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Analysis Hardware Is the PS5 GPU Really Underpowered - What Can We Really Expect

GymWolf

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Let loading the 4k texture take 10 minutes. Got killed? another 5 min of loading last checkpoint. But hey, who cares? :D
they are never more than 30-90 seconds in any game i played this gen, and yeah I PERSONALLY don't care.

the 10min for 4k texture is just straight up moronic, clearly you haven't watched gears5 or rdr2 on xone x have you? good job on that bit :lollipop_blowing_kiss:
 
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vvinter

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they are never more than 30-90 seconds in any game i played this gen, and yeah I PERSONALLY don't care.

the 10min for 4k texture is just straight up moronic, good job on that :lollipop_blowing_kiss:
SSD is not only helpful with loading times or responsiveness. It's necessary also for future games with open world.
You may not know but SE had problems with FFXIII on the Bluray disc. PS3 bluray drive was pretty slow back then. They couldn't rely on slow HDD. Now this problem will finally be fixed.
 

Radical_3d

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8x16=128GB
The only memory solution that can get you this much in a console is SSD.
That's it.
The slowing in the RAM technology made the 16x jump or even the 4x unrealistic. But not having double what the XOX offers? That’s a budget cut and every technology (SSD, hardware based encrypt,...) thrown around it is a patch, not a solution, sold to you by the guys who had to make a 399 box and pay upfront for the memory.
 
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vvinter

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they are never more than 30-90 seconds in any game i played this gen, and yeah I PERSONALLY don't care.

the 10min for 4k texture is just straight up moronic, clearly you haven't watched gears5 or rdr2 on xone x have you? good job on that bit :lollipop_blowing_kiss:
Apart from another 60 minutes for the installation. :D
 

GymWolf

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SSD is not only helpful with loading times or responsiveness. It's necessary also for future games with open world.
You may not know but SE had problems with FFXIII on the Bluray disc. PS3 bluray drive was pretty slow back then. They couldn't rely on slow HDD. Now this problem will finally be fixed.
dude i literally said that i'm waiting to see what difference a faster ssd can put to the table, i'm not discounting that piece of tech, open world are one of my favourite genre.
 
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psorcerer

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The slowing in the RAM technology made the 16x jump or even the 4x unrealistic. But not having double what the XOX offers? That’s a budget cut and every technology (SSD, hardware based encrypt,...) thrown around it is a patch, not a solution, sold to you by the guys who had to make a 399 box and pay upfront for the memory.

That's just an arbitrary "I want".
Why 2x? Not 1.3x or 5x?
Both decided to go with SSD instead.
Nothing wrong here.
 

GymWolf

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Apart from another 60 minutes for the installation. :D
i usually play at night around 22-23:00, i put the game on installing when i come out of work around 19:00 or even during lunch time, the game have all the time in the world to install 2-3 times before i'm ready to play.

like i said, not everybody has the same priority.

but please continue on trying to know my needs better than myself, i get the feeling that you like loosing written confrontation more times in a row before getting out of a discussion :lollipop_blowing_kiss:
 
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Radical_3d

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That's just an arbitrary "I want".
Why 2x? Not 1.3x or 5x?
Both decided to go with SSD instead.
Nothing wrong here.
Double the power, double the RAM. Arbitrary? PS4 is about 5 times more powerful than the PS3 (probably more because that’s just in flops and they are apples and oranges) and has 16x RAM. I am being conservative, not arbitrary.
 

BrentonB

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First, no asset is loaded in the RAM more than once in the PS4. Second, streaming from the SSD is the ideal scenario. Most likely there will be some assets that must be on the memory. Every leap has needed 16 times more and now we are suddenly ok with 2.5x? We’ll see devs complaining sooner or later.
But you get what I'm saying. Games won't need to load as many assets into RAM because they can be scrubbed and replaced so quickly.
 

Tqaulity

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24 was a minimum to me to be happy and, given the market situation, the only realistic hope. 16GB is to cheap out in RAM, specially MS since has more power to feed.
I too had been saying that 24BG was the minimum amount of RAM needed for next gen and was surprised and bummed out to hear about the 16 GB. The fact that both Sony and Microsoft came to that same place means that there must be a way with the new system enhancements to justify the 16 GB. The SSD and I/O improvements means that RAM will not be used the same way it has been in the past. We shall see how it turns out i guess.
 

psorcerer

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Double the power, double the RAM. Arbitrary? PS4 is about 5 times more powerful than the PS3 (probably more because that’s just in flops and they are apples and oranges) and has 16x RAM. I am being conservative, not arbitrary.

The base-line for next gen is the vanilla version of the current gen.
We have ~10x ALU so 10x RAM...
 

