Submitted by iGAM3R-VIII 374d ago | opinion piece

Why upgrade RAM in PS4 and not GPU?

Let us explain: It’s not as simple as going to your local Best Buy and picking up the latest and best GPU in the market.

It’s a 3 – 5 year planning, R&D, prototyping, providing developers with the hardware, taking their feedback, improving quality and repeating the cycle.

Things like USB ports, Audio ports, RAM, Heatsink, PSU and more can be changed with a year or less of leadtime (as it was evident in PS3). Things like motherboard, CPU, GPU cannot be changed last minute. (AMD, PS4)

iGAM3R-VIII  +   374d ago
Good read, I have to agree with the article. He had many good points like saying how it would be more expensive and all and the best point: "Things like USB ports, Audio ports, RAM, Heatsink, PSU and more can be changed with a year or less of leadtime (as it was evident in PS3). Things like motherboard, CPU, GPU cannot be changed last minute.". That is true and the fact about the smart move to AMD. Going for more RAM is the cheaper and better way I think. MS and SOny made the right move to AMD as well.
#1 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(19) | Disagree(17) | Report | Reply
vulcanproject  +   374d ago | Intelligent
The GPU is integrated on the same chip as the CPU and the memory controllers etc.

When you design a GPU + CPU + memory controller etc to fit on one die, you design it to be as small as possible and have everything fit on the chip as neatly as possible a bit like Tetris or a block puzzle. But a million times harder. It needs to take up as little die space as possible, without large areas of nothing which would be waste.

You wanna fit as many complete chips on one circular wafer when you manufacture the chip. The cost of a wafer is mostly fixed, so more chips on one wafer = better and cheaper obviously!
http://www.legitreviews.com... here you can see the individual chips that are in light that fit, and the dark ones that don't and are waste.

You spend literally months designing this thing to be as efficient as possible and then months getting it made and then getting it back from the fab, months testing it and then respinning it if there are hardware bugs (there almost certainly will be faults that require many silicon revisions) which takes again months....

If you turn around and then say no, instead of a 3 billion transistor GPU we want a 4 billion one you may as well just scrap the whole chip and start again because it would need a total Tetris style redesign again.
#1.1 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(65) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
iGAM3R-VIII  +   374d ago
#1.1.1 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(19) | Disagree(3) | Report
morganfell  +   374d ago | Well said
Articles like this will never make sense as long as people keep trying to compare modern consoles and PCs. They will always be little more than a page full of fail and three minutes of your life you deserve to have returned.

Particularly when GPU/CPU are co-located and share resources unlike anything in the PC world. It seems impossible to get the lockstep crowd to realize that have to toss out their current standards for performance and optimization.

Thankfully the titles of these articles are so blatant it is easy to avoid squandering my time with a click.
Ace_Pheonix  +   374d ago
@morganfell, I don't know why you only have one bubble. Every time I see any of your posts they are well written and not at all fanboyish. On topic though, yeah I agree with all of what you guys are saying.
Campy da Camper  +   374d ago
@ace..I remember when he had bubbles. It was back when this site was raging with ps3 haters (how times have changed). He would post the same type of thought out comments and the fanboys raped his bubbles.

Ahhh , n4g in 2008...open zone and any pro Sony talk resulted literally in death threats via pm.
GraveLord  +   374d ago
Which explains why the Xbox 360 suffered from RROD. Microsoft made changes very very late and rushed the console to market without proper testing. In fact, I recall people saying MS knew about the faulty design all along, but the year-headstart was a huge part of their strategy.
Jaqen_Hghar  +   374d ago
A man has never seen a better explanation of this. He has seen people try to explain this a million times but never understood at all what they meant until now. A user should be a teacher.

A man gives you an "intelligent" bubble.
#1.1.6 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(1) | Report
RememberThe357  +   373d ago
@Campy da Camper: I knew I wasn't the only one who had some little nerd raging at him for not having the same opinion.

