As someone looking to purchase a Playstation console, I bet you asked yourself which one is personally right for me? I decided to find out the differences between the consoles so you can make the very best purchasing choice that you can.
The PS4 Pro is the most powerful choice as it gives you the best gaming performance and outputs games in 4K & HDR giving games lifelike visuals. The PS4 slim is the affordable option and often comes in bundles with great games and offers amazing value.
Get the PS4 pro if you want the most powerful and best gaming experience t can afford the extra $45-$50 and have a 4K TV that is HDR(high dynamic range). Get a Slim if you want a console that usually comes in great bundles and presents great value if you don’t have a 4K TV that has HDR.
I will go into more detail about the differences.
Playstation 4 Pro Playstation 4 Slim & Playstation Slim Specs Comparison
|PS4 Pro||PS4 (2016)||PS4 (2013)|
2.1GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar
|1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar||1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar|
|GPU||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5 & 1GB||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5|
|Storage||1TB||500GB & 1TB||500GB|
|Wi-Fi||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz)||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5.0GHz)||802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only)|
|USB||2x USB 3.1||2x USB 3.1||2x USB 3.0|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 2.1|
As you can see the PS4 slim/PS4(2016) is really a revamped version of the Original 2013 Playstation 4. Both the CPU(central processing unit) handle the electronic instructions of the PS4 and has a big impact on graphical power.
The CPU is the same on both PS4’s, but it is double as powerful on the PS4 Pro which it’s 4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon GPU compared to 1.84 for the other models, this is why you pay the extra money because it can handle labour intensive games more easily.
TEFLOP is teraflops which is a measure of computing performance, similar to horsepower in cars. The Pro has an improved processor which improves game physics and 3D rendering in games.
The CPU is 30% stronger on the PS4 Pro with an extra 0.5 GHz which is the why the graphical output is more powerful. It also has an extra GIG of Ram meaning it can handle more data which is used for third party applications like Netflix making switching between applications more seamless.
Only the PS4 pro can output 4K, Both the slim and Pro have better wifi sensors than the Original PS4 and improved Bluetooth 4.0 which is more power-efficient and has better wireless performance. Storage is the same on both consoles as both have the options of 1TB hard drive storage, but you could opt for 500 GB in the Slim if you so choose.
PS4 Slim & PS4 Pro Graphical Comparison
The biggest reason to get a PS4 pro would be the enhanced power output for playing games in 4K however the PS4 Pros improved performance really depends on the specific games you’re playing. However, it is up to the developers to take this extra time to make the best use of the system and the PS4 Pro is suffering a similar problem to the Xbox One X as the PS4 pro is not always optimised for its power.
Developers can use the extra power to do whatever they wish, with the Pro this is usually increasing the resolution which is the number of pixels that make up your game so the quality is improved. Or utilising the PS4 pro’s GPU to improve the quality of lighting effects and shadows within games and how good textures load and look.
It is difficult to use Youtube videos to compare the resolutions. Unless you’re streaming these comparison videos on a 4K TV or monitor you cannot tell the difference by video alone, check the following comparison of God Of War to illustrate but it is difficult to see.
Pictures are a better illustration take a look at this one.
Still, it is hard to tell in the picture but the Pro has loaded better textures and the face looks more detailed. The biggest differences would be lighting and background textures like foliage that are perfect for the PS4 to demonstrate it’s graphical power.
The graphical power isn’t just about packing more pixels into textures, improved background rendering will make the biggest difference in making your gaming experience more real and immersive. Stuff like making snow in massive open world experiences such as Red Dead Redemption 2 look more real and lifelike and the everything looking more detailed is why you buy a Pro instead of a slim.
