'

Zen 2 is on consoles is going to be a Game Changer, even for PC gamers

CPU requirements for future PC gamers are going to be higher, much higher

Zen 2 is on consoles is going to be a Game Changer, even for PC gamers

Zen 2 is on consoles is going to be a Game Changer, even for PC gamers

It's official, Sony's next-generation PlayStation console will utilise AMD's Zen 2 CPU architecture (more information here), which is a big deal for the future of gaming, both on PC and console platforms. 

When looking at the PlayStation 4, we know that the console utilises an 8-core AMD Jaguar processor with a clock speed of 1.6GHz, giving the console relatively little processing power when compared to today's desktop computers. 

Even during its time, Jaguar was designed to be a low power CPU architecture, releasing back in 2013 with relatively little success outside of the console market. Simply put, the power offered by AMD's Jaguar cores held the CPU performance of today's consoles well behind gaming PCs of that era, only serving to increase developer reliance on multi-threading, thanks to the relatively low single-threaded CPU performance of low clocked Jaguar CPU cores. The introduction of Zen 2 into next-generation consoles changes that. 

For starters, AMD's Zen 2 architecture is designed to offer more performance per clock than AMD's older CPU architectures, and thanks to AMD's refined design and their use of 7nm lithography AMD's Zen architectures can offer raw clock speeds that are higher than that any of today's consoles can deliver. 

Think of it this way, the PlayStation 4 runs it CPU at 1.6GHz while the Xbox One X runs custom Jaguar CPU cores at 2.3GHz. Move over to AMD's low-power Ryzen 2700, and it offers a base clock speed of 3.2GHz and a maximum boost clock speed of 4.1GHz while maintaining a 65W TDP. Given the fact that AMD's Zen 2 processors use a core design that is more refined and is manufactured using a newer lithography process, it is possible that AMD's Zen 2 processors could offer similar performance levels to the Ryzen 7 2700 while consuming less power. 

If we were to predict anything for the PlayStation 5, if that is its final name, the CPU would likely run at a clock speed of around 3.2GHz (or higher) with eight Zen 2 cores, offering a great balance between performance and power consumption. AMD's Zen 2 based processors are not available to consumers yet, so at this time we can only guess at the performance of a hypothetical next-generation Zen-based console. Regardless, a 3.2GHz Zen 2 console would offer significantly more performance than that today's high-end consoles offer. There is also the potential for Sony to offer core boost clock speeds on their next-generation console, though such a move could be confusing for developers.   

Zen 2 is on consoles is going to be a Game Changer, even for PC gamers  
So what does this mean for PC gamers? That's an easy one. Hardware requirements for games are going to get a lot steeper, at least on the CPU side. When consoles start offering a more than 2x boost in CPU performance, you can bet that gaming PCs will be put under strain once AAA titles start making full use of the new hardware. 

This will force two things on PC. First, it will force developers to adopt low-level graphical APIs and further focus on multi-threading and CPU optimisation and secondly, it will force PC gamers to embrace higher core counts in larger numbers. Consoles benefit from extreme levels of hardware optimisation, and until now PCs have largely used brute force to get push that. With next-gen, consoles will be closer to high-end PC hardware than ever, which is going to place a lot more focus on CPU performance in the world of PC gaming. 

Think of it this way, if a cutting edge PS5 game runs at 30FPS and makes full use of the console's CPU, the hypothetical PC version of that game would need a CPU that's 2x stronger to run at 60FPS. It's gonna be hard to get a gaming CPU that's two times stronger than a Zen 2 powered 8-core, especially if it runs at a reasonably high clock speed. 

You can join the discussion on Zen 2 coming to consoles and how that will impact PC gaming on the OC3D Forums

«Prev 1 Next»

Most Recent Comments

16-04-2019, 12:47:20

tgrech
Personally I think part of this push for CPU speeds is related to the push for higher frame rates on consoles and to have fewer games CPU limited to 30fps, we've heard rumours of possible 120fps targets and now we're finally seeing TVs on the market with support and that seems to be a growing theme, while VR of course benefits from higher framerates too if they follow up PSVR or try to expand its library.

Of course they could easily achieve that and more with this big of a jump in performance and straight from launch some developers seemed to feel limited by the CPU when it came to game mechanics or AI complexity so I'm sure the CPU will be pushed in many more ways as well. If there's SMT enabled then that could lead to better 12-16 core desktop utilisation too.Quote

16-04-2019, 14:20:15

NeverBackDown
This is how it's always been. The massive influx of power that Zen will bring will vastly open up the games able to be created on all platforms. The reach of consoles with the power of a PC will enable developers to be able to get more creative and take more risks to mold crazy ideas into games.


I personally hope they allow mouse and keyboard on Ps5 or whatever they call it. The power available will finally allow strategy games to come to console and if I can play Total War or even Civ on console, I'd sell my PC.Quote

16-04-2019, 14:32:53

tgrech
Yeah that's how it has been up until last gen when the consoles launched as essentially mid range PCs at best, past generation consoles were generally fairly beefy and unique compared to PCs of their time but last gen focussed mainly on stepping up the GPU power to modern expectations with relatively modest CPU bumps(Especially for the PS3 vs 4 which some devs felt was a bit of a step back in total possible throughput) which is why many games ended up scaled down from their earlier demos built on high spec PCs.
Of course given there weren't many options on the table for cost effective efficient high speed CPUs of any architecture last gen it's pretty obvious why the focus shifted.Quote

16-04-2019, 14:44:57

Warchild
I'm really stoked for AMD and how they put up with all our mockery to turn their company around. We now look at Zen as the way forward.

Looking forward to this. Might be nice to return back to console with the next gen PS. Although I do wonder if this is the last gen we will ever see before everything is a streamed service.Quote

16-04-2019, 14:51:41

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warchild View Post
I'm really stoked for AMD and how they put up with all our mockery to turn their company around. We now look at Zen as the way forward.

Looking forward to this. Might be nice to return back to console with the next gen PS. Although I do wonder if this is the last gen we will ever see before everything is a streamed service.
Well we look at it that way because Zen turned the company around lol

I don't doubt we'll have more streaming services next gen. Maybe not at launch but we'll have the download and play option soon enough as I could easily see them releasing a box that connects to the cloud and only is able to stream games. Especially because they will want to use there brand to keep Google from taking over the Cloud market with Google Stadia.

I'm also curious as to how the next gen will play out. Will we get another Pro or One X variant? Because only thing that could really improve is just more GPU power.Quote
Reply
x

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.