Digital Foundry: PlayStation 5 - When can Sony truly deliver a generational leap in power?

khamakazee

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
3,937
People really hate talking about the PS5. They all think it's way too early, and even though it's going to be 5 years old this fall, people want another 7-8 year console life cycle.
The PlayStation on average has been 6 years before the next one but Sony does a great job supporting the old system for at least a couple of years afterwards. That's why 2019 makes sense but the price will be the problem if they want a substantial upgrade.
 

senj

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,399
I will be really disappointed with only 10 tf

The 1080 ti has well above that in amd fp perf that already in 2 years before ps5

Hopefully we hit around 15 or 16
Consoles usually launch with relatively mature, older-Gen GPU architectures. You’re setting yourself up for disappoint if you’re expecting it to ship with a cutting edge GPU for ~$400.
 

coolasj19

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,147
Houston, Texas
Even if you want it, you're not getting a $500 console. It's never going to happen again and if it does, they deserve the failure that's coming to them. So that means, you need to wait a bit longer than you want to before we can do what people want at $400. Also, personally, I don't want a new console soon, I'm not done with the old one and clearly it's hitting it's stride graphically. Lets get a new console when that stride starts slowing down.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,318
Consoles usually launch with relatively mature, older-Gen GPU architectures. You’re setting yourself up for disappoint if you’re expecting it to ship with a cutting edge GPU for ~$400.
Please stop repeating this falsehood. PS4 launched with a current gen GPU with features from an unreleased GPU. PS4 Pro has Vega features. This is not new, either. Xbox 360 and OG Xbox GPUs had yet to be released features as well.
 

Yoday

Member
Apr 8, 2018
72
Great speculative analysis. What's with the dislikes?


The CPU jump is going to be astronomical. I was thinking how large of a jump in CPU performance would be from this gen if PS5 had a regular Zen powered APU like the 2200G. A Zen 2 CPU would be ridiculous. Possibly the largest leap in CPU performance we've had in any console gen in terms of IPC alone.
The CPU upgrade is going to be pretty epic indeed. I actually think people are underestimating it a bit too. Zen 2 on 7nm is a given considering Zen 2 is already finished and prepping for launch next year, so we're looking at 2x or more IPC over Jaguar depending on how Zen 2 turns out. Clock speeds are going to be insane too. I see people leaning towards it being around 3Ghz, but that seems far too conservative IMO. Ultra low power laptops are already seeing boost clocks exceeding 3Ghz, and 7nm is said to be delivering massive clock speeds increases due to the lower power usage. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see these new CPUs hit 4Ghz, even higher on Xbox if MS sticks with a vapor chamber heatsink and the Hovis method. Throw in the possibility of multithreading and we could see an 8x jump in CPU.
 

Calverz

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,174
User warned: Console warring
So glad i got an X after seeing this. Im playing with next gen already.
 

Peter

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,898
Is this because you have a backlog?

Just finish your PS4 games.
No. It’s because we’re moving to a digital future where ecosystems are important. It would be very bad for the PlayStation ecosystem to be separated by hardware when the competition is making all (or at least a lot) of their games playable on the newest hardware.
 

RogerL

Member
Oct 30, 2017
345
Some of my random thoughts...

Going from PS3 --> PS4, I was mostly looking for better AA and 1080p. We got that.

For PS4 --> PS5, I'm looking for better loading times, better LOD, better texture resolution, and 4K.

$399 should be the launch price. If Xb1x is selling well in comparison to the PS4 Pro though (does anyone know?), I wouldn't be surprised if the PS5 Pro goes for a higher price point when it releases.

A better CPU will mean the possibility of better physics and AI I guess, although I'm not sure either of those are really game changers. It will be nice to see that CPU bottleneck removed though.
  • better texture resolution
  • 4K
  • better loading times, works against graphics and textures being bigger. Drives are only marginally faster. => SSD needed to solve this issue.
  • better LOD, can be helped with less randomness (seek time) in drive accesses => SSD again
  • better physics and AI, are nowadays handled by GPU not CPU => as much GPU as possible => not sure we will see 8c/16t Ryzen, I think 4c/8t is more likely (or even something like 12c Jaguar... and then use the saved space for GPU) This will give the developers the most useable TFLOPS.
Take a look at this for a hint of how the GPU can be used https://www.ea.com/frostbite/news/frostbite-gpu-emitter-graph-system
 

gcwy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,697
Michigan
Consoles usually launch with relatively mature, older-Gen GPU architectures. You’re setting yourself up for disappoint if you’re expecting it to ship with a cutting edge GPU for ~$400.
I'm confused by this post. When was the last time a console launched with a older gen GPU architecture?
 

