Tech

How to Build Your Own PC With PlayStation Pro Specs

By Jiran , Sep 14, 2016 04:59 AM EDT

Sony's latest gaming console, PlayStation 4 Pro has been officially unveiled and with its specs that will surely mesmerize you, the device has a reasonable potential of building it as a gaming PC.

According to the gaming website, Gamespot, the device is not re-creatable because of the lack of chassis including the technical issues that prevents from doing so but it helps that the PS4 Pro runs on an x86 design which is, it has the same micro-architecture used in gaming PCs.

As far as reviews are concern, PS4 Pro specs are as follows:

  •  Main processor: Custom-chip single Processor
    •  CPU: x86-64 AMD "Jaguar," 8 cores
    •  GPU: 4.2 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon based graphics engine
  •  Memory: GDDR5 8GB
  •  Storage size: 1TB
  •  External dimensions: Approx. 295×55×327 mm (width × height × length) (excludes largest projection)
  •  Mass: Approx. 3.3 kg
  •  BD/DVD Drive: BD × 6 CAV, DVD × 8 CAV
  •  Input/Output: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.1 Gen.1) port × 3, AUX port × 1
  •  Networking: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)×1, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE)
  •  Power: AC 100V, 50/60Hz
  •  Power consumption: Max. 310W
  •  Operating temp: 5ºC - 35ºC
  •  AV Output: HDMI out port (supports 4K/HDR) DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) port

In making the gaming PC using PlayStation Pro, GameSpot showed the things they found out at the same time how they build the PS4 Pro-inspired PC.

Central Processing Unit

Sony's gaming console comes with eight-core AMD CPU and specifically, they used PS4 Pro that has an FX-8350 processor and a system-on-a-chip which integrated the CPU and graphics processing unit together which is mostly used in making laptops and workstations which are not really meant for high-end gaming setups. Sony is pitching the PS4 Pro as such. Thus, it makes more sense to go with the two separated which is as a result, it is more powerful.

Graphics Processing Unit

For the GPU, the PS4 Pro is utilizing an AMD graphics based on the company's Polaris architecture and with that being kept in mind, they went with the Radeon RX 480 as the graphic card. It is AMD's flagship Polaris GPU and features 5.8 teraflops of graphical performance.

It is kind of argumentable that the PS4's GPU is more closely resembles the slightly weaker RX 470 since its 4.9 teraflop count is more in line with the PS4 Pro's 4.2 equivalent but there's a stronger case for the RX 480 which uses 4GB and the PS4 Pro which uses 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM.

It is a worth stressing the importance of having the right amount of VRAM as it is necessary to push 2160p resolution texture which is, it was claimed by Sony that the gaming console is a 4k-capable one. GameSpot thought that they would blunder on the side of a more power to avoid unrealistic tailback that the device would encounter in case.

Moreover, while the RX 480 is likely to be a little more powerful that the PS4 Pro's integrated Polaris solution, one gain that consoles possess is the access that it has to a low-level application programming interface (API) adjusted for their established specs. Gaming PCs usually use Microsoft DirectX and it is suited for PCs that allows games to scale across a wide selection of computer formations.

What is good in that part is that it allows users to boost more performance out of the hardware and that is the reason why exclusive PS4 games like Uncharted 4 look so amazing while it runs on quite outdated PC mechanisms. So, having a little physical force in the processor in lieu of access to low-level efficiency is a quite fair logical trade.

Random-Access Memory

In terms of system RAM, the PS4 Pro stocks its 8GB of GDDR5 memory athwart to its GPU and CPU. The G before DDR here means "graphics," and while gaming consoles can actually use this type of memory since they were generally focused on gaming because traditional PCs are integrally considered to be more versatile machines and they are downgraded to the more traditional DDR RAM, so they used 8GB of DDR3 instead to try to match the Pro's 8GB GDDR5 allowance.

It means that they did not able to generate an apples-to-apples system but bearing in mind that the PS4's CPU and GPU has a different type of memory and they thought that a healthy 8GB of system memory is counterbalanced by the fact that the PS4 Pro doesn't need to transmit the extra performance load of running a full-sized operating system like Windows 10 in the background.

Moreover, more RAM doesn't actually make the computer run faster for gaming applications, but too little RAM can create performance jams. Since this is something they wanted to avoid, they once again erred on the side of a little more as opposed to less.

Storage

The PS4 Pro has a one terabyte hard drive. According to them, the storage type isn't likely to affect that much the gaming performance but they wanted to simulate the PS4 Pro's environment as accurate as possible.

Energy Consumption Rate

According to Sony, the overall power draw of the PS4 Pro is rated at 310 watts but OuterVision said that the GameSpot's homebrew PS4 Pro is rated at 319 watts. It is about to be equal in power consumption.

Like other good PC builders out there, they chose for a slightly heftier power supply unit rated at 450 watts just to at least protect the components in case of random power surges.

Performance Test

After the building of the PS4 Pro-inspired PC. With Windows 10 OS installed, let us move to the assessment of its performance. At last week's PlayStation press briefing, Sony made some performance claims regarding several games. Using those titles also available on the PC, GameSpot did test Sony's assertions with their build and it's worth repeating that it is not an exact apples-to-apples comparison because the biggest factors are that they made use of the DirectX, while the PlayStation 4 Pro uses its own exclusive API. Included the inability to control how well the PC ports were optimized. Taking into account these admonitions, they thought that their rigout is the most representative build analogous to the upcoming console at the moment.

Benchmark

The first performance benchmark test they made use of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Sony didn't make any statements that it will really run at 4K, but they said that the Pro will support the game running with supersampling anti-aliasing. SSAA renders a game at a higher-than-1080p resolution and then will shrink the image to fit a 1080p display. This sharpens the image and the visual is perhaps the most closely similar to viewing higher-than-1080p content on a 1080p monitor.

Unfortunately, it is not clear what resolution the PS4 Pro will be downsampling from with Shadow of Mordor, but it won't be a 4K game and that it will also have to downsample from a resolution higher than 1080p. This means that it's sensible to expect a performance that will hit to fall between 1080p and 2160p, so, they chose 1440p as a replacement resolution to draw from with the given limited information.

Running Shadow of Mordor at its highest preset to help them achieve the best graphical fidelity possible, their rig got 61.2 average frames per second using the game's built-in benchmark. That was a great score, considering the massive mainstream of TVs can only show 60fps since most of them are tied to a 60Hz refresh rate.

They also ran the benchmark at 4K native. Astonishingly, it managed to reach a playable 33.5 average frames per second.

4K Support

Sony, during their press briefing, they explicitly stated that the PS4 Pro can be able to handle 4K gaming. Where in one way or another, it will run natively at 2160p or be scaled from a lower resolution is not yet clear.

Conclusion

It was not really unclear if the PS4 Pro will be handling 4K games. The build built by GameSpot is any indication of what the PS4 Pro will be like on how it will run and according to the PS4 Pro is capable of doing so, it can run games at 4K.

While they tried to remake the PS4 Pro Setting as faithful as they could, their experiment is not likely to be precisely indicative of the PS4 Pro's true performance.

There are a lot of factors that GameSpot was not able to access such as the console's low-level API that would definitely give it a performance advantage relative to its power but given what they know, the build offers the best representation of approximate performance that user can find nowadays.

As a conclusion, PS4 Pro is about as powerful as a competent budget gaming PC.

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