Full specs have been revealed for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Series X console, and it's a beast. Thanks to the official Xbox blog, we now know that the Xbox Series X will pack twice the power of the Xbox One X in practice, that it'll feature automated HDR for older games, and a bunch more stuff.
How powerful is Xbox Series X?
We're looking at eight 3.8GHz cores in the Xbox Series X's CPU. The Xbox One X had the same number of cores, but they had a clock speed of 2.13GHz, so that's a significant improvement. Microsoft reckons this will make the Xbox Series X four times more powerful than the One X, both in single-core and multi-core performance. There's more tech detail available in the Eurogamer article if you want it, but suffice it to say that the Xbox Series X is going to be a seriously powerful console. In GPU terms, the Xbox Series X will offer 12 teraflops of power, which is around double what the Xbox One X - currently the most powerful console on the market - offers.
Xbox system architect Andrew Goossen says the goal with Series X is to deliver "a minimum doubling of performance" over the Xbox One X in order to "support our 4K60 and 120 targets". For that reason, you'll find 16GB of GDDR6 RAM in the Xbox Series X, which is double that of the Xbox One S and around a third bigger than the Xbox One X. An official video uploaded to the Xbox YouTube account shows off what that means for game loading times in real terms.
There's an increased emphasis on reducing and eliminating input lag and latency in the Xbox Series X, too. You can check out the official Xbox Series X glossary for some of the jargon, but Microsoft has implemented a whole new set of processes in order to reduce lag. These include Dynamic Latency Input, support for 120Hz displays, and Auto Low Latency Mode, the latter of which will automatically enable your TV's lowest possible latency when playing.
All of this extra power contributes heavily to one of Microsoft's key new features for the console, dubbed Quick Resume. Using clever memory caching thanks to the Series X's 1TB solid state drive, you can switch quickly between several games' save states. Digital Foundry says the Xbox Series X will be capable of running four game sessions at the same time. Game states will persist even if you switch off the console, unplug it entirely, or install an update. All this from a console several times smaller than a fridge (thanks, @Xbox).
Microsoft says it's targeting three pillars with the Xbox Series X: power, speed, and compatibility. We've already seen what it's doing to ensure the first two, but for the latter, Microsoft says every Xbox One X game will be playable on Xbox Series X. This is done entirely via hardware and not an emulation layer. What's more, a machine learning algorithm is using Gears 5's HDR implementation in order to infer full HDR for every backward-compatible title, even those that never had HDR enabled in the first place. That means you'll be able to play your Xbox One X games with HDR whether they currently support it or not. Of course, you'll need a compatible TV to take advantage of this feature.
Here's a full breakdown of the specs courtesy of Xbox:
|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 mm2|
|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|
Right now, Microsoft is targeting holiday season 2020 for the release of its Xbox Series X console. Whether or not the coronavirus outbreak contributes to a delay remains to be seen. The virus has been responsible for the cancellation or delay of several major gaming events, so a delay for a major hardware release like this one isn't unlikely. We'll bring you more on the Xbox Series X as we get it.
Are you impressed by the new Xbox Series X specs? Will you be getting one? Let us know in the comments below!