Why do some games run better on PS5 even though Xbox has a paper advantage?

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The current console generation is turning 4 in a few months, and in addition to exclusives, we’ve also gotten a whole bunch of third-party games for it, but which consoles do games run better on? It’s a question that doesn’t have a clear answer, because the 9th generation is really balanced in terms of performance. Some games run almost the same, others are slightly better on Xbox, but many of them also run slightly better on PlayStation 5. But why is that, and where did the rumored paper advantage of the Xbox Series X go before its release? The editors at Digital Foundry provide the answers, having interviewed developers from various studios, including AAA.

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But first, you need to ask yourself where the Xbox actually has the edge. It’s very balanced in the CPU department: the 8-core Zen 2 CPU is only a hair faster than the XSX, but the big difference is in the RDNA 2 GPU, while the Xbox Series X has 52 compute units at 1.825 GHz, the PS5 has “only” 36, but at a higher 2.23 GHz. Overall, that’s 12.16 teraflops on paper versus 10.3 in the Xbox’s favor, with the added benefit of higher memory bandwidth (560 GB/s versus 448 GB/s). So where did the advantage go?

The most common answer given by game developers was Sony’s development environment. Several AAA developers said that the PlayStation GPU compiler is significantly more efficient than the Microsoft alternative. According to Digital Foundry, the overall benefit is the low-level API, which allows developers to squeeze more out of the hardware. On the other hand, the proprietary API can be a disadvantage in some ways. Xbox uses DirectX, which brings it closer to the PC, supporting standards like DirectX Ray Tracing.

The second important reason is the graphics chip itself. Already at the announcement of the technical aspects, we heard from the lead architect Mark Cerny that fewer computing units at a higher frequency were chosen deliberately, and it seems that this was the right decision. Indeed, the developers said that this can have a positive effect on performance. In short, some game engines are more suited to higher frequencies than to distributing power across multiple cores. After all, we see the same thing on PCs with CPUs, although factors such as IPC and therefore differences between architectures often play a role.

Digital Foundry reported the news just a few months before the PlayStation 5 Pro, which we’ve written about several times in the past, is set to hit the market. It offers around 45% faster rasterization performance, several times better ray tracing performance, or native PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution scaling.

Source : Zing

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