Sony's Mark Cerny discusses why the PS4 will use an x86 architecture

By on April 26, 2013, 7:00 AM

Much has been said about Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 4 although a large portion of the system still remains unknown. One thing we do know, however, is that the console is based on an x86 processor instead of a proprietary chip like the CELL processor found in the PS3.

Sony’s Mark Cerny recently sat down with Gamasutra to discuss this decision. In short, the company moved to x86 to make it easier for developers to code on the machine. The eight-core CELL processor in the PS3 is extremely powerful but the problem developers discovered was that it was equally as complicated and difficult to utilize the full potential of the chip.

When you have studios like EA pushing out ports on an annual basis, there really wasn’t any time to study the hardware and use it to its best ability. With the PS4, developers will be working with a familiar CPU and GPU which will make it easier to develop quality titles and port them to and from the system.

Cerny also touched on the system’s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn’t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth.




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1 person liked this | Sunny87 said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What shit is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

1 person liked this | Sunny87 said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What shit is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

GTX690 sorry

Demigod001 said:

While he is right that the ps4 would trump a pc on a hertz for hertz basis the ps4 runs slower, by quite a bit, than most pc's on that basis. We need to know some more about the APU to really say much about it but to be honest Ill be surprised if it matches a mid/high end 7000 series card probably more a low/mid end.

1 person liked this | LukeDJ LukeDJ said:

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

GTX690 sorry

I'd like to see this super PC for the price of a PS4 console.

I'm a PC guy myself, but if you're going to criticise a product at least do it right.

Gragodine said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What shit is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

I would also like to see that pc cost $400

All of your points A-D are also completely invalid

A: There is nothing wrong with "onboard" graphics as long as it does it's job well

B: Just because PCI has a wide buss doesn't mean the GPU can access and use the system memory as frame buffer. To my knowledge it can only use the ~2gb the card is equiped with.

C:I didn't know anyone other than AMD made APU's. Also an apu that can match an I3 in cpu and destroy it in gpu task with lower system heat/power is a win in my book.

D:This one... I dont really think you know what you are talking about.

Mandark Mandark said:

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

GTX690 sorry

No. You are so wrong. The Cell isn't even that great. It is a horrible piece of shit by comparison because it was NEVER FULLY UTILIZED because its just too difficult. game ports suffer for this crap as well. They did it for BETTER GAMES development and for developers.

Guest said:

There's something I dont get.

If the architecture is x86 wont this mean that it's still going to be a bottleneck for x64 PCs?

I get that it will be way easier to port in and out now and I congratulate sony for going with an architecture that will make developers focus more on their games and not on getting new programers to work with a whole new programing language and architecture, lets hope that some great games come out as a result of that and with shorter development cycles.

PS: I wrote this because I read this a while ago [link] and now this got me thinking that perhaps consoles are going to bottleneck this advancement for a few more years.

MonsterZero MonsterZero said:

There's something I dont get.

If the architecture is x86 wont this mean that it's still going to be a bottleneck for x64 PCs?

I get that it will be way easier to port in and out now and I congratulate sony for going with an architecture that will make developers focus more on their games and not on getting new programers to work with a whole new programing language and architecture, lets hope that some great games come out as a result of that and with shorter development cycles.

PS: I wrote this because I read this a while ago [link] and now this got me thinking that perhaps consoles are going to bottleneck this advancement for a few more years.

Short answer yes. The bottleneck will be the underutilized CPU performing with x86 coding. Hey at least it will never run hot!

I have a feeling this is not Sony's heavy hitter, there will be a product refresh soon down the road, especially with crap specs such as these.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What **** is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:pC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck *** especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

Dude, the last PC game I bought was Atari "Scrabble", and even I know this is utter nonsense. Comparing a high end PC gaming rig to a game console, is like comparing a bushel of apples, to an orange slice.(n)

4 people like this | lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Reading comprehension in some of these commenters really does paint a sad picture of the American education system.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I am sad to see that they went with the x86 over cell architecture. After all the R&D they put into the cell architecture for the ps3 I was excited to see what they would do with it on the ps4. It seemed to have great untap possibility, and now that the coders had some practice coding for the cell architecture it shouldn't be as much of a challenge as it was the first tie around

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What shit is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

What's the difference in price between your stated system & a PS4?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I am sad to see that they went with the x86 over cell architecture. After all the R&D they put into the cell architecture for the ps3 I was excited to see what they would do with it on the ps4. It seemed to have great untap possibility, and now that the coders had some practice coding for the cell architecture it shouldn't be as much of a challenge as it was the first tie around

They were the only saps that used the Cell architecture. X86 makes a hell of a lot more sense. AND it's cheaper. It's a no brainer.

