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Sony: First PlayStation 4 Design Featured Only 4GB Of RAM

8GB of GDDR5 RAM is a big selling point for many developers. They love it.

But did you know that the original PlayStation 4 design only had 4GB of that memory? We'd heard some designers say this about the early PS4 kits, and now SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida confirmed this fact at the Tokyo Game Show (via GameSpot).

He said that due to great developer feedback, they updated the amount of GDDR5 RAM in the PS4 to 8GB:

"And because we chose expensive memory…we really liked the performance, but it's pricy, right? So going to 8GB was a bit of a business decision. But we were able to make that decision because of a lot of the feedback from developers."

The Xbox One also has 8GB of RAM, so it was a good idea for Sony to give the PS4 the same amount. Developers have often said this generation that they wished the PS3 offered more RAM, which would give game makers more opportunities. Well, they're definitely getting that for the next generation, so here's hoping they take advantage!

Tags: playstation 4, ps4, ps4 memory, ps4 ram

9/19/2013 9:33:57 PM John Shepard

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Comments (13 posts)

Banky A
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 10:33:30 PM
Reply

That would've been a disaster. My 8 year old desktop is 4gb (only put in 2 a few weeks ago).

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 10:59:53 PM

It doesn't really work that way.

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godsman
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 12:34:11 AM

PC are not very efficient. Tablets run with 1 Gb of ram and are super smooth. Your PC runs too many programs in the background including antivirus and all.

I thought 4 Gb was plenty in the present. It may not be enough for the next 10 years though.

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firesoul453
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 1:02:21 AM

Ya try running a game that looks like the last of us or killzone 3 or something on 256mbs of ram and 256mbs of video card ram on a PC lol. It won't work out so well.

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xnonsuchx
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 6:27:53 AM

Don't be too hard on him for saying that, even though it's still a bad comparison. It can be a little more comparable now since Sony made the PS4 'from PC parts' and might need some boosts for inherent inefficiencies in a 'general purpose CPU' vs. previous ones customized for the specific hardware use and optimized to work within certain limitations. However, the CPU doesn't matter so much now since it's increasingly the GPU that's intended to do most of the work (including a lot of what the Cell B.E.'s SPE's do) and the CPUs are fast enough to no longer need to be RISC-based to assist the GPUs as heavily as they used to. I'd still be interested to know what 'customizations' were done to the AMD CPU core...perhaps they did change it from being fully x86/AMD64 'PC'-compatible to optimize it more. All that being said, a CPU operates most efficiently if it only has the instruction set it absolutely needs and the minimal amount of RAM it needs to do whatever it needs to do. Besides, a lot more RAM than needed also welcomes lazy developers who have no shame about releasing bloatware.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 11:02:58 PM
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It probably won't make much difference in multiplats if the less useful Xbox One ram is the common denominator but I suppose we can all hope someone has the balls to use it all.

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Temjin001
Thursday, September 19, 2013 @ 11:37:54 PM
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...and they saved 3 of those 8 GB's for a whole bunch PC'ish-social features most of us don't care about. Woo hoo!

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firesoul453
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 1:04:24 AM

Pretty sure games on ps4 have 6gbs max-ish. And like what they did with the ps3 they will probably offer more as ps4's OS become more finalized.

Like the ps3 they locked so much ram but later on as the OS progresses and they were sure it wouldn't need it they released some more ram to developers.

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___________
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 7:57:22 AM
Reply

correction, we were able to make that decision because the rest of the hardware was so lackluster.
ill NEVER understand $onys obsession with super fast expensive RAM!
biggest waste of money ever, i mean when i was building my PC ages ago i specced out the fastest RAM possible just for the sake of it and the guy building it for me invited me into his lab and showed me game demos of my exact specs PC with faster, and slower RAM, and the performance difference was like 2%!
600+ bucks extra for a 2% boost!?
no thanks, ill use that 600+ bucks for a GPU upgrade and get 25%+ boost!
super fast RAM is USELESS, especially when you have such a low spec GPU/CPU!
after all the AMD APU next gen consoles is based on was designed for basic entry level laptops!
hardly your high end gaming units.........

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sobleck
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 8:59:31 AM

Yeah, but your comparison doesn't work very well as you're comparing the PS4s Unified architecure to your PCs separate architecture. In your PC, your high speed ram was for the operating system mostly. True your Games might draw on it a little bit but where RAM is really used for gaming is in the GPU. The GPU has its own separate RAM, and top end cards today us GDDR5 3GB and upwards. So when you're buying your top end GPU, you're actually buying that high speed expensive RAM built in to it.

In Sony's Case, they have one pool of RAM shared by the operating system and GPU. Its all GDDR5. Its also not really that expensive. Its gone down in price and thats why they increased it to 8GB. It should provide performance comparable to decent Mid-Level PC specs. And to run the latest games on a PC at 1080P, you really don't need a cutting edge PC. If you want to run at Higher resolutions you can up the ante.

The PS4 uses a modified version of my GPU and I can easily run most games on maxed out settings around 60FPS on my 1080P. There are framerate dips on a few games, like Hitman, and CRYSIS 3, but not much. In preparation for future advancements though, I'm thinking of upgrading , but if I get an extremely high end card, I'm more than happy to wait a few years before upgrading, because there won't be much of a need.

Edit: Not to mention that when you buy top tier GPUs they tend to increase the amount of GDDR5 RAM available in addition to clockspeed and shaders.

Last edited by sobleck on 9/20/2013 9:04:00 AM

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sobleck
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 9:02:31 AM
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I remember watching a video where Mark Cerny talked about this when he was talking about collaborating with developers to make the system and the pad.

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CrusaderForever
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 11:03:59 AM
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I am glad this didn't happen considering they are using 3GB for the OS. The PS4 is going to be a speedy little device in more ways than one. Not bad for $400. I would have spent over a grand for a top notch in all areas PS4, but that's just me.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 9:16:58 PM
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yeah i really hope they take full advantage of the that big chunk of awesome RAM to give us great games.

happy gaming =)

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