Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Feb 2013 18:18 UTC, submitted by twitterfire
Games Late last night, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 - sort of. It's got a custom 8-core AMD x86-64 processor, 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, and a custom Radeon-based graphics chip. It's also got additional chips to offload specific tasks like video (de)compression (livestreaming is built-in!), and there's a large focus on streaming games, but most of it is "an ultimate goal" instead of a definitive feature. It won't play PS3 discs (but will eventually stream many PS3 games), and, while there's some weaselwording involved, second hand games are safe. The biggest surprise? The console itself wasn't shown because it's not done yet. No joke. No price, no release date (other than somewhere before the holidays).
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RE: Not impressive
by steve_s on Thu 21st Feb 2013 19:23 UTC in reply to "Not impressive"
Member since:

Your current PC is highly constrained by it's memory bus. Your CPU will spend the majority of it's time waiting whilst reading or writing RAM. Caching helps this a bit, but doesn't avoid the problem. If you have a decent GPU then that will have it's own VRAM on a wider memory bus, but that too is a constraint since the separation of system (CPU) RAM and video RAM requires transfers between the two, which will be conducted at system RAM speeds.

The new PS4 will have a radically faster memory bus than your PC, and a unified memory architecture. The CPU and GPU will spend an order of magnitude less of their time waiting for RAM, so they get to run at closer to their full potential speed significantly more of the time.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Not impressive
by tylerdurden on Thu 21st Feb 2013 19:58 in reply to "RE: Not impressive"
tylerdurden Member since:

Not necessarily, the amount of wasted cycles depends on the workload as well. Incidentally, gaming workloads tend to have higher computational densities than IO-bound workloads, e.g. databases. Which means gaming processors tend to have high utilization rates.

Furthermore, unified memory models usually lead to an even bigger central bottleneck. Which means that a faster memory bus is required, just to keep up with "traditional" distributed/multi bus designs. However, the PS4 memory bus, albeit faster than the one found in off the shelf PC parts, is not orders of magnitude faster than a commodity part. So the claim of "orders of magnitude" increase in performance is baseless. The use of DDR5 does address some of the issues with traditional AMD's APUs crippled by DDR3 channels though.

Unified memory architectures are usually done for cost reasons, not performance. In this case, the goal of the PS4 is to offer a comparable level of performance to a modern PC, with lower overall cost (smaller motherboad, reduced amount of components, higher levels of integration, etc).

Edited 2013-02-21 20:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Not impressive
by phoenix on Thu 21st Feb 2013 21:43 in reply to "RE[2]: Not impressive"
phoenix Member since:

Note: DDR5 doesn't exist yet. This is GDDR5, which is many, many, many times faster than current-gen DDR3 and even soon-to-come DDR4.

Reply Parent Score: 2