Radical_3d

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But you get what I'm saying. Games won't need to load as many assets into RAM because they can be scrubbed and replaced so quickly.
I too had been saying that 24BG was the minimum amount of RAM needed for next gen and was surprised and bummed out to hear about the 16 GB. The fact that both Sony and Microsoft came to that same place means that there must be a way with the new system enhancements to justify the 16 GB. The SSD and I/O improvements means that RAM will not be used the same way it has been in the past. We shall see how it turns out i guess.
I have a lot of faith in what Cerny planed as well but to keep things in perspective, that SSD is a DDR2 memory pool (remember the DRAMA of the DDR4 memory in the One?). To keep things further in perspective all I know about virtual memory was said by Spencer and Cerny, the ones more interested in paying only 16GB. The structure of the memory in the SX itself indicates that that was a 24GB pool at some point in the development.

I’m not a tech guy but having a massive pool of very fast memory turned out great this gen and I’d have love to repeat that.

The base-line for next gen is the vanilla version of the current gen.
We have ~10x ALU so 10x RAM...
And yet we had only 2x.
 
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DntMesArnd

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It's not under powered, just less powerful than Xbox. I guarantee anyone who buys it will have a blast with it.

Stats seem to be Uber important before the system comes out, then who cares.... Pick your system and have fun with it.
 
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HarryKS

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Hey nerd, how about we do some push-ups instead? I guarantee it'll make things easier later. No one's gonna worry about them flops no more when the guns are out.
 

Aidah

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I didn't know quality posts like this still existed with all the fanboy garbage that's been going on lately.

Personally I was never disappointed, it is clearly a huge generational leap compared to PS4. Now if it was basically the exact same as Series X but with a smaller GPU, then yeah I might've been a little bit disappointed that Sony went less premium. However, considering that the GPU is still very respectable and the dissimilar overall approach/focus to Series X, I'm not even sure which will provide a better experience overall.

If they can do a game I loved like GoW on a PS4, I can't even imagine what they can do on a PS5 (9+ times the GPU capability, 5+ times the CPU speed,~100 times the storage speed...etc).
 
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wordslaughter

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"Underpowered" doesn't really mean anything. "Less POwerful" than the XSX is really the comparison.

Maybe the focus will turn away from specs after they are released, but then it's going to be A CONSTANT COMPARISON of relative performance.

Every time a new game comes out there will be a Digital Foundry head to head where the PS5 will lose 99% of the time. The PS5 will be lower resolution, lower framerate, turned down effects, lower quality ray tracing or a combination of al of them.

36 CUs is 36 CUs and no SSD or "secret cause" will change that.

And then the constant narrative will be "Sure the PS5 is less powerful and performs worse in all multiplat games but the difference isn't as big as everyone was expecting"

This will happen.
 
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vvinter

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When I showed this to Cerny during our Zoom conference meeting, he shed a tear.

Well done, OP 💙
 
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Ten_Fold

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The power difference isn't something crazy,ps5 will be fine, the xbox X will be fine. Just go pick up both or pick the one that has the games you like.
 

DForce

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"Underpowered" doesn't really mean anything. "Less POwerful" than the XSX is really the comparison.

Maybe the focus will turn away from specs after they are released, but then it's going to be A CONSTANT COMPARISON of relative performance.

Every time a new game comes out there will be a Digital Foundry head to head where the PS5 will lose 99% of the time. The PS5 will be lower resolution, lower framerate, turned down effects, lower quality ray tracing or a combination of al of them.

36 CUs is 36 CUs and no SSD or "secret cause" will change that.


And then the constant narrative will be "Sure the PS5 is less powerful and performs worse in all multiplat games but the difference isn't as big as everyone was expecting"

This will happen.
That's not really true.

Resolution and Ray Tracing? Sure. But PS5 does have it's advantages over the Xbox Series X in some areas, which means PS5 could see better detail in some areas over the XsX.
 

Neo_game

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PS4 nearly 7yrs old gpu has pretty awesome gfx. So I do not think we should be worried about PS5 gpu. It is a pretty big jump. Though Ram upgrade is underwhelming. Easily the weakest part about the console
 
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Why did you put PS5/XSX percentage as -15% but then put the others at 153% favoring PS5, as one example? I get what you're trying to say but shouldn't you keep your own rules consistent? All of the other comparisons in those percentages were weighed to the higher performing device in those categories and using percentages on a hundreds scale, but you didn't do that with the PS5/XSX comparison when you could've just put 115% and kept that consistent with the ones that followed.

Anyway, you'd have to be smoking crack to think PS5 is an underpowered system on the GPU front. It clearly isn't. My issue is more with some people who are trying to downplay the performance delta between the two as being essentially worthless. These are the same people who are actually trying to advocate that smaller, faster GPU chip designs are the smart decision and wider chips are a waste of time (someone better alert AMD they're wasting millions of R&D then!), and all other sorts of ridiculousness just to wage a console war on the internet.

