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What Can We Expect From The PS4 In Terms Of Reliability?

Reliability is always key for any new piece of electronic hardware. And in the past, once Sony worked past some initial difficulties with the launch systems, each generation of PlayStation consoles have proven to be quite reliable.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has had well-documented, nigh-on catastrophic problems with their Xbox and Xbox 360 hardware; at one point, major retailers were reporting 30% defective rates for the 360, which is just plain absurd. Why any consumer would find that acceptable is beyond me. But the point is that Sony is going the cheaper, more accessible route with their new machine, so...

For instance, Sony opted for AMD over Nvidia, which some PC enthusiasts say was a bad move. Remember that Xbox used AMD in the past and we've just established that that brand's reliability is by far the worst in the industry. Of course, it can't just be due to the Xbox's components but even so, there's another word that might be concerning: Cheap. Or rather, accessible. Sony is trying to keep costs down on the PS4 - for both developers and gamers - and as a result, is it wrong to expect a less reliable console? "Chintzy" probably won't be associated with the PS4 but in so many ways, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is often accurate.

Based on what we know of the PS4 right now, do you see it being a reliable system for consumers?

Tags: ps4, playstation 4, ps4 amd, ps4 price, sony

4/3/2013 9:54:53 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (42 posts)

matt99
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 10:30:10 PM
Reply

I have a friend who went through 6 xbox 360s in about two years, none of them lasted longer than a month...if that happens with the ps4 then Sony can say goodbye to a great deal of loyal fans.

Thankfully I don't think they're that stupid.

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:44:46 PM

He waited 3 months before purchasing a new system?

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touchyourtoes
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 10:56:31 PM
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My first PS3 (MGS bundle, purchased new when BC was removed completely) lasted 1 week! 1 week and it was off for repair. Guess how happy I was with that. It then lasted no more than 3 months and I was repairing it myself until the slim came out, no problem since (maybe it's a little louder now but that's it).

I will definitely be taking the same wait and see approach with the PS4 to make sure there aren't early failures. There's nothing more unacceptable to me than a $400-$500 device shitting the bed in anything under the first 3 months.

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:14:20 PM

Man that sucks you had such issues with your ps3, my first was also the mgs4 bundle and I didn't have any issues with it until about a month ago. Still trying to decide what to do about it though.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:22:57 PM

Unfortunately you are a very rare case.

The original 60GB's were the only PS3 that I was aware of that had issues, which was the infamous YLOD.

Mine suffered 3 YLOD attacks, which I self-repaired every time. Once your PS3 YLOD'd, that was it, it will happen again, and each fix lasted less than the previous one. My last fix only lasted 1 month.

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bigwho62
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:24:47 AM

I have a 60GB launch PS3 and I have never had any problems, still going strong, even upgraded the hard drive. My brother and friend of mine did encounter the YLOD (problem with the reader right?), but they had the 2nd generation fatboys. As for reliability, I do not think the PS4 will experience the atrocious failure like the 360 did.

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Akuma07
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:02:58 AM

The main issue that caused the YLOD, was the soldering between the CPU, GPU and the motherboard started to crack.

I think the reason was because the thermal paste on them was really crap, and caused them to overheat quite often.

Resetting the soldering and re-applying new thermal paste always did the trick.

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gungrave
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 4:02:34 AM

Still got my OG 60 Gig Phatty. Never any problems and I still get to play my PS2 games :) It's loud compared to the new models tho. Next paycheck I'm upgrading the hard drive.

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Simcoe
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 7:36:32 AM

After one week, why didn't you return it to the point of purchase and exchange it for a brand new one?? Then after three months why are you repairing it yourself (thus voiding the warranty) and not having Sony repair it under warranty?

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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:09:00 AM

What simcoe said.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:42:45 PM

You get a one year warranty off the back when u purchase almost any electronics new touchyourtoes, even if it the product failed on u 2 times before the warranty is up, u keep sending it in to Sony.

