Being as powerful or more powerful than the PS4 seems to be contradictory with a price of $250. We think to reach that performance NVIDIA would probably have to take steps to avoid memory bandwidth problems. This would raise the cost significantly.

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The PS4 is not a mobile part. Cost wise, it doesn’t include a capacitive touchscreen or a rechargeable battery. And it also doesn’t have a mobile SoC inside. Memory bandwidth for it is much easier to achieve because they can use power-hungry GDDR5.

The PS4 has 176 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Pascal has superior compression technology to GCN. Especially the version of GCN in the PS4. But not sufficiently superior to push PS4 performance with only 50 GB/s of memory bandwidth shared between the GPU and the CPU.

Note that the GTX 1050 has 112 GB/s of memory bandwidth. And it should outperform the PS4 GPU significantly. Even though its theoretical FLOPS throughput is slightly less. This demonstrates how much more bandwidth efficient Pascal is than the PS4 GPU. It can achieve probably over 30% greater performance with 40% less memory bandwidth. But if we cut that memory bandwidth another 55% from the GTX 1050 level Pascal will still be severely bandwidth limited.

So to get PS4 performance NVIDIA will need to either increase the memory bus width above 128 bits. Use some memory more exotic than standard LPDDR4. Or perhaps include some amount of high bandwidth eDRAM. All of which will increase the cost of the system. We don’t really know how much bandwidth they need to get PS4 performance. Since they are writing their own API they can probably pull off quite a few tricks to squeeze more performance for the same bandwidth when compared with DirectX on a Windows machine. But it seems to us that they need more than 50 GB/s. Maybe 60? Or 70? We’re not saying it’s impossible they could achieve it with 50. It just would be surprising and impressive to us.

Source: Ars Technica


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