Pondering The Top Technical Innovations of the Playstation 4

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by babcat, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    Hello Everyone,

    Now that we have some official specifications for the Playstation 4, I wonder what everyone thinks are the top technical innovations that have went into the system?

    I'm sure there have been countless small innovations. I've read that the system has multiple chips/processors to handle things like sound and security. Also, the controller is different, there has probably been lots of software written, and the new motion sensing technology is probably innovative. However, I'm talking about significant things that may allow the Playstation 4 to at least hold some advantage over a standard personal computer with a graphics card.

    The one and only major innovation that comes to my mind is the 8 gigs of GDDR5 RAM. In this one category, the PS4 has taken a HUGE leap. Basically, it has exceeded my hopes. If it had 4 GBs of GDDR5 RAM I would have been satisfied. However, 8 gigabytes of RAM make it, in the terms of memory, more capable than some high end gaming systems.

    However, I don't see much else that makes the Playstation 4 overly innovative.

    -- The GPU seems to be fairly weak (although much more powerful than the PS3). Unless it has had some major modifications we are not aware of that make it more powerful, it might only be 1/3rd to 1/2 as powerful as a high end graphics card.

    Are there any significant modifications to the GPU we are unaware of?

    Are there any super fast caches that reduce latency to near zero which make the GPU far more efficient?

    Are there any sub-processors buried in the GPU that give it an extra boost?

    -- The CPU seems to be fairly weak. Of course for a console, I think GPU power is more important than CPU power.

    Are there any special tweaks to the Jaguar cores that make them more powerful?

    Are any of the cores reserved by the OS?

    Are all OS related tasks handled by subprocessors to take stress away from the CPU?

    -- The whole APU (CPU + GPU) seems to be fairly standard from what we have heard.

    Is there anything really innovative about this APU that makes it far better than other APUs?

    In conclusion, I'm interested in hearing what you think is truly innovative about this console.

    I'm sincerely hoping there is at least ONE ADDITIONAL innovation as significant as the 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM.
     
  2. XpiderMX

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    8GB GDDR5 is the special sauce.
     
  3. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    But is there any other special sauce other than the 8GB GDDR5?

    I went out to eat the other day and used both ketchup and A1 Sauce. If I had been stuck with only one, the meal would not have been nearly as tasty.

    Is there anything else in this system -- in terms of boosting performance -- as significant as 8GB of GDDR5?
     
  4. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    17,954
    Likes Received:
    1,519
    Location:
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
    Did you see those one million things fall? That used a fraction of GPU compute they said, and I am curious to the exact way that worked. We also don't know the HDD speed. But separate hardware for stuff like video recording and downloading in the background, all those are small but important additions.

    But 8GB should not be underestimated. It is afaik currently impossible to build a PC with more than 4, with a $800 card with 6GB only just announced?

    Also looking forward to controller innovations and what the sensor bar with two cameras brings (which was basically just like Shifty suggested it would be)
     
  5. BRiT

    BRiT Verified (╯°□°)╯
    Moderator Legend Alpha

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Messages:
    14,863
    Likes Received:
    12,992
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Uhm, we do? We still don't officially know shit about the official specs.
     
  6. Dave Glue

    Regular

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    634
    Likes Received:
    25
    Indeed. Expecting the GPU to match a AMD 7970 or even 7950 is of course silly, but that whopping amount of unified, fast memory is indeed a huge benefit.

    Does it fall under "innovation"? Perhaps not, but in many ways the WiiU is "innovative" - so, want one in 2014? :)

    I've seen some PC gamers (of which I am one) say "Welp, this means PC ports will come cheap and easy!", and I don't think so. For one, everyone knows with a PC once you choose graphics settings that exceed the GPU memory on your card, performance falls through the floor - that PCIE16 slot is a massive bottleneck. Games designed for 8GB of unified memory? I don't think they'll scale well, regardless of how much more power the PC GPU of the day has - once you need to go across PCIE, you've just killed your performance. Not to mention the possibilities of the CPU/GPU intermingling due to the unified pool that the PC can't do effectively now. I think if you have a game designed from the outset to really utilize that memory, it may prove thorny to run it on the PC without significant modification - I think.

