Road To Next-Gen PS5 Specs Revealed
After what feels like forever, Sony finally exits their quiet place and spill the beans on the PS5 Specs. So here’s the low down on what’s under the chassis.
Lead Architect of PS4 and the upcoming PS5, Mark Cerny, had a lot of details about the system’s architecture to unpack. It was a heavy technical presentation that didn’t really have the excitement and splash that Microsoft’s reveals had. It had the excitement of a math lecture. But presentation-quality aside, we finally know what’s hiding under the yet undisclosed hood of the PS5. Yep, still, no console design to be seen anywhere in the reveal. Let’s park that thought for a sec, here are the PS5 Specs revealed.
Official PS5 Specs
- CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU: 10.3 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU Architecture: Custom RDNA 2
- Memory/Interface: 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
- Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
- Internal Storage: Custom 825GB SSD
- IO Throughput: 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
- Expandable Storage: NVMe SSD Slot
- External Storage: USB HDD Support
- Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
It would appear that some of the leaked specs were right on the money. With a few tweaks from Sony’s side. First and foremost, the biggest game-changer that Cerny focused majority of the presentation appears to be the Next-Gen SSD. This is what will truly enable the biggest leap in Next-Gen gaming capabilities. Sony custom-designed their SSD so game developers can take the most advantage of the hardware without any of the compromises that were taken this generation. We’re looking a raw bandwidth of 5.5GB/s and compressed bandwidth of around 8GB/s. That’s faster than what is currently available on PC grade PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD’s. This will truly eliminate load times and not just make them less. It was even punted that textures and object detail could potentially be loaded into memory at the speed a play turns around to look what’s behind them. No more narrow corridors for game characters to slowly crawl through to hide a loading screen. It’s a truly exciting concept.
That being said, a few caveats come with this excellent engineering package. For one, you’re only getting 825 GB of this internal storage, which is worryingly small. More so, with the sky-high requirements that the PS5 games will have for data access and I/O, that means an external USB 3.0 HDD will not be supported for PS5 games. However, it is fully supported for the storage and playing PS4 titles, no problem. Same PS4 games will be playable from the internal Custom SSD as well if you really want to take advantage of all the performance for your favourite PS4 titles. But there’s one last nugget to take away about PS5 storage, the console will be able to handle a select number of consumer NVMe SSD’s. From a panel on the console itself, you’ll be able to plug in the SSD and off you go. However, it has to be one that is on Sony’s compatibility list (which they will make available closer to launch) due to Read/Write speed constraints and size limitations of the expansion slot.
Speaking of PS4 games, the console has been confirmed to be backwards compatible with PS4 generation. But hold your excitement just one little bit. Mark Cerny eluded to a select few games being able to run at launch on the PS5 console. It seems the console’s massive power has an unintended setback of some of the current-gen games logic breaking due to them not being able to function as designed with all the data getting streamed faster than the logic can handle. As such, the games need to be tested one at a time to ensure full compatibility and the list will continue to grow. Not unlike Xbox’s current Backwards Compatibility program. That being said, it seems the leaks of the GPU downclocking to PS4 clocks to assist with compatibility were true. A legacy mode for both PS4 Pro and PS4. This will go a long way to enable a larger library of PS4 games will work out the box. Here’s hoping PS4 games with Dynamic resolution scaling will be able to take advantage of the beastly power of the PS5 and improve performance and visual fidelity.
AMD’s Zen 2 CPU architecture connects all the pieces to this puzzle. We’re talking about a locked 3.5Ghz 8 Core CPU. That’s Ryzen 3700X level of computing power. Add to that, a lot of work has gone into custom additions with the sole function of minimizing any computing bottlenecks or latency. Such as cache scrubbers and integrated decompression core built straight into the die. The clock speed may be misleading in terms of the performance this beast will exhibit.
And finally the Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU. What Sony has decided to do is go the completely opposite direction than Microsoft. Whilst the Xbox Series X is focussed on low GPU clocks and a lot more Compute Units, Sony has decided to go for a less CU’s and go for a much faster clocked GPU. We’re talking 36 CUs running 2.23GHz. We’re talking 10.3 TFLOPS of graphic computing power. Add to that hardware-based ray tracing for audio, global illumination, Ray-traced Shadows, reflections and you have the full Ray Tracing suite you can only find on top-end PC GPU’s (not forgetting midrange cards like RTX2060/RTX2060S & RTX2070/S). Even the sound processor is a hugely over-engineered piece of tech that supports some pretty high-end 3D Audio. Apparently we’re looking at the same sort of processing power as the entire PS4 Jaguar CPU just for handling next-gen 3D audio. Headphones are the gold standard, however, TV stereo and Surround Sound systems will still be very capable of producing the same sort of effects that will have you believe it’s happening all around you. You’ll also be able to select a preset of Audio profiles that best suit your setup and hearing nuances.
I’ll admit, the whole presentation was a little bit on the lecture side of life. Nothing quite like the spectacle that Microsoft has been giving its gaming lately. When it comes to the messaging, Microsoft is clearly on top of its game. In terms of hardware, that’s a topic for another day. Still, I’m truly impressed with what the PS5 will be capable of. For more Next-Gen coverage, stay tuned to SkyGamers.co.za. Happy Next-Gen-Gaming!