Sony PS5 Specs Revealed and How Does It Compare With Xbox Series X?

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Posted March 18, 2020 by Haris Iqbal in Announcements, Features, News, PS5, Sony News

After months of waiting for any news regarding the PlayStation 5, some in-depth details were given during a livestream. Just to make you aware, as this is essentially a replacement for a GDC panel that got cancelled, the video is aimed at developers looking to learn more about the capabilities of the console rather than the general public.

When compared to the PS4 alone, you can clearly see the huge leap in power as we get towards the next gen. Everything from the CPU/GPU to the Ram seems to be a serious upgrade.  Like its rival Xbox One Series X, PS5 will also launch with an SSD, which will go miles in making the loading, downloading and updating times much faster.

The GPU is listed as having 10.28 TFLOPs, which is significantly higher than what the PlayStation 4 currently offers. To put it in perspective, the fastest and most expensive graphics card, the Nvidia RTX 2080Ti on the PC that can play most games in resolution higher than 1440p with Raytracing is advertised as having 13.4 TFLOPs.

 

Another interesting thing to note is that the PS5 comes with a free NVMe SSD Slot, meaning that when it comes to upgrading your storage you won’t have to replace your old hard drive. Think of it as adding a SD card to your phone in order to expand your phone’s memory without taking away any of the phone’s internal one.

The only issue with that is that the PC SSDs are behind the console versions currently in terms of Raw Bandwidth, but by the time the consoles do finally release, they might catch-up to be compatible with the console, so you will be able to use market parts to upgrade your PS5 in due time. The most important bit Sony still needs to confirm however, is just how easy will it be to do so. The PS4 had a relatively simple method of replacing the HDD, and we are hoping, this would be the same. Whilst they don’t mention what USB will be supported, it will most likely be 3.2 like the Series X.

Overall, it is a fantastic thing that both new consoles will be coming with SSD as standard, since these drives are inherently much faster due to the way they read their data when compared to an HDD. These are more efficient, which also means that applying downloaded updates will be much quicker, and you won’t have to wait ages for them to install.

 

Where Sony has really hit it out the ballpark this time however, is with its dedicated “Tempest” audio engine that will provide even better opportunities for sound designers and engineers in videogames to really innovate on that front without having to worry about sharing resources from other parts.

Sony’s lead Engineer Architect Cerny tours the development world every two years, seeking advice from different developers regarding what they’d like to see in the consoles. This time, he made sure that Sony led with the initiative to better understand audio requirements too, hearing as well from the sound engineers. This was one aspect of game design that never seemed to be getting a push until now, and you should be excited!

This effort will amount to an out of the box 3D engine that will give a high audio range, allowing you to hear multiple volumes of different sound effects from small raindrops to massive explosions with clarity between them.

 

PS5 vs Xbox Series X Comparision Notes

PS5 Xbox Series X
CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5 GHz (variable frequency) 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU 10.28 TFLOPs (Variable frequency, up to 2.23 GHz) 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz
GPU Architecture Custom RDNA 2 GPU Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Memory/ Interface GDDR6 16GB 448GB/s GDDR6 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage 825GB Custom NVME SSD 1TB Custom NVME SSD
Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External Storage USB HDD Support (USB-Type Unknown) USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive
    • CPU: The CPUs seem neck to neck with custom Zen 2 architecture, a difference of .3 GHz but multiplatform games should be optimised to run optimally on both, making the difference negligible.
    • GPU: Both are AMD GPUs with the Series X supporting an almost 2 TFLOP faster GPU, however the clock speed for PS5 is higher, giving both an edge in their own right
    • Memory: Both using 16 GB GDDR6 Ram and whilst there is a 112GB/s speed increase seen above with Series X, it only applies to 10gb worth of memory, again levelling things out a bit
    • Storage: Whilst the PS5 does not have as much space as the Series X, there will be more deciding factors to look out for, such as how much space the system uses. It might happen that PS4 uses a lighter OS than the Xbox like the current gen. Which if it is the case, would mean that there wouldn’t be too much of a difference.
    • Upgradable Storage: Xbox will support a proprietary expansion card that has been made with ease in mind, with the leading Hard Drive manufacturer Seagate. It is not known how the upgrade will physically work with the PS5 yet.
    • Optical Drive: Both support a UHD ready Blu-Ray drive. The Xbox One X currently does support 4K Blu-ray, but it isn’t the best in the market. This is one technology I am most interested in comparing when the consoles finally release.

All in all, even though at a glance it might seem that one hardware is more enticing looking than the other, with bigger numbers alluding to better performance, they both have certain trade-offs that should bring the consoles almost on par. Sony’s might end up being a bit more cost-effective, selling cheaper overall, whilst the Series X will come with a little extra juice.

Still, it is worth remembering that with optimisation for consoles including similar ray-tracing capabilities, it might not be visually too distinct when it comes to multi-platform games, like it was with the PS4 and base Xbox One. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if the graphical fidelity between both will be neck to neck.

However, as we know, it’s the games that are king and with immensely talented studios like Naughty Dog and Ninja Theory that really know how to get the most out of the hardware working for opposing sides, it is going to be an interesting generation to look out for. Whilst the power might support Microsoft currently, it is going to need some heavy mature Single-Player IPs if it wants to go toe to toe with Sony this gen, as the PlayStation brand is regarded as having the most memorable collection of exclusives, winning last-gen for a lot of people!