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Xbox One CPU gets spec bump to combat PS4 hardware supremacy

Following its spec-bump of the Xbox One GPU in early August, Microsoft has announced a 10 per cent upping of the system’s CPU clock speed.

At IFA 2013, Microsoft announced the Xbox One UK release date. At the same time, it also revealed that the console’s CPU will be faster than previously expected.

In previous Xbox One documentation, the console’s clock speed was pegged at 1.6GHz, but this has been increased to 1.75GHz – roughly a 10 per cent increase.

Microsoft says that this is to offer, “much more power for developers to make their games and entertainment really shine.”

Xbox One vs PS4
It is also a clear response to the PS4’s hardware specs, which appear significantly more powerful than the Xbox One’s – upgrade or no. The PS4’s spec supremacy is down to two main components – faster RAM and a more powerful GPU, which handles the lion’s share of graphics processing.

Where the Xbox One uses DDR3 RAM, the PS4 has faster GDDR5 RAM. The Xbox One also has a super-fast eSRAM frame buffer, but the tech consensus is that it doesn’t quite bridge the gap in core RAM speed.

The more impressive specs, the lower starting price and the more relaxed approach to DRM saw the PS4 take an early lead on pre-orders. Its initial stock allocation ran out on 8 August, where Microsoft only announced the same today, 4 September.

Xbox One’s 180s
The increased CPU clock speed is just one of a number of attempts by Microsoft to win back some PR points, its most crucial being the turnaround on its approach to DRM. Online security sign-ins were scrapped at the expense of game-sharing.

Increasing clock speed is a case of balancing the speed at which a processor can comfortably run without significantly decreasing its lifespan or producing excess heat, which could adversely affect the system as a whole. There is a slight chance that if Microsoft is pushing its luck in increasing the Xbox One CPU speed to 1.75GHz, it could cause similar sorts of hardware issues to those of the Xbox 360’s ‘Red Ring’ problems.

The Xbox One will be available in the UK from 22 September, and costs £429.99 including a Kinect sensor.

Next read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison

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