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Gamecube Specs Updated

The Specifications for Gamecube Have Changed Slightly

This article is from IGN

May 16, 2001

    Nintendo has updated GameCube's specification sheet revealing a few new clockspeeds, and a more complete features list. The most notable changes are the upgraded speed of the Gekko CPU processor, which now runs at 485MHz. As well as the Flipper graphics chip which has been slightly downgraded from 200MHz to 162MHz. All the hardware must be in sync, which is one of the reasons that graphics chip has a lower clockspeed at this point. At 200MHz that seemed to be the ceiling for the processor speed -- any higher and the chip would have run too hot. So, with an upgraded CPU, Nintendo's only option was to downgrade the speed of the graphics chip. This affects bus speeds, and bandwidth, but will it make a difference? Technically speaking, yes, but had Nintendo not announced the spec change users would have never known the difference. The kits most developers were using had a slightly lower clock speeds than the final version. So, if anything, the upgrade to the CPU is going to benefit developers in the area of animation, ridding games of slowdown, more complex AI, etc.
    Personally, we think the recent demonstrations speak for themselves. GameCube is very powerful, and in the end it's about gameplay. In that regard, the "specifications" can only grow with time. See what will no doubt be the final specification sheet for the system below.

Size: Approximate Height 4.3" / Width 5.9" / Depth 6.3".

Media: Three-inch Nintendo GameCube Disc based on Matsushita's Optical Disc Technology, with approx. 1.5GB Capacity.

Launch Date: September 14, 2001, in Japan; November 5, 2001, in North America; and Spring 2002 in Europe.

Titles: Seven exclusive Nintendo GameCube titles from Nintendo are expected by the 2001 holiday season in North America.

Peripheral Devices: Memory Card, containing 4 megabits of flash memory; SD-Memory Card Adapter; Wireless Wavebird; Controller; 56Kbps, V. 90, Modem Adapter; Broadband Adapter; and Digital Video Cable.

Controller: To provide more comprehensive and intuitive play control, Nintendo has added several new features to the Nintendo GameCube controller, including a second analog control stick, left and right analog trigger buttons, and a built-in rumble motor. The Nintendo GameCube controller has two grips and the controls for the left and right hands have been separated into two "systems." The right-side buttons have been re-arranged to allow the user to set the A Button home position, making the role of each button more natural.

This is the old controller that was revealed last year.


This is the new controller revealed this year. Not much of a difference.

MPU (Micro Processing Unit)
Custom IBM Power PC "Gekko"
Manufacturing Process 
0.18 micron IBM Copper Wire Technology 
Clock Frequency 
485 MHz 
CPU Capacity 
1125 Dmips (Dhrystone 2.1) 
Internal Data Precision 
32-bit Integer & 64-bit Floating-point 
External Bus 
1.3 GB/second peak bandwidth
32-bit address space
64-bit data bus
162 MHz clock 
Internal Cache 
L1: Instruction 32KB, Data 32KB (8 way)
L2: 256KB (2 way) 
System LSI
Custom ATI/Nintendo "Flipper" 
Manufacturing Process 
0.18 micron NEC Embedded DRAM Process 
Clock Frequency
162 MHz 
Embedded Frame Buffer
Approx. 2 MB 
Sustainable Latency: 6.2ns (1T-SRAM) 
Embedded Texture Cache
Approx. 1 MB 
Sustainable Latency: 6.2 ns (1T-SRAM) 
Texture Read Bandwidth 
10.4 GB/second (Peak) 
Main Memory Bandwidth
2.6 GB/second (Peak) 
Pixel Depth
24-bit Color, 24-bit Z Buffer 
Image Processing Functions 
Fog, Subpixel Anti-aliasing, 8 Hardware Lights, Alpha Blending, Virtual Texture Design, Multi-texturing, Bump Mapping, Environment Mapping, MIP Mapping, Bilinear Filtering, Trilinear Filtering, Ansitropic Filtering, Real-time Hardware Texture Decompression (S3TC), Real-time Decompression of Display List, HW 3-line Deflickering filter 
Audio Processing
(Incorporated into the System LSI) 
Sound Processor
Custom Macronix 16-bit DSP 
Instruction Memory
Data Memory
Clock Frequency
81 MHz
64 simultaneous channels, ADPCM encoding
Sampling Frequency
Floating-point Arithmetic Capability
10.5 GFLOPS (Peak)
(MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total) 
Real-world polygon
6 to 12 million polygons/second (Peak) 
(Assuming actual game conditions with complex models, fully textured, fully lit, etc.)
System Memory
40 MB
Main Memory
24 MB MoSys 1T-SRAM
Approximately 10ns Sustainable Latency
16 MB 81 MHz DRAM
Disc Drive
CAV (Constant Angular Velocity) System
Average Access Time
Data Transfer Speed
16Mbps to 25Mbps
3 inch Nintendo GameCube Disc based on Matsushita's Optical Disc Technology
Approx. 1.5GB
4 Controller Ports
 2 Memory Card Slots
 Analog AV Output
 Digital AV Output
 2 High-Speed Serial Ports
 High-speed Parallel Port
Power Supply
AC Adapter DC12V x 3.5A
4.3"(H) x 5.9"(W) x 6.3"(D)

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