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    PS4 Specs for Dummies.

    Ok so I know there has been many discuss the specs about the PS4. I know many are excited for the specs on the PS4. I know very basic about component jargon but not much to amount to anything. So what I need is the more tech savvy to come in here and clear up things for us illiterate to the these type of things. I will keep this thread interesting by adding quotes from the members on here who know their stuff. So here are some break downs of stuff that I would like to know. If you have any suggestions that you would like members to answer let me know and I will update your question.

    Here are the specs that we have.

    Main Processor
    Single-chip custom processor
    CPU : x86-64 AMD “Jaguar”, 8 cores
    GPU : 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD next-generation Radeon™ based
    graphics engine

    Memory
    GDDR5 8GB

    Hard Disk Drive
    Built-in

    Optical Drive
    (read only)
    BD 6xCAV
    DVD 8xCAV
    I/O
    Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0) 、AUX

    Communication
    Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)
    IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
    Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)

    AV output
    HDMI
    Analog-AV out
    Digital Output (optical)

    Ok so we have 8gb of ram. That's pretty good for today's standards but what is all this talk of Unified and GDDR5 vs standard GDDR3 type ram?

    Shepard-DDR5 is faster than DDR3, thats its simplest terms. It increases transfer rates.Unified means they combine DRAM with Flash memory in one location. Also, speedy.
    Vulgotha-Something to keep in mind, its GDDR5 and not DDR5.

    GDDR5 is high bandwidth - high latency. Not so great for CPU's, but I imagine the Jaguars have beefed up cache to compensate. The GDDR category of memory works best with graphics cards.
    Mikael-Shepard had a slight error regarding what unified memory means (see below).

    Like previously stated, GDDR5 is significantly faster than DDR3/GDDR3. GDDR5 is usually used for PC graphics cards, while DDR3 is used for CPUs. In the PS4's case, the memory is unified, which means that all 8GB memory is available to both the CPU and the GPU. The main reason for going with this kind of setup is likely flexibility (the memory can be partitioned differently between CPU and GPU depending on requirements) and the possibility of easily sharing data between the CPU and the GPU.
    Coconut Crunch-Unified RAM is a pool of ram that can be used and split however they like. Unified RAM isn't just 1 type of ram or 2 types of ram in a single pool, unified can be both. 8GB GDDR5 in the PS4 is unified because it's not split. In that article, that can be considered unified because it's sharing the same pool. Unified isn't used in Desktop PC's but more like tablets, consoles, etc etc. The Xbox360 I believe the RAM was Unified, but the PS3 wasn't.



    We have an 8 Core Jaguar Processor from AMD. What does this mean from the information that we have available to us?

    Shepard-If we are infact getting an 8 core AMD APU. That means they are combining the CPU with the GPU. Less space required, less power consumption. And 8 core indicates it calculates more data quicker
    Mikael-The Jaguar CPU core is a low power CPU from AMD that is yet to be released. It will be used in low power PCs and tablets, as well as the PS4. Given what AMD has said about it so far, performance for each core is not comparable to AMD's or Intel's current quadcore desktop CPUs. The main reason for choosing this CPU was probably to keep cost and power consumption down (each Jaguar CPU core is much smaller and lower power than AMD's or Intel's higher performance cores). Developers will have to create highly multithreaded applications to take full advantage of the hardware.
    What the heck is all this talk about Teraflops?!

    Shepard-Flops stands for floating-point operations /second. Tera just multiplies that by a trillion. These are used for math calculations.


    What advantage does USB 3.0 have over 2.0 for the PS4?

    Shepard-usb3 faster transfer rates than usb2


    What do all of these specs come together to create for the system as a whole. How does each coincide with each other?

    Shepard-Basically sony has chosen faster components that require less power and space requirements.


    What does all this information mean for developing games for PS4?

