William D’Angelo
, posted 15 hours ago / 2,149 Views

There have been recent reports that have leaked the specifications for the yet to be announced PlayStation 5 Pro. Digital Foundry in its own analysis said the PS5 Pro is real and dives into what the improved specs of the mid-generation console will mean for games.

The analysis says more and more games on the current-generation consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, are CPU limited and with the PS5 Pro having the same CPU with the ability to run at a 10 percent higher clock speed of 3.85GHz likely means CPU limited games that run at 30 fps will not be able to run at 60 fps.

“In real terms, those hoping that PS5 Pro will turn CPU-limited 30fps titles into super-smooth 60fps experiences will be disappointed,” said Digital Foundry Richard Leadbetter. “With that said, the 3.85GHz mode will bring greater stability to 30fps games that may not be hitting their frame-rate target when CPU limited – and yes, we have started to see those titles. And if the one percent impact to GPU performance is verified, that’s not really an issue in the age of dynamic resolution scaling. There’ll be an imperceptible reduction in rendering resolution and that’s it. If a game is CPU limited, the GPU will stall and will lose far more performance anyway.”

The biggest difference between the standard PS5 and the PS5 Pro is with the GPU that sees rendering 45 percent faster than the standard PS5, two to three times the Ray-tracing, and more.

The 36 RDNA 2 dual compute units in PlayStation 5 receive a considerable boost, increasing to 60 CUs in the Pro,” said Leadbetter. “With 33.5 teraflops of compute performance vs the 10.23TF of the standard PS5, the boost here looks incredible. However, these numbers flatter to deceive. AMD’s latest GPU architectures, starting with RDNA 3, feature ‘dual-issue FP32’, the ability to double operations at the same clock speeds. However, this does not mean we get double the gaming performance. Indeed, despite the 67 percent increase in CU count (even factoring out dual-issue FP32), Sony itself says in its developer disclosures that the actual throughput boost in gaming applications is around 45 percent.

“An increase in compute power alone is only one part of the equation, however. To keep the CUs ‘fed’, it’s important to increase memory bandwidth. Sony moves from 16GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 in the standard PS5 to 18Gbps GDDR6 in the Pro – a 28 percent increase in bandwidth. So, the 448GB/s of peak theoretical bandwidth increases to 576GB/s. Actual throughput may also be enhanced still further with architectural improvements.”

He added, “Sony says that depending on the workload, ray tracing performance in the new Pro will be twice as fast as the vanilla unit, but with 3x and 4x multipliers in some scenarios. It’s important to point out that this concerns just RT processing – not the frame-rate of actual games. The platform holder says that in practical terms, this means that some games without RT on the basic PS5 can gain RT features on the Pro. Another cited example is that a standard PS5 game with RT reflections could benefit from RT shadows as well on PS5 Pro.

“There’s been conjecture that the PS5 Pro GPU is benefitting from RT architectural improvements AMD is planning for its upcoming RDNA 4 graphics cards. These enhancements look promising but it’s important to point out that a lot of the boost here will be coming from the fact that the PS5 Pro GPU is much larger than the standard model’s GPU. So, the 2x to 4x boost is coming from both architectural improvements and the increase in compute units.”

PlayStation 5 Pro PlayStation 5
CPU Architecture/ Clock Speeds Eight core/16 Thread Zen 2 at 3.5GHz/3.85GHz Eight core/16 Thread Zen 2 at 3.5GHz
GPU Compute Units/ Architecture 60 CUs, RNDA 3 (TBC) 36 CUS, RDNA 2
TFLOPs/GPU Clock Speed 33.5TF/ 2.18GHz (TBC) 10.23TF/ 2.23GHz
GDDR6 Memory 16GB at 18Gbps 16GB at 14Gbps
Memory Available For Games 13.7GB 12.5GB
Memory Interface/ Bandwidth 256-bit/576GB/s 256-bit/448GB/s

The PS5 Pro will feature the PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution Upscaling (PSSR) solution, which “aims to deliver similar results and resolution multipliers as Nvidia DLSS. A game internally rendering at 1080p can be upscaled to a convincing-looking 4K image in two milliseconds, which is broadly equivalent to a similar task undertaken by AMD’s non-ML FSR2 upscaler.

“The difference is that the quality level should be significantly higher – but as always, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. There is some speculation concerning 8K upscaling and 4K at 120Hz – but it’s worth noting that 2ms of processing time. A 120Hz frame has an 8.3ms budget, 60Hz has 16.7ms of processing time and that rises again to 33.3ms at 30fps. Depending on the performance target, that 2ms varies in significance.”

The PS5 Pro will keep the same 16GB of GDDR6 memory as the standard PS5, however, Sony has been able to give an extra 1.2 GB of system memory to developers. 

Bearing in mind that the standard PS5 already has enough memory to service a 4K display, you might wonder why this 1.2GB is necessary,” said Leadbetter. “Sony cites the use of PSSR with its 250MB footprint as one use-case, while also pointing out that ray tracing features (particularly the BVH structures used to calculate ray bounces) are also memory-intensive. Developers can use the memory as they please, but if they max out the 12.5GB on the standard model without RT features, there’s now memory available to tap into more of the Pro’s capabilities.”

Leadbetter estimates the PS5 Pro will cost $599 at a minimum and potentially “without the optional/detachable BD drive.”

He concluded, “Higher frame-rates, substantially enhanced image quality and improved RT features – that’s what’s going to separate PS5 Pro from the standard model. Assuming there are no further surprises lying in wait, I’d venture to suggest that this is going to be a more niche offering than PS4 Pro back in the day. Some might even say it’s a ‘Digital Foundry machine’, as its forward-looking design delivers the kind of features we like and want to see in a games console. And for many, just having the most performant console will be enough. It’s difficult to see anything else competing with this until the next generation of hardware arrives.

“With that said, PS5 Pro also emphasises the direction of travel for the future of gaming technology. Nvidia started it all back in 2018 with dedicated ray tracing and machine learning silicon. Intel followed suit. Microsoft’s FTC leak last year also indicated that this is the future of console hardware – and yet Sony is delivering much the same package today in 2024. More developers embracing RT and machine learning hardware sooner can only be a good thing – and I do wonder to what extent game-makers will use the ML capabilities for things other than upscaling.”

A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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