Sony Unlocks PS4's Seventh CPU Core, Data Suggests

Middleware firm's update notes contain references to recent changes to PS4's processor allocation.


Sony is giving developers further access to the PlayStation 4's CPU resources, potentially paving the way for enhanced performance in future games, if the latest documentation from a middleware company is to be believed.

Buried within the most recent update details for the audio tool FMOD, which was released mid-November, a note reads: "PS4--Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core."

The data, which was unearthed on the Beyond3D developer forum, has become the subject of speculation across numerous online game communities such as NeoGAF.

Unless it was written in error, FMOD's note suggests that Sony has made a crucial back-end change to the PS4 system software that, in theory, allows the platform's games to draw from further processor resources.

The PS4 is assembled with an eight-core AMD Jaguar, clocked at 1.6GHz. Two of those cores are reserved for system operations, along with about 3.5GB of its memory. In January, Microsoft began to allow developers to use the Xbox One's seventh CPU core, at least partially, which is believed to be one explanation for the enhanced performance of games released in 2015 compared to the year prior.

[Image: iFixit]
[Image: iFixit]

Differences between PS4 and Xbox One resolution and frame-rates have been less pronounced in 2015, with often no meaningful difference between both systems, as some examples below demonstrate:

  • Battlefield Hardline - PS4 900p, Xbox One 720p
  • Star Wars Battlefront - PS4 900p, Xbox One 720p
  • Batman Arkham Knight - PS4 1080p, Xbox One 900p
  • Metal Gear Solid 5 - PS4 1080p, Xbox One 900p
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - PS4 1080p, Xbox One 1080p-900p (dynamic)
  • Project CARS - PS4 1080p, Xbox One 900p
  • Evolve - PS4 1080p, Xbox One 900p

Whether the enhanced CPU access on PS4 could result in a widening of that gap is a matter for debate.

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