Sony NGP processor performance

We dig into what makes Sony's NGP tick.

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Sony's recently announced NGP contains a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU and a PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU. Both chips are fairly new on the block, and Sony didn't elaborate too much on the exact configuration or clock speed of the chips involved. We dug up the base specs on both chips, but we don't know exactly how they're going to be configured inside of the NGP.

Sony NGP

Quad-Core Cortex A9
Based on ARM's publicly provided Cortex A9 CPU specs, we know the chip can be configured in single, dual, and quad-core varieties. We've reached out to ARM for specifics, but it has yet to respond. Based on its spec sheets, the dual-core variant comes in two flavors, optimized for either power or performance. The power-optimized chip lowers the clock speed to 800MHz, which results in 4,000 DMIPS of computational power and .5W of power consumption. The performance-optimized version bumps the speed up to 2GHz, and the computational power jumps to 10,000 DMIPS with 1.9W of power consumption. Assuming a linear scaling of performance, the ARM Cortex A9 with four cores could perform anywhere between 8,000 and 20,000 DMIPS. By comparison, the iPad, which is based off of the 1GHz Cortex A8, has roughly 2,000 DMIPS of computational power.

PowerVR SGX543MP+
Imagination Technologies makes the PowerVR SGX543MP4+. However, we can find information only on the PowerVR SGX543MP at the moment. We've reached out to Imagination Technologies for comment, but it has yet to respond. Apple is also rumored to be using a variant of the PowerVR SGX543 chip for the upcoming revision of the iPad.

The normal nomenclature model for the PowerVR SGX543MP contains additional numbers following the MP that indicate the number of cores onboard. Imagine Technologies can configure the GPU to have 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 cores. Sony opted to use the SGX543MP4+, which indicates that the chip has four cores. We have no details on what the "+" indicates.

Imagine Technologies states: "At 200MHz core frequency an SGX543MP4 (four cores) will deliver 133 million polygons per second and fill rates in excess of 4Gpixels/sec. Higher frequencies or a larger number of cores each deliver more performance. At 400MHz core frequency an SGX543MP8 (eight cores) will deliver 532 million polygons per second and fill rates in excess of 16Gpixels/sec."

Assuming the chip hasn't been highly modified from the PowerVR SGX543MP4, a 200MHz PowerVR SGX543MP4+ could live up to the PlayStation 3's 4.4Gpixel/s fill rate spec. We also have to add that raw fill rate numbers rarely translate into real-world performance.

Discussion

94 comments
Tgd11
Tgd11

I'm a nerd and proud to be one!!! GO THE NERDS!!!!!!

shadowrage5913
shadowrage5913

this is awsome i am going to preorder and get it on the first day it is out!!!!!!!!!

thehunter1900
thehunter1900

to the powervr 4gpixels vs 4,5gpixels. you do realise that the NGP renders 4x lesser resolution then full hd exactly? Even when the newest games on the 360/ps3 run at 30 fps with low resolutions, its will in comparison still be 2x+ lower. Which means, there will be a hell lot more fillrate available for AA. Thats why you saw probably uncharted running with 4x aa and that unreal engine 3 with AA + lots of post processing effects at the same time. the NGP is just totally destroying the PS3 on that aspect. Besides that the polygons are about 133 on 200mhz. Its clearly a 4+ which means a higher cloaked probably, which means 133 million polygons = lowest possible solution, where 266 million polygons is the highest 400mhz solution. Lets just keep the 133, as example. different sources tell me that the ps3 hits 250-500 million polygons. But because the resolution is atleast 2 times lower, this actually means that the NGP equals it on full speed. And with 4x the resolution lower = lowest speed of the ps3. Shader performance, cpu performance probably will get some hit. I really wouldn't be suprised if at later stages the ngp is equal to the level of a ps3 ( besides geometric ). The chip is a beast. The pica200 pushes only 12,5-15,3 on 200mhz + 0.8 fillrate that powers up 2x screens that equals together about 1/2 of the rendered NGP pixels already. 3DS isn't even anywhere near this device on speeds.

bschroth
bschroth

@WaterMeInKidd I usually see it go the other way. I see PC people get up in arms far more than console gamers because there is a far greater number of casual console gamers who could care less. And sure they might not know what a CPU is, but that's because as a rule about 90% of people on Earth are quite stupid and lack common sense. I'm also a multiplatform gamer since I own: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS. The only thing is that I'm kind of the middle of the road for knowledge, I know alittle about alot. Of course console gamers insult PC gamers alot, because PC gamers are seen as kind of stuck up by many, when platforms don't really show who you are, just that you play god dang video games. Also, we should add each other on steam, psn, xbl so we can play some time.

