Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you're aware of the hype around the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 console announcements. However, what you may not know is what makes one console better over the other? Many players at this point have their mind made up due to friends already committed to one console, or specific games they want to play; but when it comes to specs, what are the main differences you should be aware of? Below I'll be mentioning the inner details of each console while highlighting the couple differences that might change some minds.
Xbox Series X
CPU & GPU: Immense amount of gaming power with an 8x Zen 2 Cores CPU that clocks at 3.8GHz and a 12 TFLOPs, 52 CUs GPU clocking at 1.825 GHz.
Storage: Some of the best storage you can get in the market with an NVME SSD at 1TB with the availability to add another 1TB expansion card.
Performance: 4k at 60fps performance which can bump up to 120fps when possible for crystal clear visuals and a phenomenal gaming experience.
Memory: 16GB GDDR6 which will be imperative for the new Quick Resume feature being offered. Quick Resume is a new feature allowing multiple games to be paused on the console at once. Similar to what the Nintendo Switch can accomplish, however it works with multiple games as opposed to one.
The power of the Series X is quite honestly amazing and puts most modern PCs to shame prior to the NVIDIA 3000 series announcements. However, this is to be expected as most consoles sell at a loss while making revenue back in their subscription services. Nonetheless, with all these performances specs, are there any downsides to the Series X? It depends. First off, this thing is a tank, coming in at roughly 6x6x12 inches and weighing 9.8 pounds. For players utilizing an entertainment stand to host their consoles, many might not have enough clearance to keep the Series X and will require a different setup. That's only a minor inconvenience, but something important to keep in mind. Outside of the large size, the only other downside to the Series X is the lack of top tier exclusives available. Without getting ahead of us and talking too much about the PlayStation, the Series X does have a great selection of games, but does fall short in the exclusives department. However, this is most likely going to change with the recent acquisition of ZeniMax (Bethesda's parent company). Lastly, the Series X price point is the on par to its counterpart being offered at $499.99 or £449.99.
CPU & GPU: Superb power with an 8x Zen 2 Cores CPU clocking at 3.5GHz paired with a 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs GPU at 2.23 GHz.
Storage: Includes a custom SSD at 825GB of storage with lightning fast speeds in comparison to previous console releases for significantly faster game load times.
Performance: Capable of reaching 4k at up to 120fps but also has the support for 8k with no specific frame rate target.
Memory: 16GB GDDR6 memory with a rumored similar “Quick Resume” feature to what the Series X is offering. Although it hasn’t been confirmed by Sony themselves, it has been shown that they filed a patent of a similar design.
Overall, the PlayStation 5 is incredible with what it brings to the table for next generation consoles. This checks off every box a console player wants when it comes to having an SSD and a powerful GPU to support the 4k and potentially 8k performance of new releases. However, what downsides come with this? Outside of the PS5 pre-order issues, not many. The size is certainly a drastic difference from previous consoles sitting at roughly 15x10x4 inches and weighing in at 9.92 pounds. The PS4 dimensions were 12x11x2 inches at 6.2 pounds meaning a 50% increase in weight and many inches larger in size. On the other hand, the PS5 is offering a digital only edition that holds the exact same specs, but does not include an optical drive. This reduces the size by a minimal amount with the height dropping from 4 to 3.6 inches and weight down from 9.92 to 8.6 pounds. Although it's not significant, having that option for consumers like me who aren’t a huge fan of having physical copies anymore and want to be as minimal as possible, I’m thrilled. Otherwise, this console is a powerhouse and will be a truly strong improvement from prior generations in providing that next level experience in gaming while coming in at the same price as the Series X at $499.99 or £449.99.
Now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, what console is best? Unfortunately, this is an incredibly difficult decision to make strictly based on specs. When one console takes a lead in one spec, the other makes it up in another category. To get more granular, the Series X has a slight advantage in GPU at 12 TFLOPs over the PS5’s 10.3 while also outperforming the CPU at 3.8GHz over 3.5GHz. However, the PS5 storage tech is something to behold as a PCIe 4.0 SSD that can move compressed data at up to 9GB/sec which is over twice as fast the Series X at 4.8GB/sec. Meaning compressed data that's been downloaded or from a disc will be accessed that much quicker. Furthermore, once the data is decompressed, the PS5 system will process the data at 5.5GB/sec, once again over twice as past as the Series X at 2.4GB/sec. The only downside about selecting the PS5 storage, is you’re down 175GB of space to start with in comparison. Outside of those specs above, it really comes down to what exclusives you’re looking to play and figuring out what side your friends are leaning on. Both consoles have their own benefits and very different stylistic looks, but will ultimately provide a fantastic gaming experience either way. The console wars may always be heavily debated, but it's easy to say here that regardless of what you choose, all console players are winning here.