Playstation 4 architecture evolution over time


Many people thought that PS4 constantly changed its architecture, but this is not true at all. In this article we will see 2 “pictures” of Playstation 4 and how it has evolved over the time. We are going to see that not all the components and speeds in the system are better than before.

The first picture shows the system at mid 2011 (almost 2 years from now):

lvp1

You can easily see some differences between this diagram and the final system shown the last month:

– 2 x86 core pairs (in this case the system would mount steamroller cpus)

– 4 GB instead of 8 GB

– RAM bandwith is set to 192 GB/s

Additionally you can see the system’s buses:

“Garlic” bus between GPU and Memory (192 GB/s)

“Onion” buses between GPU and Memory through CPU (12 GB/s shared)

– CPU bus between CPU and Memory (less than 20 GB/s)

 

The second picture (early 2013) shows the evolution in PS4:

lvp2

There are 2 main differences:

–  The 4 cores have been “upgraded” to 8 cores (this time as we know they are Jaguar cores instead Steamroller)

– RAM amount is still the same (4 GB, this change is very recent)

– Almost all the speeds are “downgraded”.

So now we have:

“Garlic” bus between GPU and Memory (176 GB/s)

“Onion” buses between GPU and Memory through CPU (10 GB/s shared)

– CPU bus between CPU and Memory (less than 20 GB/s). The only one apparently untouched.

 

As you can see, not all the changes in PS4 are made to improve the system performance. Major changes are the type of CPU and mostly the RAM amount in the system.

  • playmoo

    I thought the PS4 had 8GB of unified memory ?

    • Insane

      From the very article:

      “- RAM amount is still the same (4 GB, this change is very recent)”

      That info is from early 2013 and the change in RAM was very recent.

      • Uschi Wuschi

        I still don´t get it. Thought “this [very recent] change” concerns the 4 GByte-Setup mentioned in the articel.

  • Jerox

    great the RAM lowered from 8GB to 4GB ? this is literally half ! now the system just isnt as powerful? the graphics might suffer???? does anyone know now what this means?

    • Isaac Newton

      Read the article again sir.

      • Jerox

        I have read the article, and it still confuses me a little bit. If it is clear to you then could you explain to me the question about RAM

        • Maynard_VGL

          The original idea was to mount 4 Gb of GDDR5, Daniel Alejandro, but they decided to add 4 more GB and mount 8Gb in the PS4.

          It was, almost, a “last minute decision”, that’s why it’s not reflected in this pictures.

          • Jerox

            awesome, so it is 8GB for sure.. thanks a lot for taking the time to clear this out :)

    • nick

      PS4 now has 8GB of ram… its used to put more texture into the games.. in simple words… more content in ur games… get a ps4!

      • Jerox

        If i read the article correctly it specifies that it went from 8GB of ram to 4.

        • Checkmmate81

          On the contrary, the system had 4gb BEFORE, even at the beggining of 2013… but between that and when Sony introduced the specs to the market, the RAM doubled.

    • Guest1

      There seems to be a time ambiguity in the article. 2011, 4GB instead of 8GB (I have to guess that it’s comparing with the recent ps4 official announcement). Then, early 2013, “RAM still the same, 4GB very recent”?! Isn’t the 8GB change that is very recent? Or is the article refering to end of 2012? Or is it even refering that at some point, in the past, it had less than 4GB?!

      Btw, they downgraded the GDDR5 bandwidth, is that loss of 16 GB/s relevant? (must be GDDR5 downclocked)

      • Jerox

        yeah the article doesn’t make much sense.. but its 8GB anyways not four.

  • Isaac Newton

    The ultimate Q is that how much can it cost?
    The CPU that the PS4 is using is much cheaper as I understand it but the GDDR5 is pricy while the HDD well it can be expandable right like on PS3 but if the storage is SSD then boom!

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

      Storage won’t be SSD, because space, not speed, is what matters. You’re free to buy a 512GB SSD if you want though.

      • Guest1

        Yes. SSD read/write speed is meaningful for booting OS, running databases or virtual memory access speed but for consoles, capacity comes first.

        • Fred

          SSD disks are very good for reading data but you should never install an OS or virtual memory on a SSD, it’s lifespan would be considerably shortened. If you do that, you’re gonna have a bad time.