Next Xbox to pack triple-core CPU?

— 10:08 AM on March 11, 2005

Earlier this week at GDC, some specs leaked out for Microsoft's next Xbox, code-named Xenon, and it's the stuff from which legends about powerful, unannounced video game consoles are made. GameSpy has some of the dirt, including this tidbit:

Xenon's CPU has three 3.0 GHz PowerPC cores. Each core is capable of two instructions per cycle and has an L1 cache with 32 KB for data and 32 KB for instructions. The three cores share 1 MB of L2 cache. Alpha 2 developer kits currently have two cores instead of three.
As expected, the spec also includes a new ATI GPU that's "a generation beyond" the current X800 lineup.

This bit of news certainly sheds new light on that recent MS patent application story, and it lends credence to the idea that games will soon be taking very good advantage of multi-core CPUs, despite the sad history of gaming and multiprocessing. The question now may become: will dual-core PC processors have the beans to keep up with a triple-core Xbox?

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