What a little bit of RAM can do in the console wars.

Xbox One vs Playstation 4

In the war of the Next, Next, Next gen console wars a bit of ram can change a lot in the world of graphics.

The Xbox One has 8GB DDR3, of which 5 GB available to developers.
The DDR3 ram has a bandwidth rate at 68 gigabits a second meaning:

  • At 60fps the maximum memory available per frame is 1.133GB
  • At 30fps the maximum memory available per frame is 2.266GB

Xbox One Internal Logic Board






The Playstation 4 has  8 gigabytes of GDDR5 of which 5.5GB available to developers with 512mb of that swap space, paged to the Hard drive.
The DDR5 ram has a bandwidth rate at  176 gigabits meaning:

  • At 60fps the maximum memory available per frame is 2.933GB
  • At 30fps the maximum memory available per frame is 5.866GB

Playstation 4 Internal Logic Board

This is the real maximum amount of memory available to each console irrespective of what amount the OS uses up.

If people are wondering why the figures are at where they are, the bandwidth amounts dictate the maximum amount of ram available per second. So 68GB/s means 68GB maximum memory access per second. If a game is 30 fps it means there are 30 frames rendered per one second. So you just divide the amount of ram bandwidth per second by the frames per second, that give you the amount of how much memory is available per frame.

So what do you think this means in the amount of data processing, enemy AI characters, and other background and foreground processes and applications the Playstation 4 can do verse the Xbox One? That’s a rhetorical question.

Originally from the Maryland beltway area. Patrick lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years. Now he is based in the Portland area. In the past Patrick has been an IT engineer, technology consultant, software trainer, technology journalist, blogger, and podcaster. Currently he is returning to school for a degree in Computer Science & Engineering.

Patrick Roanhouse – who has written posts on Plan8.