Your next PC might have a PS5 chip inside it

Left: AMD 4700S Desktop Kit, available soon on many small PCs.  Right: a confused PS5.

Left: AMD 4700S Desktop Kit, available soon on many small PCs. Right: a confused PS5.
Picture: AMD / Sony / Kotaku

This is the kit for desktop PC AMD 4700S, a small piece of hardware that combines a CPU, a cooler, and a memory on a small motherboard. It is basically a mostly autonomous computer system that will soon appear on more than 80 different computers. from AMD system integration partners. It is also strikingly similar to the hardware inside a console PlayStation 5. In fact, it could be almost exactly the same. Almost.

When photos of the mysterious AMD 4700S kit started showing up on retail listings recently this year, many thought it could be a version of AMD’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) used inside the Xbox Series X console. Now that tech experts have looked more closely through the official list of AMD products, it seems more likely that it is a version of the SoC used for PlayStation 5. It is an easy mistake to make. Both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X use a custom 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor along with custom AMD RDNA 2 graphics and 16GB of integrated GDDR6 SDRAM. The main difference is that while the Xbox Series X CPU can run at up to 3.8 GHz, the PlayStation 5 version runs at a variable speed up to 3.5 GHz.

Upon closer inspection, the CPU included in the 4700S Desktop Kit more closely resembles that of the PlayStation 5. The similarities between the two processors can be easily seen by comparing the images of the 4700S processor from the Korean hardware site. BodNara with a photo of the PlayStation 5 CPU from the console teardown done by iFixit.

Left: Bodnara AMD 4700S CPU.  Right: iFixit PS5 custom Zen 2 CPU.

Now before we start sending our complaints to AMD for possibly limiting PS5 components, a console is still out of stock in many places, a couple of details are worth mentioning. For starters, while the 4700S kit, which AMD told Tom’s Hardware which will soon appear in more than 80 different PC models, it shares some hardware with the PlayStation 5, not actually the same as the PlayStation 5. The 4700S has no integrated graphics, which explains why the board does not have HDMI output, only one slot for a graphics card. So this kit is not “stealing” PS5 components to be bundled with PCs.

It is much more likely that it is a case of something called “binning”, A common practice among computer hardware manufacturers. Manufacturers have certain performance standards for the components they produce. Rather than ditching expensive hardware that doesn’t meet the standards they’re looking for, the company will allocate it for use in a different, less powerful product. Perhaps the company will remove some component entirely, such as the integrated graphics, for example, to sell what could have been the inside of a console as a small PC.

It may seem like an odd practice for those outside of the chip industry, yes, but I like to explain it this way: If my local grocery store takes an apple with bumps or bruises, cut out those battered parts and use the rest to make a cake. You’re not taking anything away from the cake, are you?

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