Checkpoint: PlayStation 4 Pro Edition

After a week or so with the PlayStation 4 Pro, I’m happy to report that I think it’s worth the upgrade if you can sell off or find another use for your old PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 4 Pro  is luxury upgrade in the strictest sense. 

Pro Mode Impressions

I’ve only played two PS4 Pro enabled titles and the differences ranged from refinement to barely noticeable.

  • TitanFall 2 looked and performed fine on the regular PlayStation 4 with only occasional dips during the more chaotic multiplayer scenes. The Pro patch added a coat of polish that is not dissimilar from moving onto a PC version. Supersampling produced an exceptionally clean image and those dips in framerate found in multiplayer were eliminated. 
  • Overwatch’s Pro patch yielded very minor changes. I noticed the improved anisotropic filtering for textures but I thought they improved lighting and character models as well but alas, Digital Foundry noted no such changes on the latter. 

There are other Pro enabled titles that show off more significant differences (Rise of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield 1) but there are also a handful of titles that perform worse because of the increased pixel count (The Last of Us: Remastered, Skyrim: Special Edition). Although those numbers are small, I hope that developers are doing what they can to remediate those performance issues. I would rather they not issue Pro mode or make very subtle changes if driving for 4K resolution negatively impacts performance. That or give users the ability to force Base mode.

Power Consumption & Noise

Digital Foundry found that the PlayStation 4 Pro consumes less power than the original PlayStation 4 during base mode, idle and system operations. When running in Pro mode, it exceeds the original PS4’s power consumption by a bit but it’s still reasonable.

In practice, the noise profile is in line with my old PlayStation 4 which I was okay with. The true litmus test would be Doom but I haven’t found the opportunity to test that game yet — that awesome game sent my PS4 to overdrive.

Other Niceties

Minor increases in loading times and the ability to capture 1080p screenshots and videos are two other luxuries that I appreciate. The 720p video captures were always on the soft side and made for embarrassing showings on a screen larger than 4 inches. 

Is It Worth It?

If you have a 4K HDTV or enjoy a cleaner image on certain games then the PS4 Pro is worth the upgrade price — especially if you have plans for your old hardware. If you are happy with the PlayStation 4 and aren’t enamoured with what you’ve read, I’d stay the course and ignore Sony’s newest revision.

Speaking of TitanFall 2, I wrapped up the campaign on Friday. It’s a quality campaign that’s both predictable in story and surprising in gameplay ideas. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw despite all hints people dropped about it being full of variety.

Checkpoint: ATI Mach64 Edition

Checkpoint - ATI Mach64 Edition

I installed the AMD Radeon HD 5770 in my home server thinking I will be using it for RemoteFX. Unfortunately “Enterprise” level Windows 7/8 licenses were required so that idea came to a crashing halt. So I left the video card in there doing nothing but consume power.

Finally after months of doing nothing, I decided to rip out the 5770 PCI Express video card and install a lowly ATI Mach64. I had this and an Xpert 2000 PCI video card on hand because PCI expansion ports weren’t going anywhere anytime soon and I figured I would need them again one day. I wasn’t wrong.

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A $400 HTPC Build: Part 2

A $400 HTPC Build - Part 2

Remember that $400 HTPC build that I spoke of last week? Well, it’s now a reality. The parts have been ordered.

CPUAMD Athlon 5350
MotherboardASRock AM1H-ITX
MemoryKingston HyperX Blu 4GB DDR3-1600
CaseAntec ISK 310-150
NetworkingTP-Link TL-WDN4800

After taxes, the build above totalled up to approximately $333. Not too shabby. Like I said before, I will be supplying the solid state drive and operating system. I’m looking to a wireless keyboard and mouse combo as well. I’m leaning towards the Logitech K400. And finally, there will be no optical drive included in this.

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You only need one Xbox One review

posted in: Game News 0

If you need just one Xbox One console review make it AnandTech’s “mini-review“. It is amazing that one outlet’s “mini-review” outdoes the efforts of a majority of gaming press.

They not only highlight the differences in performance but also explain how the differences manifest themselves in games. They measured power consumption at different power states and even browser benchmarks. Who else is going to run browser benchmarks out there?

Who cares enough about the details like AnandTech? Not the clowns at Gamespot who came up with this doozy of a comparison. I can only assume this is ineptitude and lack of effort because I refuse to believe that was someone’s best effort.

Digital Foundry is close to what I’m looking for from the game’s press but they’re not in the same league as AnandTech. I don’t expect every member of an outlet to be experts but I do expect them to hire someone who knows what they’re talking about and how impart that knowledge to their readers.


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