Teardowns of Sony’s PlayStation 4 reveal that the console does indeed have a few “hidden” features, like a secondary processor and some extra memory.
The rumor of the PS4’s secondary processor has been churned out frequently by the rumor mill, and thanks to recent teardowns we get to see what the console is hiding under its sleek angular case.
The newly revealed components include a low-power processor and 2 Gb (gigabits, not gigabytes) of GDDR3 SDRAM memory, stacking up to a total of 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM. The auxiliary processor, which is known as “SCEI CXD90025G”, has been revealed as a low-power ARM solution–however its specific functions aren’t known yet.
There are many ways that the SCEI CXD90025G could compliment the PlayStation 4’s robust environment, and the gaming community has speculated a few interesting possibilities.
Since it’s a low-power processor, it’s likely to be associated with background functions like standby processes and downloads. Another guess is that it might be utilized for DRM, and some have suggested the ARM core processor allocates resources for the PS4’s automatic gameplay recording feature as well.
- (Photo Credit: iFixit PS4 Teardown)
The unveiled processor might also help out with the PS4’s transitions from gaming to other apps, and is likely to aid in preserving game progress when switching to other apps or menus. It may also have something to do with saving the current state of the console in sleep mode–not to mention the downloads and updates during the system’s slumber.
All in all the PlayStation 4’s newly revealed resources aren’t going to have a considerable impact on games, and aren’t going to boost graphical performance.
They do, however, have benefits to overall system performance. The low power processor boosts efficiency in the console by freeing up the workload for the PS4’s main CPU (an eight-core AMD Jaguar SoC clocked at 1.6GHz), which in turn has a variety of practical advantages.
The new revelations go hand in hand with the PS4’s other components–the heavily customized AMD APU and 8GB of GDDR5 memory–to make a veritable powerhouse gaming console.
It will be interesting if Sony reveals the specific functions of the SCEI CXD90025G, but we might see a few breakthroughs in the coming weeks as tech-gurus become more familiar with the console. There have also been rumors that Microsoft’s Xbox One has a few hidden features up its sleeve–one of which surrounds an extra processor which supposedly remains dormant until the company “wakes it up, but of course this has yet to be confirmed.
For all of the PS4’s strong points, it’s not invincible and the console’s highly anticipated launch has been marred by faulty PS4 units and PlayStation Network outages.
While both of these scenarios fall in line for the launch of any major console, it is disappointing to many and some have even reported overheating issues, which raises the drawbacks to cramming higher-end components in a box.
Even still, the console has been received by millions of admiring fans and gamers are avidly enjoying their time across the PlayStation Network. Sony is also poised to enhance the experience with the cloud-based Gaikai service, which is planned to stream PS3 games, as well as a host of launch titles that show off the console’s dynamism.