AmFreak

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,253
No idea what you meant by the first line.
The jump this gen was the smallest since at least the PS1 (especially taking the long time into account) so everyone hyped up the only spec that was on the level of past times.

Any facts to back up that statement? On the same node, AMD claimed that from Bulldozer to Zen they saw a 40% increase in IPC. With Zen 2, which is not a revision of Zen, mind you, rather a new architecture that's also expect to bring IPC improvements, albeit not to the same extent. All that combined with the shift to 7nm is going to result in a major leap in CPU performance.
We had > 10x jumps in PS1->PS2->PS3.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,318
Twice the clock speed? Ha, no. Thermals are an issue with consoles
Mobile CPUs are pushing 3 GHz with TDPs under 5W. Laptop processors regularly push over 3GHz with 25/35/45W TDPs. Raven Ridge APUs are running 3.5GHz with 4 cores and a GPU with 25W TDPs. This chip will be on 7nm. It will easily achieve 3GHz.

We had > 10x jumps in PS1->PS2->PS3.
This is true. The key with Zen 2 is that it won’t be a bottleneck. PS4 was designed to be a balanced system without obvious bottlenecks. It mostly achieved that, but Jaguar held it back most prominently.
 
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Pankratous

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,961
This. We have much to do with our current consoles. They are still delivering amazing experiences.
Yep.

When PS3 and Xbox 360 were nearing the end of their cycle, they truly felt like weak consoles. They felt like we had squeezed everything we could out of them. Current gen doesn't feel like that yet.
 

Bjones

Member
Oct 30, 2017
5,068
People tend to not realize how much cooling you would need for high clocked cpus and gpus in these relatively small consoles.
 

senj

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,399
Please stop repeating this falsehood. PS4 launched with a current gen GPU with features from an unreleased GPU. PS4 Pro has Vega features. This is not new, either. Xbox 360 and OG Xbox GPUs had yet to be released features as well.
The PS4 shipped with a 1.84 tflops Pitcairn GPU in 2013. The cutting edge AMD architecture at the time was Hawaii, and higher end 2013 GPUs (the 780 and the Hawaii R9s) were ~5 tflops. In performance and basic architecture it was basically a Q1 2012 mid-high range card.

Yes, the Jaguar APU in the PS4 shipped with some cool features that weren’t in consumer cards (way better command queueing for GPGPU, a unified memory architecture, and more) but it’s performance and architecture was not even close to top of the line for 2013.

15tflops in 2020 is a pipe dream.
 

ethomaz

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,851
Santa Albertina
15 TF on 512GB/s (most likely 480GB/s for GPU) is going to be bandwidth starved. If you're going that high on flops, then you might as well do 24GB of GDDR6 on 384bit bus, 784GB/s.
I'm not sure if it needs that much bandwidth... Vega 64 uses 512GB/s because it is the minimum for HBM2 unless AMD is not using data compression.
GTX 1080TI is way stronger than Vega 64 wtih 484GB/s of bandwidth.

784GB/s is overkill for a GPU at 13-15TFs.
 

Darkstorne

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,444
England
You're not getting 4K60FPS next gen. Not as "standard" anyway.
I never said we would 0.o

I'm saying if they can get 4k as standard on the launch PS5 model (at any framerate) then a potential Pro revision would be able to put all that extra power into framerate and extra post processing effects, without having to worry about resolution at all. Obviously a lot of that will depend on how scalable the CPU is, but Jaguar was on its last legs even when the PS4 launched, while Zen clearly has a heck of a lot of room to grow.
 

s3ltz3r

Banned
Nov 12, 2017
1,149
Interesting article.

Good thing Sony keeps putting out amazing looking exclusives with exceptional quality.

And BC? I barely have enough time to play new games let-alone older games. In a generation with Netflix, YouTube and and other time-consuming distractions...if Im going to play older games...I want updated graphics and suck. This is where remasters are great.
 

