DF: PS5’s Variable Clocks Will Force Devs to Make Choices; Only 1st Party Will Truly Utilize SSD’s Speed


The PS5 specs reveal just happened and it was quite surprising in some ways. As it turns out, Sony decided to go all-in with delivering the fastest possible SSD, with an impressive I/O throughput of 5.5 GB/s with raw data and 8-9 GB/s with compressed data, almost twice as much as that of the Xbox Series X (which is 2.4 GB/s with raw data and 4.8 GB/s with compressed data).

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This means PS5 games will have the fastest loading times, but then again, as discussed by Digital Foundry's Writer and Video Producer John Linneman on Twitter, this will likely be only fully utilized by Sony's first-party games as any multiplatform title are going to cater to the lowest common denominators available on Xbox Series X and PC.

On the other hand, the PS5 is quite less powerful than the Xbox Series X when it comes to the CPU and especially the GPU. Not only is the official TFLOPs count quite different (12 for the Xbox Series X and 10.28 for the PS5), Sony's next-generation console is also using variable frequency on both CPU and GPU, unlike Xbox Series X.

This means that the CPU frequency won't always be at 3.5 GHz and most importantly the GPU frequency won't always be at 2.23 GHz, which would be insanely high. In fact, our hardware team (who's crafting a deep dive analysis right now) at Wccftech believes the usual clock could be well below that frequency, leading to a much lower TFLOPs count.

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The main issue will be for PS5 developers, though. John Linneman suggested that this design could force them to make some choices that just won't be necessary when making games for Microsoft's next-generation console, which comes with fixed clocks.

Of course, it's early days and Sony doesn't seem to have revealed everything when it comes to the PS5, unlike Microsoft with the Xbox Series X. Still, with most specifications officially confirmed for the two consoles, we now have a much better idea of the relative power thresholds.