PS4: Sony Earlier Thought About Slow GDDR5 + eDRAM (1088GB/s)

Mark Cerny reveals the design process behind the PS4.

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iGAM3R-VIII1970d ago

well it would have been harder to code if they chose the slow GDDR5. Good move Cerny

Cueil1970d ago

I know you're excited, but slower ram doesn't make it harder to code for and eDRAM is something developers already use in the X360 so it's not something they don't have a firm grasp on

MajorLazer1970d ago Show
sibbor1970d ago (Edited 1970d ago )

He's probably referring to the eDRAM that they would've included. That would've made it harder to develop for. Also the game developers requested a unified memory pool from Sony, unlike what can be found in current-gen and Xbox One for that matter. The game developers has spoken!

"For example, if we use eDRAM (on-chip DRAM) for the main memory in addition to the external memory, the memory bandwidth will be several terabytes per second. It will be a big advance in terms of performance."

"However, in that case, we will make developers solve a puzzle, 'To realize the fastest operation, what data should be stored in which of the memories, the low-capacity eDRAM or the high-capacity external memory?'"

"We wanted to avoid such a situation. We put the highest priority on allowing developers to spend their time creating values for their games."

Source for this old quotes:

iGAM3R-VIII1969d ago

"That sounds great doesn’t it? But Cerny said that it would have been difficult to code for it in a straightforward way and developers had to come up with a separate technique to take full advantage of it."

"unified memory at a 176GB/s would have made it really easy for developers to code for and it was their philosophy to provide a simple architecture with the PS4."

My proof. It is harder to code, so I did not pull it out of my ***. Thank you @sibbor to clearify to these people about my comment

humbleopinion1969d ago

The article actually confuses Slow/Fast versus Wide/Narrow.

256-bit GDDR5 is not "faster" than 128-bit GDDR5 just like a 4 lane highway is not "faster" than 2 lane highway. It has a higher bandwidth which means you can push through more sfuff at the same time, but it's actually latency which measures to how fast the memory really is (how much time it takes for a single transfer to get from point a to point b).

dantesparda1969d ago (Edited 1969d ago )

You're right the GDDR5 would still have ran at 5.5GHz, its just the bandwidth would have been cut in half by the bus (256bit vs 128bit).

Also X1 fanboys need to realize that the X1 only has 102gb of bandwidth to 32MB! thats it! to it 8GB's of DDR3 RAM (which runs at 2.13GHz/256bit) it only has 68GBs of bandwidth, that is a huge disadavanyage to the PS4!

Cueil1969d ago

@dantesparda that 32MB is on die and Microsoft also has hardware compression/decompression on the Move Engines... and 8gigs of ram is still 8 gigs of ram... MS could let developers use page file system and that would be a big help

inveni01969d ago

If you have two funnels, one with a one-inch spout and one with a three-inch spout, which would funnel a gallon of water faster?

Right. When it comes to volume, wider = faster. Not faster per water molecule, but faster for the gallon.

humbleopinion1966d ago


Wider is not faster. If one funnel allows water to go through in a shorter time then the first drop of water will get out faster. That's latency.

Higher bandwidth means that even if the latency is slower, the overall throughput can be higher because multiple drops of water can pass through simultaneously.

So it all comes down to what you require: higher throughput (particle simulation, graphics rendering) or higher speed (AI, sequential calculation etc)

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TrevorPhillips1970d ago

Smart move Mark! PS4 is a beast anyways and cannot wait for it to be released :)

weirdo1970d ago

sexy. i just can't imagine a console with anything less than gddr5 memory, can you? (giggles)

Fishy Fingers1970d ago

Yeah, you've probably defended one for the last 8 years.

Minato-Namikaze1970d ago

Was GDDR5 available 9-10 years ago?

wishingW3L1969d ago

the first production of GDDR5 were available in 2008 and only in 512MB modules you know. All last gen consoles used GDDR3 because that was the best in its time.

windblowsagain1969d ago


But the PS3 did have the XDR Memory running @ 3.2ghz.

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B-radical1970d ago

1 SRAM is static while DRAM is dynamic
2. SRAM is faster compared to DRAM
3. SRAM consumes less power than DRAM
4. SRAM uses more transistors per bit of memory compared to DRAM
5. SRAM is more expensive than DRAM
6. Cheaper DRAM is used in main memory while SRAM is commonly used in cache memory

mkotechno1970d ago ShowReplies(1)
tarbis1970d ago

In other words Mark is preventing another PS3-esque hard to develop hardware. Good move on their part. Satisfying both developers and consumers at the same time.

Cueil1970d ago

No... it's the same idea behind the xbox 360's design... so it would have NOT been hard to program for...

mmj1970d ago

The fact is though Sony considered Microsoft's method but opted against it because they felt it it would be more difficult for developers.

With PS4 developers can just store everything conveniently in memory, with Xbone they are going to have to still juggle data.

Cueil1969d ago

a 12 oz bottle of coke is a 12 oz bottle of coke no matter how big the lid is

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