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February 21st, 2013

PS4 vs the Great Discord

Playstation 4 vs the PC. PS4 DualShock 4 Controller

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. Once 5 o’clock hit, I live on the east coast, my friends and I rushed to meetup to watch what Sony has in store for the next generation. This was a long time coming. We’ve been scanning the forums and pooling over rumors, debating topics like RAM amount vs speed. We were also excited to see what the “jump” would be over the PS3. After all it has been over 6 years since Sony last released a home console. I must admit while watching the conference I was incredibly pleased with what I saw. I was handing out high fives like candy at Halloween when Sony announced the PS4 would have 8 GB of Unified GDDR5 Memory. The same could be said when they discussed better support and integration with the Vita. The modifications to the DualShock, the share button, the game and tech demos were all great. In essence what I was looking at was the best case scenario for Sony. There are some things yet to be seen and some key titles as well, but I thought what an exciting time this was to be in. However, once the dust had settled, I started going through the comments on various websites. What I saw there was a different picture. That it was all a let down.

There I saw so many comments on how someone’s PC “kicks the shit out of the PS4 specs”, how others feel like this wasn’t a “substantial leap over PS3”, that “demoing a single head isn’t very impressive, nvidia did it a few years ago.” I continued to read many statements from others stating how they think many PS4 titles will still run at 720p. Some adding “the majority of users wouldn’t make the differences between 720p and 1080p.” Some tech sites were just as bad about this, it was hard to tell if they were just going after hits. PC Gamer even put out a tasteless article (here) trying woefully to put together a comparable PC rig. They complain about the lack of power they think is in the PS4, but then go on to make statements like “it seems like massive overkill to me, so I’ll recommend 8GB of DDR3 RAM.” I can’t help but feel how much misunderstanding there is and how that goes around as blanketed statements.

System Architectures are incredibly complex. There is a lot of thought that goes into the planning of them. They can be based around what tasks they are suppose to accomplish and what kind of software they are meant to run. Let’s look at the PS4’s architecture.

Playstation 4 Specs and System Architecture

The PS4 is a SoC (System on a chip) design based off a modified APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). This is actually really brilliant and exciting stuff. APU’s show a great deal of promise in changing the PC landscape as much as GPU’s did when they were brought onto the scene. By putting the CPU and GPU onto a single die along with things like HSA creates a host of benefits that have yet to be exploited. Information can travel much quicker than over traditional buses like PCI Express (which almost eliminates bottlenecking in a system), the CPU and GPU work cooperatively directly in the system memory (this means the CPU’s time is better managed by offloading tasks that are better suited for GPGPU algorithms), and there is substantially less latency across the system. Take a look below to see what I am talking about.

There is also a great explanation of what an APU is here and a great slideshow about the benefits of HSA in games here.

This all means we can do a lot more than a traditional setup, even though the specs may initially appear to be similar. Here it is about the complete package, how everything works together. An APU’s performance is also much more directly affected by the RAM it is paired with than in traditional setups. Helping to get the most out of the APU, while also addressing the number one problem of last gen, is the inclusion of 8 GB of GDDR5 clocked at 176 GB/s. To put this into perspective the PS3 only had 256mb of XDR clocked at 25.6 GB/s for system memory and 256mb of GDDR3 clocked at 22.4 GB/s for video. This is 16x the amount of ram that the PS3 has at almost 8x the speed.

Earlier I talked about how I thought this system was the best case scenario for Sony or at least a very high one. What I mean is this. We knew Sony was in the process of making a successor to the PS3. We have known Sony’s financial situation has changed greatly since the development of the PS3. We, including Sony, were also fully aware of the mistakes they made with the PS3. We also know that if Sony wants a chance at succeeding they need to learn from their past. First is the price. As a business they are not in a position to overspend on the development of the console, they cannot afford to overspend in the manufacturing of the console, they cannot take a huge hit when selling the console, they cannot expect people are willing to get a second job to pay for their console. This is all simple business sense. They have a budget that they had to adhere to and they know you have one as well. We know that if Sony wants to be successful, which means occupying the most houses, they’re not going to sell another $600 system. Their best bet is to probably stay around the $400 range, this is a reasonable asking price for what they are providing. So now we kind of know what their budget is per console. This is where an APU makes a lot of sense. Being only one chip means Sony can spend a lot less on manufacturing. It also means that they don’t have to worry as much about Yield Rates. If one chip was harder to produce than the other this could lead to problems during the manufacturing process. Another benefit of having one chip means they can provide a better cooling solution while also saving money. They no longer have to independently cool the CPU and GPU. In turn this also frees up more space in the console for a larger single cooling solution. Another way of keeping the cost down, sadly, was to omit backwards compatibility. We saw this coming, but it makes sense. Sony wouldn’t have to manufacturer another chip solution and in turn wouldn’t have to raise the price of the console. The next thing they needed to worry about is how developer friendly their next console would be. The PS3 was constantly brought up as a console that was hard to develop for, that only the most dedicated could really push the system. Certain game developers had to spend a lot of time, money, and resources just to understand what they were dealing with. By creating a system that addresses problems like complex hardware and lack of ram, they have created an environment that is welcoming for developers. There are a lot of pluses here as well. Developers can start harnessing the true power of the console at a faster rate. This can be thanked in part to returning to more common developer languages. This will help new developers break into the market as well by helping keep their costs down. Also by keeping development costs down we might see developers more readily taking chances on new types of games. Now what I am not saying is that overall development costs will go down, in fact certain companies are bound to spend more, what I merely mean is the cost of entry will be less. The last major thing is what would their evolution of play look like. What new capabilities, either through hardware or input devices, would be made available? How would their console fit into our current lifestyle? What new ways of interaction would there be? Sony did a fantastic job putting together the PS4. The DualShock 4 has addressed minor issues people had with the previous controller while at the same time adding some exciting things. The touch pad was a great addition and will make a bigger impact than people are giving it credit for. The social aspect seems well thought out, and for people like me, can opt out of what I don’t want to participate in. The share button is actually pretty cool. I don’t see myself falling into the category of really using it, but I can definitely see the use of capturing those insane game moments or recording a favorite FMV or story moment. This was also nice of them by helping a large community of people who do this stuff all the time anyway. They took a time consuming process and made it incredibly easy. All things considered they did a remarkable job staying in their known confines and that really is the point of all of this. Understanding.

