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News Chipworks publishes PS4 chip die analysis

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 21 Nov 2013.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Member

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    "more than the expected 18 blocks totally 1,152 shaders."

    Totaling? :)
     
  3. dyzophoria

    dyzophoria Member

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    I doubt sony will release a version with all 20 GPU units active
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Actually, conforming to Murphy's Law of Spelling and Grammar Corrections on the Internet, it should read "totalling". ;) (Fixed, ta!)
     
  5. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Member

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    Both are acceptable :p

    Though, I confess, I wrote "totalling", Chrome gave it a wiggly line and without a second thought I let it correct it to the Americanized (here we go again!) spelling of the word ;)
     
  6. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's not unheard of: the CPU in later-model PS2s ran faster than it did in launch models. It won't happen tomorrow, but a mid-life performance boost to coincide with the release of the PlayStation 4 Slim? I wouldn't rule it out, although I wouldn't bet my house on it either.
     
  7. dyzophoria

    dyzophoria Member

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    maybe, but it would just be harder for developers to optimize their games though, I could be wrong though, unless the SDK for sony will easily allow for a game to optimize itself dependent on system speed
     
  8. Hustler

    Hustler Well-Known Member

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    Lol..now you've done it.

    Should I wait for the upgraded version?
     
  9. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    Normal business, PS3 has 8 SPEs allowed devs to use 6 with 1 for hypervisor and the other for redundancy (yield)

    doubt 20 would be released, redundancy will likely still be required in the future with die shrinks etc for cost reduction/profit.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2013
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No optimisation necessary. You design for 18 units, and get 60FPS dipping to 50FPS during busy scenes; if your lucky punter has 20 units, they'll get 60FPS solid throughout the entire game. It's not like PC game developers optimise for every graphics card on the market individually...
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2013
  11. WarrenJ

    WarrenJ Well-Known Member

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    ill wait to see who dominates the console war. Buy one when it is fully supported and most of the problems have been resolved.
     
  12. rollo

    rollo Well-Known Member

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    Wont happen. PS3 had room to grow also orginally was never taken advantage off. Die shrinks and process shrinks will be to the benifit of sonys pocket not to the consumer.
     
  13. Narishma

    Narishma New Member

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    PC developers don't, because they can't. Console developers, however, absolutely do. I don't see Sony activating the 2 CUs even if yields improve. They won't risk splitting their consumer base. Your PS2 CPU example is really stretching it. It originally ran at 295 Mhz, and the newer versions ran at 299 Mhz. A 4 Mhz increase is hardly comparable to the situation we have here.
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Okay, here's a better example: when the Xbox 360 launched, you had a choice of hard drive or no hard drive models. Later, the version with no local storage went away - and games that required a hard drive started appearing. That's a pretty clear split of the user base: there was no way for an owner of a hard-drive-free Xbox 360 to play games which mandated the use of a hard drive, except buying a hard drive.

    Sony, too, has a history of changing hardware quite dramatically. Okay, the PS2 CPU speed up was minor - but how about when the Emotion Engine went away from the PS3 NA launch to the PS3 European launch? Then PS2 compatibility went *completely* away post-launch.

    Let's be clear, though: I'm not saying it *will* happen; I'm just saying it *could* happen.
     
  15. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Sorry Gareth, I think you're off-base here. Consoles are fixed targets, and imagine the uproar if gamers found out there was a lottery that might give you better performance? They'll just sit there returning consoles to retailers until they get one that is "better" - just like some Apple users did with MacBook Pro screens.

    Sony will have disabled those two CUs for yield - their APU is a pretty hefty piece of silicon, so they need that margin for error to reduce costs.

    You can't use things like hard drives, or backwards compatibility as examples of changes. The GPU is a key piece of the unit and drives the very development of the game, it won't change. The PS2 change was from 294.912Mhz to 299Mhz - a mere 5Mhz that will make precisely zero difference in reality, whereas two CUs will have a much bigger effect.

    Using your HD example, a user who found that a HD was a requirement could simply go out and buy one to drop in. Yes, they'd be peeved it cost money, but it could be done. You can't swap out a CPU in a console.
     
  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    You're perfectly entitled to that opinion, of course.
    What lottery? Read back up-thread: I'm suggesting the upgrade could come alongside a complete console redesign. You wouldn't have some PS4s with 18 CUs and some with 20 CUs; you'd have PS4s with 18 CUs and PS4 Slims with 20 CUs. It'd be a selling point for the redesign, in fact: "Smaller! Thinner! Lighter! 10% more powerful!"

    As for consoles being fixed targets, they're not: the Xbox 360, as but one example, has undergone several revisions in its lifespan. While the performance of the chip may have stayed the same, the process node and TDP have both changed since the console originally launched. There were people who upgraded to the Xbox 360 Slim because it was quieter than the launch design; I would imagine there would be even more people who would upgrade to a PS4 Slim if it came with the promise of a bit of extra graphics grunt.

    Again, let me make something clear: I'm not saying Sony will release a 20-CU PS4 model, nor that it's even likely that it will release a 20-CU PS4 model; merely that it could release a 20-CU PS4 model.
    And nor would you need to: a hard-drive-less console can't run a game which requires a hard drive; an 18-CU console can run all the games that a 20-CU console can, just with 10% less graphical horsepower. That's, what, a variation of just 6FPS on a 60FPS game? I can't see anyone clamouring for refunds or free upgrades if Sony made the move in four or five years' time.
     
  17. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    Okay, if it came with a re-design, Sony would be massively annoying every single person who had purchased an original PS4, because they then feel compelled to drop the money on a newer, faster, model. Sony's CPU bump on the PS2 was kept on the quiet to say the least, possibly because it literally made no difference to performance or possibly because Sony didn't want to aggrieve their userbase.

    You're using examples that don't work. Consoles are a fixed target in terms of their CPU/GPU and RAM - so basically their performance. Things like die shrinks benefit the console manufacturer on the whole by reducing prices and also allowing peripheral gains such as reduced power draw or noise. There were/are people who upgraded their Xbox 360 or PS3 to take advantage, but they'll be in the minority. Lots of console gamers buy in to the system on the premise that they don't have to worry about upgrades, and that the unit they buy at the launch will play the games that come at the end.

    However, we are in agreement. Sony could release a 20 CU model. But they won't.
     
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    And, as mentioned up-thread, an 18 CU PS4 bought at launch will be able to play the games that come at the end of the console's lifespan, regardless of whether or not a 20 CU exists. Having 10% less graphical horsepower wouldn't render games unplayable.
    Meet you back here in five years, we'll see. :)
     
  19. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    Forget 2 shader units on a refresh, what would be even better of course being PC based hardware is perhaps AMDs latest and greatest APU in the future but with full backward compatibility, buying new consoles like people buy iphones, now that would be good. Extra bells and whistles for PS5 but games fully functional on PS4, should be easy for devs as it would just need PC like quality settings which the engines probably already support. I'd rather see that in a couple of years, need something to drive my 4k screen I'll no doubt buy in a year or two.

    PS4K, there you go I have even named the refresh :D
     
  20. Cei

    Cei pew pew pew

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    I think when they PS5 launches they'l stick with x86 (unless something bonkers happens in the meantime), which may allow backwards compatibility. However, by that point they'll be targeting 4K, so I'm not sure we'll see dual-release games as they won't even fit on BluRay discs.
     

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