Monday, April 18th 2016

PlayStation 4K to Feature a 2,304-SP AMD "Polaris" GPU

Sony's upcoming 4K Ultra HD game console, which its fans are referring to as the "PlayStation 4K," while being internally referred to by Sony as "NEO," could feature a very powerful GPU. AMD could custom-design the SoC that drives the console, to feature an 8-core 64-bit x86 CPU based on the "Jaguar" micro-architecture, running at 2.10 GHz; and a GPU component featuring 36 compute units based on "next-generation Graphics CoreNext" architecture.

36 next-gen GCN compute units sounds an awful lot like the specs of the Polaris10 "Ellesmere" chip in its Radeon R9 480 configuration, working out to a stream processor count of 2,304 - double that of the 1,152 on the current-gen PlayStation 4. The SoC is also rumored to feature a 256-bit GDDR5 memory interface holding 8 GB of memory. This memory will be used as both system and video memory, just like on the current-gen PlayStation 4. The memory bandwidth will be increased to 218 GB/s from the current 176 GB/s. Besides 4K Ultra HD gaming, this chip could also prepare Sony for VR headsets, leveraging AMD's LiquidVR tech. Source: GiantBomb
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65 Comments on PlayStation 4K to Feature a 2,304-SP AMD "Polaris" GPU

#1
dj-electric
What about all the games that currently run on PS4? Wouldn't there need to be some optimizations and patches to make some of it work well? there sure wont be a smooth transition if you make a complete hardware swap without changing any of the software.

Also, its funny to me how fast a refresh is felt needed in this current gen consoles just because how inferior the have started, and kept the performance margin so gigantic, that people built Core i3\FX6000 machines with 120-160$ GPUs to completely demolish them
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#2
Xzibit
This would be the full Polaris 10 chip and the desktop version would have cut downs until demands are meet or ease up. Much like Tonga 380X didn't show up until it made market sense.

Don't think its enough for 4k. Maybe upscale from 1080p. It does sound like AMD will have all 3 consoles again.

E3 is in mid June
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#3
GhostRyder
You know, saw this coming a mile away. While it's cool to have new consoles, it's annoying to have to upgrade/switch again (even if they keep both at the same time) so soon. The consoles were made at an awkward time and should have waited a bit longer or opted for some alternative solution to get more performance.

Oh well, cannot wait to see it!
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#4
xkm1948
VR incoming so they HAVE to upgrade the processing units. I wonder whether Microsoft is going to incorporate Hololens for its next gen console. That would be cool.
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#5
G33k2Fr34k
That's a Polaris 480 in an APU. I hope they use Zen cores with these new chips. I'd buy the desktop version of this APU in a heartbeat.
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#6
Ferrum Master
Hardly as a surprise. A win for AMD finances.

There should not be any compatibity changes as the CPU is the same, no recompile really needed. For older games they will just either clock down or lock shaders to emulate the PS4.
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#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
2 x quad-core Jaguar 1.6 GHz -> eight-core Jaguar 2.1 GHz
18 compute units (1152 stream processors) -> 36 compute units (2304 stream processors)
8 GiB @ 2.75 GHz (5500 MT/s) -> 8 GiB @ 3.4 GHz (6800 MT/s)

It may have the hardware resources of a R9 480 but I doubt it shares the clockspeed. Still, a respectable improvement.

I'm thinking that memory might be GDDR5X. 3.4 GHz seems high for GDDR5.
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#8
GoldenX
Maybe it can "improve" older games by giving a higher resolution or a higher fps cap.
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#9
techy1
does not sound like x4 times improvement over existing one (x4 times is needed for x4 times larger resolution).... probably in reality this will be some sort of upscale, sub 30fps "4k" .. but then again - console people would not mind as long as it sounds cool on paper and "4k", "UHD", "VR ready" so sound pretty cool for them
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#10
Easo
Seems that "next gen" didn't last so long...
Win for AMD, though, if this is true. They really need it.
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#11
Ferrum Master
GoldenX
Maybe it can "improve" older games by giving a higher resolution or a higher fps cap.
Won't happen, it will brake them down.
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#12
NC37
Dj-ElectriC
What about all the games that currently run on PS4? Wouldn't there need to be some optimizations and patches to make some of it work well? there sure wont be a smooth transition if you make a complete hardware swap without changing any of the software.

Also, its funny to me how fast a refresh is felt needed in this current gen consoles just because how inferior the have started, and kept the performance margin so gigantic, that people built Core i3\FX6000 machines with 120-160$ GPUs to completely demolish them
They need the refresh because NX is coming. Although this will likely bring some 4k capability and be better for VR, the main reason I'm sure is NX. While some rumors are being debunked on that, the key idea hasn't changed that NX will have an edge over PS4.

