Which should you buy when choosing between the PS4 Pro and PS4? Sony has since switched to the PS5, but some consumers may still be debating between the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the latter of which is more powerful but also more expensive.
It is not always simple to decide between the two. It doesn’t always follow that the product you should purchase is the one with the “Pro” label. Particularly if you’re unsure of the precise enhancements, Sony made in comparison to the standard PS4.
The same game library is supported by both the PS4 and the PS4 Pro. Instead, the PS4 Pro’s ability to play some games at a higher resolution is the biggest difference between these two consoles (up to 4K). So, in this article, I will be going through a quick comparison between the PS4 and PS4 pro.
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Build and Design Compared
In terms of build and design differences, the extra layer on top of the PS4 Pro is the most noticeable visual distinction between it and the original PS4. In contrast to the original PS4, which has two layers with a gap in between for the disc drive and two USB ports, the PS4 Pro has three layers.
Fortunately, this hasn’t significantly increased its size. The PS4 Pro is larger than the original PS4, which measures 295 x 327 x 55 mm. This indicates that it is slightly larger, being 2 cm wider and deeper, but intriguingly, it has roughly the same height. Additionally, it weighs slightly more than a pound or half a kilogramme, but you shouldn’t be too bothered by that.
The PS4 Pro, unlike the more compact PS4, has an optical audio output on the back, just like the 2013 PS4 launch model. The HDMI port is the last distinction between the rear console ports. The PS4 Pro has an HDMI 2.0 port instead of the standard PS4’s HDMI 1.4 port, enabling it to output at 4K resolutions (more on that later). Contrary to what Sony asserts in its official FAQ, you do not need to upgrade your HDMI cable to benefit from 4K. Any HDMI cable that supports 1080p will work just fine with 4K.
In terms of specs, the most significant differences between these two PS4 models can be found inside. The AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-core CPU found in both consoles has an increase in clock speed of 30% from its predecessor’s 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz. On PS4 Pro, the GPU’s performance improvement has been much greater.
Its clock speed has been increased from 800 MHz to 911 MHz, and its power has been increased by half. The GPU has increased overall from 1.84 TFLOP in the PS4 launch model to 4.2 TFLOP in the Pro. This increase is necessary to support the new 4K functionality.
The Pro’s Bluetooth was also updated from v2.1 to v4.0 and now supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Additionally, the new slim PS4 featured both of these improvements. To free up the faster GDDR5 RAM for gaming performance, the Pro also has an additional 1GB of DDR3 RAM for non-gaming applications.
Optical Drive Comparison
This is where Sony’s most recent system really struggles. Contrary to initial speculation, the PS4 Pro can play Full HD 1080p Blu-ray discs just like the original PS4, and it does not come with an Ultra HD Blu-ray player. Given that Blu-ray support was one of the major advantages of the PS3, Sony’s decision to omit an Ultra-HD Blu-ray drive from the system is perplexing.
Although the PS4 Pro is primarily designed to complement 4K televisions, it will also provide a graphical boost if you play on a 1080p screen. Some of these enhancements are intentional, such as using super-sampling to increase the amount of detail in a given scene, while others are not.
The primary justification for upgrading to the PS4 Pro from the original hardware. As opposed to the Full HD 1080p resolution of the PS4 standard, the PS4 Pro supports 4K output. This means that the console can play movies and TV shows in their highest resolution when using streaming services like Netflix, but sadly, the absence of an Ultra HD Blu-ray drive implies that the console won’t be able to play physical 4K media.
Games are a little more difficult because it’s up to the developers how they want to make use of the PS4 Pro’s additional power. Now that the boosted console has been available for some time, we are beginning to see more results from it.
Today’s 4K gaming is more standardised, and the majority of games have performance modes that prioritise frame rates over graphical fidelity and pro modes that prioritise graphical fidelity over frame rates. On the PS5, this technique has gained a lot of notoriety.
God of War 2018 for the PS4 Pro has two distinct modes, one for high-resolution gaming and the other for synchronising a steady frame rate that is much closer to 60 frames per second. The PS4 Pro offers a small speed boost over the standard PS4 in terms of loading times, but if you want to see a bigger improvement, you should consider upgrading your launch PS4 with an SSD.
Games like God of War 2018 and Horizon Forbidden West are excellent examples of amazing graphics on the PS4 Pro. If you don’t believe me, compare Horizon Forbidden West on the PS4 Pro to the base model PS4, and you should be able to see a significant difference.
When combined with an HDR-capable TV, the graphics begin to skyrocket. At this point, there is no contest between the PS4 Pro and the Ultimate Player Edition. All of the graphical improvements that the PS4 Pro can generate put it well and truly ahead of the PS4 Pro.
The “boost mode” feature, added to PS4 firmware 4.50, allows PS4 games that do not require a PS4 Pro patch to run more smoothly on the new console. Even though the precise improvements are still unknown, a Digital Foundry analysis found up to 38% performance gains. Despite the lack of a pro patch, the games tested saw significant performance improvements when played on the pro, including Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, and Project Cars.
In terms of storage, the PS4 Pro unquestionably has the larger capacity, with a 1TB HDD at launch, as opposed to the PS4, which came with a 500GB HDD at launch. The PS4 Pro has twice as much storage as the PS4 and can store more games at the same time.
The PS4 Pro is undoubtedly an improvement over the PS4, but it struggles to deliver “true” 4K gaming without making trade-offs. The addition of an extra layer is the main visual difference between it and the standard PS4, but the internals was significantly improved. Although the CPU and GPU share a similar architectural design, the GPU is significantly faster. So, should you upgrade from your current PS4? The answer is largely dependent on whether you own a 4K TV or intend to purchase one.
If you are, the PS4 Pro will provide numerous visual advantages. If you aren’t, there isn’t much on the PS4 Pro that will make the extra money worthwhile, at least not yet. I hope you found this article informative. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading.
Image Gallery – PS4 Pro Compared to PS4: Which is Better?
References: Sony PlayStation 4 Console.