    Shepard-Devs have freedom, at least for a little while. With x86 chipset being the standard on the ps4 there will not really be a learning curve for dev teams. IF they've made a game on an xbox or a pc, they know how to program for the ps4. No need to learn new tech separate from everyone else, ie. cell processor.
    Mikael-The PS4 has a lot of memory compared to its predecessor, which is a welcome change. The much more traditional architecture will also be welcomed by developers. The PS4 looks much more like a PC and sharing CPU and GPU architecture (to a large extent) with PCs will allow developers to use decades of knowledge and hopefully cut down on development cost/time.
    Posted by Ixion
    We know the PS4 will be easier to develop for, but roughly how much more powerful is it than the PS3, when taking everything into account? And how does this jump compare to previous generational jumps?

    Shepard-Well the PS4 is LEAPS and BOUNDS above the PS3 in terms of hardware. Everything is faster and more efficient. Are we going to see an evolutionary jump in gfx like seen in past gens? Not likely. There is really nowhere to go with resolution/video displays these days once 1080p was achieved. Sure there will always be higher pixel density down the road, but the picture will just be more crisp. Game graphics are already semi realistic, so the best we can hope for this gen is higher polygon counts, higher particle counts and higher frame counts so things look even more real while staying smooth. Over coming texture pop ins will be good too.

    But outside of that there is not really much more of a leap I can see until someoneinnovates something out of this world. 3d was tried and is failing. Whats next? Virtual reality?
    Lefien-The PS4 should be able to remain relevant throughout this generation unlike the PS3. People tend to forget that DX10 GPUs came out literally as PS3 was put on the shelf. Both PS3 and 360s had DX9 era technology. As a result, the consoles held back PC game development and PC game development, to some degree, held back all game development just because the money wasn't there to really push technology from a publisher/developer standpoint.

    Now, with PS4, the tide has changed drastically. DX12 is a ways off and there are enough resources in the machine to be able to hang with decent gaming rigs for the time being. I won't lie to you and say this is a machine capable of Crysis 3 on max settings, however, you need to take a step back and think about the real ramifications of that very statement. How many developers have actually pushed their games (and budgets) to equal a game like Crysis in any way shape or form? The answer is only a hand full and you can't architect a system to cater to a hand full of games from the get-go. It would be an expensive and unbalanced approach.
    Monkey Claw-I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but I put this together in Google Drive to get an idea of the difference between the two:

    Click this bar to view the full image.

    Posted by Mooninites
    I hear a lot about how the graphics are going to be great and everything else graphics. Is there anything else we can expect from these types of specs other than graphics and how smooth it'll be.? Ie: Bigger worlds, livelier environments smarter AI... Or does that solely fall upon the dev and disc space?

    Ixion-If anything, more RAM will be better for those aspects rather than pure graphical detail, from what I understand. Polygon count is dependent on the GPU, unless I'm mistaken.
    Shepard-There is a working balance across PC hardware. RAM assists in quick access of desired data in no particular order of retrieval. CPU works to process that data as fast as it can. More RAM you have, the more data can be stored for quick access. More CPU you have, the faster you can call out that data and run calculations on it.

    When it comes to graphics, you are looking at your gfx card for pretty much everything. Whether it be draw distance or densely populated AI environments. The generation of those is coming from your video card.

    Posted by Two4DaMoney-Tech heads, is GDDR5 the next gen's cell? Some member seems to think it is. I'm sure it's way out of bounds.

    Nitey-I think because a lot of developers have really come out and backed Sony on it's architecture and picking 8gb gddr5 the other side of the fence believe it's just a fad and is being overhyped as something that promises big but won't deliver in a gaming sense. Something that people believe Cell was guilty of
    Mikael-GDDR5 is just reasonably cheap and fast memory. It's nothing new, since graphics cards have used it for years. It's a first for consoles, though. The point of having high-bandwidth memory like this is mainly to keep the GPU fed with data. GDDR5 in itself probably has little to no benefit for the CPU (DDR3 would likely be sufficient), but having it shared with the GPU could prove beneficial.

    So, the memory in itself is just an enabler. Without fast hardware at the other end (i.e. CPU/GPU) it's not going to do any good.
    Jlippone-Not really.Cell was powerful, but needed a lot of attention and work to get decent results.A lot of GDDR5 enables coders to get results easier as they do not need to shuffle data around as much.
    Posted by Ixion-So from what I understand, the PS3 actually had a higher peak performance than the PS4 in terms of FLOPS. Is that true?

