How does the PS4 differ from a high-end gaming PC?

Sony described its upcoming PlayStation 4 as a "supercharged" PC. Powered by familiar x86 architecture manufactured by AMD, PS4 is more like a gaming PC than any previous Sony console. However, while it may use many parts found in high-end gaming PCs, PS4 system architect Mark Cerny argues that PS4 has many unique features that separate it from today's PCs.

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aquamala1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

If PCIE bus is such a bottleneck, going from PCIE 2.0 to 3.0 (3.0 has 2x bandwidth of 2.0/2.1) should be a huge performance gain right? but benchmarks show none/little difference

Elite_7371640d ago

The PCI slots can handle a ridiculous amount of bandwidth. The PCIE 3.0 16x bus can transfer 15.75 GB/s, and has yet to be a bottleneck. PS4 can transfer up to 20 GB/s down it's memory bus. However, PCIE 4.0 will be able to do 31.5 GB/s, which will be out by around next year. But again, the transfer rates of PCIE 4.0 will probably be overkill again.

decrypt1640d ago

Well considering PCIe 2.0 doesnt get saturated even by 3 GTX 680s running in SLI, I think people claiming PCIe to be a bottleneck are on fine crack.

T9001640d ago

"Sony described its upcoming PlayStation 4 as a "supercharged" PC"

Isnt that what they have done at every console launch. Yet they have always fallen short in comparison to PCs. Never mind high end, PS3 couldnt keep up with mid range PCs. Why should the PS4 be any different.

abzdine1640d ago

i dont care about this ridiculous console PC discussions, the only difference for me is the Sony top quality first party games which only can be played on Sony consoles.

sengoku1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

the PS4 has features that a built into the hardware to get more out of the basic sum of it's parts.

will a AMD 7990 be faster anyway? of course it will.

will AMD 7990 get it's ass handed to it by yet another card that follows sometime after it??
you bet.

inveni01640d ago

Yeah, PCs are out-of-date just as quickly as consoles, yet consoles seem to last longer. I don't see anyone still playing great looking games on Nvidia's 8800GTS. In fact, there were no games on the 8800GTS that looked as good as Uncharted 3. I've only upgraded my video card once since the 8800GTS, and that cost me $300...more than a PS3. Sure, I have the best version of Far Cry 3, Battlefield 3, etc. But I still had to spend $250 on my 8800GTS just to catch up with the PS3, and $300 on my current card, just to beat it (not to mention the processor and RAM upgrades).

Consoles have a clear advantage. PC-only enthusiasts seem to think that consoles hold PC back, but even top-of-the-line PCs can stutter on some of the best games out there.

The proof is in the pudding. Game quality rests solely in the hands of developers. Give good developers good tools, and you'll wind up with amazing games.

Sony has great developers, and in the PS4, the promise of a great tool.

I'm excited.

reynod1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )


8800GTX playing:

Battlefield 3 in 1080:

PS3 doent even manage 720p.

Tombraider in 1080 60fps:

PS3 720p 30fps

Black ops 2 1080p:

PS3 630p

Want more examples?

So what happens when you buy the PS4? how do you intend to play all those games you bought for the PS3?

1. you plan on rebuying PS3's whenever they fail?

2. Buy HD remakes on PS4, might as buy that HD ramake for GOW that you bought on the PS3 again on the PS4?

3. subscribe to a streaming service to play games you already own?

You will also need to consider what your friends do if you want to play MP games from the PS3, in which case buying a HD remake on the PS4 might not work. Since there may not be MP game play between different gens of console.

In the end these are all expensive and unrealistic solutions. PC gaming just is cheaper and offers a feasible solution.

ChrisW1640d ago

Not even Futuremark, creators of the benchmark that pushes high end PC to their max, utilizes the full bandwidth of PCIe 3.0... even when running at a ridiculous resolution of 4320x2304.

Sony is simply future proofing their system JUST IN CASE some future gaming engine is capable of doing so.

inveni01640d ago

I didn't say GTX. I said GTS.

