The PlayStation 5 GPU Will Be Supported By Better Hardware Solutions, In Depth Analysis Suggests

Mar 30, 2020
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The PlayStation 5 will feature a weaker GPU, compared to the Xbox Series X, but developers continue to praise the console. The raw specs are definitely not painting the whole picture about the new consoles, and a recent in-depth analysis suggests that the Sony next-gen console's GPU will have a better system supporting it, resulting in better overall performance.

On his blog, James Prendergast has been providing a very interesting on-going analysis of the next-generation consoles, based on what has been revealed so far. In his latest post, he took a look at how RAM, I/O and SSD speed and function will make a difference, considering the CPU difference between the two consoles is minimal.

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We've been hearing for months that there's not much between the two devices from Microsoft and SONY, with "sources" on both sides of the argument claiming that each console has an advantage in specific scenarios. Incontrovertibly, Microsoft has the more performant graphics capabilites with 1.4x the physical makeup of the Playstation 5's GPU core. That's only part of the story though, with the PS5 running a minimum 1.2x faster than the Series X across the majority of workload scenarios. That narrows the advantage of the SX (in terms of pure, averaged, GPU compute power) to around 1.18x-1.2x that of the PS5.

But what about the CPU? Performing the same, simple ratio calculation, you can work out that the SX is 1.02x - 1.10x more powerful than the PS5's, depending on the scenario. Not that big a difference, really... and the CPU/GPU should sport pretty much the same feature set on both consoles.

Taking a look at the RAM configuration of both consoles, the analysis highlights how the Xbox Series X configuration is sub-optimal, as the asymmetric configuration used for the console can lead to reduced bandwidth once the symmetrical portion is full. The PlayStation 5 configuration, on the other hand, allows a static bandwidth for the entire 16 GB of GDDR6.

The SX has 2.5 GB reserved for system functions and we don't know how much the PS5 reserves for that similar functionality but it doesn't matter - the Xbox SX either has only 7.5 GB of interleaved memory operating at 560 GB/s for game utilisation before it has to start "lowering" the effective bandwidth of the memory below that of the PS5... or the SX has an averaged mixed memory bandwidth that is always below that of the baseline PS4. Either option puts the SX at a disadvantage to the PS5 for more memory intensive games and the latter puts it at a disadvantage all of the time.

Taking a look at the I/0 and SSD access, the analysis highlights how the Xbox Series X simply has a slower interface over the PlayStation 5's. The solution used by the Sony console allows for better data management within the RAM as well, allowing for less frequent reloading of data into the RAM, improving system efficiency.

Putting everything together, including how the PlayStation 5 audio hardware will take less CPU power compared to the Xbox Series X, the analysis reveals that the PlayStation 5 has the "bandwidth and I/O silicon in place to optimise the data transfer between all the various computing and storage elements". The Xbox Series X, on the other hand, has some sub-optimal implementations that are going to perform below the specs of the PlayStation 5, despite the inclusion of smart prediction engines.

Yes, the PS5 has a narrower GPU but the system supporting that GPU is much stronger and more in-line with what the GPU is expecting to be handed to it.

On a related note, a video released recently by Coreteks, who claims to have insider knowledge on both consoles, reaches the same conclusions. It is a very long video, but it's a very interesting watch nonetheless.

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox One Series X consoles release later this year worldwide.

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