PS4 Pro’s Color Compression Technology Is Definitely A Net Gain, Says Former Lionhead Developer

Greater than the sum of its parts.

Posted By | On 14th, Nov. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The PS4 Pro has a variety of new hardware and software tricks, all of which work to make the console punch above its weight, and deliver games that look substantially better than they do on the standard PS4 system. One of these tricks is delta color compression, which helps to maximize memory bandwidth during games development.

In a recent interview we had with Don Williamson, former developer at Fable development studio Lionhead, and currently the Owner and Consultant Engine Programmer at Celtoys, we decided to ask him about the delta color compression technology, and how it might impact the performance of games running on PS4 Pro.

“This is a very old compression technology made possible for runtime bandwidth compression through sheer horsepower available today,” he said. “It’s difficult to give exact numbers on how much better it is as it’s based on matching tiles to dictionaries of patterns that may not show up often in your game. Some games will get lucky and get a nice boost, others not so much. The increased throughput of GPU cores means this extra bandwidth can also eaten up pretty quickly. It’s definitely a net gain but one that feels an inevitable side-effect of the increasing power of GPUs.”

We also asked him about the other features that are making their way to the PS4 Pro from the AMD Roadmap, such as the ability to run two FP16 operations concurrently, and the integration of a work scheduler for increased efficiency. According to Williamson, these are fairly low level improvements that shouldn’t have much of an impact on the performance of games.

“These are just a bunch of low-level technical details that will allow us to squeeze more out of the hardware. Not too much; but enough to gain maybe half a millisecond here and there,” he said.

On the whole, then, it sounds like the cumulative impact of smaller improvements like these is what makes the PS4 Pro tick, and makes it a far more impressive console than you would expect it to be.

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  • Starman

    Former Lionhead Dev is salty MS let them go …lol FACTS.

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      Damn, did they? Not surprising considering what happened with Fable Legends. I was never the biggest Fable fan, only played the original, however, the series had its unique place among other Adventure/RPGs. Fable: Legends looked great on UE4 as well, I wasn’t a fan of its co-op design though. A shame Legends had to be cancelled.

    • Guest

      How is he being “salty”? Man, you MS fanboys are the worst, most insecure little pack of dbags, no wonder nobody likes you’s and instead buys PS4’s. Pathetic!

    • Hvd

      former for a trying to kiss as*…lmao

    • Guest

      Make sense, moron. You salty bots

  • kee1haul

    Of course there’s NO WAY Scorpio could do the same thing….

  • TPoppaPuff

    Of course, none of that explains why my copy of TLoU, Deus Ex and Skyrim run worse on Pro than base PS4. 😐

    • Mr Xrat

      Because the resolution is too high. Knock it down a bit and you’d guarantee it would run better.

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      Irony at its finest. Sure, some games will benefit from the extra power of the Pro as long as devs decide to update their games but when the majority of older games cannot even get an FPS boost or improved stability to run at their projected FPS i.e. 30 fps with that increased horsepower I cannot help see this as a huge missed opportunity by Sony.

      You also have to go out and buy an expensive 4K HDR T.V. (unless you’re fortunate to already own one) in order to reap 100% of the potential benefits the Pro offers. If you do not own a 4K HDR T.V., you’re going to have to spend anywhere between $1,000 – $1,500 for a good model on top of the $400 for the PS4 Pro = a minimum of $1,400 – $1,600, for what in the long run equates to marginal gains for some games, while hoping the upgrades in 1st party games are worth the expense you just paid.

      With this kind of money you could build yourself a really nice gaming PC and potentially have money left over for a new monitor. Which btw, you can get some excellent 1440p PC monitors for under $500. Hey, to each their own, however, IMO from the outside looking in, the price doesn’t justify results.

      P.S. – Another downside is the input lag a lot of the lower end 4k T.V.’s have i.e. 20-30+ ms is bad. Alleviated in some cases using the T.V.’s game mode, which can sometimes depending on the model restrict your customization options.

    • Guest

      4K tvs don’t cost $1000, you can get a Samsung 4K HDR 40″ KU6300 for under $400. And has 20.4ms on 4K HDR. Which contrary to what yu say, is great for a tv.

    • ShowanW

      you proved FalloutWanderer2077 point…

      Samsung 6-series 4K tv’s are garbage (7-series or better is what you want)

      and any 4K tv set under 50″ isn’t worth the cost.
      Unless your 2ft away from it.

