Are materials as a whole 'cheaper' now?

I’ve been working on a pretty shader-intensive scene for just over a week or so, and a lot of my shaders are exceeding the 250-instructions count, some getting close to 300.

However, UE4 is still showing everything pretty smoothly. When I pop into shader complexity view, even my water which is nearing 290 instructions is shown in beautiful green! Does this mean that as a whole, shaders run much faster and/or are cheaper now? That strikes me as really odd considering everything is reflecting in real-time and illuminated by tonnes of dynamic lights. In UE3 (excluding the dynamic lights) this would have dragged my system to a crawl, maybe even a crash. I’m not running the worlds fastest GPU (GTX 560 Ti ‘448 Edition’), but I can even screen-record and keep reasonable framerates too.

The only parts of my scene that seem to go red or white, are lit particles. I guess that means we should still use those sparingly?