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How Dreamcast Works

Dreamcast Console

Lets take a look at the components inside a Dreamcast, and what their capabilities are:

Processor: 64-bit Hitachi SH-4

Processor: 64-bit Hitachi SH-4

  • Processor clock speed: 200 MHz
  • MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second): 360
  • Bus speed: 800 MB per second
  • Cache: Instruction: 8 K; Data: 16 K

Graphics: 128-bit 100 MHz NEC PowerVR 2DC

  • Resolution: 640x480 or 320x240 interlaced
  • Colors: 24-bit (16,777,216) maximum, as well as 16-bit (65,536) mode
  • Polygon rendering: 3,000,000 polygons per second
  • Memory: 8 MB video RAM

Geometry engine:

  • Alpha blending
  • Perspective correction
  • Gouraud shading
  • Anistropic, bilinear and trilinear mip mapping
  • Z-buffer

Audio: 45 MHz Yamaha Super Intelligent sound processor

  • Channels: 64
  • Sample rate: 44.1 KHz
  • Special effects: reverb, delay and surround sound
  • Memory: 2 MB RAM

Memory: 16 MB

Operating system: Windows CE-based or custom Sega OS

Game medium: Proprietary GD-ROM (Gigabyte Disc)

  • Transfer speed: 1800 kilobytes per second
  • Storage capacity: 1.2 gigabytes
  • Memory buffer: 128 K

Modem: 56 kilobits per second (Kbps)

The Dreamcast is the first console that has a built-in 56 Kbps modem. It was added to enable online play over a phone line, allowing users to play games against each other across long distances. In addition to the built-in modem, Sega is working on a cable or DSL external modem. Broadband networks are being developed that will take advantage of such a modem and enable fast online games for the Dreamcast.