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PS4 vs PS3: A System Comparison

PS4 vs PS3: A System Comparison

The PlayStation 3 was a technical marvel when it launched back in 2006 with its cell processor and then unprecedented, unheard of 512 megabytes of RAM. But nearly eight years have passed since the launched, and technology moves so quickly that the new PlayStation 4 is miles ahead of its predecessor, just like every new generation of consoles. Let’s take an in-depth look at the PS4 vs PS3.

The Processor

The PS3 had an advanced processor made up of seven “cells” that was to act as “threads” to handle different pieces of a game at a time. This is theoretically better than a single-celled processor in that developers did not have to pile all of the instructions onto the shoulders of a single unit. It ran at 3.2 GHz and did an excellent job most of the time, but it was a notoriously difficult device for which to program. The PS4 has a new 64-bit AMD processor with eight cores each running at 2.0 GHz each. This does what the cellular processor did but in a more traditional way, so developers who worked on PC games in the past will feel more at home with the PS4’s architecture. Additionally, having eight individual processors is heaps faster than a single processor with seven cells, so you can expect up to a 600 percent increase in processing power.


The Graphics

The PS4 vs PS3 graphics performance is night and day. The PS3 had an NVIDIA chip that put out 400 GFlops with 256 megabytes of memory; the PS4 has a custom AMD chip that can put out 1.8 TFlops (almost five times the PS3) with 1 gigabyte of memory (four times the amount on PS3).


On PS3, there were technically 512 megabytes of available system memory (separate from graphics memory), but it was arbitrarily split so 256 megabytes were allotted to music and video while the rest was allotted to game memory, so a lot of memory that could have been used in games was wasted. On PS4, there are eight gigabytes (sixteen times PS3!) all available in one big pool for any system needs, so nothing goes to waste. This means your next-gen GTA will remember cars you have wrecked on the other side of the map. Hundreds of thousands of NPCs could be instantiated and go about their daily lives in your RPGs. In addition, it is GDDR5, which means it is made for graphics operations. Bigger, sharper textures and higher-than-ever-resolution video!

destiny PS4

Games and Media

The games library on PS4 vs PS3 is a different story, though. As a new system, you are unfortunately going to experience a short drought, and games purchased on PS3 will not be playable on PS4 currently due to different internal system architecture. However, the excellent games that are available are top-tier, and even games that were released for PS3 look leagues better on PS4.

The Verdict: PS4 vs PS3

If you are looking for a future-proof next-gen experience, PS4 is absolutely the way to go. However, the PS3 has a large library of breathtaking gaming experiences at a cheaper price. Going forward, we will see less games released for PS3 as the industry moves on to the PS4, so taking the plunge is not a bad idea.

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