How Sony Are Pushing For 60fps On PS4: Razor GPU/CPU Profiler And Linker Optimizations Detailed

How the Razor Profiler helps in saving microseconds which could mean the difference between 30fps and 60fps.

Posted By | On 11th, Jul. 2014 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

ps4 amd

Unlike Microsoft, Sony does not have a PR team for its behind the scenes development team. So naturally, you will hear more about Microsoft’s upcoming technologies and programming methods but the people behind PlayStation 4 prefer to work in secrecy. But it seems that Sony’s ICE team are not the only wizards who put in all the hard work in optimizing the console’s GPU driver and graphics API. A little known team called as SN Systems are also working on optimizing PlayStation platforms.

As revealed by Sony’s ICE Team Programmer Cort Stratton, the Razor Team [SN systems] is actually a part of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. So what does the team do? Quite a lot of things.  They are working on the PlayStation 4’s GPU performance analysis and debugging tool, and Razor, a CPU profiler for the PlayStation 4.

ps4 Razor

Razor Profiler showing which function is taking the most time and other parameters.

SN Sytem’s official website also reveals a few interesting details on what they are currently working on and how they are trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of the PlayStation platforms. Using the Razor Profiler’s Program Counter, developers can find out what functions are being called and executed the most. Termed as ‘hot’ functions, Razor allows developers to get a visual overview along with timings for each and every function that is being executed. This helps developers to find out which functions are taking too long execute which results into optimized coding and programming. In the end a few microseconds could be the difference between a game running at 30fps or 60fps.

ps4 dead stripping

The advantages of dead stripping and de-duplication in middleware demos and PlayStation 4 games.

Given that storage isn’t getting any cheaper, SN Systems further optimization works include dead stripping and de-duplication. The former is about removing unused code from the executable files since that particular portion is ‘dead’. Dead Stripping reduces executable size by around 5-10%. De-duplication further optimizes the executable file by removing duplicate copies of the code and read only data. In this way multiple references to the original are removed, resulting into a reduction in executable size of 1-2%.

It is indeed intriguing to know that Sony have been pushing to further optimize the PlayStation 4’s performance. Given that it has the best looking and performing multiplatform games till date, it will be interesting to see whether they can hit 60 frames per second more consistently with AAA games. Plus as they say, with time and dedication everything improves.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • d0x360

    Oh wow u expect fanboy knocks from comments but not right in the first sentence of the article. way to be objective. Amazing that you would believe the information coming out of any Sony department isn’t first vetted by PR. This is a massive corporation not an indie developer

    • Антон Иванов

      Nothing is objective, everything is subjective. Everything a human says is either his opinion or he refers to the facts. “Beyond: Two Souls is bad” – opinion. “The Earth goes around the Sun” – fact

    • d0x360

      Agreed. However a journalist should know better than to sprinkle jabs into editorial content. A good journalist anyways.

      This site used to be really good. They used to be unbiased and just care about gaming. Then one day they started getting traffic pushed from n4g and they started pandering to that sad audience of closed minded children. People who don’t form opinions they take the opinions of corporations and PR teams. People who don’t care about gaming they care about platforms.

    • Guest

      A hahaha paranoid fanboy. I love it, listen to you.

    • Not_true

      Sounds like reality to me. ms has been constantly hyping up “the infinite power of the cloud”, directx 12, the June 10% SDK, sending penello, nelson, etc. to run damage control on social media and forums, lengthy interviews on digital foundry, etc.

      What has sony been doing to hype up ps4 tech in comparison? Not much. Tweets from Naughty Dog or ICE team employees are not “first vetted by PR”.

  • JoeDaniel

    Wow, talk about bad English… “How Sony are pushing for 60fps”… not trying to be overly critical but it really makes you wonder about a site with no editor at all. All you’d have to do is read that aloud to know how bad that sounds… do you guys need a part time proofreader? I’d love to do it lol

    • Guest

      Shadup! Whack job!

  • CervantesPR

    Get this READY FOR UNcharted 4!

    • AndrewLB

      Have they even shown off actual gameplay yet? The trailer from E3 was clearly a pre-rendered cut-scene that was recorded “in-engine” on a PS4. For those who don’t understand what that means, just know that the game is NOT going to look like that while you’re controlling the character.


      The Last of Us:



      Uncharted 3:



    • John Cooper

      Uncharted 4 trailer was not pre-rendered. It was a cut scene running in engine in real time on PS4 hardware at 60fps. This was confirmed my Naughty Dog.

    • Not_true

      Pretty sure it’s pre-rendered in-engine. Don’t get your hopes up.

      ND didn’t confirm it outright.

    • Brian Murphy

      This is what I’ve got for proof, what have you got? Oh…nothing from Naughty Dog? Figures. Since you troll every Sony article across the web.

