ARK dev: PS4 Pro performance equal to $900 gaming PC

PS4 Pro performance is equivalent to a $900 gaming PC says ARK: Survival Evolved developer.

8 minutes & 1 second read time

Studio Wildcard has been hard at work on ARK: Survival Evolved since it was released, with the game finally hitting the PS4 earlier this year after enjoying great success on the PC.

ARK dev: PS4 Pro performance equal to $900 gaming PC |

Now the developer is talking about Sony's new 4K-ready (but mostly upscaled) PS4 Pro console, as well as possible PSVR support in the future. Before that, what type of experience are we getting on the PS4 with ARK? During a recent interview with WCCFTech, we now that the developer is aiming for: "30-45 FPS for the regular PS4 (which renders ARK's environment at either at 680p or 720p depending on whether you have "Detailed Graphics" selected)". As for the PS4 Pro: "60 FPS at 720p,or 30-60 FPS at 1080p, depending on "Detailed Graphics" setting".

The team was asked about their thoughts on the performance of the PS4 Pro, where Lead Programmer and co-founder of Studio Wildcard Jeremy Stieglitz replied: "Very impressed with its performance, at a very reasonable price. We estimate it would cost at least $900 to build a similarly powerful PC, and that's if you were custom-building it with extreme cost control. We estimate its raw GPU performance is similar to an NVIDIA 970, and along with CPU improvements and overall more memory, it's a really high benchmark for console performance. Hats off to Sony for "crossing the Rubicon" of console hardware updates (bonus that it tends to improve performance in just about every existing title in the PlayStation 4 library)!"

This is particularly interesting because we know the PS4 Pro's heavily customized GPU sits below a Radeon RX 470 in terms of raw TFLOPS power, but also remember we can't equate a heavily customized console GPU with a desktop GPU. So it's fairly irresponsible for the ARK devs to say the PS4 Pro's GPU is similar to a NVIDIA GTX 970.

But the remark about the PS4 Pro being similar to a $900 PC in general is quite ridiculous, especially since the RX 470 alone is cheapish, and you can find pretty awesome sales on components. But at the same time, it's hard to make a desktop that performs like a heavily customized console, as the architecture has been specifically scaled and built around said console's performance--everything's highly customized, and you won't really hit the same values. If anything, a PC will smash the values, especially with dedicated desktop hardware.

We've also seen various instances where the PS4 Pro's outdated Jaguar CPU actually holds back the PS4 Pro's new Polaris GPU, meaning the RX 470-like GPU had to be scaled back even farther. This, combined with the scaled Radeon Polaris GPU, is the main reason the PS4 Pro has stuttering issues in native 4K and FPS drops in super-sampled 1080p.

Then again, the PS4 Pro does provide some hefty boosts compared to the current console market.

Thanks to the beefier hardware inside of the PS4 Pro, we can look forward to improved performance in ARK, with Stieglitz adding: "An impending update (which might hit tomorrow!) includes an Optional 1080p mode which runs 30-60 FPS, while defaulting to 60 FPS 720p mode. Also, we'll be bumping up the Texture Resolution on the PS4 Pro in a subsequent update, since after all it has 500+ MB additional title-usable memory we want to make use of!"

Sony has also said that these PS4 Pro enhanced updates--known as Forward Compatibility patches--that enable 4K 30FPS, 1080p 60FPS, 1080p with enhanced visuals/effects are actually very easy to implement.

This isn't actually too bad for PS4 Pro gamers, because they get to choose between 720p 60FPS and 1080p at between 30-60FPS. Giving gamers the option is what it's all about, so I'm actually surprised - and happy, with what the ARK team is providing PS4 Pro gamers with here. All they're using is a small less than 500MB update, too.

Kudos, Studio Wildcard.

The PS4 Pro is now available for $399. Check below for everything we know about the console so far:

Original PS4 Specs

  • CPU: 8 Jaguar Cores at 1.6GHz
  • GPU: AMD GCN, 18 CUs at 800MHz (equivalent to Radeon HD 7850)
  • Memory: 8 GB GDDR5, 176 GB/s

PS4 Pro Specs

  • CPU: 8 Jaguar Cores at 2.1GHz
  • GPU: 4.20 TFLOPs Polaris GPU
  • Memory: 8 GB GDDR5, 218 GB/s

PS4 Pro: What we know so far:

  • Double GPU power over existing PS4 models (roughly 2x AMD Radeon HD 7850)
  • AMD Polaris GPU support
  • 14nm FinFET SoC likely
  • CPU with boosted clock rate
  • Higher memory bandwidth
  • No 4K UHD Blu-ray player
  • Launches November 10 for $399
  • 4K resolution upscaling
  • HDR support
  • Higher frame rates, improved in-game performance across the board
  • Plays all existing PS4 games, but not every PS4 game will leverage the new hardware for improved performance
  • 1TB hard drive

Read more about Sony's PS4 Pro:


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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