PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X: Which 4K console should you buy right now?
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X – Which is the 4K Winner?
PS4 Pro and Xbox One X mark a huge shift in console gaming. Console generations have been moved aside in favour of an iterative hardware mode. At least, that’s what the picture is like right now before the PS5 and Xbox 2 finally show their cards.
Both machines will support all existing PS4 and Xbox One titles respectively while adding plenty of new features and hardware improvements such as increased performance, resolution and graphical features.
Let’s be very clear: these consoles are very different offerings that aren’t exact side-by-side rivals. While they both offer 4K gaming, they fill different parts of the market due to their different pricing. Still, a side-by-side look at specs never did anybody any harm, did it?
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PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X – Price and release date
PS4 Pro launched in November 2016, retailing at £349.99. Sony’s upgraded console is pretty good value considering its specs.
The Xbox One X, launched on 7 November, 2017 for £449/$499. That’s not a massive leap up from the PS4 Pro, but it is still a jump that some people might not be willing to make.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X – Processor
Xbox One X: 8-core, 2.3GHz processor
PS4 Pro: 8-core, 2.13GHz processor
PS4 Pro is using an improved version of the original model’s chip with a slightly boosted clock speed. The Pro now runs at an impressive 2.13GHz, while the vanilla console lags behind at 1.6.
The One X meanwhile, has stolen a bit of a march on the Pro and has a slightly faster processor, but the real meat comparison lies in the graphics comparison.
PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X – Graphics
Xbox One X: 6 TFLOPS, 326GB/s, 12GB GDDR5
PS4 Pro: 4.12 TFLOPS, 218 GB/s, 8GB GDDR5
First, some jargon-busting: TFLOPs stands for trillion floating point operations per second, the simplest way of measuring graphical horsepower. GB/s is the bandwidth of that memory, which tells you how quickly the GPU can move frames through the memory and out to your display. The more memory, the more high-resolution textures the GPU can quickly access at any one time, increasing performance.
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The PS4 Pro possesses 8GB of GDDR5 with an additional 1GB of RAM set aside for handling background processes. The Xbox One X nets a full 12GB of GDDR5. Both consoles will share their memory between the GPU and CPU, although how much each gets is unknown.
How will this affect gaming?
Technical jargon aside, this difference in graphics power will make a difference when it comes to both consoles’ 4K chops. Microsoft is aiming for full, native 4K at 60fps, while not all PS4 Pro games meet that specification. Some games run at 30fps in 4K, while others manage full 60fps performance at full, native 4K. The rest are a combination of games that only run at 30fps/4K, or render at sub-4K and use clever upscaling techniques to appear 4K.
All Xbox One games will run better on One X, whether or not they’ve been specifically updated to do so. You’ll be able to play One X games at Full HD, too, with the choice as to whether you want to downscale from Ultra HD resolution for ultra-sharp graphics, or run games at 1080p for better performance.
This is notably different to the PS4 Pro, which has a habit of hiding these settings from you unless you’ve specifically opted to run their console at Full HD only.
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PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X– Games and content
Xbox One backwards compatibility is on One X. The service currently has more than 300 titles, which is nothing to sniff at.
There will be no One X-exclusive titles with the exception of experiences that support certain virtual reality peripherals – support for which still remains unconfirmed.
Like UHD Blu-rays? Xbox One X will support ’em, along with Dolby Atmos. PS4 Pro only supports HD Blu-rays and there’s no Dolby Atmos support. But both consoles will support the HDR 10 standard on both.
Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro – Conclusion
Since launch, the PS4 Pro has come into its own with an assortment of improved specs and the newly implemented Boost Mode. Introduced in PS4 update 4.50, this new feature amps up the performance of all PS4 games to varying degrees, enhancing some titles by almost 40%. It’s the best PS4 iteration on the market today, although it’s not entirely worth it for those without a 4K display.
However, the Xbox One X is just a better performer. It’s pricier, and launched at £450/$499, and it doesn’t have quite the library that you get with the PlayStation Pro, but it has more bells and whistles (the 4K Blu-Ray player is an incredible get), better performance and with Microsoft’s seemingly never-ending quest to add every game from the Xbox’s past to the back compatibility catalogue, it’s getting a fearsome collection of classics on the platform too.
There’s no clear winner here, but if you like cracking single player exclusives, the PS4 Pro is a solid buy. If you’re in this solely for the pixels, or you want to share your games between PC and Xbox with just a single purchase, the Xbox One X is a better performer and benefits from a shared game library with the PC on many of its new releases.