At the core of Sony's next-generation console is the PS5 GPU. The PS5 presents itself as a foundation for Sony that is already setting the ground for what we can expect throughout the new generation. PS5 launch games such as Demon’s Souls and Spider-Man: Miles Morales showcase not only a promising future ahead, but also the hardware capabilities within the console. But what exactly is powering the graphical side of things when it comes to the PS5 GPU?
What is the PS5 GPU?
The PS5 GPU is an AMD Radeon RDNA 2 with variable frequency that goes up to 2.23GHz, as well as 10.3 teraflops and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. We are talking about a significant improvement over the past generations, and one powerful enough to last for the entirety of this new cycle. That doesn’t mean that a PS5 Pro is off the table, as it’s hard to anticipate how much this hardware will evolve over time. But as of now, it certainly will stand its ground for years to come.
Features such as faster booting and loading times across the board, 4K resolutions (with the promise of 8K in the future) and up to 120 FPS with 120hz refresh rate support are interesting enough on their own, but they all originate from the core of the PS5. This is composed of 16 GB of GDDR6 RAM, joined by an 8 core/16 threads x86-64-AMD Ryzen Zen 2 for the CPU, both complementing the GPU.
Having such a hefty PS5 GPU allows Sony's latest to deliver brand new ways to experience games on consoles. Taking Spider-Man: Miles Morales as an example, we see two modes to play: Loyalty Mode sets a frame rate limit of 30 FPS, but allows for better graphical fidelity, 4K resolution, and ray tracing. Performance Mode, on the other hand, sets you on a dynamic resolution with up to 60 FPS. Both are interesting on their own merit, and deserve to be experienced, but Loyalty Mode makes a great case for the benefits of PS5 ray tracing.
For context, whilst graphic cards have been catching up more and more in recent time in order to deliver swift experiences using this rendering technique, the implementation of ray tracing in games, especially on consoles, didn’t seem like it would become approachable for many in the grand scheme. Now, the PS5 holds many examples along with Miles Morales already: Devil May Cry 5: Definitive Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Fortnite, NBA 2K21, Watch Dogs: Legion, and of course Astro’s Playroom are only some of them.
First-party games will continue to iterate on these ideas, all the whilst games like Cyberpunk 2077 and GTA 5 PS5 are yet to showcase how they will perform on the new console, with their correspondent upgrades arriving sometime next year. But it’s important to note that this is barely the beginning. In less than a month of its cycle, seeing such strong contenders to showcase the PS5 GPU sets a promising landscape.