The PlayStation 4, reportedly codenamed Orbis, may utilize custom chips based on AMD's A8-3850 APU and Radeon HD 7670 GPU, sources have told IGN, offering the combined performance of both integrated and discrete graphics processors.According to the official product specs, the A8-3850 packs a quad-core 2.9GHz processor with an integrated graphics chip. The APU will work in tandem with the system's dedicated GPU, the HD 7670, a DirectX 11-enabled card clocked to 1GHz with up to 1GB of dedicated VRAM.
The HD 7670 is a rebranded version of last year's HD 6670, sporting identical specs across the board. If you recall, the HD 6670 is the same card that we reported will be used in the Xbox 720. The implication, of course, is that the two systems will effectively go toe-to-toe as far as discrete graphics are concerned.
By current standards, the HD 6670 is an entry-level processor with a price of about $74.99. Benchmark tests place framerate performance for taxing titles games like Metro 2033 and Crysis 2 set to high settings at a resolution of 1920x1080 (1080p) with average framerates of just over 30 frames-per-second. The chip also supports HDMI1.4a output, which is necessary for the system's rumored 4k output. Naturally, a comparably lightweight operating system and console-optimized games will likely improve performance, but the PS4's real edge could come from the secondary GPU provided by the APU.
Onboard the A8-3850 is an HD 6550D, which makes the APU capable of running games at baseline specs and lower resolutions without the help of a discrete GPU. When the APU is paired with the HD 7670, however, Sony will be able to utilize an asymmetrical CrossFire configuration to share the load of realtime graphics processing.
Our sources caution that while current plans for the device make use of the the chipsets mentioned, it is possible that changes could be made prior to the system's launch.
With publishers rumored to have already begun development for the system and the system slated for a 2013 release, additional details are sure to emerge over the next few months.
UPDATE: For further clarification, the chips being used in the PlayStation 4 are based on the off-the-shelf parts detailed above and are being custom tooled for the console. Exact specs may vary.