PlayStation 5 uncovered: the Mark Cerny tech deep dive

DF: "It's been a couple of weeks now since Mark Cerny delivered his 'Road to PlayStation 5' presentation. Rich had a chance to talk to the man himself and to pose some follow-up questions, and we'll gain some new information and insights on the some of the system's new features."

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mrsolidsteel201160d ago

I'm reading it now, one part that stuck out to me was this quote:

"That's what AMD calls SmartShift. There's enough power that both CPU and GPU can potentially run at their limits of 3.5GHz and 2.23GHz, it isn't the case that the developer has to choose to run one of them slower."

1160d ago Replies(15)
NewMonday1160d ago (Edited 1160d ago )

the cap for developers is power consumption

this is what I understand from Cerny. if devs modify code to use less power they get more performance.

that is the Sony plan to control heat. there is a cap on power so a cap on maximum heat generation from within the system. developers can get 100% of system performance as long as the code stays under the power consumption limit.

Tech51159d ago
The clock speeds are tided to power draw. if that be the case (which it is) the console will be accustom to operating at higher thermals. (should the power draw increase) which is also AMD's design norm for some odd 20 years.

bishup251159d ago (Edited 1159d ago )

@ tech
i take it then the console will be hotter or louder?

Tech51159d ago

depends on the power draw. if it's water cooled neither. but also water cooling is a more pricier solution.

Stanjara1159d ago

And that is the problem. You can't reach to max without increasing heat.
What I understand from this is learn how to use downclocked APU.

NewMonday1159d ago

so you know the PS5 heat threshold and the average power consumption of the code used by the majority of game developers?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1159d ago
Niv1159d ago

Its a beast! Race to idle, just in time processing will take for Devs to optimize

1159d ago
mrsolidsteel201160d ago

After reading this, I'm even more confused. That 'race to idle' term is really confusing to me.

1160d ago Replies(3)
RazzerRedux1160d ago

I read that as simply meaning the GPU won't increase frequency unless it is needed. Kind of like a pendulum that pulls back the GPU at extremes. GPUs can throttle back when it reaches temperature limit. Too much power causing too much heat so frequency is reigned back. But if little power is being used does it make sense to increase frequency? No, o frequency is lowered when too much power is used or too little.

gravedigger1160d ago (Edited 1160d ago )

It has nothing to do with thermals. Cerny said that at GDC.

It’s not thermal bound in a traditional sense, it’s bound by the electric draw. Anyway, sure will see what cooling solution PS5 has.

RazzerRedux1160d ago

Yes, I was using thermals as an example. Power limits work the same way as far as throttling the GPU.

Regardless, I think the example Mr_Writer85 copied is a better explanation.

gravedigger1160d ago

Well, in some cases car analogy works. Anyway, like Matt said on ERA :

"Workloads and clock speeds are not the same thing. You can have a workload that means having to run the CPU at a lower speed in order to maintain the top GPU clock, just like you can have a workload that allows you to keep both the CPU and GPU at max."

Anyway, like Cerny stated at GDC, if something happens if some scene goes wild, a couple of percentages ( in tech breakdowns that is around 2 or 3% ) is needed to drop power, but what that means is 10% drop in power can be achieved by around 2% drop in clock speed. That's not 10% drop in performance.

RazzerRedux1159d ago

Agreed. I fully expect PS5's GPU to operate at or close to 2.23 GHz as Cerny stated.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1159d ago
Mr_Writer851160d ago

Someone in the comments posted this...

"Imagine frame rendering (30 per second) as a street with a traffic lights every 100 meters that goes green at set intervals (v-sync). Instead of racing to the next light to stop and wait over and over (race to idle) you try to adjust the clock frequency (speed of the car) to turn it into a smooth ride."

Stanjara1159d ago

That is good analogy but the question is what is making all the red lights.
Heat is the answer.

Mr_Writer851159d ago


Thats why if it doesn't go as quick it won't heat up as quickly.

1159d ago
jerethdagryphon1159d ago

Let me explain it.
You have two employees each has a part time secretary. If ther job you give them is split between guy and secretary they finish in half the time. And spend the rest sitting around doing nothing
If the other guy doesn't use his secretary he will finish the job in time for the next

Race to idle is a bad thing. Idle time in cpu and gpu is wasted time and power.

Running low workload at high speed results in more idle time.

You want to match workload to frequency or power for max efficiency which is what ps5 does

VariantAEC1153d ago

Traditionally a desktop computer will run its components at a predefined clock rate and vary the power needed to run software.

Mobile hardware does the opposite it operates with highly variable clock speeds and draws only the power it needs for battery efficiency.

PS5 doesn't have to worry about power limitations because you're plugged into the wall like a desktop, but to maintain relative quiet and effective thermal dissipation in a tiny form-factor the device will limit clock speeds like a mobile chip does to keep heat low.

This shouldn't impact performance in games because most software even game software doesn't typically eat up all the CPU and GPU resources at the same time. PS5 is playing a delicate balancing act and will likely be the smaller device. XSX is brute force all the way. Which will actually do best? Well with mobile architectures being considered more efficient and more and more developers aiming for efficiency in a world where CPU and GPU manufacturing limits are basically being maxed out thanks to physics... I see PS5 having an edge, but I could be wrong.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1153d ago
Nyxus1160d ago

I'm glad Sony still believes in console generations, I like the idea of the bar being raised for all users.

MrVux0001160d ago (Edited 1160d ago )

Hopefully they will still believe in that even after Playstation 5.

P.S. Hope you are staying safe Nyx!

Nyxus1160d ago

So far yes, and you too!

Yeah each new console generation you hear that it's going to be the last, we'll see how it goes.

rlow11159d ago

Well thats true but usually the first couple years of a consoles life the games are cross generational. Supporting the original base and the early adopters. Sonys not going to burn the bridge on over a hundred million players.

Nick_5151159d ago (Edited 1159d ago )

It's not up to Sony. that's what they're saying. if a developer wants to develop only for PS5 and not PS4, because they can only achieve what they want on PS5, Sony isn't stopping them.

It's also the opposite of Microsoft's approach. They want their users feeling like they're not missing out on games because they didn't want to upgrade.

NeoGamer2321159d ago

The argument of the next generation is really a marketing and consumer clarity. PCs do not have generations yet, there are games that will run on some PCs but not others. It is a developer choice whether they target multiple platforms and a lowest common denominator hardware configuration.

If Sony was to say the PS5 was the PS4 2020, it would be pretty much be the same as calling it PS5. The only reason they are calling it PS5 is that they are essentially saying "some or all of the new games won't run on PS4 anymore". They could've released the new device as PS4 and said some or all games won't run on the previous PS4's but this just makes it easier for consumers that aren't technical to distinguish it.

That is all console generations are is marketing and consumer clarity for the non-technical people. It is nice for sure, but, don't let any of the console vendors fool you into thinking that a generation is something it is not.

1160d ago
MrVux0001160d ago

Time for my dose of Richards hand motions. :)