Sony has revealed key specs for the PlayStation 5, which promises to eliminate load times and long patch installs while also offering enhanced, realistic graphics.
On Wednesday, Sony’s lead system architect Mark Cerny went over the inner workings on the upcoming video game system, which will be powered by AMD silicon. However, Eurogamer obtained the full specs ahead of the talk.
- CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU: 10.28 teraflops, 36 compute units at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
- GPU Architecture: Custom RDNA 2 from AMD
- 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
Those stats suggest the PS5 will be slightly less powerful than Microsoft’s Xbox Series X console, which will be capable of 12 teraflops (a trillion floating operations per second). Nevertheless, both systems use AMD’s CPU and GPU architecture, and the real judge of performance will be what games they can offer.
During his presentation, Cerny first focused on Sony’s decision to transition from the built-in HDD drive on the PS4 to faster SSD storage for the next-generation console. The current PS4’s HDD drive is only capable of loading 1GB of game memory every 20 seconds. As a result, load times and patch installs can be lenthy processes. However, the PS5 will be able to load 2GB of memory in only 0.27 seconds, making it “100 times faster,” Cerny said.
“The potential is that the game boots in a second. There are no load screens. The game just fades down while loading a half dozen gigabytes,” he said. “The same for a reload. You’re immediately back in the action after you die (in a game.)”
The switch to SSD will also enable game designers to create more detailed virtual worlds that won’t drag down the system. Gameplay experiences will be able to move from one complex environment to the next naturally without a significant pause, he said.
The other benefit with the SSD approach is how wait times for software patch installs will be eliminated. The PS5 will have 825GB of SSD storage, which supports a bandwidth of 5.5GB/second. So in the event you want to expand it, you’ll need to purchase a compatible M.2 SSD that supports PCIe 4.0, which can achieve a 7GB/second speed. The company plans on releasing more details later this year.
On the graphics front, Cerny confirmed that the PS5 will be capable of ray tracing to create more detailed shadows and lighting effects games. So you can expect upcoming games on the system to have realistic reflections in puddles of water and in glassy surfaces. Nvidia was the first to enable the technology with the company’s PC graphics cards in September 2018. (The next-generation Xbox is also expected to offer ray tracing.)
The PS5 will be able to squeeze out 10.3 teraflops, which is a significant bump from the 4.2 teraflops capable on the PS4 Pro. Each compute unit on the console’s GPU also has 62 percent more transistors than the PS4’s compute units.
The upcoming console will also be backwards compatible with PS4 games. According to Cerny, Sony expects almost all of the 100 most popular PS4 games will be immediately playable over the next-generation console once it launches this holiday season.
Although the PS5 is designed to run games on an SSD drive, the system can support an HDD drive to run your existing PS4 games. You’ll be able to run the older games in either PS4 or PS4 Pro legacy modes.