Last night, Sony revealed the PlayStation 5 specifications.
No PS5 games were showcased.
We take a look at the PS5 vs the Xbox Series X in this story.
Last night, Sony revealed the PS5 specifications. However, there is little information about the PS5 games. A lot of fanboys will say that the Sony PlayStation 5 is more powerful than the Xbox Series X and vice versa in a battle of Xbox Series X vs PS5. The only thing that will put that debate to rest is when we see third party games fully optimized for each system and can compare them side by side, or wait for the guys at Digital Foundry to do it for us. We haven't seen any gameplay footage of PS5 games or Xbox Series X games. Until then, let's quickly break down the specifications of the PS5 in terminologies that mere mortals can understand and see how it stacks up against the recently announced specifications of the Xbox Series X. You can read the details of the Series X's specs here. For those that want to see a side by side comparison can scroll down to the table below and see how the 2 consoles compare.
Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU
Just like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 runs on a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU and an RDNA 2 GPU with dedicated ray tracing. The PS5 doesn't have locked clock speeds for the CPU and GPU like the Series X. Instead it has a variable frequency up to 3.5GHz for the CPU and a variable frequency up to 2.23GHz for the GPU. Since the frequency isn’t locked, the power consumption of the console can be reduced to slightly lower the frequency when needed, leading to a better overall performance of the system. The PS5 will also use something called Smart Delivery which is an AMD technology for its mobile chips where a reduction in power is smartly optimized between the CPU and the GPU, based on the workload. This is interesting and we will have to wait and see how developers exploit it.
RAM and Storage
The Xbox series X has 16GB GDDR6 with 320b bus. The RAM is divided into 10GB @ 560 GB/s and 6GB @ 336 GB/s.
For the PS5, we have GDDR6 16GB with a 448GB/s Bandwidth. When it comes to storage, Microsoft has gone with a custom internal solution of 1TB. So has the PS5 but the capacity is 825GB. Storage is where things get interesting. Microsoft has implemented 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block) speed for its storage. Sony, on the other hand, has gone with a massive 5.5GB/s Read Bandwidth (Raw) and uncompressed going all the way higher in the ballpark of 8GB/s and higher. That is an impressive feat and with these high read speeds, Sony wants to eliminate the need for loading screens together and make fast travel really fast.
When it comes to storage expansion, both the consoles will support storage expansion. For the Series X, Microsoft has partnered with Seagate for a custom 1TB expandable storage whereas Sony will support PCIe 4 based storage that's available off the shelf, but there is a catch. Put simply, the tech Sony is using is yet to be implemented in PCIe 4, kinda. So we will have to wait for a list of approved drives that are compatible with the console. How these storage expansion solutions play out is something we will know when the console's launch.
The Xbox Series X is compatible with Xbox One, and the backward library of 360 and OG Xbox games. The PS5 will be compatible with PS4 games and Sony hasn't said anything about PS3, 2 or PS1 games yet. If you have an external hard drive where your PS4 and Xbox One games are stored, you can connect that to the respective console and play your current-gen library off it without any hassles, leaving space on the internal drive for the new games that need to exploit the fast storage. Whether you will be able to swap games between the internal and external drive is yet to be seen.
Mark Cerny had a glow on his face when he spoke about the Audio capabilities of the PS5. There is a custom 3D audio engine that is built for the system. He highlighted that the Audio shift from the PS3 to the PS4 was a step-down and that on the PS4 a mere half core was used for audio. The PS5 will use Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) to give players a more immersive audio experience. So for example, if the sound is coming from the back right from a very specific direction, you will be able to identify that exact position rather than know the general direction of the sound. Playing with headphones will be the gold standard for this and will be incorporated into other systems like TV speakers, home theatres, etc. down the line.
We now have a lot of information about the hardware the two consoles pack. We also know what the Xbox Series X looks like but are still waiting to see what the PS5 looks like. Mark Cerny did say that the teardown of the console is quite exciting, and we are looking forward to it. Below is a look at the specifications of the Xbox Series X vs the PS5.