Report Claims 3.5GB Of PS4’s RAM Reserved For OS, Leaves 4.5GB For Games

Curiously, a Digital Foundry article has appeared on the Portugese version of Eurogamer that claims – it appears – that the PS4’s operation system reserves 3.5GB of the system’s 8GB total [via] – that’s nearly half if the post is to be believed.

The article’s language means it’s difficult to translate accurately, although there’s a Google one here. It’s also difficult to pin down a source – and screenshots in the article point to the recent Killzone presentation – so at the moment take this with a pinch of salt.

Both the PS4 and Xbox One will launch with 8GB – although the PS4’s is faster – but both with significantly lower than that amounts for actual games, leveling the playing field somewhat. The Xbox One reserves 3GB, by the way, effectively giving Microsoft’s console a little more room to breath.

A difference presumably only used in first party exclusives.


Update: it’s now available in English. It also states there’s a 1GB ‘flexible memory’ section that developers (which seems to be limited to first party studios just now, it appears) can claw back “only if the background OS can spare it.”

The article cites a “a well-placed development source” so it’s presumably not based off the old Killzone slides. Chances are this is part of the current dev documentation which somebody has passed onto Eurogamer. Sony haven’t made an official comment yet.

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56 Comments

  1. No one did actually believe for a second that Developers would have access to the old 8GB though did they?
    Although I’m surprised it takes 3.5GB just to power what looks like a glorified facebook news feed.

    • 1.5GB for 15 minutes of streaming.

      • So its been decided that streaming is left in RAM? I thought they were still debating whether to use the hard drive (less available bandwidth, but no storage problems).

        If this is the case, I would rather they drop the streaming to 5 minutes, or less. Its annoying that RAM constraints 5 years down the line will be down to making it slightly easier to share killstreaks and FIFA skills.

      • Nah, just kidding.

        It’s for cross game chat. :p

      • I don’t want a HDD being constantly written to all the time, they would have a high failure rate, AFAIK

      • Ha, that cracked me up :D

        Seriously though, We’ve gone from squeezing OS functions into about 0.05GB of RAM (roughly I think) in the PS360 generation to spreading them out to 3.5GB for next generation.

      • @CC Didn’t think of that… :(
        Easiest solution: Don’t record the last 15 minutes. Although I have found myself (rarely) wanting such a feature this generation.

        Is it too late to suggest upping to RAM to 12GB? :O

      • Make it optional for devs to implement in their games. If they want games to be recorded they optimise their game to suit, anyone else gets the RAM to use as they want.

      • That’s the better way of doing it, let the Devs decide.. I’d much prefer game quality over the ability to record for X mins. The serious youtubers + streamers will still use PVR’s etc anyway I’d expect.

      • Really can’t make such a core feature optional, and I wouldn’t want them to. It doesn’t matter what game it is, someone somewhere will want to share it, and with HDCP on the HDMI out, there’s no easily way to use an external device to do so.

        As a consequence, it needs to be a universal feature.

      • Thought HDCP was cracked & rendered useless a while ago, surely recording devices exist?

        Although they’d probably unlawful thanks to DMCa & DEBill etc

        Anyway, so in years to come when the RAM is needed by developers we all must live with a gimped system because 0.1% of people want to record what they’re doing because they’re either on the business or think they’re YouTube famous… & 20% of people want to spam their friends timeline, facebook style, with… lol watch this… whilst everyone else just wishes the devs could make us of it as best suits their game, if that’s recording clips to share then great, if it’s getting more stuff in the RAM so they can get framerates above PS3 halfspeed – then also great

      • What Chris said. I think the whole recording feature will end up just being a gimmick really. At first everyone and their mums will think they can be the next youtube sensation, then when they realise that’s not happening they’ll just post the occasional screenshot with a plethora of #hastags to go along with it.

      • This is all utter nonsense. You idiots need to stop pretending you know code or hardware design.

        My DVR buffers an hour of TV and it doesn’t have 30GB of memory. Even an idiot knows the buffer is a ****DISK*** buffer not a memory buffer.

        The developer documentationI have seen (which is 6 weeks old) says 6GB is available as standard, 7GB in certain situations (which the article alluded to).

        This sounds like Microsoft’s FUD machine is in full swing trying to counter THEIR memory problems though the power of social media.

