PS5 does not use RDNA 2 architecture, has Sony failed?

The leak of a series of messages from Rosario Leonardi, chief graphics engineer at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, has sparked huge controversy, confirming that the PS5 GPU does not use the RDNA 2 architecture, but is equipped with an intermediate solution. , that is, something like RDNA 1.5.

I wanted to wait a bit before publishing this information to see how the situation was evolving, and after reviewing the latest explanatory messages from Rosario Leonardi himself, I think that finally we have everything we need to analyze it. The first thing that strikes me is the way in which everything has been filtered, since as you can see in the attached image there is no doubt about the veracity of this information, and the second is the way in which the engineer tried to fix the mess, saying that “its base is RDNA 2, it has some additional features and, for me, lacks a function ».

I think Rosario Leonardi’s answer was not correct because, once you’ve told the truth, you can’t try to cover it up with a generic explanation that points in the opposite direction to what you said earlier. I am not going to enter into controversies, I prefer to focus on what is important, which is to see what the fact that PS5 uses an architecture halfway between RDNA and RDNA 2 means.

PS5 may lack variable rate shader

ps5 shader

And other important functions of the new generation. A PS5 limited to primitive shaders, and without other important optimization-level features that will be present in the RDNA 2 architecture, it could suffer important limitations and yield a real performance lower than what one might expect seeing its specifications, lacking those optimization techniques that are destined to mark the future of short-term video games.

Variable rate shader allows distribute the workload of the shaders in an intelligent way, reducing its intensity in those areas of the image that have the least impact on the player’s vision area, and maintaining it in those that have a greater impact. It is a technique that has not yet been properly exploited, but that even so has shown that it can increase performance by between 5% and 15%.

As for the ray tracing support there is nothing to fear, it is clear that PS5 will be compatible with such technology and that it will be hardware accelerated in one way or another, but I am curious to see how far it will be able to go, And if the fact that the GPU is based on the RDNA 1.5 architecture may end up implying some limitation in this regard.

We must not forget that, in addition, a console like PS5 has been created to meet a minimum life cycle of 7 to 8 years. Therefore, using a graphical architecture that has limitations of this type is a major error. It may not be noticeable now, but three or four years from now, When we have stalled again in developments adjusted to the limitations of the new generation consoles, all those features that would have been present had used the RDNA 2 architecture will be missing.

Sony has not done well with PS5

PS5 does not use RDNA 2 architecture, is Sony wrong? 35

I have it clear as water. Before someone comes to accuse me (without arguments) of being a fan of Microsoft or Nintendo I allow myself to remember that I have a great PS4 that I enjoy when I can. My position is impartial and neutral, and it is based solely on all the information that we have been seeing about PS5 in the last months.

I think Sony didn’t expect Microsoft to do things so well with the Xbox Series X hardware, which was resting on its laurels for the huge success it has had with PS4, and when it tried to react it realized that it no longer had any choice. real. At this point you cannot change the APU of your console, but you can force the frequencies to look good on stage. This explains why Sony spoke at all times of dynamic frequencies of up to 3.5 GHz on the CPU and up to 2.23 GHz on the GPU. I am looking forward to seeing what levels it reaches under normal use conditions.

On the other hand, the fact that they have decided to use a hybrid architecture between RDNA and RDNA 2 worries me a lot, not only because of the issue of advanced technology support that I referred to, but also by gross return that it would be able to offer. On paper we have 10.28 TFLOPs, but this really does not tell us anything about its performance in games, since an RX Vega 64 easily reaches 10.2 TFLOPs and yields, however, less than an RTX 2060. You know that TFLOPs are not everything.

Now I understand why Sony has focused interest in its new console around the wonders of its SSD. What can I say, an SSD is not going to work miracles, and of course it will not make up the great difference that PS5 presents compared to Xbox Series X at the hardware level.

Sony, and specifically Mark Cerny, have missed the shot with the PS5 hardware, and we are already beginning to see the first confirmations of this reality: Spider-Man Miles Morales, one of the most important exclusives of said console, will have a mode of « performance »with 4K resolution (we do not know if native) and 60 FPS, which means that to move it in« quality »mode we will have to accept 30 FPS. Wasn’t this going to be the generation of the 8K and the 120 FPS?

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