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Sony details the PS4 Pro's hardware upgrades

Sony details the PS4 Pro's hardware upgrades - Post Polaris AMD GPU Upgrades

The PS4 Pro has some unique GPU enhancements that are not in Polaris

Sony details the PS4 Pro's hardware upgrades

 
 
When the PS4 Pro was announced a lot of gamers were disappointed in the system's specification, especially given Sony's marketing push with this console for 4K. After all, how can a console with 2.3x the GPU compute performance render games at 4x the screen resolution?  
 
Sony did say that their new system would contain a new AMD APU, which contained features that are so new that they are not present in AMD's Polaris architecture, which means that the performance gains provided by the PS4 Pro's new hardware higher than what the GPU TFLOP comparison below would suggest. 
 
 
 Original PS4PS4 ProApprox Performance Boost
CPU8-core AMD Jaguar @ 1.6GHz8-Core AMD Jaguar @2.1GHz1.3x increase
Memory8GB GDDR58GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3+512MB more usable GDDR5 in games
Memory Bandwidth176GB/s218GB/s24% more bandwidth
GPU Compute Units18 GCN Compute Units36 Enhanced GCN Compute Units2x increase
GPU Clock Speed800MHz911MHz1.14x increase
GPU TFLOPS1.84TFLOPS4.2TFLOPs2.3x increase
 
 
To ensure backwards compatibility the PS4 Pro will reduce its clock speeds and disable the PS4 Pro's additional 18 GCN GPU cores to play original PS4 games with no chances of backwards compatibility issues, also significantly decreasing the system's power consumption.  
 
The PS4 Pro also adds an additional 1GB of DDR3 memory to the console, which will be used by the console's OS and non-critical applications, freeing up an extra 1GB of GDDR5 RAM for critical gaming tasks. In reality, this will give developers an extra 512MB for gaming related tasks, which is a 10% increase over the original PS4. 
 
Moving to a new version of AMD's Polaris GPU architecture the PS4 Pro gains support for Delta Colour Compression (DDC), which will give the PS4 Pro a significant increase in usable GPU memory bandwidth by reducing the required memory bandwidth that to complete certain tasks. Combine this with the PS4 Pro's faster GDDR5 memory and the PS4 Pro has a huge increase in usable/effective memory bandwidth.

Sony details the PS4 Pro's hardware upgrades

Recently Digital Foundry had gotten the chance to speak with VooFoo, the developers of Mantis Burn Racing, who are currently developing their game for PC, PS4 and PS4 Pro. The developers of Mantis Burn Racing revealed to Digital Foundry one of the PS4 Pro's new features, which allows the console to complete two 16-bit floating point (FP16) operations in the same time that the original PS4 takes to complete one. 

Now Sony has confirmed that the PS4 Pro can handle 16-bit variables, with the ability to perform two 16-bit operations instead of a single standard 32-bit variable. This effectively allows the PS4 Pro to do two tasks in the time it takes to do one, though with much less precision.

If developers can figure out which tasks can be done with less precision without negatively affecting the game the PS4 Pro can gain a significant amount of additional performance through the use of 16-bit mathematics. Sony states that two new features on AMD's roadmap are present in the PS4 Pro, with these new features presumably coming to PC in 2017 with the release of their Vega GPUs. 

 

    One of the features appearing for the first time is the handling of 16-bit variables - it's possible to perform two 16-bit operations at a time instead of one 32-bit operation,

In other words, at full floats, we have 4.2 teraflops. With half-floats, it's now double that, which is to say, 8.4 teraflops in 16-bit computation. This has the potential to radically increase performance.  

 

 

Supporting mixed precision compute is a task that will take developers a lot of time and effort to utilise fully, as most tasks will not be suited to lower precision compute. This feature will allow developers to push the PS4 Pro much further than the PS4, but only if they can compute data with lower levels of accuracy and still achieve the same visual results.

The PS4 Pro contains a lot of architectural improvements that will give it a huge performance advantage over the PS4, though even with these improvements and the 2.3x increase the consoles graphics throughput it is difficult to see the PS4 Pro being a true 4K console.

 

You can join the discussion on the PS4 Pro's hardware characteristics on the OC3D Forums.  

 

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Most Recent Comments

21-10-2016, 11:38:54

Darkdayzzz
In reality, this will give developers an extra 512GB for gaming related tasks, which is a 10% increase over the original PS4.

Pretty sure you meant to say 512MB not GB...I mean that would stunning if it was GB.Quote

21-10-2016, 11:42:58

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdayzzz View Post
In reality, this will give developers an extra 512GB for gaming related tasks, which is a 10% increase over the original PS4.

Pretty sure you meant to say 512MB not GB...I mean that would stunning if it was GB.
Fixed. thanks for the spot mate.Quote

21-10-2016, 15:19:42

NeverBackDown
It could support 4k if devs used everything to its absolute max taking advantage of all the features and architecture, but that's not going to happen. Don't think Naughty Dog would even do this, to much time.Quote

22-10-2016, 03:12:44

TalllPaul
Pretty much a PS4 that has been boosted and overclocked with a whole 1GB of RAM more.

I can't see it being as spectacular as most of my PS4 friends think, especially after this from Mark Cerny.

“We want something for people who have 4K TVs, and something for people who have 1080p TVs. Really, there are so many choices: For 4K TVs, yes we'd like them to have super high-resolution. But if [devs] also wanted to have lower-resolution graphics and higher frame rate, that would be very nice too. And so we encourage that. And for HDTVs, if they want to do framerate that's great, if they want to do graphics that's great.”

I think everyone is expecting high resolutions AND FPS.Quote

22-10-2016, 05:46:37

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by TalllPaul View Post
Pretty much a PS4 that has been boosted and overclocked with a whole 1GB of RAM more.

I can't see it being as spectacular as most of my PS4 friends think, especially after this from Mark Cerny.

“We want something for people who have 4K TVs, and something for people who have 1080p TVs. Really, there are so many choices: For 4K TVs, yes we'd like them to have super high-resolution. But if [devs] also wanted to have lower-resolution graphics and higher frame rate, that would be very nice too. And so we encourage that. And for HDTVs, if they want to do framerate that's great, if they want to do graphics that's great.”

I think everyone is expecting high resolutions AND FPS.
TBH at best it will give PS4 Pro users a higher resolution experience, which for 1080p users will be downsampled for reduced aliasing. Framerate improvements will be minimal, as the upgraded hardware will not change a game from 30-60 with only a 30% faster CPU.

For Mantis Burn Racing the devs have moved the game from 1080p with 4x (SMAA or MSAA, not sure) to native 4K, which means that games will need to run really well at 1080p to have any chance of proper 4K gameplay.Quote
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