We need the Open Zone again.
Tultras  +   373d ago
Ritsujun  +   373d ago
It's iGAMER the Apple fansissy again.
Kurt Russell  +   373d ago
Thanks Vulcanproject, that's about as clear and concise as my small brain required to understand :)
scissor_runner  +   373d ago
Makes prefect sense yet. The fanboy hyping is damaging. That along will bring out the pc fans which mostly tell you the facts. The apu win of amd is a game changer now. You see the main problems chips have are adoption rates from established coders funded by publishers. It can be argued that the i7 owes its speed to coders willing to use its special features over other CPU features and the same could be said for nvidia.

HSA is such a good idea and hopfully it make it into the next Xbox also. Ram is so much cheaper than a CPU right now. The gt680 is $450 right now. Sure it will fall in price and actually so will the ram prices as long as it is readily produced.

Yet consoles need affordable limits so that more people buy them thus publishers have a market to sell to. Price is becoming a huge problem though.

It really is too bad that backward compatibility will be scrapped. Yet all hope for that is not lost. Ms and Sony could keep retooling the ps3 and xbox360 designs so they are true soc designs and simply release wiiu like controller options for the people who still want those games or even a disk to virtual game trade in system via mail.

In reality there are only a few things that needed to be fixed in current hr consoles from last gen. Framerate and consistency in game play timing. Fix those and movie like video games disappear. Nothing beats action.

You know what is even cooler? Amd will keep updating this apu design making it possible for consoles to drop in price and then come out with even better hardware in 3 year cycles just like the iPhone.

What this means is true backward compatibility even if different core setups are designed. Basically we could see a 16 core 64 gig gddr5 beast console after the current next box or ps4 design drops in price.

Before you say it won't work please understand your smart phones do this, tvs are doing this, pc do this, apple has been doing this for a while the ds to 3ds does this and if you look closely nintendo is doing this with the wiiu.

Thankfully software scales with the correct Apis. What we are about to see if done right is a console tech boom that lets every one play any game based on how much they are willing to invest in their hardware. This is the real reason why phone gaming is doing so well.

If Sony stumbles in pulling this off then ms will murder then just using the above idea along.

You think the arcade Xbox was crazy imagine a cheap as dirt power house paid for by an online subscription where you got a choice to keep upgrading like a cell phone. Then you could ultimately have a Xbox that did have a gt680 equivalent that you could just pay $1200 for or ms could put you on an upgrade path to that system. The whole time you could buy games that simply scale up to the new consoles. Please don't say this can't happen. Dev already do set configs for some closed hardware. Publishers would be completely happy about this development since they would no longer have to port and games could be sold for many times more years cuasing franchises like the 8 bit games to stay fresh.

The wiiu strategy is close to this for nintendo yet 3rd parties are not on board yet. X86 development means they could jump ship to pc gaming.
#1.1.11 (Edited 373d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report
3-4-5  +   373d ago
ahhh somebody who knows what they are talking about. It's refreshing.
Gaming101  +   373d ago
Sony could've upgraded a ton of stuff if gamers were willing to spend 600 to 900 bucks on a new console, we could've had a super beast. All the whining that gamers do these days results in gimped consoles, Sony can only lose so much money per unit without going bankrupt. If you want better this and better that, you would be best letting Sony know you're willing to pay for it, because nothing comes for free these days.
ashtonjo56   373d ago | Spam
Qrphe  +   374d ago
The "GPU" in the PS4 is more or less as upgraded as the RSX was in the PS3.
fossilfern  +   374d ago
lolololol No, just no.
Yodagamer  +   374d ago
They aren't even going with the same company, the gpu in the ps3 is weaker than the xbox 360. The cell helped alot. Sony would be completely stupid if they did that.
wishingW3L  +   374d ago
true and the thing is that at the end the better GPU on the X360 helped it greatly to get better multiplats. So this makes it painfully obvious that as good as the Cell was by helping the RSX at the end:

GPU > CPU for gaming. And even more these days with GPGPU implementations the CPU part has become almost completely irrelevant when it comes to design games.
#2.2.1 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(3) | Report
breakdancefight  +   374d ago
There is only speculation at this point about what GPU will be attached to the AMD(APU). The 6000 series was a rumor and will likely end up a 7000 series card or the Richland APU or Kabini APU(lower power consumption).
AMD Richland APU:
According to the roadmap, AMD Richland APU would not feature the steamroller core architecture but instead would be based on the current generation x86 Piledriver core architecture which is currently being used within the recently launched Trinity APUs. Along with it, ARM cores would also be fused on the same die for AMD’s HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) enhancements. The APUs would remain compatible with the FM2 socket boards and would be include the latest Radeon Cores 2.0 which would presumable fall under the HD 8000 series (Sea Islands) specs. The AMD Richland APU would be the mainstream/performance entry level chips and would launch around mid-2013.