The games will all have to be coded for both hardware. That is how it will run now. So its just like a PC. Will be a minimum and recommended spec.
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#13
Ferrum Master
We have to admit one thing thou... this thing is a proper 1080p capable machine at last...
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#14
john_
Many rumors lately talk about Polaris GPUs in new consoles. It's like predicting that the Sun will rise from the East.
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#15
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
techy1
does not sound like x4 times improvement over existing one (x4 times is needed for x4 times larger resolution)....probably in reality this will be some sort of upscale, sub 30fps "4k" .. but then again - console people would not mind as long as it sounds cool on paper and "4k", "UHD", "VR ready" so sound pretty cool for them
The #1 reason why they're putting this out is to keep Bluray relevant and the #2 reason is PlayStation VR requiring 1080p at 90 Hz. Bluray will be able to playback at 4K, the main menu will probably operate at 4K, and not-so-intense games will work at 4K. I suspect the bulk of the games will operate at 1080p and scale it to 4K. 480 isn't enough to handle anything remotely intense at 4K unless AMD implemented some crazy wizardry into GCN 1.4

Ferrum Master
We have to admit one thing thou... this thing is a proper 1080p capable machine at last...
Very true. The PS4 could bump against it but comparing it to even a modestly equipped PC, PS4 would come up short. This can actually give modestly equipped PCs a run for their money.
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#16
Capitan Harlock
From my point of view the problem are the devs in the first place ,especially japanese devs that don't know how to use 8 cores and didn't learn how to optimize in the first place.
They can put even a gtx 980 ti in the future ps5 or xbox 2 but nothing is going to change .
The reasons behind this matter are alot and one of the most quoted for me is being lazy as fuck and didn't wanna learn and change theyr medoth of development .
Ps1 and Ps2 had 60fps but for some uknown reason after that 30 fps why?
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#17
silapakorn
Reports on Giant Bomb said new games are required to be able run in both base mode and NEO mode, so I doubt there will be any significant difference between the two models regarding output performance.

It seems to me that the 4K model is aimed for VR compatibility and 4K resolution (upscaled, not native, of course).
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#18
Ubersonic
Screw 4K, does this mean it will be able to do 1080p at 60Hz? lol.
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#19
Jism
Capitan Harlock
From my point of view the problem are the devs in the first place ,especially japanese devs that don't know how to use 8 cores and didn't learn how to optimize in the first place.
They can put even a gtx 980 ti in the future ps5 or xbox 2 but nothing is going to change .
The reasons behind this matter are alot and one of the most quoted for me is being lazy as fuck and didn't wanna learn and change theyr medoth of development .
Ps1 and Ps2 had 60fps but for some uknown reason after that 30 fps why?
It's not about japanese devs, but major studio game makers that are not willing to work with anything other then X86 / X64. Remember the PS3? It took years to get real good looking games for that console, while it was a unique CPU from IBM and a hard task to code properly. It still produced a decent amount of Tflops for a console, it was widely used in a farm for crunching.

Now that they have X86, for a global platform (Console, PC) it is easyer to port around and save on costs. Personally i think the PS3 was a better machine for just the exclusive title's. It was a no go for a publisher or game developper to start porting games for the PS3 that where coming from X86 consoles as well.

Only the real skilled game devs where able to exploit the PS3 at it's best, and it took years.
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#20
Grings
Will microsoft make one with half the shader count and claim 'the cloud' will make up the difference again?
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#21
Breit
Have fun with a VR headset and playing lots of games with it @30FPS in 4K! o_O

All these VR folks who develop for the PC and demand >90FPS and low latency inputs to avoid motion sickness must have been mad... :D
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#22
TheGuruStud
FordGT90Concept
2 x quad-core Jaguar 1.6 GHz -> eight-core Jaguar 2.1 GHz
18 compute units (1152 stream processors) -> 36 compute units (2304 stream processors)
8 GiB @ 2.75 GHz (5500 MT/s) -> 8 GiB @ 3.4 GHz (6800 MT/s)

It may have the hardware resources of a R9 480 but I doubt it shares the clockspeed. Still, a respectable improvement.

I'm thinking that memory might be GDDR5X. 3.4 GHz seems high for GDDR5.
I read that GPU clock will be 910 MHz. That's a decent bump, but 1,000 would be better lol

Now, the PS4 will have 250% more performance than xbone. M$ must surely be rethinking their commitment to no upgrade.
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#23
Vayra86
This 'new' Playstation will still be an underpowered POS.

CPU bois. CPU. The new bottleneck. Oh wait, no, it already was one.

Inb4 a 20 FPS Fallout 5 @ 4K. Oh joy
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#25
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
This is why I haven't bought a ps4 for the new VR headset. Hopefully they will have a bundle and I can pick this up with the PSVR. I also, want them to upgrade Move. I need this and the PSVR for family and friends to play while I'm playing my Vive (when I get it hehe).
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