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PlayStation 5 is an energy hog

17 Sep 2020 | Rasmus Larsen |

All that power comes at a price. Sony has confirmed that PlayStation 5's power supply is rated 350W, which is even higher than the "jet engine" PS4 Pro.

How loud, how hot?

Sony has not always done the best job of limiting energy consumption and noise of its consoles. PlayStation's lead system architect Mark Cerny admitted as much during a presentation of PS5 earlier this year. PS4 Pro is often referred to as the "jet engine". Will PS5 offer solace? Mark Cerny suggested that Sony has upped its game with PS5. Besides better cooling, its hardware runs at a variable frequency, scaled dynamically to match the game that you are currently playing. That sounds great but is it enough to keep it cool and quiet? There is no escaping the fact that PS5 will be an energy hog. At yesterday's event, Sony announced power specifications for the first time, confirming that P5S's power supply is rated 350W (340W for Digital Edition). For comparison, the original PS4 Pro was rated "max 310W" and the original PS4 was rated "max 250W". Later revisions of the consoles consume less power. It is also worth noting that PS5 is Sony's biggest console to date, and that it is heavier than its predecessors (except PS3).

PlayStation consoles

(disc version)
PS4 Pro
(1st revision)
(1st revision)
(1st revision)
(1st revision)
Power supply rating350WMax 310WMax 250WMax 380W~50W
GPU performance10.3 TFlops4.2 TFlops1.8 TFlops0.23 TFlops0.006 TFlops
Dimensions (WxHxD)390x104x260 mm295×55×327 mm275x53x305 mm325x98x274 mm79x302x182 mm
Weight4.5 kg3.3 kg2.8 kg5 kg2.2 kg

Why so energy-hungry?

PS5 will not necessarily reach max levels during day-to-day gaming. In our reviews, we measured average energy consumption to 145-155W for PS4 Pro (1st revision) and 110-130W for PS4 (1st revision). We will include measurements in our upcoming PS5 review. Microsoft has yet to release power supply ratings for Xbox Series X, but based on its hardware it will most likely be comparable or slightly more hungry. Why are modern game consoles so energy-hungry? Well, they are pushing the limits of a mature x86 hardware architecture (PS4, PS4 Pro and PS5 use x86). As for graphics, when measured in absolute terms, consoles now exceed 10 TFlops of graphical performance. As measured in relative performance per Watt terms, leaner chips based on ARM architecture are far ahead. Also see: PS5 section For example, Apple TV 4K with its A10X SoC from 2017 consumes just 5-6W during gaming. It is nowhere near as powerful (approx. 0.5 Tflops graphics) as PS5 but more recent ARM-based SoCs have caught up to current-gen consoles (PS4 and Xbox One) in raw power while still consuming just a fraction of the energy. Those figures can be a little uncomfortable for all of us who are chasing next-gen graphics, but it is the reality. - Source: Sony

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