Installing Windows on an Xbox One APU: The Chuwi Aerobox Reviewby Dr. Ian Cutress on December 24, 2020 9:45 AM EST
So there’s going to be a lot of interest as to how this performs in our gaming tests, given the heritage of the processor. However, as previously mentioned, there are three things that are going to be against us here.
First is the driver stack. On a console the top to bottom software stack is optimized for both performance and ease of use. Game engine creators and game developers can both work to a fixed set of hardware, and take advantage of how close to the metal that software stack can be; this is why we get such great looking games as the lifecycle of a console continues. By contrast, our system has a straight forward version of Windows 10. It is as generic as it gets, which means optimizations will be on a much lower scale.
Second are the drivers themselves. There is no up-to-date solution here; our system shipped with beta versions of Adrenaline 17.12, which indicates we have December 2017 drivers. None of AMD’s regular driver packages will recognize this system as it uses a custom embedded processor. Some games will refuse to run because the drivers are so old. As a result we’re stuck in the services with a flat tire and no rescue in sight.
Third is the lack of additional eSRAM to help with memory bandwidth. The Xbox One and One S consoles had 32 MB of SRAM plus DDR3, while the Xbox One X had no SRAM but GDDR5. The A9-9820 APU has neither, instead relying on DDR3, and slow DDR3 at that. Memory bandwidth would appear to be a very obvious bottleneck in this regard, assuming that the graphics cores have plenty to work on.
With all that being said, here are our numbers, and we’re putting them up against some of the very basic competition from our database. Perhaps the best modern comparison point will be to the Ryzen 5 2400G, however we also have a Ryzen V1605B here, which is a 12 W embedded Zen processor with Vega 8 graphics. On the Intel side, I have the Core i5-6500U, a mid-range Skylake mobile processor used in many mini-PCs.
All of our games here are running at 720p minimum settings or lower, and the numbers will show you why.
|Frames Per Second Averages|
|Civilization 6||480p Min||24.4||91.2||52.9||35.7|
|Final Fantasy XV||720p Med||20.1||26.8||14.2||35.4|
|World of Tanks||768p Min||144.7||223.8||141.1||165.8|
|Borderlands 3||360p VLow||31.3||70.8||42.9||29.0|
|Far Cry 5||360p Low||31.5||58.0||25.5||19.0|
|GTA 5||720p Low||37.8||83.0||52.9||32.8|
|95th Frame Time Percentiles (shown as FPS)|
|Civilization 6||480p Min||17.1||57.6||34.8||26.8|
|Final Fantasy XV||720p Med||17.1||22.6||11.3||6.8|
|World of Tanks||768p Min||40.2||130.7||84.5||115.2|
|Borderlands 3||360p VLow||24.2||55.2||32.7||22.3|
|Far Cry 5||360p Low||26.0||49.0||21.5||16.0|
|GTA 5||720p Low||25.4||56.6||38.3||23.3|
In games like Civilization where the CPU matters, and in some of the other numbers, the poor performing Jaguar cores show how bad it can get – that low World of Tanks percentile comes into playm scoring only 40 FPS. If it weren’t for the CPU, the A9-9820 would be comfortably ahead of the i5-6500U in all of the tests. Games that didn’t run due to driver issues included F1 2019, Gears Tactics, and Red Dead Redemption.
From a personal experience perspective, I set myself up with a wired Xbox controller, and I very comfortably played several hours of Borderlands 3 single player at 720p Ultra Low settings. Frame rates hovered around the 30s, dipping into the 20s during firefights, or up in the 40s when walking through open spaces or in the towns.