News Article

So, That PlayStation 4 RAM Saga Is Still Rolling

Posted by Sammy Barker

Paracetamol recommended

Does anyone have a headache yet? We feel like we’ve been ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and then forced to sit an advanced mathematics class at Oxford University. We succinctly summarised yesterday’s next generation RAM saga in a post late last night, but the details have changed ever so slightly today. Strap yourselves in folks, because this gets more complicated than quantum physics.

Digital Foundry reported yesterday that of the PlayStation 4’s total 8GB GDDR5 RAM, roughly 4.5GB would be available to developers. However, the publication noted that a further 1GB GDDR5 RAM could be accessed by studios if necessary. It’s since added that this so-called ‘flexible’ area is split into two parts, consisting of physical and virtual spaces. The latter, it reports, “introduces paging issues which impact performance”.

That means that, if accurate, yesterday’s reported 5.5GB GDDR5 RAM tally may actually be closer to 5GB. However, the platform holder has responded clarifying a few things. “The article states that ‘flexible’ memory is borrowed from the operating system, and must be returned when requested – that’s not actually the case,” a spokesperson said. While it didn’t reveal numbers, the company noted that the ‘flexible’ area is fully available for games, enabling “some very nice FreeBSD virtual memory functionality”. Uh-huh.

Given the increasing complexities, it’s becoming much more difficult for anyone without a computer science degree to interpret what all of this actually means, but we still stick by yesterday’s analysis. The amount of non-game RAM is likely to be reduced throughout the console’s lifespan, providing developers with more resources to work with as the operating system is streamlined. We're going for a lie down.


User Comments (25)



Tashawn857 said:

Why are people freaking out? One its not even something for us to worry about. Its for developers to and they aren't complaining. Two, how many games even use more than 4gb of ram anyway?



get2sammyb said:

@Tashawn857 Gamers have always been obsessed with bigger numbers. Now we don't have the 64-bit vs. 32-bit argument, RAM has taken its place. You're right, though. This latest information is so ridiculously technical that it's virtually meaningless to the average person.



ViciousDS said:

while sony's xmb got faster microsofts console to me actually got slower and worse when they added all that NGE stuff. I have a feeling about 1.5GB will be reduced over the consoles life giving devs full access to 6GB at the end which is plenty. Tomb Raider on computer used 700MB of RAM with my 2GB GDDR5 card = 2.7 GB that was still 2GB off of the full PS4 power.....believe me no games are going to use all the memory unless of course Bethesda touches anything on the console. Bethesda is the worse company ever to exist for optimization of games. It's also a reason why it runs clunky on my GTX 680 with just a few mods. I love Elder Scrolls.....but Bethesda really needs to take some programming classes BADLY



Snorky said:

I wonder if they're planning on optimising the vita interface too. A few things like adding swip to delete individual files in the video app, or moving the bottom file in the list up when using the copy or delete button. Little things like that would just make the Vita more sleek to use.



Ps4all said:

I don't think people are upset so much about the numbers as they feel misled. I am sure Sony has good reason for doing what they are doing, however previous reports led us to believe 7gb was to be available to games and this contradicts that.



ViciousDS said:

btw if no one saw

Access speeds:

Xbox One @ 30fps: 2GB per frame
Xbox One @ 60fps: 1GB per frame

PS4 @ 30fps: 6GB per frame
PS4 @ 60fps: 3GB per frame

The PS4 memory setup is as simple as can be to program for and the amount for games is being roughly 5GB as well with flexible memory
With the Xbox One the devs will have to code logic for juggling data between the 5GB of DDR3 and the 32MB of ESRam for bandwidth important functionality (that will still be drastically slower than on the PS4).

yes PS4 can easily handle the Next Gen Experience no problems.



