How Powerful Is the Xbox One X?
What’s the Difference Between All of Microsoft’s and Sony’s Available Machines?
On paper, the difference between all machines looks quite substantial. In order to fully understand the “why” for a mid-gen console launch, it’s important to look at all four console options and compare them. This also paints a clear picture of just how powerful the Xbox One X really is.
(Note: All consoles use custom Jaguar APU’s architecture from AMD)
Skip below this section to see Xbox One tech specs VS PlayStation 4.
Xbox One X and PS4 Pro Compared
Xbox One X –
- 8-core AMD (Evolved Jaguar) CPU @ 2.3GHz
- AMD GPU w/40 Compute Units @1.17GHz = 6TF Graphics Performance
- 12GB GDDR5 RAM (326GB/s)
- 1TB 7200RPM Hard drive
- 4K Blu-ray Optical drive
PlayStation 4 Pro –
- 8-core AMD CPU @2.1GHz
- AMD GPU w/36 Computer units @911MHz = 4.2TF Graphics Performance
- 8GB GDDR5(218GB/s) + 1GB DDR3 RAM(64GB/s)
- 1TB 5200RPM Hard drive
- Blu-ray Optical drive
A common mid-gen trend has the Xbox One X running at 1440p/1800p/4K resolutions while the PlayStation 4 Pro commonly outputs at 1080p/1440p/1800p. Keep in mind, a lot of games utilize dynamic scaling and checkerboard rendering on both consoles, leaving varying results.
This time around, the Microsoft team took out the heavy artillery. Learning from their mistakes in 2013, Microsoft supercharged every single component on the Xbox One X over its predecessor. Starting with the CPU, the Xbox One X does more than just increase its processor speed by 40%. they also revamp the architecture of the APU to support a more efficient version of the Jaguar CPU. The GPU is the biggest selling point and advertising component of the console. Shooting up from 1.31TF on the standard Xbox One to 6TF is a MASSIVE jump; while also converting to the “GCN 4.0 Polaris graphics architecture“! The second largest upgrade for the One X is its RAM capacity. 8GB of slower DRR3 memory upgraded to 12GB of the super fast 326GB GDDR5 memory. Thanks to the insane GPU clock speed of 1.17GHz coupled with 40 Compute Unites that have access to 4 additional GB of 500% faster memory, the Xbox One X is capable of pushing native 4K games frequently; with higher levels of detail settings over its competition.
The PlayStation 4 Pro is definitely no slouch, but with an additional 1.6TF of graphical capability, faster CPU, 4K Blu-ray player, and a faster Hard drive, the Xbox One X’s addition $100 price tag, makes it quite a juicy option. The Xbox One X is capable of generally loading levels and games faster than the PlayStation 4 as well, due to its 50% faster Hard drive speed. There is no gap left for dominance when it comes to the Xbox One X and Microsoft has completed their objective of creating the “worlds most powerful console”.
PS4 and Xbox One Tech Specs Compared
PlayStation 4 –
- 8-core AMD CPU @ 1.6GHz
- AMD GPU w/18 Compute Units @800MHz = 1.84TF Performance
- 8GB GDDR5 RAM (176GB/s)
- 500GB-1TB 5200RPM Hard drive
- Blu-ray Optical Drive
Xbox One S –
- 8-core AMD CPU @ 1.75GHz
- AMD GPU w/12 Compute Units @853MHz = 1.31TF Performance
- 8GB DDR3 RAM (64GB/s) + 32MB ESRAM(219GB/s)
- 500GB-2TB 5200RPM Hard drive
- 4K Blu-ray Optical drive
As you can read above, the Xbox One only leverages a small advantage in CPU power and GPU clock speed. These last-minute upgrades were implemented by Microsoft just shy of launch, fearing sony’s superior performing console. The original Xbox One was set to launch with an 800MHz GPU and 1.6HGz CPU just like the PlayStation 4. The PS4’s two and a half times faster RAM speed over the Xbox One’s and 6 additional compute units generally allows the PlayStation to perform at higher framerates and slightly better general visuals.
A recent trend this early generation was, the Xbox typically performed at around 720-900p resolution with the PlayStation performing at 900-1080p resolution and in some cases, even better environment detail. Microsoft didn’t take this as a failure, though. They lowered console prices, ditched Kinect from the box, and created many different value bundles, to boost sales. This was just the beginning. Microsoft quickly got to the drawing board to create a new and improved Xbox. Not before Sony could announce the release of the Sony PlayStation 4 Pro, a suped up PS4 that is capable of 4K gaming,
Xbox One X Hardware Compared to Computer Hardware
The CPU is the weakest selling point of all current generation consoles. While undoubtedly being an upgrade over the previous generation, all modern consoles lack far behind their PC counterparts in the processor department. The 8-core 2.3GHz Jaguar CPU is about one-third the power of the new AMD entry-level Ryzen processors, with an equivalent computer processor being an older Intel i3 CPU. This is the primary reason, even with a 6TF GPU, many games still cannot sustain 60 frames per second, also though all of the other hardware inside the Xbox One X is perfectly capable of doing so. However, game developers can optimize their games with the console hardware. Due to every Xbox One X operating and is designed identically, developers can take every single ounce of juice out of the machine. Developers can use all hardware resources how they see fit to maximize graphics quality and performance, to keep up with CPU superiority in PC gaming. PC’s don’t have this level of optimization available since there are millions of different computer hardware configuration possibilities. With such a wide range of options, when optimizing a game for PC players, you have to set multiple “levels” of graphics options with more customizability. This helps to allow players to enjoy the game still, but with settings that work well on their specific PC configuration. Ultimately though, we will again see the Xbox One X supporting the highest visual quality and performance of any game console and will be as close as possible to their PC versions for many years to come.
The GPU is where all the money goes into the Xbox One X. Compared to PC gaming, this is where the value of the Xbox One X stands out. Thanks to the 40 compute units running at 1.17GHz, the GPU in the One X is comparable to that of an AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics card. With a hefty price tag of $500 though, the value difference between the RX 580 and an Xbox One X starts to stand out here. For $500, you can have an entire machine that is capable of very similar graphics performance in 4K resolutions, 4K streaming, 4K Blu-ray, and more. The Xbox even has an advantage with memory bandwidth, operating at 326GB/s over the RX 580’s 256GB/s memory speed. This strength in graphics performance is the most significant help in closing the gap created from the weak CPU in the Console.
The RAM on the Xbox One X is plentiful. 12GB of super-fast GDDR5 ram helps push the limits of the Xbox One X and at much cheaper costs than their PC counterparts. PC RAM has skyrocketed in price over the last two years which inadvertently caused an increase in graphics card prices as well. 12GB of PC RAM even close to the speed of the Xbox One X’s RAM cost’s approximately $150. That is more than double the price from 2015 and makes custom PC configurations much harder to prefer.