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Speed and memory specs revealed for Nintendo’s Wii U console

Nintendo's reluctance to provide certain data on it's new Wii U console led the geeky gurus at PC Perspective to crack open their own system and publish their findings to the internet. Some of the data itself hasn't been confirmed, however, and still remains guesswork.

Nintendo's brand new handheld console has been shrouded in mystery in terms of many hardware specifications…but on launch day, the team at PC Perspective–a popular techno-geek website–took the opportunity to shed some light on the system's specs in their official Wii U teardown.

PC Perspective's launch day livestream teardown didn't reveal many of the burning questions that hardcore geeks and gamers have been asking about the Wii U–like what the system's GPU is like–however they did identify how much system memory the Wii U has as well as the overall memory speed.

According to their findings, the Wii U contains 2GB of Samsung DDR3 memory. A user on the Beyond 3D forums named AIStrong says this means that the WIi U's memory runs at a maximum speed of 17 GB/s:

"PCPer did a teardown. Great stuff… they actually read off the RAM chip (SMRT!). There's only 4 chips.

Samsung K4W4G1646B -> DDR3 4Gbit, 1.5V, 800/933/1066 speed bins -> I'm pretty sure that means "DDR3-1600/1866/2133" data rate.

256Mx16 would imply 16-bit I/O per DRAM… So… 17GB/s at most for main memory bandwidth. They didn't mention the rest of the numbers on the DRAM, but they ought to have high res photos later."

A recent NeoGAF forum thread reveals that the Wii U's system memory actually runs at a maximum speed of 12.8 GB/s, and that the original figure was a guess based on Samsung RAM speed.

To compare to current generation consoles, Durante, a user on the NeoGAF forums, has compiled memory speeds for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3:

360: 22.4 GB/s + eDRAM for framebuffer
PS3: 25.6 GB/s main memory BW + 22.4 GB/s graphics memory BW, no eDRAM

GTX 680: 192.2 GB/s

The Wii U's eDRAM amount and speed have yet to be determined, however it's kind of strange how Nintendo wouldn't release this data to the public in the first place. Many consumers enjoy knowing these kinds of specs and it allows them to weigh both the pros and cons of the console rather than just impulsively buy a product.

Also it's worth mentioning that this information has been gleaned from third-party resources on launch day, and that we probably won't know the full specs of Nintendo's newest console until more geeky gurus have had time to study its inner workings.

The data within this article is reported from various third-party websites including PC Perspective and multiple forums. I make no claims to the authenticity of the data within this article nor do I confirm or deny any of their findings.

Derek Strickland
Derek is an avid fan of gaming and everything geeky, and is compelled to make his mark in the field of games journalism. When he's not gaming on a console (everything from SNES to X360) you can find him reading about ancient civilizations or enjoying a fantasy epic or two.

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