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Comparison: Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Today we will compare Playstation 5 with Xbox Series X. Sony confirmed the price of Playstation 5 and the standard version has the same price with Xbox Series X which is $499.99. Now there’s an important question. Which one to buy? You should consider some important key factors before you buy those next generation consoles:

  • The power of each console.
  • The games available.
  • The ecosystem of services.
  • Backward compatibility.

The Playstation 5 price is equal to Xbox Series X, but which one is more powerful?

Xbox Series X is more powerful than PS5, both at the CPU and GPU level, although it is true that PS5 has a much faster SSD.

There is no doubt that the SSD will make an important difference, in fact it is one of the components that will allow to overcome one of the biggest bottlenecks of the current generation, the slow access times and the low speeds of the 5,400 RPM HDDs.

However, the performance of a game is highly dependent on the CPU and GPU. In this sense, both PS5 and Xbox Series X will have a Zen 2 processor equipped with 8 cores and 16 threads, based on a monolithic design identical to the Ryzen 4000 APUs. The processors of both consoles will have 8MB L3 cache, (a Ryzen 7 3700X has 32MB L3), and the processors will also operate at 3.6GHz on Xbox Series X and 3.5GHz (dynamic) on PS5, a bit low considering today’s technologies.

The conclusion is very simple, the performance of the Xbox Series X and PS5 CPU is not going to be at the level of a Ryzen 7 3700X processor, although obviously it will mark a huge leap against AMD Jaguar.

As for the GPUs, we have Radeon RDNA 2 GPUs on both consoles, although the version PS5 uses lacks some important functions, according to an engineer from Sony itself. It was a leaked tweet stating: “Hello, It’s 5AM and I spend the whole night playing ghost of Tsushima. Tomorrow I’ll check what particular has been disclosed. I know you are curious, but I’m legally binded to say nothing that is not already public. As you may know PS5 is an architecture inbetween RDNA1 and RDNA2 with some unique bits. Even PS4Pro was a weird hybrid between GCN2 and 4.”  This console has 2,304 shaders, 144 texturing units, 64 raster units and reaches a maximum 2.23 GHz frequencies. In contrast, the Xbox Series X GPU uses the RDNA 2 architecture with all its advanced functions, and has 3,328 shaders, 208 texturing units, 80 raster units and it has a fixed its frequency to 1,825MHz.

Given the information it is clear that, Xbox Series X will have a greater power working with this technology, since it adds more computing units and therefore it will have more texturing units.

In short, the price of PS5 is the same as that of Xbox Series X, but the second is more powerful. Here is a complete breakdown with the specifications of each one of them so that you are totally clear about what they offer.

Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X
Playstation 5 vs Xbox Series X

PS5 Specifications

  • Eight-core 16-thread Zen 2 processor at 3.5GHz (variable frequency).
  • Radeon RDNA 2 GPU (without some advanced features) with 2,304 shaders, 144 texturing units and 64 raster units at 2.23GHz (dynamic frequency).
  • Up to 10.28 TFLOPs of power, as long as the 2.23 GHz frequency is maintained.
  • 16GB unified GDDR6 memory with 448GB/s bandwidth (256-bit bus).
  • Tempest sound chip.
  • High-performance SSD drive at 5.5GB/s (uncompressed) and with a capacity of 825GB.
  • Optional 4K Blu-Ray reader.
  • Support for high-performance NVMe SSD expansion units in card format.
  • PS5 price: $499.99 with optical drive, $399.99 without optical drive.

Xbox Series X Specifications

  • 3.8GHz eight-core 16-thread Zen 2 processor (3.6GHz with 16 active threads).
  • Radeon RDNA 2 GPU with 3,328 shaders, 208 texturing units, 80 raster units and a clock rate of 1,825MHz.
  • 12.1 TFLOPs of sustained power.
  • 16GB unified GDDR6 memory with 10GB at 560GB/s and 6GB at 336GB/s (320-bit bus).
  • 3D sound chip.
  • High-performance 2.4 GB/s (uncompressed) SSD with 1TB capacity.
  • 4K Blu-Ray reader.
  • Support for high-performance NVMe SSD expansion units in card format.
  • Xbox Series X price: $499.99

Xbox Series X wins on hardware, but what about games, services, and backward compatibility?

The price of PS5 seems a bit risky to me because Sony is going to launch a much less powerful console than Xbox Series X, but their price is equal. It is the same mistake that Microsoft made with Xbox One in the past.

Sony has launched the new generation with a gamble, because as we all know it’s not all just about the power console offers. Also backward compability and services are very important. As you all know PS5 will only be compatible, at its launch, with some PS4 games. By contrast, Xbox Series X will be backward compatible with all Xbox One games and almost with all Xbox 360 games. It would be incredible if PS5 were compatible with PS3, PS2 and even PS1, like PS4.

Microsoft has played its cards better with Game Pass, but the exclusive games that Sony has presented for its new console are, in general, more interesting and more attractive than Xbox. With this I do not mean that Xbox Series X is not going to have interesting exclusives, but it is clear that Sony has known how to play that card better, at least for now. Even considering this fact, you will be able to play more than 150 games the second you purchase Xbox Series X and its Game Pass.

If you’ve come this far and wondering which console you should buy, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not my job to decide for you. Think about what matters most to you, which games are your favorites?