Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Sony PS4 Pro Review

Sony PS4 pro is a console that is taking games one-step closer to reality. This upgraded variant of the Sony PS4 Pro offers some major and many minor improvements all around, making the overall gaming experience much more immersive enjoyable. 

Sony is known for updating its consoles after a few years, but in most cases, these updates are just some minor changes such as cosmetic and size changes. This release marks the first time that a mid-cycle upgrade in a Sony console has brought with it a boost in the processing package.

Let us take a closer look at the new release to see if it is worth the extra €100 over the base PS4 slim or not.

Design

The design is not entirely new. The design borrows quite a few elements from the preceding devices. The rounded corners of the PS4 slim are mated with the slanted design of the original PS4 to give the PS4 Pro a professional and mature look.

The console features a matt black finish all around. A new LED bar that moves from left to right dominates the front end, the physical power and eject buttons alongside the two USB 3.1 Ports are also present at the front. The rear end contains the basic set of ports including the HDMI out, AUX, Optical out and LAN. A new addition at the rear end is a USB 3.1 Port.

The device comes with a much larger footprint compared to its predecessors. The PS4 pro is about 78% larger in volume when compared with the PS4 slim and about 20% larger in volume than the original PS4 console. PS4 Pro comes with dimensions of 29.5 x 32.7 x 5.5cm and weighs in at about 3.2Kilogram. The build quality of the product is quite good. The added bulk makes it feel much sturdier.

Specifications

The new console comes with many under the hood upgrades, some of those are mentioned below:

CPU: The CPU is the same old x86-64 AMD 8 core Jaguar, but the clock speed has been raised from 1.6 to 2.1GHz for each core. This results in an overall 31% boost in CPU performance.

GPU: The GPU department features the biggest upgrade. The power is up from 1.8 TFLOPS in the original and slim variants of the PS4 to a whopping 4.2 TFLOPS in the PS4 pro. The GPU is based on the new AMD Polaris architecture. The compute units have been doubled to 36 and frequency is up 14% to 911 MHz. All these GPU upgrades allow the device to handle 4K and HDR content.

Memory: The memory has also been upgraded, the device now features 8GB GDDR5 RAM along with an additional 1GB DRAM for performing tasks other than gaming such as running the OS or handling streaming apps etc.

Storage size: The size of the storage is same at 1TB. A neat addition, however, is SATA III interface. This allows you to swap out the slow onboard hard drive for a fast Solid State drive.

Blu-ray/DVD Drive: A fan favorite feature returns in the form of the Blu-ray drive, a big disappointed, however, is the fact that despite the added performance punch, there is still no support for 4k Blu-ray content.

Connectivity: This new console comes with three USB 3.1 ports, an AUX port, Ethernet port, Optical Out, and HDMI port. Thanks to the added oomph, the HDMI port is now capable of handling 4K and HDR content with ease. The console also features Bluetooth 4.0 LE and ac wireless connectivity.

Graphical Improvements

Let us now talk about the biggest change, the change that will be the most noticeable one, the GPU improvements. The PS4 Pro features and upgraded GPU based on the AMD Polaris, it comes with twice as many compute units as its predecessor and is overall 2.28 times faster. The performance numbers are up from 1.84 TFLOPS to 4.2 TFLOPS. 

This on paper should result in better-looking graphics and smoother framerates. The big news here is that it will be backward compatible with all of the games of PS4, but not all will feature graphical improvements, some may use the extra power to up the frame rates and some may use it to up the resolution

 

It all depends upon the developers at the end of the day, if they want, they can patch all games to make use of the upgraded components, but that seems highly unlikely. Not all games will be running in native 4k on the console, some will use checkerboard rendering to replicate true 4k. 

The graphical improvements are not huge, but the console does provide a more immersive experience and overall cleaner images in most of the upgraded games. Now, it is all up to the developers. Sony has done their part, now we can only wait to see that how many games will make use of the extra power. Currently, not many optimized titles are available for the console.

Power consumption and Heat levels

The PSU of the PS4 is rated at about 310 watts and this increase in consumption is due to the boost in power. At idle, the measured wattage was about 70-75 watts and ingame consumption was about 140-150s.

The device can heat up quite a bit during gaming, but that has to be expected because of the upgraded internals. The heat levels, however, are still not more than the original console. A liquid cooling solution like the one in Xbox One X would have been much better than the conventional fanbased cooling system that this console utilizes.

Conclusion

The PS4 Pro represents a new era of gaming, by each passing day games are inching even closer to reality. The PS4 Pro may just be the breakthrough that gamers were looking for, but with the current line-up of optimized games, the device does not seem like a major improvement over its predecessors. 

At the end of the day, the games are what matter, without many optimized titles, the console is just a PS4, and the PRO factor only remains in the name. However, the device has a lot of potential that is waiting to be unleashed. With the right games, this console can be a winner.

There are only two hurdles on its way to the gaming crown, the native 4k games, and the Xbox One X. Both are things that are not yet out, so we will have to reserve our opinion until we see both of those in action. The €100 price hike may not be justifiable for everyone, but for those who want the latest and greatest, this console is a great buy.