WaterMelnKidd
WaterMelnKidd

@bschroth I'm not an elitist PC nerd, I actually do play consoles sometimes and I do a lot of sport. I was generally talking about the way that almost every console user I know tends to think that PC Games are only for nerds just because they aren't so straight forward to use. Personally I don't know a single person that plays console games only who can even tell me what a CPU is, whilst on the other hand you now have to know a lot about computers to be a PC Gamer who plays the latest games due to the fact that pre built PCs labeled as Gaming PCs never have nearly enough power to play the games the way they where meant to be played. The part where we know more about computers and electricals is backed up by the fact that Console Only gamers insult PC Gamers a lot online, whilst they have more knowledge on the systems therefore they can actually have fun because wading through some problems is fast for them. I can't really explain it, but I'm not a nerd and I'm not an elitist PC Gamer, I just like computers and PCs and see a lot of console gamers hating it.

bschroth
bschroth

@WaterMeInKidd your whole last comment makes you come off as some elitist pc nerd. don't think that was your intent, but it happened. Especially this part: "So now, after reading this; stop insulting us PC users, frankly we have more fun and have much more knowledge on electricals than console only gamers" That's an insane assumption with zero information to back it up. Ones console vs pc preference may suggest certain knowledge, but doesn't prove it in any way. You said you're only 15, so I'll just chalk it up to inexperience.

coaltango
coaltango

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

WaterMelnKidd
WaterMelnKidd

I'm sick of it, why does it have to be "Console VS PC" I'm so bored of it, I have an Xbox 360, a PS3, a Wii, A DS Lite, a PSP and an extremely fast computer that I built myself. You know how in certain RPG games you get tech characters? Weak at the start but end up the best with the coolest stuff? I'm one of those. I started out low, I had an extremely low end PC. I taught myself, I sacrificed a little bit of sport for better knowledge of PCs when I was younger. I'm now only 15 years old, and I can build a computer from scratch in under 20 minutes, and now that I have learn I'm now really good at sport, I'm healthy and I have everything I'd need. The thing is, I wouldn't have been able to do this if I was a console gamer, not at all. It's because I put up with low FPS and a crappy PC that I now have a life long skill that is extremely valuable - I wouldn't trade my knowledge for $500,000. So now, after reading this; stop insulting us PC users, frankly we have more fun and have much more knowledge on electricals than console only gamers, and secondly, do not forget where the console game from. If it wasn't because of the demand by the average person Consoles wouldn't exist. They are also created by PCs, so I don't see where you get the "consoles are better" argument from, consoles ARE PCs, albiet extremely underpowered and heavily optimised PCs.

Jhedan
Jhedan

@wedlock Yeah true, but not everyone has the money to build a good gaming quality PC, or buying a big LED TV. I myself have a decent gaming PC and still i love to play on consoles. You have to realize: some games are meant to be played on a powerful PC other are made to be played on a console...

archlvt
archlvt

Hardware means everything as far as game consoles go. I mean, look at how badly the psp beat the DS. Oh, except for the part where the DS had 2.3x the sales that the psp had, and about 40x the size of the library. Oops.

lightningbugx
lightningbugx

The specs are impressive for a handheld platform, only with current generation. As far as the GPU being able to match the PS3's GPU, what else should we expect when comparing a current gen low power GPU to something 4 years old?

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@tekkelite +50 agility and warding of Fail for every spoiler added.

Clive-Owen
Clive-Owen

whats the point of this game/the voice of the japanese woman/scratches on the back/should hold it with one hand/theres no 3D/etc... YOU PEOPLE STOP COMPLAINING!!!