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Akuma07
Wednesday, April 03, 2013 @ 11:27:44 PM
Reply

Well, I have had AMD in my PC for nearly 4 years, and it is still going strong.

Correct me if I am wrong, but was it proven that the AMD chipset was the cause of the RROD in the 360?

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sawao_yamanaka
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:58:07 AM

No, it was overheating problems with the system.

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Akuma07
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:04:16 AM

Oh okay, thanks.

It seemed to imply in the article that the AMD processor in the Xbox could have been part of the reason for the RROD.

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JROD0823
Saturday, April 06, 2013 @ 1:05:57 PM

@Akuma,

The 360 never had an AMD chip in it.

The CPU Microsoft uses is a variant of the Cell BE based on IBM's Power architecture, and is a tri-core processor.

The GPU is ATI, and yes, I know that they merged with AMD, but the original contract, and the existing tech is all ATI derived.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 4/6/2013 1:11:50 PM

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:40:53 AM
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Reliability on the level we talk about here has most to do with the design of the box (layout, airflow, fans, material), and very little to do with the reliability of the chipsets themselves. Under good circumstances they can last for many years, even decades.

But small boxes like these have a challenge with getting rid of head and avoid getting too clogged up by dust. The only thing the chipsets can contribute with in this context is to avoid getting too hot to begin with.

Any of you ever heard the sound from a server? Servers are computers that are designed for reliability only, with no concerns about sound level since they are stored in specially designed server rooms. And I tell you, they are LOUD. That's the sound of maximum reliability. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/4/2013 1:43:56 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 6:31:44 PM

20 120mm fans whirring in unison with 20 10K rpm HDDs whining in the background. Awesome sound, almost like being on the bridge of the Enterprise... ;)

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Wrote
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 3:06:25 AM
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Isn't it a little to early to say? I'm a bit concerned about my 40gb, its been loud for years, and uncharted 3 makes it scream! While people I know with other 40gigs aren't loud at all. But even so I've never had a console break on me. I did hear quite a few people having problems with ps2 lenses breaking.

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StevieRV
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 3:29:01 AM

in my 40gb the fans would spin to ridiculously loud levels after about 20minutes of game play, and wouldnt stop until i powered it down

after about a year like this it eventually YLOD on me, so i tried repairing it but the fixes were always temporary, bought myself a slim

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Wrote
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 5:33:18 AM

That's how its been for me for I wanna say 3 years, I barely remember it ever being quiet, granted this is the first level of fan. Some games make it go to the 2nd level but usually stops ans goes back to the first, but then when I played uncharted 3 it went to the 3rd level surfing the chateau level and I thought it would explode. Now it sits on a metal tin and idk. I just hope it lasts til I get a ps4 and past so I can play my old games in the near future.

I read the 40 and 2nd 80 gigs have a worse fan system then the other phats tho. So I'm still getting a launch ps4. Just gotta save up

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Beamboom
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 6:44:39 AM

My first fatty also became incredibly noisy quite early, and eventually died on me too. Then I got a second fatty who was noisy already on delivery (somebody else's old fatty of course, who's been repaired) and pretty soon became so noisy that I simply had to go get a slim, it became unbearable.

My slim however, now that's a machine that's stayed pretty silent and problem free to this day. Maybe it was the less power consumption that did it (ergo less heat), maybe they did something else too, but the slim has been an excellent machine for me.


Last edited by Beamboom on 4/4/2013 6:45:28 AM

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Simcoe
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 7:54:29 AM

My launch PS3 lasted 2.5 years before it's YLOD, after that it was louder and lasted just under 18 months. That second repair only lasted a little over 12 months (until last August) when I had it repaired again. By that time it sounded like a hair dryer once it really got going. Ended up retiring it just after Christmas, and replaced it with a Slim for $200. I couldn't believe how quiet a PS3 could be.

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Wrote
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 8:46:08 AM

It really seems random with the phats. I know its not a use issue, as I've used it mostly daily since I got it(on craigslist) back in 08. Last year I didn't think the ps4 would be out so soon and was gonna get a slim sometime this year,now I'll just deal with it.

