PlayStation 5 Hardware Finally Revealed: AMD Zen 2 3.5GHz CPU, 825GB SSD, Expandable NVMe SSD Slot
March 19, 2020 Andrew Cheng

Sony finally revealed more details on the hardware of the upcoming PlayStation 5 system. Many of the console’s specifications detailed today are quite technical, but we do have a picture of what to expect from Sony’s next-generation console, including its performance level, SSD capacity, and even support for expandable storage.

As expected, the PS5 will indeed be powered by a custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with eight physical cores and 16 threads, and we now know how fast these cores are clocked at: 3.5GHz. In comparison, the PlayStation 4’s eight AMD Jaguar cores were only running at 1.6GHz.

In the GPU side of things, the PS5 features a custom GPU based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, which promises 10.28 teraflops and 36 compute units clocked at 2.23GHz. Do note that the clock speed of the GPU and CPU are variable, so they may run slower under certain conditions. It’s also worth mentioning that this GPU supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing as well.

What about the SSD? Well, that’s where it gets pretty darn interesting. Unlike conventional SSD capacities you find in the market now, the PS5 uses a custom 825GB M.2 SSD for the best price to performance ratio, among other things. On top of that, it is also a blazing fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive, which is a relatively new standard in the market now.

It’s important to put emphasis on the PCIe 4.0 standard used by the PS5’s SSD, given that the console will have an extra NVMe SSD slot for further expansion if you’ve filled up the 825GB drive. Basically, not all M.2 drive will work best with the PS5; it’s best to wait for some form of validation from Sony on compatible SSDs with the next-gen console before you actually buy one.

Speaking of storage, the PS5 will still support external drives via USB, but these slower storage solutions will be mainly used to play backward-compatible PS4 games. It still remains to be seen if the PS5 can run physical copies of PS4 games, but with this revelation, at least digital copies of PS4 titles are confirmed to work with the upcoming console.

Last but certainly not least is the PS5’s “Tempest Engine.” In short, it’s a 3D audio engine that aims to deliver immersive audio, and you won’t have to invest in high-end audio hardware to enjoy this; just a pair of headphones will do. It’s a very interesting tech, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly how developers will take advantage of the Tempest Engine.

Unfortunately, today’s announcement did not reveal any launch title or the design of the PS5 system – Sony is still keeping those under tight wraps. Nonetheless, today’s announcement do shed some light on Sony’s next-generation console, which will be launching by the end of 2020.

Not sure if the PS5 is worth waiting for? Then check out this article, where we discuss whether or not you should just get the PS4 now instead of waiting for the PS5 to hit the market.