For those considering getting a PS4 console, it’s easy to get confused with all the options available. While all three available models basically do the same thing, there are some key differences a potential buyer should know. Apart from the original PS4 which a lot of people still have, the smaller PS4 Slim looks like a good buy, same goes for the bigger and more expensive PS4 Pro.
What are the major differences between these consoles? Which one should you buy? Knowing the major differences between the original PS4, the PS4 Slim, and the PS4 Pro should help in making a wise buying decision. This table outlines the specifications of each model.
PS4 / PS4 Slim / PS4 Pro Specifications
|PlayStation 4||PlayStation 4 Slim||PlayStation 4 Pro|
|Processor||1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar||1.6GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar||2.1GHz 8-core AMD Jaguar|
|GPU||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz)||1.84 TFLOP AMD Radeon (18CU, 800MHz)||4.2 TFLOP AMD Radeon (36CU, 911MHz)|
|RAM||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3|
|Storage||500GB / 1TB (upgradable)||500GB / 1TB (upgradable)||1TB (upgradable)|
|Dimensions||12. x 10.8x 2 inches||11 x 10 x 1.5 inches||12.8 x 11.6 x 2.1 inches|
|Weight||6.2 pounds||4.6 pounds||7.2 pounds|
|PSVR Support||Yes||Yes||Yes (enhanced)|
|Power Consumption||250w max||165w max||310w max|
2x USB 3.0
1x Gigabit Ethernet
2x USB 3.1
1x Gigabit Ethernet
3x USB 3.1
1x Gigabit Ethernet
|Release Date||November 15, 2013||September 15, 2016||November 10, 2016|
PS4 vs PS4 Slim: Should you upgrade?
If you already have the regular PlayStation 4, upgrading to the relatively newer PlayStation 4 Slim doesn’t make much difference. It’s definitely smaller than the original PS4 and consumes less power, but these are not features that compel an upgrade. Another advantage the PlayStation 4 Slim has over the original PS4 is better networking. It lets you connect to 5GHz WiFi networks, unlike the original PS4.
However, they both have the same processors, the same amount of RAM, and exactly the same GPU. Performance on both consoles is the same. Both consoles are using the older HDMI 1.4 standard which might not be good enough for certain people. And no, you can’t play your game in 4k resolution, but all models support HDR.
If you’re just in the market contemplating which one to go for between these two, PS4 Slim looks like a good choice. The only feature it lacks which is present in the older PS4 is S/PDIF (optical) port. If this means a lot to you, you might want to go for the original PlayStation 4.
Performance & Graphics: PS4 vs PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro
While the older PS4 and the newer PS4 Slim can play every PlayStation 4 game just like the more powerful PS4 Pro, there are trade-offs when you decided to buy either of the cheaper consoles. PlayStation Pro has a better processor that has a higher clock speed. While the original PS4 and PS4 have an 8-core AMD Jaguar clocked at 1.6GHz, the PlayStation Pro has the same 8-core AMD Jaguar with a clock speed of 2.1GHz.
Although all three models have the same DDR5 8GB RAM configuration, the two older models only run at 176GB/s while the PlayStation Pro is capable of speed up to 218GB/s.
In the graphics department, the PS4 Pro has a GPU that has three times the graphics power of the two older models. A GPU with 4.2 teraflops of computing power is definitely no match for a weaker GPU rated at only 1.84 teraflops.
While the differences between these models look huge, you’re still going to play every single release on even the oldest PS4 console. However, there’s going to be a big difference in graphical performance, effects quality, and frame rates.
The bottom line is this: games look and feel better on the PlayStation 4 Pro.
4K Gaming & HDR: PS4 vs PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro
If you have a 4K TV already, getting a PS4/PS4 Slim console isn’t really the best choice at this moment unless you are facing a constraint in budget. As mentioned earlier, PS4 Pro delivers over 2x the graphics power the other two models have. It’s the only one in the bunch that outputs game at 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution.
As for HDR support, all three models support HDR. When connected to a compatible TV, this adds better contrast, brighter images, and a wider color gamut.
UHD (4K) media playback: PS4 vs PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro
While you can stream 4K videos on the PlayStation Pro, the original PS4 and the PS4 Slim are only capable of 1080p resolution. This means even if you connect your PS4/PS4 Slim to a 4K TV, you still won’t be able to stream 4K content from Netflix.
Even though the PlayStation Pro supports Ultra HD resolution, you’re not able to play 4K Blu-ray discs because the drive doesn’t support this.
Storage: PS4 vs PS4 Slim vs PS4 Pro
The original PlayStation 4 and PS4 Slim have the base storage configuration starting at 500GB. The PlayStation Pro, however, comes with a 1TB storage. All three models have user-upgradable storage and we have a tutorial on how to upgrade the original PS4 storage to 1TB.
It is worth mentioning that the PS4 Pro uses a SATA III-based storage interface, as opposed to the SATA II-based interface used on the original model and the Slim version. Theoretically, installing an SSD storage on the PS4 Pro should make a big difference in terms of speed considering this.
As for those with the original PS4, upgrading to the PS4 Slim isn’t really such a great idea as both are almost the same except for the physical appearance and difference in power consumption.
If you’re on a very tight budget, buying the PS4 Slim isn’t a bad idea, especially if you don’t care about features like 4K resolution and the enhanced PS VR support that comes with the more powerful GPU the PS4 Pro has.
If you have a 4K TV or you plan to buy one in the nearest future, the PS4 Pro is recommended. It delivers more power. If you’re buying the PS4 Pro without owning a 4K TV, you will miss out on the biggest selling point. However, it’s a future-proof investment.