Now we hear a lot about how the PS4’s specs don’t match up to current PC’s. That what was demoed doesn’t look as gorgeous as Crysis 3 on max settings. I get that, I can understand where they are coming from, I’ve been gaming on a PC all of my life. I’ve played the Decents, Heretics, Dooms, 7th Guests, Wing Commanders, X-Wing and Tie Fighters (where is a sequel at?), every game LucasArts, Valve, Blizzard, and id Software have put out. I have also done all of these on custom built computers that either myself or my dad has put together. Hell I was taught how to install RAM and remove the BIOS battery before riding a bike. However, in all of this, I think there are some unfair comparisons being made. So far there is not a direct way of purchasing a similarly designed system. There is not an 8 core APU for purchase. Most people are just running a quad core setup. Not to mention the PS4 has a second chip for background processes that helps take even more load off the APU. There is no memory available to purchase that provides the same speed as the PS4. Sure you might have 16 GB of DDR3 for your system and 3 GB of GDDR5 for your video, but it’s not the same as the PS4’s unified 8 GB of GDDR5 clocked at 176 GB/s for system and video. Comparatively non-overclocked DDR3-1333 for PC’s transfer data at 10.7 GB/s. Also, unless you’ve built a completely new computer in the last 6 months, you’re probably not running a complete PCI Express 3.0 Setup. Meaning your MOBO, CPU, and GPU all have to be equipped with it. This means your bus speeds could be aiding in the bottlenecking of your system. Even still PCI 3.0 can’t compete with the bus speeds within an APU. I’m not saying that the PS4 is the end all be all machine, but it might be better equipped than it is given credit for. They also have a clear advantage of being able to write to the metal. There is no cumbersome OS or layers that a typical system has to work through. PC development also has to think about the least common factor when developing a title. It doesn’t make sense for a developer just to build a game for the 10%. Not everyone owns a GTX 680 and even comparably that is a card with 2GB of RAM at $500. That alone will probably be more than the price of Sony’s new console. To build a similar spec’d PC you may need to consider the greater sum of it’s parts than low balling it. I helped a friend build a computer last month and he had a budget of around $1100 (the link for parts can be found here.) and I’ll go out on a limb and say that the PS4 still has a distinct edge. I think it would take something that costs more. Even when you consider graphic cards with much higher FLOPS, you have to wonder how well the games you are playing are optimized for those kind of setups and take advantage of things like GPGPU. Crysis 3 is an incredibly gorgeous game and it does this neat trick where on the highest settings it leaves your mouth wide open. However it all comes at a price. If you are willing to spend the money on that kind of setup that’s great, but how would you build a console knowing that people expect the best tech and at the same time are only willing to spend $300? We were very fortunate Sony decided to put 8 GB of ram in the system, when most of us were ready to accept 4. It’s interesting when Nvidia’s A New Dawn tech demo, which looks worse than what David Cage showed off, isn’t a consistent 60fps experience on $1500 machines (here’s the link if you want to see how your machine fares). The other point in all of this is that what we were shown was nothing more than early builds of titles and tech demos. Killzone, Deep Down, UE4’s and Quantum Dream’s demos already looked on par, if not better in some areas, than Crysis 3. Remember many games greatly change over the life of the console and even in its own development cycle. Take a look below to see how over time, on the same console, we can move from launch titles like Call of Duty 3 to The Last of US. Even NCAA Football is a great example of how a franchise can evolve over the life of a console.

Call of Duty 3 PS3

The Last of Us PS3

NCAA Football 07

NCAA Football 13

As to whether PS4 games will mainly run at 720p or 1080p, this seems like a moot point. We’ve been running most current gen games at 720p, with some in 1080p, on 6 year old hardware. My mid-range 2 year old desktop plays Battlefield 3 in DX11 on high settings at 1920×1080 around 45 fps and this is no where near the PS4’s capabilities. For simple proof everything that Sony showed was in 1080p, you can check it out on their youtube page here. This includes direct feed videos from their in game presentations. Also if you happen to be in the camp that thinks there is no difference between 720p and 1080p, have a look below for a comparison between the two.

720p vs 1080p Amazing Spider-Man Demo

Sony was also very strategic in not playing their whole hand at the press conference. What they were able to do was to break the ice on next gen development so companies that have been hiding behind NDA’s can finally show what they have been working on. More than likely E3 will be the determining factor for many as to what their next system will be. By not showing everything they have ensured Microsoft will not be able to run away with the show, which could sway many buyers. We can still expect a very strong showing with many great reveals and finally getting a look at the console.

This year is shaping up to be one to remember. Microsoft will show their answer to next gen which could open up some exciting possibilities. PC development as a whole keeps getting stronger and we are already seeing great titles for all platforms. This is the best time to be a gamer. We are entering into a new dawn where console games will finally be able to experience some of the benefits PC gamers have been enjoying for years. In turn this will help developers push the PC even farther. At the end though it really is all about the games and each platform has their own strengths in these areas. Respect and understand this. Our industry is under a closer eye now than it has ever been. With recent shootings and other hot topics trying to be linked to video games we need to do a better job representing our community. Let’s start being more encouraging and helping. If you don’t know something don’t be afraid to ask and if you are able to help then go for it. I think its great when someone tries to act as a mentor, helping others along their way. There are plenty of padawans out there that could use some more Jedi Masters in their life. David Cage gave an interesting presentation at DICE in which he talked about ways to help mature our field. I would rather see more conversations sharing great moments in games, ways games have helped others through tough times, and any ideas that could really improve upon what we have. Less “this game sucks harder than your mother.” More “the health system really doesn’t support the type of game they are trying to make, I think it might have been cooler if…” To be honest, it upsets me that uninformed tv networks know more about Grand Theft Auto than Child’s Play. It’s easy for anyone to place the blame on a scapegoat, in this case a medium that they don’t care about or understand, than being mature and honest enough to really address the problem. You would think books would be the first thing to go since you can learn about anything there. There are far worse descriptions of violence, murder, rape, torture, and any other kind of perversion written in books than anything you’ll find in a game. It’s harder for kids to purchase Lord of the Rings: War in the North than to pick up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. But oh yea I forgot, a lot more people like books than video games. I think our industry is making some amazing advances forward and I can’t wait for this holiday season to get here. I would love to hear your ideas on next gen and what has you excited the most.

About the Author



  1. Mark

    I can’t believe there are no comments here. This (and eurogamer’s analysis) is one of the best articles I have read related to the ps4, surpassing even many so called informed tech sites (which have been poorly informed; no, I don’t need to know what colour the ps3 case will look like). Well done the author you have made some very good points – it is depression how little real knowledge many journalists and people have in this area.

  2. SP

    Fantastic article. I will admit I was very confused by all the differant articles about the PS4, and by comments from PC owners. Your article helps clear alot of things up for me.

  3. Mujahid Jeeawody

    I think game is going very far.God has created this system to show us his signs.I’m very happy to see these graphics performance.

    • Kita Rouge

      Okay, seriously?
      I’m not a believer but God gave us the systems?
      Maybe, if god exists, he gave us the world and our lives.
      Think of it more like God as the sandbox creator and we’re the players.
      Implying God gave us the system is ridiculous. Why couldn’t he have given us the capacity to build such a syetm without it being directly from him?
      If these things are from God, then that sort of eliminates free will.

      No, this sytem is not from God. This is something we made.
      Which brings us to the point of the article. Not religious dogma, but what we as individuals choose to do with this technology and how we present it to the rest of the world.

  4. John

    Very descriptive and very well said. Thank You!

  5. chase

    Good read, great article, Im a little skeptical about the apu, but still am pumped for ps4 totally agree about how console development is streamlined since the specs are universal

  6. Dirk

    The PS4 reveal was more positive than the one I remember for the PS3 where they said the purposely made it harder to extend the life cycle of the PS3. What idiots make something harder to work on? The market controls the life cycle not any individual developer whether it be a game or console maker. While it may have been smart to not reveal everything I have the feeling Sony let me down. I want to see the hardware and not have to actually guess whether it has been made or not. I trusted Sony before and bought a PS3 and everything they have done since my purchase has made me question it. I also own a 360 and had the RROD so I’m on my 2nd box and I still have more faith in Microsoft than I do Sony.

