Hey friend! With over 117 million PS4 consoles sold, you‘re smart to consider adding one to your gaming setup. Sony gave players two great options: the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro. I‘m breaking down how these consoles compare to help you decide which is better for you.
According to Sony, the PS4 Slim first launched in September 2016 for $299. Two months later, they unleashed the more powerful PS4 Pro for $399.
Even in 2023, both consoles remain popular due to the massive 3,200+ game PS4 library. But which should you buy? Let‘s compare the Slim and Pro head-to-head.
PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Key Specs
First, here‘s a quick specs overview before we dive deeper:
|PS4 Slim||PS4 Pro|
|Release Date||Sept 2016||Nov 2016|
|Processor||1.6GHz AMD Jaguar (8-core)||2.1GHz AMD Jaguar (8-core)|
|Graphics||AMD Radeon, 1.84 TFLOPs||AMD Radeon, 4.2 TFLOPs|
|Memory||8GB GDDR5||8GB GDDR5 + 1GB DDR3|
|Hard Drive||1TB||1TB or 2TB|
|Dimensions||10.4 x 11.3 x 1.5 inches||11.6 x 12.9 x 2.2 inches|
|Weight||4.6 lbs||7.2 lbs|
As the table shows, the Slim wins on price and size while the Pro claims victory in power and performance. But let‘s explore the details even more.
Comparing Processor Power
The most significant hardware difference between the PS4 Slim and Pro is processing muscle.
Both pack 8-core AMD Jaguar CPUs. However, the Slim‘s processor runs at just 1.6GHz while the Pro boasts a faster 2.1GHz clock speed according to Sony‘s specs. How much faster is the Pro exactly? Around 30% better CPU performance.
To visualize the difference, let‘s consider coffee brewing speeds:
|PS4 Slim||4 minutes|
|PS4 Pro||3 minutes|
That 30% boost means faster load times in games, snappier menu navigation, and an overall more responsive system. The numbers add up over hundreds of hours of playtime.
Processing speed may not seem sexy, but it impacts your experience. And the Pro has a clear advantage here.
Graphics Power Upgrades
The GPU story shows an even bigger performance gap.
The Slim‘s integrated Radeon GPU achieves 1.84 teraflops of power. Decent, but the Pro‘s AMD Polaris GPU doubles that at 4.2 teraflops according to Digital Foundry analysis.
To put that in perspective, here‘s how the PS4 duo compares to PC graphics cards according to Tom‘s Hardware benchmarks:
|Console||Comparable Graphics Card|
|PS4 Slim||Radeon RX 550|
|PS4 Pro||Radeon RX 570|
As you can see, the Pro delivers graphics power on par with a modern $150 PC GPU. Translated to real-world gaming, expect better frame rates, crisper image quality, and more visual effects. Triple-A titles really shine on the Pro.
If you want buttery smooth gameplay and lush eye candy, the Pro‘s graphics punch is compelling.
Resolution: 1080p vs. 4K Gaming
Of course, the graphics power boost allows the PS4 Pro to achieve something the Slim can‘t – 4K resolution.
The Slim maxes out at 1080p full HD. That‘s been the TV standard for over a decade, so the Slim still looks great on most displays.
But the Pro uses its extra juice to game and stream media in stunning 4K quality. When hooked up properly to a compatible 4K TV, the Pro automatically outputs supported titles at up to 3840 x 2160 pixels.
According to Sony, over 100 popular PS4 games have received 4K patches. This includes megahits like God of War, The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, and Horizon Forbidden West. Many more render above 1080p at 1440p or 1800p on the Pro.
So if you game on a 4K TV, the choice is obvious. While not required, 4K makes games sharper and more immersive. You‘ll appreciate finer details like skin pores and environmental objects that better mimic reality.
But if you only have a 1080p screen, 4K support shouldn‘t sway your decision much. The Slim still looks and plays great at full HD.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
The PS4 Pro has another video trick up its sleeve – high dynamic range or HDR support.
With HDR, compatible TVs can display a wider range of colors and brightness for a more natural, true-to-life picture. Images "pop" more with expanded contrast between dark and light.
Over 300 PS4 titles support HDR on the Pro like Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart according to PlayStation. To appreciate it, you‘ll need both an HDR TV and PS4 Pro.
While HDR is stunning, I don‘t consider it a must-have yet. The Slim lacks HDR but still delivers amazing visuals. Think of HDR as the cherry on top for Pro owners with premium TVs rather than a core purchasing factor.
Storage: Moving Beyond 500GB
Here‘s some welcome news – both the PS4 Slim and Pro come standardized with 1TB of storage according to Sony‘s specs.