2 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

My turn!

A. Unified memory does typically indicate an APU kind of situation. But it also means that the onboard GPU has access to much more memory than a typical discrete embedded GPU would.

B. As a few others have indicated, the size of the bus does not mean it's fully utilized at all times. And every time you have to communicate through a bus, you have potential lags and hitches in your throughput.

C. Not sure what you are saying. PCs have more GPU power when they add a discrete graphics card that can cost anywhere from half to 3 times the retail cost of a PS4. Is that your point for comparison? Current APUs actually have pretty amazing performance on the graphics crunching front, don't necessarily have the superior processing speed, but that's not as important in a gaming rig. Or did you not know that? It's a confusing point you are making, at best.

D. Did you not even read the article? Sony was the odd man out, going with their cell processor, and making it more work for developers to create effective games, particularly when they wanted to have multi-platform versions. It's going to save the game developers a ton of money, and make it easier for the "should we make a PS4 version?" question to be answered positively.

Honestly, thought, it's the last comment that sums it all up for me. Every console released in the last 20 years has been obsolete (hardware-wise) before it even launched. None of them have come close to even a mid-range PC gaming rig that used current technology for that time period. Let alone being compared to a ridiculous high-end rig that costs enough to buy 5 consoles (the Titan alone is double the price of a PS4). Yet, consoles "compete" with PC gaming every day, and the console market makes far more money than the PC side...

Yes, the "trump a gaming PC in the hertz-for-hertz performance" comment was a little out there, but it may technically be true - consider that the embedded APU in the PS4 will probably run at lower cycles than a hopped up PC, but may be more efficient per Hz. And, since it's a unified and consistent platform, the games developed for it can more efficiently target the exact hardware, rather than having to generalize many things to cover the near-infinite hardware combination possibilities of a gaming PC. It's all about creating buzz and positive PR when a new product is launching, and if you are shocked at some of the poetic license and number/performance skewing that occurs, you probably haven't been paying attention to all of the product launches in the past...

Guest said:

What people don't understand is that Sony's systems have always used a high bandwidth architecture but that has never given them an advantage. There are GPUs with more than 176GB of bandwidth and PC GPUs also have the ability to use system RAM so it's just PR bluster.

1 person liked this | baN893 baN893 said:

Reading comprehension in some of these commenters really does paint a sad picture of the American education system.

It really does.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

Where in the article did it say the PS4 would outperform a top end gaming machine?

Furthermore, consoles aren't purchased for their raw power and flexibility; they're purchased for cost effective gaming. Comparing a $500 console to a $2,000+ PC for gaming is like cross shopping a Golf GTI with a Mclaren P1 for track time -- utterly invalid. While I thoroughly enjoy playing games on high spec rigs, a console that can deliver adequate performance at a fraction of the cost is a lot easier to justify than a desktop behemoth with a financing plan.

That said, I'm glad Sony has decided to be more dev friendly this time around. I had high hopes for the Cell architecture in the PS3, but it's taken several years for developers to begin utilizing its real potential. Switching to x86 and actually incorporating some resources this time around should yield some exciting products early in the PS4 lifecycle. Kind of disappointed they didn't go with x64, though.

1 person liked this | Gragodine said:

Reading comprehension in some of these commenters really does paint a sad picture of the American education system.

We don't need no education............

2 people like this | havok585 havok585 said:

Reading comprehension in some of these commenters really does paint a sad picture of the American education system.

We don't need no education............

Well americans do need some real education. Maybe go overseas where the real knowledge is.

1 person liked this | mailpup mailpup said:

Reading comprehension in some of these commenters really does paint a sad picture of the American education system.
Are you quite sure they are all American?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

We don't need no education............
That's exactly right! At least if you don't want to do anything besides lay around, take drugs, and analyze Pink Floyd's "The Wall" all day.

Are you quite sure they are all American?

Meh, they might as well be. The world blames most of their troubles on us anyway

Guest said:

PC GPUs also have the ability to use system RAM so it's just PR bluster.