RockyMin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,382
cause 5 years into the market we have not get a fraction of the games (quantity and quality) past gens had, games dev cycles are taking longer and longer, and will only increase unless devs start to compromise in GRAPHIX.
lolwut? My PS4 library has far passed any of my previous PS libraries. I have over 100 games for it, just in physical versions.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,318
The PS4 shipped with a 1.84 tflops Pitcairn GPU in 2013. The cutting edge AMD architecture at the time was Hawaii, and higher end 2013 GPUs (the 780 and the Hawaii R9s) were ~5 tflops. In performance and basic architecture it was basically a Q1 2012 mid-high range card.

Yes, the Jaguar APU in the PS4 shipped with some cool features that weren’t in consumer cards (way better command queueing for GPGPU, a unified memory architecture, and more) but it’s performance and architecture was not even close to top of the line for 2013.

15tflops in 2020 is a pipe dream.
Pitcairn was current for “performance” cards at the time. You’re not getting a 200W GPU in a console, so it’s useless to compare to them.

I agree 15TF is unlikely though. I doubt they’ll be able to do clocks as high as Ledbetter proposed.
 

edryr

Member
Feb 15, 2018
109
I really do believe even sony don't know yet if it's going to be 2019 or 2020.
I'm pretty sure they have different scenarios in a box, and are monitoring ps4 sales to determine the launch period.

If 2018 happens to be peak year for ps4, i'm pretty sure we won't see anything before 2020. And it really might happen with gow/spidey/rdr2 hype.

I personnaly liked to see a 2020/2021 launch, the longer the better. When you see GoW even on regular ps4 and moreover on ps4 pro, it's already mindblowing. And meanwhile i'd like to see all third party devs using 2160CB.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,758
Another great breakdown by Richard.

Q4 2020 seems the most viable to me and the inclusion of BC in all consoles seems to me like a no-brainer.

*side eyes Sony*
 

senj

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,399
Pitcairn was current for “performance” cards at the time. You’re not getting a 200W GPU in a console, so it’s useless to compare to them.
So by “current” I mean “current” and you mean “last-Gen shifted down market into more affordable segments”. We’re talking past each other.

Is it likely that 15tflops is available in that segment, whatever you want to call it, in time for a 2020 launch at a $400 price point? I’m extremely sceptical.
 

HotEars

Banned
Nov 4, 2017
205
I want Sony to go all out with the PS5 so that they wouldn't have to release a Pro version of it.
 

huH1678

Member
Oct 30, 2017
884
So glad i got an X after seeing this. Im playing with next gen already.
It's really not. It's just current gen with 4k textues and sometimes native resolution. It's shackled by all the same limitations as the regular hardware.

Games are not buit around the One X, next gen games would be.
 

anexanhume

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,318
So by “current” I mean “current” and you mean “last-Gen shifted down market into more affordable segments”. We’re talking past each other.

Is it likely that 15tflops is available in that segment, whatever you want to call it, in time for a 2020 launch at a $400 price point? I’m extremely sceptical.
I don’t think the difference is meaningful in this case bcause the GPU had features AMD wouldn’t implement until Polaris. Any way you slice it, it had current or next gen architecture features in it.

15TF will mostly depend on how high they can clock it (and what their cooling solution is). They should be able to get 64-72 CUs in a roughly 200mm^2 area based on known 16-> 7nm scaling.
 

Betelgeuse

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,784
Solid video, but can someone help me with what gains in thermal efficiency are expected going from 16 nm to 7 nm? Because the quoted clockspeeds - 1.4/1.5 GHz - seem unrealistically high. I'd expect something significantly lower, but offset by a higher number of CUs that exceed 64. On that note, I also was unclear whether there is indeed any evidence of Vega imposing a true limit of 64 CUs, or if that was merely DF's theory.
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,583
It's really not. It's just current gen with 4k textues and sometimes native resolution. It's shackled by all the same limitations as the regular hardware.

Games are not buit around the One X, next gen games would be.
lol, I know right?

I'm confused seeing posts like that. Even a modest bump above the X will be huge.

Ppl looking for double or 3 times the X across the board are in for a rude awakening. And thinking if its a modest bump it's meh is strange.

Like the post below me, something like that would be huge. But it's not double the ram.
 
