PS4’s Architecture & 8 GB GDDR5 RAM Makes Techniques That Were Doable In Science Fiction – Unity CEO

David Helgason talks about the next generation console landscape and where Unity will be.

Posted By | On 01st, Oct. 2013 Under News

ps4 amd
Much has been said about the PlayStation 4’s 8 GB GDDR5 RAM – how much of it can be used for games, if it truly makes the console next-gen, and more. Given how there will be plenty of games this coming generation to take advantage of Unity, we thought to get the opinion of Unity CEO’s David Helgason on the matter.

On whether the 8 GB GDDR5 RAM and unified architecture posed an advantage to developers using the Unity Engine to develop on PS4, Helgason replied, “Absolutely. This architecture simplifies development, and makes techniques that previously were in the realm of science fiction doable. We intend to make this extremely powerful and extremely easy to use, like everything else we do!”

That doesn’t mean that the company won’t be catering to the needs of Microsoft’s Xbox One as well. “Unity is a facilitator. We want to make tools that make it as easy as possible to put games and other products in front of as many eyeballs as possible. We will, of course, offer complete compatibility with any unique features that the various platforms from Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft.

“As you’re likely aware, Unity’s own philosophy is largely about inclusiveness. We’re doing what we can to get professional and powerful tools in the hands of as many developers as possible. We want every developer, whether they’re large publisher funded studios or one man teams, to have the same chance at success. SCE, and more recently Microsoft, have been moving towards a position of being much more open to smaller developers putting games on their systems and we’re very happy to see that shift. It’s something that we think is good for the industry as a whole and the gamers themselves.”

We’re less than two months away from the release of the PS4 and Xbox One but the competition just keeps heating up. What are your thoughts on Unity for both consoles and its use in next-generation development? Let us know below.

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  • JerkDaNERD7


    Why stoop this low to be so deceptive?!

  • spideynut71

    The title makes no sense…it’s not even a complete thought. If you can’t even come up with a title that accurately summarizes an article/interview, GTFO of journalism.

    • John Dow

      The X1 is going down hahahahah this article sums up what the ps3 can do.

    • BrianC6234

      I think you meant the PS4 but you’re right. And the Xbox 180 won’t even be close to the PS4. Not if developers actually push it. They better not take bribes from Microsoft to make mediocre PS4 games just so the Xbox 180 looks good. We all know which console is more powerful. The PS4 is up to 50% more powerful. The cloud is a joke too. Nothing but marketing mumbo jumbo from Microsoft.

    • hahawhat

      Get off the hype-train and stop milking. you won’t see any difference.

      It’s only something you want to believe because you have it in your mind PS4 is the special need, it isn’t… for a next gen both are purely disappointing

    • spideynut71

      The only thing “going down” is your mom….on about 20 guys every night.

  • Megaman


  • dave

    The PS4 offers excellent performance for it’s bargain $400 price tag, and that is part of the reason it will sell record breaking numbers, but saying it is offering sci-fi performance is over the top.

    • argo

      What he means by “within the realm of science fiction”, he’s not associating it to actual science fiction, it’s a turn of phrase. It’s as if you were to say “oh wow I can’t believe we can do this with our phones now, 10 years ago it would have been in the realm of science fiction”.

      Get it?

  • Snooche

    Garbage… Fix your title… It makes no sense.

    • John Dow

      Your Xboner is showing xD

    • Snooche

      Stop looking at my boners bro.. I know they are sexy…. The title makes no sense logically… How does ram make a technique… It’s just a thing…. Ram makes science fiction possible in reality…makes more sense… I hate xbox and m$.. I make have a ps4 woody though…

  • persona user

    PS2MASTER brought me here 😉

  • kazuyama

    I wonder how much Sony pays the devs for praising ancient GDDR5 memory in PS4? i wonder if we will see the same hype when GDDR6 come out. Or when Nvidia will release Volta with stacked DRAM memory offering a whooping 1TB/s bandwidth which will make PS4 memory bandwidth look like a product from the 90’s. No one cared by memory stuff. But since PS4 is around the corner, PS4 marketing team will make sure even a hobo knows about TEH GDDR5 POWAR!!xD man i remember the days of TEH CELL POWAH!! so fucking hilarious it’s pathetic. Cell CPU was pathetic. xD

    • Jonah

      The last of Us says hello.

    • AdachiTohru

      I would like to see TLOU running on 215 ram PC.

