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

#26
HisDivineOrder
Given the difficulty of optimizing games for different GPU architectures--even related ones--I'd say this seems highly unlikely.

More likely is they keep the same architecture, use a dieshrink to widen the GPU, and add more of the same exact resources that already exist. The only minor change is to include HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. They'd probably bump up the clockspeed of the Jaguar-based CPU, too.
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#27
TheGuruStud
HisDivineOrder
Given the difficulty of optimizing games for different GPU architectures--even related ones--I'd say this seems highly unlikely.

More likely is they keep the same architecture, use a dieshrink to widen the GPU, and add more of the same exact resources that already exist. The only minor change is to include HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. They'd probably bump up the clockspeed of the Jaguar-based CPU, too.
Right, this is why all the hoopla online about it being more difficult for devs is nonsense. PS4K will run at 1080 and hopefully 60 fps most everywhere. The original will have res knocked down a bit and less post processing. This should take all of a couple hours to figure out what runs optimally if they work backwards.

It's a mouse and keyboard away from being a PC. Oh, how the tides have turned against console lovers (they're mad, too lol).

I think if we had a high aptitude for electronics among the general population, consoles would have died years ago.
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#28
Capitan Harlock
Jism
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.
Its a big deal to don't have the ability to use hardware at is full potential and didn't learn to at all, was the same with ps3 and with ps4 as well.

About devs in general because some company like ubisoft fucked their own games because if the pc version was better optimized = no money from console versions.

Talking instead of japanese devs ,they don't use at all the hardware at is full potential.

How is that even possible that after being kicked in the ass for the graphics by nintendo they do after the ps2 a console like the ps3 stuck at 30 fps?

Why they call amd to develop something that the devs don't use at all?

Dark Souls 3 on pc because is a port use only 1 core but runs at 60fps if you have a good gpu.

Why they don't learn in 2016 to use all the cores of the ps4?

Right now thinking to do 4k using a new gpu and a new processor when they don't know how to use it is idiotic.

Major studio like you said want x86 /x64 because a console was a pc for gaming years a go not a multimedia system.
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#29
Prima.Vera
This will be a beast for 1080P on probably even 120Hz. 4K? Common, let's get real :))))))))))
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#30
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
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.
This isn't necessary now that current consoles are just using PC parts. The CPU is still x86_64, and the GPU just needs updated drivers in the OS. The games will be oblivious to this, just like games on PC.

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
You'd be surprised what resolutions you can run if you turn down some settings. The PS4 now has a very weak GPU for running 1080p, but they manage it on most games. I mean, I didn't think I'd be able to play any modern games on the GTX960@1440p, but turn down a few settings and it does just fine at 1440p, and the games don't look bad.
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#31
Harlequin_uk
2.1ghz jaguar? honestly I think they`ll use puma - it is 3 years newer after all
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#32
iO
I'll believe it when I'll see it. Otherwise I'd call this a fanbois wet dream BS rumour..

Maybe a regular "Slim" die-shrink update with an 4k Upscaler and UHD BluRay support or even the PS VR splitter thing built-in but not a new console...
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#33
Breit
newtekie1
You'd be surprised what resolutions you can run if you turn down some settings. The PS4 now has a very weak GPU for running 1080p, but they manage it on most games. I mean, I didn't think I'd be able to play any modern games on the GTX960@1440p, but turn down a few settings and it does just fine at 1440p, and the games don't look bad.
Maybe. The problem here is that 1440p are "only" ~3.8M pixels while 4K are ~8.3M pixels...
Especially for VR I guess you have to rely on a certain amount of details just to not break the immersion.
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#34
ShurikN
Just my two cents:

If it truly is a Polaris GPU, it will of course be on 14nm. It is impossible that the CPU part of the new PS4 APU will use a 28nm Jaguar (or newer cores). And doing a die shrink of the said cores is unlikely, as I doubt AMD will want to do anything more with the Buldozer uarch since Zen is almost out.
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#35
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Breit
Maybe. The problem here is that 1440p are "only" ~3.8M pixels while 4K are ~8.3M pixels...
Especially for VR I guess you have to rely on a certain amount of details just to not break the immersion.
You missed my point. If you ask most people around here, they'll tell you the GTX960 is not capable of playing games at 1440p. But it is more than capable if you are willing to turn down some settings, and the games still look good.

The R9 480 is supposed to be in the range of the R9 390 performance wise, so about double the performance of my GTX960. A R9 390 can play games at 4K, again with settings turned down, and the games will still look decent(good enough for console peasants:laugh:).

ShurikN
If it truly is a Polaris GPU, it will of course be on 14nm. It is impossible that the CPU part of the new PS4 APU will use a 28nm Jaguar (or newer cores). And doing a die shrink of the said cores is unlikely, as I doubt AMD will want to do anything more with the Buldozer uarch since Zen is almost out.
Zen is a long way away, and we already know they are releasing Bulldozer based processor on AM4 first, so they are obviously willing to continue to work with it.
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#36
G33k2Fr34k
newtekie1
The R9 480 is supposed to be in the range of the R9 390 performance wise, so about double the performance of my GTX960. A R9 390 can play games at 4K, again with settings turned down, and the games will still look decent(good enough for console peasants:laugh:).


Zen is a long way away, and we already know they are releasing Bulldozer based processor on AM4 first, so they are obviously willing to continue to work with it.
When is this new PS4 coming out? Both Zen and GDDR5X should be ready around late summer. AMD has 14nm finfet Zen designs, they don't have any finfet bulldozer design IPs, so it's highly unlikely for them to use anything other than Zen and Polaris in these new chips.

