How powerful is the PS5? We look to the past to find out (and it's a lot)

Playstation 5 logo
Playstation 5 logo (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

There's a lot we don't know about the PS5 yet. What does it look like? How much will it cost? When is it actually releasing? However, we do know a lot of its specs thanks to PlayStation lead architect Mark Cerny. The PlayStation 5 will boost a powerful solid-state drive (SSD), a custom 3.5GHz Zen 2 CPU, and a 10.28 teraflop custom RDNA 2 GPU.

To put that number into perspective, we took a look at the power levels of past PlayStations and how many teraflops they were packing. As you can imagine, the results ended up being comical when we compared the upcoming console to the PlayStation 2, which released 20 years ago. Time sure have changed, and technology as evolved and advanced a lot.

Source: Android Central

The PS2 GPU ran at a measly 6.2 gigaflops. For perspective, 1,000 gigaflops equals one teraflop. Crunching the numbers, we discovered that a staggering 1,658.06 PS2s equaled the power of one PS5 since 10.28 teraflops is 10,280 gigaflops.

The PS3 was multitudes more powerful than the PS2 in that regard, thus it takes fewer of them to achieve the power of a PlayStation 5. Running at 230.4 gigaflops, it takes around 44.62 PS3s to match the PS5.

Source: Android Central

When you look at the PS4 and PS4 Pro compared to the PS5, the numbers are more manageable. At 1.84 teraflops, you'll need around 5.59 PS4s to meet the PS5. Looking at the PS4 Pro at 4.2 teraflops, it only takes 2.45 consoles to match the PlayStation 5.

Another fun fact: The dimensions of the original PS3 are 7.2-by-11.9-by-3.1inches. If we take 1,658.06 PS2s and stacked them up at their height of 3.1 inches each, we hit around 428.33 feet. To put that into perspective, the largest blue whale on record measured a little over 100 feet.

Source: Smithsonian (Image credit: Source: Smithsonian)

I want to stress that just because you see these large numbers, that doesn't correlate to exact power level comparisons across the entire console. They aren't indicative of the whole picture. The PS5 isn't necessarily 44.62x more powerful than the PS3. These are just comparing GPU teraflop numbers. A lot more variables come into play (CPU, memory bandwidth, etc.) when you talk about the console as a whole, even within the GPU itself.

We're hoping to find out more about the PS5 in the coming months, so we'll have a clearer picture then of how powerful the PS5 truly will be. At the very least, it blows previous PlayStations completely out of the water.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.