In a new report, the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One graphics processing units have been analyzed and compared one more time. No prizes for guessing which console comes out on top.
We already know that the PlayStation 4 packs far more powerful hardware under the hood, when compared to the Xbox One. This has been achieved while keeping the size of the console box at a minimum as well as coming up with a more attractive design and pricing (a full $100 cheaper) than Microsoft’s offering.
While we already knew that the PS4 GPU packed 50% more Shader Cores, the new report also brings to light the fact that Sony’s console packs a GPU with twice the ROPs as well. That’s a 100% more ROPs than the Xbox One. A ROP, or Render Output Unit, is one of the last few steps when rendering a frame in modern graphics processing units The increased number of ROPs translate to twice the pixel fill rate on the PS4. In case you’re wondering how the 25.6 Gigapixels/s number was attained, the formula is really simple.
Pixel Fill Rate = Core Clock Speed x ROPs
*In this case, the core clock speed is 800 MHz, and the number of ROPs is 32.
Of course, while gaming at say 1080p, a higher pixel fill rate won’t necessarily translate to better performance in games (while keeping the number of pixels needing to be filled on the screen a constant). Modern GPUs are more focused on increasing the ‘Texture Fill Rate’ (basically the number of textured pixels that a GPU can render on-screen per second) as that would help processing the far more demanding shading techniques.
Texture Fill Rate = Core Clock Speed x Number of TMUs*Texture mapping units
The image states that while the Xbox One packs the entry-level Bonaire GPU, the more powerful (HD 7800) Pitcairn core, both energy-efficient and performance packed, can be found in the PS4.
But… Just by packing more powerful hardware, a console does not win over competition. If developers were to use the Xbox One hardware level as their reference development platform, the highest graphical fidelity that we’ll see in next-generation games will be limited by the power of Microsoft’s console. While this also means that the PS4 might end up performing far better in multi-platform games, thanks to the more powerful hardware, the console will hardly be pushed to the max. We’ll have to leave that to console exclusives (I expect Naughty Dog to blow our minds away with their PS4 title next year).
Image credit: GameChup
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