Which GPUs are you referring to? I thought Nvidia is planning to use Unified Memory technology for upcoming GPUs (discrete) in the near-future.

killeriii said:

There's something I dont get.

If the architecture is x86 wont this mean that it's still going to be a bottleneck for x64 PCs?

x64 is an extension to the x86 architecture, not a processor in itself.

Current x86 processors add many extensions to the x86 core. (mmx, sse, 3dnow, x64, etc.)

Seeing as this is a current cpu from AMD, I would assume it includes ALL current extensions, including x64.

GunsAblazin said:

"Cerny also touched on the system?s unified architecture with 8GB of GDDR5, suggesting that it could help the PS4 trump a gaming PC in hertz-for-hertz performance. He said it was something that developers wanted so they delivered. As he explained, a PC with 8GB of GPU memory would only be able to share about 1 percent of that memory on any given frame. It all comes down a limitation of the speed of PCIe, he noted.

The GPU and CPU in the PS4 are on a single, custom chip created by AMD that is similar to an AMD APU. The memory isn?t on the same chip but a 256-bit bus lets it access RAM at 176GB/s, eliminating any sort of bottlenecks. He said the strategy was simply to use GDDR5 memory and make sure it had plenty of bandwidth."

One great big fart!! What shit is this guy talking?

A:Unified memory = on board graphics in my eyes = saving money

B:Gaming PC's now have PCI-E3.0 graphics cards with 384 Bit-memory bus.

C:PC's have more GPU power and better CPU's, APU's suck ass especially AMD APU's

D:Sony went x86 to save money no other reason

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

I would also like to see that pc cost $400

All of your points A-D are also completely invalid

A: There is nothing wrong with "onboard" graphics as long as it does it's job well

B: Just because PCI has a wide buss doesn't mean the GPU can access and use the system memory as frame buffer. To my knowledge it can only use the ~2gb the card is equiped with.

C:I didn't know anyone other than AMD made APU's. Also an apu that can match an I3 in cpu and destroy it in gpu task with lower system heat/power is a win in my book.

D:This one... I dont really think you know what you are talking about.

Sony makes more money on game sales than selling consoles. In a way they are subsidized by game sales. If it weren't the price of the console would be through the roof, and that's not because the hardware is that expensive; it's for R&D, marketing etc. If they could get it to outperform a $1000 with a dedicated GPU more power to them, but I'm sceptical at this point. The last I've heard an x86 system can only use 4GB of RAM, so Sony must have done some magic.

btw many GPU's come with more than 2GBs of memory especially the 384-bit one's.

GunsAblazin said:

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

Where in the article did it say the PS4 would outperform a top end gaming machine?

Furthermore, consoles aren't purchased for their raw power and flexibility; they're purchased for cost effective gaming. Comparing a $500 console to a $2,000+ PC for gaming is like cross shopping a Golf GTI with a Mclaren P1 for track time -- utterly invalid. While I thoroughly enjoy playing games on high spec rigs, a console that can deliver adequate performance at a fraction of the cost is a lot easier to justify than a desktop behemoth with a financing plan.

That said, I'm glad Sony has decided to be more dev friendly this time around. I had high hopes for the Cell architecture in the PS3, but it's taken several years for developers to begin utilizing its real potential. Switching to x86 and actually incorporating some resources this time around should yield some exciting products early in the PS4 lifecycle. Kind of disappointed they didn't go with x64, though.

The good thing about PCs is that it's upgradable. Those giant rigs might be ugly, but they Have more life in them than any console. There are parts you can keep, sell and pair-up, so you're not buying an entire PC every time. The other good thing is, you can play ALL PC games ever made.

Guest said:

Wow, so many misconceptions.

x86 processor just means compatible with the x86 instruction set and x64 means a 64 bit version, meaning it can handle 64 bit wide binary numbers rather than 32, 16 or 8 bit. 32 bit processors are limited to 4gb of ram because their memory addresses can only be 32 bits wide. 64 bit processors have 64 bit memory addresses and that's a whole lot of ram, terabytes I think.

AMD APUs currently set the standard. AMD got that technological lead by buying ATI and now their integrated graphics makes Intel graphics look like doo-doo and a computer based on an A10 APU can play most current 3D video games at acceptable frame rates using shared DDR3 memory.

The PS4 APU sounds like it has many more graphics cores with an improved design and greatly increased memory bandwidth.