One thing that's different then my friends slims is those things get hot as hell, my phat doesn't get hot at all.

I just realized how impossible it'll be to afford all the gaming stuff I want. I was gonna get a 3ds later in the year but that just might have to wait if I get a ps4 at launch...

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Killa Tequilla
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:24:48 AM

That's odd because I've had 60gb's & 80gb's individualy each for two years. I would have them on everyday for up to 12 hours+ at times. I had no problems whatsoever. I believe that it's because I allowed them for proper air circulation and enought space so the heat escapes from the Ps3 and not reflect back to the Ps3.

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Highlander
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 6:39:53 PM

The average age of PS3s that have met their final demise in our home is 5 years. I have one PS3 fat that's waiting for me to pack it up and send if for a nice preventative maintenance with a caring repair house. They're going to replace the thermal compound, clean everything and check the fans. If I could get a replacement PSU I would, but they're pretty much custom. However, if I can increase the cooling efficiency it will help, and I already put a lower power HDD in, not that 1 watt makes a heck of a lot of difference. But, in general I've found PS3 to be quite reliable. I have an 8 year old PC with nVidia GPU, the one in it right now is a replacement as the first one melted when it's fan stopped. That is pretty much a problem for nVidia, their GPUs run hot (as do all GPUs) but they skimp on the thermal protection which means that the chips can fry themselves. Our original PS3 phat (60GB) died that way, it was a good candidate for a pro-reflow, except that when they opened it up and tested it, the GPU was a charred hunk of silicon. If nVidia and AMD would put thermal shutdown into their designs as a safety feature the life of some devices could be seriously improved.

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Simcoe
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 7:47:40 AM
Reply

Some PC enthusiasts are Nvidia fans, while others are AMD fans. I'm sure AMD fans will tell you that those proclaiming that the RROD was caused by AMD's graphics chips were Nvidia fans.

I'm sure AMD fans could point out the YLOD on launch PS3's was caused by the Nvidia graphics chip and not the cell or "defective" thermal paste.

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Solid Fantasy
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 8:04:07 AM
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I sure hope the PS4 is rugged. There's nothing that scares me away from a launch day purchase more than a bad fail rate.

I got one of the early PS2s and I had to deal with the "disc read error" issue. In the unlikely chance that there are no major launch titles I'll wait for the first barrage of consoles to declare there reliability before I make the purchase.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:09:42 PM

I remember that for the PS2 phat model, mine lasted about 2 years and then I got that message, didn't elevate the system high enough off the ground.

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Solid Fantasy
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 2:43:36 PM

Strange. I had to take mine apart and constantly adjust a little gear until the laser lens found the disk.

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Gabriel013
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 8:34:29 AM
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One of my mates has gone through 7 or 8 PS3's and being the owner of both consoles I was surprised when my PS3 died first. I got it repaired and it lasted an additional year before I got tired of it freezing and shutting down and putting up the the aircraft volume fan.
I have now had to replace both my PS3 and 360 though the launch 360 lasted much longer.

I'll struggle to trust either new console out of the gate. Regardless of the quality of the launch titles.

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___________
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 9:51:16 AM
Reply

quite reliable my a$$!
playstation systems have always had rampant reliability issues, especially the ps1 with the DVD laser issue.
if i had a nickel for every time i went over to a friends house and asked hey why is your ps1 upside down?
ps2 was almost as bad, and ps3 was no better had quite a few lasers go on me.
in fact i have a garage full of dead ps1 and ps2 systems all because of failed lasers!
souvenirs.....
my 60GB ps3 stopped reading blurays, surprise surprise its the laser again within 6 weeks of purchase!
new system later same problem, then 2 YLODs before the warranty was out!
exactly why first thing i always do when buying a system is extended warranty.
great thing about EB, they give you a refurb so your not without a system, unlike what $ony does making you wait 2+ months with nothing to use!

just because hardware is cheaper does not mean its less reliable.
if anything the opposite is true, the cheaper it is the less powerful it is, the less powerful it is the less heat it generates, the less heat it generates the more reliable it is.
id like to think it will be more reliable because of the rampant problems $ony has had in the past with the disc laser dying, and the laser again and YLOD, RLOD issues with the ps3.
plus those were quite powerful systems for their time, so heat output was a unfortunate result.
this time its far less powerful for its time, so hopefully that will help reliability.
only time will tell though.

