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PS5 Pro may get next gen AMD GPU, but with no CPU upgrade

PlayStation 5 Pro spec leaks point to to a potential RDNA 4 GPU, but Sony is sticking with the vanilla console's processor architecture.

A PS5 surrounded by rotated blue AMD logos

Following the initial wave of PlayStation 5 Pro specs leaks that promise insight into the console’s GPU performance, further information has come to light on its CPU. While it should surprise no one that AMD will once again take on graphics and processor duties, the makeup of the device’s SoC looks to be paradoxically different and familiar.

Since the launch of the PlayStation 5, the performance of AMD GPUs has greatly increased, and they’re expected to get even quicker in the near future with the advent of the RDNA 4. This microarchitecture should find its way into both the PS5 Pro and future best graphics card contenders, but it appears as if Sony won’t be giving its console as big a CPU upgrade if the latest rumors hold true.

According to the latest leak, the PS5 Pro will boast the same eight-core Zen 2 CPU as seen in the original PlayStation 5, albeit with a new ‘High CPU Frequency Mode’. It is claimed that this mode increases power to the CPU, and raises the boost clock speeds to 3.85GHz, a 10% uplift. However, the GPU is underclocked by 1.5% to achieve this, resulting in “roughly 1% lower GPU performance”.

These latest details were obtained by Insider Gaming, and Sony’s potential decision to stick with Zen 2 CPU cores for the PS5 Pro is most likely a cost saving measure, as Zen 3 and Zen 4 processors are now readily available, while Zen 5 chips are expected imminently. However, given the target frame rates and resolutions of the PlayStation 5, it’s likely that the performance of the RDNA 2 GPU is the most common bottleneck and thus the smartest part to address.

All signs point to the PS5 Pro packing an RDNA 4 GPU. If rumors of a 4x performance uplift in ray tracing weren’t enough, murmurs of AI upscaling on the AMD GPU pretty much seal the deal. While this upscaler, reportedly dubbed ‘PlayStation Spectral Super Resolution’ (PSSR), is unlikely to make the jump from PS5 to PC, it’s only a matter of time before we see a version of FSR using AI to better compete with DLSS.

Whether AMD can muster its resources to debut AI upscaling and RDNA 4 desktop graphics cards ahead of the launch of the PlayStation 5 Pro remains to be seen. Until then, give our Radeon RX 7900 XTX review a read to see where AMD’s best GPU performance currently stands.