Significant performance difference at an equally significant price difference, but only supporting my case anyway. If you want to spend $600 on a graphics card alone, that's fine. But PS3 (even at a launch price of $600) is still a great value for the money, and longer lasting than equivalently priced PC parts. In late 2007, you could not build a PC that would today still look as good as the PS3.

blackmagic1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

@ inveni0
You don't need to spend $600 to beat out PS4's 1.84Gflops performance though. A radeon 7870 can be purchased today for $244 and it performs at 2.56Gflops (about 40% more power BEFORE overclocking) and it'll probably be down around $150 by the the time the PS4 actually launches.
p.s. that video card even comes bundled with 3 games, farcry 3, bioshock infinite and tombraider to boot!

inveni01640d ago

Yes, but there's more to a PC than just the video card. What if you need more RAM and the motherboard that came in your computer doesn't hold more than 4GB? That's actually pretty common in a lot of PCs. It's easy to spend more than the cost of what the PS4 will launch at in upgrading your PC.

But again, that's not the point. The point is that the PS4 is a good value because it will last for at least 5 years before people start aching for more power. I start aching for more power out of my PC about 18 months after my last upgrade.

blackmagic1640d ago

Even this ridiculously cheap $50 Motherboard supports up to 16GB of ram so I don't know how many years back you are talking to get such a strangely low amount of RAM? Most current motherboards support at least 64GB of RAM now.

inveni01640d ago

Most people don't buy or upgrade their computers every two years. So, if you're a kid at home, your parents' PC is probably at least 3-4 years old, most likely 5. I've had a number of relatives think that buying the cheapest bundle at Wal-Mart is the way to get a PC, and they come home with this tiny little thing that doesn't even have a PCI-e slot. They're slim PCs, and they use micro-ATX form factors (I even bought a Gateway once with a BTX motherboard, which replacing required a whole new case...). They also use sub-300w PSUs in many cases, which means you'll need to upgrade that, as well. You're looking at an additional $30 for 4GB RAM, $60 for a decent PSU, and $150 for a moderate graphics card. That's $270 in addition to what the PC cost in the first place, assuming your processor is up to the task.

Upgrading the standard out-of-the-box PC is not as easy as you suggest.

CheexInk1640d ago

Not sure why you're bringing non-gaming PCs into this. That's like saying it's a negative that you can't upgrade into a PS3 from a DVD player. Though at least there is some ability to transfer components from your non-gaming PC to a new gaming PC you're building.

inveni01640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

Because people act like the PS4 shouldn't exist because a gaming PC can be better. To use your analogy, it's like saying BluRay players shouldn't exist because of the PS3. It just doesn't make sense.

Bottom line is that a gaming PC that will out perform PS4 in 5 years will cost more than PS4 in 5 years. Otherwise, the exclusives we see from PS4 will be (based on past experience) fantastic...just like the games we have now on PS3.

EDIT: I have a gaming PC (built for gaming specifically) and a PS3. No 360 because their exclusives started out as being on PC AND 360, and so I picked PC over 360 (of course). But I know that Sony's exclusives will be exclusive to PS4, and that's why I'm going with a gaming PC (for multi-platforms) and a PS4 for exclusives. I'll be using the same technique in the next gen. I just think that many PC enthusiasts have their logic a little slanted when it comes to which is "better". And I think it's clear that no $400 PC will be better than PS4 (assuming a $400 launch price...if it's $500 or $600, we may have to recalculate).

blackmagic1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )


Diamond 7870 Ghz Edition Graphics card - $234
AMD Phenom II X4-965 Quad core Processor - $80
Asrock 770i ATX Motherboard - $55
8Gb Crucial DDR3 1600 RAM (2x4Gb) - $47
1 TB Hitachi Hard Drive - $70

Total: $486

That there is a decent mid range gaming PC and that doesn't even factor in the fact that every game is $10 cheaper. Buy even 10 games in that computer's life and it is even cheaper than a $400 console that you bought 10 games for.

GamerPS3601639d ago


where are the case, power unit, all the cooling system and mouse, keyboard?
Quit lying to yourself. PC gaming is expensive than console gaming.

blackmagic1639d ago (Edited 1639d ago )

You're kidding right?

