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PS5 vs PS4 Pro: To Upgrade or Not?

on Oct 18, 2020
PS5 vs PS4 Pro: To Upgrade or Not?

The “PS5 vs PS4 Pro” debate has been going on for a while now.

Now, no one can deny that the PlayStation 5 is miles ahead of the PlayStation 4 and its upgraded version, the PlayStation 4 Pro.

It’s literally bigger and with much better hardware. However, newer and faster isn’t always for everybody. The thing is, the PlayStation 4, or to be more specific, the PS4 Pro, is still plenty powerful enough for many of today’s games.

You can say whatever you want about how it doesn’t support “true 4K”. The fact remains that it’s an impressive machine.

With that said, we reckon that plenty of gamers have been on the fence for a while now.

Below, we’ll break down the merits of upgrading to a PlayStation 5 and compare it to the advantages of buying a PS4 Pro or sticking with what you already have.

What’s the Difference Between the PS5 vs PS4 Pro?

The PS5 isn’t as much of a technological leap as the PS4 was to the PS3, but it’s still a much better console.

The PS5 was built with next-gen gaming in mind. It houses hardware from AMD that’s based on an architecture that’s not even available yet for the PC. This is highlighted by a Zen 2 CPU/GPU that promises to leave the PS4 Pro in the dust.

Here’s a proper breakdown of the specifications of the PS5 vs PS4 Pro:

PS5:

  • Price: $499 MSRP
  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2
  • CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.5GHz Custom Zen 2
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6
  • Memory Bandwidth: 448GB/s
  • Storage: 825GB SSD
  • Controller: DualSense
  • Backward Compatibility: Yes
  • PSVR Support: Yes
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive
  • Weight: 9.9 lbs
  • Dimensions: 15.3in x 4.1in x 10.2in

PS4 Pro:

  • Price: $399 MSRP
  • GPU: 4.2 TFLOPS, AMD Radeon
  • CPU: 8x cores @ 2.16 GHz Custom Jaguar
  • Memory: 8GB GDDR5
  • Memory Bandwidth: 176GB/s
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Controller: Dualshock 4
  • Backward Compatibility: No
  • PSVR Support: Yes
  • Optical Drive: 1080p 4K UHD Blue-Ray Drive
  • Weight: 7.3lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.9in x 2.2in x 11.6in

What Do All of These Numbers Mean?

PS5 vs PS4 Pro

To take a common meme’d phrase from Call of Duty: Black Ops, “The numbers mason, what do they mean!”

We won’t blame you if you can’t make sense of all the numbers. But, at first glance, it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to tell which one is better. The PS5 has bigger numbers. However, bigger isn’t always better, and in some cases, just because it’s better, doesn’t mean it’s worth the money more.

So, we’ll break down all the important numbers and explain what they mean to you below.

CPU and GPU

Unlike in most desktops where the CPU and GPU, otherwise more commonly known as the processor and graphics card, respectively, are separate, in the PS4 Pro and the PS5, they’re all housed within one unit.

Still, they have separate functions. The GPU is responsible for creating and rendering onscreen images, while the CPU handles all the calculation tasks and workload.

The higher the numbers on a CPU and GPU are, the better. This is especially when you compare two components from the same architecture. The difference is even more significant when one is based on a new to-be-released architecture, like the PS5, and the other is based on near-decade-old architecture, like the PS4 Pro.

So, just how big is the performance jump between the PS5 and the PS4 Pro?

Well, for now, it won’t be as noticeable. Yes, the numbers say that the PS5 should be significantly faster and better. However, let’s not forget, the PS4 Pro is already plenty fast enough. It’s capable of near-photorealistic displays at 4K resolution in many games. This leaves very little room for graphical improvement. At least, for now.

BUT, with the PS5, your set-up is more future-proof.

Remember, the PS5 wasn’t built to play games at 4K today. It’s built to support 8K resolution, which many games will have, either at launch or eventually, as well as smoother and faster gameplay at higher refresh rates at 4K and 1080p.

So, while the PS4 Pro can technically hit 4K at 60FPS in some games, it’s all very dependent on upscaling techniques and other methods. On the other hand, the PS5 is just much more powerful. It can hit 4K at 60FPS consistently without relying on “gimmicks”. It can even reach higher framerates, and more consistently at that.

Memory

Memory determines how much data that the system runs currently it can store, read, or write at any particular moment. The PS4 Pro has an 8GB RAM. On the other hand, the PS5 has 16GB.

Although double the amount of RAM isn’t that significant, you have to remember, the PS4 Pro’s RAM is based on older GDDR5 architecture, while the PS5 uses GDDR6, which has increased bandwidth and capacity.

What this essentially means is that the PS5 can pull data from your storage faster and more efficiently than the PS4 Pro can.

Storage

One of the most highly-touted features of the PS5 is that it comes shipped with an SSD.

