PS4 Pro Not Powerful Enough to Render High-End Games in 4K

/ 4 years ago

PS4 Pro Not Powerful Enough to Render High-End Games in 4K

The PlayStation 4 Pro has been out for over a week now and its reception has been mixed, to say the least, with most of the criticism for the console being aimed at its ability, or lack thereof, to render games in 4K resolution and maintain a smooth frame rate. Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry found that some games even perform better on the original PS4 than the Pro. This week, the PS4 Pro has again been put through its paces by Digital Foundry, plus GamingBolt, and the results are not promising, with both publications blaming the console’s AMD Jaguar CPU.

Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter tested Batman: Return to Arkham on the PS4 Pro, which struggled to reach over 30fps on a consistent basis, bottoming out at 25fps; while the Pro performed better than the base PS4 – running at 1080p – during testing, Leadbetter determined that something was holding back the Pro’s Polaris GPU, and that the bottleneck was coming from the Jaguar CPU.

Referring to a particular scene from Batman: Arkham City, Leadbetter writes, “the Pro manages just a 6fps uplift over the base PS4. The numbers correspond to the 31 per cent increase in CPU power in the new console, suggesting that the AMD Jaguars are the limiting factor in this scene.”

“Nothing escapes the fact that Return to Arkham is, to put it politely, ‘sub-optimal’ and our tests here highlight that simply turning on the taps and allowing PlayStation 4 Pro to power past its shortcomings simply doesn’t work in the way it might on PC, where CPU power in particular is instrumental in brute-forcing engines originally designed for 30fps gameplay to hit twice the frame-rate,” Leadbetter continues.

“Something is holding the title back and the maths are illuminating – the Pro’s 2.1GHz CPU clock-speed represents a 31 per cent increase in frequency,” he adds, “and this seems to account precisely for the frame-rate differential here between the same Arkham City scene rendering on base hardware and in Pro mode. But regardless, it is an improvement, and other areas that drop below 30fps on base hardware remain above that threshold on Pro.”

GamingBolt’s Rashid Sayed concurs with Digital Foundry’s assessment. In more general testing, Sayed found that “the CPU is still largely under powered despite the bump” in GPU speeds. He adds that “the PS4 Pro is not powerful enough to run AAA games that utilize high end rendering techniques in “native” 4K resolution. A good case to consider here is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End which runs at 2k resolution on the Pro with next to no improvements in performance or core assets. The Pro is simply not powerful to render the high level of fidelity found in Uncharted 4 in 4K due to memory bandwidth restrictions.”

While it’s still early days for the PS4 Pro – giving developers time to fully optimise games for the new console may yield more impressive results – the consensus right now seems to be that Sony’s attempt to graduate into 4K gaming has, so far, been less than stellar.

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