Everything you need to know about new Sony PS4 Pro’s hardware upgrades

After Sony has announced the new PS4 Pro, there many gamers were wondering about the new hardware which Sony using and how this console can run 4K. So let’s see how and where Sony changes the internals to get 2.3x the GPU compute performance to push games at 4x the screen resolution.

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Sony already cleared that they will use a new AMD APU, which contained features that are so new that they are not even present in AMD’s Polaris architecture, which means that the performance gains will be higher. Below is a performance gain compassion table.

Original PS4 PS4 Pro Performance Boost
CPU 8-core AMD Jaguar @ 1.6GHz 8-Core AMD Jaguar @2.1GHz 1.3x increase
Memory 8GB GDDR5 8GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3 +512MB more usable GDDR5 in games
Memory Bandwidth 176GB/s 218GB/s 24% more bandwidth
GPU Compute Units 18 GCN Compute Units 36 Enhanced GCN Compute Units 2x increase
GPU Clock Speed 800MHz 911MHz 1.14x increase
GPU TFLOPS 1.84TFLOPS 4.2TFLOPs 2.3x increase

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To ensure backward compatibility, the PS4 Pro will not run at its full clock speed and also disable its additional 18 GCN GPU cores to play original PS4 games. Also, this reduces processor speed will significantly decrease the system’s power consumption.

Sony also adds an additional 1GB of DDR3 memory to the new console, which will help to run the console’s OS and non-critical applications, freeing up an extra 1GB of GDDR5 RAM for games to use. This free up 1GB video memory will also give developers an additional 512MB for gaming related tasks, which is a 10% increase over the original PS4.

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Now let’s talk about a new version of AMD’s Polaris GPU which used in the PS4 Pro. The new chip gains support for Delta Color Compression (DDC), which will significantly increase the usable GPU memory bandwidth by reducing and compressed date, so less memory bandwidth needs to complete certain tasks. Combine this with the PS4 Pro’s higher clocked faster GDDR5 memory will be a huge increase in usable/effective memory bandwidth.

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.

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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.

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.  

ps4-pro-6Although, all available information suggest that new PS4 Pro contains a lot of architectural improvements and give a huge performance advantage over the PS4, but still with 2.3x GPU power, I don’t think that will be enough to make the Sony PS4 Pro a true 4K console as new games pushing the visuals up and getting more demanding. Though it will be an incremental update over current PS4 and should be enough for upcoming games for at least 2 years.

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