Unleash the hidden power of PS4 PRO SSD

Unleash the hidden power of PS4 PRO SSD

When incorporating a solid state drive (SSD) inside PS4 PRO after replacing the stock hard drive with it, a blazing speed will be noticed by the user to an unbelievable level. That’s because an SSD is already the fastest data storage device compared with its other alternatives like HDD and SSHD, and this supposedly offers higher data transfer rates to the overall functionality of PS4 PRO system.

Games are too heavy to load

Rise of the Tomb Raider has real issues coping with sub-pixel detail, resulting in shimmering and pixel-popping that severely detracts from what is otherwise a simply beautiful game. PS4 Pro, running in super-sampling mode, cleans up nearly all of the artefacts and looks simply sensational. The PS4 PRO games are too heavyweight that they need in general more than 30 seconds to fully load. Furthermore, games operating with dynamic resolutions also see clear benefits – Titanfall 2 is a key case in point here. Sony’s technical requirements mandate that PlayStation 4 Pro titles should operate at the same frame-rate – or better – than the existing standard PS4 title. This is a pretty tall order actually, and we’ve already seen one title – Mantis Burn Racing – that has occasional frame-rate drops in native 4K mode, where the base PS4 1080p mode remains smooth (VooFoo Studios tells us they are addressing this). Replacing the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO with an SSD can make a real difference in terms of speed and performance. Meanwhile, Uncharted 4 appears to drop frames in a highly similar manner to the existing PS4 title – no real improvement then, but not worse from what we’ve seen so far.

The use of SSD in PS4 PRO systems

How does PS4 PRO perform with an SSD

However, there are performance improvements. On the more incidental level, Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered appears to stick more tightly to its 60fps target while retaining the 1620p internal rendering resolution – so you are getting more performance and increased image quality. The PS4 PRO internal hard drive is just a traditional spinning hard drive that spins at 5400RPM. However, some games do see the developer stick to 1080p rendering, instead pushing the Pro’s GPU to pump out more frames. The inFamous ports from Sucker Punch offer this functionality, and initial tests with First Light show the game running much more smoothly – the first stage showing a 50-60fps turnout. Much has also been made of the Pro version of Rise of the Tomb Raider with its unlocked frame-rate mode.

Conclusion

Again, we’ve only spent a short time with it, but the performance uplift is tangible and worth having. Some titles are concentrating on 1080p visual improvements only, Epic’s Paragon raising resolution from 900p to full HD and adding additional visual features into the bargain. You can go with an SSD for your next PS4 PRO storage upgrade, but it will cost you more than half the price of the game console itself. We’re also told that Mass Effect Andromeda has both an 1800p checkerboard mode and an enhanced 1080p mode – a situation we hope to see deployed on other Frostbite titles (thus far, patches for FIFA 17 and Battlefield 1 have yet to materialise).From our perspective, sitting down with PlayStation 4 Pro on a 4K screen with a suitably optimised title really is quite an experience – but we are clearly in a transition point from one display technology to the next, and it’s almost certain that more Pros will be connected to full HD screens than 4K displays in the short term.