Frost451
Frost451

I'm huge fan of the PSP, but never did like the controls for 1st person shooters. If they can fix the controls so they are more like the PS3 and the 360 it will be great. Also higher resolution would be good, when I look at my Ipod 4th generation screen at 960 x 640 it makes me sad playing the PSP at 480 x 272 resolution. Oh and Sony if you are listening touch screen controls are lame. Play some games on an Iphone or Ipod and you will see. If sony is smart they would make this new handheld fully adjustable so that you can play at lower resolutions to save battery life but then allow the users to set it higher if they wanted to = 2 hours at high res/3 to 4 hours at low res.

slippship
slippship

This sounds like the device for the big kid who doesn't like looking at Mario games 25 years on. If I want to extend play i'll be on the PS3/XBOX. If I want some casual I'll be on this. And i don't play them for more than a couple of hours at the very most. Nice job Sony, as per.

juan99692k6
juan99692k6

I believe processsor power is just as important as the battery life i think that 4 or 5 hours of gaming on a handheld device is more than enough. processor speed plays a major role especially for modernized devices such as Ipod, Ipad, NPD,3ds, we demand faster devices just like pcs (personal computers) every year there's a faster one! apps demands more power the more apps the more the power needed. this is common sense.

svalink
svalink

For portable game device - processor power less important than Battery Live and extended games. It means 3DS (with Zelda , Pokemon, Metal Gear ...) will be more popular than NGP.

jlatu
jlatu

Actually, more and more I'd go with console versions over PC versions. Not because consoles are better; rather, more and more game makers are deliberately nerfing the PC version. It's bad enough with the DRM crap that's hit or miss on PCs (something consoles are going to get more of now that PS3's been hacked again). Bad enough they're starting to not develop dedicated server tools for the PC versions (as consoles have their own mechanisms in place and don't need any per game). Now game makers try and lock resolutions and control configurations. That's just petty. I feel really sorry for the southpaws, as they usually get the worst of it.

solidsnake726
solidsnake726

Im not too sure why people think OLED is good only for lower power consumption. Doesnt anyone realize that OLED outperforms the most high-end plasmas and lcd/leds in picture quality? The colors just blow my mind...

wedlock
wedlock

i use to play ps2 and all tha console crap . but once u experience gaming at 2560*1600 on 3 gtx 580 u never go back to console ....

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

no fear of frame rate problems and online will be good on it i think

SkullCrusher707
SkullCrusher707

Well im not seeing a reason to own a console anymore with the handhelds coming out. the 3ds is supposedly having the power of the wii, and NGP almost as powerful as a PS3? The consoles coming out in 2012 or 2013 better so amazing it blows every thing else out of the water, but if they an't then im probably just going to be a handheld gamer and nothing else.

rustynailrdm
rustynailrdm

screw PC having to upgrade ur rig for every other game that comes out, thats retarded, anyone who says otherwise is obviously a fool.....

GodBladeMegaten
GodBladeMegaten

@archlvt I don't quite follow your logic. I'm a PC/handheldConsole gamer and all my games are concentrated to either my PC or my PSP or DSi however I wouldn't go as far as to say that "the pc version is indisputably better". I've seen games on a PS3 and X-Box 360 and trust me, I'm totally going to deny that the PC has better graphics (I got an AMD Radeon™ HD 6970 graphics crd) While I'm not saying that the PC is inferior, at the same time I'm denying the fact that the PC is superior. The PC is focused on work+games+apps+etc while consoles focus solely on games so I would ask you to stop QQing against consoles, cause it ruins the reputation of us PC gamers. And again, although I got a PC I think I would rather prefer a PS3 and there is no way on hell that I'm not getting the NGP(which is soooooo gonna rock!! xD)

archlvt
archlvt

BTW, I'm not saying the pc IS better than all consoles. Obviously consoles get games that the PC doesn't. But if there is a pc version of a console game, like oblivion or dragon age for example, the pc version is indisputably better (unless of course you'd rather sacrifice perfect frame rates, better graphics, and a mod community for a controller).

archlvt
archlvt

"Why do PC gamer hate console so much?" They don't really, they just hate the smug attitudes that they have. I mean, if a game has a PC version, it's gonna be better. Mods, graphic settings, better frame rates, it's basically taking the same game and putting it on a next gen console instead of a current gen console. But console players are such raving fanboys that they won't acknowledge that anything could be better than the console that they have a sick romantic attachment to.