    • Mark

      Dirk – why do you need to see the hardware ? What good will it do at this early stage, all you would see is a coloured plastic shaped box – big deal ! The Sony engineers are still working out the design and its optimization – far more important than a plastic cover/box ! The point of the presentation was to introduce the internal components and start the media interest.

      • Emery Calame

        Very simply, I care about the box because that is what I will see when I am thinking about buying the thing. Sony want to get me fixated on something they plan to be selling by the holiday season. If I don’t know what it looks like, then I can’t fixate on it and have it haunt me as an image, a symbolic presence that can be used to make me want to buy it.

        • john

          you do not understand how these things work do you!? They will reveal the console at e3 along with a lot more game reveals and get you pumped a few months before it releases! I dont understand why people keep saying sony is dumb for not showing the console at the reveal!? It was never a reveal and nobody actually said it would be there officially!

          • steve

            I think there is a big deal over the box because some deflationary third parties wanted to make it look like Sony said they were going to show the system and didn’t, making Sony look like liars or something. It worked too, some people are really upset with Sony for it. I wonder if they even noticed the games on display, or the features it has. No, they’re right. It is more important how it looks.

  7. Robert

    You sir are my hero. Excellent explanation. I’m a PC gamer too, I built my own PCs, and was amazed and excited by what Sony showed with the PS4, and also surprised how many people said “it sucks, my PC is better, blah blah” because they have no idea how PC components really work. Great article! Thank you!! This is, indeed, a great time for gamers!

  8. Great article! Really enjoyed reading it. With a lot of knowledge you have addressed many important aspects. Thanks a lot.

  9. SDRAM

    A good read and a rather corny call for unity at the end. We’ve been asking for that for years but the major publishers are fighting a war with each other so I doubt they’ll be happy seeing PC gamers cheering on console gamers for receiving better consoles. They would want those PC games to leave the PC and becomes a permanent user of their consoles. It’s business and no amount of understanding will cure that. PC gamers are like a loose end in their business war.

    “It doesn’t make sense for a developer just to build a game for the 10%.”

    ‘We are entering into a new dawn where console games will finally be able to experience some of the benefits PC gamers have been enjoying for years.’

    Doesn’t sound like PC is getting a good deal out of this. A lot of stuff When the PS3 and X Box 360 came out, droves of PC game developers kinda left the PC. It took a couple of whole new generation of CPUs and GPUs before anyone would take the PC seriously again.

    What benefits do PS gamers get from the PS4? I’ve heard about better ports but that’s a minefield in it itself. Sony is pretty active in the MMO side of PC gaming but most of it’s hot exclusive titles will always be console exclusives. The only thing that PC gamers can look forward to are F2P MMOs and third party ports. Last year several games that used to be PS exclusives were quietly released into Steam. We finally got to play them but there is that lingering sense that we’re playing with handouts or leftover of unimpressive games. As if those games failed to achieved the projected amount of sale and were banished to the land of PC.

    The promised spec of the PS3 and 360 were enough to take PC developers from making PC games anymore. Newer generations of PC hardware and features attracted some of them back several years later. Now, just like you said, ALL those benefits are available on next gen consoles…what will motivate those developers to fully return to the PC anymore? Everything they want in a PC will be available on next gen so why should they cater to the 10%?

    So how can we gamers unite when the next gen is actually going to succeed in taking everything from the PC? First a little bit of PC stuff, then the developers, followed by the fan base and now the whole PC architecture (hardware, workflow…mods). Sony and MS don’t care for PC gamers so what benefit do PC gamers get by patting the console gamers for their new machines that took everything from the PC? You don’t see console gamer patting PC gamers on the back with the sudden accelerated developement of DX11 in the last one year. In fact they still jeered at PC gamers and at the same time wished for those PC features to be in the next gen.

    So….will another PC is Dead Era be coming?

    • Mr.Demon

      the best that can get PC gaming from PS4 and the Nextbox is the breaking of the limits that shackle rigth now the gaming on PC.. most of the developers (if not all) are on Consoles because it make money.. PC gaming is important part of the whole gaming industry but is not as profitable as Console gaming rigth now…

      With better tools on consoles better games on PC.. at least with those that are multiplatform releases… PC era is NOT dead.. it will be NOT! I personally enjoy both.. i love fighting games and that’s something almost exclsuive of Console gaming.. and on PC I’m more a geek of graphical advance.. (not a graphic whore!)

      So, Why not a PS4/nextbox for your hall and all those social and exclusive games.. and PC for those personal experience in front of your monitor? a 400$ invesment on a console is not bad deal or is it?

    • Heterial

      Im hearing the same sh** when new console comes out and PC still is living a good life in gaming world.

  10. dakan45

    You are making massive mistakes here.

    Fist of all sony cant sell a system like that for 400 if anything it will be 700-900$

    Also just because the transfer speed is higher it doesnt mean that the clock speeds will be higher.

    ps4 was designed with alot of video memory to combat the streaming limitiatons on low ram on previous consoles.

    Essentially you got see this with teraflops and arguable a GTX670 has far far more terafrlops than ps4.

    If we go into predictions. Then the x86 architecture will allow for better pc optimization. So not so heavy hardware will be required for pc ports.

    Also ps3 was “more powerfull” spec wise, it had more cores, but essentially for multiplats x360 was known as the most powerfull system.

    So spec wise it doesnt say much.

    if the specs are accurate. This means that 2 years after ps4 comes out, pc gamers will be able to afford superior hardware in a period of 2 years.

    So just like now, 2 years later the ps3 will be absolute.

    So in the end while no one can give a definitive answer since there as so many “ifs” evolved, one thing is sure, pcs will be more powerfull on release and will leave the ps4 behind pretty fast.

    PS4 may be a more price worthy choice but so was the x360 and for all it’s superiority ps3 got owned in sales and game optimization.

    In conclusion this leads to the question, how do we know that xbox wont come out better price/optimization wise and how do we know that pcs wont take the lead thanks to x86 architecture change?

  11. Armand

    Very nice read…..well documented. I like better graphics, but is always about content, no mater the platform we speak of.
    I’m exited for the new Killzone, Crysis3 technicaly ca be more advanced, but it’s overall experience that make the “game”.I think the package will be better for Killzone Shadowfall, considering that Crysis never exceled at the multiplayer.

  12. psoomah

    Beats the hell out of almost all tech sites PS4 articles. Nicely done.

    The video is a bit ironic as in the latest PC Per podcast both Ryan Shrout and Josh Walrath seemed to think the PS4 APU processor would be separate CPU and GPU chips on a single substrate … ???wtf???. I had to slap them around a bit in the comments for such foolishness. Even AFTER I pointed out the AMD blog – – that stated flat out the APU was based on 2013 roadmap elements and was a single chip APU, Josh said “You might want to re-read what all he wrote. There are many, many details left out that he does not cover. Is it fully HSA? Does it in fact have the unified address space? How is the memory controller implemented? What speed is it running at and how does that affect the CPU cores vs. the GPU portion? Those 8 Jaguar cores, do they share a common crossbar, or do they do cache coherency through the memory controller/main memory? Microsoft called Xenos a “chip” but it was in fact two dies on a single substrate. I still think that for fabrication reasons it will be two dies sharing a substrate.” That was disappointing.

