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Old 11-04-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
inf64
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Default PS4: new kits shipping now, AMD A10 used as base

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Developers are currently taking receipt of a new PlayStation 4 dev kit, VG247 has been told today, with a final version slated to appear in January. Yes, it’ll have Blu-ray. No, it isn’t being made in Japan.

Multiple sources have confirmed to VG247 today that a new version of the Orbis kit is now shipping to developers, and that it’s housed in a normal PC case.
There are to be four versions of the dev kit, we were told. A previous version was essentially just a graphics card. The version shipping now is a “modified PC,” and the third version, appearing in January, will be close to final spec. A final version will be delivered to developers “next summer”.
Some US developers attended a “disclosure meeting” at Sony’s offices this week, with a further meeting to take place in the coming weeks. The purpose of the meeting is for Sony to tell studios what the machine is designed to do, to detail hardware and to show a set of presentations.
Our source told us that Sony is only calling the machine Orbis, and is not using the words “PlayStation 4″ in these meetings at all.
Orbis, we were told today, is based on the AMD’s A10 APU series. An APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) is a combined CPU and GPU.
PS4′s APU was described today as a “derivative” of existing A10 hardware. The hardware is “based on A10 system and base platform”.
The “ultimate goal” for the hardware, we were told, is for it to be able to run 1080p60 games in 3D with “no problem,” to create a machine that’s powerful enough for “today and tomorrow’s market”.
The dev kits have “either 8Gb or 16Gb of RAM. Deduce from that what you will.”
Read rest on the source page.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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Even with optimizations on a closed platform, a 7660d is extremely optimistic to reach 1080p @ 60 frames - is it not?

and with release sometime in 2014 or 15?

ouch.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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It's a custom chip,but based on A10. We have no idea how many SPs it has.
As for release date,maybe late 2013 at best.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #4
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Even with optimizations on a closed platform, a 7660d is extremely optimistic to reach 1080p @ 60 frames - is it not?

and with release sometime in 2014 or 15?

ouch.
It might feature a GPU as well.

It's also not bad. Considering how closely knit the developers are with the hardware it wouldn't be difficult to imagine decent frame rates at 1080p from a Trinity A10. Think about how crappy current console hardware is and how smoothly games run, some even at 1080p.
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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It might feature a GPU as well.

It's also not bad. Considering how closely knit the developers are with the hardware it wouldn't be difficult to imagine decent frame rates at 1080p from a Trinity A10. Think about how crappy current console hardware is and how smoothly games run, some even at 1080p.
Most games run at 640p and are upscaled. A few games run at 720p, and even fewer actually run at 1080p.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #6
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Most games run at 640p and are upscaled. A few games run at 720p, and even fewer actually run at 1080p.
True. PS3 Crysis 2 runs @ 1024x720, for instance.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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I think it's safe to assume that the development kits are shipping with A10 derivatives simply because it's the best APU tech that's currently available. Just as Apple's x86 dev boxes were Netburst Pentium based.

No doubt, with retail release as far off as it still is, Sony will be getting from AMD either the best then-available or initial production of soon-to-be-released APUs.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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I think it's safe to assume that the development kits are shipping with A10 derivatives simply because it's the best APU tech that's currently available. Just as Apple's x86 dev boxes were Netburst Pentium based.

No doubt, with retail release as far off as it still is, Sony will be getting from AMD either the best then-available or initial production of soon-to-be-released APUs.
Then why not simply ask the developers to go and get whatever recent x86 CPU and GFX card they like, if it's not going to match the actual PS4 hardware in the end anyway. Why bother sending them a special "PS4 development PC"?

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #9
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Then why not simply ask the developers to go and get whatever recent x86 CPU and GFX card they like, if it's not going to match the actual PS4 hardware in the end anyway. Why bother sending them a special "PS4 development PC"?
That what the original xbox basically was.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Then why not simply ask the developers to go and get whatever recent x86 CPU and GFX card they like, if it's not going to match the actual PS4 hardware in the end anyway. Why bother sending them a special "PS4 development PC"?
Thinking that while it may not be final silicon, the architecture is. That means devs can start handcrafting optimized code (asm, c ...whatever) relative to the platform and it will still be good when the final chip lands.. it will just be faster.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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Oh .. and if this is not 1st of April or somethin... I shall enjoy watching the hat-eating ... and we want pics.. you know who you are.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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-maybe to show the dev's the high tech. world of DX11.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:44 PM   #13
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Console definitely won't have 8GB RAM.
Surprised they're shipping a PC as that's not going to have anywhere near as much bandwidth for the GPU as a console [hopefully] would.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:21 PM   #14
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If you go by the same rumourmill crap and "insider sources" and "already shipped"
.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/di...go-devkit-leak

Then it seems Xbox720 will be Intel and nVidia.