LeMeAtOm
LeMeAtOm

@Spartan_418 does it? that's nothing to do with it as that is the main processor not the GPU. with a device this size it will not need so much power. The GPU being so close to the PS3 will mean it will definitely blow people away, especially when you factor in the possibility of hooking this up via HDMI.. im pretty sure i saw a port on that reveal trailer :)

calebthelion
calebthelion

@antoniobandino couldn't agree more. I just bought a PS3 and Demon Souls was the first game I purchased for it and I don't think I've ever gotten more frustrated with a game before and I play COD lol

MEDzZ3RO
MEDzZ3RO

@Spartan_418 Remember the NGP uses all that power on a much smaller screen so I would'nt be surprised if visuals aren't that different.

rezarazor
rezarazor

no it's like a 3 ghz cpu on laptop and a 3 ghz on pc ... they are equal in frequency but not in performance ... even though they aren't even statically equal in anyway

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

Looking strictly at the numbers, this refutes Sony's claim that the NGP has "PS3-quality" graphics. The PS3 has a 3.2GHz processor, compared to the 2GHz here. Still ridiculously powerful for a handheld though

antoniobandino
antoniobandino

I hope they don't port or produce any Demon's Souls variant on the NGP or it'd turn into a high-velocity projectile randomly striking the cats running around my house. Either that or give me a wrist strap.

welshboy98
welshboy98

I just want a hand held console where I can play my favorite PS3 games on the move. you know like these blu_ray discs with triple play. So if im playing modern warfare 3 lol and Me and the wife got to go on a long car journey, I can say ok lets go grad the psp and go, and still play with my mates online. anyway wouldnt it be cheaper to develop a game with the same interface than two different ones.

awheaten
awheaten

@hazuki This is still hard to make games for; I don't think this system has any onboard memory. And there needs to be serious talk between the GPU and the CPU. This will cause the system to have some growing pains. They may have more software tools, since this thing is made to be somewhat on par with the PS3's cell.

hazuki
hazuki

At least sony, for the first time in awhile, is releasing a system with hardware thats actually not all that difficult to program for. The psp only did open-gl for the longest time, and both the ps2 and ps3- well, we all know how that went. Instead of investing on a super complicated, low speed, and high price processor. Sonys just releasing a simple, high speed quad cord handheld. Finally! They understand!

leo_andres_21
leo_andres_21

does anyone else see that the PSP2 screen resolution is really close to what most PS3 games on the offer? 960x544 vs 1280x720. even call of duty has been running on 1024x640. though I thoroughly doubt it will be just as good as the PS3, but showing how they could cram the ps3 into such a small handheld? just how far has technology improve in 5 years.

Darnasian
Darnasian

@dawnofhero So true! I'm pleased that there is at least one person besides me that thinks rationally on this site!

awheaten
awheaten

Just like I thought this tech is still inferior to the Cell, however it pretty close, especially the 4.4Gpixels. I'm thinking this is the 200MHz version of the ARM. This is the same chip they were running windows 7 on. They ran that thing right off the processor, Wow. 200MHz is old spec, however when you have 4 threats dedicated to each core (theorically you can have more threads dedicated to each core), you can do some uncharted like performance. I'm just looking at it from a software perspective. It is in deed a very powerful peice of tech. I might go ahead and get the NGP for christmas for myself and give my PSP to my daughter.

tekkelite
tekkelite

@Phil-teh-Pirate yeah it's like when people put graphics on their car, each sticker adds 10HP

Evo8u
Evo8u

Here we go again with all these polygon numbers BS.

eal-zubieri
eal-zubieri

what about the heat? how will it cool? if the system will have a clock speed of 2GHZ it will need atleast a fan, i mean its too powerful(it has more cores then my gaming pc!!!)to be fanless.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Why do people rant about which system is better? The 3DS or the NGP? They're both awesome devices, and besides, they aren't even out in stores yet! I'm getting both just because each has unique features and capabilities. Why only settle for one device?

sexyobryan
sexyobryan

ive never had a psp but this one is very sexyyy

stephenbarr
stephenbarr

@yixingtpot how is nintendo bringing down gaming. they're changing the way we game. really its not all about graphics. and nintendo do seem like theyre going to try and reach out to the more hardcore gamers this time around. but still this ngp does seem freakin sweet :D

giedrius1001
giedrius1001

sony made a portable super monster, i can guarantee, what we will see such a beautiful graphics games like(without killzone, uncharted, call of duty), gta, gear of war, crysis (oh yeah), mgs, gran turismo, the elder scrolls and so on, guys its like ps3, it has such power to transform any games series from home consoles, this device its the best what can handles can show, forget 3ds, ngp is really next generation portable!!!!!!!

wwwgippal2
wwwgippal2

Kay Sony Now give us games that will make this thing worthwhile :)