    • Hvd

      vizio tv are better then those…lol

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      “and any 4K tv set under 50″ isn’t worth the cost.
      Unless your 2ft away from it.”
      Pretty much. You would have to sit about 3-4′ from a “40 4K screen to notice the extra detail.
      The human eye cannot discern the difference between 720p, 1080p, 1440p and 2160p (4K) depending on the viewing distance.
      Here are two excellent sites with charts –

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      As the old saying goes “You get what you pay for”. Trust me, I may not be into A/V scene like I once used to be back in the day, researching all of the latest and greatest home theater tech. but I do know for a fact that when it comes to electronics, that saying above has been proven to be 100% true from my personal experience.

      You have rare exceptions here and there, when you get a really good product for an excellent price. Over the years I’ve become more interested in PC technology and gaming, especially when I realized that I didn’t need to spend $1-2K in order to get an excellent all-around T.V. when I could spend a 1/3 of that and buy a PC monitor that gave me the same IQ for under $500 (Pixel density on a smaller monitor alone makes a huge difference).

      Taking into consideration the last T.V. I purchased was $2,200 back when Pioneer was the king of plasma with their Kuro line (Kuro means ‘black’ in Japanese. which if you didn’t know, black levels are one of the most important aspects to IQ).They don’t make em like that anymore unless you’re willing to go OLED, which atm is still outrageously priced IMO. There are some excellent screens out there, and prices have significantly dropped over the years but I cannot see how a $400 4K t.v. is going to actually offer quality. It sounds too good to be true.

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      For gaming, 20ms response time is horrible, let alone great. Taking PC monitors as an example, depending on model & make, you want no more than 8ms unless you want to experience ghosting. The phasing out of Plasma T.V.’s is a damn shame, considering they have the best response time only second to CRT monitors and T.V.’s, which ironically have the best response times. The LCD/LED 120hz/240hz etc. was nothing but market speech buzzwords and many lapped it up.

    • DMZ_P

      And some run so much better. Some devs just rushed Pro patches.

    • Guest

      Yup but these fanboys don’t wanna admit that.

    • Guest

      Because while the GPU is 2.3 times more powerful, 4K is 4 times the pixel. So the GPU is being pushed to far and it shows by cracking a few frames here and there. Plus the bandwidth wasnt increased that much over the base PS4 (176GB/218GB though the delta color compression helps), so in especially alpha heavy spots the bandwidth struggles.
      Also, it could just be programming, just the code needing some more optimization.
      And in Skyrim there are only a few spots where it runs worst according to DF.

    • Hvd

      in other words its not a 4k upscales and if you have a 1080p tv is super samples to a 1080p tv and its more taking on the gpu.

      pc gamerrs already have this isn dar(nvidia) and vsr(amd) we have had it for quite some time.

      when you super sample down it pushes the gou to much and its why the 1080p on the ps4 is having issues.

    • FalloutWanderer2077

      Down-sampling the “old-school” manual way in PC gaming has been around for years. Now, you have Nvidia’s DSR and AMD VSR which is a built-in feature to the control panel options for a more user friendly, quick access experience. I’m not familiar with AMD VSR but Nvidia’s DSR even has a sharpen & smoother slider option, the former gives a sharper image albeit with potentially more jaggies and the latter smooth option the opposite, less jaggies but a softer image. Yeah, downsampling as you’d expect puts a lot more load on the GPU depending on what resolution you’re DSing from, just like if you were to play at a higher resolution natively.

  • Mr Xrat


    – Xgimps

    • kee1haul

      Got a new ‘friend’ upvoting your comments?

    • Psionicinversion

      X1 S has DCC hohoho

    • Guest

      No it doesn’t. Stop spreading lies.

    • Hvd

      that all sony does…lol did you see their holiday tv add yet full of lies.

    • Psionicinversion

      Of course it does lmao. DCC been in AMD chips since the 290 dumb dumb. It’s not something Sony has put in it’s just there. Xbox one doesn’t the S does because it’s polaris. So maybe you should stop spreading lies

    • Psionicinversion

      Actually its been in since gcn1.2

      Go cry yourself to sleep

  • theduckofdeath


    AMD’s Color compression tech

    Thank you.

    • Guest

      Your point being? Its all AMD’s technology, PS4, X1/S, Wii U

  • Hvd

    he is former for a reason now he is trying to kiss sonys as*…lmao.

    • Guest

      Blah, blah, blah, nonsense! Just more typical garbage being spewed by your hating a$$


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