ChatGPT Plus vs ChatGPT Free: Comparison

ChatGPT is all that everyone has talked and debated about since its launch in November 2022.

It was primarily free and unlimited, with over 100 million users today. However, OpenAI recently introduced a paid version called ChatGPT Plus in addition to the free model.

This begs the question – should you upgrade to ChatGPT Plus or continue using the free version? 

It depends on what you use ChatGPT for. We compare the key differences between the two to help you decide. Let’s dive deep into ChatGPT Plus vs ChatGPT Free. 

Key Feature Differences

MetricsChatGPT FreeChatGPT Plus
Launch DateNovember 2022February 2023
Machine Learning ModelGPT-3.5GPT-4 Turbo
Knowledge Cut-OffSeptember 2021Real-time
Parameters and Capacity117 million1.3 billion
Peak Traffic HandlingPoorReliable uptime
Typical Response TimeSlowUp to 4X faster
Key Use CasesBasic content writing, coding, researchEnhanced capabilities for writers, coders, academics

ChatGPT Plus uses GPT-4 Turbo with almost 13X higher parameters along with real-time web access, making it way more powerful.

ChatGPT Free Overview

ChatGPT Free Overview

ChatGPT Free was launched in November 2022 with the intention of public testing. This utilizes the machine learning model GPT-3.5. 

One of the major drawbacks of this version is that it only has access to data and events until September 2021. On the plus side, it can create human-like text content and conversations. 

Some of the key use cases of ChatGPT free are:

  • Content writing assistance
  • Coding support
  • Information search
  • Virtual assistance

This model has a bunch of limitations. It has a slow response time during high-traffic periods. This free version has frequent service outages and often incomplete responses.  

However, the ChatGPT free version is reported to have over 1.3 million visits in the first week after launch, as per OpenAI. 

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ChatGPT Plus Detailed Overview

ChatGPT Plus Detailed Overview

ChatGPT Plus was officially launched on February 1, 2023. This is a more advanced version and uses the upgraded AI model GPT-4 Turbo. It has access to real-time information from the internet via Microsoft Bing. 

According to OpenAI, the ChatGPT Plus version has up to 4 times faster response time compared to the free version.

They offer priority access and reliable uptime even during peak traffic of over 2 million visits per day. 

On top of all that, ChatGPT Plus has impressive additional capabilities as well. It has a custom chatbot builder, code interpreter, and DALL-E image generator.

Across all key aspects like speed, capabilities, and reliability, ChatGPT Plus significantly outperforms the free version.

Cost Comparison

As everybody knows, the ChatGPT free version has completely free access. Hence it also has limited capabilities. 

ChatGPT Plus charges $20 per month. However, it has discounted annual plans available. This advanced version offers advanced features and priority access. 

The features differentiate largely in both versions.

When is ChatGPT Plus Worth It?

When is ChatGPT Plus Worth It

Choose to upgrade to ChatGPT Plus only if you are: 

  • A Professional content creator, like writers and social media managers, who need high volumes of content.
  • You run mission-critical business workflows that depend on ChatGPT with no room for downtime.
  • Need access to the most advanced AI capabilities like code interpretation.

For most basic usage like casual research or occasional writing help, the free version of ChatGPT should still meet your needs sufficiently.

However, advanced power users have a lot more to gain from the premium features and the 24×7 reliable access provided by ChatGPT Plus.

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Can I switch between ChatGPT free and Plus easily?

Yes, you can seamlessly switch between ChatGPT free and Plus by going into your account settings and managing your subscription plan. Your conversation history and preferences will be retained.

Are there any user or word limits with ChatGPT Plus?

No, ChatGPT Plus does not enforce any strict limits on the number of conversations, depth of conversations, or total word count generation. However, very long conversations spanning thousands of words may be rate-limited.

What new features will be coming to Plus members first?

As per OpenAI, all new capabilities, integrations, and improvements will be launched first for ChatGPT Plus subscribers before reaching free users.


While ChatGPT free is enough for basic use cases, users across industries benefit tremendously from upgrading to ChatGPT Plus for $20 per month.

You get priority access to the most advanced large language model behind ChatGPT without any disruptions for maximum productivity.

So, we highly recommend ChatGPT Plus if reliable access and advanced capabilities are important for your daily workflows.

Editorial Staff at AiOptimistic is a team of AI enthusiasts and experts led by Mithin with over 5 years of experience. AiOptimistic is the best resource to learn AI and make it simple for everyone.

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