    PBM-No, it doesn't. The original FLOPS claim by Sony for the PS3 was largely inflated.
    MonkeyClaw-Yep, I think it real world performance the PS3 produced about 300-400 GigaFLOPS, I don't know the exact number though.
    Cyn-The CELL has a higher peak performance than this CPU from AMD, but not the system as a whole no. CELL really is a great bit of engineering, it was just too complicated and I suppose they couldn't make it more user friendly, or else I'm sure it would be back for PS4. The PS3 could have been so much more if the CELL wasn't relegated to babysitting the RSX 90% of the time.

    The more you look at the PS4 specs and think about what Mark Cerny said, it's apparent that the CPU will probably be nothing more than the doorman and the Radeon chip will be everything, including handling usual CPU tasks.
    Jabjabs-Yeah Cell has twice the single precision floating point performance but this is a single metric to compare the performance of the CPU on. Cell can still out do the best x86 chips in certain situations, but these are rare and shrinking every day.

    Jaguar is much more suitable for it's situation, now that the CPU isn't hand holding the GPU it doesn't need so much floating point performance and as such is a much more balanced and reasonable CPU as a whole.
    As I said if you have question don't hesitate to post it and I'll add it to the OP. I want to help clear up the confusion for all of our member here in one place. This is the place to show off your knowledge but also be able to explain that to those practically ignorant to all the dirt behind spec.
    Last edited by PS4freak; 02-26-2013 at 22:20.




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    This is a great idea for a thread. Looking forward to learning a little something about this.

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    Ok so we have 8gb of ram. That's pretty good for today's standards but what is all this talk of Unified and GDDR5 vs standard GDDR3 type ram?
    DDR5 is faster than DDR3, thats its simplest terms. It increases transfer rates.
    Unified means they combine DRAM with Flash memory in one location. Also, speedy.

    We have an 8 Core Jaguar Processor from AMD. What does this mean from the information that we have available to us?
    If we are infact getting an 8 core AMD APU. That means they are combining the CPU with the GPU. Less space required, less power consumption. And 8 core indicates it calculates more data quicker.

    What the heck is all this talk about Teraflops?!
    Flops stands for floating-point operations /second. Tera just multiplies that by a trillion. These are used for math calculations.

    What advantage does USB 3.0 have over 2.0 for the PS4?
    usb3 faster transfer rates than usb2

    What do all of these specs come together to create for the system as a whole. How does each coincide with each other?
    Basically sony has chosen faster components that require less power and space requirements.

    What does all this information mean for developing games for PS4?
    Devs have freedom, at least for a little while. With x86 chipset being the standard on the ps4 there will not really be a learning curve for dev teams. IF they've made a game on an xbox or a pc, they know how to program for the ps4. No need to learn new tech separate from everyone else, ie. cell processor.
    Last edited by shepard; 02-22-2013 at 05:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kakihara_Anjo View Post
    This is a great idea for a thread. Looking forward to learning a little something about this.
    Thanks man. I've noticed many members saying the same thing as me so I wanted to try to help everyone get informed. Post questions if you like. All are welcome!




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    Thanks shepard that is great info right there.

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    Thanks Shepard. This is open to everyone. I will post all members quotes that help.




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    i hope they have at least a 500 gig hard drive to 1 tb

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    Yeah I'd like to see a 1TB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmerich View Post
    Yeah I'd like to see a 1TB.
    I don't care what it is, as long as it's user replaceable again.



    @ ps3:: Nice thread!
    "The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”

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    There bound to go with a similar layout for the HDD so it's easy to replace, I want to put a 2TB in my launch ps4
    Last edited by manutdfan; 02-22-2013 at 10:25.
    20...

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy View Post
    i hope they have at least a 500 gig hard drive to 1 tb
    If this were the case, then it sure as hell won't be a solid state drive. Not sure how much solid state drives are in the states, but in canada I'm seeing anywhere from $400-600 for a 500gb ss drive. As much as I'd like to believe Sony will come out the gates selling at a loss....that would be too great a loss. Not to mention the crazy prices users would need to spend to upgrade.

