So, as you may or may not have heard recently, Sony’s Playstation 4 (PS4) is better than you and it damn well knows it. A commercial set to light televisions all across the U.K. boasts the daunting might of Sony’s frontrunner machine. The narrator firmly states the PS4 is “the worlds most powerful console.”

I found this to be an interesting claim and, instead of taking these words blindly as truth, I’d decided to dig a little deeper. I wanted to see if Sony was making valid declarations, or merely pushing a tag line built on a foundation of sand.

The Nuts and Bolts

The first place that I could think to begin my search for truth lay in comparing the technical specifications of each console. After all, what makes it tick and how well it ticks are fairly decent indicators of power. There are three main categories to look at when doing a specifications comparison of this nature.

First off we will take a look at the Central Processing Unit (CPU), or the brain of the console. According to ExtremeTech, we see the Xbox One sports an 8-core AMD processor that clocks at 1.75 GHz while the PS4 has a slightly less powerful 8-core AMD processor coming in at 1.6 GHz. After carefully contemplating the numbers, our scientists at Gamespresso have concluded that 1.75 is greater than 1.6. Since both CPUs have eight cores (basically saying both brains are made up of 8 little brains), the Xbox One is technically the winner in this category.

Moving now to the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) of each system. This system is what’s responsible for rendering and displaying the game on your screen. While other parts may deal more with how well the game plays, this is the one that has results you can physically see. ExtremeTech shows us that both the Xbox One and PS4 GPU systems are structurally similar, with the PS4 just being brutally more capable. The Xbox One GPU has a total of 768 shader processors while the PS4 dominates with a grand total of 1,152 shaders. It is worth noting the Xbox One GPU does clock above the PS4 GPU, with 853 MHz vs 800 MHz respectively. As if this amount wasn’t already negligible in favor of Xbox, the Xbox One has 10% of its GPU reserved exclusively for the Kinect. In sheer numbers, PS4 takes the cake on this one.

Now that we’re “technically” tied, lets look at the final category: Random-access Memory (RAM). RAM is temporary storage for computers. This influences how fast the console is able to access relevant data so that it can be used for various purposes throughout the life-cycle of your gaming session. Again, our ally in research, ExtremeTech has what we need. While both consoles tote an impressive 8 gigabytes of RAM, the PS4 beats out the Xbox by opting for 5500 MHz GDDR5 RAM as opposed to Xbox’s 2133 MHz DDR3. This gives the PS4 a major bandwidth advantage over Xbox with the PS4 clocking at “176GB/sec” and Xbox at “68.3GB/sec.” That’s a 256% boost PS4 has over Xbox! Now, as stated in a piece by techradar, the PS4 operating system only gives developers a guaranteed memory use of 4.5 GB with a “sometimes available” 1 GB, while Xbox One gives a guaranteed 5.0 GB of RAM. This does make the argument a little hazy but I don’t think a 0.5 GB advantage, with these bandwidth speeds, amounts to much in the end.

Based on this quick look of the hardware specs, Playstation takes the tie breaker point! So, Playstation, I must say,

The Reality vs Technicality

But what does it all mean? Does this actually make the Playstation 4 the end-all-be-all console for this generation? In my honest, Playstation loving, opinion: No. Of course not! The PS4 does technically have better hardware specifications than the Xbox One but that doesn’t amount to as much as you’d think in the long run. Take a look at this graphics comparison video for the PS4 vs the Xbox One:

To me, both sides look fantastic. Most times when I thought one side looked clearer or more crisp than the other, a few seconds later I’d find myself thinking the exact opposite.

What will truly make a difference is how well the developers can utilize the tools they are given. The ability that developers have to push the hardware to their limits to create tantalizing worlds or heart pounding thrillers is what will eventually show the true victor.

 

  • XbotMK1

    The CPUs inside the PS4 and Xbox One are horribly weak as stated by developers and just by looking at benchmarks or comparing specs. The 9% higher clock speed for the Xbox One doesn’t matter because the GPU is where all of the processing powr is. The GPU can replace CPU tasks and It doesn’t take very much of the GPU to make the CPU irrelevant. You didn’t mention ACE units. The more ACE units, the easier it is for the GPU to handle CPU tasks. This boosts frame rates much higher. The PS4 has 8 ACE units and the Xbox One only has 2. 3rd party developers haven’t really been taking advantage of this yet.

    The PS4 allows 5.5 gigs of RAM for games.

    Also, Microsoft upclocked their CPU and GPU at the last minute because they found out how strong the PS4 is and they knew the PS4 is stronger.

    Useless article.

    • I think it’s actually a well-researched and well thought out article “Xbot”. I’m interested to hear why you think it’s a useless article.

