Most of the details about the PS4K have been leaked, including the specs, details about the games, some details about it’s VR accountability & it’s release date as well and for many of the general gamers, all they care about is that Sony claims ‘Performance will be better’ and that’s enough. As for the technical geeks out there, many of them will wanna Google as to what extent the PS4 Neo will provide a performance boost and whether it’ll be worth buying or not.
Well we did some Googling and YouTubing and also did some other research as to what kind of performance boost Sony is talking about. First let’s have a look at the specs of the PS4K as compared to the PS4.
|CPU||8 Jaguar Cores @ 1.6GHz||8 Jaguar Cores @ 2.1GHz|
|GPU||AMD GCN, 18 CUs @ 800MHz||Improved AMD GCN, 36 CUs @ 911MHz|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5, 176GB/s||8GB GDDR5, 218GB/s|
You can see in the above table that every spec seems improved, but the real question is ‘To what extent?’. Well, not going into too much depth is better and more practical.
The CPU clearly is the same with the Jaguar series CPU by AMD, but they have overclocked it to 2.1 GHz. Now that’s a big number(Sarcasm). Many of you may have seen in YouTube videos as to how much of a performance difference that will result in. For those who are still in the dark, just stick to the thought that it’ll not be much. Even though the CPU is octa-core, the individual cores are pretty much weak and so overclocking it won’t give much of a performance boost. As for the RAM, again a larger bandwidth will increase performance, but not by much.Both these factors icrease only the compute performance, which may not be directly translated into gaming performance.
The biggest change you’ll find is the the change in the GPU. Not only have they added the word ‘Improved’, but they are also making a big bump in it by increasing the CU count from 16 to 32 and are also increasing the clock frequency to 911 MHz. Many techies from YouTube also approve with this move to catch up to the current hardware, but there is a negative side to all this. According to many tech experts the CPU will bottleneck the GPU. Bottleneck happens when either your CPU is not able to match up to the speed of your GPU or vice versa (In simple words).
Many of us think that the GPU is the most essential part of a gaming PC and neglect most of the other parts of it. But we are entering an era where procedurally generated universe and huge persistent worlds are going to be flooding in. 2015 saw the Metal Gear Solid series going open world and 2015 was in general a year of many open world games. 2016 and 2017 are not going to be falling behind, with games like Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, No Man’s Sky, Technomancer and let’s not forget the Frostbite Engine based Mirror’s Edge Catalyst.
Large and complicated worlds require more processing power, and hence better processors. For instance, there were many problems with the City of Novigrad in Witcher 3. It was a common problem that console users faced. Walls would not load, characters would not load, stuttering etc, even though the game had problems throughout the experience, the Novigrad part was almost unbearable sometimes. Many patches were released for this problem and even though many issues have been solved, there has not been much of a difference in performance. It’s just my assumption, but if a pre-rendered world had so many problems, then I wonder what will happen with No Man’s Sky (I hope, you don’t get loading times while the PS4 generates the next procedural world).
Another important aspect is the loading time of games, which depends on the processor heavily. Just Cause 3 averaged more than a minute of loading times and peaked at more than 2 minutes according to some reports. A minor increase in the processor clock will not bring it down to half a minute. Loading times are frustrating for many people, and can serve as game immersion breakers. Just for a reference, Xbox One was in an even worse situation with loading times peaking up to above 4 minutes. Again, loading time depends on your processing power and if that’s less, loading times will keep remaining the same.
It is clear that Sony is pushing on the visual end and VR, but is it fair to cramp the processor in a tight space. Many of the PS exclusives have been linear and hence will not require much CPU operation, but the third party games are going full blown open world, so that way PS4K faces an issue. The games may still face lag and stuttering due to the less processing power of the CPU (Even though they may be visually good). Maybe lag will be less relatively, but stuttering will increase, due to the gap of the performance between the CPU and GPU.
PS4K may be a decent upgrade over the PS4 in terms of graphical capability, but overall it is still way behind and it is difficult to imagine upcoming games like Cyberpunk 2077 and GTA VI running on the PS4K with decent performance. What do you think about the problems of the hardware side of PS4K. Do you think that the problems mentioned above are true, or do you think that PS4K will be able to do better? Let us know that and more in the comments section below.