Read more: http://wccftech.com/amd-ric...
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Tultras  +   373d ago

The reason the Xbox 360 got better multiplats was because of the complex architecture of the Cell processor was difficult to develop for, not because the Xbox 360 had more juice in it.

MuhammadJA  +   373d ago
Actually, it's a little better than the PS3 one.
3-4-5  +   373d ago
a Yugo is basically a Porche......right???
Neixus  +   374d ago
becaus double the ram, double the fps right?

/sarcasm off
zebramocha  +   374d ago
No,but helps out at high resolution and anti aliasing.
wishingW3L  +   374d ago
and to have more stuff on screen, bigger maps, more varied textures, etc.
Neixus  +   373d ago
wow,i said /sarcasm off and you still didn't get it was a joke? :s
BitbyDeath  +   374d ago
Why do you want 120fps for?
WUTCHUGUNNADO  +   374d ago
120hz TV's
Campy da Camper  +   374d ago
@which...you do know hz and frame rate are desperate things?
ExCest  +   373d ago
Those hz and frame rates are always looking but always come short. It's no wonder they're desperate.

I actually know what you mean.
NeoTribe  +   373d ago
Human eye can only see at 60 so 120 is useless in games.
puamdefokejpn  +   374d ago
Because they are already producing them in mass,..
Ambivalent_  +   374d ago
Actually no, final dev kits are scheduled for summer.
KillrateOmega  +   374d ago
Great read and really spot-on. It's just too late for them to change something as integral as the GPU.
HyperBear  +   374d ago
Actually upgrading the RAM in any kind of computer based device, be it a dedicated gaming PC or a closed-system Gaming console, is not only cheaper, but offers long-term stability with said device. By upgrading the RAM instead of the GPU, it gives developers more room to work with and offers higher bandwidths to be able to streamline information between the CPU/GPU and RAM. Plus, with a solidified GPU structure, Developers can always tweak and produce better technologies to maximize the GPU even later on in it's life cycle.
darthv72  +   374d ago
doubled the memory in the psp when they released the psp slim 2000 series. Many thought it would split the market but given the number of PSP 1000 sold vs the 2000 and 3000 we can see that the timing was right for sony to make that change.

they can very well do something similar to the vita. Taking a look at what has been sold vs the potential of what can be sold, i hope sony revises the vita to double the memory or include some internal flash memory for storage.

Sometimes these companies just have to take risks they know may not pay off but there is a chance they will. Sony doubling the memory for the ps4 was a good decision given the life expectancy the platform will have.
HyperBear  +   374d ago
@darthv72 Yeah I agree. I would also like to see the Vita Slim (Or the next version of the Vita) have double memory to both aspects. Double their system memory from 512MB to 1GB total system memory (might also help out with the loading times/UI Interface) and then double the dedicated Video Memory (VRAM) from 128MB to 256MB.

That would be pretty cool if Sony did that, and not just for the Vita itself as a handheld gaming device, but for better possibilities with the PlayStation 4
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Dark_Eternal  +   374d ago
They did indeed double the RAM in the PSP 2000, but the additional 32MB is only used for caching.
Tundra  +   374d ago
Upgrading RAM capacity does not grant a higher bandwidth for said RAM. RAM speed (bandwidth) is dictated by its bus, data rate and memory clock speed.

An upgraded GPU grants a immediate boost in performance. Upgrading RAM will only grant a performance boost if the previous value was being capped out during games. 1080p gamimg rarely goes over 2GBs of storage used.
HyperBear  +   374d ago
I never said the capacity of the memory grants a higher bandwidth. I said upgrading the RAM is cheaper, better alternative then upgrading the GPU, at this point in time in the development cycle. By going with GDDR5 memory, that provides the increase in bandwidth and having unified memory means the entire PS4 can access that memory at anytime and at faster speeds then previous generation consoles and even current-gen PCs.

