Xbox Series X vs Xbox One X: What’s the difference?
(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has discontinued the Xbox One X, replacing it with the Xbox Series X, which brings up to 4K and 120fps gaming and next-gen power. But what you'll likely want to know is that, if you already own an Xbox One X, is it worth upgrading? And, if you do manage to find one of the outgoing consoles listed on the cheap, what are the main differences?
We compare the specs and features of them both to help you make up your mind.
The design of the Xbox Series X is quite a departure from the norm. It is designed as a standing unit, although can be laid down on its side too. However, it is considerably larger than the Xbox One X so you will need a bigger space in a TV stand.
One of the reasons for its larger size and aesthetic is heat dissipation. The grille at the top allows for internal heat to dissipate, which is important as the processing chips inside will get extremely hot and if there are not sufficient cooling measures employed, you'll find the internal fan will have to work harder - resulting in a very noisy machine and, worse still, one that is prone to crashing. The same is true of the Xbox One X, which can run noisy at times for the exact same reason, but its internal hardware is easier to keep cool as it is lesser specced, so has a slimmer, more conventional profile.
Graphics hardware is, naturally, different in the two machines.
With the Xbox Series X representing a significant upgrade. It sports a custom GPU with 12 teraflops of power and 52 compute units running at 1.825GHz. That's basically the most powerful graphics processing chip in any console to date - even more powerful than the one in PS5.
In comparison, the Xbox One X has a similar custom GPU but with 6 teraflops of power, 40 compute units and running at 1.172GHz. Microsoft claims the Series X is twice as powerful as the One X in terms of graphical prowess. In simple terms, it will run nigh-on every game natively in 4K 60fps, where the One X can only run a handful of titles in full 4K natively.
And often, you have to choose between 60fps or 4K, not both. Some games will also run at 120fps on the Xbox Series X - it has that much potential. It is also worth noting that games for the Xbox Series X can utilise real-time ray-tracing technology, to make in-game lighting more realistic. The Xbox One X does not support that feature.
CPU and memory
Like the GPU, the main processor sees a major jump between the two consoles.
The Xbox Series X comes with a custom eight-core AMD processor based on the Zen 2 architecture, running at up to 3.8GHz per core. The Xbox One X, on the other hand, also has a custom eight-core AMD processor, but it runs at a maximum of 2.3GHz per core. This, says Xbox, means the Series X is four-times faster, more efficient and powerful.
On top of that, the next-gen machine comes with 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, while the One X has 12GB of GDDR5 RAM.
Another big leap comes in the storage solutions used in the new console. The Xbox Series X uses SSD (solid state drive) storage, which is much faster for read/write transfers than traditional hard drive tech. It contains a 1TB SSD which provides a couple of major benefits.
Not only do games load faster, you can pause a game, start up another, and go back to the original paused title speedily. The Xbox One X, on the other hand, comes with a 1TB HDD, which is still capable and reasonably speedy for normal use. There is basically nothing wrong with it whatsoever.
However, in comparison, loading times both at the start and in a game are much slower. Both consoles are able to be expanded through USB 3.0 (3.1 on the Series X) external drives (to store and play Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games). In addition, the Series X also comes with a dedicated, proprietary drive port on the rear for users to plug in an optional extra 1TB SSD unit that can house extra Xbox Series X titles.
It looks similar but has a "share" button and the D-Pad design that looks more like the one on the Elite 2 Pro controller. We have no problems whatsoever with the older Xbox controller though - it's one of the best ever released - and the best news is that you can use it on the Series X too.
Games and accessories
All Xbox One games and accessories are compatible with the Xbox Series X. And many Xbox Series X accessories, including the new wireless controller, are backward compatible with Xbox One too.
Xbox is committed to releasing games for all Xbox consoles (from One up) for several years going forward. And, as a bonus, some of the games are instantly upgraded when installed on a Series X. That might mean enhanced graphics and better loading times.
Think of it much like the Xbox One X in comparison to the One S - many current games have enhanced graphics when played on the One X. Xbox's Game Pass Ultimate subscription service works on the Series X as it does on the Xbox One.
One thing that might make a difference though is that the Xbox One X has a HDMI 2.0 output, while the Xbox Series X comes with a HDMI 2.1 equivalent. This means the One X cannot go above 4K HDR 60fps in video output terms, while the Series X is capable of up to 8K 120fps. That could be important if you plan to purchase an 8K TV anytime soon.
Xbox Series X vs Xbox One X: Which is best for you?
Ultimately, the main decision to make is whether you want to invest (heavily) in the future of gaming or you're happy to settle for the best the last generation has to offer.
The Xbox Series X is an extremely powerful, exciting console.
But we also have a massive sweet spot for the Xbox One X still.
Writing by Rik Henderson.
- ^ Xbox Series X (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Xbox One X (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ PS5 (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Some games will also run at 120fps (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ ray-tracing technology (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ SSD (solid state drive) storage (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Xbox Wireless Controller (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Elite 2 Pro controller (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Game Pass Ultimate subscription service (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Dolby Vision (www.pocket-lint.com)
- ^ Dolby Atmos (www.pocket-lint.com)