Check out another graphical comparison of both consoles and to get a better understanding of what I mean
PS4 Pro Vs PS4 Slim Physical Differences
PS4 PRO, PS4 SLIM & PS4(2013) PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES
|PS4 Pro||PS4 Slim||PS4 (2013)|
|Weight||3.3 Kg (7.3lbs)||2.1 Kg (4.6lbs)||2.8 Kg (6.2lbs)|
|Power Usage||310w max||165w max||3250w max|
|Dimensions||327 x 295 x 55 mm (12.9 x 11.6 x 2.17 in)||288 x 265 x 39 mm (11.3 x 10.4 x 1.54 in)||305 x 275 x 53 mm (12 x 10.8 x 2.09 in)|
The PS4 Pro is slightly bigger than the original PS4 and WAY bigger than the PS4 slim, the Pro is 2cm deeper and 2cm wider but basically the same height as the original console. If you have a compact gaming area and space is a serious consideration the Slim is a good choice because it packs a LOT of power in a relatively small package.
The biggest physical difference is an added layer on top of the PS4 Pro and the light bar instead of being on top of the console is actually in the middle. The pro is 1.2 KG/2.7 pounds heavier than the slim which is only a factor if you travel a lot with the console or need to continually switch rooms where you play.
The PS4 slim does not have an optical port input which is commonly used with consumer audio equipment which carries digital audio inputs from electronics like CD & DVD players. Learn more about them from this howtogeek article. Really this only matters in specific cases so you shouldn’t factor it when purchasing a console.
Playstation 4 Pro Vs Playstation 4 Slim 4K Output Differences
By far the biggest reason why you would purchase a PS4 pro over the slim, it’s the ability to support full 4K video in comparison to the PS4 slim 1080p resolution around half of 4K.
If you use your console for streaming services such as Netflix then the PS4 Pro is able to play movies and TV in full 4K where the Slim cannot. However, the Pro strangely doesn’t support Ultra HD blue-ray discs so you cannot play physical 4K media. Now assuming you have a 4K TV you will likely have built-in Netflix anyway but it’s nice to see the Pro has the power to stream the content within the console.
As previously mentioned it’s up to the developers’ hands to utilise the Pro’s increased power and this is shown by techradars review of the God Of War where they found the Pro came with two distinct graphical modes “one which favours resolution, displaying the game at checkerboard 2160p (or 4K), and another which favours performance, lowering the resolution to 1080p but displaying at a framerate that’s closer to 60fps “
Double the pixels is one thing but another positive for the pro is the increased framerate performance. However, God Of War has two separate modes with the smoother 1080p stabilising at close to 60fps but sacrificing on true 4K resolution is highlighting one of the Pro’s failures.
Your paying more money for a powerful machine yet you still have to comprise between ideal performance and true 4K resolution? As you need the output to be at 1080p resolution which still looks beautiful but not quite the true 4K experience you expected when you buy the pro instead of the slim.
Camera movement is a lot more smooth in the performance mode of God Of War but you notice a massive drop in visual detail in-game where the 4K is so detailed.
Check out this video IGN comparison here so you can see for yourself, this is what IGN writer FranMirabella said about the modes
It’s going to be preferential. It has a soft, cinematic look at the resolution-based setting. It’s got a great feel. But action-combat fans are going to want the higher framerate 60fps feel. I absolutely prefer it. It’s a little jaggy and harder-looking, but it’s still an amazing graphics engine. I don’t feel like you miss too much once you get used to it. PS4 Pro users definitely try it before you decide. Easy to switch mid-game.FranMirabella IGN Writer
Every PS4 supports HDR but in particular with the Pro, it will greatly improve shadow and lighting effects due to the beefed-up CPU. The PS4 Pro isn’t true 4K as it merely upscales the pixels to achieve an increased solution. You can read my detailed analysis of if the PS4 is true 4K here. However different games have used the upscaling process to different effectiveness.
Games such as Deus Ex: Man Kind Divided didn’t upscale very effectively and developers needed to be intelligent in how they balance upscaling technology with native rendering. Horizon Zero Dawn is the perfect example of using 4K HDR to really showcase the Pro in its glory and it’s a must by if you have a Pro.
The PS4 Pro despite the power cannot run games at true 4K without comprising gameplay, you have to choose between improved 1080p 60fps or reduced performance with 4K upscaling. However, these comprise can still be very impressive especially with titles like Horizon Zero Dawn & God Of War.
