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#1 Edited by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

UPDATE : Sony has issued a statement

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.

Based on this information, plus the new source coming forward to explain the properties of flexible memory, 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.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original Story.

From Neogaf exploding to game journalist apologizing here is the latest from the ps4

"PlayStation 4 reserves 3.5GB of its 8GB GDDR5 memory for the operating system, leaving 4.5GB of space for game code, according to current PlayStation 4 documentation shown to Digital Foundry by a well-placed development source. However, further sources suggest that an additional 1GB of "flexible memory" may be reclaimed from the OS reservation, based on availability.

Sony's internal docs say that 4.5GB is the baseline amount of guaranteed memory available for game-makers (note the memory usage of the Killzone: Shadow Fall demo) and most likely what the lion's share of launch titles will be using. However, other sources close to Sony indicate that developers can request up to an additional gigabyte of "flexible memory", and use it to boost elements of the game - but only if the background OS can spare it. We're told that incorporating this isn't trivial, and it may well be that to begin with only first-party developers target its usage.

Current PlayStation 4 dev kits have a "Game Memory Budget Mode" in the debug settings featuring two options: normal and large. The normal mode setting confirms that 4.5GB of memory is usable for game applications. The large mode increases this considerably to 5.25GB, but the docs are clear that the extra RAM here is only available for application development, presumably in order to house debugging data. From what we understand, the extra gig of flexible memory appears to work in addition to these allowances."

Note this is only from digital foundry and not from sony. Or people who have dev kits. Jonathan blow`s the witness is reportedly using 5gb of ram

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-ps3-system-software-memory

Also the link says ps3 system memory but it is talking about the Ps4

There is some confusion though. Digital foundry were infamous for saying the ps4 only records 7 mins of gameplay footage and also the OS number comes from a document on when sony were only going to use 4GB of ram.

#2 Posted by Scampbell (499 posts) -

Even 2.5 seems like quite a lot to me, and makes me really curios as to what it would be using it for.

#3 Edited by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

@scampbell: Its all flexible so i guess there testing out the threshold on how ram they need for the OS at the moment.They can easily tone it down in the future. Also it was lack of memory which led to the PS3`s horrible OS which had no cross game chat and unnecessary slowdown in the UI.

#4 Edited by Salarn (469 posts) -

Remember that when the PS3 came out the XMB took up a solid 80mb of the 256mb available for program space. Hopefully they'll reduce that memory over time just like the always. A good deal of this space is chewed up by the constant recording feature.

#5 Posted by StrainedEyes (1331 posts) -

@salarn said:

A good deal of this space is chewed up by the constant recording feature.

I wonder if there will be a way to disable this. I can see myself never using it.

#6 Posted by MHumphreys89 (724 posts) -

Epic Fail!!!11 It can't even use all of its RAM for games?? BWAHAHAHA.

Whatever, I always felt that the dashboard needed more processing power on the 360 side whereas you couldn't do much with the XMB whilst in-game.

#7 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7003 posts) -
#8 Posted by the_devoid (42 posts) -

That some awfully nice RAM to be wasting on their OS. They should have almost had 6 gigs of GDDR5 for only games and then had 4 gigs DDR3 for their OS and apps.

#9 Edited by Scampbell (499 posts) -

@jimmyfenix: I assume it will be running some kind of custom Linux OS which makes 3,5 seem very high when you compare it to the average Linux distro idle CPU usage of around 500 MB. Though I guess it also includes some GPU usage.

You are probably right about the flexibility.

#10 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@jimmyfenix: I assume it will be running some kind of custom Linux OS which makes 3,5 seem very high when you compare it to the average Linux distro idle CPU usage of around 500 MB. Though I guess it also includes some GPU usage.

You are probably right about the flexibility.

All in all 5 gigs for both systems is a massive jump over this current gen.

#11 Edited by MHumphreys89 (724 posts) -

@metalgearsunny said:

@humphreys said:

Epic Fail!!!11

Just leave.

You do realise I was being dumb on purpose, right? Also, this was the general reaction to Microsoft announcing that not all of its RAM would be dedicated to games.

#12 Posted by BlackLagoon (1460 posts) -

@salarn: Actually, I think during development of the PS3, the OS took 120+ MB of RAM because they just reserved a lot more RAM than they needed until they'd settled on what features to include. They freed up a lot of it shortly after launch, and then further reduced it for Uncharted 2.

#13 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Would that flexible memory stuff make it harder to port stuff?

