Sony Explains How PS4 Pro Boost Mode Works

Sony Explains How PS4 Pro Boost Mode Works
Highlights
  • Frame-rate gains on the PS4 Pro's Boost Mode vary
  • Games which are CPU-dependent see a larger spike in performance
  • GPU-bound titles see a smaller jump

PS4 system software update 4.50 (codenamed Sasuke) promises to bring Boost Mode to the PS4 Pro. What this does is, improve performance on games that did not get a PS4 Pro patch. While Sony refrained from revealing Boost Mode in its blog post about the 4.50 update, it now explained how it works and what you can expect.

"Boost Mode has been designed to provide better performance for those legacy titles that have not been patched to take advantage of the PS4 Pro's faster CPU and its faster and double-sized GPU," reads a statement from Sony to Digital Foundry. "This can provide a noticeable frame-rate boost to some games with variable frame-rate, and can provide frame-rate stability for games that are programmed to run at 30Hz or 60Hz.

 

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"Depending on the game, the increased CPU speed may also result in shorter load times. Boost Mode is not guaranteed to work with all titles, however, turning the setting off will allow the game to be played in a mode that replicates the standard PS4. As an aside, the older unpatched titles that run in Boost Mode are unaware that they are running on a PS4 Pro and consequently don't take full advantage of the PS4 Pro capabilities; power consumption for these games will therefore be a bit lower compared to playing a newer title."

In its testing, Digital Foundry noticed that games which were limited by the GPU saw a consistent hike of 14 percent in frame-rate suspecting that this is due to the GPU clock of the PS4 Pro being 14 percent higher than the standard PS4.

“The suggestion is that when running base mode with boost active, the Pro 'half' of the larger GPU remains inactive, but additional clocks are deployed instead,” writes Digital Foundry’s Richard Leadbetter.

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Games that are CPU-dependent see a greater spike. The likes of Assassin’s Creed Unity and Project Cars see jumps of 31 percent and 35 to 38 percent respectively. Probably due to Boost Mode’s CPU and GPU upgrades.

Nonetheless Digital Foundry theorises that Boost Mode “accesses the extra frequency but not the Pro's 18 additional compute units” as seen with the incremental jump in frame-rate for Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Tomb Raider Definitive Edition.

We discuss the PS4 Pro's Boost Mode on Transition - Gadget 360's dedicated gaming and pop culture podcast. You can subscribe to Transition via iTunes or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.

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