Last edited by ___________ on 4/4/2013 9:57:03 AM

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Highlander
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 6:33:10 PM

PS1 had a DVD? ::blinks:: Australia must be really advanced for DVDs to somehow appear before their time like that.

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___________
Sunday, April 07, 2013 @ 9:35:05 AM

yup, flying cars, teleportation tubes, vacuum tubes ala futureama, quite a place you should visit sometime!

ok enough of being a smart a$$, CD laser issue.
happy?

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PC_Max
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 10:20:56 AM
Reply

We shall see. It would be another reason why I am going to wait after the first gen of the PS4. See if there are any hardware issues and hear what people say. On top of that wait for a decent number of games to be out.

If Sony has had the system in the hands of devs to bring the fans next gen games, I would hope the hardware is tested for its durability. This current gen was a bit of a joke for both companies system failtures in the first gens.

I was fortunate. I had the orginal 2007 60gb PS3 and it died on me in Oct of 2012. I did not see any reason to try to get it repaired for just a potential 3 month extended life. The system had already paid for itself like a PC.

Again, we shall see. Sony I think knows whats at stake.

Keep Playing!

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wackazoa
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 10:55:19 AM
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My one concern would be the controller. With the PS3, I have gone through 3 different controllers. With my expected price of the new controllers at around $100, because of the new touch screen, that would be quite expensive for me.



Last edited by wackazoa on 4/4/2013 10:55:48 AM

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Underdog15
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 11:29:54 AM
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I love ps brand. Whenever people on the internet claim their ps3s fail quickly I have a really hard time believing them because no one I know have these issues. I cant help but think these people store their ps3s in torture chambers, always leave them on, and like... store them in glass encasements or something.

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AcHiLLiA
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 12:57:30 PM
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You guys who have bad luck on your PS3's is because u don't elevate your system, keeping your system on for extended periods of time.
If any, heat needs to escape, if your system is trapped between objects it's going to fail on you. So far it has been less than 100 bucks a year for me with my PS3 and I'm running a phat model to.

Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 4/4/2013 12:59:30 PM

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PHOENIXZERO
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:08:28 PM
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The PS4 (and next XB) are being designed around low power consumption which in turn means less heat. That is one of the reasons Sony and MS are going with AMD APUs with a CPU that's designed primarily for mobile devices and notebooks.

It shouldn't be an issue this time around at all unless for some stupid reason they fail in a epic manner when it comes to cooling.

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Ultima
Friday, April 05, 2013 @ 9:43:57 AM

This, exactly. Previous reliability issues have almost always boiled down to heating issues in the consoles, with their components running too damn hot with insufficient ventilation. That's why both Sony and Microsoft are going with more efficient (read: cool) hardware this time around instead of the most amount of power they can get. It's also a bonus in bringing the system costs down (or more likely, it's the other way around: the components are cheaper, AND they're more power efficient/run cooler).

BTW, does anyone else note the irony that the PS3 has been by far Sony's most reliable system, yet has performed the worst in terms of market share? I could also make a similar case for the PS3's resilience to being hacked compared to its predecessors yet suffering the most. Life's funny that way.

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gumbi
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 1:34:09 PM
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I'm hoping for a solid reliable console. Sony does have a good reputation for quality consoles. My PS2, PSP, and Vita are all still going strong.

