A [ remarkable story unfolded last April ](https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2019-is-amd-gonzalo-the-ps5-processor-in-theory) where it seemed that [ an intrepid explorer ](https://twitter.com/tum_apisak?lang=en) of the 3DMark benchmark database stumbled upon preliminary testing for a new gaming processor from AMD dubbed 'Gonzalo' - almost certainly a codename for work-in-progress PlayStation 5 silicon. The notion of a PC benchmark database yielding top secret information about an upcoming next-gen console seems implausible - but further leaks over the last few days not only back up the Gonzalo story but also deliver new details about the graphics core of the new machine. On top of that, the leak also contains tantalising hints about the technical make-up of the Xbox Series X GPU too.
The scale and scope of this latest leak is remarkable and the origin of the new information seems even more far-fetched than the Gonzalo story, leading many to believe that the entire thing may be a work of fiction. However, having looked into the situation and independently verified the source, the overwhelming evidence is that the data does indeed originate from AMD - and hasn't been doctored. We're lacking crucial context for sure but the reasons to doubt the veracity of the leak are somewhat thin on the ground.
From what I can gather, someone at AMD's ASIC validation department used GitHub to store fragments of internal testing data from a range of work-in-progress Team Red projects. The leaks include testing of next-gen desktop and mobile Ryzen APUs along with some deep-dive testing on the PS5 chip, now codenamed Oberon. While the data is not public, it's clear that the GitHub test data has travelled far and wide: further details from the leak mentioned in this article are being discussed at length on ResetEra , for example. The genie is out of the bottle.
My understanding is that this data was first stored on GitHub around six to seven months ago - and looking back over noted leakers' timelines on Twitter , the source seems to have been picked up on as early as August. While this may suggest that the testing data doesn't reflect current next-gen console specs, it's important to remember that developing a microprocessor of the complexity we're talking about here tends to be a multi-year effort. Testing and validating a chip to ensure that it meets performance targets and that it passes debugging is in itself a lengthy process - and making changes to the architecture of the chip at this point is unlikely. Tweaks to clock speeds or accompanying memory are a possibility but the timeline we have suggests that Sony already took the decision to push GPU clock speeds higher by the time the leaked testing took place.
A video breakdown of the latest next-gen spec leaks - and how PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X may compare at the GPU level in architectural terms.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel PlayStation 5 (Unconfirmed) PlayStation 4 Pro PlayStation 4 CPU Eight Zen 2 Cores with SMT - clocks undisclosed Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 1.6GHz GPU 36 custom Navi compute units at 2000MHz 36 custom GCN compute units at 911MHz 18 GCN compute units at 800MHz Memory GDDR6 at 448GB/s (Possibly 512GB/s) - capacity undisclosed 8GB GDDR5 at 218GB/s 8GB GDDR5 at 176GB/s The Gonzalo leak back in April suggested that PlayStation 5 would feature a Zen 2-based CPU cluster running at 3.2GHz paired with a Navi graphics core running at 1.8GHz. Slightly less concrete evidence linked to PCI Express identifiers suggested that AMD was referring to the GPU as 'Navi 10 Lite' - inferring heavily that the GPU would have the same 40 compute units as the PC-based Navi 10 part found in the RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT (with four CUs likely disabled for improved yields from the production line). The test leaks that emerged in recent days tell us nothing about the CPU component but confirm 36 available compute units running at 2.0GHz - which while unconfirmed would give us a 9.2 teraflop GPU for PlayStation 5. At this point, it would be remiss of me not to point out that performance from a Navi teraflop is much, much improved over older generation GCN equivalents .
The leak also suggests that PlayStation 5 uses GDDR6 memory - the same as the RX 5700-series Navi cards in the PC space. Rated bandwidth is 448GB/s but select tests seem to indicate that bandwidth could be as high as 512GB/s. This may indicate that 14gbps GDDR6 is upgraded to 16gbps on the same 256-bit memory interface or it may simply be the case that performance was improved on an internal cache. An upgrade to what is currently premium-level memory may well be beyond the scope of PlayStation 5's balance between price and performance - but of course, it's not as if Sony hasn't upgraded RAM in the past.
So how can we be confident that this processor is actually a semi-custom AMD product for Sony and not another partner like Microsoft? The giveaway is the fact that the GPU can be switched to three different modes in order to provide hardware backwards compatibility with PS4 and PS4 Pro. While a 2.0GHz GPU clock is used for what is described as the fully unlocked 'native' or 'Gen2' mode, the processor is also tested in what is referred to as Gen1 and Gen0 modes. The former is explicitly stated as running with 36 compute units, a 911MHz core clock, 218GB/s of memory bandwidth and 64 ROPs - the exact specifications of PlayStation 4 Pro. The latter Gen0 mode cuts the CU and ROP