The Polaris 480 should be at least as fast as the 390, so the performance increase from PS4 should be substantial.
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#37
_larry
My R9 290 has 2560-shaders and 320gb/s of bandwidth and 4k games destroy my FPS... Console owners are still going to be sadly disappointed.
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#38
Captain_Tom
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 are both AMD gpu's and CPU's with a similar memory controller. Upgrading gams graphics will be nearly as easy as turning up the framerate and resolution with a switch.
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#39
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Harlequin_uk
2.1ghz jaguar? honestly I think they`ll use puma - it is 3 years newer after all
I dunno. They don't want any backwards compatibility issues. I think Jaguar at 14nm can easily do 2.1 GHz.
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#40
Steven fischer
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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#41
Steven fischer
Steven fischer

November, there would be no need to patch current games would simply run in 1080, as far as software is concerned it's still coded for x86, if they where switching to an arm cpu, that would be different. As long as they don't change the core OS, current games should run just fine if not better. That's all.
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#42
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
G33k2Fr34k
When is this new PS4 coming out? Both Zen and GDDR5X should be ready around late summer. AMD has 14nm finfet Zen designs, they don't have any finfet bulldozer design IPs, so it's highly unlikely for them to use anything other than Zen and Polaris in these new chips.

The Polaris 480 should be at least as fast as the 390, so the performance increase from PS4 should be substantial.
I'm not really believing last summer for Zen. I believe late summer for AM4 and Bristol Ridge, but I'm banking on Zen in November/December.
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#43
Mike Kizaberg
I really look forward to this update/upgrade of ps4, with more juice and raw performance to add to it, sony again doing a great job.
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#44
xenocide
FordGT90Concept
I dunno. They don't want any backwards compatibility issues. I think Jaguar at 14nm can easily do 2.1 GHz.
A 50% increase in clock speed on a set of shitty cores just gives you a shitty CPU that's 50% faster. The GPU may be twice as fast, but the CPU is still going to be a massive bottleneck.
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#45
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
xenocide
A 50% increase in clock speed on a set of shitty cores just gives you a shitty CPU that's 50% faster. The GPU may be twice as fast, but the CPU is still going to be a massive bottleneck.
No it won't. They are pushing the GPUs as hard as they can. The original GPU could do 1080p, but not at the best quality, the same will be true with this one. The GPU will do 4k, but at lower quality, and still be the limiting factor. If they were pairing the CPU with a top class card, then it would be a bottleneck.
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#46
Vayra86
newtekie1
No it won't. They are pushing the GPUs as hard as they can. The original GPU could do 1080p, but not at the best quality, the same will be true with this one. The GPU will do 4k, but at lower quality, and still be the limiting factor. If they were pairing the CPU with a top class card, then it would be a bottleneck,
Did you even see Fallout 4 FPS? And the CPU load on a solid i5? There are definitely console games that are heavy on CPU,, and more are coming.
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#47
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Vayra86
Did you even see Fallout 4 FPS? And the CPU load on a solid i5? There are definitely console games that are heavy on CPU,, and more are coming.
The difference between a console and a PC makes such complaints irrelevant. PCs connect to monitors, few of which have built-in scalers. Consoles connect to TV, most of which has built-in scalers and FPS "doublers". The tightly-restricted architecture of a console allows for optimizations not possible on PC, with its widely varied hardware.

In other words, although parts used may be similar, they WAY they are used is most definitely not similar at all. Or you could simply plug you PS4 and XBONE discs into your PC, and play the games without any problems.

For all we know, PS4K could be the exact same is current PS4, but with an additional chip; the Polaris ASIC. Wouldn't be the first time such things were done.
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#48
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Scalers in monitors are usually far superior to what TVs have because TVs operate inside of the ASTC/PAL standards: 480p, 720p, 1080p, or 4K. The console scales whatever it is rendering at to one of those four outputs. Xbox One uses the scaling function far more than PS4 due to its hardware deficiencies. It costs less hardware resources to render at 900p and scale to 1080p than to render at 1080p.


Case in point, I've seen my 1920x1200 monitor handle 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1600x1200, 1920x1080, and 1920x1200. Further, you can enable all kinds of scaling options in the operating system and GPU settings on top of what a decent monitor can handle.

Scaling games on PC in the way that consoles do is pretty much unheard of. If anything, they do the opposite (render at 4K, display at 1080p) which is more costly than anti-aliasing but should look better than anti-aliasing. It certainly isn't something that's at the core of game development on PC like it is on consoles to meet framerate targets. Of course, one can simulate the effect by making the game use a lower resolution than your monitor (e.g. 1600x900 on 1920x1080 monitor is common).
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#49
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Vayra86
Did you even see Fallout 4 FPS? And the CPU load on a solid i5? There are definitely console games that are heavy on CPU,, and more are coming.
And yet, Fallout 4 runs just fine on the current slower CPU. How is this witchcraft possible?!?

Saying the new CPU will be a bottleneck, then pointing to a game that runs just fine on the current CPU, doesn't exactly help your argument any.
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#50
medi01
They said:

1) Distinct old/new console modes of games
2) New games required to support both
3) Old games can get patches that support more powerful hw.


_larry
My R9 290 has 2560-shaders and 320gb/s of bandwidth and 4k games destroy my FPS... Console owners are still going to be sadly disappointed.
https://twitter.com/id_aa_carmack/status/436012673243693056
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