      • XbotMK1

        A useless article is an article that pretends to give all of the correct information but doesn’t actually give people all of the correct information or an article that baits people by questioning the authenticity of an AD but then authenticates the AD by stating missleading information.

        Articles that conclude the obvious to the general public are also considered by the general public to be useless.

        Sony stated that the PS4 is the most powerful console which is true, so why write an article about it when you know it is true? The second half of this article makes the article seem more like Xbox One damage control. Not actual facts.

        No dissrespect intended for the writer. I wish him the best.

        • I’m still just a little confused. You should definitely write an article when you know it’s true! You shouldn’t write an article you think is false or you are unsure about. Even if it may seem public knowledge, not everyone may know this. The general public does not see news as useless. They may see this as informational. The consoles don’t typically market their technical limitations, they market their games, features, etc…so I’m willing to bet the facts presented here are not common knowledge to the general public.

  • such.wow

    Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes video shows a huge advantage for the PS4 (720p vs 1080p and more/better effects), its not even close. 720p MGS GZ is almost last gen in resolution (PS3/360 are almost 720p, but only 30fps).

    • justerthought

      I agree. The 360 and PS3 were virtually identical in performance even though the hardware was very different. They both ran 720p 30fps with similar graphics, give or take slight differences is the amount of screen tear, contrast and texture sharpness etc.

      The difference between the XB1 and PS4 is huge even though both console use similar hardware. This is because there are slight hardware differences that have a big effect, so the XB1 is running 900p when PS4 is running 1080p, or 720p when PS4 is running 900p. They are like half a generation apart with PS4 the clear winner.

      • Coody

        Nope, I’m sorry but a part of your comment isn’t true. Yes the PS3 and Xbox 360 had completely different architecture, the gap between the PS3s power and the 360s power was wider than the difference this time around.

        PS3 was much more powerful but because most games were obviously multiplatform, us PS3 owners (at first but it changed eventually) got the worst quality port of these games that were on both systems. As you probably know, the PS3 cell processor was very tough to develop games for at first and although the 360 was much less powerful, it had the better quality, higher performance ports as its hardware was more in line with PC architecture.

        BUT………..we saw the potential and TRUE power and performance of the PS3 compared to Xbox 360 in the first party Sony exclusive games. It started with Uncharted 2 really. Naughty Dog were the first to really get to grips with the tricky CELL and PS3s exclusives from that time just got better and better and better and better to such an extent that The Last Of Us, is STILL to this day as good and better looking than the majority of PS4 and Xbox One games.

        So overall, the PS3 was the far better machine, hardware performnce and power ‘wise’ but again, overall the 360 had the better looking games seeing how 3rd party multi platform games make up the vast majority of games.

        But PS3s exclusives compared to 360s exclusives? It’s night and day. Little and large. Chalk and cheese. There’s just no contest.

  • HideosGoD

    When I had a PS4, people thought I was a pony to the point I believed it…but now that I have a XBONE my bullies dissipated and no longer harass me cause I basically suck now 🙂

  • KefkaPelazzo

    Author obviously doesn’t understand much about technology. In the 1990s, for example, it wasn’t uncommon for a 1.25 Ghz PPC G4 to blow the doors off of 1.5 or even 2 ghz intel chips. Not all processor cycles are equal. Looking at processor cycle speed to determine how fast a computer is, is like looking at somebody blood pressure to determine how fast they can run. Another example is a modern i7 clocked at 2.5Ghz vs a Celeron at 2.5Ghz. Both are made by intel, so they must be the same exact same things, right?

    • justerthought

      What you don’t understand is we are talking about game consoles not PC’s. Go back to sleep.

      • KefkaPelazzo

        I’m guessing you don’t understand much of the world around you.

        An internal combustion engine remains an internal combustion engine whether it powers a lawnmower or a Ferrari. Much like a central processing unit remains a central processing unit whether it is in a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a console.

        It isn’t so much that I need to go back to sleep, but rather that you need to wake up.

  • justerthought

    Ofcourse the PS4 is the most powerful console in the world. Every console generation is more powerful than the one before, and PS4 is clearly the most powerful console of the current generation, so the claim is true.

    Anyone with a bit of technical knowledge will already know that. The actual advert is aimed at those that are not tech savvy in order to let them know how special the PS4 is as a game console. Nobody is suggesting it is the most powerful gaming hardware on the planet because cutting edge high end gaming PC’s have that honour and always will do so, if you can stump up the higher price and keep paying it every year to upgrade and stay ahead.

    We are talking games consoles. It’s a great time to be a console gamer right now with the PS4. It cures a lot of the problem we have had with previous consoles and provides a superior gaming experience as long, as the developers don’t get too competitive and push he thing beyond its limits trying to impress for sales. Everything has limits. It’s right to optimise it to the max as time goes on, but if they overstretch we will get bust games with screen tear.

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