In Theory: is PS5 powered by an AMD Gonzalo processor? –
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In Theory: is PS5 powered by an AMD Gonzalo processor? –

The to start with expose – of kinds – for PlayStation 5 has been and long gone, with Sony confirming specs which include an octo-main Zen two CPU, personalized Navi graphics, hardware-accelerated 3D audio, reliable point out storage and PS4 backwards compatibility. Details these kinds of as CPU/GPU frequencies and memory allocation continue being not known, but some unlikely – if not downright unbelievable – detective perform may have helped to fill in the blanks. This is a story I’ve been adhering to with interest for three months now with varying levels of scepticism, but the evidence is commencing to glimpse compelling. Bizarrely, it seems that a next-technology gaming processor is currently being analyzed on Laptop benchmarking tool 3DMark – and there is certainly a affordable likelihood that it’s PlayStation 5 silicon.

We’ve noticed some unbelievable stories perform out in the past, be it the PlayStation three Slender generating a baffling debut in a Phillipines marketplace, two months forward of start. Then there was our initial glance at the PS4 Slender, materialising in Manchester British isles, just after early Middle-Eastern models in some way appearing on classified ads internet site, Gumtree. But next-gen processors showing up on 3DMark’s success databases? Which is a thing else.

The story begins in January, with a Twitter post from Thailand-based mostly know-how spy, TUM_Apisak. Apisak has a verified observe document in unearthing new components by scanning as a result of the on the web databases of benchmarks from titles like Last Fantasy fifteen, Ashes of the Singularity – and of system, 3DMark. In the circumstance of the new AMD-intended processor he uncovered, the data tends reveals two essential parts of facts – a codename and a product or service code. Prior leaks also gave scores for each individual of the tests, but it appears to be like like 3DMark has started out to disguise these outcomes on the most up-to-date entries.

In the situation of the new SoC, it is really named Gonzalo and deciphering the solution code finds a selection of prospective specs. Adding further more spice to the tale is that because January, a second Gonzalo processor has appeared on the 3DMark databases – a revised version of the exact same silicon – supplying us even more information and facts and some hints on how the chip has evolved in the very last three months. Even so, even when the existence of the to start with silicon revision arrived to mild, speculation joined it to Sony and PlayStation 5. From my standpoint, verifying this as authentic is a good deal less difficult if we can discover any sort of prior backlink among 3DMark database entries and ultimate console silicon.

A online video breakdown of the unlikely but powerful AMD Gonzalo story.

On the experience of it, the total idea of a Sony/AMD semi-customized structure appearing on 3DMark in any way at all appears hugely unlikely. The pre-creation processors are place through their paces on a Home windows system, for starters, this means that the chip would need to be compatible with Microsoft’s OS, and it would require motorists to permit 3DMark to operate in the very first place – undoubtedly a waste of time. And basically, what would functioning this Laptop benchmarking software essentially reveal – surely AMD would have its have tests suite? No matter, this weird system of discovering new AMD layouts does seem to be to test out.

The 3DMark database search methodology is corroborated with two hugely convincing illustrations and a even further brace of probably candidates. For starters, there is certainly the Subor Z Furthermore console from China, which pairs a quad-main Ryzen CCX with a 24-compute unit Vega graphics main. Apisak unearthed the prototype structure – codenamed Fenghuang (translation: Phoenix) – some eight months prior to the console manufactured its debut. Nevertheless, though a console OS is prepared, the Subor components introduced as a Home windows machine, so jogging 3DMark on it for tests needs is not specifically astonishing.

The following example is the closest we are going to see to ironclad proof that the 3DMark database does host preliminary checks for Sony console hardware. A processor with a one.6GHz clock speed seems to have long gone through the 3DMark take a look at with the item code DG1001FGF84HT some several years back. Acquire a near search at the shot down below and you may see that a DG1000FGF84HT code seems on the processor of a closing, retail PlayStation 4. It’s just one particular digit out and it appears to be that insignificant variants on this code apply throughout a vary of PS4s. If not a smoking gun, we’re searching at an astonishing coincidence listed here.

A 3DMark-derived solution code can be traced straight to PS4 processor silicon (photograph credit rating: Chipworks)

Apisak himself also points out two further APU models that seem to be to show screening on two variations of a processor probably to be the Neo chip located in PlayStation four Pro, though pictures of the actual chip are slim on the floor – and I couldn’t find product code matches. These chips are likely to be Pro components as I’m not mindful of any retail merchandise out there that matches this configuration: a one.6GHz base clock for OG PS4 compatibility and a 2.1GHz max clock for titles working underneath Neo method.

At this issue, the evidence is mounting that Apisak’s peek into the long term of custom silicon design is on the stage – irrespective of the unorthodox methodology concerned. We can definitively trace two examples of pre-manufacturing silicon that finish up in console-like boxes – a person of them becoming the PlayStation 4, no much less. Weighing up the evidence, it looks very likely that the new AMD Gonzalo silicon is authentic, so what does its products code notify us and how do we know it can be destined for a online games device as opposed to a desktop processor?

