Here’s how the Xbox Series S stacks up against Series X, Xbox One consoles
One of the biggest surprises over the holiday weekend was the unintended reveal of the Xbox Series S, Microsoft’s more affordable next-gen console. Now that both consoles’ release dates and prices have been revealed, Microsoft has given us a better idea of how the Xbox Series S will stack up against Xboxes past, present, and future.
In a recent blog post, Xbox head of platform engineering and hardware Liz Hamren detailed the Xbox Series S’ specs. For starters, let’s look at the CPU. Where the Xbox Series X boasts an 8-Core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8GHz, the Series S is not far behind with an 8-Core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.6GHz.
Practically speaking, this difference is negligible, as Hamren states that the Series S “has the identical I/O performance as the Xbox Series X,” meaning it can make computations just as fast as its bulkier counterpart. More importantly, the Series S “supports experiences up to 120fps” and “DirectX Raytracing and Variable Rate Shading,” meaning it still boasts a pretty sizable graphical and performance advantage over the Xbox One X.
In terms of storage, the Series S comes equipped with a 512GB custom SSD that’s “powered by the Xbox Velocity Architecture, delivering more than 40x the I/O bandwidth of an Xbox One.” This means faster loading times, steadier frame rates, and the ability to Quick Resume multiple titles at any given time.
Where the Series S passes its savings onto you is when it comes to the GPU and resolution. Where the Series X’s GPU performance rates in at 12 teraflops, the Series S only has a 4-teraflop GPU, which is less than the One X. Its actual graphics card is an AMD RDNA 2 GPU, similar to the Series X, but it only has 20 CUs @ 1.565GHz, compared to the Series X’s 52 CUs @ 1.825GHz. This means that the Series S is targeting 1440p @ 60 FPS, not 4K @ 60 FPS, but both consoles can push their titles to 120 FPS, which is something the One X can emphatically not do.
Oh, and… there’s no disc drive. The Xbox Series S is a digital-only platform. But it’s also the smallest Xbox ever, so that kind of makes up for it. And it’s got a cool-looking fan.
So what does that mean for you, the prospective consumer? Well, considering the Series S is launching with a price tag of $299, it’s a darn good deal, all things considered. That’s also $100 less than the One X launched for, and the Series S is promising load times and frame rates that are just not possible on current-gen tech. In other words, if performance means more to you than resolution, the Series S offers a compelling argument, especially if you don’t have a 4K TV yet. Plus, the lack of a disc drive shouldn’t matter too much if you plan on taking advantage of Game Pass Ultimate, which will be combining forces with EA Play this holiday season.