Wednesday, March 18th 2020

Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

Sony in a YouTube stream keynote by PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, detailed the upcoming entertainment system's hardware. There are three key areas where the company has invested heavily in driving forward the platform by "balancing revolutionary and evolutionary" technologies. A key design focus with PlayStation 5 is storage. Cerny elaborated on how past generations of the PlayStation guided game developers' art direction as the low bandwidths and latencies of optical discs and HDDs posed crippling latencies arising out of mechanical seeks, resulting in infinitesimally lower data transfer rates than what the media is capable of in best case scenario (seeking a block of data from its outermost sectors). SSD was the #1 most requested hardware feature by game developers during the development of PS5, and Sony responded with something special.

Each PlayStation 5 ships with a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 SSD with a flash controller that has been designed in-house by Sony. The controller features 12 flash channels, and is capable of at least 5.5 GB/s transfer speeds. When you factor in the exponential gains in access time, Sony expects the SSD to provide a 100x boost in effective storage sub-system performance, resulting in practically no load times.
The secret sauce here is that Sony is using its own protocol instead of NVMe, in supporting 6 data priority tiers versus 2 on NVMe. Each PlayStation 5 ships with an 825 GB SSD, which is expandable using external HDDs over USB, or a selection of third-party M.2 NVMe SSDs certified by Sony. PlayStation 4 games can run directly off your external HDD, but PlayStation 5 games have to be transferred from your HDD to the console's main SSD. Past generations of PlayStation implemented ZLib data compression on Blu-ray and HDD media. PlayStation 5 is implementing Kraken, with hardware-accelerated de-compression via fixed-function hardware built directly into the main SoC.

SoC is where Cerny sounded restrained in what he wanted to disclose. The SoC is a semi-custom chip designed by Sony and AMD, possibly on a 7 nm-class silicon fabrication process. Sony won't specify if it is a monolithic silicon or an MCM, but there are three building-blocks to it: CPU, GPU, and I/O complex. The CPU is based on AMD "Zen 2" x86-64 microarchitecture, and the GPU is based on the company's upcoming RDNA2 graphics architecture.

There are eight "Zen 2" CPU cores, although the company didn't mention if SMT is featured. The maximum CPU clock speed is 3.50 GHz. The GPU is a whole different story from the one on the Xbox Series X Velocity Engine semi-custom chip. Sony decided to go with 36 RDNA2 compute units ticking at up to 2.23 GHz engine clock, compared to 52 compute units running at up to 1.825 GHz on the upcoming Xbox. Sony's GPU ends up with up to 10.3 TFLOPs max compute throughput, compared to Microsoft's 12 TFLOPs.

Sony also shed some "light" on the hardware-accelerated real-time ray-tracing approach AMD is taking with RDNA2. Apparently, each compute unit features a hardware component called "Intersection Engine," with roughly the same function as an RT core on NVIDIA "Turing," which is to calculate the intersection of rays with geometry (such as triangles or polygons) in a scene. This combines with a fairly standardized bounding volume hierarchy (BVH) model to achieve a hybrid of ray-traced elements in an otherwise conventional rasterized 3D scene (pretty much where NVIDIA is right now with RTX). On PlayStation 5, RDNA2's ray-tracing hardware is leveraged for positional audio, global illumination, shadows, reflections, and full ray-tracing.

The third key component of the SoC is the I/O complex. This handles all of the chip's I/O, not just with peripherals and video output, but also storage and memory. There are dedicated I/O co-processors on-silicon designed to reduce the various I/O's processing stack on the CPU cores, and reduce latencies at various stages. There's also a certain amount of SRAM that caches transfers between the various components on the I/O complex. The custom chip leverages AMD SmartShift in power-management.

PlayStation 5 uses 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Sony did not mention the memory clock, bandwidth, or even the memory bus width. It did drop some hints about memory management. It appears like PlayStation 5 does not partition memory the way Xbox Series X does, and possibly sticks to the hUMA model of the PlayStation 4 (using a common pool of physical memory for system- and video memory).