I would use the same case and 650 watt power supply that I already own and have used for the past two upgrade cycles of my computer. Why would I buy another?
Same goes for my mouse and keyboard. All these things do not suddenly become obsolete just because I bought new innards.

And for me personally, I have a 500Gb, 1Tb and 3Tb hard drive in my present computer (the 500Gb and 1Tb are from previous builds) so I wouldn't actually buy another hard drive if I was upgrading right now. I also brought forward 8Gb of RAM from my last build to my present build and added 8Gb to give me 16Gb total. So for me, it would be significantly cheaper for me to build a new computer if I was to do it right now.

Do you buy a new Television every single time you buy a console?

hesido1639d ago

@Elite_737: An additional note,
That 20GB/s Mark Cerny mentioned is a special path where the GPU bypasses its caches to read and write to system memory, so calculations of the GPU can be written to memory with low latencies. (Will provide coherency with CPU at system RAM level, by avoiding the cache). This 20GB/s will not be used for transferring texture data to GPU (like you would on a PCI-express), for example.

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ATi_Elite1640d ago

N4G is overrun with this PS4 Rah rah rah better than a PC articles.

everyday you got some editor writing some article detailing how the PS4 is better than a PC or High end PC and Consolers just feed into it because of Fanboy-ism or cause they are limited in Tech Knowledge.

The PS4 is a wonderful GAMING Machine without question but a PC does more than JUST PLAY GAMES!

So comparing a Muti-tasking Computer to basically a TOY is LAME!

A PC does whatever it needs to do ALL at once. It's designed to do multiple things simultaneously and super fast. It's more than just a gaming machine.

A PS4 is just gonna play games and that's it.

I'll be so happy when the Microsoft releases the x720 specs so these stupid editors can go back to comparing a X720 to PS4.

But then again the X720 is designed to multi-task as well cause it is set-up even closer to a PC than a PS4.

So just compare PS4 to WiiU LOL!

Besides PC is already moving to PCIe 4.0, GDDR6, USB 3.0a (10GB per second) by 2014 and DX12 in a couple of years.

PC's have APU's or CPU's with GPU's built in plus they have Discrete GPU's and large pools of SEPARATE ram for both parts thus allowing PC's to do a lot.

Having a Fast CPU with a built in GPU doing ultra fast operations and then still offloading work to the Discrete GPU via CUDA/OPenCL is also a plus.

A PS4 like PS3 like PS2 like PS1 before it needed to seem GOD like and more powerful than anything out including PC's upon release.

But upon release or shortly after their release they were CLearly Surpassed by the ever changing PC technology.

A PS3 was Hyped as more powerful than a PC before it's release and 7 years later still NO 1080p AAA Games but Everyone seems to forget that.

so the pattern continues with the PS4 and I'm gonna be waiting for a PS4 game to compare to Arma 3 on Ultra.

"Buh buh but Graphics don't matter" is what I will hear in many replies which is why I chose Arma 3 for it's Superior graphics and Advance enemy A.I., physics, Huge game world, and life like gameplay.

MysticStrummer1640d ago

If the previous two generations are anything to go by, PS4 will differ from PC gaming by having more award winning games to play on it.

Throw out all the specs you want, but the GotY lists for the last decade show that consoles are the place to be for more award winning games.

jeffgoldwin1639d ago (Edited 1639d ago )


Every magazine has their own "game of the year" winner, so not sure where u think consoles have "won" them for the past 10 years. Besides that, a good 75% average or better from various "winners" are multiplatform (Batman 2011, Skyrim or Mass Effect 3 2012) with significant graphic/mod updates available to the pc versions.

All depends on what magazine/website your reading. There's no standard like the Grammies.


I don't get why people are worrying about bus speeds... Unless it's fully saturated you won't see any benefits.

Ultimately it comes down to the slowest part in the chain.

PS4's CPU already looks pretty weak and the implementation of GDDR5 will only hinder it further.

LocutusEstBorg1639d ago

Which is the REALLY shitty GPU to be honeset.

