Skip to main content

Xbox Series X Pics & SSD Specs Appear: Here's What We Know

(Image credit: CurryPanda NeoGAF)

Specifications for Microsoft’s next console, Xbox Series X (also known by codename Project Scarlett) are slowly coming out. We already know that it will carry an AMD CPU based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture, along with a "next-gen" AMD graphics card that will pack hardware-based ray tracing. We've also known for a while that the new Xbox will pack a great new SSD, but up until today the details have remained somewhat scarce.

More information has also surfaced about the console's rear I/O.

Rear I/O From a Prototype Leak

At CES, AMD showed a render of the Xbox Series X during its keynote, which showed the console's rear I/O connectivity. This got many of us excited, however, AMD was swift to admit that the render was fake. It was made using a 3D model from TurboSquid, and we also suspected that the connectivity shown wasn't representative of the end product. 

Fast forward two weeks to today, and it looks like Twitter user @Doug_DragoX posted two pictures of an Xbox Series X prototype on the NeoGAF forums, corroborated by Thurrott.

Image 1 of 2
(Image credit: CurryPanda NeoGAF)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: CurryPanda NeoGAF)

Although this is still a prototype (as  indicated on the unit), these images are interesting for two main reasons: we get to see the connectivity, and they're images of the actual hardware, not renders.

As far as the connectivity goes, there's an HDMI port, SPDIF optical audio port, power, Ethernet, and two USB SuperSpeed ports. The front of the unit has an additional USB port.


What's notable is the single HDMI port. On the Xbox One, Microsoft had both HDMI-in and HDMI-out. The HDMI-in would let you route devices like a cable box through the console, which would be the one device connected to a television. It appears Microsoft is considering abandoning that approach.

We can only speculate that the new Xbox will feature HDMI 2.1, because if it doesn't, it won't be able to meet Microsoft's promise of 4K gaming at 60 fps. Naturally, HDMI 2.1 would also add support for VRR (Variable Refresh Rate).

New Phison E19 Controller

A few days back a report from Digitimes claimed that the Xbox Series X would come with a Phison SSD controller, though it wasn't clear exactly which controller Microsoft would end up selecting for the new console. At the time, the Phison E16 was the obvious choice, but we also knew that Phison has the E18 controller in the pipeline, which could offer an alternative option.

Nevertheless, a new rumor from the LinkedIn profile of an unknown software engineer. appears to point towards the use of a DRAM-Less Phison E19 controller that is engineered for use in consoles, cameras, tablets and more. 

The profile as was spotted by Postradamus and Sweclockers.

(Image credit: Postradamus / LinkedIn)

Despite the E19 controller's higher name designation than the E16 controller, it looks like the E19 won't reach the 7 GB/s throughput that the E16 is capable of. Instead, it has a maximum read speed of 3.7 GB/s and peak write speeds of 3.0 GB/s. Of course, these figures are no surprise as the previously reported 7 GB/s would be quite excessive for a gaming console.

Although Phison's infographic shows that the controller can deal with up to 2TB worth of NAND memory, yet another previous report indicated that the Xbox Series X would come with a maximum 1TB SSD, though there would also be a lighter 512GB option. Given that today's games can easily exceed 50GB in their installation size, these capacities wouldn't be surprising. These large SSDs in the new consoles are even expected to gobble up as much as 5 percent of the SSD shipments in 2020.

There is a rumor that there will be two types of new Xboxes, hence the name Xbox Series X. It is possible that these rumored high-end specifications are for a top-end version of Xbox Series X (if there will be more than one), and that the lower-spec model is aimed at only playing games at 1080p, while also streaming games and media. 

  • djayjp
    "We can only speculate that the new Xbox will feature HDMI 2.1, because if it doesn't, it won't be able to meet Microsoft's promise of 4K gaming at 60 fps."

    Correction: 4K 120fps. Current console and HDMI spec can already do 4k 60.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    So it could use the older hdmi standard... interesting to see why They will do.
    Reply
  • Olle P
    Seems like Niels B really missed out on the big revelation here:
    That power connector is a limiting factor. No more than 250W input, which should mean that it can't use more than about 200W.
    Reply
  • Olle P
    hannibal said:
    So it could use the older hdmi standard... interesting to see why They will do.
    Given that many homes have TVs that are five yers old or more, why not?
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    djayjp said:
    "We can only speculate that the new Xbox will feature HDMI 2.1, because if it doesn't, it won't be able to meet Microsoft's promise of 4K gaming at 60 fps."

    Correction: 4K 120fps. Current console and HDMI spec can already do 4k 60.
    But HDMI 2.0 can't do 4K/60 fps @ 10 bpc without chroma subsampling :P
    Need 2.1 for that.
    Reply
  • gggplaya
    Olle P said:
    Seems like Niels B really missed out on the big revelation here:
    That power connector is a limiting factor. No more than 250W input, which should mean that it can't use more than about 200W.

    Shouldn't be a problem, Zen2 and Navi are both power efficient when you keep the clocks inside the efficient portion of their power curve. Look at the 4800H processor which gives desktop performance at 45w tdp. Or even the 3900x processor on ECO mode which is still a beast at 65w tdp.

    I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume that the xbox one X will use an average cpu clock speed around 3.2-3.6ghz and the Navi gpu will be around 1.4-1.7ghz.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    gggplaya said:
    Shouldn't be a problem, Zen2 and Navi are both power efficient when you keep the clocks inside the efficient portion of their power curve.
    Yeah, but they're leaving a lot of performance on the table, especially from the GPU.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    Olle P said:
    Seems like Niels B really missed out on the big revelation here:
    That power connector is a limiting factor. No more than 250W input, which should mean that it can't use more than about 200W.

    The only issue is that its a prototype. It is not always indicative of the final product. There may be changes made to the final connectors for the retail release.

    Or they may have multiple models, this could be a mid range one, that have higher power draws.
    Reply
  • _Shatta_AD_
    Seems like the one big revelation everyone missed is the unlabeled CFX port at the back of the prototype. Note the Phison info-graphic video mentioned that the Phison-E19 controller supports CFX form-factor. Now, obviously we cannot be sure that this will be in the final commercial product but imagine having a hot-swap CFX drive for your games and data where you could carry with you to a friend's 'Series X' and continue right where you left off. All your customizations, gadgets and collection right there with you. That would make for a really good selling point!
    Reply
  • bit_user
    _Shatta_AD_ said:
    imagine having a hot-swap CFX drive for your games and data where you could carry with you to a friend's 'Series X' and continue right where you left off. All your customizations, gadgets and collection right there with you.
    Consoles dropped removable memory cards, a while back (can't remember if PS2 had them, but they were gone from PS3; I don't know if any XBox ever had them).

    USB sticks were a better solution, but storing that stuff in the cloud is probably best.
    Reply