If you’re planning to purchase a PlayStation 4, you may have one big question: PS4 Pro or standard PS4? Both boxes have access to the same library of games, but ever since 10th November 2016, manufacturer Sony has offered two versions of its flagship format, so what are the differences? Well, in order to answer that question, we’re going to pit the PS4 Pro vs the PS4 and demonstrate the pros and cons of each platform.
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PS4 Pro vs PS4: What’s the Difference?
Simply put, the PS4 Pro is a more powerful version of the PS4, but it shouldn’t be mistaken for a PlayStation 5 or next-generation console. Instead, the PS4 Pro has been described colloquially by many in the industry as a “mid-gen” upgrade. In other words: it improves upon the standard PS4 while still sharing its library of games.
Sony has marketed the PS4 Pro as a “supercharged” PS4, and this is an accurate description. With a stronger GPU the system is able to render games at a higher resolution than the standard PS4, meaning that those with a 4K television will reap the benefits of a cleaner image. Even those with 1080p panels will see improvements via a technology called supersampling, which occurs when an image rendered at a higher resolution is then shrunk back down.
On the whole, the PS4 Pro promises sharper-looking games with fewer performance hiccups – but it’s worth reiterating that these are still PS4 games. The best way to think about it is like this: the PS4 Pro takes a standard PS4 game and then boosts it beyond what the base console can do. Essentially you’ll still be having the same experience on the PS4 Pro as on a standard PS4 – it’ll just look a bit better.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: What Are the Specifications?
In order to improve on the standard PS4 experience, PS4 Pro has over double the GPU performance. Without getting too technical, both consoles share an AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-core CPU, though this is overclocked by 30 per cent from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz in the PS4 Pro. But as mentioned, it’s the jump from 1.84 TFLOP in the standard PS4 to 4.2 TFLOP in the PS4 Pro that makes the largest difference, allowing the console to render games at a much higher resolution.
The PS4 Pro also includes an additional 1GB DDR3 RAM, but this is mainly used by the operating system in order to free up resources for the faster 8GB GDDR5 RAM used by games. In addition, the PS4 Pro boasts better Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality over the launch model PS4 – but these improvements also apply to the revamped PS4 Slim system.
|PS4 Pro||PS4 Slim|
|Price||$400 (US), £350 (UK)||$300 (US), £250 (UK)|
|CPU||2.1GHz AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-core CPU||1.6GHz AMD Jaguar x86-64 8-core CPU|
|GPU||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon (36CU, 911MHz)||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz)|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3||8GB GDDR5|
|Max Video Output||4K||1080p|
|Inputs||3 x USB 3.1
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x PlayStation Camera
|2 x USB 3.1
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x PlayStation Camera
|Optical Drive||Blu-ray, DVD||Blu-ray, DVD|
PS4 Pro vs PS4: How Big Are They?
In terms of appearance, the PS4 Pro and PS4 Slim share the same design philosophy, but the latter has a third level to its design. In terms of size, though, the PS4 Pro is not actually that much bigger than the launch PS4. The PS4 Pro’s dimensions are 295 x 327 x 55mm compared to the launch PS4’s 275 x 305 x 53mm dimensions. Essentially the PS4 Pro is about 20mm deeper and 20mm wider, but it’s virtually the same height.
Unsurprisingly, the PS4 Slim is significantly smaller than both the PS4 Pro and the launch PS4 at 265 x 288 x 39mm. The PS4 Slim also weighs just 2.1kg, compared to the PS4 Pro’s monstrous 3.3kg.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: What Connections Does It Have?
The PS4 Pro has virtually the same outputs as the launch PS4, although it does boast an extra USB 3.1 port on the rear which is extremely useful for PlayStation VR, as the virtual reality headset needs to be connected to the console via USB. The PS4 Pro also includes an optical audio output, which is available on the launch PS4 but was removed from the PS4 Slim.
The only other difference between the models is that the PS4 Pro has an HDMI 2.0 port for 4K output, while the standard PS4 uses HDMI 1.4 instead.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: Is It Worth Upgrading?
As mentioned earlier, the PS4 Pro and standard PS4 share the same library of games. Almost all new games take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s enhanced specifications now, though developers are choosing to use the hardware in different ways. The Last of Us Remastered, for example, allows you to toggle between a lower framerate at a higher resolution or a higher framerate at a lower resolution. Other games like Horizon: Zero Dawn simply improve the resolution, while others even include additional effects.
There’s no question that games look better on the PS4 Pro, and if you own a 4K television then we’d definitely recommend considering the upgrade. However, it’s worth pointing out that HDR is available on both the PS4 Pro and the standard PS4, so even if you don’t upgrade then you could be getting significantly better graphics out of your standard PS4 if you own a compatible screen. You can find out which PS4 games support HDR through the link.
We should stress that, while some older games have been updated, not every game in the PS4’s catalogue includes native support for the PS4 Pro. In instances where games haven’t been updated to support the PS4 Pro, Sony has added a new option called ‘Boost Mode’ which tidies up performance hiccups and improves loading times by allowing the software to take advantage of the hardware’s higher clock-speeds.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: What About PlayStation VR?
PlayStation VR is compatible with both the PS4 Pro and the standard PS4, so it doesn’t matter which console you’ve got, you can still explore the wonderful world of virtual reality. However, games that support the PS4 Pro do generally look cleaner and clearer in the PlayStation VR headset due to the use of the supersampling technology mentioned earlier.
While the resolution inside the headset is fixed, developers that support the PS4 Pro are able to render their games at a higher resolution and then shrink them back down, which reduces the appearances of “jaggies” or other visual issues in virtual reality. Of course, as with non-VR PS4 games, your mileage will vary depending upon the game.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: Are There Any Other Differences?
Finally, the PS4 Pro allows you to stream to websites like YouTube and Twitch at up to 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second. The PS4 Pro also enables you to capture screenshots at 2160p and 1080p video at up to 30 frames-per-second. In addition, the PS4 Pro can output video content from services like Netflix and YouTube in 4K, assuming you have a compatible television.
PS4 Pro vs PS4: Which Should You Buy?
Considering the wealth of great games available for the PS4, you can’t really go wrong with either model – whether it’s the PS4 Pro or the standard PS4. Both consoles play the same games and have the same set of features, but it just depends whether you want to “supercharge” your experience or not.
The PS4 Pro offers better graphics and performance, but the standard PS4 is no slouch. If you have the extra money, then we’d recommend paying a bit more for the PS4 Pro in order to ensure you’re getting the best possible experience – especially if you already own a 4K television or a PlayStation VR headset. But don’t feel you’ll be getting an “inferior” experience with a standard PS4: the games are still the same.
Ultimately, we’d recommend reading through this article again and deciding what’s important to you. Do you absolutely demand the best graphics and performance – or are you happy with 1080p and eager to save a few bucks? Whichever model you pick you’ll be guaranteed a great experience, so sit back and enjoy your new PS4.
Which version of the PS4 do you own and why? Have you upgraded to the PS4 Pro and what do you think of the improvements it offers? Supercharge yourself in the comments section below.