PS4 guaranteed 5G of its 8GB RAM for games: “a lot easier for developers to work with”

PS4 console & menu

Uhnng… More technical PS4 stuff. A report over at Digital Foundry has been examining the amount of RAM developers will actually get to use. The investigation prompted a statement from Sony to clarify the issue.

PS4 guaranteed 5G of its 8GB RAM for games

PS4 is apparently guaranteed 5G of its 8GB RAM for games which is split into ‘direct’ and ‘flexible’ areas and was the bone of contention from Sony. It’s statement defines the follows:

  • “Direct Memory” is memory allocated under the traditional video game model, so the game controls all aspects of its allocation
  • “Flexible Memory” is memory managed by the PS4 OS on the game’s behalf, and allows games to use some very nice FreeBSD virtual memory functionality. However this memory is 100 per cent the game’s memory, and is never used by the OS, and as it is the game’s memory it should be easy for every developer to use it.

It then says, “We have no comment to make on the amount of memory reserved by the system or what it is used for”.

According to that and information from a source Digital Foundry say, “Our take on this right now is that there is 4.5GB of conventional RAM available to developers, along with the OS-controlled flexible memory Sony describes, in addition to that. We understand that this is a 1GB virtual address space, split into two areas – 512MB of on-chip RAM is used (the physical area) and another 512MB is “paged”, perhaps like a Windows swap file. But to be clear, of the 8GB of GDDR5 on PS4, our contention is that 5GB of it is available to developers. The good news is that the amount is static and not dictated by OS functions as we stated in our original post, making it a lot easier for developers to work with.”

The key thing to remember is that the PS3 only had a half GB of RAM and that was split rigidly between CPU and graphic tasks, hence the trouble with Skyrim – there wasn’t enough RAM to remeber all the spoons you moved. Even if 3GB are used by the machine to run, 5GB is still a lot and appears to be¬†unrestricted as well. So, good, I think.

Thanks Digital Foundry.



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