Posted in: OpinionGaming News
Published:
April 6, 2020 12:59 PM UTC

Xbox Fanboys Will Hate This Crytek Engineer’s Bold PS5 Verdict

A Crytek engineer weighed in on the PS5 vs. Xbox Series X debate, and Xbox fanboys are NOT going to be happy with the verdict.
  • Crytek rendering engineer Ali Salehi sat down with outlet Vigiato.net to discuss the specifications of the upcoming next-gen consoles.
  • According to Salehi, the PlayStation 5 has the upper hand over the Xbox Series X.
  • Salehi suggests the more powerful Xbox Series X may struggle to maximize its full potential.

Despite the Xbox Series X having a raw power edge over the PlayStation 5, a rendering engineer at developer Crytek says Sony’s console is the better of the two.

Speaking in an interview with website Vigiato.net, Ali Salehi explores the specifications of the two consoles, while also touching on what these mean for developers. The interview has been translated from Persian by Twitter user @man4dead.

Source: Twitter

PlayStation 5 Favors Developers

For Salehi, the PlayStation 5 takes the lead when it comes to developing games, thanks to Sony’s innovative architecture. This aligns with what PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny detailed in the console’s deep-dive last month. Chiefly, that Sony was sticking to the developer-friendly ethos that defined the PlayStation 4 generation.

He explains:

The developers are saying PS5 is the easiest console they have ever coded on to reach its peak performance. Software-wise, coding for PS5 is extremely simple and has so many abilities that make the devs so free. Overall, I can say PS5 is a better console.

Do Teraflops Matter?

In particular, Salehi points to the teraflops debate that has dominated the next-gen console conversation. He explains that although the Xbox Series X boasts more teraflops, unlocking this potential hinges on what he describes as “ideal and theoretical conditions.”

He claims that this is challenging in practice, notably in terms of getting all components to work in unison.

The GPU may have 20 different parts. CUs are just one part of it. They do the processings. Meanwhile, IF all the other parts are in their best condition, not being limited, without memory bottlenecks, and the CUs get as much as the data they need in a second, Then the CUs are capable of doing 12T floating-point operations in a second. So in an ideal world where we remove all limits it’s possible. But in reality, it’s just NOT.

He points to the Xbox Series X’s RAM to illustrate his point:

A good example about Xbox Series X hardware is its RAM. Microsoft has made the RAM two parts. The same mistake they made with Xbox One. One part of RAM has high bandwidth, and the other is low. And definitely coding for this could be a little challenging. Because the total amount of things we want to put in the fast part is so much that it may cause problems. And if we want to support 4k it will be another whole story. So there will be somethings that will hold the GPU off.

Salehi says Xbox made the same “mistake” with the Series X’s RAM as it did with its previous console. | Source: Xbox Series X/Microsoft

Compute Units and Frequencies

Discussing the difference in Compute Unit count (36 for the PS5 and 56 for the XSX), he points to the PlayStation 5’s higher frequencies as the deciding factor.

The main difference is that CUs frequencies in PS5 is a lot more and work at higher frequencies. aising the clock speed has some benefits like in memory, rasterizer, and every other part of the gpu that its efficiency depends on clock speed, things that’s not related to CU count or Tflops, will work faster too. So the remaining parts of the GPU will work better Than XSX. This will make the console work mostly on the 10.28 Tflops. But in XSX, since the other parts of the gpu work slower due to the lower clock speed, it actually works a lot at lower Tflops most often and reaches 12 only at ideal situations.

When asked whether developers would find ways to tap into the Xbox Series X’s higher Compute Unit count as the generation progresses, Salehi wagered that this wouldn’t be the case.

He suggests that the PlayStation’s API and OS offer more freedom to developers as opposed to the Xbox’s DirectX-based custom version of Windows. But he conceded that the Xbox Series X would come out on top when it comes to higher resolutions and pixel counts.

For this Crytek rendering engineer, the PlayStation 5 clearly out-classes the Series X. It’s only one person’s opinion, but it provides an intriguing insight into the state of the next-generation console war.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Thomas Bardwell @TomBWrites

UK-based video game writer. Contact: thomas.bardwell[at]ccn[dot]com