PS5 Pro won't boost 30FPS CPU-limited games to 60FPS

Sony's upcoming mid-gen PlayStation 5 Pro is not expected to magically double frame rates in CPU-limited games due to the same Zen 2 CPU found in base PS5.

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Sony's new PS5 Pro is expected to deliver surprising upgrades including a beefy 45% GPU performance increase, but the CPU hasn't been adjusted much.

PS5 Pro won't boost 30FPS CPU-limited games to 60FPS 532

New PlayStation 5 Pro spec leaks paint an interesting picture for Sony's new mid-gen upgrade. The PS5 Pro will have a RDNA 3 GPU with 60 Compute Units, an increase of 67% compared to the PS5's 36 RDNA 2.0 GPU with 36 Compute Units. But the PS5 Pro's CPU is a different story--it's not expected to actually change outside of a frequency bump.

Reports indicate that the PS5 Pro will use the same Zen 2 CPU found in the base PS5 and PS5 Slim models. Instead of making big changes to the CPU, Sony slightly raised the PS5 Pro's CPU clock speeds to 3.8GHz, compared to the 3.5GHz of the original PS5. This 300MHz increase is to help streamline performance, namely helping games that are bound/limited by the CPU maintain more stable frame rates within the confines of their respective caps. But developers can't get the 300MHz CPU boost without taking a 1% GPU performance hit--Sony has provided new upscaling tech to help devs mitigate this performance hit, and if everything goes right, gamers won't even notice the GPU downclocking.

According to Digital Foundry, this also means that CPU-limited games won't see drastic improvements on the PS5 Pro.

For example, if a CPU-limited game runs at 30FPS on the base PlayStation 5, it won't magically run at 60FPS on the PS5 Pro.

"In real terms, those hoping that PS5 Pro will turn CPU-limited 30fps titles into super-smooth 60fps experiences will be disappointed. With that said, the 3.85GHz mode will bring greater stability to 30fps games that may not be hitting their frame-rate target when CPU limited - and yes, we have started to see those titles.

"And if the one percent impact to GPU performance is verified, that's not really an issue in the age of dynamic resolution scaling. There'll be an imperceptible reduction in rendering resolution and that's it. If a game is CPU limited, the GPU will stall and will lose far more performance anyway."

This sentiment was also echoed by well-known hardware expert Kepler:

"If GTA 6 is 30 FPS on PS5 it's probably 30 FPS on PS5 Pro too. I imagine the game will be quite CPU heavy and the CPU upgrade on the Pro is rather small."

Sony is believed to have kept the Zen 2 CPU to ensure compatibility between the base PS5 and the Pro, as well as streamlining production, as it's also believed the PS5 Pro's custom chip will be built on the same 6nm process as the existing PlayStation 5 models.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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