The rumored PS5 Pro specs are already disappointing me

The idea of a PS5 Pro sounds very exciting as games get better and more detailed, but the rumored specs have me anxious it won't live up to the hype.

Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 standing sad in front of a PS5 Slim model

With the announcement of a game like GTA 6 undoubtedly comes the idea of hardware improvements. We’re due for a mid-generation Pro console from Sony, and while we’ve had some information from leakers, the rumored PS5 Pro specs aren’t anything to write home about, and in fact, have me worried about the actual improvements.

It’s no surprise that, as new PS5 games are released, developers are getting used to the current-gen consoles and can reach their technological limits faster. The best PS5 games will, of course, have better graphics and visuals throughout the console’s life until the PS6 release date comes around, but will the PS5 Pro be good enough for existing players to upgrade?

There’s been plenty of rumors circulating about the PS5 Pro, but the common thread seems to be that the PS5 Pro is likely to focus on accelerated raytracing, as revealed by leaker Tom Henderson via KeyToGaming, and a somewhat small CPU upgrade that doesn’t seem too exciting.

RedGamingTech on Twitter shared the rumored specs to their fans, stating that the PS5’s graphics card will see the biggest upgrade with the Pro model, moving from an AMD RDNA 2-based GPU to an RDNA 3-based GPU, with almost double the improvement. However, the CPU is only getting a minor 0.5 GHz clock speed improvement in the process, with the AMD Ryzen Zen 2 3.5 GHz bumped up to 4 GHz with the PS5 Pro.

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For those unaware, the Zen 2 architecture from AMD was released four years ago in 2019 but has since been replaced by the much better Zen 3 architecture. While an AMD Zen 3 CPU in the PS5 Pro would likely increase the price, there’s one major issue that may appear with the PS5 Pro: bottlenecking.

In computer terms, bottlenecking is where one weaker component causes problems for the better components, limiting the performance of your PC or consoles. A better GPU sounds great on paper, but with a weak CPU, this could cause problems down the line where games can’t take advantage of the stronger hardware.

Mark Cerny, the lead architect for the PS5, recently filed a patent in early 2022 for a ray-tracing unit, or RTU, that would help alleviate this issue by allowing the RTU to calculate how light hits surfaces while the GPU itself would handle the details. However, considering the patent was only filed last year, it’s possible that the ray-tracing unit may not be in the PS5 Pro.

What does this mean for us, the players? Well, it seems that the PS5 Pro won’t actually get the improvements we all hoped for. Leaker Kepler_L2 on Twitter, who has successfully dropped information about AMD before, suggests that if GTA 6 is 30 FPS on PS5, it’ll likely be the same on the Pro model. Any CPU-heavy games like simulation games or titles that require a lot of crowds etc. will be severely limited by the PS5 Pro’s rumored CPU. And that’s extremely disappointing.

That means that, while the best open world games like an eventual Spider-Man 3 might look even better than its predecessor, the number of crowds or traffic in the game will be sorely limited by the CPU. Considering it’s likely that all PS5 Pro games will play on the PS5 too, we’d argue from the rumors that it won’t be worth the upgrade, especially if the PS6 is coming a few years later.

So, while the PS5 Pro sounds like an exciting bit of tech and a good competitor for the best gaming console list, if the rumored specs are to be believed, you shouldn’t hedge your bets on playing GTA 6 at 4K resolution and 60 FPS. However, for those without a PS5 right now, the PS5 Pro might be a great way to get into the current-gen of consoles, but you may want to pick out the best PS5 accessories for the console too.