We build a PS4! What can the rumoured specs do?

If the rumours are to be believed, the PS4 (or Orbis) is reportedly going to ditch Sony’s trend for custom hardware – the PS2′s Emotion Engine or PS3′s Cell processor, for example – and be powered by off the shelf PC parts.

The alleged specs are an AMD A8 3850 processor and AMD Radeon HD 7670 graphics card. If those specs really are true, it’s a big shock. The HD 7670 is actually identical to the year-old HD 6670, a mid-range PC graphics card from AMD that can be picked up for under £100.

The AMD A8 3850 processor belongs to AMD’s ‘Llano’ range, designed to handle both the usual CPU tasks and deal with graphics – it’s aimed at those who want to save the pennies and go without a graphics card.

As you’d expect then, it’s priced low – available at a pinch over £100, and it’s raw operating speeds aren’t that impressive. It runs at 2.9 GHz across four cores – for reference, the PS3′s six-year-old processor runs at 3.2 GHz across essentially four of its availible 6 cores. 

The Llano processors are good at what they do – offer a cheap ‘all in one’ graphics and CPU solution to those on a budget, but when we’re talking about the next generation of consoles it seems odd for a chip like the A8 3850 to be in the picture at all. 

Right now, a top-end PC is likely to feature a processor like Intel’s recently released Core i7 2700K. It costs £250, and it’s hella fast. To find out how the PS4′s alleged processor performs against a high end CPU like the i7 2700K, we need to ‘benchmark’ it. Cinebench R11.5 is a number-crunching program that forces CPUs to render high-res images. The quicker a CPU can render the image, the more powerful it is and the higher the Benchmark score is.

Cinebench R11.5 scores:

Our homemade ‘PS4′ (AMD A8 3850) 3.42
High end PC – (Intel i7 2700K) 7.02

So the high end PC recorded a much bigger score, rendering the image almost twice as fast as our PS4. It doesn’t smack of ‘next gen,’ the reported hardware powering the Orbis. But what exactly is it capable of when running PC games at max graphical settings and 720p resolution? We found out, by building our own ‘PS4′ using the aforementioned CPU and graphics card:

And you thought the banana-shaped controller was ugly.