be buried right beside VirtualBoy.