Basically, what I've been seeing are some folks who overly embellish any advantage PS5 has (on paper) to XSX, such as the SSD or GPu clock speed, and do their hardest to underplay any advantage the XSX has (on paper) over PS5, such as 40% more CUs on the GPU, system memory bandwidth, or CPU clock speed (XSX's clock speed MHz advantage over PS5's CPU's clockspeed is actually pretty much identical to PS5's GPU's clockspeed advantage over XSX's GPU's clockspeed, FWIW).

That's the kind of stuff that irks me when it comes to the console discussions; there's zero need to tear down one system just to build the other one up. That goes for both PS5 and XSX.

Keep in mind that developers no longer have to load assets into RAM more than once, and fewer assets all around because the SSD seek times will be so low. Essentially the GPU can have what it wants from the SSD almost instantly. Assets and textures will be bigger and more complex but they won't be duplicated or loaded 'just in case' like they are with current consoles. 16 GB will be just fine, I think.

Here's something about the SSDs no one is really talking about, though; that data cannot be accessed or modified in the same manner that data in volatile memory can. This WILL impact the use-cases of data streaming from the SSDs on BOTH consoles as memory-mapped v-cache!

I'll put it this way: data in volatile memory (aside from much faster speed, much lower latency, etc.) can be placed in at the page level, modified as low as the bit level, and written at the bit and byte level. Also, it provides true random access privileges, speed, and overall just much better granularity.

SSDS use NAND memory which has its own hangups. Mainly, latency (we've heard NOTHING of the latency of the NAND in either system's SSD btw) are magnitudes worst, and you're going from bandwidths of hundreds of GBs to under 10 for even compressed data, let alone raw data. Granularity is also much worst: page level reads, and block-level writes. That is the nature of all NAND memory technologies, no amount of customization will change that. So even if you only need to change a few bytes of data, you still have to erase magnitudes more bytes of data on the block and then rewrite it with the changed data back to the NAND, which wears on P/E (Power/Erase) cycles.

We don't even have random read speeds or latency figures on either system's SSDs (this will be much more important to real game performance than sequential read speeds, which will mainly benefit loading of game data into main memory), nor anything really about their bandwidth (speed does not equal bandwidth, i.e a drive with 5.5 GB/s read speed but only 2 GB of bandwidth isn't going to perform too much better than one with 2.4 GB/s read speed but 2.4 GB/s bandwidth; just a dirty example).

Some people are thinking the SSDs are going to be these substitutes for GDDR6 memory or even DDR3, and that simply isn't the case. Obviously they will be magnificent for load times, but for dynamic texture streaming? The main benefits are going to be for pretty specific use-cases. Of course they can use their memory-mapped v-cache portions for things besides textures, too; I can REALLY see audio and certain byproduct game data being very friendly with the SSDs, and a few other things as well. But it's probably best people temper some of their expectations on that front before they end up feeling let down when the reality doesn't quite reach their lofty expectations.
 
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Jtibh

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(im joking, great post)

No, but as you said, if the PS5 truly matches a 2080 Super it’s gonna be fine. We’ve seen what God of War looks like with 1.8tf or whatever Pro is. Console optimizations with that kind of GPU will go a long way, especially with the insane storage bandwidth to boost asset streaming and whatnot.

These consoles definitely offer a lot of bang for the buck, well I’m assuming both are 499 or lower.

Like you, I was initially disappointed by the specs but I’ve slowly gotten over it. It’s gonna be a good gen.
It will be the best game generation in a long time.
What these 2 console will bring to the table will make us walk around with mouth open for months and years
 
Jul 29, 2013
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"Underpowered" doesn't really mean anything. "Less POwerful" than the XSX is really the comparison.
I'd go a step further and say that at this point, it's more an issue with how powerful it is compared to it's formerly rumored self. Going from an alleged 13TF to 10TF was where idea it's underpowered came from. It's still a powerful GPU in relation to the 7850/7870 $150-175 GPU equivalent that PS4 got in 2013. The PS5 is probably going to be more or less AMD RDNA 2 RX 6700-series 36CU GPU. That's likely to be a $300-350 card in the PC space. A nice jump over 2013, that could mean a $499 price point.
 
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longdi

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I dont think PS5 is 'underpowered'
Just MS blew us and all doubters away with the power of Series X. Something which i and many, were hoping Sony to achieve.
If you look at the polls, most gaffers voted >12tf from PS5.

Ultimately this causes concerns and disappointments with PS5 and what it may means fighting without equal power standings.
 
