Microsoft Xbox: AMD CPU replaced by Intel at the last minute

Photo: Microsoft / Editing: Sven Baudouin

Sometimes it takes more than 20 years for details to emerge, because only after the 20th anniversary of the first Xbox does Seamus Blakely, the “father of Xbox,” reveal that Microsoft was only able to use the AMD platform even before that. The game console has been announced. The CPU has been replaced by the Intel CPU.

AMD engineers sat in the front row

Not only all the developer kits created up until then, but also game scenes announcing that Xbox will be running on the Xbox platform with an AMD processor. When the Xbox was introduced on January 7, 2001 at CES 2001 in Las Vegas, where Bill Gates announced it with an Intel processor, engineers from AMD were sitting in the front row helping out with prototyping. According to Blakeley, his decision to change the main processor was not at the last minute, but then-Intel CEO Andrew Grove turned to Bill Gates. According to him, the decision to change was made not for technical reasons, but for purely political ones.

Blackley doesn’t reveal exactly which processor from AMD was in the first prototype of Microsoft Xbox. However, appropriate forms must still be present. However, the Dev-Kits mentioned in the Alpha I that have appeared so frequently in public have a processor from Intel, even if initially only at 600 instead of 733 MHz. The Alpha II development kits used an Intel Pentium III at 733MHz and a copper miner core, which was also used in the final Xbox. The Nvidia MCPX X3 GPU has done the job alongside it. With a performance of around 13.0 gigaflops, the Xbox was twice as powerful as the PlayStation 2.

Seamus Blackley will never forget the sad faces of AMD engineers while he and Bill Gates announced the Xbox with an Intel processor, he wrote on Twitter. After switching from an Intel processor to a PowerPC with the Xbox 360, Microsoft has been using a core processor from AMD since 2013 and from the Xbox One.

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