    Just to underscore your point on the level of comprehension of the PS4 technology and specs.

    Interesting point – there’s a good possibility fabrication dynamics drove Jaguar cores as the only viable HSA APU capable solution that would meet a holiday 2013 release schedule, which in turn allowed the power and cost envelope headroom that made such a powerful GPU possible and drove the adoption of GDDR5.

    The selection of an AMD HSA solution also provides Sony with an extremely cost effective future solution for a much shorter console cycle, say 4 years, to enable them to produce a timely 4K gaming capable console with built in full backward compatibility.

    I found this from the AMD blog interesting:

    “This is going to be a very exciting year for gamers, especially for those with AMD hardware in their PCs and consoles, as we have even more game-changing (pun intended) announcements still to come.

    Look for some more exciting things happening at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in March when we will provide even more info on how we are working with game developers to make AMD the hardware of choice for running the best games!”

    I’ve been forum posting for some time there are some substantial consoles win synergies AMD can leverage in their future APUs to make them punch WAY above their weight in gaming, starting with Kaveri and it’s associated 8xxx Dual Graphics solution and continuing with the 2014 APU line. Seemed pretty obvious to me and I predicted in two years AMD APUs and GPUs would become far and away the gaming processors of choice supplanting Intel on the CPU side and steadily taking market share from Nvidia.

    Needless to say the Intel prediction was generally considered raving lunacy and the Nvidia prediction not far behind … ‘as it is so shall it ever be’. People just are not good at exponentials and extrapolation into the future.

    • psoomah

      I kinda think Sony did a ‘fell in the shit pot and came out smelling like a rose’ on the PS4. Looking at the rumors and timelines over the years I think Microsoft had a solid year or more head start on it’s AMD solution, itself driven by ongoing internal metrics showing Xbox 360 sales falling off a cliff post 2013, which would create a whole host of problems for the future, but the technology options they were THEN pursuing wouldn’t be viably ready for a holiday 2013 launch and AMD was ready with a solution that WAS viable for a holiday 2013 launch.

      At the time credible rumors broke Microsoft was going for a 2013 console launch the prevailing wisdom (and Microsoft and Sony steadfast statements) indicated 2014 at the earliest, with 2015 considered more solid for the next gen console releases.

      Sony’s PS4 was a year ‘younger’ and Sony had a hellacious red ink hole to climb out of, so they were surely eager, if not desperate for, 2015 being viable for their next console release. I’m pretty sure when the solid rumors broke Microsoft was going for a 2013 release Sony was caught with their pants around their ankles and quickly realized falling a year behind Microsoft this time considering their financial situation would be truly disastrous and the solutions they had played with over time thinking 2015 release, Larrabee, Cell+, Intel/Nvidia were hopelessly unviable for a 2013 release.

      Wow, desperation time … this might actually SINK THE COMPANY … and there AMD was, having already been working with Microsoft for a year or more on the Xbox 720, with this elegant crazily cost effective future friendly cutting edge HSA APU solution to hand that could meet the 2013 deadline.

      And then there’s Steam Box. Gabe is a true wild card, but that said, and considering Sony went with a ‘stock’ semi-custom APU – lifted straight from 2013 architecture elements and AMD owns all the IP blocks – Valve should be able to get their very own semi-custom APU that is almost identical to Sony’s. Near identical HSA hardware, both Linux based … how easy would it be for developers to port their Sony games to Steam Box? And vice versa? Dude does need to eat better and drop a few pounds though, he looks hella unhealthy.

      So I’m assuming Steam Box will AMD based despite what has to be an increasingly desperate Nvidia fighting tooth and nail to retain that last toe hold in the PC/console gaming space as relates to their future GPU viability.

  13. Nvidia Fanboy

    Consoles lost me for good after this last generation. I got tired of waiting for the PS4 and Xbox 720 and recently switched to PC. With all due respect, I cannot fathom ever going back to console and the limitations that exist within those systems. The bottom line is the PS4 is currently comparable to a mid range to low mid range PC. By the time it’s released and actually sold to the public, it will be another generation behind.

    • Shadow_lawless

      Did you even read the article? even if a Pc had similar specs, the ps4 with optimised code (1 platform), offloading of OS tasks onto a specially designed chip, and architecture designed specifically for playing games will allow it to not only keep up with the PC, but in many circumstances probably surpass its performance.

      Not to say there aren’t really high end PC’s ($1500 – $2000+) in existence that could smoke a ps4, but that goes without saying and isnt really a fair comparison. that would be the same as me comparing my mid- high end PC to my smart phone and boasting its superiority? those PC’s are built for more than just gaming, of course something built for professional video editing and extreme processing power will be more powerful than a gaming system, like wise super computers built for science simulations are more powerful than any computer period.

      • M&MLover

        Truthfully speaking, the PS$ will be a huge step from current gen console, but an apu isnt going to be able to compete with a dedicated graphics card and cpu. I have a 1300 dollar computer, and truthfully, it will smoke the PS4 tenfold

        • M&Msforkids

          Don’t lie there aint a single PC user you know with computer that would smoke a PS4 my computer is worth over £2400 thats near $5000 and I can say it wouldn’t smoke a PS4 I don’t even think it could run new Killzone on highest settings while being able to boast a good frame rate.

          I give it 3 year before the required parts are needed before it beats PS4 and even then for gaming purposes I will be playing PS4 as thats where the games will be as PC won’t have as many titles and unless your using the power to do other things other than gaming there wont be no point in upgrading much as the games requiring such high specs won’t be available for PC in truth I don’t really game on PC anymore as it is what for a few texture packs give me a break I enjoy my developing and football manager on PC.

          • ThEGr33k

            Hardware wise PC’s are certainly ahead.

            I know that on my PC there are no bottleknecks, well technically my GFX card is but that is how it should be, my CPU rarely gets above 50% use while the GPU is on 100% and my system even with the most demanding games doesn’t top 4GB of the 8 available.

            RAM speed doesn’t seem to bother the Intel CPU’s (1333mhz vs 2133 seems to gain almost nothing in performance), and Sandybridge or higher CPU’s will EASILY out perform the PS4’s CPU.

            7850+/660+ GPU’s have more raw graphical power.

            HDD’s are slow compared to SSD’s, so PS4’s bottleneck is HUGE due to this, load times will suffer compared to a PC running an SSD or 2. I know my games running off of SSD’s FAR outperforms my friends on fast HDD’s…

            So to summarise here the benefits of APU’s isn’t so much performance but cost and simplicity, if it was performance then PC’s would have gone that way long ago, CPU’s don’t need GDDR5 speed RAM, GPU’s do hence why only GPU’s have it in PC’s, if it was needed CPU’s would be using it. PCI-e is not faster because it doesn’t need to be (and even top end GPU’s dont use all PCI-e 2 bandwidth available), the RAM and PCI-e are not the bottlenecks on PC’s. It’s usually one of 3 things, the CPU/GPU/Storage. This is where doing research and making a system that balances these right is a top idea.

