News Article

PlayStation 4 Has a Significant Power Advantage Over Xbox One

Posted by Sammy Barker

Sony's system leading the charge

It seems that there was a reason behind the hazy specifications that Microsoft released for the Xbox One – it’s not quite up to snuff compared to the PlayStation 4. The ever reliable technology gurus over at Digital Foundry have stripped back both consoles and come up with some fascinating conclusions – namely that Sony’s system has a GPU roughly 50 per cent more powerful than its counterpart.

“We know that both Xbox One and PS4 are based on Radeon GCN architecture and we also know that each compute unit is capable of 64 operations per clock," explained author Richard Leadbetter. “So, again, through a process of extrapolation from the drip-feed of hard facts, the make-up of the One's GPU is confirmed – 12 compute units each capable of 64 ops/clock gives us the 768 total revealed by Microsoft, and thus, by extension, the 1.2 teraflop graphics core.”

He added: “That's another tick on the Durango leaked spec that has been transposed across to the final Xbox One architecture, and the proof that we need that the PS4's 18 CU graphics core has 50 per cent more raw power than the GPU in the new Microsoft console."

Of course, it’s not the only advantage that Sony’s system holds. The PlayStation maker is using significantly faster RAM than is found in the Xbox One, which Leadbetter hypothesises is the result of a fortuitous gamble. It also seems that the PS4 will have a much smaller system footprint, with roughly 1GB of the console’s memory being reserved for system tasks, while Microsoft’s machine will supposedly require a whopping 3GB.

It’s not entirely clear what impact this will have on multiplatform games, but you can probably rule out shoddy PS4 ports at this point in time. There’s plenty more technical information available through here. It’s a fascinating read – well, if you’ve got a degree in computer science, anyway.


User Comments (17)



ViciousDS said:

seriously only 1.2 TFlops of compute power? My old desktop that I built 4 years ago had that power and that means my current desktop is roughly 4-5x more powerful than the Xbox One and roughly 1.5-2x to the PS4.

Seriously hope Microsoft knows what they are doing with this so called cloud computing, with the ability to use the servers to process information in the cloud.

I can see that however not working well though. Can you imagine games requiring a certain speed of internet just so you could play a game due to cloud computing lol.......sure it works microsoft but um not everyone has a decent internet speed like me of 55D/12U.

Sony is truly showing that this is the REAL successor in terms of whats going to be available, power, and accessibility.




Don't count MS out just yet. Sony's gamble on the RAM paid off certainly, but the processor solution MS has could help with evening things up. I agree that the cloud computing is a little dubious though.

Also, I'm sure by E3, the TV (tv, tv, tv, tv, tv, tv...) integration will show some local content. Once they pull that NBA/fantasy trick with the Premier League and Fantasy Football, you can count pretty much every Sun reader as a tick for the Bone.



NathanUC said:

@ViciousDS and a PS3 surely has MUCH less raw power than your computer. They still can produce games that look as good or better than a computer up to spec in 2009. Look at games like Beyond. You'd be surprised what a developer can do with static hardware... this is why I do NOT stand behind PC gaming.

In terms of the power. I assumed the PS4 had an advantage when I saw what couple of games MS showed at their reveal. Don't get your hopes up. The 360 held the PS3 back and it's very possible the Xbox One will hold PS4 back. I'd hope devs don't get lazy in porting games to and from each considering they are very very similar from a design standpoint, but time will tell.




I'll stand behind PC gaming. I haven't been a PC gamer for a long while now, but many of my friends still are. Windows is the main drawback of PC gaming, once uncle Gabe's done with the Linux drivers and popularised the platform for gaming, I truly think there will be a massive shift in what high end PC's are capable of.
PC gaming's key is scaleability, percieved ownership of content and an overall feeling of control. Many a PC gamer, even ones I know have a very negative and almost skewed perception of consoles, console gaming and console gamers. I think it's largely a community thing to be honest.



rjejr said:

After playing the Fuse demo last night I'm convinced EA matters more than power. The best looking part was the Insomniac logo and the great looking very colorful video after the game was over. The game itself barley looked like inFamous 1, which was a launch title. I'm not sure it was even as good as Uncharted 1, another launch title. Vanquish and Binary Domain - 2 similar 3rd person action games - were much better.

1st party games should be unbelievable in a few years though.



