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PS3 System Uses 3x More Memory Than Xbox 360

by Paul Strauss

Even though the Xbox 360 has an arguably much faster and easier to use operating environment than the PlayStation 3, it apparently uses significantly less memory than Sony’s big black box.

PS3 and Xbox 360

According to this post by Ozymandias (who happens to work for Microsoft,) the Xbox 360 reserves approximately 32MB of it’s RAM for the System, including the kernel, device drivers, Xbox Guide, friends lists, voice/text messages, achievement lists, gamercards, Live Marketplace, 1-1 chat, virtual keyboard, and the music player. That leaves about 480MB of RAM for game developers use any way they want.

In contrast, the PlayStation 3 is estimated to use about 96MB for System overhead, plus an additional 9MB for friends list functionality. So right out of the gate, PlayStation 3 developers end up with 73MB less available RAM than an Xbox 360 title with the same basic features enabled. Plus, it’s reported that in-game e-commerce capability wastes another 60MB of RAM. On top of all this, Sony’s memory architecture says that 50% of all RAM is for graphics, and the other 50% is for application use, further limiting developer freedom.

These memory architecture decisions, along with the reduction in available memory could be part of why cross-platform titles are looking better on the Xbox 360 than on the PS3, especially for games that started on the 360 and were ported to the PS3.

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Comments (10):

  1. Extinction says:

    “They plan to have a “Blade” like pane that can appear out of the right hand side of the screen for viewing and participating in activities that the OS enables. ”

    Can’t help noticing but your source was wrong.

    Not only that, but multiple devs have confirmed PS3s OS uses 64 MB in TOTAL

  2. technabob says:

    I’m not saying that Ozymandias is necessarily 100% unbiased, that’s why I mentioned that he works for Microsoft.

    That said, if you have any link(s) to those developers who have “confirmed” the 64MB usage, I’m sure my readers would be interested to see those.

    P.S. Even if that’s the case, 64MB usage is still 2X as much as the 360 uses, and the user experience on the 360 is just that much easier to use and better integrated.

    • guest says:

      Thats why the xbox has 1/10th the amount of user changeable options and that the XBL menu system almost always lag while using a modern game,Not that the ps3 menus don’t lag in game, but it’s only a fraction of a second, where as commonly on XBL you see 2-3 second slowdowns when opening the guide pop up. My point is it doesn’t really matter how much ram it’s using, it’s about how efficient it runs the code in use.

  3. Philip says:

    Uhh, ps3 has better ram than 360.
    360 has 512 ram for both cpu and gpu.
    Ps3 has 256 for cpu (4,5 times as fast as 260 ram) and 256 ram for gpu.
    The article is wrong so it can better get removed.
    Sorry for my bad English.

    • webterractive says:

      That’s fine Philip but the artical is not about speed of the memory but the footprint in memory that the system leaves. It’s like running a computer with 512MBs of SDRAM @133Mhz and having 80% of it free, vs a a 1024MBs of 800Mhz DDR2 with only 2% free, the 512 system will run much better. I hate Xbox because it breaks so easily without dropping in it and my PS3 is an awsome Bluray player, though some games are good too.

  4. Iain7 says:

    I have installed linux on my ps3 which sits on top of the game os. I am sure most of the game os “calls” are cache from the hard drive, then flushed out of memory. The game os on the xbox needs a different type of memory. As it does not need a hdd. I think this story has been made up.

  5. Stumbows says:

    Phillip is right the XDR memory is running at 3.2Ghz as opposed to Xbox360 RAM running 700Mhz.

    Although the PS3 GDDR3 memory runs at this speed too the system memory is much faster.

    I would be dubious as to whether the code was any good for the x360 OS as in the past Microsoft have tried to take shortcuts with the Palm PCs and cutting down windows which makes it an extremely inefficient piece of tech.

  6. Koizumi says:

    It’s no brainer that xbox gets the upper hand on this issue since that’s what they do, make OS’s work. From my point of view xbox is like a truck traveling through a highway at speedlimit (big memory) and PS3 is Van going slightly over the speedlimit (limited memory but faster)

  7. Koizumi is a Loser! says:

    WTH are you on about Koizumi, your point of view is incredibly warped. Especially as M$ make OS’s that DON’T work! Apple is vastly superior in that department on home computers, and Sony’s XMB is a mile ahead of Xbox’s awful NXE.

    And yes, you resurrected a thread almost year old, so I am too!

  8. prankstare says:

    I don’t get it now, could somebody explain to me one thing?

    Well, if Xbox 360 has more available memory for graphics than does the PS3, and the latter has allegdly a much faster CPU, then how come most mutiplatform games appear to have more “moving” objects on screen for the PS3 version? Plus, it is a fact that you can notice a lot of fade-in/fade-out objects appearing on Xbox 360, but I am not sure if that’s a memory or a CPU problem. :(

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