ps3-comparison

Has the PS3 console degraded with each iteration?

PS3 Background

I am a proud owner of three Playstation 3 consoles. Now before you ask why would anyone need so many of the same consoles in their household, it is simply because they can do so much and are the most used console in my home.

So as you may have guessed from the article’s heading I own all 3 iterations of the Playstation 3 console:

1) PS3 Phat 160GB – In my bedroom
2) PS3 Slim 120GB – In the living room
3) PS3 Super Slim 12GB – In my brother’s bedroom

PS3 consoles are now cheaper but also slower

Now I’ve used all three consoles on a daily basis to do various things; play games, watch movies and even use the web browser. Now from my experience I can tell you that the old dusty PS3 Phat console is quicker and far more responsive than the rest of the bunch and the PS3 Slim is also faster than the newly released PS3 Super Slim. Now when I talk about being fast and responsive I mean in terms of the time it takes to boot up the console, booting into a game, navigating through the in-game XMB and even the dreaded loading screens! Also just so you know all consoles are running the same firmware at all times – so it isn’t that!

Now this makes me wonder has Sony decided to implement cell processors with slower clock-speeds with each iteration? Doing this of course would make them cheaper to produce; along with the obvious shrinking down of the internal components and using cheaper material.

Now from my research IBM claimed that the PS3 Slim has a faster processor than the PS3 Phat. Then why does it have the sudden urge to freeze up during games?

Here is a video by ‘Dave18Hot’ showing a comparison of PS3 Phat and PS3 Slim playing a copy of Killzone 2.

As you can see from the results; the PS3 Slim does indeed run slightly slower (loading the game) and also has the same freezing point as the PS3 console.

PS3 Missing features

There are also other factors such as the PS3 Slim not having the ability out of the box to install other OS (which has now been removed from the PS3 Phat). Was this due to the fact that there was something amiss in the new PS3 Slim? Probably not as I have seen these consoles hacked to run the Other OS feature regardless, but I can’t help to think this would put further strain on the console.

Now I’m not saying the PS3 Phat is the best console; nor am I saying the PS3 Super Slim is the worst. Sony are out there to get as many sales as possible; producing and retailing a PS3 console for around £130.00 is a huge accomplishment in my eyes and if downgrading the PS3 slightly gets this beautiful console in many other homes then so be it.

Which PS3 console is the best then?

Just to point out here is my overall opinion on each iteration of the PS3 Consoles:

PS3 Phat
– The best looking console out of the bunch, I love the touch buttons and the slick black finish.
– Fastest and most responsive.
– Not reliable! I’ve had a few YLOD issues myself!
– Can get very loud when it gets dusty in there (compressed air can solve this).

Overall: A strong all round console, but if you want something reliable don’t buy this second hand!

PS3 Slim
– The quietest console (shh!)
– A neat looking PS3 that doesn’t attract dust!
– Very reliable, these are solid machines that don’t tend to overheat.
– Very fast, but can freeze up a tiny bit now and again.

Overall: My favorite console, it has kept the disc slot mechanism and is the most reliable (I love reliable electronics!

PS3 Super Slim
– The loudest console (grrr *disc rumble*)
– Has lost the disc slot mechanism and replaced with the Playstation 1 style flip top – Least you wont have your disc stuck!
– Very reliable so far, although it is early days.
– Probably the slowest/least responsive out the bunch. But it plays everything perfect – why complain?
– The cheapest console released – a great replacement if your PS3 Phat broke down.

Overall: I love the price, the console looks slick shame about the noise and disc loading mechanism)

Also just a side note for my UK visitors; as you can tell I am totally into my gadgets. Feel free to look around my website for quick cash for any unwanted gadgets you may have. I also purchase gadgets that are unlisted; just send me a message via the Contact Us Form

23 Responses to “Has the PS3 console degraded with each iteration?”

    • Aasim

      Haha I do have an Xbox 360 too and your right it is more snappy. I just prefer the PS3 though personally! Especially with the blu-ray and media capabilities it offers. I had a Wii too and well I sold that a while back.

      Reply
      • DarthDiggler

        I popped a 240GB Solid State Drive into my PS3, super peppy now.

        @Dirty Sanchez – Try doing that to your X360 without voiding the warranty BRO! :)

        Reply
    • MartinB105

      If you combine the loading times of all three, then you end up with a loading time that’s around three times longer than one console. I can’t say I’m surprised that the Xbox 360 would beat that. :p

      Reply
  1. hobbes

    I’d like to think the sluggishness may have to do with the 12GB drive more than anything. To get an accurate reading you’d need to have each console using the same HD. Plug in a 7200 RPM drive into each console, and see what kind of speed boost you get.

