As the buildup begins for Microsoft and Sony’s next-generation systems, which is commonly being referred to as the Xbox 720 and PS4, major details surrounding these systems were revealed by a developer yesterday. As described on Reddit, a developer for the Xbox 720 and PS4 has posted a detailed list of information that describes major factors within these systems, such as the CPU, GPU, and RAM that will be provided with them.
Within this post on Reddit, this developer gives a detailed description of each of these components. Below, you can view the information that was given on to the CPU, GPU, and RAM that will be involved with the Xbox 720 and PS4.
It’s worth noting that development kits don’t ship with final hardware, they ship with an “approximation” of what the final hardware will look, the GPU in the xbox 360 was changed around 3 months before the final version came out, they could change the final hardware for either console at any time but with the development kits in later stages we have a decent idea of what they are shooting for.
AMD were working on these “Jaguar” cores for a while and they probably made a second team to work on a version for Microsoft’s console. The AMD Jaguar cores are designed to be extremely low powered and they have numerous power saving features. Nowadays you don’t really need a very powerful CPU since the GPU can do a lot more. The benefit of 8 cores is that you can switch off the cores that you aren’t using. Imagine having a 2 core processor, it consumes 20 watts and each core is quite powerful. Now that 8 core processor, it also consumes 20 watts however each core is weaker than the 2 core processor. However the benefit is that if you can use all 8 cores you can get some serious performance out of it and on the other hand if you only need 1 core, when you switch off the other 7 cores you will only be consuming a measly 2.5 watts.
You might boot up on your 720 and watch Netflix with one core working and the graphics card off, then you boot up Trine 2 and you have 4 cores and 20% of your GPU working, then you put on Battlefield 4 and the 8 cores and 100% of the GPU are singing. AMD are a big believer in heterogeneous computing, in other words everything works together and what isn’t needed doesn’t draw power, this could be exciting if they pull it off.
Unfortunately at this moment in time it looks like we will be going for something closer to a 7850 but it’s worth noting this could change even only months before launch. Either way the current configuration, with writing to the metal we should be able to probably get Battlefield 3 on high with most or all settings turned up full running at 1080P and 60FPS. It’s nothing to sneer at but part of me is still holding out for even better. After all consider that if the next generation consoles come out in 2014 by 2016 they will be “base platforms” as PC’s will have grown in power. Now if they can get Agni’s Philosophy running on a base platform then imagine what they could do with a mid range or high end PC. Either way though with what we know about things expect a giant leap, consoles have an edge since you don’t have API overhead, you write to the metal. Even a 7850 equivalent in a console is a big big jump up.
Last thing I want to say about this is that it seems like Microsoft and Sony are taking different approaches. Microsoft are going with slower DDR RAM but more of it, they seem to be “saving” a lot of RAM for OS functions, in other words it looks like Microsoft have some sort of plans, maybe Kinect 2.0 or something. Sony on the other hand went with less RAM but it is faster GDDR RAM and Sony are also seemingly spending more money on the GPU. In other words the way it looks the PS4 will be engineered to be a pure gaming machine with more power, the 720 will fall in between the PS4 and Wii U in terms of power. It’s interesting though because Microsoft are intent on saving a lot of money on memory and GPU from the looks of it and then they allocate a lot of RAM for some sort of software function. I’m thinking maybe it might actually be true that Kinect 2.0 is going to ship with all 720’s
In addition to this, it is also stated that Sony and Microsoft may be able to pull in profit with a launch price of $300-$350. As with anything of this nature, readers should take this information with a grain of salt.
For those of you that are interested, we have listed a few concept photos of the Xbox 720 and PS4 in the slideshow above this article.