    With a conventional HDD the 500gb to 1tb range is far more cost effective, but then you are running into issues with HDD longevity over time. Friction and heat become a factor the more the drive is accessed, and if we're dealing with a system in an always on state with background activity. Then any background activity accessing that HDD will slowly shorten it's lifespan.

    However with all that said. If Sony really played its cards right. It may give a solid state and conventional drive. SS drive for Firmware, System updates, User info and Saves. Then a regular HDD for game data.

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    We know the PS4 will be easier to develop for, but roughly how much more powerful is it than the PS3, when taking everything into account? And how does this jump compare to previous generational jumps?

    I know it won't be as large, but I'm just curious.

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    Well the PS4 is LEAPS and BOUNDS above the PS3 in terms of hardware. Everything is faster and more efficient. Are we going to see an evolutionary jump in gfx like seen in past gens? Not likely. There is really nowhere to go with resolution/video displays these days once 1080p was achieved. Sure there will always be higher pixel density down the road, but the picture will just be more crisp. Game graphics are already semi realistic, so the best we can hope for this gen is higher polygon counts, higher particle counts and higher frame counts so things look even more real while staying smooth. Over coming texture pop ins will be good too.

    But outside of that there is not really much more of a leap I can see until someone innovates something out of this world. 3d was tried and is failing. Whats next? Virtual reality?
    Last edited by shepard; 02-22-2013 at 18:41.

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    Good thread! Keep it updated with the latest info and this will be full of win!

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    Good thread idea, I do get confused with some of the information after a while




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    The PS4 should be able to remain relevant throughout this generation unlike the PS3. People tend to forget that DX10 GPUs came out literally as PS3 was put on the shelf. Both PS3 and 360s had DX9 era technology. As a result, the consoles held back PC game development and PC game development, to some degree, held back all game development just because the money wasn't there to really push technology from a publisher/developer standpoint.

    Now, with PS4, the tide has changed drastically. DX12 is a ways off and there are enough resources in the machine to be able to hang with decent gaming rigs for the time being. I won't lie to you and say this is a machine capable of Crysis 3 on max settings, however, you need to take a step back and think about the real ramifications of that very statement. How many developers have actually pushed their games (and budgets) to equal a game like Crysis in any way shape or form? The answer is only a hand full and you can't architect a system to cater to a hand full of games from the get-go. It would be an expensive and unbalanced approach.

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    I know this is comparing apples to oranges, but I put this together in Google Drive to get an idea of the difference between the two:


    -=[ PSN ID: Tha_MonkeyClaw ]=-

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    Lets remember though that this APU they are using is customized as well. This APU is beefed up so the specs wont be the same as a PC version or even a pad version. For example, I seen people in here stating the jaguar is 1.6Ghz for what the rumors were saying. That is obviously not the case considering pretty much all of AMD's APU's are well above that speed anyway.
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    Something to keep in mind, its GDDR5 and not DDR5.

    GDDR5 is high bandwidth - high latency. Not so great for CPU's, but I imagine the Jaguars have beefed up cache to compensate. The GDDR category of memory works best with graphics cards.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgotha View Post
    Something to keep in mind, its GDDR5 and not DDR5.

    GDDR5 is high bandwidth - high latency. Not so great for CPU's, but I imagine the Jaguars have beefed up cache to compensate. The GDDR category of memory works best with graphics cards.
    That's true but the latency in DDR3, 4, or even GDDR5 is mainly for video editing or other such software. It really doesn't have anything to do while a person is playing a game. While gaming, it's more like this Speed > latency. For video Editing and other such projects you would want less latency > Speed. However, it's good to have a medium at least, but since this is a gaming machine, You wont notice that specific latency. I am sure the dev kits have a lower latency in their ram special for what they do.