Plus, upgrading the GPU at this late stage would be costly and ineffective, due to the fact they would have to provide new development kits and probably push the release back a few months. Plus, you wouldn't be able to upgrade the GPU in this case as it is on the same die as the CPU (=an APU), so it would be ill-advised to re-create a new APU for a tiny boost to graphics, when the graphics in the current APU for the PS4 is more than enough for any games/tasks.
yewles1  +   374d ago
Article actually needs to focus on why Sony downgraded the CPU from Bulldozer in early leaks to Jaguar. There's nothing wrong with the GPU, actually...
zebramocha  +   374d ago
@yewles are you sure the CPU was one based on bulldozer and not steamroller?
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yewles1  +   374d ago
Yodagamer  +   374d ago
Rumors will always be rumors. The cpu's don't need to be powerful since devs will put alot of physics on the gpgpu. The eight cores will be plenty considering they aren't as needed as they used to be.
porkChop  +   374d ago
Because the GPU doesn't need an upgrade? The GPU in the PS4 is great, and is comparable to some of the best GPU's on the market. For a gaming console it's perfect.

Upgrading RAM is cheap, and RAM has always been the biggest limiting factor with console games in the past. Remove that limit and your console will have a much longer life. That's why it was upgraded.
iamgoatman  +   374d ago
"The GPU in the PS4 is great, and is comparable to some of the best GPU's on the market."

Uhhh no it isn't. The GPU will likely be comparable to an AMD 7850, which is mid range and will be even less so when the PS4 releases.
Jaqen_Hghar  +   374d ago
A user forgets that a console GPU gets a lot more performance than it would on a PC. A man remembers hearing developers say the difference is you get about 2x the performance in a console. A man believes it when he sees what PS3 has done and will do with games like UC3, KZ2, GoW:A, and LoU, and remember that was with bad bottlenecks and the CPU being the strongest component of an otherwise underpowered system.
porkChop  +   374d ago
It's a bit faster than a 7850. And it doesn't matter that the 7850 is labeled a "mid range" card when it can max pretty much any PC game with good fps. Hell, the 7850 is better than my 560 Ti and I've been able to max every game I've played at 1920x1080.
Neonridr  +   373d ago
I have a 7870 and not all games can achieve the 60fps with max settings turned on. Bioshock Infinite for example with everything on Ultra at 1080p on my 7870 I get about 50fps. Not bad at all, and it's great to look at, but the PS4 is even worse off than that. My 7870 can put out 2.56 TFLOPS compared to the 1.84 TFLOPS in the PS4 GPU..

Now obviously console games will have certain settings disabled over PC gaming so they can achieve higher frame rates, but benchmarks always strive for that 60fps mark. Something the PS4 video card cannot do at 1080p without some sacrifices to the graphical settings.
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Kakashi Hatake  +   373d ago
I don't understand the problem. Sony had to find a happy medium. They can't just get a 600 dollar GPU and charge 400 for the entire console. Had they done that,everyone would say they're going out of business. They also couldn't charge 900 bucks for the thing else it would be too expensive. The PS4 is a leap over the PS3, thats all that matters in the end.
Jek_Porkins  +   374d ago
RememberThe357  +   373d ago
I don't know why, but this made me laugh.
adorie  +   373d ago
I live every day. Why do people go around saying You only live once?
clintos59  +   374d ago
If the gpu really is a problem with the ps4 then why does killzone shadow fall a launch game already looks way better then the last killzone? Also more ram will make games run smoother so I dont see a problem with the ps4 gpu.
Jaqen_Hghar  +   374d ago
A man would hope games look better than they do on the nightmare dev machine that came out 7 years ago (a man loves his PS3 but of course the games will look better with how fast tech advances).
ATi_Elite  +   374d ago
6GB of Ram and a Better GPU would of been better!
puamdefokejpn  +   374d ago
there are no 3 gig ddr5 dimms in existence,.. they could do 3*2,.. but they would have to totally change the architecture,.. completely,.. There would also be so many problems with cooling you don't want to know,.. I don't even know how they will keep this beast cool as it is,..
#11.1 (Edited 374d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
delboy  +   373d ago
You expect to much from Sony.

sourav93  +   373d ago
Go home you troll. Most of your comment history shows how much anti-sony troll you are. What? Wanna reply to my comment? Go on then. Oh hold on. You've used up your one and only bubble.
ijust2good  +   374d ago
The final spec has already been decided this late and both next gen machines from Sony/Microsoft are already in manufacturing stage. It takes between 9-12 months to manufacturing of the chips before hand.