      Dumb elitist forget the huge advantage of having one single hardware to develop for. Optimisation does everything and the last of us is the proof of that. ( also the fact Crysis 3 cant run on PC with same specs than the current gen consoles )

    • Scott Gresham

      As neither of those memory types are available yet, does that not make GDDR5 the best out right now? Being that is so, they can tout it all they want, especially since it’s better for the GPU than is DDR3 the X1 is running.

      It’s stupid to sit and bash a technology because a better one is in the pipeline. Because, well, I think GDDR6 is garbage and utter crap because GDDR7 will leave one day it in the dust.

    • ThePokeMaster

      Why so insecure?
      It’s funny, cause you guys are always talking about the future. “When GDDR6 comes out” or “when Nvidia releases Volta” “when GDDR7 comes out”. Future technology that you yourself don’t have. No one does. Meaning GDDR5 at the moment is still the best.
      It’s all so redundant. Of course technology will continue to get better in the future. But leave it to PC fanboys to keep stating the obvious. Devs are talking about consoles. Not PC. So your comment is highly irrelevant.

      You go ahead and keep pretending every PC gamer has a high-end PC which will automatically upgrade itself upon the release of every new piece of hardware or that games won’t take a few years to fully use this tech since most multiplatform games are dependent of consoles anyway.

      Hell, I remember I had a PC with 8GB or RAM back when Skyrim came out, but the game didn’t use any more than 2gbs lol.

      But no ,you’re totally right, Sony is definitely paying third-party devs and indie devs to praise the PS4. PS4 definitely seems like a 90s product. And CELL was sooo pathetic, that the thought of the military and astrophysicists using PS3s as supercomputers would be ridiculous. Everything you say makes perfect sense.

    • BrianC6234

      Ancient GDDR5. You’re funny. Don’t cry though. You can always put on porn shows in front of your spy box. I’m sure the NSA will love to watch that.

    • TOM

      The only down side to the Cell was difficulty of development. Anyone who know what they’re talking about will tell you the CELL is an incredibly powerful piece of tech far from “pathetic”

  • Bozo Sapien

    It’s hilarious how everyone is so desperate that they take these type of developer comments and twist them in a pathetic attempt to further the myth that the PS4 is some sort of super computer and much more powerful than the Xbox One when all these guys are really saying is that it’s so much easier to code for than the PS3 was.

    • Mitchings

      x86-64 & GCN1.1+ Based APU w/ HSA-like & hUMA-like features (Unified Address Space etc.)

      AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-Core @ 1.60GHz (?)

      AMD Radeon Custom @ 800MHz Clock / 1.84TFlops
      18 Compute Units
      1152 Shaders
      32 ROPs
      72 Texture Units
      Fillrate: 25.6 GPixels/s & 57.6 GTexels/s
      8 Compute Queues / 8 ACES

      8GB GDDR5 @ 176GB/s
      Real World Performance: Approx. 170GB/s (Consistent)
      5500MHz Clock
      11ns Latency
      ‘HSA Link/s’: 20GB/s + 10GB/s

      x86-64 & GCN1.0+ Based APU w/ HSA-like features & UMA+Scratchpad

      AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-Core @ 1.75GHz

      AMD Radeon Custom @ 853 MHz Clock / 1.31TFlops
      12 Compute Units
      768 Shaders
      16 ROPs
      48 Texture Units
      Fillrate: 13.6 GPixels/s & 40.9 GTexels/s
      2 Compute Queues / 2 ACES (?)

      8GB DDR3 @ 68GB/s & 32MB 6T-eSRAM Scratchpad @ 218GB/s
      Real World Respective Performance: Approx. 60GB/s (Consistent) & 140GB/s (Highly Variable)
      2133MHz Clock (DDR3 Only)
      10ns-13ns Latency (?)
      ‘HSA Link’: 30GB/s

      (?) = PS4 CPU is presumed to be 1.6GHz, but Sony are yet to confirm it outright. Compute Queues on XB1 are yet to be confirmed but are very likely to be as listed here. XB1 will be using Micron DDR3-2133 (1066MHz Base Clock) 4Gb/512MB RAM Chips which have a standard latency of CL14 (13ns) but may be as low as CL11 (10ns).


      Here are PS4’s Advantages:
      Additional 50% Compute Units / Shaders
      Additional 88% Fillrate
      Additional 50% Texture Units
      Additional 350-700% (?) Granularity in Fine Grained Compute (GPGPU)
      Additional 40% Raw GPU Power
      Simpler RAM pool with consistently fast bandwidth.

      And XB1’s Advantages:
      150MHz CPU Clock Advantage
      Known Dedicated Co-Processors are somewhat more powerful/numerous and may ease the load on the rest of the system for specic tasks.