Earlier PS4 models had smaller 500GB and 320GB hard drives. 1TB has become the new sweet spot, providing space for around 25 average-size games.
Of course, hardcore gamers may eventually want external storage to expand beyond 1TB. But out of the box, storage space is equal between the Slim and Pro, so it shouldn‘t impact your decision.
Size and Design: Slim vs. Chunky
While not the most important difference, the PS4 Pro is noticeably larger and heavier than the Slim.
As its name implies, the Slim sports a thinner design at just 1.5 inches tall and only 4.6 pounds.
The Pro measures a chunkier 2.2 inches tall and weighs 7.2 pounds. The increase makes sense given its beefier components and cooling needs. But it takes up more shelf space either vertically or horizontally.
So if fitting your console into a tight TV stand is critical, the Slim has the compact advantage. Just know that both share an ultra-plain black plastic design otherwise.
Connectivity: Pro Pulls Ahead
Connectivity is one spec category where the Pro wins decisively over the Slim. Here are the ports on each:
- 1x HDMI 1.4
- 2x USB 3.1
- Auxiliary port
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 3x USB 3.1
- Optical audio out
While it‘s not exciting, those extra ports are useful. The extra high-speed USB is perfect for plugging in PS VR gear or charging controllers. And optical audio provides higher fidelity sound.
Most importantly, the Pro‘s HDMI 2.0 port enables 4K video output at 60 FPS. HDMI 1.4 on the Slim caps video at 1080p according to HDMI specifications. For 4K gaming, HDMI 2.0 is essential.
Games & Backward Compatibility
Gaming is what matters most – and here the Slim and Pro are identical. They both play the same 3,200+ PS4 titles without restrictions.
Exclusive hits like Spider-Man, Horizon Forbidden West, and God of War run great on either console. The Pro just optimizes select games with higher-res textures or graphics settings.
There‘s also no difference in classic game support. Neither console has PlayStation 2 or PS3 backward compatibility. Your only option is PlayStation Now game streaming.
So when choosing between the PS4 Slim and Pro, game libraries shouldn‘t factor into your decision at all. Both offer access to Sony‘s phenomenal exclusives catalog.
Virtual Reality: Works Great on Both
Another tie lies with PlayStation VR support. Despite Pro‘s extra power, all PS VR games and headsets work on both consoles according to PlayStation.
The Pro does provide minor visual upgrades in certain titles. But overall, the core VR experience remains the same either way.
One small perk of the Pro is having that extra rear USB 3.1 port for connecting VR accessories like the PlayStation Camera or motion controllers. But for most, VR capabilities are a wash between the two.
Slim vs. Pro Pricing: How Much Is Extra Power Worth?
When comparing PS4 pricing, the Slim retails at $299 while the Pro costs $399. That $100 gap has been consistent since their launches.
In practice, real-world prices fluctuate:
PS4 Slim – Normally $250-$300, with frequent sales around $200-$250
PS4 Pro – Retails for $350-$400, sales often $300-$350
No doubt, $299 for the Slim seems tempting. But remember, that extra Benjamin nets you 4K gaming, better graphics, improved performance, HDR, and more connectivity. For serious players, the Pro justify its premium.
However, casual gamers who don‘t need all the bells and whistles are perfectly happy saving $100 with the Slim. Either way, you get the complete PS4 game library.
With the PS5 out now at $399, the Pro is tougher to recommend by comparison. But either PS4 remains a wise investment for patient gamers, especially at discounted prices.
Slim or Pro: Which PS4 Is Right for You?
So should you buy the PS4 Slim or Pro? Here‘s my take:
PS4 Slim If:
- You game primarily on a 1080p TV – it will still look and play great.
- Budget is a concern – at $299 the Slim is the cheapest PS4.
- You‘re a casual gamer – you‘ll be very satisfied without peak performance.
PS4 Pro If:
- You own a 4K and/or HDR TV – you‘ll fully leverage the enhanced resolution and graphics.
- Performance matters to you – faster load times and frame rates keep you immersed.
- You game heavily – pro gamers need every hardware advantage they can get.
- You plan on using PS VR – the extra power and ports are beneficial.
For most buyers, I gently recommend the PS4 Pro for the long run if it fits your budget. But you really can‘t go wrong either way – both deliver thousands of hours of gaming fun.
Where To Buy a PS4 Slim or Pro
While supplies last, you can still find new PS4 Slim and Pro consoles at:
- Best Buy
Online stores like Amazon and eBay offer the widest selection of new and used PS4 models.
Here are some of the best current Slim and Pro listings I found:
Well my friend, that‘s a detailed breakdown of how the PS4 Slim and Pro compare. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to help you pick the perfect PS4. Game on!