Hokage17 said:

I'm still amazed at how much people have overreacted. You would think Sony just announced the PS4 is gonna cost $500 or that its coming with a mandatory always on camera that monitors and collects your data. Instead Sony haven't said anything alarming only a rumor that devs may have 5 gigs of ram to work with which is more than enough. I could see if it was a problem for devs but they've given PS4 nothing but praise. People are just so darn petty.



get2sammyb said:

@lvnlavitaloca I can understand that, but those weren't official Sony statements, much like these aren't. All we know is that developers are very happy with the console, and presumably they've been privy to this information for months.

I do get it, though.



ShogunRok said:

I'm retreating to the Push Square cryo lab where I'll be frozen until this all blows over. In fact, just wake me up when the PS4 is here. Thanks.



Slapshot said:

@get2sammyb RAM is absolutely the key factor at play between the Xbox One and the PS4, and if the PS4 is indeed lacking that .5 GB of RAM, it puts it ever closer to the Xbox One from a hardware perspective.

But here is the thing that most people seem to not get: no third party publisher is going to outperform on one of these consoles over the other. If they did, they would be at risk of severely damaging a business relationship - losing the revenue stream from a major platform (excluding Nintendo) runs the possibility of a loss well into the billions of dollars.

So yes, the arguments are nothing short of 'hot air.' Let's just say that, err... ... ... the PS4 is much preferred by, err... some... yeah; take that for what you can make of it.



Ps4all said:

@get2sammyb I agree with you wholeheartedly. I feel the mass hysteria has nothing to do with the specs and what they mean. At this point an perceived misinformation involving our favorite platform-holder(official or otherwise) is going to result in a media frenzy. This is amplified by the amount of positive press Sony has been receiving lately.



Slapshot said:

@Jaz007 Yes, it can indeed, but I think the differences will be marginal at best. The PS4 and the Xbox One will very likely be just as the PS3 and Xbox 360 are today. If you really care about power - get a gaming PC!



Zetrayrus said:

Did anyone see Digital Foundry? I think its a bleeding warzone over there.

Heck, the whole gaming world has gone to rubbish.



Cloud7794 said:

@Zetrayrus Luckily most of it has whizzed right past me. I work overnight on weekends so I really spend most o the time on my Vita or watching gameplay vids. I'm guessing since I'll have the week off though I will be witnessing a raging battle soon enough.



charlesnarles said:

So if I upgrade the hard drive to, say, 2 tb, then I can have enough room for lots of virtual RAM? Or at least the devs potentially could? Cause I'd hate to lose disc space in order to have... I changed my mind. I would indeed give up space for better visual experiences. That's why I bought a PS4, right? I like it. They weren't kidding about the architecture being like a PC



JaxonH said:

Only fanboys should be worried about this kind of stuff. I don't buy consoles for bragging rights, I buy them for the excellent gaming experience they provide- whether the console has 1gb RAM or 10gb RAM. RAM does not make a game good, let's not forget. Wii U only has 2gb of useable RAM I believe, and I love that system to death! My goodness, all that matters is the games! 4.5gb is a lot, especially for a console. I doubt anyone is going to be playing the newest PS4 exclusive and say, "Damn, this game WOULD HAVE been so good if only the PS4 had an extra couple gigs of RAM".



JaxonH said:

Sometimes the whole console war thing reminds me of Romeo and Juliet. How the two families hated each other, and no one even remembered why. Xbox fanboys hate Sony. Sony fanboys hate Xbox. And pretty much both fanboys hate Nintendo. It's ridiculous. Pushsquare is the last safe-haven of rational minded gamers who recognize the amazing games offered by Sony, MS, AND Nintendo.



DirectAim said:

How much memory did Last of Us have? 1gb?

Whatever the number is I think next gen games are going to be loving this 5gb they now have access to!



AVahne said:

The Last of Us (And PS3 in general for games) had about 256 MB to work with I believe.

But anyway, 4 GB is more than enough. You other Sony guys on this comments section should be more than happy that you have that much for your games.

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