It's not going to beat a mid-level discrete GPU in graphics or a mid-level cpu in processing power but a mid-level GPU/CPU combo in a PC is minimum $600, big, noisy, harder to use, requires a lot more tech support and doesn't come with nicely integrated ergonomic wireless controllers that just work.

The PS4 is an exciting piece of hardware, not only because of what it can do but because it has been done with one piece of silicon and won't cost an arm and a leg.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

The good thing about PCs is that it's upgradable. Those giant rigs might be ugly, but they Have more life in them than any console. There are parts you can keep, sell and pair-up, so you're not buying an entire PC every time. The other good thing is, you can play ALL PC games ever made.

Good points but not applicable to the cost portion of the equation. Consoles need to be replaced every 5-7 years and, other than a HDD, are completely non-upgradeable. However, the long-term costs of regularly upgrading a PC (once every 3-5 years) will be very close on average to the cost of buying a new console each generation, depending on what you're putting in it (it could also be lower or significantly greater). Looking at the situation as replacing an entire unit (the console) vs. occasionally replacing components (the PC) alludes to this situation.

Lifecycle comparisons between PCs and consoles are problematic. In order to keep a gaming PC running at a fair level you have to upgrade the components at least every 3-5 years (in my experience), otherwise changes in game software start diminishing performance to varying degrees. Therefore, the rig only achieves a long lifecycle by undergoing periodic upgrades. A console is not affected by this and the gaming experience marginally increases as software developers come up with better ways to utilize limited resources. By contrast, PC gaming experience either remains static or diminishes in the absence of periodic upgrades. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges.

Is the PC a superior platform? Yes. More power, more flexibility, and a greater library are hard points to refute. However, consoles are far more economical for people who have small luxury budgets.

Guest said:

8 independent bobcat cores will beat a haswell when running optimized multithreading code hands down. And will do it in a smaller thermal envelope.

Is the nature of consoles, are optimized to the metal.No need to run APIs,OS services or HALs. .Also let's remenber the GDDR5 memory speed guarantee the cores will be working at full capacity

Zeromus said:

8 independent bobcat cores will beat a haswell when running optimized multithreading code hands down. And will do it in a smaller thermal envelope.

Oh you're so funny, refuting facts without any kind of evidence. Or without a brain for that matter.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

B: Just because PCI has a wide buss doesn't mean the GPU can access and use the system memory as frame buffer. To my knowledge it can only use the ~2gb the card is equiped with.

And that's how we want it. GDDR5 is local, has much higher bandwidth and faster than DDR3 in a PC.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

AMD APUs currently set the standard. AMD got that technological lead by buying ATI and now their integrated graphics makes Intel graphics look like doo-doo.

If AMD bought ATi to take on Intel IGP's, they are some dumb azz mofo's, because it's a fight they cannot win. AMD wins in performance, yes, but marketshare, never.

Mom's and dads don't need AMD APU's to browse, email, and watch youtube videos. A LOT of people have been getting online with their mobiles recently causing PC sales to decline, and guess what? AMD has nothing there.

But at least their IGP is better than Intels', right?

Zeromus said:

Wow, take a look at the modifications:

  • "First, we added another bus to the GPU that allows it to read directly from system memory or write directly to system memory, bypassing its own L1 and L2 caches. As a result, if the data that's being passed back and forth between CPU and GPU is small, you don't have issues with synchronization between them anymore. And by small, I just mean small in next-gen terms. We can pass almost 20 gigabytes a second down that bus. That's not very small in today's terms -- it's larger than the PCIe on most PCs!

  • "Next, to support the case where you want to use the GPU L2 cache simultaneously for both graphics processing and asynchronous compute, we have added a bit in the tags of the cache lines, we call it the 'volatile' bit. You can then selectively mark all accesses by compute as 'volatile,' and when it's time for compute to read from system memory, it can invalidate, selectively, the lines it uses in the L2. When it comes time to write back the results, it can write back selectively the lines that it uses. This innovation allows compute to use the GPU L2 cache and perform the required operations without significantly impacting the graphics operations going on at the same time -- in other words, it radically reduces the overhead of running compute and graphics together on the GPU."

  • Thirdly, said Cerny, "The original AMD GCN architecture allowed for one source of graphics commands, and two sources of compute commands. For PS4, we've worked with AMD to increase the limit to 64 sources of compute commands -- the idea is if you have some asynchronous compute you want to perform, you put commands in one of these 64 queues, and then there are multiple levels of arbitration in the hardware to determine what runs, how it runs, and when it runs, alongside the graphics that's in the system."

