The new PS4 Pro Boost Mode claims to be able to improve performance of all older, non-patched games on the system. But how much does the setting really do?
If you’re a PlayStation fan, chances are you’ve heard about the changes that the PS4 Pro is bringing to the gaming experience. What you may not have heard of however, is the PS4 Pro Boost Mode – a setting designed to improve the performance of all games available on the system and not restricted to just the ones that received a patch for the upgraded console. According to an analysis video by Digital Foundry, the results are mixed but show some real promise.
In the video below, Digital Foundry reviews the performance of the PS4 Pro Boost Mode across nine different games, comparing the end result with footage from the original, non-boosted gameplay. Sometimes, like with Bloodborne, the channel notes that little difference is made to the core issues that the game suffers from, such as frame-pacing anomalies and long load times, though it does note that the setting appears to keep the game’s frame rate at a more consistent 30 FPS, without the dips seen in the base mode.
The same can be said for Dark Souls 3 which, the host comments, feels smoother overall but has no real chance for Boost Mode to show its worth. In the game’s predecessor however, it’s a different story. The setting appears to keep Dark Souls 2 running at a consistent 60 FPS, where the base mode would often dip into the low 50s when multiple enemies were on screen at once. Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty also receives a similar boost of approximately 10 frames per second.
Slow down and screen tearing are also far reduced in Lords of the Fallen, to the point where the game runs near perfectly for the first time on console. With games such as The Evil Within, notorious for having severe performance issues on the original PS4, even the Boost Mode struggles to fully fix, though it does allow large improvement to be seen. The increased clock speed on the CPU allows the game to run smoother, though not quite at the 30 FPS we’d all have liked to see.
A game with even worse performance in places, Until Dawn is plagued by a host of frame rate issues, to the point where the Boost Mode seems to have almost no effect. The setting isn’t enough to save the day when the uncapped frame rate continuously rises and falls at seemingly random intervals. And unfortunately for the game’s cult following, developer Supermassive Games confirmed that the title would not be receiving a much-needed PS4 Pro patch.
Thanks to constant performance-enhancing patches courtesy of CD Projekt Red, The Witcher 3 currently runs at an almost constant 30 FPS where it used to struggle, giving the PS4 Pro’s new Boost Mode very little to do by way of an upgrade. However, the option does provide slightly more power to the game, allowing for a couple of in-game areas and cutscenes that were well known for bringing down the frame rate, to be run at full capacity. Loading times are also significantly decreased, though they are still fairly lengthy.
Finally, Digital Foundry took a look at Batman: Arkham Knight, a game that many have called completely broken on account of the constant frame dipping, though the issues were always far worse for PC players. The cause of many of these issues, the Batmobile driving sequences, are much smoother with Boost Mode enabled, and the game looks and plays better than ever before.
To conclude, the PS4 Pro’s Boost Mode is a fantastic setting to come with the upgraded console, and certainly does allow for some significant performance increases across the board, but it’s a shame that even the enhanced specs of the new system still aren’t enough to help every game achieve a consistent frame rate. At the very least, there doesn’t seem to be any disadvantage to having the function enabled, so players can sit back and enjoy a comfortably higher performance in many of their older titles.