AMD Vega – 16-bit VS 32-bit again!
The Playstation 4 Pro could have its GPU performance near doubled with updates being brought over from AMD’s Vega desktop GPU architecture.
Mike Cerny, lead system architect of the PS4, spoke to the tech arm of eurogamer, digitalfoundry. This interview covered in part how the graphical performance of the PS4 Pro could be vastly improved with the introduction of RPM (Rapid Packed Math) technology. AMD’s new Vega graphics cards are going to be able to use RPM as a feature to enhance games.
Cerny talked about graphical performance and how “features from AMD roadmap” will be included in the PS4 Pro. This includes “the ability to run two FP16 operations concurrently instead of one FP32”.
The PS4 Pro has an AMD Jaguar (2.1GHz, 8-core), Integrated AMD Radeon Polaris (4.2 teraflops, 36CU) graphics unit.
AMD RX Vega graphics cards such as the Vega 56 and 64 will have RPM technology incorporated into them. The ability to perform two 16-bit operations at the same time instead of one larger 32-bit operation may see a doubling effect in theory when it comes to game performance.
It has to be noted that game developers have to take this variable into consideration in order to take advantage of it. Having the ability to divide or double the process from 16 to 32 bit in theory could see the PS4 Pro go from a 4.2 tflop device to an 8.4 tflop machine in 16-bit operations. The types of games that would benefit from smaller operations would be indie games or special affects in games being enhanced.
This is really important news for Sony as coming this year is a reported 6 tflop Xbox One X. Microsoft has allegedly chosen not to incorporate the technology into the AMD architecture of the Xbox One X. This will mean that they can’t take advantage of the RPM technology that the PS4 Pro can. AMD are also producing the Xbox One X which won’t in theory be able to double its performance to 12 tflop. The Xbox One X will definitely have the spec edge over the PS4 Pro but that gap might not be a wide as expected last year. With the recent success of titles from the Nintendo Switch, Sony may be banking on smaller titles and better optimised games. The Switch in comparison has half a rumoured tflop of processing power and has still been able to produce impressive looking titles.