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Here s the technology behind PlayStation 5. Let s compare it with the new Xbox

Mark Cerny, the main hardware architect of PlayStation, gave a long lecture on the technical innovations that are included in PlayStation 5. Let's take a look at them and try to compare them with the Xbox Series X console.

Sony finally shared more than just a few generalities about its new console. The company has left some secrets for later, but we know so much about PlayStation 5 that we can compare it with its competitor - the next-generation Xbox.

PlayStation 5 - main processor

The console uses an octa-core processor with Zen 2 architecture, clocked at a maximum frequency of 3.5 GHz. PlayStation 5 is able to maintain this timing throughout its operation, but if possible it will be lowered so that it can work more quietly.

According to our knowledge, it is a very similar system to that in the Microsoft console. However, the new Xbox offers the advantage of higher clock speeds: 3.6 GHz with dual threading on core and 3.8 GHz with off. Microsoft's clocking is fixed.

Point for: Microsoft .

PlayStation 5 - graphics processor

The Sony hardware features a graphics system based on the RDNA 2 architecture. It is equipped with 36 Compute Units with a maximum clock speed of 2.23 GHz. If possible, it will be lowered to ensure quieter console operation. The PlayStation 5 graphics system is also equipped with hardware acceleration calculations related to ray tracing according to the implementation of DXR 1.1. Sony also offers game developers proprietary geometry technology with higher accuracy with little overhead on integrated circuits and mechanisms for dynamically selected precision in shader operations.

The competitor's console has a layout with the same architecture. It also contains mechanisms to optimize geometry creation, shader and ray tracing activities. It also uses proprietary API for this, although it is used within DirectX (including DXR) also on other platforms. The Xbox GPU includes 52 Compute Units and is clocked at a fixed value of 1.825 MHz.

Point for: it's hard to say. The Microsoft system is more complex, the Sony system is more clocked. However, according to the universal RDNA 2 architecture, the PS5 graphics performance is 10.3 TFLOPS, while the Xbox Series X is 12 TFLOPS. A point for Microsoft.

PlayStation 5 memory - how much RAM?

The console is equipped with 16 GB GDDR6 RAM. Unfortunately, we don't know anything about its performance or how much it will actually be available to programmers. However, PlayStation 5 will be equipped with a hardware coprocessor to improve memory communication.

The competitor is equipped with 10 GB GDDR6 memory with a bandwidth of 560 GB / s and 6 GB with a bandwidth of 336 GB / s. 2.5 GB of slower memory is reserved for the operating system.

Point for: draw

PlayStation 5 storage - how much storage is it and is it removable?

PlayStation 5 will use SSD mass storage with a custom controller and coprocessor to accelerate memory input and output operations. PlayStation 5 will offer 825 GB of memory connected to a 12-channel interface with the motherboard. The console will also use the new Kraken data compression mechanism, apparently much more efficient than the one currently used Zlib. The memory should have a dizzying performance of at least 5 GB / s. It is not clear how it can be extended - Sony is considering compatibility with commercially available M.2 SSDs. He has not yet made a decision. Mass storage can also be expanded using USB drives, however, on them we will be able to install only games for PlayStation 4. The main mass storage can be used as additional memory (up to 150 GB).

Competition is pale here. Although the Xbox Series X offers 1 TB of SSD NVME memory, it also uses its proprietary controller and coprocessor for I / O operations, and the new Xbox will also allow the installation of older games on USB drives. Game developers can also use the built-in memory as extended memory (up to 100 GB). The memory performance of the Xbox Series X is only 2.4 MB / s, however, it uses Zlib compression, and you can only expand it with proprietary and probably very expensive expansion cards.

Point for: Sony (by knockout!)

PlayStation 5 - sound

The Sony console will be equipped with an extremely advanced hardware codec for audio that will be able to simulate many different acoustic scenes, including very complicated ones, adapting perfectly to the equipment that is used by the player.

Microsoft offers similar functionality as part of the Xbox Series X.

Point for: draw

Backward compatibility with games on older PlayStation

PlayStation 5 will launch without any problem most PlayStation 4 games.

The new Xbox is expected to launch all games for Xbox One, most for Xbox 360, and some for the first-generation Xbox.

Point for: Microsoft

Conclusions? Hard to pull right now.

Putting both consoles together is very difficult. Both are a truly generational qualitative leap. The Zen 2 processor will provide a much more complex game on PlayStation 5 than it was possible on PS4. RDNA 2 with ray tracing acceleration will provide lighting as realistic as the gaming world has never seen before. Very fast memory will allow you to place many diverse and complex objects on the screen. And clearly both consoles place great emphasis on sound.

However, we do not know the most important details. How deep access to the equipment have game developers via the API. What software solutions are there at all? And even looking at the above, it is unclear what turns out to be more important: a better Xbox graphics card or more efficient PlayStation 5 memory.

One thing seems almost certain: memory is the most expensive element of new consoles. Since the one in PlayStation 5 is basically more than twice as efficient as this competitor, we can expect that the new Sony console will be very expensive. Who knows, maybe even the limit of three thousand zlotys for the device will be exceeded.

Here's the technology behind PlayStation 5. Let's compare it with the new Xbox


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