    Reply
    • Aasim

      I should have mentioned the PS3 super slim has the hard drive from the YLOD console. But just a fact to throw out there; I believe the 12GB is flash memory so should be faster than the usual hard drive. Also I’m not planning on putting 7200rpm drives in my PS3 consoles anytime soon as much as I love them. I’d prefer to keep them stock.

      Reply
      • DarthDiggler

        Depends on the flash memory. Likely the flash memory they used closely matched the transfer rate of a hard drive. They have to keep the systems consistent which is why the PS3 hard drives have always been 5400 RPM (well that helps with cooling too).

        Software will run differently on 2 different computers with the exact same specs. If the hardware is slightly different there is bound to be anomalies. You have just noticed an anomaly that makes it appear the slim is slower. I bet there have been some instances where it has been faster too.

        Reply
        • Aasim

          Why would they purposely downgrade the flash memory to work as slow as a mechanical hard drive?

          Reply
          • DarthDiggler

            It likely isn’t as slow, but it’s not likely using the most state of the art flash memory. It’s being put into a VALUE system and thus the parts are likely selected based on a low price.

            Different hardware will always lead to different performance though, even in the same Family and Model of system with what appears to be the same specs.

        • Mr.Demon

          That’s True.. I had some experience with Fats and Slim PS3 and on recent games (Tekken tag Tournament 2) loading times have been faster on the Slim. But not sligthly, but really noticeable.

          I think it should depend of the software.

          Reply
  2. DarthDiggler

    You really should consult someone technical before writing about technical things you don’t have much understanding of.

    The Cell CPU has the same capabilities in each system. How ever the motherboard has been redesigned for power and efficiency. However this is not without a cost, everything is a trade off. Considering that Killzone 2 is an older game and hasn’t had a recent patch it may be missing some code that optimizes it for the Slim.

    Load times are generally not representative of the system’s performance. Load times only have to deal with the hard drive transfers. The reason you get different load times is because the media in each system is different. I believe that sequence for KZ2 runs while KZ2 is installing stuff into the background, so any studdering isn’t a result of the CPU it’s the storage.

    Reply
    • Aasim

      Haha, I approved your comment as I accept criticism.

      Firstly the Cell CPU does not have the same capability in each system. I know this because IBM themselves claimed the cell processor in the Slim was ‘FASTER’.

      Secondly there was a Killzone 2 PS3 Slim bundle. So I am sure Guerilla would have had early access and knowledge of the PS3 Slim system when developing their game. This also doesn’t explain why the PS3 slim is more sluggish in the in-game XMB.

      But overall I’m not blaming the CPU directly, I’m sure other factors such as Memory and hard drive are factors also. But it just seems to me as the CPU speed has been run down or something! It must be hard keeping it cool in such a small machine.

      Reply
      • DarthDiggler

        “Firstly the Cell CPU does not have the same capability in each system. I know this because IBM themselves claimed the cell processor in the Slim was ‘FASTER’.”

        Well why didn’t you cite this in your article (which is a good practice in journalism)? Please provide a link!

        In terms of computing power ‘faster’ is a nebulous term that is more at home on a marketing brochure than a technical white paper. The process of shrinking a CPU to a smaller die technically makes it faster due to the smaller points that signals need to travel.

        “Secondly there was a Killzone 2 PS3 Slim bundle. So I am sure Guerilla would have had early access and knowledge of the PS3 Slim system when developing their game. This also doesn’t explain why the PS3 slim is more sluggish in the in-game XMB.”

        It’s just a Bundle, chances are Guerilla Games didn’t find out about it until we did. There is absolutely NO WAY that Guerilla Games took any resources off of current projects to patch KZ2 for minor studdering (likely caused by an installation process) on a later platform if the game is working just fine otherwise. They are very busy with a few projects.

        “But overall I’m not blaming the CPU directly,”

        OK

        “I’m sure other factors such as Memory and hard drive are factors also.”

        Yep that is the case, storage being the biggest variable as performance changes over time with Hard Drives becoming fragmented.

        “But it just seems to me as the CPU speed has been run down or something!”

        Now you are contradicting yourself. You just said it likely wasn’t the CPU and now you are saying it sure seems like the CPU.

        “It must be hard keeping it cool in such a small machine.”

        You may be on to something there, most modern processors have code in them to clock themselves down when they get too hot.