    For reading and writing in GDDR5 there isn't much latency, so which part are you talking about. Are you talking about something like CAS latency? because DDR3 and DDR4 will have CAS latency, but in that specific type of RAM if you have more speed you have more latency. lets say you have DDR3 2400, with a CAS latency of 10 or 11, it wont actually effect gaming.
    Last edited by Coconut_Crunch; 02-22-2013 at 16:40.
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    Okay, I'll give this a try:

    Ok so we have 8gb of ram. That's pretty good for today's standards but what is all this talk of Unified and GDDR5 vs standard GDDR3 type ram?

    Shepard had a slight error regarding what unified memory means (see below).

    Like previously stated, GDDR5 is significantly faster than DDR3/GDDR3. GDDR5 is usually used for PC graphics cards, while DDR3 is used for CPUs. In the PS4's case, the memory is unified, which means that all 8GB memory is available to both the CPU and the GPU. The main reason for going with this kind of setup is likely flexibility (the memory can be partitioned differently between CPU and GPU depending on requirements) and the possibility of easily sharing data between the CPU and the GPU.

    We have an 8 Core Jaguar Processor from AMD. What does this mean from the information that we have available to us?

    The Jaguar CPU core is a low power CPU from AMD that is yet to be released. It will be used in low power PCs and tablets, as well as the PS4. Given what AMD has said about it so far, performance for each core is not comparable to AMD's or Intel's current quadcore desktop CPUs. The main reason for choosing this CPU was probably to keep cost and power consumption down (each Jaguar CPU core is much smaller and lower power than AMD's or Intel's higher performance cores). Developers will have to create highly multithreaded applications to take full advantage of the hardware.

    What does all this information mean for developing games for PS4?


    The PS4 has a lot of memory compared to its predecessor, which is a welcome change. The much more traditional architecture will also be welcomed by developers. The PS4 looks much more like a PC and sharing CPU and GPU architecture (to a large extent) with PCs will allow developers to use decades of knowledge and hopefully cut down on development cost/time.

    @MonkeyClaw: Die size is measured in square millimeters. What you're quoting is transistor size. Also, the transistor size of RSX began at 90nm and was later shrunk in different versions of the PS3, which reduced cost and power consumption. I believe the RSX's original die size was 240mm^2, while a HD 7850 is 212mm^2. The reason for the HD 7850 die actually having a smaller area than the RSX, despite having 2.8 billion transistors, is that it's made with much smaller transistors (28nm compared to 90nm).

    Sorry, a bit technical at the end...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikael View Post
    Okay, I'll give this a try:

    Ok so we have 8gb of ram. That's pretty good for today's standards but what is all this talk of Unified and GDDR5 vs standard GDDR3 type ram?

    Shepard had a slight error regarding what unified memory means (see below).

    Like previously stated, GDDR5 is significantly faster than DDR3/GDDR3. GDDR5 is usually used for PC graphics cards, while DDR3 is used for CPUs. In the PS4's case, the memory is unified, which means that all 8GB memory is available to both the CPU and the GPU. The main reason for going with this kind of setup is likely flexibility (the memory can be partitioned differently between CPU and GPU depending on requirements) and the possibility of easily sharing data between the CPU and the GPU.

    We have an 8 Core Jaguar Processor from AMD. What does this mean from the information that we have available to us?

    The Jaguar CPU core is a low power CPU from AMD that is yet to be released. It will be used in low power PCs and tablets, as well as the PS4. Given what AMD has said about it so far, performance for each core is not comparable to AMD's or Intel's current quadcore desktop CPUs. The main reason for choosing this CPU was probably to keep cost and power consumption down (each Jaguar CPU core is much smaller and lower power than AMD's or Intel's higher performance cores). Developers will have to create highly multithreaded applications to take full advantage of the hardware.

    What does all this information mean for developing games for PS4?


    The PS4 has a lot of memory compared to its predecessor, which is a welcome change. The much more traditional architecture will also be welcomed by developers. The PS4 looks much more like a PC and sharing CPU and GPU architecture (to a large extent) with PCs will allow developers to use decades of knowledge and hopefully cut down on development cost/time.

    @MonkeyClaw: Die size is measured in square millimeters. What you're quoting is transistor size. Also, the transistor size of RSX began at 90nm and was later shrunk in different versions of the PS3, which reduced cost and power consumption. I believe the RSX's original die size was 240mm^2, while a HD 7850 is 212mm^2. The reason for the HD 7850 die actually having a smaller area than the RSX, despite having 2.8 billion transistors, is that it's made with much smaller transistors (28nm compared to 90nm).

