Extra memory, split between the OS and the games
The PS4 Pro has one more GB of memory than the standard PS4- it’s nothing much, and it’s not even the high speed GDDR5 memory that the PS4 otherwise uses. However, it can be useful to the system, especially in rendering high resolution games.
“We felt games needed a little more memory – about 10 per cent more – so we added a gigabyte of slow, conventional DRAM to the console,” PS4 architect Mark Cerny told Eurogamer.
“On a standard model, if you’re switching between an application, such as Netflix, and a game, Netflix is still in system memory even when you’re playing the game. We use that architecture because it allows for a very quick swap between applications. Nothing needs to be loaded, it’s already in memory.”
“On PS4 Pro, we do things differently, when you stop using Netflix, we move it to the slow, conventional gigabyte of DRAM. Using that strategy frees up almost one gigabyte of the eight gigabytes of GDDR5. We use 512MB of that freed up space for games, which is to say that games can use 5.5GB instead of the five and we use most of the rest to make the PS4 Pro interface – meaning what you see when you hit the PS button – at 4K rather than the 1080p it is today.”
It’s definitely a sensible decision, and it also sounds like Sony are going about it in a way that will prevent fragmentation between the standard PS4 and the PS4 Pro. Hopefully it leads to games playing even better on PS4 as well.