The PS5 has two RAM pools that it uses. The first is the primary pool that is used majorly for gaming purposes, and it contains 16 GB GDDR6 RAM. The secondary pool is basically system memory and it is typically used by the operating system for background tasks.
The PlayStation 5 is part of the ninth generation of video game consoles, alongside the Xbox Series S and X. It can be hard knowing which of the two to get, and if you're leaning towards the PS5, it's important to know what you can about PS5 specs, including the RAM that it has.
So, if you're looking to find out how much RAM is inside a Sony PlayStation 5, you're in the right place. Let's get straight into what you need to know.
RAM is used by computing devices — whether computers, game consoles, or smartphones — to hold the data and files that are currently in use or being processed.
Your Sony PS5 is dedicated to playing games but it also has an operating system that can do several things in the background of your gameplay.
Because of this, Sony decided to build the PS5 with two RAM pools, and it's pretty clever.
The first RAM pool is the primary one, and this is what your console relies on for any kind of gaming that you throw at it.
This pool has 16 GB GDDR6 RAM, which gives the console the capability for high-performance gaming at a level that consoles couldn't achieve before.
However, keep in mind that this is unified RAM, so it is not solely to run games and can be used by the OS when necessary.
The second of the two pools of RAM is much smaller than the primary pool, with only 512 MB of DDR4 RAM.
However, this RAM serves more like system memory, used only for the background tasks performed by the Sony PS5's OS.
These tasks aren't demanding at all, so the PS5 doesn't need as much RAM here.
So, now you know how much RAM the new console from Sony uses, but what kinds of RAM does it use exactly? There's a lot to unpack here, so let's dive into it.
First off, between the two pools, let's talk about what the main pool uses first.
The RAM here is GDDR6 SDRAM, or Graphics Double Data Rate 6 Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory, which is certainly a mouthful.
What makes this RAM unique is that it is graphics RAM, which means that it was designed specifically to be the RAM of choice in graphics cards and consoles.
GDDR6 RAM is built to attain high bandwidth rates, and considering that the PS5 has 16 GB of 256-bit GDDR6 RAM, it has a theoretical bandwidth limit of 448GB per second, which is crazy to think about.
This is exactly why demanding games are handled by this console pretty easily.
The RAM used in the second pool of the PS5 is just like regular PC RAM since it uses 512 MB DDR4, or Double Data Rate 4, SDRAM.
There's nothing groundbreaking about this kind of RAM, but since it isn't used to load data directly for games, it handles its job perfectly.
Sony sources the components for their consoles from a variety of manufacturers. Interestingly enough, both pools of RAM are sourced from different companies.
The 16 GB GDDR6 RAM is manufactured by Micron, while SK Hynix is the company that produces the 512 MB DDR4 RAM.
Modern game consoles are more user-upgradeable than they were several years ago, which is great for us consumers.
But is the RAM in the PS5 one of the things that you can upgrade if 16 GB GDDR6 RAM isn't enough for you?
The answer to that is no. You can't add more RAM to the PS5, and even if you could, it's not likely that you'd notice a significant improvement since most games for the PS5 are carefully optimized to play smoothly with the hardware that it ships with.
That's not the only reason why more RAM won't make as much of a difference as you think.
Video game consoles have moved to using SSDs instead of traditional magnetic HDDs. What this means is that instead of needing to preload all assets onto the RAM before they're used, smaller assets can be read straight off the SSD in real-time.
If you want to build a computer that comes close to the performance of the PS5, you might want to know the kind of PC RAM you'll need. How much do you need, and how fast does it have to be?
It's hard to directly compare since the PS5 uses unified RAM that the CPU and GPU share. In a computer though, the CPU and GPU each have their own RAM.
The RAM that you plug into your motherboard is what your CPU relies on, and to bring it up to the performance of the PS5, I'd recommend that you get about 16 GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 3200 MHz. Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM matches these specs perfectly.
If you're a bit of a spec-head like myself, you might want to know how much better the RAM in the PS5 is compared to its predecessor, especially with the massive upgrade that Sony claims in gaming performance.
Well, the difference is actually rather significant when you break things down.
First off, both consoles use unified RAM, but the PS4 opts for GDDR5 RAM, which is good, but simply less capable than GDDR6 RAM.
What this means is a higher bandwidth for the newer console. This bumps the 176 GB/s transfer rate of the PS4 to 448 GB/s in the PS5.
On top of using a higher-end RAM type, the PS5 doubles the total RAM capacity. That's right, the PS4 only has 8 GB of RAM, while the newer console goes for 16 GB, as I mentioned earlier.
Finally, the PS4 also has a second pool of RAM. While both of these gaming consoles use DDR4 RAM here, the PS4 only has 256 MB of it, which is exactly half of the PS5's 512 MB.
The PS5 has a primary pool that uses unified RAM, which can be accessed by both the CPU and the GPU. Here, you'll find 16 GB of high-bandwidth GDDR6 SDRAM, which provides the much faster speeds that make playing modern games possible. In the other pool, the PS5 boasts 512 MB of DDR4 RAM, which is mainly used for tasks in the background.
The PS5 comes a long way from the PS4, which only had 8 GB of GDDR5 RAM and 256 MB in the second pool. Just on paper, there's more than double a performance boost looking at the type and amount of RAM alone.
Was this article able to give you all the details on the memory that you'll find inside the Sony PS5? If so, take a look at our other articles, where you can learn so much more.