Sony’s PlayStation 4 reserves 3.5GB of its 8GB GDDR5 memory for the operating system, which allows only 4.5GB of ram for game code, according to Digital Foundry’s report.

Digital Foundry states, “According to internal Sony documentation leaked via a ‘development source’, the console reserves up to 4.5GB of its 8GB of RAM for game developers right now.

A further 1GB of flexible memory will be offered on a limited basis to game makers when available from the OS, which could be utilized to boost elements of the game in some way.”

XBox PS4

Microsoft’s Xbox One allocates 5 GB of its 8 GB of RAM for game developers with 3GB reserved for its operating system. Xbox One also reserves two cores of its eight core CPU for OS. The article claims that XBox One’s RAM is fixed and can’t be changed, unlike PS4.

It also cites sources close to Sony saying that, “Sony could downsize the operating system’s memory footprint later in the console’s lifecycle with optimizations that increase its efficiency, whereas the Xbox One’s reserved 3GB RAM is more or less set in stone, and is unlikely to change.”

*UPDATE*

The new source provides further information clarifying how the PS4‘s “flexible memory” works.

“In real terms, an additional 512MB of physical RAM may be available in addition to the 4.5GB mentioned in the SDK. Flexible memory consists of physical and virtual spaces, and the latter introduces paging issues which impact performance.”

*UPDATE #2*

Sony issued a statement to Digital Foundry addressing a key technical matter:

We would like to clear up a misunderstanding regarding our “direct” and “flexible” memory systems. The article states that “flexible” memory is borrowed from the OS, and must be returned when requested – that’s not actually the case.The actual true distinction is that:

  • “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.

We have no comment to make on the amount of memory reserved by the system or what it is used for.

So what do you think?

Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are out sometime in 2013.

 

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Source: Digital Foundry

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