But thats the problem in the first place, nonsense rumours. One would think people learned better by now, after having their fingers burned several times.

The xbox360 devkit had a x800 card btw. And the xbox was released with something between a x1800/x1900 GPU.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:39 PM   #15
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Console definitely won't have 8GB RAM.
Surprised they're shipping a PC as that's not going to have anywhere near as much bandwidth for the GPU as a console [hopefully] would.
I believe they ship with extra ram because they have to run the development software on it.

BTW can an x86 CPU be still be considered x86 if you rip out the x86 decoder?
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #16
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Precisely, this means more about general hardware than anything specific, AMD x86 and DX11-class graphics hardware. I'd be VERY surprised if there wasn't a discrete GPU included in the final hardware. It would be interesting to see if they stay with an APU and perhaps use crossfire or perhaps even a setup with one GPU used for GPGPU while the other handles standard GPU duties (or even shut one of the chips down during video playback/web browsing/*insert light usage mode here* to stay cool and quiet).
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:53 PM   #17
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The current xBox 360s use a PowerPC "APU" where the AMD GPU is on the same die as the CPU.

I'm hoping the final systems will both have at least 8GB of ram since its so cheap now.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #18
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The current xBox 360s use a PowerPC "APU" where the AMD GPU is on the same die as the CPU.

I'm hoping the final systems will both have at least 8GB of ram since its so cheap now.
8GB would be nice, but I think even 4GB would do the trick provided it's hellishly fast ram. A10 is incredibly sensitive to memory speed in desktop benches, with DDR3-2133 making a monster of an improvement over 1066 and 1333.

If they managed to get something north of 2133 on a double-wide bus it'd be pretty solid.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #19
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Well Sony did use XDR in the PS3, if they used XDR2 in the PS4 it would give insane performance. If they use XDR2 I would live with 4GB of ram.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:11 PM   #20
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The xbox360 devkit had a x800 card btw. And the xbox was released with something between a x1800/x1900 GPU.
It still means the architecture is roughly the same, though. They wouldn't send out dev kits for an AMD APU and then use an nVidia GPU + Intel chip.

We do know that AMD is being used for all 3 next gen consoles to supply GPUs, we just don't know what else if anything else.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:19 PM   #21
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The Xenos GPU in the xbox is based on R600, the first of the unified VLIW5 series. Nothing like X800/1800

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Old 11-04-2012, 06:26 PM   #22
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I believe they ship with extra ram because they have to run the development software on it.

BTW can an x86 CPU be still be considered x86 if you rip out the x86 decoder?
- Why would you rip out the decoder? Is there any good reason not to leverage the vast x86 optimizations that goes into todays x86/amd64 compilers?
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:31 PM   #23
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The Xenos GPU in the xbox is based on R600, the first of the unified VLIW5 series. Nothing like X800/1800
It had 240 shaders total, 3x what Brazos currently has and the same number as the A4-3400. An A10 is only 2x-3x the performance of an A4, so no way Sony would just use the A10 IGP. Still, I'd expect the A4 performance level will be occupied by Jaguar and its successors in the near future.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:37 PM   #24
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I wouldn't be that surprised if the PS4 and Xbox 3 end up with much RAM, the consoles simply aren't only "gaming consoles" anymore.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:15 PM   #25
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It would make sense to have Trinity the basis of current devkits, with Kaveri or an even more expanded SIMDed APU the basis for the actual PS4. If it is an APU only system with no dedicated GPU, AMD would surely modify the memory controllers for GDDR5 and either use very high speed GDDR5 (1200 MHz+) or perhaps have 3 or 4 memory controllers, depending on how comprehensive the graphics array is, or maybe eDRAM for the entire APU via an MCM?. Full Cape Verde performance is enough to match today's console graphics at 1080p and 60 FPS, with room left for some growth, but it wouldn't be competitive with the rumored Tahiti-level GPU in the Nextbox.

Yields could be a concern, even at 28nm for 2 Steamroller x86 modules @ 4.0 GHz + 640 or more GCN2 Processors @ 1 GHz, it would be a decent sized chip, over 250 mm² I bet, but the savings in mobo complexity and need for only a single type of memory would be worth it. I think the ideal PS4 APU would be (if feasible):

2 Steamroller modules
• ~3.0 GHz
• 256 bit FPU per core
960 GCN2 Radeon Cores
• 60 TMUs
• 24 ROPs
• 1 GHz
x3 GDDR5 memory controllers (192 bit) tied to 3 GB of GDDR5 memory @ 1200+ MHz

If this isn't feasible in terms of yields, then Trinity or Kaveri + a dedicated GPU like Tahiti would make more sense for the PS4, especially if Sony expects developers to make use of GPGPU processing on the APU for physics, animation, sound, etc. It would be best to keep those processes on their own die with actual graphics unaffected.
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