    • Not_true

      That doesn’t confirm it’s being rendered in realtime on a PS4.

      No troll, just realist.

    • slasaru

      It’s just like Sorcerer and Kara, no gameplay, that’s the secret

    • slasaru

      May be it was not prerendered but it was another useless for gaming art, like that Sorcerer demo

    • AndrewLB

      It’s pre-rendered in-engine bud. That clip was a 100% scripted cut-scene that used super high quality textures, lighting, shadows, filters, particles, volumetric effects, and more. I don’t doubt it was at some point “rendered” using the game’s engine because most modern games do the cut-scene rendering with the games engine, on a far more powerful developer system. The resulting video is now called “pre-rendered” and is ready to be added into the game at the point the developer chooses. The video from that trailer was made by recording this “pre-rendered” video clip while it was being played “in-engine” on a PS4 (or possibly a PS4 Dev Kit.

    • John Cooper

      lol fanboy is scared.

    • John Cooper
    • Not_true

      Of course Uncharted 4 gameplay won’t look as good as the cutscenes. That’s normal for modern games.

    • Brian Murphy
    • Not_true

      Even if the cutscenes are realtime, gameplay will use lower level of detail models when you’re not up close. This is normal in modern games.

    • Agent_Blade

      But you don’t know that because you have not seen or played actual gameplay.

    • Not_true

      Safe assumption since most modern 3D games use LoD scaling.

    • Vintersorg

      She says it’s not prerendered CGI, but she doesn’t say it’s real time either (which was specifically asked). I still think it’s scripted (ie: rendered in-engine but NOT in real-time). Real-time or not being the big difference.

      Trust me, i sure hope i’m wrong! And i ofc understand that UC4 will look AMAZING when it comes out. But i still think the trailer is scripted, and/or at least better looking than the final game will look running in real-time.

    • Jecht_Sin

      It isn’t pre-rendered CGI; it is running on a real PS4, in-engine. What else can it be if not real time? Even if it is pre-baked or scripted, as it mostly likely is being a cutscene, it is still rendered in real time in a single PS4. Unless Corrinne is cheating, sure.

    • Vintersorg

      You just said it yourself. “Prebaked” and “scripted” means it is not running in realtime. Running in realtime means the ps4 is rendering it on the fly. If it’s prebaked then it’s not taxing the system much. UC3’s fantastic cutscenes are not running in real time, same with The Last of Us. Hence why the cutscenes look better than in-game.

      Once again, i love ND and i love UC. And Corrinne is a master. But i still don’t think it is running in realtime.

    • Psionicinversion

      in engine means its using the engine to render the scene doesnt mean its real time though. Star Citizens commercials are rendered in engine but it isnt real time as its rendered out

    • AndrewLB

      You guys just don’t get it. She was asked if it’s pre-rendered CGI. She said NO, and that it didn’t look good enough to be CGI. What she dodged was the specific part of the question asking if it were “real-time” rendering. CGI implies that the video was created with an engine running on supercomputers like you’d find in Avatar, PIxar stuff, etc. We used to see these kind of cut-scenes years ago in PS1 and PS2 games, but at a graphic level appropriate to the time it was made and the funding behind the project.

      The cut-scene in the trailer was made using the games own engine as it’s platform using higher end textures, lighting, shadows, shaders, particles, and other effects. This scene rendered on a dev system, is then added to the game and “played” at a point where your progress triggers it. It’s just like playing a video even though it’s being played in-game. The recording for the trailer was taken from that according to her words.
      It is incredible what can be created using many game engines and pre-rendered scripted scenes.

    • bardock5151

      If it was real time Sony would be shouting from the rooftops, they aren’t stupid their PR department knows what to say and what not to say. In this case its all scripted and as stated in engine, that’s the trick they all use only when they slap a early alpha build gameplay or actual gameplay sticker on it can you believe them. The actual gameplay text and such is there because of the legal departments of each respective publisher, otherwise its known as false advertising and this little trick is a loophole for them. By the way Sony are not and never will be the only ones doing it, its a shady practice but obviously highly effective too.

    • Michael Norris

      You can expect the games to look like that in realtime.ND already said they are using the cutscene models.

    • AndrewLB

      Haha. Riiiiight. A PC with an i5-4670K @ 4.4ghz and a GTX 780ti pushing 5+ tflops would have a hard time rendering that trailer in real-time @ 1080p. How on earth do you expect a 1.84 tflop PS4 to do it? Does it use the magic of the cloud like the Xbone? Or does it have a hidden second GPU waiting to be activated? lol. Do you know how stupid that sounds?

    • HisDivineOrder

      You’re seriously doubting the team that first made the graphical showcase that was Uncharted way back when? Or the best looking game in the last gen, The Last of Us?

      I just don’t think I’d bet against Naughty Dog.