Lastly, a large chunk of Sony's presentation focused on the next frontier for hardware innovation: positional audio. Sony is investing heavily on positional audio that takes into account the gamer's physical HRTF (head-related transfer function). The company is leveraging the vast amounts of CPU power gained from the upgrade to "Zen 2," to achieve this.
We still don't know what a PlayStation 5 console will look like. Source: Sony Computer Entertainment (YouTube)
Add your own comment

169 Comments on Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

#101
Vya Domus
ppn
loading times are CPu limited most of the time.
Loading times are almost never CPU limited, I don't know where you got this idea from. If they are CPU limited that happens because you're decompressing data, which you had to do in order to save space.
Posted on Reply
#102
ironcerealbox
Rahnak
Cerny gave a simple explanation on why they went with fewer CUs at higher frequency as opposed to more CUs at a lower frequency. Quoting Eurogamer, quoting Cerny:



Price might've been a factor as well, dunno.
Yeah, I watched that part of the presentation twice to make sure I heard him correctly. I thought he was very knowledgeable and demonstrated Sony's understanding of what they have for hardware and how far they can optimize software for the hardware.

It, to me, feels a lot like the Japanese efficiency paradigm in full effect here (cars, maximization of limited capability in other sectors, etc.). Whereas, in Microsoft's case, they seem to be using a brute force method (Americana - "there's no replacement for displacement"). Both methods get the job done. However, I think Sony learned more from their one generation of more traditional PC hardware usage. What I mean is that they (Sony) seemed to have maximized their short experience with more traditional PC hardware from the PS4 than Microsoft has in their more than one generation of using traditional PC hardware.
Posted on Reply
#103
Valantar
ratirt
About aiming which is horrible with a PS controller for me. So yes I know what i have agreed but still what I said stands. Aiming with an analog PS controller is horrible even if it is Uncharted. Switching on aiming aids is no fun either.

I'm glad you have your point but you don't get mine. I couldn't play the game because aiming for me with a PS controller was not any way fun nor accurate. Glad you have your points but I'd rather talk about mine if you don't mind? That's why I have joined the conversation. There are a lot of games on a PC and you don't use analog pad so what's your point?
I just need to use analog because that's the way it is? Well, as a matter of fact I can choose what I want and will stay with a PC with FPS games. I didn't bash anyone I said i prefer KBM instead controller because aiming for me is horrible and you can't compare analog to KBM because accuracy and response is way better on KBM. Now you talk about preference but when I mentioned KBM for me you got somehow offended?

I didn't know what "git gud" means and who is using it and why thanks for clarification. Anyway it is not fair to call somebody douche-bro when that person is not agreeing with you.
It's not about difficulty but a matter of preference. If you find PS analog controller better for aiming then fine. I don't. Mouse and keyboard please since for me it's way more accurate.
Dude, read what I'm writing FFS. I did very explicitly not call you a douche-bro, I said that "git gud" is something PCMR douche-bros say to other people when they (the others, that is) complain. The joke (which obviously fell completely flat) was that if I were a PCMR douche-bro the response rather than talking to you would be to say "git gud" and nothing else. Your reading comprehension needs serious work if you thought that was directed at you.

As for the rest, I never said you needed to use a controller at all, I just said that your outright dismissal of controllers at all based on what you yourself call one five-minute experience with one is a poor decision; I wouldn't try to convince you to use a controller in a competitive FPS, but there are plenty of other games where it's a far superior solution to kbm.

So let's discuss your point:
ratirt
Agree. I've played one game a shooter. I don't remember what it's called but I played for 5 min and without a mouse and a keyboard it's unplayable for me.
Okay, you had a bad experience. Not much time at all to try to get used to something (I bet it took you a lot more than five minutes to figure out mouse aim the first time!), but sure.
ratirt
If I were to get PS5 or XBOX, i would still need a pc to play First person shooter games. If you could connect a mouse and a keyboard to either PS5 or XBOX I would have been OK.
Again: controllers are not ideal for this type of game. Not by a long shot. But that apparently doesn't get in the way of the rather large group of professional console gamers in games like CoD, so apparently they aren't horrible either - it just depends on what you're used to. I would never accept anything other than kbm being better, but dismissing it outright after five minutes is premature at best. I also entirely agree with having a PC for mouse-dominant games (I could never play most RPGs on a console, ugh), but as I also clarified above: my main response was directed towards the person you said you agreed with, who was saying aiming in Uncharted sucked and therefore controllers sucked, to which I said movement in the game (a third-person action-adventure) would suck far more if you were using a keyboard. I guess it was dumb of me to group the two of you together like that seeing how you were saying different things, but that was also part of the point: that you were "agreeing" with each other while talking about entirely different things.
Posted on Reply
#104
lexluthermiester
Valantar
Dude, read what I'm writing FFS. I did very explicitly not call you a douche-bro, I said that "git gud" is something PCMR douche-bros say to other people when they complain.
Let's lose the name-calling altogether and we don't have to worry who it's aimed at.
Posted on Reply
#105
Valantar
lexluthermiester
I'm not considering price as that is unknown ATM. Otherwise, my statement is self-explanatory.
Based on ... lower GPU specs, lower CPU specs, a faster SSD, and slightly fancier 3D audio than the competition? I'm not discounting the value of the latter (audio is extremely important for immersion and worldbuilding), but the faster SSD has questionable value at best unless MS has borked their implementation completely. Eliminating load times is cool, but whether fast travel is "immediate" (I take that to mean some sort of fade out-fade in animation with no pause) or takes a few seconds is not really important IMO. A few seconds is still a world away from current loading times.