      The PS4 has a 40% lead in GPU power. Depite the 53MHz bump in GPU clock on the XB1; the PS4 is still at a considerable advantage due to the highly parralel environment of modern GPUs and the amount of compute units/shaders it has over the XB1.

      The PS4 also has double the Render Output Pipelines (32) vs the XB1 (16); this is of considerable note and means PS4 will be future proofed better to render more pixels to memory; and better equipped to make use of its additional shaders.

      The future of games development will focus more and more on shifting General Purpose code from the CPU to the GPU; this is called GPGPU and PS4 is again future proofed much better to take advantage of this.

      There is a myth of DDR3 always being better for latency than GDDR5 but this not true..

      In the case of the XB1’s DDR3-2133 & the PS4’s GDDR5-5500; the latency hardly differs to any notable degree and may even be a tiny bit better on the GDDR5. I’ll put the maths for this at the bottom of this post.

      It’s also worth noting that the AMD HSA-like configuration in both consoles will likely include a DRAM controller configuration which facilitates low latency access to the CPU and high bandwidth access to the GPU.

      The XB1 has ‘Data Move Engines’ (a new Microsoft branding for an older function); they take some of the load off the rest of the system. They are certainly a plus point for the XB1 in itself as they will help under specific circumstances but to consider them a genuine advantage over other systems would be generous when they’re effectively band-aids to catch up with system/s that remain relatively superior in their raw state.

      XB1’s RAM configuration is more complex to code for and get potential out of; though when taken advantage of it may be able to deliver more bandwidth for very specific types of operations. PS4’s RAM however is simple and easy to use; and with optimised code you’ll be able to get a consistently high speed for most operations. The PS4 also has a more capable GPU to saturate said bandwidth.

      PS4 is also confirmed to act as not only a Unified Memory Architecture but also as a Unified Address Space; this means the RAM doesn’t have to be virtually partitioned into a System / GPU split and subsequently need duplication of the same piece of data, pushing it back and forth for processing seperately by the CPU & GPU. Instead, a unique chunk of data can be addressed near-simultaneously by both the CPU & GPU with out need for duplication; this will introduce a considerable increase in efficiency. MS have not alluded to any similar functionality in the XB1 and it’s configuration makes me think it’s very unlikely.

      We’re unlikely to see big differences between both consoles in most multiplatform titles. Most likely we’ll see some small or moderate differences in Performance & Image Quality while Graphical Quality will effectively be the same. Multiplatform devs tend to develop to the lowest common denominator for the most part.

      I can see the second, third batches (and more..) of PS4 exclusives pulling away notably though; there’s just a lot more to work with.

      I think it would be rude to get at the engineers themselves who have worked hard on XB1 for years; they have simply done the best they can with the design and market goals that were given to them.

      Multimedia, Kinect & Games…this required 8GB RAM and the only way to absolutely guarantee that at the beginning of the process would have been DDR3; and that required embedded RAM to bring it up to speed; and 32MB of embedded RAM required about 1.5 Billion Transistors. This would have used lots of space on the SoC that could have been used for more GPU power. Add a ‘Kinect In The Box’ and they only had so much to work with.

      The fact however, is that Sony have outclassed MS. They’ve made a notably more powerful console that is simpler to develop for. It’s in a smaller, more iconic box with an internal psu and it’s a good bit cheaper.


      Regarding what each system reserves for Games and OS..

      The XB1 CPU has 6-Cores available to Games and 90% of the GPU available to Games.

      The PS4 yet to be confirmed regarding the GPU but we do know the CPU has at least 6-Cores available to Games.

      In terms of RAM; XB1 is confirmed to have a straight 5GB/3GB split for Games/OS.

      PS4 is yet to be officially confirmed but an educated guess based on various points of info would be something like this.. again this is just well informed speculation..

      5GB for Game (Free)
      512MB for Game (Facilitating Free-BSD Specific Features)
      512MB for Page File
      2GB for OS

      Latency Sums..

      Sony uses Hynix GDDR5-5500 RAM Modules with a latency of CL15 and a base clock of 1375MHz:

      1 / 1,375,000,000 = 0.000000000727
      0.727ns * 15 = 10.905ns Latency

      Xbox One uses Micron DDR3-2133 RAM Modules with a standard latency of CL14 (and a best-case latency of CL11) and a base clock of approx 1066MHz:

      1 / 1,066,000,000 = 0.000000000938
      0.938ns * 14 = 13.132ns Worst Case Latency
      0.938ns * 11 = 10.318ns Best Case Latency

    • Bozo Sapien

      Nice copy and paste from your post on the Playsation forums. Let me know when you get some actual sources.

