No RAM bottleneck for the Wii U

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Nintendo’s next-gen console, the Wii U launches later this month, and despite some rather prohibitive pricing, I’m still damned excited. Nano Assault developer Shin’en Multimedia is also pretty excited – praising Nintendo for coming up with a solution to a problem that generally plagues consoles; memory bottlenecks.

Speaking to Not Enough Shaders, Shin’en’s Manfred Linzner said he was amazed by how much unoptimised code he could throw at the Wii U without so much as slowdown. the reason, he says, is that Nintendo made some incredibly smart design choices with regards to how it all works together.

“The performance problem of hardware nowadays is not clock speed but ram latency. Fortunately Nintendo took great efforts to ensure developers can really work around that typical bottleneck on Wii U,” he said.

“They put a lot of thought on how CPU, GPU, caches and memory controllers work together to amplify your code speed. For instance, with only some tiny changes we were able to optimize certain heavy load parts of the rendering pipeline to six times the original speed, and that was even without using any of the extra cores.”

Linzer believes that the Wii U has plenty power right now, but believes that once developers start learning some new tricks in the way of optimisation on the Wii U, we’ll start seeing the really impressive stuff.

The Wii U will be available locally from November 30. I wants one.

Last Updated: November 5, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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