    Sorry, a bit technical at the end...
    No problem, and thanks for the info! I put this together real quick and didn't notice my typo!

    -=[ PSN ID: Tha_MonkeyClaw ]=-

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    I didn't have an error, I just didn't include the fact that its shared between the cpu and gpu. My statement of what URAM is, is still accurate.

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    You should see them talking about GDDR5 over at Neogaf, it's $#@!in painful to read. HAHAHA!

    What is this latency everyone is talking about because GDDR5 is really fast in terms of communication between the GPU and CPU. Are people talking about CAS Latency?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coconut_Crunch View Post
    That's true but the latency in DDR3, 4, or even GDDR5 is mainly for video editing or other such software. It really doesn't have anything to do while a person is playing a game. While gaming, it's more like this Speed > latency. For video Editing and other such projects you would want less latency > Speed. However, it's good to have a medium at least, but since this is a gaming machine, You wont notice that specific latency. I am sure the dev kits have a lower latency in their ram special for what they do.

    For reading and writing in GDDR5 there isn't much latency, so which part are you talking about. Are you talking about something like CAS latency? because DDR3 and DDR4 will have CAS latency, but in that specific type of RAM if you have more speed you have more latency. lets say you have DDR3 2400, with a CAS latency of 10 or 11, it wont actually effect gaming.

    I'll quote a technical blurb on the matter to avoid any mistakes on my part:

    The principle differences are:
    •DDR3 runs at a higher voltage that GDDR5 (typically 1.25-1.65V versus ~1V)
    •DDR3 uses a 64-bit memory controller per channel ( so, 128-bit bus for dual channel, 256-bit for quad channel), whereas GDDR5 is paired with controllers of a nominal 32-bit (16 bit each for input and output), but whereas the CPU's memory contoller is 64-bit per channel, a GPU can utilise any number of 32-bit I/O's (at the cost of die size) depending upon application ( 2 for 64-bit bus, 4 for 128-bit, 6 for 192-bit, 8 for 256-bit, 12 for 384-bit etc...). The GDDR5 setup also allows for doubling or asymetric memory configurations. Normally (using this generation of cards as example) GDDR5 memory uses 2Gbit memory chips for each 32-bit I/O (I.e for a 256-bit bus/2GB card: 8 x 32-bit I/O each connected by a circuit to a 2Gbit IC = 8 x 2Gbit = 16Gbit = 2GB), but GDDR5 can also operate in what is known as clamshell mode, where the 32-bit I/O instead of being connected to one IC is split between two (one on each side of the PCB) allowing for a doubling up of memory capacity. Mixing the arrangement of 32-bit memory controllers, memory IC density, and memory circuit splitting allows of asymetric configurations ( 192-bit, 2GB VRAM for example)
    •Physically, a GDDR5 controller/IC doubles the I/O of DDR3 - With DDR, I/O handles an input (written to memory), or output (read from memory) but not both on the same cycle. GDDR handles input and output on the same cycle.

    The memory is also fundamentally set up specifically for the application it uses:
    System memory (DDR3) benefits from low latency (tight timings) at the expense of bandwidth, GDDR5's case is the opposite. Timings for GDDR5 would seems unbelieveably slow in relation to DDR3, but the speed of VRAM is blazing fast in comparison with desktop RAM- this has resulted from the relative workloads that a CPU and GPU undertake. Latency isn't much of an issue with GPU's since their parallel nature allows them to move to other calculation when latency cycles cause a stall in the current workload/thread. The performance of a graphics card for instance is greatly affected (as a percentage) by altering the internal bandwidth, yet altering the external bandwidth (the PCI-Express bus, say lowering from x16 to x8 or x4 lanes) has a minimal effect. This is because there is a great deal of I/O (textures for examples) that get swapped in and out of VRAM continuously- the nature of a GPU is many parallel computations, whereas a CPU computes in a basically linear way.


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