Games built or patched to take advantage of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s extra power run significantly better on the newer console. Boost Mode is an upcoming feature that puts that power to work on non-optimized PS4 games, and as Digital Foundry discovered, it works pretty well.
Coming in PlayStation 4 firmware update 4.50, Boost Mode allows games developed before the release of the Pro to use the extra CPU speed and GPU power without requiring a patch. While unpatched games won’t suddenly sprout enhanced graphics features like patched and pre-optimized title, they should enjoy faster, more-stable frame rates and faster loading times.
According to Digital Foundry’s tests with a beta version of the feature, it’s working as advertised.
The video, which you can watch in full below, begins with a look at Knack, one of the PlayStation 4 launch titles, and one that has received a PS4 Pro patch, illustrating the difference between a passive boost and a programmed one. While not as significant a leap as the patch provided, frame rates get a nice bump from pure Boost Mode.
Looking at an unpatched game like BioShock Infinite, which saw a lot of hitches and drops on the PlayStation 4, Boost Mode goes great lengths towards smoothing out those bumps.
The degree of improvement depends on how CPU versus GPU intensive the game being played is, with more GPU-intensive titles seeing a nicer jump.
Boost Mode also helps with texture loading times, as seen in this comparison shot from Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Note the wall texture to the left, which hasn’t fully loaded yet in the base mode.
Check out the video below to see what Boost Mode does for games like Project Cars, Tomb Raider, Battlefield 4 and even Mighty No. 9. If a feature can make Mighty No. 9 run better, it can do anything.