Greater GPU memory bandwidth, dedicated cache selection for less computer/graphics memory bottleneck and greater command sources reduce even more overhead. If this works out it might be very impressive. My question is why don't AMD implement more command sources for their GPU? Why would it be advantageous in this case?

Gragodine said:

And that's how we want it. GDDR5 is local, has much higher bandwidth and faster than DDR3 in a PC.

Exactly, the PS3 gets rid of the slower ddr3 and instead shares 8gb of gddr5 between the CPU and GPU. People seem to think that a desktop with 8gb ram is equivalent to the ps4. In my opinion the APU in the ps4 looks like a design that could end up producing some nice graphics when properly optimized :)

Now to wait for real time ray tracing and accuratly simulated water.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

64 bit processors have 64 bit memory addresses and that's a whole lot of ram, terabytes I think.
64 bit is 2^64 which is 16,777,216 TiB (18,446,744,073,709,551,616). Tera-byte (1,000,000,000,000) is a massive under-statement.

JC713 JC713 said:

Lol "trump a gaming PC". AMD is implementing GDDR5+DDR3 with their next gen Richland APUs. We will wait and see who is king.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

People seem to think that a desktop with 8gb ram is equivalent to the ps4.

Now to wait for real time ray tracing and accurately simulated water.

Just because the PS4 is using GDDR5 for both CPU and GPU, does not put it in the same league as a PC. They are two totally different beasts, with different purposes. A console is for gaming and video. A PC does that [better] and beyond.

PC will get ray tracing long before any console, and even then it will be years from now. It's already too taxing on current desktop flagship CPU's, let alone an SoC in a $400 console. Ray tracing accelerator add-in cards are going for $800 to $1500.

JC713 JC713 said:

Just because the PS4 is using GDDR5 for both CPU and GPU, does not put it in the same league as a PC. They are two totally different beasts, with different purposes. A console is for gaming and video. A PC does that [better] and beyond.

PC will get ray tracing long before any console, and even then it will be years from now. It's already too taxing on current desktop flagship CPU's, let alone an SoC in a $400 console. Ray tracing accelerator add-in cards are going for $800 to $1500.

Yeah Gragodine is getting a bit too excited. Ray tracing will be brought to the PC because the hardware from 2013 will not be able to run a technology (like realtime ray tracing) from 2015 (for example).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Yeah Gragodine is getting a bit too excited. Ray tracing will be brought to the PC because the hardware from 2013 will not be able to run a technology (like realtime ray tracing) from 2015 (for example).
You're almost speaking in the future tense like this has already happened. Are you from the future? Scary stuff.....:eek:

I would have evoked even more speculation by using the future pluperfect, "will have been brought" (to the PC in 2015). But, I suppose you guys who've traveled back in time are trying to maintain a low profile.....Next I want to know if the iPhone was really Steve Jobs idea.....

Gragodine said:

Just because the PS4 is using GDDR5 for both CPU and GPU, does not put it in the same league as a PC. They are two totally different beasts, with different purposes. A console is for gaming and video. A PC does that [better] and beyond.

PC will get ray tracing long before any console, and even then it will be years from now. It's already too taxing on current desktop flagship CPU's, let alone an SoC in a $400 console. Ray tracing accelerator add-in cards are going for $800 to $1500.

You seem to be misinterpreting my point.

I do not personally believe that a ps4 will trump all pc's.I was simply pointing out a common misconception.

What I do belive however is that the ps4 has a unique setup that does a good job of balancing power to cost. Even more so when games begin to be optimized for it.

Gragodine said:

You seem to be misinterpreting my point.

I do not personally believe that a ps4 will trump all pc's.I was simply pointing out a common misconception.

What I do belive however is that the ps4 has a unique setup that does a good job of balancing power to cost. Even more so when games begin to be optimized for it.

Just for reference I am a PC gamer.

@JC 713 , I know ray tracing wont come to games for atleast another 7-10 years. Notice how I said "wait".

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You seem to be misinterpreting my point.

I do not personally believe that a ps4 will trump all pc's.I was simply pointing out a common misconception.

What I do belive however is that the ps4 has a unique setup that does a good job of balancing power to cost. Even more so when games begin to be optimized for it.