    • Not_true

      They did this with The Last of Us reveal trailer too. It said “The following footage is captured directly from a Playstation 3”. It was a pre-rendered in-engine cutscene, like all the Last of Us cutscenes.

      No doubt Uncharted 4 will look great on PS4, but the cutscenes are probably pre-rendered in-engine like all the uncharted games and TLOU.

  • supersungin
    • Антон Иванов

      Man, have you played Shovel Knight? It looks like crap. But it’s fun. Who cares what it looks like?

    • Porcu Peth

      so far only 3 PS4 games aren’t 1080p and they happen to be cross gen multiplats
      there isn’t a single 720p game on PS4

    • Kumomeme

      lol even wii u had 1080p…if you want to trolling…make sure information is right first

  • EmpeRawD

    Wow, kind of hard not think that almost every “gaming site” is not Pro Sony…especially with articles like these. Nice job Rashid, you’re totally not biased.

    I wonder how long before this comment is deleted?

    • Kumomeme

      did you understand the article’s first paragraph ?
      if you read through n4g…sure you will notice that xbox info regarding post way to frequently and many being posted by gaming site?

    • Georges

      The comment may make some sense if you tried to point out whats wrong in the article

  • Orange Lada

    My thought on this is the PS4 and XB1 should be left to fight it out, and real gamers will purchase a Wii U which actually has more AAA games.

    Backed up …

    • Guest

      Ahahahahaha, the Wii U, ahahahahahaha. I wouldnt even take one for free. That POS!

    • Orange Lada

      You’re right … you have to pay for them!

      Uhm noo .. they are not point of sales systems.

    • Dude. You have balls the size of watermelons. *slow claps*

    • Orange Lada

      Why thank you 🙂

      Helps when I’m right, too 🙂 Next year, I’d probably be looking at a PS4, but this year .. nah. X1? I’m not sure it will even survive, but we’ll see.

    • I got both an Xbox One and a Wii U. Wii U is seeing more action now, but that’s cuz Mario Kart 8 just came out. When Destiny, Halo MC Collection, and Dragon Age: Inquisition come out later this year, there isn’t even an option to play them on the Wii U:(

  • Georges

    Interesting article

  • Bliss Seeker

    Let the optimising begin!

  • Vintersorg

    You don’t seem to understand what he said. For example. Every cutscene in Uncharted 3 are rendered “in engine” but it IS pre-rendered. But it’s still (kind of..) in-game. Meaning they are rock solid locked at 30 fps, and kind of looks like the game does when playing it. But such cutscenes are always improved to look slightly (or quite alot) better.

    And to be honest, i haven’t seen ND say that the UC4 trailer was in-game and real-time.

    I’m the biggest UC fan there is, so i would sure love for it to be real-time! But i’m still sceptical.

  • Guest

    They already hit 1080p, if they manage to hit 60 fps, it will be game over for xbone.

    • Mark

      How? Forza 5 runs 1080/60.

    • Rooster41

      Breaking news alert ! The PS4 struggles to maintain 1080p 60fps just like the Xbox One

    • Not_true

      Exclusively console 1080p 60 FPS games on PS4: MGS V, CoD Ghosts, FFXIV, Tomb Raider, MLB The Show 14, Resogun, Trials Fusion, Diablo 3, Project Cars, Metro Redux, more.

  • PC Elitist

    Im so jelly of your peasant optimizations 🙁

    “few microseconds could be the difference between a game running at 30fps or 60fps.”

    That would be 16.6ms , its quite a few

  • Rubix99

    What about Integral Kinect?

  • slasaru

    My thoughts? So PS4 is not that powerful if they have to push 60fps?

  • Rooster41

    Gasp ! The PS4 struggles to maintain 1080p 60fps? Of course it does Sony knows it but the PlayStation fanboys don’t

  • AndrewLB

    I can’t wait to see your head explode when you finally realize how wrong you really are. Being a rabid fanboy is a lot like being in one of those toxic relationships where you’re completely blinded by love, thinking everything is great, while the b*tch is bang*ng someone else. So your friends step in and tell you what’s-what, but of course you don’t believe them and kick them out and tell them to never call you again. The rabid fanboy is just like the blind lover, and will continue to live in their ignorant reality until the day actual gameplay footage is released…. or you catch her cheating in person.

    I’ve been playing games enough years to understand your fanboy condition. I was just like you many years ago. About 15 years ago, I had a relationship just like the aformentioned one. With age comes wisdom due to experience, both successes and failures.

    When something looks too good to be true, like the Uncharted 4 trailer, it always is.

  • Guest

    LOLing hard that this budget hardware that S0NY paupRs still believe can do 1080p60 on every game already struggles HARD. Poor low IQ S0NY paupRs.

  • Guest

    Poor Sony paupRs. they all bought into a lie and there’s so many of them it’s hilarious. Truly the lowest IQ community out there.


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