    • John Dow

      You need to get your head out of your ass, we all know this info. The above poster stated all facts you need to get over it…..

    • Bozo Sapien

      Blind faith and anecdotal information does not constitute “fact.” Anyone can copy information from websites and press releases. Go talk to some actual developers.

    • Hahawhat

      See.. this is what I mean you have it in your head because it’s something YOU want.. something you want to believe. but man you will be disappointed to find out this hype-train you’re riding on at the moment will come to an ultimate end.

    • Junior

      That’s very to understand… If you google.. you are going to find the same info… 😉

      This one is more simple to you understand, perhaps…

    • Bozo Sapien

      Microsoft has never released any detailed information on the Xbox One GPU. In fact, just today we learned that more power has been opened up to developers. Digital Foundry (who are experts in the field of benchmarking) even say that previous comparisons are no longer valid and real testing will have to be done. Hopefully you won’t be too salty when the facts come out.

    • Hahawhat

      Haha nice posting something that’s not reliable. the only way to see is when both are side to side actually being tested.
      I hope you know just because it’s got an high “number” doesn’t make it the best. It’s still got flaws and PS4 will have A LOT of them.

    • AdachiTohru

      True, but you forget one thing : X1 has 10% of GPU dedicated to Kinect, so in the real world, that makes 1,18Tflops dedicated for games ( that could change in the futur )

    • Junior

      But it is… Dont forget… that PS3 was a pain in the ass to develop thanks to Cell system… Now the PS4 based on PC, and has 8GDDR5 unified memory that makes all developers to have wings… Like the Red Bull shit LoL

  • Virdin Barzey

    I have both console reserved because I always get them. If one sucks, like the Wii, I get rid of it by selling it. Enjoyed my 360 first since my PS3 was collecting dust until the games showed up much later. I’ve been enjoying my PS3 these last few years since we have finally gotten great exclusive.

    What I don’t get with gamers is all the Sony love and bias on these threads, articles and game sites. Its laughable. My goal as a consistent multiplatform gamer is to see both of these consoles do well, just like the PS3 and 360. Throw all the fanboy names you want but you homers aren’t real gamers picking sides.

    You don’t like the XB1, cool, its your choice but now you have to bash it. Really? You don’t like the PS4, cool, its your choice but I guess it makes you more manly bashing it. Yet none of you have even played a game on any of these machines.

    My concern with MS is based on what they did with the 360. Will we experience anything like the RROD? Highly unlikely considering the amount of money they loss but we never know. Kinect was not compelling enough for me to buy in so can they make it compelling enough now that its mandatory. They better though I haven’t seen much to make me think so. I’m open but it better be $100 worth it. MS seem to have next-gen hype game in Titanfall but we need to see much more exclusive like we did with the 360 in the beginning. That was sorely lacking at the backend where MS gave the 360 over to the 3rd party. Hey MS, you exclusives need to be the best games on your console. We should never have 3rd party games that look better and play better than Halo, Gears, Fable, etc. Lastly, MS tried to nickel and dime us to death with the 360. I personally think they will continue and that will not fly with me. We’ll see.

    My concern with Sony is based on what they did with the PS3. Let me be very clear, I’m still mad at the price I paid for a launch PS3 and had to wait what seemed like forever to get a quality exclusive..and it was not Movie Gear Solid. I’m concerned that for a company that has made the PS4 all about games, I don’t see much that excites me. Titanfall is the most exciting next-gen game and it just not me. That’s not good Sony. Killzone and Infamous has never been system sellers and I don’t see these new ones breaking that trend. They don’t plan to move on from the PS3 so how long will it take us to get great exclusive content. The PS3 was more powerful than the 360 but we barely even saw that. I’m tired of hearing DDR this and GDDR that, I want to see the difference in the games. So far, the best looking games graphically we’ve seen has been on the XBone. I don’t know what they will play like I want to seen the difference between these systems in the games.

  • X1ultimateGamer

    Geez here we go again more insecurity on Sony part having to talk so much about Ps4 LMFAO #Fail

  • LololOkay

    Microsoft is the only one who does PR talk? look at that.. I guess Sony does that too

    • AdachiTohru

      Sony=/= Unity ceo.

      Sony never talks about the power of PS4, they let dev do the work for them.

      Microsoft talks about X1 power every day trying to convince people its not so weak(even if we know there is real gap) because of their insecurity

      Difference between Sony and microsoft.


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