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Gaming Playstation 5 - A Closer Look...

Jason

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Sony has broken its silence. PlayStation 5 specifications are now out in the open with system architect Mark Cerny delivering a deep dive presentation into the nature of the new hardware and the ways in which we should expect a true generational leap over PlayStation 4. Digital Foundry had the chance to watch the lecture a couple of days ahead of time and had the opportunity to talk to Cerny in more depth afterwards about the nature of the custom PlayStation hardware and the philosophy behind its design.

As you'll appreciate when you see the deep-dive presentation released today, there's a wealth of new information about Sony's next-generation console plans here, and that's before we go really in-depth with the information Mark Cerny shared with us beyond the content of today's presentation. With that in mind, we'll be presenting our content in two chunks. Today, we'll be looking at what we've learned from Sony's video broadcast, and a little further on down the road, we'll go deeper and share even more detail around the central pillars. In summary, however, these are the core details covered today:
  • The technical specifications of PlayStation 5 and its innovative 'boost' approach to core clocks;
  • The features of the PlayStation 5 GPU;
  • How the SSD helps deliver the next-generation dream;
  • How Sony tackles expandable storage;
  • Unprecedented 3D audio fidelity via the Tempest 3D Audio Engine.
What's exciting about this presentation is that Sony presents a vision for next-gen that recaptures some of the pioneering spirit of its early consoles by delivering state-of-the-art, exotic custom silicon with a razor-sharp focus on taking the gaming experience to the next level. But at the same time, the design embraces the developer-friendly ethos that proved so successful with PlayStation 4. The idea is that developers comfortable with the current generation hardware and can easily get to grips with the basics of PS5 and easily access the extra CPU, GPU and storage features before exploring the new features at their own pace.

The specs
From the gamer's perspective, we know from our audience that there's an almost rabid hunger for the core technical specifications of the PlayStation 5 processor - and thanks to this presentation, we now know much more about the custom AMD processor at the heart of PlayStation 5. In truth, though, Cerny's focus in his presentation is more about the experience delivered by key features such as the SSD storage and the new Tempest audio engine - which is truly exciting stuff - but the anticipation level for the spec is such that this is where we'll start.

On a basic level, we already know that PlayStation 5 uses AMD's excellent Zen 2 CPU technology with prior communications confirming eight physical cores and 16 threads - but now we know how fast they are clocked, with PS5 delivering frequencies up to 3.5GHz. Discussing the nature of CPU and GPU clock speeds is going to require some careful explanation because Cerny actually described frequencies as being 'capped'. For the CPU, 3.5GHz is at the top end of the spectrum, and he also suggests that this is the typical speed - but under certain conditions, it can run slower.

PlayStation 5PlayStation 4
CPU8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz with SMT (variable frequency)8x Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz
GPU10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)1.84 TFLOPs, 18 CUs at 800MHz
GPU ArchitectureCustom RDNA 2Custom GCN
Memory/Interface16GB GDDR6/256-bit8GB GDDR5/256-bit
Memory Bandwidth448GB/s176GB/s
Internal StorageCustom 825GB SSD500GB HDD
IO Throughput5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)Approx 50-100MB/s (dependent on data location on HDD)
Expandable StorageNVMe SSD SlotReplaceable internal HDD
External StorageUSB HDD SupportUSB HDD Support
Optical Drive4K UHD Blu-ray DriveBlu-ray Drive

More details, and PS5 features at the following link:
 
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BeautifulSniper

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Somebody delete my last comment. Looks like PS5 will be compatible with just about every single PS4 game running at better specs.
 

BRiT

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The charts comparing PS5 and Series X are nearly all wrong. They round up for PS5 and truncate for Series X.

Series X is always 12.155 TFlops due to static clocks.
PS5 is at most 10.28 TFlops due to dynamic clocks.

On PS5, when the GPU is maxed out the CPU will be lowered. When the CPU is maxed out, the GPU will be lowered.
 
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BeautifulSniper

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The charts comparing PS5 and Series X are nearly all wrong. They round up for PS5 and truncate for Series X.

Series X is always 12.155 TFlops due to static clocks.
PS5 is at most 10.28 TFlops due to dynamic clocks.

On PS5, when the GPU is maxed out the CPU will be lowered. When the CPU is maxed out, the GPU will be lowered.
I'll probably get an Xbox Series X because PS5 dropped the ball.
 

BRiT

CRaZY
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Now don't get me wrong, they will both be the best ever console made by Sony and Microsoft respectively.

The SSD speed improvement alone is well worth upgrading. Then you have a massive upgrade in the CPU from the anemic Jaguar cpus in PS4/One. Both are getting monster GPUs of over 9 TFlops of RDNA2. If you're a serious gamer then with console Backwards Compatibility with previous generation(s) it's worth it to own both.
 

BlastemSkyHigh

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Now don't get me wrong, they will both be the best ever console made by Sony and Microsoft respectively.

The SSD speed improvement alone is well worth upgrading. Then you have a massive upgrade in the CPU from the anemic Jaguar cpus in PS4/One. Both are getting monster GPUs of over 9 TFlops of RDNA2. If you're a serious gamer then with console Backwards Compatibility with previous generation(s) it's worth it to own both.
Yeah the Xbox Series X wins on that, me personally I've never owned nor played on a Xbox. so im a little dissapointed Sony didnt further the backwards capapbility of thier new system,
just becuz there are still a few gems out there for the older consoles, and I hate hooking it one again when I get the cravings for a game.
 
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OMG

Titty Juggler / Foot to the Ass
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So.. Looking at these specs, do you think the PS5 launch price will be the usual $499 / $599 ?? because it looks too good to be true!
 

BlastemSkyHigh

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Everything I have been reading suggests that will be the case, and of course it comes out right before christmas so you can never tell,

I was really disappointed in the fact the PS5 isnt going to be backwards compatible with PS's 1-2-3 versions,
whereas Xbox's is going with full backwards compatibility,
that right there is gonna be the decision factor.
 
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OMG

Titty Juggler / Foot to the Ass
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Everything I have been reading suggests that will be the case, and of course it comes out right before christmas so you can never tell,

I was really disappointed in the fact the PS5 isnt going to be backwards compatible with PS's 1-2-3 versions,
whereas Xbox's is going with full backwards compatibility,
that right there is gonna be the decision factor.
Sony gets all the cool stuff
 
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BlastemSkyHigh

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Sony gets all the cool stuff
Funny you said that, someone posted a pic on FB of a game store that was broken into during a riot,
all the xbox stuff was left alone, all the PS4 stuff was rifled thru like madmen hit it, which it was....