There's nothing like a good gaming and graphics thread to get to old TS community's blood boiling.

And the end of the day, I gotta give props to this Sony CEO. It's the first time in recent memory, I've heard one of these talking heads actually say something which made some modicum of sense.

x86 architecture for a game console, what a great idea. Because then, in later incarnations x64 can trickle down, sideways or across , from the PC and back. And why handicap developers with a proprietary architecture? Let them expand on something they already know inside and out.

And before I forget, thank you Sunny87 for providing us with this gem:

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!

Quoted loosely, "my big bad PC, can beat up your puny game console".:p

That's the spirit! Pure cannon fodder. Thanks again.

@JC 713 , I know ray tracing wont come to games for atleast another 7-10 years. Notice how I said "wait".
Dude, my man JC713 is from the future. He knows when ray tracing will hit PC gaming. He's just not at liberty to discuss it.

(Please see my post at #39 for the syntactic clues)

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Dude, my man JC713 is from the future. He knows when ray tracing will hit PC gaming. He's just not at liberty to discuss it.
I don't think he is from the future. I think he had access to the Iranian Time Machine.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I don't think he is from the future. I think he had access to the Iranian Time Machine.
Since I've derailed the thread to a topic of time travel. Consider this, time travel and science fiction is the only form of literature where you can legitimately use what I'm going to call the, "future pluperfect", form of the verb "to be". To wit, "will have been". What thinkest thou?

I'd like to see the PS4 try and outperform a Haswell CPU and 2x GTX960 graphics card combo or titan sli with 16GB DDR3 1866MHz memory...competes with a gaming PC my bum!
And since Sunny87 has set a combative tone for this thread in general, my PC can beat up your PC, whaddya think of that....? And don't even get me started about what it could do to your game console.

I was going to "like" Sunny's post, but there's no provision for "liking" something while overtly stating you're being sarcastic.And they've taken my "rolleyes" emoticon away as well..

Guest said:

Im not going to put much stock into what these guys say. I remember when ps2 came out the latest talk was how many polygons per second it could do. Sony gladly tauted a big impressive number but didnt say that it was all untextured polygons. Even when the ps3 and the 360 first announced the bigshots said they would do hd gaming at 1080p and AA would be free. That was BS.

Ill be glad when the day comes we can compare the same game across pc and ps4 to see which is better graphically..Right now its just speculation and opinions of what it can really do.

So finally consoles will be able to play games 60fps with hi res textures 4x AA, 16x AF, @1080p or not? Wouldnt suprise if they couldnt.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

64 bit is 2^64 which is 16,777,216 TiB (18,446,744,073,709,551,616). Tera-byte (1,000,000,000,000) is a massive under-statement.
I think 2^40 is 1TB. 2^32 is actually 4GB, and the limit for memory addresses in a 32 bit system, (without PAE enabled).

I think XP Pro is limited to 1TB of RAM(?), and that's where Guest is coming up with that number.

It seems to be a moot point when most desktop boards will allow a maximum of 4 x 8GB of RAM because of mechanical limitations.

JC713 JC713 said:

You're almost speaking in the future tense like this has already happened. Are you from the future? Scary stuff.....:eek:

I would have evoked even more speculation by using the future pluperfect, "will have been brought" (to the PC in 2015). But, I suppose you guys who've traveled back in time are trying to maintain a low profile.....Next I want to know if the iPhone was really Steve Jobs idea.....

Hey, I was tired, dont blame me lol.

Lionvibez said:

I do believe sony has some good points. Will this destroy a gaming pc no, but it will certainly close the gap which is good for us pc guys. With computers our performance targets are never stationary.

Some of you need to relax.

This same thing happen with the 360/PS3 when they first came out and where are they now compared to a gaming pc.

in the end its a win for everyone we shall see better quality ports and finally some high res textures.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Hey, I was tired, dont blame me lol.

Wouldn't it be more fun, if next time, you just played along?:oops:

Something along the lines of, "I can neither confirm or deny I'm here from the future"....(and then a few winkies).......

Do I have to travel back from the future to teach you everything?.....(wait for it).....

aMerkuri aMerkuri said:

Why are you even comparing PC with consoles? You can compare console with console but not with pc.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Why are you even comparing PC with consoles? You can compare console with console but not with pc.

Whenever you mention consoles on the Internet it brings out everyone who wants to measure & compare their rigs.

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