        Looking at your setup you could very well have an abundance of heat building up just above your consoles and below the TV. Most big screens can get fairly hot and the heat exhaust from the consoles may just be lingering behind the machines in the heat from the TV is higher.

        Maybe sure your vents are all clean (the slim has some very small ones you have to hunt for not sure about the new slim, but it shouldn’t be that old to need dusting). Consider adding a small fan to your setup or relocating your consoles (at least for a test).

        Reply
        • Aasim

          Q) Well why didn’t you cite this in your article (which is a good practice in journalism)? Please provide a link!

          A) I never cited the the IBM comment as it wasn’t a point I made in the article.

          Statement) In terms of computing power ‘faster’ is a nebulous term that is more at home on a marketing brochure than a technical white paper. The process of shrinking a CPU to a smaller die technically makes it faster due to the smaller points that signals need to travel.

          A) I like to keep things simple.

          Statement) It’s just a Bundle, chances are Guerilla Games didn’t find out about it until we did. There is absolutely NO WAY that Guerilla Games took any resources off of current projects to patch KZ2 for minor studdering (likely caused by an installation process) on a later platform if the game is working just fine otherwise. They are very busy with a few projects.

          A) It isn’t just a bundle; I don’t know if you remember the Killzone 2 fiasco but it was a HUGE thing back then. So huge that I’m sure that Sony had provided Guerilla with everything they needed to optimise for the PS3 slim. This is only one game; there are many others that I’ve noticed the console take time to load namely Fifa 13.

          Statement) Now you are contradicting yourself. You just said it likely wasn’t the CPU and now you are saying it sure seems like the CPU.

          A) Stating I wasn’t blaming the CPU meant that it wasn’t the sole reason for the cause of the problem. I’ve disassembled and reassembled both the PS3 Phat and the PS3 Slim to know that there is an obvious decrease in quality of components.

          Statement) You may be on to something there, most modern processors have code in them to clock themselves down when they get too hot.

          A) Contradiction – see your previous statement.

          Your last 2 statements – great advice; I’d love to see helpful comments like that. Keep it up brother! Also thanks for taking your time to visit my website and interact; I actually appreciate it even though it has become a somewhat heated discussion haha.

          Reply
          • DarthDiggler

            “A) I never cited the the IBM comment as it wasn’t a point I made in the article.”

            You said that you think that Sony has made changes to the hardware that have affected performance in your article, I asked you more about this and you point out that IBM said the Cell in the later models of PS3 was faster. That would be completely germane to this article and give your words more credibility as you would be sourcing IBM and not just speculating.

            __________

            “A) It isn’t just a bundle; I don’t know if you remember the Killzone 2 fiasco but it was a HUGE thing back then. So huge that I’m sure that Sony had provided Guerilla with everything they needed to optimise for the PS3 slim.”

            For the original Slim I believe you are correct, for the newer slim I don’t think any optimizations were done. When the original slim came out, Sony made many changes to the system to get that form factor and price. The newer slim didn’t quite require as much of an undertaking.

            __________

            “This is only one game; there are many others that I’ve noticed the console take time to load namely Fifa 13.”

            Yes but as I explained different versions of the same hardware will tend to have slightly different performance. This is by no means a smoking gun that suggest Sony is making PS3s with less quality or capabilities.

            __________

            “I’ve disassembled and reassembled both the PS3 Phat and the PS3 Slim to know that there is an obvious decrease in quality of components.”

            Given the type of information you have been presenting here I am not exactly sure that you are actually qualified to give those opinions. No disrespect but hardware doesn’t seem to be your wheelhouse. How exactly did you surmise that the Fat PS3 housed higher quality components than the Slim? A visual inspection alone would only garner so much information especially if you don’t really know what to look for to begin with.

            __________

            “A) Contradiction – see your previous statement.”

            My comments didn’t contradict themselves, hopefully your English is better than your technical aptitude. :) You were making the case that the Cell CPU in the later iterations of the PS3 are not as powerful. I was saying that likely isn’t the case and expanded upon that when you mentioned the thermal challenges of the PS3 Slim. Which prompted me to take another look at your setup. So that has nothing to do with the quality of the PS3 whatever build you have. Hot spaces are bane for electronics unless they are ruggedized for harsh environments.

  3. Aasim

    DarthDiggler – See here

    Statement) You said that you think that Sony has made changes to the hardware that have affected performance in your article, I asked you more about this and you point out that IBM said the Cell in the later models of PS3 was faster. That would be completely germane to this article and give your words more credibility as you would be sourcing IBM and not just speculating.

