One of my best gaming-related hobbies is to analyze the tech and specs of newly launched hardware such as the PlayStation 5. Not only is it fascinating to see where technology is moving, it’s also helpful when deciding if my current console or my gaming PC needs an upgrade or not.
One of the first questions that came into my mind when dissecting the PS5 was the amount and type of RAM Sony’s console would use.
And as soon as the new console was launched, I got my answer right away.
What RAM does the PS5 have? The PS5 has two pools of RAM. The main pool of RAM is 16 GB GDDR6 SDRAM, a RAM designed with high bandwidth rates for maximum gaming performance. The other pool of RAM is 512 MB DDR4 SDRAM Memory manufactured by SK Hynix. This RAM is mainly used by the OS for background tasks.
Sony decided to go with more and faster RAM so games could be more complex with larger more detailed textures, higher poly models, and more complex worlds.
Let’s go through all the details of the RAM that the PS5 uses, what upgrades it got over the PS4 RAM, and a few other facts that would interest you.
What RAM does the PS5 have?
PS5 is a massive upgrade from the PS4 in so many ways, The RAM being one of the biggest improvements. Almost everything about the RAM has been leveled up.
The latest console by Sony has two different RAM pools installed in the system to handle two different processes. Let’s take a look at both…
16 GB GDDR6 SDRAM
GDDR6 SDRAM (an acronym for Graphics Double Data Rate 6 Synchronous Dynamic Random-Access Memory) is the successor to the GDDR5. It has a high bandwidth interface designed for use in graphics cards, game consoles, and high-performance computing.
PS5 makes use of this RAM for performance and gaming. The console uses a configuration of 8 chips of 2 GB (16GB in total) each for this purpose that can clock up to an equivalent 14000 MHz. This gives the GDDR6 RAM a total bandwidth of 448 GB/s. That’s well over twice the bandwidth of the original PS4.
In addition to that, PS5 uses the GDDR6 RAM much more efficiently now that it can load data directly from the SSD at much faster speeds.
Here is the datasheet for the 16GB GDDR6 RAM modules.
512 MB DDR4 SDRAM
This RAM has been installed in the PS5 mainly to handle all the background tasks. Sony has installed the 512 MB DDR4 SDRAM for low-performance tasks due to its efficient power savings, performance enhancement capabilities, and because it is much cheaper than GDDR6 RAM.
So now we know that the PS5 has two RAM pools: one 16GB GDDR6 pool and one 512MB DDR4 pool. Let’s get to know who manufactures these RAMs for Sony’s consoles.
Who Makes PS5 RAM?
Two different tech companies manufacture the PS5’s RAM.
16 GB GDDR6 SDRAM
The 16GB GDDR6 RAM used by the console for gaming purposes is manufactured by Micron.
512 MB DDR4 SDRAM
SK Hynix produces the 512 MB RAM that the consoles use for background tasks and in standby mode.
Sony is dependent on Micron and Hynix for RAM chips for now, but Samsung may also be in the line as a vendor.
For the next part, I am going to answer a burning question that I know many of you may have in mind: Can we expand the RAM in PS5? Let’s see in the next section if we actually can.
Can you get more RAM on the PS5?
I’m going to give you a direct answer to this question:
No, you cannot expand the RAM in the PS5.
There’s no option to upgrade the RAM, but more importantly, there is no need to. The reasons are the SSD and the 16 GB GDDR6 RAM that PS5 uses.
The use of an SSD has eliminated the need for more RAM, at least for the foreseeable future. M.2 SSDs have vastly more bandwidth than traditional magnetic HDDs. In fact, the PS5’s SSD is over 100 times faster than a traditional hard drive.
Because data can be loaded so quickly from the SSD, non-critical data can be left on the SSD and loaded into RAM in real-time when it’s needed. Games like Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart uses the SSD to full effect. Level transitions are near instantaneous as the game dumps all the current level data out of the RAM then loads the new level from the SSD into the 16GB of RAM in under 1.5 seconds.
For other games, Assets that are not currently on-screen can instead be stored on the SSD and then loaded into RAM as they are needed.
For example, Insomniac, the creators of Spider-Man, said that on PS4 they had to hold every asset such as bins and telephone boxes in RAM as the hard drive was too slow to load them. Whereas, on PS5 the SSD is so quick these same assets can be loaded into RAM as and when they are needed.
Now we know all about the RAM that the latest console by Sony uses. What about the PS4? Do you know which RAM it uses? Let’s get to know about it as well.
What RAM Does The PS4 Have?
As I had mentioned earlier, the PS5 offers a massive RAM upgrade compared to PS4. Though the RAM in the PS4 is a bit outdated, it still gets the job done. But how much RAM is exactly in the PS4 and what are the details?
PS4 also has two kinds of RAMS, just like its successor, PS5.
The PS4 has 8 GB (16 × 512 MB) of GDDR5 RAM for the mentioned models.
For CUH12XX models, the PS4 has 8 x 1 GB (1024 MB) of GDDR5 unified system memory and offers a maximum bandwidth of 176 GB/s.
Secondary RAM in PS4
The PS4 has a second 256 MB pool of RAM to assist with background functions and OS features.
PS5 vs PS4 RAM comparison
Below is a table that compares the base model PS4’s RAM to the base model PS5’s RAM.
|RAM Memory||8 GB||16 GB|
|Transfer Rate||176 GB/s.||448 GB/s|
|Secondary RAM Type||DDR4||DDR4|
|Secondary RAM Memory||256 MB||512 MB|
What PC RAM Is Equivalent to PS5’s RAM?
Comparing the PC’s and PS5’s RAM and specs isn’t as straightforward as it seems. The primary thing is the difference between RAM versions and their performances.
The PS5 has 16 GB GDDR6 RAM.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the PS5’s RAM, unlike in a PC, is shared between the CPU and GPU.
RAM in a PC is divided. A GPU will have its own pool of GDDR6 RAM. and the CPU will have its own pool of DDR4 RAM.
So it’s not a straightforward comparison.
I would say, personally, to match the PS5 with a modern PC, you’d need 16GB of CPU system RAM running at a speed of 3200Mhz.
As for graphics RAM, you want to aim to have a GPU with 10GB – 16GB of GDDR6.