PS4 Pro Vs PS4 Slim 1080p Performance
You should only buy a Pro if you have a 4K TV but the extra power will give you a graphical increase and improved frame rates if you’re playing on a 1080p screen. Games such as No Man’s sky run on a solid 60fps on the Pro a massive improvement over the Slim
Supersampling is a process which a higher resolution picture is downscaled to fit your current resolution so 1080p, on a Slim your games environments will be more jagged but the Pro will give you a much cleaner looking image.
Under Sonys guidelines, every PS4 title should offer super-sampling to improve 1080p quality but as before it’s up to developers to utilise this technique, Sony cannot force there hand.
So yes 1080p performance is improved on the Pro due to supersampling but it’s still not worth purchasing the Pro if you don’t have a 4K TV
PS4 Pro Vs Ps4 Slim Boost Mode
In PS4 firmware 4.50, a feature called ‘boost mode’ was introduced that gives PS4 games that didn’t receive a PS4 Pro patch a needed performance boost when playing on the Pro. Whilst the specifics are not known DigitialFoundry did an analysis that discovered the boosted performance is as much as 38%.
The following games were included Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, and Project Cars and all received great improvement enhancements. Check out the video below to see a detailed look into the analysis.
PS4 Pro Vs PS4 Slim VR Comparison Is There A Difference?
There is a difference as PSVR game will look better on the Pro if they support the Pros enhanced mode. Such as Resident Evil 7 having more detailed images and in rare cases the Pro increases framerates with Trackmania Turbo running at an impressive 120fps on the Pro.
However, Digitial Foundry did an analysis of the differences and with some titles, the improvements can be hard to find which again is one of the Pro’s biggest issue as it depends on how game developers want to use the improved hardware.
Check out the comparison by digital foundry here.
It all depends on how the developers use super-sampling techniques which enhances detail levels. Certain games like The Journey have much crisper textures & details and really benefit from the sampling techniques.
Nevertheless, I do NOT recommend purchasing the pro just for improved VR performance alone as the differences hugely depend on the game your playing and aren’t that significant, to begin with.
PS4 Pro Vs PS4 Slim Enhanced Games
There are no PS4 Pro exclusives games as all games run on Playstation 4 however there are PS4 Pro enhanced games when the performance is optimised for the PS4 Pro.
Check out this video by Project Gamer for the best 8 PS4 Pro Enhanced Games
So Should You Buy A PS4 Pro Or PS4 Slim?
For around $45-$50 more you will receive a console that can fully stream 4K media with the ability to upscale games to basically 4K with many other games boosted to optimal performance. To achieve this for only around $339 frankly ridiculous.
Get the best price of the PS4 Pro on Amazon right here.
Comparatively, if you wanted to have a PC to have the power necessary to run games at 4K it is stupid expensive. A graphics card like the Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 will cost you around $289(get the best price on Amazon here)and that is only for the GPU!
A full PC set up will cost you around $1000 so to have the PRO compete with a monster PC setup at around a third of the price is a masterstroke of engineering from Sony.
If you’re thinking of buying a PS4 but don’t own one then for an extra $45-$50 dollars purchasing the Pro is the only logical choice. Not only are you getting a machine with double the CPU of the Slim a 30% quicker CPU and a 1TB hard drive it just gives you so much power even if you don’t have a 4K TV. Every game will look better at 1080p due to the boost feature
If You Have A PS4 Slim/PS4 Is It Worth Upgrading To A Pro
Whilst you are future-proofing your console with a very powerful machine I don’t think it’s worth it purchasing a Pro when the PS5 is so close to launch, and especially if you don’t have a 4K TV.
The PS4 Pro is a fantastic console with excellent upscaling techniques to go with its triple-stacked console chassis. However, it is not worth upgrading even with the improvements to full HD as this console generation is so close to ending. You’re better off waiting for the PS5 and the Slim is still a fantastic console in its own right.