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A quick look at Xbox Series X & PlayStation 5 specs

25 Mar 2020

March has been a huge month for gaming console announcements, with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 (PS5) specs announced within days of each other – although PlayStation hasn’t revealed what the PS5 will look like yet.

While we won’t go into every little detail, here are some hardware specs for both. Be prepared for some acronyms and big numbers to follow.

One thing PlayStation’s team mentioned was the introduction of 3D audio through ‘Tempest’ 3D Audiotech, which essentially means audio rendering will provide a better audio experience. The Xbox team didn’t cover Xbox audio.

Meanwhile, Xbox is keen to promote its Quick Resume feature, which means players can continue games from a suspended state. No more loading screens!

Central processing unit (CPU)

  • Xbox Series X: Custom AMD Zen 2 processor with 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) 
  • PlayStation 5: AMD Ryzen Zen 2 8-core @ up to 3.5 GHz.

“The CPU is the brain of our new console and the GPU is the heart, but the Xbox Velocity Architecture is the soul,” said Andrew Goossen, Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X at Microsoft.

“The Xbox Velocity Architecture is about so much more than fast last times. It’s one of the most innovative parts of our new console. It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger, more compelling worlds.”

Graphics processing unit (GPU)

  • Xbox Series X: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2
  • PlayStation 5: AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine @ up to 2.23 GHz

PlayStation’s Hideaki Nishino says the custom GPU is designed to provide more power to higher resolution, but the main winner is the console’s ray tracing ability.

The modern version of ray tracing has only taken off in the gaming world in the last couple of years, although it has been around in various forms for a while. Ray tracing essentially mimics the way light moves and reflects on surfaces as it would in real life, which means water, hair and other features will look more realistic.

Meanwhile, Xbox’s Will Tuttle says the GPU and CPU will provide more power for game developers, as well as a console for gamers.

“While the Xbox Series X will deliver a massive increase in GPU performance and continue to redefine and advance the state of art in graphics with new capabilities such as hardware-accelerated raytracing,” says Xbox Series X director of product management, Jason Ronald.

Memory

  • Xbox Series X: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
  • PlayStation 5: GDDR6 16GB, 448GB/s Bandwidth

Optical drive

  • Xbox Series X: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • PlayStation 5: Ultra HD Blu-ray, up to 100GB/disc

Storage

  • Xbox Series X: 1TB custom NVME SSD, with 1TB expansion card and external HDD support through USB 3.2
  • PlayStation 5: 825 GB SSD.

Planned games

  • Xbox Series X: The team has lined of Gears 5, which players will receive free if they own the Xbox One version.
  • PlayStation 5: No officially named games yet, but the company expects almost all of the top 100 PS4 titles (ranked by play time) will be available at the PlayStation 5 launch. The company continues to work on backwards compatibility with older games.

And as for pricing, neither the Xbox nor the PlayStation teams are saying anything. We’ll keep you updated.