Sony Design Doc Reveals PlayStation 4 OS Uses 3.5GB of RAM

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 27th, 2013 at 12:25 pm,

PS4 OS RAM Allocation

Let’s talk specs. Over the course of the next few months gamers will be hearing a lot about system specs, as both Microsoft and Sony jockey for position in the next-gen console war. Whose CPU is better? Whose GPU is better? These are all questions that will presumably be answered in the coming months, albeit colored in favor of one device or the other.

To that point, we have a report from Digital Foundry that, if true, will put the PS4 on relatively equal footing with the Xbox One in terms of accessible RAM. According to the report, 3.5 GB of the PS4’s 8GB of RAM is reserved specifically for the OS, while the remaining 4.5GB is allocated for gaming.

Prior to DF‘s report, we had been hearing that the PS4 used about 512MB of RAM (note: the PS3 had a total of 512MB of RAM) for system software, but apparently that is not the case. The available RAM for developers doesn’t cap at 4.5GB, though, as a recent PS4 design document suggests developers might have access to an additional 1GB of RAM if the OS will allow it. This is highlighted in PS4 dev kits by two modes, one labeled “normal” and one labeled “large.” However, the large parameters are suggested, at least right now, for applications not games.

As most know, both the Xbox One and PS4 boast a very admirable 8GB of RAM, with the one difference being that the Sony‘s console features faster and more graphics friendly GDDR5 RAM while the Xbox One features the traditional DDR3. However, RAM types aside, this recent revelation might change gamers’ perception of the two consoles.

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The Xbox One, for example, is said to reserve about 3GB of RAM specifically for game developers, with the remaining 5GB or so allocated for streaming services, background downloads, multitasking, etc. Sony’s 3.5GB for the OS is presumably reserved for similar features, like game streaming and multitasking.

While comparisons of price and peripherals are all worthy topics regarding the Xbox One and PS4, how each consoles uses RAM will ultimately determine the potential quality of games. Sony allocating 3.5GB of RAM for the PS4’s OS isn’t anything to be concerned about at this point, though, as the console’s design likely hasn’t been finalized, and we’ve yet to get our hands on retail copies of the console.

Only then will we be able to determine how much of a difference there is between the Xbox One and PS4, and whether or not one or two extra gigabytes will put one console ahead of the other.

What do you make of the PS4’s OS requiring 3.5GB of RAM? Does this news impact your enthusiasm for the console?

The PS4 will be available this Holiday for $399.

Source: Digital Foundry

TAGS: PS4, Sony