lexluthermiester
Let's lose the name-calling altogether and we don't have to worry who it's aimed at.
It wasn't aimed at anyone at all; though I guess if you need it to be it was aimed at myself as a joke. I guess I should report myself?
Posted on Reply
#106
notb
ppn
loading times are CPu limited most of the time.
Maybe on (some) PCs.

On consoles it's all about the drives. HDDs in PS4 and Xbox One are pretty slow in general. And it doesn't help that games got twice as big between 2015 and today.

I have the One S. Loading times for most games are atrocious.
Forza Motorsport 6 is the worst. It takes few minutes to launch the game and few more to start a race.
So if I just want to play a single race, I spend 10 minutes playing and 5-6 waiting.

So yeah, for me loading times are the biggest issue with consoles. I'm fine with current quality and 1080p even. RTRT is the only other change I care about.

Does it mean all this "awesome custom SSD" nonsense is needed? No. "Normal SSD" in the Xbox will be perfectly fine. But Sony probably didn't have other advantages to talk so much about...
Posted on Reply
#107
lexluthermiester
Valantar
Based on ... lower GPU specs, lower CPU specs, a faster SSD, and slightly fancier 3D audio than the competition?
Maybe I read the Xbox specs wrong then. The PS5 specs seem higher... Maybe I should go reread..

EDIT; Xbox seems spec'd higher. My bad. Sometimes speed-reading has it's downsides..

Valantar
It wasn't aimed at anyone at all; though I guess if you need it to be it was aimed at myself as a joke. I guess I should report myself?
It's all good.
Posted on Reply
#108
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
ratirt
Agree. I've played one game a shooter. I don't remember what it's called but I played for 5 min and without a mouse and a keyboard it's unplayable for me. If I were to get PS5 or XBOX, i would still need a pc to play First person shooter games. If you could connect a mouse and a keyboard to either PS5 or XBOX I would have been OK.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.maketecheasier.com/connect-keyboard-mouse-ps4/%3famp

There's no reason to believe you can't on the new consoles
Posted on Reply
#110
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
lexluthermiester
For me, It's going to be a deal breaker if not. There's no reason for a lack of KB&M support.
For ff14 I use a controller on my PC, I have a g910 kb and g900 mouse, but I still use controller for that game, everyone plays things different, atleast in this respect a console and PC can use the same stuff.
Posted on Reply
#111
lexluthermiester
T4C Fantasy
For ff14 I use a controller on my PC
And I agree with you for those kinds of games. For FPS, RTS and other types of games that need a KB&M for optimal control, that's what I'm talking about. ARPG's, RPG's, Adventure, platformers and many other types a controller is preferred!
Posted on Reply
#112
MxPhenom 216
ASIC Engineer
ARF
GPU and CPU is one chip, it's an APU. No RAM, only the GDDR6 chips and large SSD.

But I agree, Sony needs healthy profit margins because it's not sustainable to sell at a loss all the time. They have other struggling divisions, too.

PS4 was much inferior technologically, so yes, it was quite normal to be cheaper.
PS4 until the Xbox One X came out was significantly stronger than the original Xbox One. Original Xbox One was bandwidth starved with that DDR3 (NOT GDDR3) memory and a super weak GPU.

Overall PS4 sales since launch of both consoles is still higher.

Both Microsoft and Sony usually sell their systems at a loss initially. They make it up with accessories, game licensing, subscriptions to services.

