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Game devs asked Sony for 16-core CPU in the PlayStation 5

Game developers asked Sony for a 16-core CPU in the PlayStation 5, but backpedaled because it would've affected GPU peff.

Published Sun, Nov 21 2021 4:57 PM CST   |   Updated Mon, Dec 13 2021 10:04 PM CST

The PS5 could've had a 16-core CPU...but the GPU would be dramatically smaller.

Game devs asked Sony for 16-core CPU in the PlayStation 5 233 |

Photo credit: Fritzchens Fritz

Sony built the PlayStation 5 around game developer feedback. Devs share what they want with Sony, and then Sony takes that info and makes a console out of it. The PS5 uses a custom 7nm SoC with a 3.8GHz 8-core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU and 2.3GHz RNDA 2.0 GPU, but at one point developers actually wanted Sony to use a 16-core CPU instead.

In a recent interview with Wired, PS5 architect Mark Cerny said that a portion of devs wanted a monstrous 16-core CPU but changed their mind once they realized that would take a bite out of GPU power.

"When we did our tour, we had some devs that really liked 16 cores. But game development is so graphically-oriented that when we explained that we could do that but the GPU would get smaller, they instantly backed off," he said.

Cerny highlights how specific games like Miles Morales, Returnal, and Destruction AllStars uses the PS5's Zen 2 CPU cores for graphics deformation, stabilized performance with tons of on-screen physics, and AI simulations. Other examples include huge open-world games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Far Cry 6, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart--all of which make tremendous use of the CPUs capabilities.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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