MadchesterManc said:


Full HD with 4xMSAA with 32-bit depth/Z-buffer (FP10 - MDR)
1920x1080x4x(32/8 + 32/8) = 63Mb
63 > 32 = tiling required

Full HD with 2xMSAA with 64-bit depth/Z-buffer (FP16 - HDR)
1920x1080x2x(64/8 + 64/8) = 63Mb
63 > 32 = tiling required

I pulled this from a post by HokutoNoKen on Eurogame and if its accurate then the Xbox One has issues straight off the bat. This extra little bit of high speed RAM was added to aleviate some of the bandwidth advantage of Ps4's GDDR5 but it also going to end up being a hindrence, as it was in the 360 with it having the same issue just to hit 720p with any AA. Im not suprised the specs were glossed over quicktime by M$ as they are pretty much just the same as the 'durango' leak which didnt make good reading, especially after the Ps4 reveal. The specs for the Xbox One aint too bad when you take into account its an entertainment device that plays games



NathanUC said:

@KALofKRYPTON I can't find the appeal of PC gaming personally. I spend about $1,400 building a computer a year or two ago and while it looks better than any cross platform PS3 game, many PC games are buggy, take a while to setup properly, and overall just too fragmented. I don't want to install/run 3 programs (Steam, Origin, Live for Windows) just to be able to PLAY some of my games. It's loud, it's less reliable, and it eats a HELLUVA lot more power than my PS3.

My biggest problem is and always will be consistency. I want to my friends to be playing having the same experience that I do and when I play with others online, I'd expect everyone to be on par in terms of overall gameplay. PC gaming's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness. We need consistency. It's not Windows because OS X is just as terrible at resource management while gaming.



MadchesterManc said:

@KALofKRYPTON I cant wait for Linux to be popularised by the Steambox and gain a bigger foothold in the PC market. Ive been using a 64-bit Linux Mint distro since I built a mid-range PC up a few months back and in performance its a hell of a lot faster when I boot into Linux then it is when I boot into Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. The only thing lacking for Linux is game support, but thats going to improve no doubt with Valve backing it n Steam being released on the platform a couple of months ago. If you havent cuddled the penguin yet I suggest you give it a try...its free afterall



belmont said:

If PS4 is more powerful than One then multiplatform games will be made for One and ported in PS4 not taking advantage of the hardware.

@nathanuc1988 This is way I will never be a PC gamer.



InsertNameHere said:

@KALofKRYPTON "Many a PC gamer, even ones I know have a very negative and almost skewed perception of consoles, console gaming and console gamers."

It's the same way with console gamers. PC gamers are constantly talking about how console gamers should switch to PC, with enhanced graphics being the only advantage they ever seem to have. Because of that, PC gamers are seen as graphic whores or "graphags".

There's also the fact that PC games have system requirements, that keep you from playing a game unless you have the money to upgrade. The only system requirement for console is a console.

Also, like nathanuc1988, console gamers like to see what developers can squeeze out of old hardware - rather than dumping it once it's "obsolete".



jer18 said:

It does have power advantage over the Xbox, sure. I'm not pleased with either system and I'll be hanging onto to the PS3 for awhile. My hope is that one day console games can keep up with or surpass a gaming PC. FYI - as an example... On June 25, 2008, AMD became the first company to ship products using GDDR5 memory with its Radeon HD 4870 video card series. So why is PS4 in 2013 using GDDR5?



ViciousDS said:

@jer18 you realize that no computer as of this moment is using GDDR5 as a standard in RAM right? please go out find a motherboard, and ram for GDDR5..........because guess what you can't. It's WAY faster than DDR3 which is what every computer now a days has. They basically took Video Ram thats insanely fast and made it unified across the entire system. This means the OS, games, music, video.......EVERYTHING is using it. in a normal computer the OS, and programs access standard DDR2 or more likely now a days DDR3. As of right now the PS4 has the fastest setup of a computer. Not raw power wise but speed........psh there is no match atm.



Jaz007 said:

@jer18 People who spend a lot of money on custom parts will always outpower consoles. PCs are simply upgradable as much as you the money for, while consoles can't come out at $1000+ to outpower everything.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@rjejr: Neither of those games were PS3 launch titles, actually. Uncharted 1 released about a year after launch, and InFamous hit a whopping two and a half years in.

I hear tell the Xbox One has serious bottlenecking issues...but I wouldn't worry about it holding PS4 back too much. At the rate Microsoft is going, the Xbox One doesn't stand a chance in the competitive market. We're staring down the barrel of more Sony-exclusive third-party games...and it will be glorious.



hYdeks said:

all these power spec talks are bumming me out, can we talk about awesome games again?

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