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sneas78

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The only thing underpowered is the switch. Can’t even be mad at that. It’s a damn mobile hand held. Have fun fighting it out which one is better and what one is more powerful, just going to buy the games devs work their ass off making for us.. I know we will be blown away.. can’t wait. Last Of Us lll, God Of War ll and HellBlade ll will be a sight to behold.
 
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martino

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wasn't there but wansn't balanced also the PR at beginning of this gen ? i also remember a "supercharged" "pie_tears_joy:
 
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Trimesh

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I don't think the PS5 is "underpowered" OK, it has slightly less raw performance than the new Xbox, but they are both so capable that it really has to be considered as the difference between an extremely powerful machine and a slightly more powerful machine. Similarly, they both have very fast I/O systems - the PS5 seems to be faster, but the xbox certainly isn't slow.

My take on it is that ultimately the capabilities of the development team are going to make a much larger difference to the quality of the games than the relatively minor differences in platform performance will.
 

FranXico

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Some people are thinking the SSDs are going to be these substitutes for GDDR6 memory or even DDR3, and that simply isn't the case. Obviously they will be magnificent for load times, but for dynamic texture streaming? The main benefits are going to be for pretty specific use-cases.
Yes, all the effort put into the entire I/O subsystem design of the PS5 will only benefit a handful of use cases.

Argues against people downplaying the GPU difference.
Proceeds to downplay the I/O differences.
 
D

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Is the PS5 a weak console, no. Is it weaker than the XSX and will we see a difference, definitely yes.
 
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ZehDon

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Great post, I'll have to work through the number shortly! In any case, I certainly could never call the PS5 under-powered, just not the "most" powerful. The PS4 and Xbone were, for their time, close to under-powered. Prior to them, consoles typically came close to matching or exceeding the typical mid-to-high-end PC gaming experience at their time of release. When the PS4 and Xbone launched, my two year old gaming PC could still play their games at higher resolutions, higher fidelity, and higher frame rates. I doubt the same will be true for the titles on the PS5 and Series X - especially with the Series X pushing RT hardware.
 

dvdvideo

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I dont think it's underpowered, it's a pretty nice machine, but some of it does come down to price. If the both launch at $399, some might say the ps5 is a good value, excellent graphics, great 1st party games. But if they launch at $599, and the x is truly more powerful, some might say its underpowered for the price vs an ok deal on the series x. Price is really a large x factor.
I'm still happy overall, both machines have the capability of putting out some amazing stuff.
 

Hobbygaming

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"Underpowered" doesn't really mean anything. "Less POwerful" than the XSX is really the comparison.

Maybe the focus will turn away from specs after they are released, but then it's going to be A CONSTANT COMPARISON of relative performance.

Every time a new game comes out there will be a Digital Foundry head to head where the PS5 will lose 99% of the time. The PS5 will be lower resolution, lower framerate, turned down effects, lower quality ray tracing or a combination of al of them.

36 CUs is 36 CUs and no SSD or "secret cause" will change that.

And then the constant narrative will be "Sure the PS5 is less powerful and performs worse in all multiplat games but the difference isn't as big as everyone was expecting"

This will happen.
The difference will be negligible
PS4 and Xbox One - 40%
PS5 and XSX - 15-20%
 
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Hobbygaming

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I dont think PS5 is 'underpowered'
Just MS blew us and all doubters away with the power of Series X. Something which i and many, were hoping Sony to achieve.
If you look at the polls, most gaffers voted >12tf from PS5.

Ultimately this causes concerns and disappointments with PS5 and what it may means fighting without equal power standings.
Look at the attention the controller got. And once they show the games, no one will care about power
 
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B_Boss

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How many people here believe that Sony under delivered with the PS5's graphical capabilities based on the 10.3 TFLOP metric?

This could be considered something of a loaded question only when we consider what Cerny/Sony’s goals were possibly since the beginning of the PS5’s inception: Did Sony want brute force graphical power? If we take Cerny’s words as gospel (we’ve reason to thus far) and understand that they desired something rather more....exotic?, relative to the PS4 anyway.

I’ve no idea what Sony knew about their competition at the time and strategically how they planned to meet the challenge of their nextgen console. For me that would require too much speculation which I’d like to steer clear of moreso than not. It looks like Cerny approaches develops and asked them what they wanted with the PS5. The devs in general seems to have wanted speed, not necessarily power or brute force. Could they have wanted power/TF’s and implemented it? I see no reason why not but again I’m open to discussion and learning.

Given that history of the PS5, it makes no sense to say Sony “undelivered” unless of course we can uncover a history whereby Sony failed to meet their specified and/or graphical technical aspirations for the PS5. Until then, I’ll say they delivered exactly what they wished to and while I’m certainly open to any new information historically, I’ve not come across any yet that contradicts what Cerny presented at the GDC.
 
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