#14 Edited by drainbamage (30 posts) -

There seems to be some assumption on twitter/GAF that this is really bad news or means the OS is going to be a bloated, ram hogging mess, but I'm gonna just hope this means they've got some kick ass system level features yet to announce. We know so little about their OS at this point that I don't feel like I can make a judgement about whether this is a good trade off or not. Also, doesn't this basically put them in the same ballpark as Microsoft? I don't remember exactly, but doesn't the Xbox reserve about 3gb for system stuff as well?

#15 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

There seems to be some assumption on twitter/GAF that this is really bad news or means the OS is going to be a bloated, ram hogging mess, but I'm gonna just hope this means they've got some kick ass system level features yet to announce. We know so little about their OS at this point that I don't feel like I can make a judgement about whether this is a good trade off or not. Also, doesn't this basically put them in the same ballpark as Microsoft? I don't remember exactly, but doesn't the Xbox reserve about 3gb for system stuff as well?

Again 5 gigs is a huge fucking jump.

And ya 3 gigs for X1.

#16 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7003 posts) -

@metalgearsunny said:

@humphreys said:

Epic Fail!!!11

Just leave.

You do realise I was being dumb on purpose, right? Also, this was the general reaction to Microsoft announcing that not all of its RAM would be dedicated to games.

Ah, sorry I couldn't read the sarcasm. :/

#17 Posted by Residentrevil2 (464 posts) -

Huh... That's seems like a lot of RAM dedicated to the OS. Is that for recording 15 minutes of gameplay?

#18 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

@the_laughing_man: We need to wait and see. Ubisoft did come out and say it only took 2 people to port the crew over to the PS4 in a couple of months.

#19 Posted by Scampbell (499 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

@scampbell said:

@jimmyfenix: I assume it will be running some kind of custom Linux OS which makes 3,5 seem very high when you compare it to the average Linux distro idle CPU usage of around 500 MB. Though I guess it also includes some GPU usage.

You are probably right about the flexibility.

All in all 5 gigs for both systems is a massive jump over this current gen.

Absolutely, I'm just a bit obsessive about RAM usage, and like to disable anything slightly unnecessary to free up memory.

#20 Posted by Thedrbrian (66 posts) -
#21 Posted by Sergio (2248 posts) -

It might be true, but I find it very dubious considering the PS4 was supposed to have 4 GB initially. I'm not into conspiracies, but it seems like a play to make it seem more comparable to the Xbox One.

#22 Edited by Metzo_Paino (322 posts) -

Hmm, seems like the PS4 won't be a runaway victory power wise if this is the case.

Though it is perhaps possible that over the lifetime of the system they can optimise the OS and give back some RAM to the developers?

#23 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

@scampbell said:

@jimmyfenix: I assume it will be running some kind of custom Linux OS which makes 3,5 seem very high when you compare it to the average Linux distro idle CPU usage of around 500 MB. Though I guess it also includes some GPU usage.

You are probably right about the flexibility.

All in all 5 gigs for both systems is a massive jump over this current gen.

Absolutely, I'm just a bit obsessive about RAM usage, and like to disable anything slightly unnecessary to free up memory.

There is also that rumor about the X1 getting an upclock or something.

Also there is a nice chance both systems will have their OS footprint cut as they age or even before release.

#24 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

You know, the more I hear all of us, myself included, it reminds me more and more of the typical, average person talking in-depth about quantum physics. In both cases, I don't think anyone really knows what they are talking about.

#25 Edited by BigJeffrey (5176 posts) -

So Xbox One versions of 3rd party games are better now by default am i correct? UMADBRO J/k

#26 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -
#27 Edited by MHumphreys89 (724 posts) -

@scampbell said:

@the_laughing_man said:

Absolutely, I'm just a bit obsessive about RAM usage, and like to disable anything slightly unnecessary to free up memory.

@thedrbrian said:

@strainedeyes: Why? It won't make the game play any better.

Presumably those games will be made to specification so turning things off won't yield a speed increase.

#28 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

do games use more than 4gb? seems like a non issue.

#29 Edited by AngriGhandi (792 posts) -

Well, I suppose if we ever get to the point where 5.5 gig of video-card-speed memory isn't enough to run a game on, even though it's eleven times as much as the current gen, video games will have gotten so goddamn crazy that I can't imagine myself complaining too much about it.

Also, since all the PS4's RAM is in one big pool, but the XBO's is separated into the two completely separate and simultaneous OS's, I imagine that would mean the PS4 could free up more down the line with firmware updates or whatever, but XBO would be pretty much stuck.

Notice I say "I imagine" because I have virtually no idea what I'm talking about

#30 Posted by Humanity (10061 posts) -

Who cares

it still plays games right?

#31 Posted by mrfluke (5341 posts) -

k

#32 Posted by aspaceinvader (257 posts) -

@humanity said:

Who cares

it still plays games right?

exactly

#33 Posted by psylah (2185 posts) -

Preorder(s) cancelled.