Back in January, Apisak discovered the Gonzalo codename and backed the product or service code with an picture intended to help decode it (I have expanded on it beneath). It can be dependent on evaluation of present AMD chips and as Gonzalo has factors that you should not match any existing chip, some aspects of the code these types of as cache configuration are unable to be ascertained. But what it tells us is that it is really an engineering sample for a item created for a video games device (the second digit – G – would be a D for a desktop APU) showcasing eight CPU cores with a one.6GHz foundation clock and a three.2GHz improve clock. At the end of the code is a PCI identifier for the GPU, earlier identified on the Chiphell discussion board as Navi Lite – which by extension, all but confirms that it really is a 7nm layout. A disappointment looks to be a GPU foundation/enhance clock speed locked to just 1.0GHz.

Gonzalo’s April 2019 revision sees the chip transfer from engineering sample to qualification sample position – properly, a last ‘beta’ for the processor’s layout, shifting from an A2 stepping to a B2 stepping in the system. Every little thing else looks a great deal the very same with one enormous exception: GPU clocks increase enormously. The foundation clock stays at 1GHz, but the max frequency is now a amazing one.8GHz. It seems as well very good to be real, to be trustworthy. It is almost a 2x enhance in frequency above PS4 Pro’s GPU, and a 54 for each cent raise more than Xbox Just one X’s clocks.

Apisak included Gonzalo to Marvin’s AMD code legend again in January. We’ve extra the most current Gonzalo merchandise code (starting up ZG) beneath.
36 CUs 40 CUs 44 CUs fifty six CUs sixty CUs 64 CUs
Shaders 2304 2560 2816 3584 3840 4096
GPU Clock (MHz) 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800 1800
Compute (TFLOPS) 8.three nine.2 12.nine thirteen.8

Having said that, it is a match for the peak GPU raise clock of Radeon 7, which has a very console-like silicon spot of 331mm2. But on the lookout at AMD’s $seven hundred GPU, that monster requires some critical cooling – something which is not impossible but surely a problem for a console-sized sort-component. Assuming that the clocks are precise, the desk above demonstrates how the teraflops perform out for numerous compute unit configurations, beginning with the 36 made use of in PS4 Pro and ending up with the most 64 in present-day GCN patterns. This does suppose that a new AMD compute device nevertheless has sixty four shaders, which just isn’t a given – bear in mind that we continue to know incredibly, very minimal about the Navi architecture confirmed to reside in just PlayStation 5.

Nonetheless, maybe uncooked graphics functionality isn’t the key target for the subsequent wave of console components. It is really exciting to be aware that the two Phil Spencer (in final year’s Giant Bomb E3 job interview) and Mark Cerny in this week’s Wired piece have veered the conversation away from teraflops and GPU compute in general. Spencer has concentrated on the CPU – where Ryzen architecture really should deliver a large maximize in ability – while Cerny’s concentrate on graphics in the upcoming-gen Sony console appeared to be targeted additional on ray tracing.

Mix this with the leak that Microsoft is doing work on an entry-level four teraflop console together with a 12TF monster (the figures could change but the approach is exact, in accordance to our sources) and the impact is that for the Xbox workforce at the very least, the best-finish in console GPU energy is most likely to be an Xbox A person X-amount quality cost alternative. Where by Sony sits in this new ability ladder continues to be to be noticed, but we currently know that Google Stadia slots in at nine.7TF, with a GPU possible clocked at around 1495MHz.

In conditions of the CPU configuration, a 3.2GHz max clock is relatively sluggish by recent Ryzen benchmarks – in particular when merged with 7nm approach – but there is some precedent right here. The Subor Z Plus clocked its quad-core Ryzen CCX at just 3.0GHz, albeit on a 14nm chip. The subsequent-gen consoles may well be on a more modern day system, allowing for appreciably larger clocks, but they will be doubling up on the core count. It truly is however great news while: a three.2GHz octo-main Ryzen processor presents a big gen-on-gen maximize in capabilities clock-for-clock vs Jaguar, although also providing significantly increased frequencies and probably hyper-threading too. It really is a massive improve and in a planet where by consoles determine the baseline for multi-system game growth, the implications for gaming PCs are profound.

The takeaways from the Gonzalo leak are fascinating. Can we be sure that this is the PlayStation 5 processor? It is not an unlikely prospect but there are no guarantees listed here in any respect. Nonetheless, what we can say is that the methodology at the rear of deciphering the leak has been recognized with genuine-globe examples – a person of which is clearly the PlayStation four. We can also establish that Gonzalo is virtually certainly a 7nm processor, functioning an eight-main Ryzen-dependent CPU and likely working with a non-desktop variant of an AMD Navi graphics main. In all three counts, this is a match for what we discovered past 7 days about the subsequent-gen Sony console – and even if it can be not PS5, it provides us some idea of what AMD is operating on using identical technological setting up blocks on 7nm approach engineering.

Beyond that, what will make Gonzalo rather interesting is that the existence of a qualification sample indicates that the design is near to completion. Tweaks can be made, but any big revisions would correctly require a significant amount of investment in re-architecting the design and style. Even further PlayStation and Xbox spec leaks are inevitable in the months and months to stick to, while Zen two and Navi models for the Computer space must emerge in a comparable timeframe, offering us a larger knowledge of the latest tech from AMD. And by extension, it will be fascinating to see how intently the Gonzalo info matches up to verified potential console specs – and irrespective of whether any more AMD silicon appears on the 3DMark database.

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