            There are only 2 things that the PS4 has over the PC and that is is cost and ease of writing software for.

  14. Conk3r

    In other words, we have to wait until the final year of every console-cycle to obtain the most fun / graphics, eh 😉

    The PS 1+1+1+1 (for the japanese readers), the right Price ~400€ and great Launch titles (15+, among them GT6), might be Sonys next Console to surpass the 100Mio sells… easily? maybe, wishful thinking

    When it comes to unique IPs, Sony wins hands down… i have ZERO memory records of NINIS WII U after the E3… no games, notin… and Microsoft only had HALO and FORZA.. and maybe for some Nerd Fable… that´s it… everything else is playable on all plattforms, but games like ICO, Last Guardian just to name these 2.. can only be played on Playstation.

  15. Very good article. And better explained. PS$ is going to be a great console and of course, if you want the best graphics, spend your money buying the last hardware for your pc.

  16. resolution???

    there’s no diference in 720p and 1080p, what a joke play some games in pc and you will see the diference and with better resolution there see better

  17. resolution???

    look better sorry

  18. geetam

    thanks for the amazing article!

  19. onthemour

    When Nvidia releases its maxwell architecture next year It will absolutely DESTROY THE PS4!

    All serious gamers no this.

    The inexpensive lineup will probably be 10x more powerful
    The graphic limitation will also skyrocket due to these new consoles and the pc options will also skyrocket.


    • onthemour

      I hate to add this but I am a front end coder for a major studio and the new consoles will allow pc gaming to do what it is supposed to do. Excel. and believe me it will

  20. Undeadwolfy

    Beautifully written. Great work on the article.

  21. Shadow_lawless

    Have to say one of the best written articles regarding the ps4 (and tech in general for that matter) ive read in a very long time. Definitely gonna keep this site in the bookmarks

  22. Bob

    Fantastic article, summed up my thoughts on the matter with a sprinkling of “actually knowing what you are talking about”. I don’t quite understand the criticism of their reveal. It’s unrealistic to expect a $400 gaming device to stand up against $2000 PC’s, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look utterly fantastic (and I do believe my $2000 pc would struggle with them graphics). But even beyond that, people don’t seem to have recognised that PC’s and game consoles are becoming very different entities. Games consoles are more and more focused on a level of social interaction that PC’s just can’t provide. And that’s not a criticism of PC’s, I enjoy games on my PC as much as on my 360 or PS3, I just think it’s apple and oranges at this point.

  23. Thomas

    As far as I can tell from the diagram and from what I’ve heard elsewhere, you don’t necessarily get the same performance that you would from an APU under normal circumstances. The GPU in the default APU configuration is not as powerful as the included GPU. The diagram at the top of the article also shows a bus accessed by both GPU and CPU cores. It is probably still very fast and faster than regular PC memory busses, but I wonder if it is as fast as the author assumes.

  24. Jace

    Thoroughly enjoyed this, and def apprecaite the liberal smattering of educational reference links. 🙂

  25. zebo

    Well,most of those negative articles about ps4 were written because the authors were paid to write so (same happened to the Wii U)
    It is no coincidence that(especially in US/UK media) both companies(sony/nint) are under perpetual attack while the 3rd player(ms) is praised by the media as White Knight or Saviour.

    The company from Redmond is not just using the same propaganda like Apple:paying authors to write positive article about their products,MS is also paying for anti propaganda to demonize their competitors(of course the pc games author isn’t as stupid as his negativ article about ps4 may make him look)
    I needed some time to figure out whats going on as I never understood why the stupid Killzone2 fake got more negative public attention than such a catastrophy as the xbox rrod.
    But after Kinect has been praised even the Time magazine as great and revolutionary I bought it and found out it works just 30% as good as promised I i realized,those guys are paid by microsoft-merchandising hidden as news.That’s how they made people pay money for xboxlive(it is worth paying it)make the rrod look like a little mistake(great microsoft service)
    It was just the same trick apple use.
    Compared to the slightly upgrades apple showed us at the last PK’s the ps4 PK was pretty interessting and impressive.Question?Why is apple hyped and praised for a lousy show(more of the same) with tons of positive media attention while Sony is bashed for new good hardware ,great graphics and interessting games(not just sequels,but new IP’s)
    We will see tons of articles contra Sony and Nintendo and 70% overwhelming positiv feedback after the xbox3 PK.
    Why?Microsoft is paying good for articles making them look good and their competitors look bad-and articles are lot cheaper and trustworthier than simple advertising.
    Don’t believe me?lough now,but remember what I wrote now and wait what will happen after the xbox 3 is announced.

    • Wow.. Just wow. You’re pretty delusional. 😀 There are enough bloggers and journalists who hate/love any particular company – you don’t have to buy into conspiracy theories. (I’m not saying it doesn’t sometimes happen though)

      It’s just as easy for a journalist to get washed away in hype as anyone else, and sometimes when things are demoed, or shown in a controlled way an author can end up with a skewed view of something. There are a lot of people who legitimately (well, from their perspective) hate Sony and Nintendo. I’m generally a Sony guy myself, but I know more Microsoft people. For whatever reason people get tribal about stuff like this.

      Apple events are hyped because Apple’s market and the public interest in Apple’s products is MUCH bigger than anything in the games industry, sadly. They don’t have to bribe people to get coverage – writing about them gets hits/sales.

      Apple also get bashed in the media, all the time. You’re being very selective – I’ve seen more positive stuff in both mainstream and the blogosphere about the PS4 event than I have negative. It’s fair that people are sceptical of new hardware.

      In NO way did Killzone 2 fake video get as much public attention as RROD, which made mainstream news around the world and resulted in various consumer rights groups getting involved. Everyone knows about RROD because of the coverage.

      When the XBox 3 is announced there will be a huge amount of positive press (much like there has been for the PS4) – possibly more in the US because so many people are entrenched in the MS ecosystem or have brand loyalty. If the Xbox 3 gets predominantly good press (even if the hardware seems inferior by whatever metric you’re using) that doesn’t in any way confirm that MS are bribing everyone. The Xbox3 will be better suited to a lot of players/writers, I’m sure. There is no one system to rule them all.


      Oh, and Time Magazine also hyped the Wii as great and revolutionary, not just Kinect. Based on the info they had that seems pretty reasonable.

  26. Matt Berial

    Great read! And I agree with all of it, I can’t wait till E3. 😀

  27. Bobert

    This was a great article. Thank you.

    Some of my best gaming experiences are owed to P.C. gaming but I do not like getting burned buying the 2nd best (“best” is normally embarrassingly overpriced) video card and STILL waiting a couple years to really have any software that shows it off — if ever because small and rapid changes in hardware result in older AND newer hardware seldom receiving fully optimized code… Sure, I can push my card a little from year one by cranking up AA, AF, and resolution but this only goes so far now to make me feel like my purchase and superior power are worth much. If my console looks just as good or better in many ways with hardware that should be a fraction of the power, cranking up the resolution isn’t satisfying enough. Crysis 3 is impressive, but in my opinion it still does not often stand head and shoulders above so many other titles. We may be reaching a point of significantly diminishing returns.