LocutusEstBorg1639d ago

PCIe bandwidth doesn't matter when the GPU is as weak as the one in the PS3. It's going to struggle to render anything high quality at 60fps. It can't even handle old games like Battlefield 3 at 1080p 60fps.

hesido1639d ago (Edited 1639d ago )

It's a bottleneck the developers AVOID. That's why you won't see benefits of jumping to 3.0 , yet. After PCI-express 3.0 has enough market penetration (it will take time..) PC devs can begin to move more data around using the bus.

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Walker1640d ago

PS4 is gonna be most powerfull gaming machine !

Conzul1639d ago

Not counting PCs.
Where PS4 will succeed is in affordability and market penetration. Oh, and exclusives. Dem' exclusives, man!

I used to be a PC elitist. Then I awoke one day and realized that MMOs are not games.

ATi_Elite1636d ago

I use to play console games then i awoke one day and realized paying $60 for a 8 hour game is stupid.

Most console games are ONLY worth renting.

Name 5 Console exclusive games that will provide you with 100 hours of non receptive gameplay....YOU CAN"T cause they DO NOT exist.

1640d ago Replies(1)
AkatsukiPain1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

Mark Cerny definitely broke it down really well. It may not be as powerful as the best high end pc's out there but it definitely has its "Advantages" over a high end pc and is why you will see some amazing things from the ps4 that will only benefit pc gamers because they wont have to really worry about crappy ports, if so the devs must be not doing a good job.

Your avatar is awesome lol. Perfecto.

Shinra Tensei

Jdoki1640d ago

Does the comparative strengths / weaknesses even matter?

What I know is that there are experiences I can ONLY get on PlayStation, and experiences I can ONLY get on PC, no matter the specs.

I also know that I don't care what resolution stuff like Uncharted, GT5 etc run at, they look fantastic to me, and more importantly they play fantastically as well.

Seeing the demos Sony showed makes me excited about the potential games and services. I don't care if the PS4 is powered by a coked up hamster on a wheel. Killzone looked great and I hope it's an improvement over the previous version (I didn't like the story) - I don't care if it's running at 4k or not or that reflection are ray traced.

One thing I love about consoles is that the games I buy on Day 1 will NOT look as good as the games released after 10 years - the hardware stability allows devs to improve. The same cannot be said of a PC bought at the same time.

cayleee1640d ago (Edited 1640d ago )

"One thing I love about consoles is that the games I buy on Day 1 will NOT look as good as the games released after 10 years - the hardware stability allows devs to improve. The same cannot be said of a PC bought at the same time."

How so?

Equip a PC with a 8800GTX, play games from 2006 then play games from 2012. Games from 2012 will look better and yea the same PC will most likely play them in 1080p. Good luck doing that on console.

As an example load up BC2 then Load up BF3, Same PC BF3 will look better.

Its not like Consoles magically get stronger every year. Optimizations happen, like the introduction of FXAA, the samethings make it through to PC hence it does get better over time.

Jdoki1640d ago

What I was getting at (and obviously explaining badly :) )was playing stuff 'as intended' by the dev.

Lets say I bought Battlefield 3 when it launched, and had a PC capable of running it at Max settings and at a huge resolution @ 60fps.

If I kept the same PC for a similar lifecycle as a console (lets say 7 years). Then bought Battlefield 8 (or whatever the latest version is at the time for PC). It is highly likely that I would need to lower the detail settings and / or reduce the resolution to make it playable - and in doing so it may look worse, same, or better than the old BF3.

But it certainly wouldn't be playable as intended by the devs at Max settings and high resolution as the target top level hardware would have moved on - whereas with a console, as devs get more experienced with the same hardware games will always look exactly as the dev intended, and in almost all cases better (i.e. Uncharted 1 and 3 or even God of War 3 to Ascension).

jeffgoldwin1639d ago


I really don't think Skyrim on the Ps3 ever worked as the devs intended with all those bugs and resets.

Also, gpu companies (amd & nividia) update their software to run games up to 20% faster/stable in some cases every few months.

Set down and walk away from your console sipping Kool-Aid, and just know they both do improve over time. Not just that black box you worship before bedtime, but both.

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