Wii U system specs
Wii U system specs include an IBM CPU and AMD graphics chip. The Wii U specs also feature 1.5 GB of memory, according to the latest reports. While the Wii U system specs are only rumored at this point, several sources have pointed towards the Wii U being about 50% more powerful than current generation consoles. Wii U hardware will be based on modern technologies from IBM and AMD. For developers, the Wii U dev kit includes many of these features, but is also packaged with software tools and libraries.
Full Wii U system specs (unconfirmed)
- Tri Core, 3 GHz PowerPC-based 45nm CPU, very similar to the Xbox 360 chip. The CPU features 2 MB cache, 1 MB for Core 0, and 512 KB for cores 1 and 2
- 2 GB RAM: 1 GB is allocated for games and is shared between the CPU and the GPU, while 1 GB is allocated to the operating system.
- Custom 40nm AMD GPU with 32 MB embedded eDRAM and unified shader architecture
- 25 GB Blu-ray based disc
- 8 / 32 GB internal flash memory
- Custom, Nintendo-made Wii U operating system that runs on a separate, ARM-based processor.
- Dedicated 120 MHz audio processor, 6 channel audio for console, 2 channel for controller
- 512 MB separate on-board flash storage for the OS only
Wii U CPU
The Wii U CPU is made by IBM, based on its PowerPC CPU architecture, with all new instructions and features tailored for the Wii U system. The IBM Wii U CPU is made at 45nm and is based on the POWER7 architecture, which supports from 4 to 8 cores and 2-4 MB of L3 cache, although there are versions of the CPU with as much as 32 MB of cache. Nintendo has been rumored to use a scaled down CPU with just 3 cores @ 3 GHz, in order to keep power consumption low.
Wii U graphics
Wii U graphics are powered by a newer generation of AMD’s ATI graphics processor (GPU). Little is known about the Wii U graphics chip, but it will be based on AMD’s recent Radeon HD design, and it will be made at 40nm. The graphics and CPU are expected to share the same memory (RAM), but will also include its own frame buffer of 32 MB. The Wii U graphics technology means that this will be the third time Nintendo works with ATI for the console GPU. The Wii U graphics processor has been in development since 2010, according to reports, and it’s based on the Radeon HD 5000 series technology. For more, check out the Wii U GPU page.
Wii U RAM
Wii U 2 GB of RAM, most likely GDDR4. 1 GB will be available to games, and will be shared by the CPU and graphics chip. In addition, Nintendo has set aside 1 GB of RAM for the operating system alone. The Wii U dev kits reportedly include 3 GB for developers. RAM is a crucial hardware requirement by games, and more RAM generally means the game can load more visual features such as higher resolution textures, larger game worlds, support HD, and so on. Additionally, more Wii U RAM usually means faster loading times in games.
Wii U disc drive
The disc drive in the Wii U will be a custom, high capacity disc design based on the Blu-ray platform. The regular sized 12cm optical discs will store 25 GB per layer, although it’s uncertain if multiple layers will be supported. However, despite the design being based on Blu-Ray and similar technologies, the Wii U will not support Blu-ray nor DVD movie playback. This is because Nintendo believes that most already have hardware to play movies, and that the Wii U is a gaming machine first and foremost. It will be able to stream movies via Netflix and other online services, though.
The Wii U will include 8 GB of internal flash storage, according to initial reports from suppliers. The flash storage will be used for the operating system, save games, apps, and player profiles. Downloadable games, via the Nintendo Network, will be stored using the 8GB of flash memory, however, the Wii U supports external USB hard drives, USB flash drives, and SD cards as well.