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Xbox Series X specs released

Xbox Series X specs

Xbox Series X specs

Xbox revealed the Series X's specs in a March blog post.

Here is a list of the specs:

  • CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • Die Size: 360.45 mm
  • Process: 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
  • Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
  • Internal Storage: 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
  • I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
  • Expandable Storage: 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
  • External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
  • Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

Before we get into the details, it's worth mentioning that some rumors claim there will be not just one, but two separate versions of the upcoming Xbox: a lower-end SKU nicknamed "Lockhart" and a premium model internally named "Anaconda."

For the higher-tier model, we now know it will come with a 1TB SSD, which matches the Xbox One X's current storage. However, the Series X will have a custom NVMe SSD drive that should provide significantly faster speeds, which means shorter load times.

In fact, a video demonstration compared load times between an HDD and SSD. The loading times in State of Decay 2 were about 9 seconds on the Xbox Series X vs. around one minute on the Xbox One X.

If 1TB of storage isn't enough, there is an expandable storage slot in the back, which can give you an extra 1TB of storage, adding up to 2TB. We're also getting USB 3.2 external HDD support, which is nice for those who want to expand storage even further.

Microsoft also shared how its "Quick Resume" feature would work with five games all in a suspended state.  Microsoft is targeting around 12 teraflops (TF) of power in the higher-end Xbox Series X, or twice that of the Xbox One X (the current most powerful console) and many times greater than the Xbox One S.  The Xbox Series X will feature a custom AMD Zen 2 processor (7nm) with a custom Navi RDNA 2 GPU that supports ray tracing, 4K gaming at 60 frames, frame rates at up to 120 frames per second, 8K resolution support and the fastest GDDR6 memory, along with variable refresh rates.  The console will come with 16GB of RAM and 10GB of memory bandwidth @ 560 GB/s or 6GB @ 336 GB/s.  Ray tracing is critical in making next-gen games look better than ever. For those who aren't familiar, ray tracing is a rendering technique that simulates how light bounces off an object. The result is lighting effects and shadows that look practically photorealistic.

Microsoft revealed the power of ray tracing with a GIF of a Gears 5 screenshot on the Xbox One X vs. Xbox Series X.

Additionally, Microsoft talked up how it's improving latency by relying on the Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) functionality, which automatically enables your display’s lowest latency mode when you start playing (this is a feature on current Xbox One consoles).  The company also talked about Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), which is a new feature for HDMI 2.1 that helps eliminate screen tearing and reduces latency. These are incredibly important, especially when you're gaming at high resolutions, as you don't want to experience any sort of input lag.  The lower-end "Lockhart" console will reportedly slot between the Xbox One X and One S in terms of power, with 4 teraflops of computing power. However, a recent report claims Lockhart, also called the Xbox Series X, could get up to 7.9TF.

What about VR?

The next Xbox will not support virtual reality. While Microsoft has championed VR on PCs, the company is less keen about its place on consoles. Xbox lead Phil Spencer said an interview with Stevivor that "nobody is asking for VR" and that customers know to go to PC if they want to play VR. He went on to say “nobody’s selling millions and millions [of VR units]...“I think we might get there. But yeah, that’s not where our focus is."

Xbox Series X vs gaming laptops

The AMD Navi GPU powering the Xbox Series X is expected to rival Nvidia's RTX 2080 GPU, which means it should be able to keep up with the best laptops when it comes to graphics performance.  Alienware's Area-51m gaming laptop played Rise of the Tomb Raider at 92 frames per second while the Asus ROG Mothership notched 84 fps at 1080p resolution on Very High settings.  Unless the Navi GPU somehow blows the doors off the RTX 2080 powering those beastly gaming rigs (we doubt that), the Xbox Series X will need to dial down the settings to reach Microsoft's 4K at 60fps goal. Still, what Microsoft is claiming can't be ignored: the Xbox Series X will be crazy powerful and should offer better graphics-per-dollar than any gaming laptop on the market.

One thing that PCs gaming will always have a significant advantage over consoles though, is: flexibility. You can always slap a new video card, RAM and storage into a gaming rig when it gets a little long in the tooth. But, consoles are frozen with the hardware they ship with. That's what pushed Microsoft and Sony to release the One X and PS4 Pro in the middle of this console generation -- those original consoles simply couldn't keep up with the fancy new 4K TVs consumers were buying. As powerful as the Series X will be, it'll never be something you can open up and tinker with. So rest easy PC gamers, your rig still serves a purpose.  Honestly it will really depend on your comfort level with your machine, if you're comfortable then go PC if you want a premade monster go Xbox Series X.

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