The various components that make up a PC have dropped in price dramatically in recent years. A high-end graphics card could still set you back more than a month’s wage of course, but your processors and motherboards and sticks of RAM have certainly become more affordable. With this in mind, and our ongoing belief that bigger numbers must be better, it’s always a bit surprising to see how little RAM our current generation games consoles are actually fitted with. It’s becoming more and more unusual to see a PC on a shelf with anything less than 1GB of RAM today, and top spec machines now frequently squeeze 12 or even 16 GBs into their cases.
The Xbox 360’s 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM looks almost pitiful when you compare it to gaming PCs on paper, even for a console that was first released in 2005, and yet these current generation consoles have been able to keep up with all the latest releases. Dedicated PC gamers will of course proclaim that the quality of graphics and textures is far higher on their rigs which is indisputably true, but for a console costing $300 you really can’t complain at a poor visual spectacle when placing it next to a PC topping $2,000.
There are many reasons why games consoles can cope with less RAM than PCs to play the same game. For one, games for consoles are optimized a lot more successfully than their PC equivalents because developers know the exact specifications to which they are working. Essentially this means that while there might be less RAM in a console, every little byte of it is working hard to produce the result that you see on your television. A PC might be fitted with GBs of RAM, but you can guarantee that it won’t all be in use, even for highly demanding moments of gameplay.
Games consoles are also a lot more streamlined than PCs when it comes to their operating systems. A PC always has plenty to be thinking about in the background, even if it’s just keeping Windows operating for you, whereas games consoles offer systems that concentrate on one thing at a time, allowing all of the included hardware to be focused on the one thing that matters, playing your game.
Basically what we’re getting at is that you don’t need to panic if it sounds like a games console has comparably less RAM than a modern gaming PC. All elements of the hardware selected for the Xbox One, from the GPU to the CPU to the RAM to the ESRAM to every little component will be designed to work together successfully in providing great graphics and fast and reliable performance.
The specifications confirmed for the Xbox One now show us that the next generation Xbox console will come complete with 8GB of RAM, the same as the PlayStation 4. 8GB might not sound like a lot when placed next to gaming PCs with double that quantity of memory, but remember that it’s still 16 times faster than the current Xbox 360. That’s a significant jump and certainly means that any titles released in the next few years should run both smoothly and beautifully on our new consoles.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 05/10/2013
Update -- Xbox One to Ship with 8GB of RAM says Microsoft -- May 22, 2013
Microsoft’s announcement on the 21st of May, 2013, confirmed that all Xbox One consoles will ship with 8GB of RAM – 16 times more than the Xbox 360 currently boasts. This dramatic increase will certainly help the next generation of games to run smoothly in the most complex of scenes, without any drop in frame rate. Although the demonstration of the Xbox’s power at the announcement event didn’t really show us its gaming capabilities, the response time as we watched the display jump from television to film to game to internet browsing was remarkable, and suggests that new 8GBs of RAM will be put to good use.
Update by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 05/22/2013