The final spec have already been decided. The APU chip which will be on both next gen system is basically a CPU and GPU in same dye and is already in mass production which means Sony & Microsoft has already paid for them and will not change. If they did, they would have lost serious amount of money and they wouldn't be able to meet there fall release date target.

The spec Sony revealed back in February is what we will be stuck with for the next 5 plus years.
Jaqen_Hghar  +   374d ago
A man would remind you Xbox is not confirmed at all for 2013 yet. A man knows they will have announced by E3 but there are no guarantees when it comes to releases.
mochachino  +   374d ago
With all the mobile parts and low heat output it makes me Sony will release a PS4 tablet in within the next 7 years, which would be awesome paired with Android.
porkChop  +   374d ago
I'm not sure they'd release a tablet. However... it would be possible to scale it down over time into the next PlayStation handheld. Just imagine that. A fully portable PS4.
Holeran  +   374d ago
One thing they can do though, (if cooling allows) is clock the cpu a bit higher. If they were going to clock the cpu at 1.6ghz and could still keep it cool enough at 2.0ghz it could net some good returns. We have not got the final clock speed on the cpu from Sony as of yet but what I initially read was 8 cores at 1.6ghz each. If they could clock it higher while avoiding another red ring fiasco it would be great.
ywuoisdf   374d ago | Spam
BFBCIE2  +   374d ago
i think they should wait for the newest and best lines of the amd that are supposed to come out this year. i want the best console possible, and i wouldnt mind waiting a few months more for a better one. i hope they dont rush it.
mmj  +   373d ago
Modern PC GPU's are hot and have coolers like jet engines, those type of GPU's are on the bleeding edge of trechnology and designed for big cases, with big power supplies and lots of airflow.

People want consoles to be reliable & quiet.
WhyWai88  +   373d ago
the extra RAM is for streaming/remote play/video sharing/voice chat. nuff said.
vigilante_man  +   373d ago
I have to hold my hands up and admit I did not believe the next-gen consoles would be this powerful. We have AMD to thank for that. They make great APUs. Intel integrated graphics are woeful.

And because all these parts are closely integrated we will get better performance than it looks on paper.

If what we all expect is true from MS (same CPU from AMD and a BluRay drive) then great times are ahead for those multi platform games at last!

4GB GDDR5 of unified Ram would of being a massive step up from the PS3. 8GB GDDR5 of unified Ram is a Dream..
ALLWRONG  +   373d ago
Because the RAM was a last second add on while the GPU was already made and in place. Hence the PS4's old PC GPU with newish updated RAM.
vigilante_man  +   373d ago
Its a new AMD APU designed only for consoles. Its a new console. Its using a new system of 8GB unified Ram.

Its not a new PC!

Its a massive improvement on the PS3 and its a great system for the money.

As a PC user since the 88 86 286 386 era and a builder of my own quad-core PC with dual GPUs in Crossfire I am excited about any new tech. Be it Smartphone, Tablet or Gaming Console.

I am blown away by what the PS4 is offering and I hope the Xbox 720 brings something unique to the table.
DarkAzureIIIX  +   373d ago
Why upgrade RAM in PS4 and not GPU? Well, if you check out the system architecture the GPU can off load tasks to CPU without a performance hit, unlike normal PC architecture were the CPU would not only have to complete the task but transfer it across the system bus to the GPU's RAM. This is one of the main reasons the x360 can keep up with the PS3 in performance, that plus the hardware accelerated AA that the GPU can do in the x360. This is one of the most confusing thing about the NextXbox is that its stepping away from this architecture design thats proven to be successful to a more complex design.
Kakashi Hatake  +   373d ago
Doesn't this article pretty much confirm that the 720 is indeed weaker than the PS4? It shuts down any notion that MS has been quiet this whole time to boost the 720s specs. Will someone correct me if I'm wrong?

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