PS4 Vs Xbox One RAM allocation debate

By Alan Ng - Jul 29, 2013

While both next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft have already confirmed to be shipping with 8GB of RAM, the big debate over the weekend was the exact amount that will be free for developers to use. Both consoles will need to reserve a set amount of RAM to run the operating system and other closed resources, but which console is going to have the most RAM available for developers to freely use?

While it has been widely reported that the Xbox One will have 5GB of the 8GB of DDR3 RAM available for developers to build games on, things are a little bit more mysterious on the exact amount of RAM that developers will be able to use for Sony’s PS4 system.

Over the weekend, an interesting article was published by Eurogamer, which claimed that the PS4 would make 4.5GB available for developers, out of the total 8GB of GDDR5 RAM. That would mean that a whopping 3.5GB of GDDR5 RAM that would be reserved for system resource purposes.

This initially raised one or two alarm bells from tech enthusiasts, but Sony has decided to break traditional protocol (the company never usually comments on rumor and speculation), by issuing a swift clarification on the matter. Sony has actually said that certain aspects of the article in question were incorrect, whilst cleverly still remaining silent on the actual amount of GB that is reserved for the OS.

The conclusion after Sony’s statement is that it is now thought that developers will actually be able to utilize 5.5GB of GDDR5 RAM, rather than 4.5GB. The extra 1GB of RAM on the PS4 is thought to be flexible and will be available to developers to use, should they require an extra bit of juice – obviously, this will be dependent on the size of the game in question.

What do you make of this? Do you honestly believe that developers will be able to produce a significantly different outcome on a game, by having an extra 500MB of RAM available – presuming Xbox One will have 5GB free, PS4 5.5GB free?

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  • Yes – A significantly different (better) game can be produced with a mere 500MB more of RAM. Mind you, we will see this difference much later in their life cycle when they are starting to push this generation of systems more.

  • victor

    Is all the media through out the world supporting American companies? Surely editor of this article knows about the GPU used in both consoles and Xbox one has very inferior GPU. So it not only about the RAM. Also that total TV integration has to take up some more RAM than PS4.

  • Mindri

    Tunne, Tullu

  • Kaiser X

    Xbox one with (DDR3 + eSRAM + Data Move Engines) is much faster and more efficient than PS4.
    power is not very important when you have better architecture with
    better occupation ratio just look at comparison between HD7970 and

    HD 7970 264GB/s
    GTX680 192GB/s

    Floating Point
    HD7970 3.8 Tflops
    GTX680 3.09 Tflops


    HD7970 3-6 GB

    GTX680 2-4 GB

    But Real world performance?

    • victor

      Xbox one HD 7790. PS4-HD 7870, that is the correct range and the difference is huge. GTX 7970 with 6GB of RAM is available compare it with a overclocked 7970 it performs slower. NO. Xbox one is has very inferior GPU.

      • Xbox is king

        My message to the sony fans:

        Not happy with rumors

    • MetalSpirit

      LOL… Architecture my ass… The diference im performance on those cards has nothing to do with architecture. THEY USE DIFERENT GPUS… One is AMD, the other NVIDIA, and the NVIDIA one is simply more efficient (18 to 23%)…
      Xbox One has the same CPU and the same GPU as the PS4. But on the GPU side it has less ROPS, Less Stream Processors and less compute units… So… ITS SLOWER…
      Besides Microsoft did not discover the Holly Grail with it´s move engines and ESRAM. Thats just some small help to compensate for the cheaper and slower DDR3 it was forced to use to keep costs down due to the expensive Kinect.
      Tell me… where did you got your degree on electronics???

  • Angad

    you forgot faster DDR5 RAM VS Slower DDR3 RAM

    • Leo

      Sure, but DDR5 has higher latency. Both have their cons and pros.