The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 have finally begun selling around the world. Both gaming consoles are witnessing a huge demand with reports of running out rather quickly. Well, Black Friday is just a few days away and if you are one of those people who are still confused as to which one you should buy, then here’s a quick specifications comparison to give you some clarity.
|Xbox Series X||Sony PlayStation 5|
|CPU||Octa-core AMD Zen 2, 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT)||Octa-core AMD Zen 2, 3.5GHz clock speed|
|GPU||1.825GHz clock speed, 12 TFLOPS, 52 compute units||2.23GHz clock speed (variable frequency), 36 compute units, 10.28 TFLOPs|
|Memory||16GB GDDR6 320-bit||16GB GDDR6 256-bit|
|Resolution support||4K at 120Hz, up to 8K||4K at 120Hz, up to 8K|
|Internal storage||1TB NVMe SSD||825GB SSD|
|Storage expansion||1TB expansion card||NVMe SSD slot|
|External storage||USB 3.2 external HDD support||USB HDD support|
|Optical disc||4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive||4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive|
|Dimensions||301mm x 151mm x 151mm||390mm x 104mm x 260mm|
On paper, both the Xbox Series X and the Sony PlayStation 5 (PS5) sound impressive for their price. The Xbox Series X gets a custom CPU built by AMD which is based on its 7nm Zen 2 architecture. It includes eight-cores and 16 threads with a base speed of 3.6GHz. It also comes with the ability to reach peak speeds of 3.8GHz by switching off simultaneous multithreading. The GPU on the console comes with a fixed clock speed of 1.825GHz. It features 3328-shaders and 52-compute units that combine to deliver 12-teraflops of computing performance. As for the memory, you get 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, a solid upgrade over the 12GB GDDR5 on the Xbox One X.
Storage is handled by a fast 1TB NVMe SSD and the console can also utilize it as virtual RAM. The storage is user expandable but with a caveat — you need to rely on the proprietary NVMe based SSD expansion card from the company itself. The Xbox Series X has the ability to deliver a 4K resolution, 120Hz gaming experience which can go even further to 8K at relatively lower refresh rates. This essentially means that it also brings HDMI 2.1 to the table. Thanks to the next-gen protocol, the console also brings an Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) as well as the ability to lower down the resolution to 1440p in case you fancy a monitor over a TV.
The PlayStation 5 is also powered by a similar custom-made AMD chipset with Zen 2 architecture, having an octa-core configuration with a CPU clock speed of 3.5GHz. The GPU comes with 16GB of DDR6 memory, 36-compute units, and a claimed 10.28-teraflops of computing power. Now that is less than the Xbox, but the GPU is clocked higher at 2.23GHz. Most of the other features are similar to the Xbox Series X, including support for ray tracing, up to 8K resolution gaming alongside 4K 120Hz, HDMI 2.1. Sony did stress on the SSD storage of the PlayStation 5 which is a custom-built 825GB SSD with claims of up to 5.5GB/s throughput resulting in super-fast load times when loading games. Sony also says that it will offer the option of adding an additional NVMe based SSD to the console in the near future — the hardware already has space for it, and software support will come soon. Though, keep in mind that you may need to get a decently fast SSD, and possibly Sony-certified, for optimal performance.
Both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 offer backward compatibility with their respective previous generation consoles. Microsoft claims that customers can expect the Xbox Series X console to run Xbox One games, as well as over 600 Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles via the Game Pass. Additionally, older games will also run better than before with double the frame rates and HDR support on certain titles.
As for the PlayStation 5, the company did not clarify on backward compatibility but has assured that the console would be able to play 99% of the entire catalog of PlayStation 4 games. There are also rumors that Sony might make an effort to bring PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 titles to the PlayStation 5 via virtual machine emulation; but we need to wait to hear more on this from Sony.
Both the new consoles are priced similarly at $499, but if we look at the specifications, it seems that the Xbox has a slight edge over the PlayStation 5. Having said that, it does not mean that Microsoft has a better console. You get great features on both for the price you pay. For that matter, one can even go for the Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5 that saves you $100 without compromising on the performance. Sony also has a reputation for first-party exclusives and you get games like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, God of War: Ragnarok, Gran Turismo 7, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and more. On the other hand, the Xbox Series X is going to appeal to those who care more about their existing lineup of Xbox games along with a more accessible and easy to use service.
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