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The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 are both set for release in the festive season. Both the gaming console will be running on the AMD Technology. PlayStation 4 was unveiled by Sony but not much information was given about the actual Gaming Console. The details are very sketchy and whatever we know is based on rumors about the device.
The Xbox 720 has been named Durango while the PlayStation 4 is known as the Orbis. The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 are based on the chips which are based on AMD’s upcoming Jaguar CPU architecture and offer AMD’s Radeon GCN graphics technology.
The Processing units in both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 will have a speed rating of 1.6GHz and both will be having the Octa Core processing. The two gaming consoles differ in the graphics engine.
AMD’s Radeon GCN
The Sony PlayStation 4 will feature the 18 Radeon GCN units. The Microsoft Xbox 720 will feature 12 Radeon GCN units. The Xbox 720 will also have 8GB of DDR3 RAM and so also 32MB of superfast ERAM for the GPU and 170GB/s of bandwidth.
The PlayStation 4 will have only 4GB of RAM. The PlayStation 4 may have lesser RAM but it is of the ultra-quick GDDR5 variety. The PlayStation 4 will have in all 1.23 teraflops of raw computing power as compared to Microsoft Xbox 720‘s 1.84 teraflops. Both the devices will feature the Blu Ray Devices.
On paper the PlayStation 4 can be deemed as more powerful than the Xbox 720 but the actual status can be adjudged only when the two devices are compared side by side.
Eight Core puzzle
Both the gaming console contains almost identical processors. The Jaguar is one of the lower end CPU architecture from AMD and is not as powerful as the full-feature Piledriver architecture. Even the full blown Piledriver does not exactly reach the level of performance for gaming. It is really puzzling how the 1.6GHz Jaguar Cores will be able to match up to the power which is required for Gaming.
The PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 both run on Octa Core processors. It is not possible to spread the workloads across the eight cores and each core independently dealing with a particular thread of task will produce a much faster result which would be optimum for gaming.
PS4 vs. Xbox 720 and others
Gaming Consoles have fewer tasks as compared to say a desktop. They are also less strenuous to develop in terms of hardware. Consider the Wii U which features a triple core IBM processor with a speed of 1.24GHz. Now the much older Xbox 360 also has triple PowerPC Cores together with a speed of 3.2GHz.
Coming to the Graphical processor, Sony PlayStation 4 will feature the 18 Radeon GCN units and the Microsoft Xbox 720 will feature 12 Radeon GCN units. So for the PlayStation 4 it adds up to 1,152 shaders for PS4 and 768 for Xbox 720. Each AMD Radeon GCN compute units has 64 shader units.
The Graphical processor Radeon HD 7970 packs 2,048 cores. Now if you compare this with a top notch PC which has all parameters like clockspeeds and memory bandwidth exactly equal, still the PlayStation 4 will be producing half the raw graphics in comparison.
However gaming consoles make up this loss quite easily with better software optimization and take advantage of the fact that they have lesser OS overheads. However it is pretty clear that the best gaming consoles of today falls far short of the best performing PC’s.
Leaving this matter here since it is more important to compare the present gaming consoles with its previous versions and also how they compare against one another. Both the gaming consoles will mark a major step forward. One of the most noticeable improvements will be in the storage capacity. The earlier gaming consoles from both the houses had a paltry memory of 512MB. The latest gaming consoles will have a huge storage capacity and this will enable the limits of the environment to expand and will also be a welcome distraction for Game Developers also.