Jism
I wonder why sony choosen for a 825GB model SSD while MS has a 1TB model. Is it perhaps due to overprovisioning and sony wanting to have the SSD a longer life then Microsoft wants?

Many of the tech details are just AMD IP. A Zen+ chip with a RDNA2 feature set GPU. Nothing special.

But it's good for AMD in this as well; its bound to sell millions of consoles with their hardware inside of it. The whole gaming ecosystem will be based upon AMD hardware.
Xbox users wont have full access to that 1TB though.

fynxer
XBOX FTW, can hold 12TOPS continuously while PS5 boosts up to 10.3 which means you most of the time will get under well under 10TOPS from PS5

XBOX will have aprox 20-25% faster GFX

ALSO XBOX can hold 3.8GHz continuously while PS5 boosts up to 3.5 GHz which means you get maybe 3.2GHz in average from PS5

XBOX will have aprox 15-20% faster CPU

Keep in mind what HIDDEN POWER XBOX holds
if they decide to unlock boost, then you would see up to a total of 40% faster GFX and 40% faster CPU than PS5

PS5 saved money on silicon and cooling solution, sure maybe it will be a little cheaper but who cares about 50 or 100 bucks difference when you going to have that console for years to come.

[B]This is EZZZZZ, i am going with XBOX[/B]
LOL do you know how TFLOPS are calculated? Do you also know it only takes into consideration one operation by a compute chip? It doesnt tell the whole story. Its also primarily marketing for consoles since average console player doesnt know what the hell it is. Its rarely used as an actual way of marketting a chip when it comes to PCs, etc.

Overall system performance between the 2 systems, Xbox is really only about 10-15% more powerful. There's no "unlocking" boost on Xbox. They are already pushing thermals at this point.

Also making parts of your posts in bold, doesnt make you sound any smarter.
Posted on Reply
#113
vega22
Reading the specs it seems Sony are chasing low latency, probably for vr reasons.

Time will tell
Posted on Reply
#114
Master Tom
For comparison reasons. My Radeon 64 Liquid has 13.66 TFLOPS.
But Navi is more efficient at calculating game graphics and will be much faster.
Posted on Reply
#115
ratirt
T4C Fantasy
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.maketecheasier.com/connect-keyboard-mouse-ps4/%3famp

There's no reason to believe you can't on the new consoles
I thought you can get banned from the server if you use KBM on a PS FPS games when you play online.
Valantar
Dude, read what I'm writing FFS. I did very explicitly not call you a douche-bro, I said that "git gud" is something PCMR douche-bros say to other people when they (the others, that is) complain. The joke (which obviously fell completely flat) was that if I were a PCMR douche-bro the response rather than talking to you would be to say "git gud" and nothing else. Your reading comprehension needs serious work if you thought that was directed at you.

As for the rest, I never said you needed to use a controller at all, I just said that your outright dismissal of controllers at all based on what you yourself call one five-minute experience with one is a poor decision; I wouldn't try to convince you to use a controller in a competitive FPS, but there are plenty of other games where it's a far superior solution to kbm.

So let's discuss your point:

Okay, you had a bad experience. Not much time at all to try to get used to something (I bet it took you a lot more than five minutes to figure out mouse aim the first time!), but sure.

Again: controllers are not ideal for this type of game. Not by a long shot. But that apparently doesn't get in the way of the rather large group of professional console gamers in games like CoD, so apparently they aren't horrible either - it just depends on what you're used to. I would never accept anything other than kbm being better, but dismissing it outright after five minutes is premature at best. I also entirely agree with having a PC for mouse-dominant games (I could never play most RPGs on a console, ugh), but as I also clarified above: my main response was directed towards the person you said you agreed with, who was saying aiming in Uncharted sucked and therefore controllers sucked, to which I said movement in the game (a third-person action-adventure) would suck far more if you were using a keyboard. I guess it was dumb of me to group the two of you together like that seeing how you were saying different things, but that was also part of the point: that you were "agreeing" with each other while talking about entirely different things.
That's the point. I don't care what you said. I shared MY preference with someone who has same experience about shooting and aiming wiht a PS controller. Not everybody's, MINE. Yet you write essays about how others like it different and that I'm inexperienced because I didn't try harder. Great. You can use whatever you want to play games I don't care. Use a joystick if you prefer that. I'm not gonna judge. Sharing my preference and what I like.

