PS4 and Xbox One’s AMD Jaguar CPU examined

The AMD Jaguar CPU that lies at the heart of both PS4 and Xbox One may not be the gaming beast we had expected.

Rock Paper Shotgun got its hands on an 4-core 1.5Ghz variant of the 8-core 1.6Ghz chip found in both consoles. It speculates that once the multitasking nature of both consoles is taken into account, only four cores are likely to be left for gaming computations.

The site’s conclusions are less than encouraging.

Is it any good? In a word, no. Not in a gaming context,” it stated. To be fair to AMD, the A4-5000 is a nice chip for its intended market – mobile devices at the cheaper end of the market. But as a gaming CPU?

In raw processing terms, these four Jaguar cores have slightly less than a quarter the grunt of a Core i5-3570K. It’s the same story on a core-by-core basis. Less than one quarter of the performance.

On the one hand, it does rather look like [PC gamers will] pretty much never have to upgrade your CPU to cope with the next decade of console ports. Almost any half decent CPU you currently have will be game enough.”

The same author has previously claimed that the Jaguar chip will even fall behind AMD’s FX series by a margin of 50 per cent.

Good news for PC gamers, then. But what does it mean for the next-generation of games? Is the supposed generational leap offered by the new hardware actually going to hold gaming back?

I just can’t see how developers are going to really ramp up game engine technology with these CPU cores. Next-gen AI, fancy physics, don’t see how it’s possible,” the site adds.

At this point, somebody will pitch up and opine that they’ll shove some of that onto the GPU. But the graphics grunt in the new consoles is merely OK, so where’s the spare headroom? Pinching GPU resources will limit graphical fidelity. Then again, it might just mean nobody bothers at all and we’re doomed to suffer a future largely populated with console-compromised ports.”

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