Sitting side-by-side under my TV as an Xbox One X and a PlayStation 4 Pro. I've used both for a few weeks now and there are a number of differences, and some stuff the Xbox One X definitely does better.
Most noticeable day-to-day has actually been the noise and heat — the Xbox One X is usually barely above a whisper while the PS4 Pro's fans are comparatively deafening. But I very quickly noticed that the PS4 Pro gets pretty darn hot in places, and I just so happen to have a thermal camera to satisfy my curiosity.
So just how hot does the Xbox One X get compared to the PlayStation 4 Pro? Let's find out.
For this test I've been using the Flir One USB-C thermal camera and its accompanying Android application. The camera simply attaches to the bottom of a smartphone, though requires its own battery to operate.
The Flir One can be had for $200 from Amazon, and also comes in variants for micro USB phones as well as Apple's Lightning connector.
In trying to be as fair as possible, I've tried to keep things as consistent as possible on both consoles. Both consoles have been used for what they're designed for: playing games.
I played 30 minutes of both an Xbox One X and PS4 Pro enhanced title to give them each a workout. On the Xbox, that game was F1 2017 and on the PS4 Pro, Call of Duty: WWII.
If you're looking for the tl;dr, the Xbox One X comes out on top. Not only does it run quieter, it's quite a bit cooler as well, albeit with raised temperatures at the exhaust. It's more powerful, smaller, quieter and cooler than the PS4 Pro.
For actual numbers, the images below show where each console is hottest and the temperatures they each reached.
In our Xbox One X review we found it ran at 68C (155F) at its hottest point, and in my own testing that's about the same. The exhausts on the rear get pretty darn hot, with my own test clocking in at around 65C (149F).
The top and bottom of the console weren't nearly this warm, coming to 42C (107F) and 36C (97F) respectively at their hottest points. In neither case is the console too hot to touch, but you'll need to keep it ventilated for sure in an entertainment center.
The PS4 Pro gets very hot in two areas in particular. The exhaust vents are all on the rear, so as you'd expect that's where things are hottest. On the top of the console, however, there's a patch in one corner where the most intense heat lies. So don't put anything on top of it, maybe.
Numbers-wise around the back temperatures touch 60C (140F) in the specific area the heat escapes. That's pretty warm and you'll want to make sure there's ventilation if the console is inside an entertainment unit.
The top and the bottom of the console aren't as warm, approaching 44C (111F) at its hottest point on the bottom and 51C (124F) on the top.
The bottom line
This is partly a bit of fun, but partly serious detail. Never underestimate what Microsoft has done with the Xbox One X. It's smaller and more powerful than the PS4 Pro while seemingly better at cooling. The air coming out of it is hotter, but that's a good thing, because it helps keep the temperature of the box lower.
Not only does the Xbox One X deal with its cooling better, it's much quieter in the process.
Sure, it's more expensive, but since getting the PS4 Pro I'm more impressed than ever with the technical achievement that is the Xbox One X.
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