      • Interesting. If you can get hold of an image of those documents, where it claims that, you would please a lot of PLayStation fans :)

    • Just finished The last Of Us, and that was done in 512Mb, so even if their was an element of truth in there (which there isn’t), it’s a storm in a teacup.

  2. If true, this proves that expanding restrictions makes programmers lazy. The OS would NEVER be 3,5 GB if the device was only sporting 4 GB.
    But, we’ll wait for the official word by Sony to judge the PS4, won’t we?

    • That’s right, of course, but by having 8GB it has allowed them to both offer more RAM to developers, and also hold more back to allow the OS do more things like hold the video buffer in the RAM, and accomodate future development opportunities they might like to take up.

      As with the PS3, they can always see where they want to take the OS in a year or two, and then open up an extra 512MB or 1GB to developers to make better use of.

      It’s impossible for them to go the other way. Nothing to do with laziness, just applying a bit of common sense to the resources available.

  3. quoting:
    Current PlayStation 4 dev kits have a “Game Memory Budget Mode” in the debug settings featuring two options: normal and large. The normal mode setting confirms that 4.5GB of memory is usable for game applications. The large mode increases this considerably to 5.25GB, but the docs are clear that the extra RAM here is only available for application development, presumably in order to house debugging data. From what we understand, the extra gig of flexible memory appears to work in addition to these allowances.

    So if I read that correctly, there’s a 5.25GB limit and another 1GB available too, so it could be as high as 6.25GB?

    • No, there’s a 4.5GB limit for normal use, and an extra 1GB (though in practice this is just 768MB) which can currently be used to hold debugging data.

  4. There goes an advantage for the PS4. Going up from 0.5GB when system ram was 4gb, to 1gb reserved was to be expected. I thought the Xbox One’s 3GB was bad enough, but I thought that was for fast switching to live TV rather than a bloated OS.

    • Yep, the Xbox runs a Game OS with its GameDVR & the TV OS simultaneously and you can switch instantly between them as they’re both obviously held in RAM

      I really don’t know how Sony’s found a way to use 3.5GB

      Perhaps they’ll announce a hitherto unknown feature at Gamescom or some point in the future. There must be a reason to over triple the expected 1GB

      • Or the quality of the streaming will be found to be 108p60 (with a high bitrate to match), but I highly doubt it.

      • Or it’s utter BS…..

  5. I’m sure it won’t stop me from shooting things, scoring goals, solving puzzles and wheel spinning round corners.

    • ha ha, well said. I’ll just leave it to the experts to be honest. I’m sure they will open up more RAM for games later in its life span anyway, if its needed.

    • Exactamundo! PS3 does some amazing things with it’s half gig of RAM, so I don’t see why a lot of people are complaining about it when there’s still a shedload of it on PS4. “Optimise, optimise, let nothing ever evade your eyes”

  6. Let’s see how much of this actually turns out to be true. 3,5 GB sounds like a lot, when the system were supposed to have 4GB of ram to start with. There is properly room for lots more optimizing and it’s properly just a matter of Sony reserving extra ram for the OS, which can be freed up later.

    • I almost wonder if Sony leaked this for press or to gauge reaction, I am really reeling right now.

    • Yep will be interesting to see how Sony respond, or as often happens someone from Guerrilla to Digital Foundry

      It was originally said to be 512MB of of the available 4GB taken up, then before reveal it was said to be 1GB taken up thanks to some of the OS features we know about.

      Then when Sony changed their minds at the last minute and upped it to 8GB it was thought to still be 1GB, obviously that could inflate a bit… but to go up to 3.5GB something must be happening or planned to be happening in the future, it seems an astronomical amount given that the Xbox One uses 3GB while holding a Game OS with its recording & TV OS in the RAM simultaneously so you can fast switch between them instantly.

  7. Next gen fanboy war:

    SONY fanboy: Ps4 has the best shape!
    MS fanboy: No way, X1 has the best shape!

    What should we do now?

  8. All I’m thinking about at the moment is if it can play music at the same time as games. That’s what has always bugged me about the PS3 compared to Xbox. Not things like cgc.

  9. I surprised no-one has made the obvious PC reference yet about how games consoles are better optimised because there is less overhead. My PC is currently using 2Gb….;)

  10. These consoles are less and less interesting..

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