This alone is a significant improvement to the HDD that the PS4 Pro comes with.

Now, why is this important? Because, on average, the standard SSD has a sequential data speed of 550MBps, which is nearly 5 times more than a performance-oriented HDD with a sequential data speed of around 125MBps.

For the PS5, the all-new PCIe 4.0 SSD can deliver speeds of up to 9GB/sec.

This makes it nearly 100x faster than a “fast” HDD.

In ideal conditions, this means that, what a PS4 Pro would take 20 seconds to load, the PS5 could load in a fraction of a second.

A direct result of this is faster loader times, minimal texture pop-in, and better latency. Although it won’t have a significant effect on resolution and frame rates, if at all, the mere fact that it can load textures faster can make the already more powerful PS5 feel miles ahead better than the PS4 Pro.

Another added benefit is that the PS5 will treat downloading games differently.

As opposed to downloading games as if it were a “big block of data”, the PS5 will download games in parts. This means that it’s possible for gamers to download separate parts of games. This lets gamers start playing the first few parts while the rest downloads in the background. This also means that gamers can keep multiplayer while uninstalling the single-player component to save space.

Should You Upgrade to the PS5?

To answer the question, the PS5 is a true upgrade to the PS4 Pro.

It’s a much, much, much better console.

As already mentioned, the leap won’t be as noticeable as it was when we went from the PS3 to the PS4 nor the PS2 to the PS3. Instead, the differences, at least for now, will be more subtle and minute. It’ll likely take a couple of years for developers to take full advantage of the added power that comes with the PS5.

Remember, Sony hasn’t really left the PS4 just yet. Many exclusives for the PS5 will still be available on the PS4.

What this means is that developers will still have to keep the “slower” hardware of the PS4 in mind. This will keep developers from developing better-looking games specifically made for the PS5 and its more powerful hardware.

This is a huge win for PS4 Pro owners and those who plan on getting one soon.

The lower price point means that you’re getting a capable console for a lower price than it initially released for. Not to mention, you’re not going to be left wanting for new games as well, because the PS4 will still likely see new exclusives and releases for at least the next year or two.

Why the PS5 Is a Good Value Purchase

The PS4 Pro might go down in price. It already has, especially when it’s on sale. However, even though it will sell for less, and so will its games, keep in mind that Sony has put the PS5 to succeed using a variety of means.

For one, Sony has announced the introduction of the PlayStation Plus Collection for the PS5.

Yes. It comes at a price. It’s only available to those who are subscribed to PlayStation Plus.

Still, the value that you’re getting, with dozens of PS4 hits already announced for the collection, including the likes of God of War, Days Gone, Bloodborne, and Final Fantasy 15, you’re getting a whole lot at launch.

Besides, speaking of launch, the PS5 will see exclusives like Demon’s Souls and Godfall, which will not be available on the PS4 Pro. Then there’s the fact that the PS5 will have backward compatibility and run older games on newer hardware. This is a feature notably absent on the PS4.

Lastly, the PS5 is available for a bit less with a diskless Digital Edition available at launch.

The lack of an optical drive is the only physical difference between the PS5 and the Digital Edition. The rest is the same. However, the price jump is huge. Whereas the PS5 costs $499, the Digital Edition is priced only at $399.

Considering that digital games are almost always cheaper, you can literally get a PS5 for the same price as a PS4 Pro.

Settling the PS5 vs PS4 Pro Debate

PS5 vs PS4 Pro

Earlier this year, we talked about whether or not it’s already too late to buy a PS4 Pro.

We concluded that it’s worth it, especially with the trade-in value of the PS4 Pro as it will help you cut costs when getting a new PS5.

Now that the PS5 is here, we’re sticking to our recommendation.

The PS5 is far more advanced and can still let you play your older PS4 games. Yes, the newer titles will cost more. However, with the PS5, you’re getting a new piece of technology that’s more powerful. If you trade in your PS4, you’re getting a PS5 for less, and you can lower the price even further with the Digital Edition.

If you already have a PS4 Pro, the PS5 is worth saving up for and upgrading to.

You don’t necessarily need to buy a new PS5 at launch. However, if you can, do get yourself a PS5 within the next year or two.

In the debate PS5 vs PS4 Pro debate, the PS5 wins, hands-down.

Conclusion

Unless the PS4 Pro drops in price by $100 or more, the PS5 is just a much better value. Don’t forget, it only sells for $499. More importantly, the Digital Edition sells for just $399. That’s the same price as the PS4 Pro currently. Yet, the Digital Edition of the PS5 is a much better system. Yes, it lacks the optical drive, but that’s not a big compromise.

Besides, let’s not forget. The PS5 can still play most PS4 games.

TLDR; If you’re looking to buy a new PlayStation console in late 2020, save yourself the trouble and get a PS5. It’s worth it.

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