PlayStation 4 Pro Uses Half The GPU To Run Original PS4 Games
As the launch of PlayStation 4 Pro comes closer, we are getting more details regarding the technicalities of how the console works.
PlayStation Chief Architect Mark Cerny explained how the PlayStation 4 Pro works and according to him, there are two chips in the PlayStation 4 Pro that work alongside one another, but that is not always the case and one can work independently without the other as well.
According to him when you play an original PS4 game only one chip works and when you are playing a PlayStation 4 Pro game then both chips are functioning alongside one another. So is there some kind of CrossFire mechanism going on? According to Cerny:
We doubled the GPU size by essentially placing it next to a mirrored version of itself, sort of like the wings of a butterfly. That gives us an extremely clean way to support the existing 700 titles. We just turn off half the GPU and run it at something quite close to the original GPU.
This means that the console is powerful enough to run traditional PS4 titles with half the GPU working instead of all of it.
On a PS4 standard model, if you’re switching between an application, such as Netflix, and a game, Netflix is still in system memory even when you’re playing the game. We use that architecture because it allows for a very quick swap between applications. Nothing needs to be loaded, it’s already in memory.
On PS4 Pro, we do things differently, when you stop using Netflix, we move it to the slow, conventional gigabyte of DRAM. Using that strategy frees up almost one gigabyte of the eight gigabytes of GDDR5. We use 512MB of that freed up space for games, which is to say that games can use 5.5GB instead of the five and we use most of the rest to make the PS4 Pro interface – meaning what you see when you hit the PS button – at 4K rather than the 1080p it is today.
A slower DRAM has been added alongside the faster one in order to made things smoother when multitasking while gaming. Cerny added that the PS4 Pro is not the start of a new generation of Sony console but generations are healthy for the gaming community as a whole.
“We don’t believe that generations are going away. They are truly healthy for the industry, and for the gaming community. It’s just that the objectives for PS4 Pro are quite different”.
For more on PlayStation, stay-tuned!