Hold On, The PS4 Might Need That Much RAM For The OS?
Remember, quite a while ago now actually, when it was revealed that 3GB of the Xbox One’s RAM would be needed to run the slick, multi-tasking OS? It was a day for the Sony fanboy, but it might be time for a little day in the sun for the opposing team. According to a new report, the PS4 might reserve even more RAM for its OS, meaning developers will only be able to utilise less than 70% of the total on offer.
Digital Foundry reports that the PS4 will require 3.5GB of RAM for the OS, leaving only 4.5GB for developers to toy with. After the article went live, an anonymous source clarified some of the statistics, claiming that the PS4 includes a “flexible memory” system that allows developers to reclaim about a gigabyte of that RAM from the OS based on availability, making it possible, in some cases, to reach a total of 5.5GB.
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However, internal Sony documents claim that 4.5GB is the “baseline amount of guaranteed memory available” for games, but that the additional 1GB of “flexible memory” can be used by devs to “boost elements of the game” as long as the memory isn’t needed by PlayStation 4’s OS. Which roughly translates to a rather sketchy situation which leaves us wondering just how much RAM developers will actually be able to utilise. Will they need to make some multi-tasking sacrifices to reach that 5.5GB. Who knows at this point?
PS4 dev kits currently have two RAM “modes”, namely normal and large usages. The normal usage mode makes the regular 4,5GB available, while the large mode boosts that values up to 5.2GB.
As a means to compare the two consoles, Digital Foundry also states that both Xbox One and PS4 “allocate two Jaguar CPU cores to the operating system, and what sounds like a disproportionately higher level of RAM than one might expect.” The Xbox One, as you already know, will reserve 3GB of RAM for its OS, with both consoles probably utilising these reserves for functions such as live-swapping, multi-tasking and more.
Now this could be a good time to talk about the differences between the two types of RAM that the Xbox One and PS4 use, namely DDR3 in the One and DDR5 in the PS4, but what this really boils down to is faster accessing speeds as opposed to more bandwidth. So really, it’s how developers utilise it, and how much is being invested into Cloud support.
What this does mean, if true, is that the Xbox One and PS4 are, again, looking extremely similar in terms of capabilities, hardware and features. Good or bad for us as consumers?
Not entirely sure on that just yet, but there’s one thing I do know; I’m going to be keeping an even closer eye on exclusives, now more than ever.