Sony revealed some extra stats for the PS4 Pro during a New York event, where some of the gaming press managed to get in word with Mark Cerny, Sony’s chief system architect. The legendary designer revealed that they’ve made some additional, cost-effective improvements to the PS4 Pro in order to get more bang out of its core functionality.
Speaking with Digital Foundry, Cerny revealed that they increased the size of the GPU to include standard PS4 processing along with extra compute power for PS4 Pro specific features, such as enhanced shaders and 4K rendering, saying…
“First, we doubled the GPU size by essentially placing it next to a mirrored version of itself, sort of like the wings of a butterfly. That gives us an extremely clean way to support the existing 700 titles,” […] “We just turn off half the GPU and run it at something quite close to the original GPU.”
They also modified the CPU, which means that this is a slightly different APU at its core, doing so to avoid costing the system resource stability and avoiding bleeding cycles to bugs or other issues. It sounds similar to Nintendo’s step up from the Wii to the Wii U; keeping the architecture relatively the same for efficient backwards compatibility.
The APU has an increased clock speed and memory transfer, which they detail in a brief comparison chart.
IGN also managed to get in word with Cerny, who explained to them that the PS4 Pro has 1GB of extra DRAM to help offload the system resources from the 8GB of shared GDDR5 (V)RAM.
Cerny stated that the 1GB is for system processes and frees up about 512MB of GDDR5 RAM for games…
“We felt games needed a little more memory, about 10 percent more, so we added about 1GB of slow, conventional DRAM to the console”
“[…] games have just a little more memory, 512MB to be exact, and most of that is used for the various buffers needed when rendering high-resolution or higher-quality graphics, and the game assets… stay the same, they just look a heck of a lot better on the new console.”
The PS4’s 8GB isn’t all used for games. 3GB is reserved for system resources such as multi-tasking, recording, friends activity and background applications. The 512MB will bring up the pool of memory that games have access to, to 5.5GB of RAM. It’s actually still lower than an optimized PC running a low-maintenance 64-bit version of Windows 7 at 8GB, of which you could free up about 5.7GB for games with little effort.
This is a minor bump up but just enough to help with the PS4 Pro’s VR capabilities.
The system is scheduled to release on November 10th for $399.99.