Following up yesterday’s leak / announcement of the Xbox Series S, including its $299 price tag, Microsoft is today giving us a detailed look at the specs behind the upcoming console. The result? It seems pretty similar to the Xbox Series X...except for the GPU.
Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S Specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||Xbox Series X||Xbox Series S|
|CPU||8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/SMT)||8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz w/SMT)|
|GPU||AMD RDNA 2 GPU 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz||AMD RDNA 2 GPU 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz|
|GPU Power||12.15 TFLOPS||4 TFLOPS|
|SoC||Custom 7nm SoC||Custom 7nm SoC|
|RAM||16GB GDDR6||10GB GDDR6|
|Performance Target||4K @ 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS||1440p @ 60 FPS, up to 120 FPS|
|Storage||Custom 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD||Custom 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD|
|Expandable Storage||1TB expansion card||1TB expansion card|
|Disc Drive||4K Blu-Ray||N/A|
|Display Out||HDMI 2.1||HDMI 2.1|
Microsoft detailed the Series S’ specs in a blog post (opens in new tab) this morning and in a 9-minute-long YouTube video this afternoon. The key takeaway is that the Xbox Series S uses the same CPU architecture as the Series X (albeit at a slightly slower 3.6 GHz clock speed versus the Series X’s 3.8 GHz), but a drastically less powerful GPU. At 20 CUs compared to the Series X’s 52 CUs, the Series S’ graphics processor can only muster 4 teraflops of power, as opposed to the Series X’s 12.15.
Four teraflops is even less powerful than the current-gen Xbox One X, which has 6 teraflops of power. Still, that’s not too unusual considering that, despite running older games, the Xbox One X targets 4K resolution while the Series S aims for 1440p. The better last-gen comparison, then, would be the Xbox One S, which has just 1.4 teraflop of graphics power.
That’s probably why Xbox Head of Platform Engineering and Hardware Liz Hamren said in the company’s blog that the “Xbox Series S delivers 4x the processing power of an Xbox One console.” She also emphasized its 120 fps support, something that isn’t possible on any Xbox One model.
Aside from the graphics power, the Xbox Series S also uses the same custom PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD as the Xbox Series X, but reduced from 1TB of storage to 512GB. In the Xbox 's video, it shows the Series S loading The Outer Worlds in 12 seconds, while the Xbox One S takes 53 seconds.
The SSD also enables the Series S’ quick resume feature, which it shares with the Series X. Quick Resume lets players suspend multiple games at once and resume playing them later without needing to restart them. In the video above you can see the Series S swapping between 4 games within 30 seconds.
The other major parity between the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S is memory. While the Series X has 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, the Series S only has 10GB of GDDR6 RAM.
The Series S is also digital-only, which could prove an issue for players who want to keep multiple games downloaded at once, as the only way to expand the console’s memory (at least for current gen games) will be a proprietary 1TB Xbox expansion card.
At $299, though, the Series S seems like a good option for playing all the same games as the Series X, assuming you don’t care about 4K. And its touted ability to support 120 fps is nothing to sneeze at, especially for staying competitive in multiplayer games. We're looking forward to testing Microsoft's claims for ourselves come November.