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Philippo

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,848
Milan, Italy
8-core 7nm Ryzen CPU @3GHZ
12 TFs Navi GPU
24 GDDR6 RAM
1TB 7200rpm HDD

Options given to developers:
'Performance mode' = 1080p/60fps w/ no graphic compromises
'4K performance mode' = FauxK/60fps w/ no graphic compromises
'Graphic mode' = 4k/ rock solid 30fps *supersampling on 1080p screens
'Eventual miracle only 1st party Sony games achieve' = 4k/60fps

Native day1 BC
Native 'Beast' mode w/ Native 4K upscaling

New logo (different from PS4, PS3 and PSV), new colors, new UI style

Dualshock 5 has a more minimalistic design than DS4, retains the touchpad and the lightbar is removed in favor of a single stripe on top (like the newer DS4s), has HD-Rumble and another gimmick that will be forgotten in a year

Spring 2020
$399
 

gcwy

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,697
Michigan
The jump this gen was the smallest since at least the PS1 (especially taking the long time into account) so everyone hyped up the only spec that was on the level of past times.
It was actually a fairly reasonable jump considering the MSRP of these consoles and the hardware that was available at the time.

We had > 10x jumps in PS1->PS2->PS3.
Right. But what about CPU performance though? I'd argue the CPU performance leap from PS3 to PS4 was the smallest we've had yet. So while I may have jumped the gun on saying it will be the largest ever, but considering the previous gen, I'd say it'd be bigger than that, for sure.

The last time? The Switch.
Using Nintendo in these arguments is cheating.
 
Dec 15, 2017
944
I really dont care about power, but please provide BC at least with PS4 and PS3. I want to get back in the PlayStation ecosystem, but a few ps4 exclusives do not justify the purchase. Regarding power, I would say that if they want to sell a next gen box under 400 USD, we will need to wait until 2021 for that to happen. I don't care, as it seems that PS4 will be peaking in 2018 and 2019.

One thing that has to be considered is how long will the cross gen period last. With consoles providing BC with enhancements, we wouldn't have to suffer a long cross gen period and start getting true next gen experiences from the get go, like in the PS2 days. I don't care how powerful the machine is if for the first two years all games I have to play are designed with the previous console generation in mind
 

Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
12,091
Good stuff from Richard. I'm hoping for $499 boxes that cram in as much power as they can.

Give me an SSD and better CPU stuff and I'm there.
You can buy an SSD on Amazon if you really want one. They're too expensive so not even in your wildest dreams will Sony even consider including them in consoles at any meaningful capacity.
 

SageShinigami

Member
Oct 27, 2017
17,982
I don't see 399. I see 449. They can swing it. With the PS4 selling like crazy at 399 during its launch, I'm sure they felt the left a lot of money on the table. They were also gun-shy from the PS3 debacle.
LMAO. That sounds so greedy. Like, the PS3 didn't work so six hundred is out. The XB1 got beaten handily at $499 so that doesn't work either. So instead of going for $399 and flying off the shelves like they did with PS4, they're going to risk squeezing out $50 extra bucks just to see if they can sell the same number of consoles? Why the fuck would that be a good idea?

They didn't even launch the Pro at $449, and that was aimed at the graphics obsessed crowd.

The biggest reason why the PS5 isn't coming out until post 2018 is for a proper generational leap. But the reason we won't see it until 2020 is for the price. $399 works, and they're not going to risk getting trounced by launching for more. They'd swing less if they could--many people would probably trade BC for a powerful new PS5 that was $299, for instance.
 

BitsandBytes

Member
Dec 16, 2017
3,729
So by “current” I mean “current” and you mean “last-Gen shifted down market into more affordable segments”. We’re talking past each other.

Is it likely that 15tflops is available in that segment, whatever you want to call it, in time for a 2020 launch at a $400 price point? I’m extremely sceptical.
Bear the below in mind when talking about PS4 as the hardware was locked down two years before launch as stated by Mark Cerny in the article I posted above:

So you finalized the hardware two years ago?

We finalized the spec of the hardware. The process of creating the hardware is about four years. Two years into that it’s locked enough that you can start talking about all this other stuff that’s going to surround it. It’s not like your work actually finishes at that time, or that was any particular milestone. But it was sort of an “ok guys, we know what the hardware is now.”
PS5 specs were probably locked down last year or around now depending on launch year.