Mark Cerny took to the stage at Sony’s San Mateo office to talk about the PS4 Pro and reveal a few interesting hardware specs.
Speaking at the event Cerny spoke about the improved graphics tech inside the upcoming PS4 Pro, saying that they doubled the power by basically duplicating the current GPU chip. This means that when running a standard PS4 game with no Pro upgrade it can be turned to half power and be the same as a standard PS4, but when playing a Pro game it can use all of it.
While the GPU has seen a massive upgrade the CPU has stayed almost the same, only getting a slight speed upgrade, but Cerny also had a good answer for that.
"For variable frame-rate games, we were looking to boost the frame-rate. But we also wanted interoperability. We want the 700 existing titles to work flawlessly," said Cerny at the event that was attended by Digital Foundry. "That meant staying with eight Jaguar cores for the CPU and pushing the frequency as high as it would go on the new process technology, which turned out to be 2.1GHz. It’s about 30 per cent higher than the 1.6GHz in the existing model."
The Pro is also getting a little bit more RAM, although this is nowhere near as fast as the stuff that is already in the PS4. But this is because Sony has a plan, and quite a clever one at that.
"We felt games needed a little more memory – about 10 per cent more – so we added a gigabyte of slow, conventional DRAM to the console," said Cerny. "On a standard model, if you’re switching between an application, such as Netflix, and a game, Netflix is still in system memory even when you’re playing the game. We use that architecture because it allows for a very quick swap between applications. Nothing needs to be loaded, it’s already in memory.
"On PS4 Pro, we do things differently, when you stop using Netflix, we move it to the slow, conventional gigabyte of DRAM. Using that strategy frees up almost one gigabyte of the eight gigabytes of GDDR5. We use 512MB of that freed up space for games, which is to say that games can use 5.5GB instead of the five and we use most of the rest to make the PS4 Pro interface – meaning what you see when you hit the PS button – at 4K rather than the 1080p it is today."