Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on February 20, 2013 By Draginol In Console Games

imageTwo takeaways from the PS4:

1. GDDR-5 memory. This means a lot of bandwidth to communicate between assets and the CPU. A pretty big deal as it ensures that their CPU will be more fully utilized.

2. 64-bit. This is huge. Means you’ll be able to support megatextures and have vastly richer worlds to play in. More specifically, it’ll mean that it’ll support types of games that you couldn’t realistically do on a mobile device which keeps the iOS/Android games away. It also means that the games might be slightly cheaper to make. A lot of time is spent optimizing games to fit on current hardware and that’s very very expensive.

While some people will say it’s just a souped up PC, it doesn’t really matter. If I’m a game developer and I know that my minimum spec is this, I can create games that are simply unimaginable on the current PC.

I’ll be curious to find out how much L2 cache it has and a bit more on the GPU. Sounds like an AMD 7800 series level chip.


Comments
on Feb 20, 2013

I got excited as well. Then I looked at my computer specs. I beat it hands down.

on Feb 20, 2013

Then look at all of the 64-bit games made for the PC.  Um... not many.

on Feb 20, 2013

Well, I'm impressed with what I saw. Ball park figure..? 500-to-650..?

 

on Feb 20, 2013

None of this is substantiated, but it comes from late development kit leaks. The conference today lines up very well with these leaks.

The CPU is rumored to be a 8 core with 1.6ghz approximate clock speed. The only reason they'd go for a low clock speed like that is if AMD is deriving it from their Bobcat line of processors. AMD's recently announced their Jaguar cores. http://www.techpowerup.com/180394/AMD-quot-Jaguar-quot-Micro-architecture-Takes-the-Fight-to-Atom-with-AVX-SSE4-Quad-Core.html I think that's a positive myself, as a 1.6ghz jaguar core will probably blow the 3.2ghz PPC dual issue core from the PS3/360 out of the water. Branch prediction and lots of other nice features that you get from having a more modern processor and not some weird RISC to the max core.

If they are Jaguar cores, then there will be 2 compute modules with 2 megabytes of L2 and 4 cores each. 4MB of cache total. 

The alternative would be a 4-module Piledriver core (2 cores per module) thing, but the Jaguars make more sense. The only thing that would indicate Piledriver would be that earlier dev kits utilized A10 APUs, and those have 4 cores of Piledriver on them. The rumormongers stating Bulldozer are completely off their rocker and should be ignored.

The GPU is rumored to be a 7970M chip, which would line up with the Jaguars in indicating that they're building this from Laptop style PC components. Should be fairly energy efficient for how much power. a 7970M is roughly the same as a 7850 or 7870 desktop card, but uses less power.

I'm really glad they decided to bump it up to 8gb. The rumors were that they were doing 4gig with 512mb allocated to the OS.

Rumors also say that the Xbox is using the exact same 8-core jaguar chip for its cpu, but using a different GPU.

As for price, the rumors are currently stating $400-530 range... one said $430 for the lower end and $530 for the higher end. Another rumor states $450 for the only model. I imagine that they're holding off on announcing pricing until Microsoft does.

 

Edit: Here's another reason for Jaguar over Piledriver. A Jaguar core is 3.1mm^2 each. If you say that the L2 cache takes up the same amount of space as the cores in a CU, then that's 48mm^2 for an 8-core Jaguar. The 7970m is a 221mm^2 chip. Together they're only 269mm^2, huge, but not out of the realm of possibility for a single die APU. 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5831/amd-trinity-review-a10-4600m-a-new-hope

This page has a Trinity die picture. the CPU part seems to be 33-40% of the total die size. If we low-ball this and say 33% of a 246mm^2 die, that's 81mm^2 for 4 cores. That means 162mm^2 for an 8-core piledriver. more than 3x as much as the Jaguar. Can you imagine a 383mm^2 die? That'd be ridiculously expensive to manufacture. 

on Feb 20, 2013

I'm mostly excited that this might finally push full adoption of 64-bit games for the PC as a result ... yay!

on Feb 20, 2013

StevenAus
Then look at all of the 64-bit games made for the PC.  Um... not many.

Sadly agree

boshimi336
I'm mostly excited that this might finally push full adoption of 64-bit games for the PC as a result ... yay!

Oh please oh please oh please

on Feb 21, 2013

Oh look, a press release.

http://www.joystiq.com/2013/02/20/sony-further-details-playstation-4-hardware-specs/

Yep, it's an 8-core Jaguar. They can apparently be clocked as high as 1.8ghz actually.

on Feb 21, 2013

At the very least, this will make 64-bit much more viable.  I did see Paradox on the list of developers.  If the PS4 supports a keyboard like the PS3, you might even be able to put your strategy games on the PS4 as an experiment.

 

I was impressed by the hardware specs- I just worry about what they're going to do about online play (I know you think it would be really stupid for them to do it, and you're right, but this is the console gaming industry- they do stupid things all the time)

 

 

on Feb 21, 2013

If its Radeon 7800 chip, then wow, did not expect GPU to be that powerful. 7800 has about 1200 of those cores, i thought these new consoles are going to get about half of that (mostly cause of TDP limits)

The other thing, how the f did they manage to make x86 CPU to work with GDDR5 memory? Or in other words, why exactly dont we have DDR5 ramsticks available for our PCs yet then? 

on Feb 21, 2013

Timmaigh
If its Radeon 7800 chip, then wow, did not expect GPU to be that powerful. 7800 has about 1200 of those cores, i thought these new consoles are going to get about half of that (mostly cause of TDP limits)

It's using a 7970M, which is a mobile version of the processor. It's TDP is only 65 watts because it's fairly downclocked from the normal 7970. It's still fairly quick though. The CPUs supposedly take about 15 watts per CU, so the whole APU will probably be less than 100 watts. It's supposed to still be as quick as a 7800 series card though.


Timmaigh
The other thing, how the f did they manage to make x86 CPU to work with GDDR5 memory? Or in other words, why exactly dont we have DDR5 ramsticks available for our PCs yet then? 

These are APU chips. The GPU and CPU are on a single die. They probably just tied the CPU into the GPU's memory controller. 

 

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