    A) Yes I only remembered that point when you mentioned it; I don’t want to edit the article now.

    Statement) For the original Slim I believe you are correct, for the newer slim I don’t think any optimizations were done. When the original slim came out, Sony made many changes to the system to get that form factor and price. The newer slim didn’t quite require as much of an undertaking.

    A) Yes I was referring to the original PS3 Slim.

    Statement) Yes but as I explained different versions of the same hardware will tend to have slightly different performance. This is by no means a smoking gun that suggest Sony is making PS3s with less quality or capabilities.

    A) Thus the article; my OPINION feels that the newer PS3s are less capable. A prime example is the PS3 slim – if you believe that isn’t the case then we should really drop this discussion.

    Statement) Given the type of information you have been presenting here I am not exactly sure that you are actually qualified to give those opinions. No disrespect but hardware doesn’t seem to be your wheelhouse. How exactly did you surmise that the Fat PS3 housed higher quality components than the Slim? A visual inspection alone would only garner so much information especially if you don’t really know what to look for to begin with.

    A) I am qualified to have an opinion based on my experience. My question to you is: Do you own all 3 Playstation consoles?

    If you open up the PS3 Phat you will easily see it has higher quality components: Plastic, Heavy duty power supply (with housing), Heavy duty fan, More USB ports on motherboard, backwards compatible (older PS3s). The only thing I think the PS3 Phat lacks in term of quality is the solder used on the motherboard; it uses a lead free solder which is the main cause to YLOD (from my experience). The cost of the machines is another obvious factor; the pricier it is for Sony to build the more quality components I expect the console to have.

    Reply
  4. MartinB105

    The boot time and XMB related differences between the phat and slim make sense, since the phat stored the firmware on separate flash memory, whereas the slim stores the firmware on the hard drive, in order to save costs by removing the flash memory.

    It might even explain game loading times, since the firmware probably contains a number of API’s that are required to run the game.

    I don’t understand the difference between the slim and super slim though.

    Reply
    • Aasim

      Your right about the PS3 slim holding the actual firmware on the hard drive, although they didn’t remove the internal flash chip completely; it still has enough information on it to boot the PS3 but the OS is in fact stored on the hard drive. If they didn’t have the flash chip it would have become a hackers dream, especially with the custom firmwares available nowadays.

      Reply
  5. ace3000

    Ok. Here’s my 2 cents. That is not all the systems they had FAT Ps3s without backward compatibility,They have more then 1 slim I have one with led on disc button and one with no led on disc button basically im just saying not all system been tested. I have owned FAT 60gb with backward compatibility but got 4 ylod.So i decided to get Slim with led on disc button and it has been running for 5x longer then the FAT Ps3 . I do know what u mean about the slow down but i think it has to do with software cuz if load times were different i MP games ppl would load into games faster then you but thats not the case cuz im there just as fast with slim……… Now do we know if they used same blu-ray drives with same read speeds??? My slim with no led on disc button has a louder blu-ray drive then the one with led on disc button but i haven’t tested them back to back to see any performance differences. Also I do believe its software and I did read some where its the same CPU set up.

    Reply
  6. ace3000

    Also they removed 2 usb ports backward compatibility and the SD card reader & the power button changed to make it cheaper. I wish they put in wireless N not G and its probably not a gigabit port.with wire in i get about 25mbs download and upload only 5mbps wireless i get 6mbps D and 3mbps U. when i speed test on pc i get 50+mbps D 15mbps U but ps3 won’t get that high. The wireless will depend on how far u are from ur router but wireless N gets better range and they went with G.

    Reply
  7. ace3000

    There has also been reports that the Ps3 FAT won’t play newer games i think Uncharted 3 was 1 of the games. Also my Ps3 Slim does get loud at times and i remove all its dust once a month. I would say that the Ps3 Slim with led on disc button is the best for the price . I got the Ps3 Slim without led on disc button last year at black friday for $199 with LBP2 and R&C all 4 one. I don’t use it much family uses that one.I don’t think im going to get Ps4 unless its mind blowing but not a first day buy for me the lack of support and features upon updates been depressing i want aleast 4 more year out of Ps3. They are making system to fast now .I was hoping they would make a usb plug in Ram for the ps3 to give it more Ram. but no cross game chat,slow XMB when in a game, slow trophy sync. I don’t think Sony cares about what we want we been asking and getting nothing but small stuff.

    Reply

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