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Nintendo GameCube

From Sega Retro

Nintendo GameCube console

The Nintendo GameCube (Japanese: ゲームキューブ; Romaji: Gemu Kyubu) is a video game console by Nintendo belonging to the 128-bit era; the same generation as the Sega Dreamcast, Sony Playstation 2, and Microsoft X-Box.

Overview

The Nintendo GameCube (originally code-named "Dolphin" during development) was released on September 14, 2001 in Japan; November 18, 2001 in North America; and Spring 2002 across Europe. The Nintendo GameCube, or GCN, was widely anticipated by many who were shocked by Nintendo's decision to design the Nintendo 64 as a cartridge-based system. Physically shaped similar to a geometric cube, the Nintendo GameCube uses a unique storage medium, a proprietary format based on Matsushita's optical-disc technology; the discs are approximately three inches in diameter (considerably smaller than a standard CD or DVD), and the discs have a capacity of approximately 1.5 gigabytes. The outside casing of the Nintendo GameCube is most often Indigo, but the system is also available in other colors, such as Platinum (a silvery color) and Jet (a very dark gray color or black). In Japan, the system is also available in Spice (an orange color) or in limited edition colors like Crystal White (for Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles), Mint Green (for Tales of Symphonia), Copper (for Char Aznable from Gundam) and White with black pinstripes (for the Hanshin Tigers). The GameCube system used for testing software during development is a chocolate color.

Nintendo plans to release the GameCube's successor, currently code-named Project Revolution, in late 2005.

Hardware specifications

The following are hardware specifications provided by Nintendo of America. Some benchmarks provided by third-party testing facilities do indicate, however, that some of these specifications -- especially those relating to performance -- may be conservative.

Central processing unit

  • Name: "Gekko"
  • Producer: IBM
  • Core Base: PowerPC 750CXe
  • Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre 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
    • 128-bit SIMD
  • External Bus:
    • 1.3 gigabyte/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

  • Name: "Flipper"
  • Producer: ArtX/Nintendo (ArtX were acquired by ATI Technologies in 2000 and is now a part of ATI)
  • Manufacturing Process: 0.18 micrometre NEC embedded DRAM process
  • Clock Frequency: 162 MHz
  • Embedded Frame Buffer:
    • Approximately 2 megabytes in capacity
    • Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds
    • RAM type is 1T-SRAM
  • Embedded Texture Cache:
    • Approximately 1 megabyte in capacity
    • Sustainable latency of 6.2 nanoseconds
    • RAM type is 1T-SRAM
  • Texture Read Bandwidth: 10.4 gigabytes/second (at peak)
  • Main Memory Bandwidth: 2.6 gigabytes/second (at peak)
  • Fill Rate: 648 megapixels/second
  • Pixel Depth:
    • 24-bit RGB / RGBA
    • 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
    • Anisotropic filtering
    • Real-time hardware texture decompression (S3TC)
    • Real-time decompression of display list
    • Hardware 3-line deflickering filter

Aural functionality

  • Producer: Macronix
  • Clock Frequency: 81 MHz
  • Instruction Memory:
    • 8 kilobytes of RAM
    • 8 kilobytes of ROM
  • Data Memory:
    • 8 kilobytes of RAM
    • 4 kilobytes of ROM
  • Simultaneous Channels: 64 channels
  • Encoding: ADPCM
  • Sampling Frequency: 48 kHz

Other system specifications

  • System Floating-point Arithmetic Capability: 10.5 GFLOPS (at peak) (MPU, Geometry Engine, HW Lighting Total)
  • Real-world Polygon Performance: 6 million to 12 million polygons/second (at peak

) (assuming actual game conditions with complex models, fully textured, fully lit, etc.}*

  • Main RAM:
    • Approximately 24 megabytes in capacity
    • Sustainable latency of 10 nanoseconds
    • RAM type is 1T-SRAM
  • Auxiliary RAM:
    • Approximately 16 megabytes in capacity
    • 81 MHz in speed
    • RAM type is DRAM
  • Disc Drive:
    • Drive type is Constant Angular Velocity (CAV)
    • Average access time is 128 milliseconds
    • Data transfer speed is between 2 megabytes per second and 3.125 megabytes per second
  • Disc Media:
    • Based on DVD technology
    • Diameter is 3 inches in length
    • Producer is Matsushita
    • Approximately 1.5 gigabytes in capacity
  • Controller Ports: 4
  • Memory Card Slots: 2
  • Analog Audio/Video Outputs: 1
  • Digital Audio/Video Outputs: 1 *
  • High-speed Serial Ports: 2
  • High-speed Parallel Ports: 1
  • Power Supply: AC Adapter DC12 volts x 3.25 amperes
  • Physical Measurements of Entire System: 110 mm (H) x 150 mm (W) x 161 mm (D). [4.3"(H) x 5.9"(W) x 6.3"(D)]

Accessories/peripherals

  • Controller (in Purple, Black, Orange, Silver or Purple and clear)
  • Wavebird (RF wireless controller)
  • Memory Card (59, 251 or 1019 blocks. A maximum of 127 files can be stored on a memory card)
  • GameCube Game Boy Advance Cable (for games that support connectivity)
  • Modem or Broadband adapter (for internet play)
  • Game Boy Player (to play Game Boy games on your TV)
  • In the US, Component video cable (for progressive scan (480p) support)
  • In Europe, an RF cable for connection to older televisions, and an RGB SCART cable for high-quality connections

Sonic Games for the Gamecube

Sonic Cameos for the Gamecube