Xbox in the test: Microsoft dares to revolt against Sony

Xbox in the test: Microsoft dares to revolt against Sony

Other components

Of course there is more to the Xbox than just the core elements that are responsible for the arithmetic work. Especially among the other components there are several that make the advertised generation change compared to the PS2 appear justified. The simplest example is the sound processing unit.


The sound chip of the Xbox is part the Southbridge, which bears the name MCPX, based on the MCP (Media and Communications Processor) of the nForce chipset. From the latter, the MCPX also inherits its unique properties in the console world. Not only does it clearly outperform the competition with 256 stereo channels (the PS2 offers 48). Above all, it is the first to master DolbyDigital 5.1 Surround Sound both when playing DVDs and in games. To calculate the sounds in games, the well-known A3D technology from Sensaura is used, which can be described as the main competitor of Creatives EAX. In the MCPX, the calculated signal is then encoded using Dolby's third generation audio coding algorithm (AC-3). So whoever has a DolbyDigital system can use oneEnjoy a completely new atmosphere in games, provided that you are willing to invest € 30 for a special cable with an optical output. If you don't own a DolbyDigital decoder, you have to be content with 5.1 analog speakers with stereo sound.

Digital audio cable

In addition to the sound, the MCPX is also responsible for the network capability of the Xbox. This corresponds to that of a 10/100 Mbit Ethernet card. The output is also suitable for a normal RJ45 Western plug. On the one hand, this can be used to connect two consoles directly with one another with a crossed twisted pair cable. For example, you can play Halo against each other in Deathmatch mode. However, it gets more interesting when you use a hub. Then you can at least network up to four consoles with four players each. Furthermore, a connection to online games can be established via hub/switch and a running PC (with Gamespy software) before Microsoft launches its own servers this summer, on which you can then also play via a directly connected DSL modem. The effort to be able to play online seems to be really worthwhile in this country so far, especially because Halo places very high demands on the bandwidth, so that T-dsl customers with 128 Kbit/s upstream will not enjoy real multiplayer battles.

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