Statistically PS3's are pretty reliable too, I just have bad luck with them. I'm on my 3rd PS3 now. My launch 60GB died after about 2 years (YLOD). I fixed it a few times but the third fix only lasted a week so that was the end of her. It was a sad day. So I bought a slim, then it's blu-ray drive died. Now I have the new super slim... we'll see.

I trust Sony to put out a quality product. I'll still buy a PS4 as soon as I can.

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gruvsf
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 3:06:16 PM
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Speaking as a PC enthusiast who has purchased many nVidia & AMD/ATI products (one of my first discreet video cards I owned was the Voodoo2) for my video cards, laptops and other processors, I have never had any issues with AMD/ATI silicon. However, I have had many negative experiences with nVidia's silicon, especially with their mobile 8600M series (I've seen at least half a dozen failures of these on different laptop brands), but all of the AMD/ATI silicon stuff I buy now work well, do not get very hot, and still run after 8+ years of continuous service.

While I have never owned any MS Consoles, opening them up seem like that they were manufactured with speed and cost in mind, so it would not surprise me if a lot of the issues had to do with the assembly of the devices (not applying the thermal paste correctly or evenly is usually the culprit of heat issues), I can't say that the failure rate of the XBoxes are due to the AMD hardware or if MS had cut corners in design and manufacturing (I suspect the latter).
Sony seems to do better with their manufacturing process (I'm on my second PS3), and hopefully Sony will be as diligent with the assembly of the PS4s, so I would give Sony the benefit of the doubt unless I see otherwise-I do plan on buying on of the PS4s when they come out later this year.

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Highlander
Thursday, April 04, 2013 @ 6:58:11 PM
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I think reliability will not be an issue. Sony's engineers are very good at internal design. The initial PS3 motherboard layout and air-flow were perfect examples of that excellence. I would expect something similar this time round. That said, their engineers will have some advantages this time.

The APU that Sony are using has 8 x86 cores, they are low voltage, low power cores and do not create anything like the heat that the CellBE does. The GPU elements in the APUs are mobile parts which again says low power consumption and low thermal output. That said, low is a relative term here. Compared to typical desktop parts they are low power and low heat output, but compared to the ultra-low power components in mobile devices they are still hogs.

But, the system will have much lower power consumption. The APU will likely use less than half what a Cell/RSX combination does, the BD player will be newer and more efficient. So the PSU can be smaller, and there can me more room inside the casing for air to move.

As long as Sony builds a solid motherboard, doesn't skimp on the basics, and designs another excellent ventilation system to move the hot air out, the PS4 should be quire reliable. One thing I would like to see Sony do in the PS4, actually it's 3 things. 1) use high quality fault resistant/tolerant HDDs. 2) Put a useful HDD maintenance tool into the firmware, 3)make the backups faster. In all my PS3 experience, drive failure and corruption has been a far greater problem than PS3 hardware failure.

Oh, that AMD APU in the PS4. One of the nicer aspects of it is that it is an 8 core dual threaded design. That matters because just like with cellphones and tablets, more cores = run at a lower clock = lower power consumption and less heat. That will hold true for the PS4. Obviously faster is better, but more cores will allow lower clocks to be used and increase reliability.

One last thought. I am hoping that the system features a dynamic clock. I'm thinking in terms of Sony launching the system clocked a say (pulling a figure from thin air) 1.6 GHz, but knowing that they can actually clock the system up to 2GHz safely without truly over volting or over clocking. They did that with the PSP, and unlocked an additional 25% performance a few years into it's life. It would be interesting if 2 years after launch they pushed a firmware update the bumped the clock by 25%, and launched a new model with the higher clock by default. That would allow them to 'upgrade' PS4...

LOL! IBM used to do that with their mainframes. They had the ability to throttle performance invisibly, and when a customer ordered a system upgrade the engineer would simply reduce the throttle (it injected no-op instructions into the CPU instruction stream). No hardware upgrade required, just an OS tweak. Of course customers were a little annoyed when they found out that their systems came out of the factory crippled and they had paid more simply to uncripple them.

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