Xbox Series X ChipSource: Microsoft

What you need to know

  • Xbox Series X is more powerful than the PlayStation 5.
  • Microsoft's console has a minimum 1.875 teraflops advantage over Sony's machine.
  • Sony decided to go with a faster solid-state drive and forgo a rapid-switch external storage solution.
  • The processors of both consoles are roughly the same.

It's official. The Xbox Series X is more powerful than the PlayStation 5 (PS5). Today, Sony hosted a "Road to PS5" event in which designer Mark Cerny revealed the capabilities of the console. However, it seems like Eurogamer was able to get the specifications ahead and time and revealed them just as the event started.

The biggest takeaway from the event was the fact that the Xbox Series X is considerably more powerful than the PS5. The Xbox Series X features a faster processor, clocked in at 3.8 GHz, and a better graphic processing unit (GPU) that's a minimum 1.875 teraflops (TFLOPs) more powerful than the chip found inside the PS5, when it's running at its maximum speed. For reference, that's the power of a standalone PlayStation 4, but since this is AMD's next-generation architecture, the difference is even greater, maybe even double the real-world performance due to better efficiency. It also seems like the PS5 doesn't feature variable-rate shading, so real-world graphics may take a noticeable hit on the console.

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The one great feature Cerny discussed about the PS5 — and where it beats the Xbox Series X — is the solid-state drive (SSD) speed. You can take a look at the complete breakdown below.

Category Xbox Series X PlayStation 5
Processor 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz Custom Zen 2 CPU 8x Cores @ 3.5 GHz Custom Zen 2 CPU (variable)
Graphics 12.155 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 10.28 TFLOPS, 36 CUs @ 2.23 GHz Custom RDNA 2 (variable)
Memory 16 GB GDDR6, 320 mb bus 16 GB GDDR6, 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 10 GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 448GB/s
Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD 825 GB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed) 5.5 GB/s (Raw), 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage 1 TB Custom SSD expansion card NVMe SSD slot
External Storage USB external HDD support USB external HDD support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray drive
Size 301mm x 151mm x 151mm -
Release date Holiday 2020 Holiday 2020

The SSD on the PS5 is considerably faster than the one found in the Xbox Series X. However, Microsoft implemented other unique features that should mitigate the difference. However, only time will tell. At the end of the day, the GPU is mainly responsible for providing the best visuals, and Microsoft knocked it out of the park.

I expected Xbox Series X multiplatform games to look better than their PS5 counterparts because developers will likely implement better effects. It'll probably be similar to what you see between the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro nowadays.

With that said, Sony has a much better library of games at the moment. Microsoft needs to show us that its recent acquisitions are working on stellar experiences that rival those produced by Nintendo and Sony. Power matters towards the beginning of a generation, but games win the war. Right now, prospective buyers should be glad that Microsoft learned for its mistakes and didn't lose out on power again.

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Xbox Series X

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