    Hopefully the similarities with this gen of console hardware will be sufficient to minimize this often denied/ignored reality (software doesn’t really utilize my hardware for years). Of course, this hope could see a quick end if, along with other challenges, the irritating lowest common denominator/pracitically endless potential configurations etc. bottlenecks continue to prevent the developers from optimizing and really using full capabilities for their P.C. fan-base…

  28. Great read! Thanks for shedding some light on that. Really tired of people complaining PC to consoles in terms of just the video card.

  29. Raza

    Great article, anyone who thinks that this new generation in gaming is not going to improve gaming as a whole is ignorant and misinformed. I only have one caveat with it though, 8-core AMD CPUs can be purchased. Granted, they aren’t true 8-core processors but as far as I know so, so isn’t the APU for the PS4. Sure, the PS4 isn’t going to be a day one purchase for me but hopefully, I’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a more mature gaming industry on my PC before I finally cave in and buy it.

    • psoomah

      Jaguar cores are fully contained ‘true’ cores. It’s a totally different architecture than the bulldozer line of chips.

  30. Jupsto

    While I agree with the majority of the article, you are failing to acknowledge how much the modern PC is held back by consoles.

    Crysis 3 may have some extra bells and whistles for PC, but it was primarily funded for consoles. This applies for all the best visuals in PC currently like BF3. These best looking PC games were limited to run on 8 year old hardware (xbox360).

    So comparing crysis 3 on PC to killzone PS4 is ultimately unfair on the PC. A PC game that had as much funding as killzone to push a modern PC as much, would probably blow killzone out the water. Much like crysis 1 did in its time and before that HL2, etc.

    • onthemour

      I am so happy the new consoles are coming now we can see the graphic limits (due to outdated hardware on consoles) be pushed to amazing limits on PC.

      When ps4 comes out there will be a new arcitecture for PC GPUS and game developers will use pc to showcase their graphical abilities and ps4 will be outdated on release

      • onthemour

        I am playing Crysis 3 on PC at a resolution of 5760*1080p with 3 7970s overclocked 60fps.

        The ps4 demos look terrible compared to what I am experiencing. Multi-platform AAA games will release with an enormously higher graphic options settings than the consoles will have. PC gaming is going to be mind boggling compared to the new consoles.

        It is absolutely ridiculous to compare to 2

        PC will be light years ahead of the new consoles. Cevat Yerli from Crytek (This is the god of graphics) said last June that the consoles of the future are already outdated compared to present PCs

        That says it all

  31. WOW!

    This was great, you wrote everything in such a way that anyone can understand. Keep Writing your great at it.

  32. Steve

    Fantastic article!

  33. Steve

    Let the games begin! Who’s ready! XD

  34. onthemour

    I am playing Crysis 3 on PC at a resolution of 5760*1080p with 3 7970s overclocked 60fps.

    The ps4 demos look terrible compared to what I am experiencing. Multi-platform AAA games will release with an enormously higher graphic options settings than the consoles will have. PC gaming is going to be mind boggling compared to the new consoles.

    It is absolutely ridiculous to compare to 2

    PC will be light years ahead of the new consoles. Cevat Yerli from Crytek (This is the god of graphics) said last June that the consoles of the future are already outdated compared to present PCs

    That says it all

    • katran

      Yes its possible .. but tell me how much did u spent on that PC of yours.. And also how
      will u be able to play the exclusives like GT6 , God of War and lots of others? If u are a true hardcore gamer u will always go with console 🙂

    • John Smith

      “3 7970s overclocked”. That’s at least $900 right there. And let’s not forget the other $1500 of hardware. So what you’re saying is a $2400 machine is better than a $400 machine. It’s not like there’s only like what? A $2000 difference right there?

  35. bardicverse

    While I don’t doubt the PS4 is a solid system, running a 32-bit system does have quite a few limitations. Remember, x86 processors are 32-bit, (as per the 386, 486 systems, where x86 gets its name from). It’s somewhat surprising they didn’t go to a 64-bit processor and take advantage of decreased bottlenecks, and unlock the cores to their full potential.

    At the end of the day, the timespan that passed from the start of the PS4 development to now, PCs have grown stronger in architecture since, and with a new update for PCIe due out in 2014, which will double the amount of bus lanes on the motherboard, the full potential for the PC world will still surpass the max potential of the PS4’s architecture.

    Yes, the advent of adding the GPU to the CPU limits bottlenecking, just like when Intel got rid of Southbridge, combining it with the CPU many years ago. It’s not a new concept, to say the least, and it IS helpful. Yet for every technology researched 2+ years ago, PC hardware has been evolving on a monthly basis. By the time the PS4 is available for sale, PC hardware while have lapped it once again.

    At the end of the day, consoles will always be consoles, with a locked in maximum potential, whereas PCs are ever-evolving. A $500 Windows 7 system I built 2 years ago has similar max potential to the PS4. Granted, my system has double the ram the PS4 is offering, and my vid card runs LFD2 at max settings in 1080p somewhere in the range of 50-55 fps.

    This not to slight the PS4 in any way, but to stop this wayward, discorded mindset that the PS4 is more powerful than anything available on the PC market for a similar price range.

    • Lu Os Ga Mo

      Did you ever read the article Onthemour? Stop being such a stupid and arrogant fanboy. We dont care about you “insane” rig. This article is about quality vs price, about manufacture costs. Of course a $5000 dollar pc is gonna overpower a $400 console. The amazing thing here: what can you do with a low budget but amazing development and technology. How to match the quality of a high end gaming pc, a powerhorse, into console gaming.

    • Andy

      The CPU in the PS4 is an x86-64bit. You can find the specs listed on Sony’s Playstation websites. x86 is a family designation and does not specifically refer to the 32bit generation.

    • psoomah

      “Remember, x86 processors are 32-bit,” … okay, put down the crack pipe and slowly step back … …

  36. John

    When I first read this article there were no comments on it. Now, there is a slew of comments on here. I think the intelligent folks who understand the complex architecture of the PS4 and the hardware within it are giving the writer the props that he deserves. This was very well said and nicely sourced. However, there are some foolish opinions in here that aren’t backed by facts and are mere speculation. Readers beware: the writer wrote and sourced information based on Sony’s announced PS4 specs. Therefore, it is fact. Anything involving the next XBox is simply speculation as nothing has been announced or confirmed yet. Of course, it doesn’t take a genius to recognize where the naysayers are.

    • psoomah

      At this point it’s not simple speculation, it’s well informed speculation coming from the same sources that totally nailed the PS4 specs beforehand.

  37. Zohaib

    Great Read and right on target. Explains things that most of the so called tech sites didnt

  38. H-Nasa

    Thank you for this article. Eye opening and extremely well-written. I’m exciting for this holiday season.

  39. James

    Sorry a GPU GTX 680 is miles above the GPU in the PS4. That’s just a fact.

    Second of all “only” 2 gigs? Yeah except that Crysis 3 max settings, 1080P uses 1.7 Gigs.

    If you actually think the PS4 is going to be capable of running textures and a high enough resolution to break a 2 gigabyte barrier you are kidding yourself. Lol

    A current high end PC runs laps around a PS4. Doesn’t matter if they code to the metal.