#34 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -
#35 Posted by OurSin_360 (947 posts) -

It'll be running things like (hopefully) cross game chat, background downloads, gameplay recording and sharing, etc.

I hope people don't think the xbone won't be using a similar amount or more for it's os, which will undoubtedly be more OS heavy than the Ps4 anyway.

It's nothing to complain about,how many games are using 5.5gb of ram? Don't think i've ever played one that used up the 3gb on my graphics card ever.

#36 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

That sounds really stupid. I wait for Sony's response. A week ago we had developers scratching their head what to do with all the ram and now 3GB is used for the OS? I somehow doubt that.

Also a recording feature should just not use up much ram anyway. If you ture however it is a really stupid move from Sony to reserve that much.

#37 Edited by BigJeffrey (5176 posts) -
#38 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

also this:

Something is not right here^^

#39 Edited by cmblasko (1344 posts) -

Using the UI better be silky smooth if it is taking up that much RAM.

#40 Edited by Syed117 (391 posts) -

Not too big a deal I guess. It's a little disappointing that the OS needs that much.

So now we have to wait to find out exactly how much ram the xb1 has reserved for the OS. That's rumored to be 3gb right?

#41 Posted by Zaxex (594 posts) -

I'll join the chorus of not really understanding the technical aspects of this story. It seems a little disappointing; on the face of it, "8GB GDDR5" sounds pretty massive. While I don't think it's anything to worry about; people saying "Oh well - games will be fine with 5.5GBs", just seem to be defending the PS4. Not that it needs defending, but I wouldn't say its heavy OS is a boon to users necessarily. Extra horsepower is almost always welcome, it could be pushing games up to 60FPS, higher resolutions, higher resolution textures, increased polygon counts, more physics calculations etc. (I realize these have a lot to do with video/graphics cards - but I don't know the specific distinctions.)

There are plenty of games that won't need 5.5GBs of GDDR5 RAM, absolutely - but the higher the performance ceiling the better; especially things we take for granted, like draw distance and streaming vs loading.

#42 Edited by SomeJerk (3389 posts) -

@darji said:

also this:

Something is not right here^^

He used that floating amount to squeeze more, if this is all true. He also got himself set on having the entire game loaded into memory around that time.

#43 Posted by Ares42 (2796 posts) -

@benny said:

do games use more than 4gb? seems like a non issue.

Now ? no. In a few years time ? probably.

It can always be patched out, but this was one of the clear advantages of PS4 over Xbone. If the system doesn't have a "game state" mode where the vast majority of it's resources is devoted to playing a game (which seems to be the case) we're basically losing one of the top advantages consoles have over PCs.

#44 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

@darji: As i said earlier it might just be a threshold thing. Sony knows they have fixed all of the PS3`s OS problems with the increase and type of ram. Now its just testing out at retail how much is being used where. Which is the same as the X1.

The ps3 also did this but they managed to bring down the ram supported the OS to 80mb so in the future the flexible memory can add another GB or 2 to it.

#45 Posted by mikey87144 (1806 posts) -

Remember people these are the LAUNCH figures. If you read between the lines Sony expects this to change in the future. Plus, as Brad said in a previous podcast, most high end PC games now don't require more than 4 gigs of RAM to run at the highest settings. The PS4 using 4 at launch is still pretty damn great.

#46 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

@mikey87144: Yup this is still damn impressive but you can always leave it up to neogaf to ruin the mood and act like the Apocalypse is near.

#47 Posted by Syed117 (391 posts) -

At the very least, if this gets confirmed, it's one less thing for the children to scream about.

Read way to many comments slamming the xbox one 1 because it needed 3gb for the OS while the ps4 only needed 1.

It's disappointing but only because everyone assumed that developers would have 7gb to work with. Not sure where that even came from. It is always better to have more usable ram, but these machines aren't even out yet. Will have to see in a few years if developers are really complaining about the amount of ram in consoles.

#48 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

@syed117: A fan site made the 7gb rumor up. Sony didnt even confirm that.

#49 Posted by SomeJerk (3389 posts) -

Debug PS4s were cleared by the FCC last week, and I've come to think that's where this limit comes from (that's what the source's talking clearly about, development). Devkits (12gb?) for developing, debug kits that adhere 100% to the hardware specs of the retail PS4 for actual testing. Debug firmware and software hasn't even reached version 1, so boom, expanded needs.

#50 Edited by andrew2696 (358 posts) -

@jimmyfenix: Not to sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist but doesn't Ubisoft have some marketing ties with Sony? I mean they have exclusive content for Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs for PS3 and PS4.

But hey it could be great to work with.