    Bear in mind, likely not all of that will be accessible by games. The OS will require it's own memory, perhaps 1-2 CPU cores. I would say worst-case scenario, 6 of the 8 cores and 6GB will be available for games, albeit I think reserving 1GB for the OS is more likely and one core. Still, GPU with even "just" 6GB of GDDR5? Well, we only have the $1000 Titan now as our only comparison. :)

    Of course, part of being innovative is delivering previous technology...just at a more accessible price point. So price is indeed a factor - if this comes out at $429 like the "recent" rumour, with those specs - yeah, I'd say that's innovative. $600? Certainly not, but I'd probably be as shocked at more than $500 than I was at more than 4GB of GDDR5.
     
  7. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    I did not see those one million things fall. My internet connection is not good, and I am having trouble watching the videos.

    The 8GB of GDDR5 RAM is impressive. I would say it is tremendously impressive. It means....

    -- High resolution textures.
    -- Large levels without streaming or even larger levels with streaming.
    -- Lots of RAM for both the GPU and CPU.
    -- Lots of RAM for advanced rendering techniques and antialiasing.
    -- Due to the speed of the GDDR5 RAM, there will be less latency and the GPU will perform better.

    However, the 8 GB of RAM by itself is not going to make the GPU or CPU magically stronger. It will also not make a 7850 or 7870 GPU act like a GTX 680.

    I'm hoping that there is at least one additional innovation that is as significant as the 8 GB of RAM, or maybe two innovations that are at least half as significant. For example, could there be some kind of secret, super fast cache that makes the GPU super efficient?
     
  8. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    Yes, we do.

    It has been announced that Sony has sent out a press release indicating at least some basic specs.
     
  9. Mobius1aic

    Mobius1aic Quo vadis?
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,683
    Likes Received:
    259
    But the 8 GB of RAM are out of the extra needs of background tasks and real time recording & playback. A 2 TFLOPS GPU doesn't need 8 GB of memory, maybe 3 at the very most, making 4 GB the magic RAM amounted needed for a system built around such a GPU when considering basic background tasks, but obviously there is more in store. Unfortunately I didn't here anything about the memory being GDDR5 in the stream, so RAM type and bandwidth are still up in the air.
     
  10. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    Can you elaborate on why a 2TFLOP GPU doesn't need 8 GB of memory? My guess is that a 2TFLOP GPU would be limited to how much data it could process each frame. For example, a 2TFLOP GPU might be able to process 2GB of texture data, but not 3GB.
     
  11. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    The innovation I am talking about in this thread are things that might make the PS4 capable of doing things it should not be capable of doing with a fairly weak GPU and CPU. However, I agree that the 8GB of RAM is impressive. I just hope there are some other innovations.
     
  12. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
  13. RDGoodla

    Regular Newcomer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    480
    Likes Received:
    127
    confirmed:

    SOC
    CPU 8 core Jaguar
    GPU 1.84 T flops
    8 GB GDDR5

    Bluray 6X
     
  14. DJ12

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,104
    Likes Received:
    196
    But.

    But.

    But.

    Listen to Mark Rein on GT if they have it, 8GB makes it easy for devs to do what they want.

    Maybe you missed the part where they said custom hardware encodes and uploads the video and that it has a harddrive?

    You also need to clean your ears, he clearly said GDDR5.
     
  15. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    Does anyone have a link to Mark Rein talking about this?

    It would be great if we could use this thread to try and list all the "custom" stuff in the PS4.
     
  16. DJ12

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    3,104
    Likes Received:
    196
    it was in their coverage, I'm sure they will cut it up at some point, he had some good things to say.
     
  17. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    960
    Location:
    Treading Water
    Best innovation. Speaker in the controller, now I won't have to power up my surround sound.
     
  18. Bagel seed

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    16
  19. babcat

    Regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    45
    I wish someone would ask Mark Rein to compare the performance of the PS4 to a high end desktop with a GTX 680 while running the same demo.

    I'm trying to watch the video now. If possible, I will transcribe it and post it here.

    I'm hoping the GPU has had some major customizations.
     
  20. AlphaWolf

    AlphaWolf Specious Misanthrope
    Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    960
    Location:
    Treading Water
    I can't eat enough salt to pay attention to what Mark Rein has to say.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...