The PlayStation 5 Will Have Enough Power To Run Both The GPU And CPU At Boosted Frequencies

With more and more details emerging about the next generation of consoles, they are looking more and more impressive as the days go on. The latest tidbit of news comes from the lead system architect Mark Cerny who has gone into a bit more detail on how the boost clock feature will work on the upcoming PlayStation 5.

PlayStation GPU To Have Variable Frequency

We found out earlier last month some of the technical features of the upcoming console and one of the more interesting things was that the GPU will have a variable frequency. This means that it can change its clock speeds depending on the type of game being played and the temperature of the console. 

The good news is that it looks like the PlayStation 5 will have more than enough power to be running both the GPU and CPU at near max boost, most of the time. 

How Will This Be Achieved?

In a recent interview with Digital Foundry, Mark Cerny gave us some idea on how this variable boost will be handled. Interestingly, the boost won’t be down to the actual temperature of the die but will instead rely on an algorithm that monitors the current GPU and CPU usage. 

Cerny said: “We don’t use the actual temperature of the die, as that would cause two types of variance between PS5s. One is variance caused by differences in ambient temperature; the console could be in a hotter or cooler location in the room. The other is variance caused by the individual custom chip in the console, some chips run hotter and some chips run cooler. So instead of using the temperature of the die, we use an algorithm in which the frequency depends on CPU and GPU activity information. That keeps behavior between PS5s consistent.” 

This will result in less variance of boost clocks between systems and keeps speeds consistent no matter where you store the console, whether this is in a cool or a hot area. If you and your friend go to the same area in the same game, the boost frequencies you’ll both receive should technically be the same. 

There Will Be Enough Power On Offer To Offer Maximum Performance

If you are wondering if there is enough power to run both the GPU and CPU at their limits, Mark Cerny also answers this question. 

Cerny states: “The CPU and GPU each have a power budget, of course, the GPU power budget is the larger of the two. If the CPU doesn’t use its power budget – for example, if it is capped at 3.5GHz – then the unused portion of the budget goes to the GPU. That’s what AMD calls SmartShift. There’s enough power that both CPU and GPU can potentially run at their limits of 3.5GHz and 2.23GHz, it isn’t the case that the developer has to choose to run one of them slower.”

The utilization of AMD’s SmartShift means that developers will be able to work with the knowledge that they’ll be able to push their games a little bit further with the boosted clock speeds in mind. While we don’t know how much of an impact this will have for developers just yet, on paper it sounds like great news. 

Locked profiles will also be present in the development units which is another way that can help developers optimize their games. 

Mark Cerny gave a bit more information on these profiles by saying, “Regarding locked profiles, we support those on our dev kits, it can be helpful not to have variable clocks when optimizing. Released PS5 games always get boosted frequencies so that they can take advantage of the additional power.”

It looks like the PlayStation 5 is set to be an impressive console nonetheless. In the lead up to its release, we’ll be keeping an eye out for leaks and news surrounding the PlayStation 5. Be sure to check back regularly for all the latest news.