    PS4’s 1.7 GHz 8 core was originally designed for laptops. It’s meant to be low power and that’s what an APU system is. A cheap, low power machine.

    Nothing on the PS4 will ever surpass Battlefield 3 max settings, Project Cars max settings, and Crysis 1 modded, Crysis 2, Crysis 3.

  40. John Draisey

    This is the best article on PS4 and PC architecture I’ve read in a long, long time. Great job!

  41. Johnny

    Awesome article. Thanks to the author for this awesome right up. I’m ready for the next leap to the PS4.

  42. Improv

    Uh huh…

    So are you going to argue against actual developers? They all say PC over next gen. I highly doubt you know more than the people developing games.

    Heck by the time next gen comes out we will be on the next set of Nvidia and AMD cards even furthering the gap.

    • psoomah

      Not the point, of course high end hardware will have the graphics edge into the future. The point is the graphics potential of the PS4 is far greater than the tech press is grasping … and will be capable of better graphics than any PC game currently on the market running on a high end PC.

      7870 class GPU + HSA + 8gb GDDR5 = mind boggling potential.

      • Z

        Oh my god. Do you really think an the APU is as powerful as a 7870? Do you even know what an APU is? As it stands right now, the highest end APU has comparable graphics to a $60 card. And that was just released last year. Do you think AMD can have their APU developed that much in a year to compare to a $200-250 card? And so what if it has 8GB of GDDR5 memory? Not everything is gonna be used for games( not that games can even use that much). I’d say 3GB for the system and processes, 1GB reserved, and 4GB for games. Even if it had all 8GB of ram, it wouldn’t matteer, as the ram is only used for textures and such( Video ram is mostly used to drive resolutions. Even with all that ram, Sony can’t make it playable at 4K res?). The data speeds might be fast, but that doesn’t make the APU any faster. Let’s face it, it’s just an APU.

    • Ty

      Yes, a $3000 gaming rig will currently brute force outmaneuver the PS4. The same held true with the current generation when it launched.

      The point is there’s a lot of dittoheads trying to claim you can build the PS4 now for even $1000 of like retail parts (that really have no likeness to the PS4 setup)

      If it launches at $450, you’ll probably see a period of 4 years before a similar COST PC would finally be that affordable.

      That’s the point.

  43. Tony

    With no doubt the PS4 is a powerful system 8 GB of GDDR5 memory with nearly 200 GB of bandwith holy moly! I do wish that Sony utilized the next gen cell architecture(or parts of it) and somehow made it accessible to developers. The next gen cell processor has 32 high performance cores at 4 GHZ from IBM’s website and I assume was made much easier to program than the PS3 cell processor. In terms of computational performance it seems like the PS3 and PS4 are basically the same despite the fact that developers could use more of the power of the PS4 thanks to the X86 processor and very little memory bottleneck as compared to the PS3. Didn’t the PS3 have a combined 2 TFLOPS(1.8 TFLOPs from the RSX) of computational performance? I am either missing something because the PS4 did not seem like a big leap from the PS3 as the PS3 was from the PS2.We could only see the results in the games in the end…

  44. Wade

    Wow, that was a fantastic article. I am personally still holding my breath for Microsoft’s unveiling but you really can’t argue with his points. “His logic is undeniable” –VIKI

  45. Suly2k

    Great Article, very well written indeed.

    Quick question, with regards to backward compatibility…

    How important is this really, also what are the implications with regards to the PS4 and its development catering for it?

  46. onthemour

    The truth is no matter what they can do with a $400 gaming console, it will always be sub par if it cannot do all games 1080p native at 60fps.

  47. Nomad

    What about the bottleneck of having a shared quad-directional memory pool an the inherent latency this causes or the fact that the CPU cannot handle the theoretical bandwidth purportedly available to it. Also the much vaunted 8 core AMD cpu is little more than an Atom processor.

    This reminds me of all the nonsense about the PS3 being so wonderful yet an old X1950XT is offering better gaming performance and quality in games like Crysis 2 – so much for optimisation.

  48. miaku

    Best article on the net regarding PS4 vs PC, bravo and a round of applause

  49. Ric

    I think they maxed out the bang for buck pretty much.
    Would like to see what a PC build on the release day of they PS4, with the same price will do. Thats the real question isnt it?

  50. mohd

    one word ” bravo “

  51. mohd

    one word ” bravo”

  52. onthemour

    If it releases around our close to the time Nvidia releases Maxwell well I can assure you pc with the same price will be 2-3 times better. Maxwell architecture is going to be phenomenal. The 7xx and 8xxx GPU series are coming out soon and will be priced accordingly to consoles.

    This ps4 needed to be released last year in order to compete with pc. Technology advances much quicker than it did 8 years ago. That whole consoles are better than pc’s at release is not possible in present advances

  53. norvek

    All those that say you can get a pc, that will run games at the same specs of a ps4 for the same price, Please!! tell me, where from.
    Please give details of components and there costs and where we can obtain them.

    Brilliant article well done.

  54. John Smith

    I’m thinking if I should buy a macbook pro retina 13 inch (only if it has intel gt3 or nvidia 740m) with windows of course or buy a cheaper 13 inch macbook air and a ps4. If only nvidia maxwell came out this year like it was planned, I hate it when computer companies push back hardware release dates. Anyone want to give me advice? (And please, don’t hate on me for saying intel gt3 in a gaming article, integrated graphics, while definitely not amazing, will be able to compete with low-mid range mobile graphics cards within the next few years.)

  55. Asad

    People that are comparing ddr3 vs gddr are dumb,

    But people that are saying a PC with an amd APU and GDDR cannot outperform the ps4 are also dumb, because it can be done, but ofcourse such a pc would cost alot more than a ps4.

    Also much pc games are not compiled to make use of the APU, not saying they cant be…In the future you will be able to run ps4 in a virtualmachine of such a PC and run ps4 games.

  56. TriadWarfare

    No matter what you say about APUs, Discrete graphic cards will always be superior. They will be able to compete with lower end hardware but not on higher end ones as more processing requires more power and that would be a major bottleneck for APUs as if you pump more power to the APU, the more heat it will generate and will cause overheating. The major complaint of the PS3 was the lack of RAM and unfamiliar architecture. I’m glad that they have listened to the developers and finally increased RAM more than tenfold and they’re using an architecture to which everyone is familiar with.

    What excites me about the PS4 is that since it’s using x86 hardware, this will finally open the doors for developers to bring in better ports and more games to the PC.

  57. Dev1

    It seemed a nice article, but somewhat flawed:

    As others have pointed out, regardless of the efficiency benefits of APUs, they simply cannot compete with separate discrete PC graphics cards.

    There is a reason the PS4 will be using DDR5 memory, and that reason is to make up for the ‘laptop-like’ low powered cpu.

    • mindbender

      You’re missing the whole point of the article. No one is saying an APU is better than a dedicated graphics card. The writer is simply trying to say sony did a good job in making a $400 console do as roughly as much as something a $1500+ Computer can do and deserve credit for their work. Just because most of us understand how all these chips work doesn’t make thaem any easier to design nd invent

  58. Ja Boo

    Amazing and informative article. Hats off to you.