notb
That depends what kind of fun you're after. Most console gamers are perfectly fine with aids - casual gaming is about the story/experience/relax rather than agility training and stress. :p

In fact, CS:GO afair wasn't a big hit on PS3 and wasn't ported to PS4. Yet, it remains one of most popular games on PCs.
I understand but that but that was not the point. I just said I PREFER KBM rather than a PS controller for FPS and yet our colleague @Valantar tells me how others like different. I dont care just shared what I like with someone who likes it just like I do. That's it. Nothing more to add. BTW: I play PS3 which I have and It is better to use PS controller for variety of games than a KBM. But FPS KBM only for me. If someone likes different that is fine with me
Posted on Reply
#116
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
ratirt
I thought you can get banned from the server if you use KBM on a PS FPS games when you play online.

That's the point. I don't care what you said. I shared MY preference with someone who has same experience about shooting and aiming wiht a PS controller. Not everybody's, MINE. Yet you write essays about how others like it different and that I'm inexperienced because I didn't try harder. Great. You can use whatever you want to play games I don't care. Use a joystick if you prefer that. I'm not gonna judge. Sharing my preference and what I like.
there is no ban on KB/M on consoles, i believe even ps3/360 can use them too.
Posted on Reply
#117
ratirt
T4C Fantasy
there is no ban on KB/M on consoles, i believe even ps3/360 can use them too.
I know they can I used few times. I heard, you shouldnt be using because you can get banned because it is unfair to others playing with controller. I might be wrong it is just what I've heard. I don't play much on PS3 nowadays anyway.
Posted on Reply
#118
T4C Fantasy
CPU & GPU DB Maintainer
ratirt
I know they can I used few times. I heard, you shouldnt be using because you can get banned because it is unfair to others playing with controller. I might be wrong it is just what I've heard. I don't play much on PS3 nowadays anyway.
according to Terms of Use (according to what people read from it) its not bannable, i think its just all the fear mongering of people saying its cheating and that you'll get banned, but in practice i don't think anyone was banned for it unless actually cheating somehow (not in an advantage way) but a hacking way.
Posted on Reply
#119
MxPhenom 216
ASIC Engineer
T4C Fantasy
according to Terms of Use (according to what people read from it) its not bannable, i think its just all the fear mongering of people saying its cheating and that you'll get banned, but in practice i don't think anyone was banned for it unless actually cheating somehow (not in an advantage way) but a hacking way.
It depends on the game im pretty sure. Like I think for Overwatch on consoles, if you use mouse and keyboard. You can be kicked or banned.
Posted on Reply
#121
DeathReborn
Master Tom
For comparison reasons. My Radeon 64 Liquid has 13.66 TFLOPS.
But Navi is more efficient at calculating game graphics and will be much faster.
Yup, to further illustrate the point, Nvidia historically has worse TFLOPS but more FPS, GTX 1080 Ti for example has 11.34 TFLOPS and the (comparable to Vega 64) GTX 1080 has just 8.873 TFLOPS (both theoretical).
Posted on Reply
#122
ratirt
MxPhenom 216
It depends on the game im pretty sure. Like I think for Overwatch on consoles, if you use mouse and keyboard. You can be kicked or banned.
I thought that was the deal but I wasn't sure. When I've heard about it I simply stopped using KBM on the PS.
Posted on Reply
#123
Assimilator
DeathReborn
Yup, to further illustrate the point, Nvidia historically has worse TFLOPS but more FPS, GTX 1080 Ti for example has 11.34 TFLOPS and the (comparable to Vega 64) GTX 1080 has just 8.873 TFLOPS (both theoretical).
It just goes to show, once again, that TFLOPS are a totally useless way of measuring anything. You might as well use clockspeed, or the number of air vents...
Posted on Reply
#124
R-T-B
ARF
This is funny :laugh:

I meant "The secret sauce here is that Sony is using its own protocol instead of NVMe, in supporting 6 data priority tiers versus 2 on NVMe."
So it has better QoS tiers?

I mean it's clear your a Sony fanboy, but the thing isn't even out yet to properly compare to NVMe. I wouldn't bet on it beating a proper MLC drive, personally.
Posted on Reply
#125
ARF
R-T-B
I mean it's clear your a Sony fanboy
:kookoo:

I have got nothing that is Sony, excuse me!
And I am not planning to get anything Sony soon!
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment