Need for speed —
How big a frame-rate bump? Tests get down to the percentile level.
Sony’s latest PS5 system firmware update makes some games run slightly faster, at least under certain scenarios. In a new Digital Foundry video, it was discovered that a performance bump—which affects both the console’s 1000 series launch model and recently released 1100 series model revision—appears to make certain games run up to three percentage points faster.
Digital Foundry founder Richard Leadbetter compared performance tests in Control Ultimate Edition and Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition using previously released PS5 firmware as a benchmark against the now-current September system software update. The video’s accompanying frame-graph footage showed DMC5SE cut scenes and Control‘s photo mode (which unlocks the game’s frame rate, capped at 30 fps during gameplay) running at a fluctuating 1-2 frames per second higher on the PS5 using the newer firmware.
During his tests, Leadbetter said each game was running 1-3 percent faster with a 1 percent margin of error. He added that ray tracing and unlocked frame rates seemed to be a “common component” in their occurrence. Digital Foundry did not mention any other games that have unlocked frame rates below 60 fps, since the powerful PS5 console doesn’t have many of those. This leaves to interpretation exactly how much power this firmware update is possibly opening up to PS5 games across the board.
Though faster performance for games may seem unusual for a hardware-side system update, the case of Sony’s new firmware is only the latest example. Microsoft initially launched the original Xbox One in 2013 with 10 percent of the device’s overall GPU processing time reserved for “system processing,” which earmarked space for mandatory Kinect integration as well as the hardware’s jump-between-apps feature, Snap mode.
Representatives for Sony did not immediately respond to questions about the PS5’s latest firmware update and its impact on game performance.