  59. Z

    No matter how fast the data speeds are, it’s still a freakin’ APU. The current fastest APU is the A10-5800k, and it’s graphics are only comparable to a $60-80 card. You’re telling me that in a year, AMD was able to improve the APU so much its graphics will be better than high-end cards? So what if it’s 8GB of GDDR5 memory? The only benefit I see from that is that since GDDR5 is faster than DDR3, the APU will get a few more FPS, but that’s it( APU benefits from faster ram, as it doesn’t have its own). The ram space will only be used for textures, backbuffers and to drive resolutions. It doesn’t handle stuff like tessellation and aliasing and stuff. That’s handled by the GPU, which, in the case of the PS4, is in the APU. I have already said that the APU isn’t that powerful. At best, AMD would be able to make it comparable to a $100-150 this year. So what if it has fast data speeds, when the components themselves are not fast enough to saturate it. The PS4 won’t even use all of its ram for games. I’d say 3GB for the system and processes, 1GB for reserve, and 4GB for games.

    PCI-E doesn’t have a bottleneck, and so does other modern ports in a PC. Even the fastest cards today barely saturate the bandwidth of PCI-E 2.0, let alone 2.1 or 3.0. The APU might have 8 cores, but it’s made by AMD. Not saying AMD CPUs are bad, but look at this. The current fastest 8 core from AMD is the 8350. Its multi threaded might be close to a $300 i7 from Intel, but most games are single threaded. And AMD’s fastest 8 core has single threaded performance lower than a $200 i5. Now, if we say the core architecture in the APU is similar to that of the 8350, then since it’s clocked a whole lot lower( 4.0GHz vs 1.8Ghz), it’s gonna have even worse single threaded performance, which, as I said, are what most games are run on.

    I’m probably gonna receive heat for this, but I can say that a $700 PC will handle graphics comparable and even better than a PS4, and even be able to drive 4K res and up games( while the PS4 is limited to 1080p) and multiple monitors. You might say that it’s still more expensive then the PS4’s expected price, but it can do way more than what a PS4 can. If it becomes too slow for your tastes, then you can even upgrade your parts( which can be cheaper than buying a new console), while in the case of the PS4, you’ll have to wait until the next gen of consoles will come out

    • John Smith

      The biggest flaw of your argument is that you treat the ps4 like a pc. The thing is, though, it’s not. You say that all the ram won’t be used for games? Wrong, for sure. Only in PC’s does what you say happens. The ps4 operating system will not use 3 gb of ram for sure. It will be more like 6 gb for games, 1 gb in reserve and 1 for the os. Also, the reason why games are based on single threaded performance is because of current gen consoles. When the ps4 comes out, devs will optimize games for more cores and therefore, multi-core cpus will perform far better than single threaded cpus. Also, your right. You will recieve heat for that. A $700 pc will not be able to handle games nearly as well as a ps4. Ok, let’s see, $100 for the cpu (and that’s very cheap), $200 for the gpu, $60 for the ram, $60 for the case, $60 for the psu, $30 for the keyboard and mouse (membrane and optical), $90 for the os, $80 for the motherboard, $60 for the hard drive. That’s $740. That’s a fx 4300 or i3 3200, a gtx 660 or hd 7850, 8 gb of ram, and a 1 tb hard drive. Since optimization will greatly improve the performance of the ps4, a $700 pc can’t touch the ps4. I plan on building a $1400 pc that will crush the ps4, of course, but for anything under $1400, the ps4 wins.

  60. Z

    BTW, I feel sorry for your friend that could’ve spent his $1100 on better parts

  61. Chovabub

    A great explanation and good use of terms but you did forget something which I believe could be said.

    The PS4 – yep a great cheap entry into the game market for around $1000 AU if the marketing for us Aussies is the expected go. She’ll be pretty spectacular for that entry level price.

    However if you do “custom build” as you said also in your article; then this 8 gig of integrated ram (which means shared with video and cpu); is really going to translate down into something similar to 1 gig for the OS; 2 gig to drive the spekky 1.4? terraflop GPU and maybe 5 gig for games. But the problem for us gamer elites is that how will this compare to the next generation Volcano cards coming by AMD in February 2014 or the 7800 Maxwell Intel variety still to be eta; which have 16 gig ram on the video cards let alone up to 32 gig of ram extra on the xeon phi or relative motherboards; also custom built also around $1000 if you know where to import direct. To me, the PS4 will be as it is a spekky unit for those who wont custom build and want a quick entry level games platform without having to spend 3k on a comparable PC unit for those who dont know how to do their upgrades. Knowing however that 16 gig for these new 3 terraflop video cards coming in February are the next generation PC graphics; the PS4 which also being x86 (like PC’s); will be a fantastic console but unfortunately will only keep that title for less than 3 months in comparison to elite game play. That’s not very revolutionary comparing the previous consoles which took almost a year to even come close for PC alternatives. Nevertheless it wont take away from the market. The PS4 will be as I said a cheap quick and easy access into the gamers market for most people not willing to cut corners to get a more powerful system. With games becoming more cross platform and online to prevent piracy; I dont believe it will be too long before the PC becomes the number one games machine it should have been in the first place. But this is all just opinion mind you. Have fun 🙂

  62. Ismail Ibrahim

    That was the best article on PS4 comparison to PC, Thanks a lot 😉

  63. RVanner

    Fantastic Article, I’m a PC and console gamer and was getting tired of (some) long life PC only gamers saying how the PS4’s specs are average and that you can build a comparable PC for £400-£500 and generally providing the most biased possible outlook on the new console. Liked the way you examined how Sony have kept the costs down and how important the APU and overall PS4 architecture is in maximising part compatibility, ensuring no bottlenecks etc which can plague some PC gamers who aren’t experts in their knowledge of Hardware….like myself.

  64. mindbender

    This is a very well written article. Good job.

  65. Stan

    Seriously this is the most mature article I could find on google for “ps4 vs pc”. I really loved it and I hope ppl get inspired not to give CRAPPY OPINIONS on this topic

  66. solar7star

    There is no comparison; the main line architecture for the PS4 is PC based!

    x86 DUH…..

    The PC has upgrade abilities which the console doesn’t. The ps4 is nothing but a modified unified PC. The pc can have multiple GPU’s at one time working in random. Currently up to 16GB of ram, processor upgrades, among other things. The ps4 is limited by one time design/production then it cannot be modified in general again. The pc is limited only by the upgrade manufacturers.

    The current end I7 are more powerful than the ps4/xboxone processors and couple with 12/16 GB of ram and more powerful single or double GPU’s; the consoles are inferior in comparison PERIOD. Not to mention being able to make the same exact games the ps4/xboxone play if your game design savy.


    get serious ppl.

  67. Kurt

    Graphic Comparision:
    PS4* Xbox One* PC ($300 Video Card)
    18Compute Units 12Compute Units 32 Compute Units
    1.84Teraflops 1.23Teraflops 4.1 Teraflops
    176GB/s M.B. 102GB/s M.B. 288GB/s M.B.

  68. Tom B

    Great article about the PS4 vs PC. Most people just look at the psecs without understanding the inner working of a system

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