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June 12, 2017

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: What’s the difference?

by John_A

Microsoft has officially unveiled the Xbox One X – its new Xbox console claimed to be the “most powerful” games machine yet.

It’s due to be released on 7 November, with the price yet to be revealed, but we know the internal specifications, which put it very much as a premium machine over the existing Xbox One S.

We look at just how different the two are to give you an idea of which you might want to adopt come this Christmas.

  • Xbox One X: Release date, price, specs and everything you need to know
  • PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X: What’s the difference?

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Graphics

One of the major differences between the two machines comes with graphical hardware and the ability to render full 4K visuals.

The Xbox One S is capable of up to 1080p graphics running at 60fps (as on games such as Forza Horizon 3). Not all games achieve those heady heights, but its 12 GCN compute units, running at 914MHz can reach it. The console also upscales all video output to 4K for compatible TVs, but games do not run in Ultra HD natively.

Xbox One X, on the other hand, will be capable of full 4K visuals running at 60fps, thanks to new graphics processing that consists of 40 customised compute units running at 1.172GHz. That’s much more powerful and faster than the currently available machine.

The new console will also be compatible with games featuring HDR (High Dynamic Range). The Xbox One S already has that functionality.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: CPU and memory

Like with the graphics, Xbox One X will be much more powerful than the Xbox One S in central processing. It will run on eight custom x86 cores, clocked at speeds of 2.3GHz. The Xbox One S also has eight cores, which run at 1.75GHz.

The One X also bosses things in RAM. There will be 12GB of GDDR5 RAM with bandwidth of up to 326GB/s. The Xbox One S has 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 32MB of ESRAM, with bandwidth of 68GB/s and 219GB/s respectively.

The upshot of this is that developers get far more memory and speeds of processing to play with on Xbox One X.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Games

The great news for Xbox One S owners is that, at present, Microsoft is committed to making the same games for Xbox One S and Xbox One X (and the original Xbox One come to that). You buy an Xbox game and it’ll work on all three consoles, albeit with different grades of performance.

One X versions, therefore, will be far better graphically than their Xbox One S counterparts – with greater resolution, draw distances and the like. However, the gameplay will technically remain the same. As will the price considering the game is the same bought copy.

It’s a similar deal with the PS4 Pro. All PlayStation 4 games work on Pro and the standard PS4, they just look better on the Pro – for the most part.

By doing this, Microsoft also ensures that the One X launches with an enormous back catalogue of Xbox One games available from the off. It will also be compatible with backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games.

  • How Xbox One backwards compatibility works: The Xbox 360 games list and more

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Home entertainment

The Xbox One S was the first games console to offer 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray playback, with HDR picture tech to boot. It’s still the only one currently on the market too.

Xbox One X will follow suit when released in November.

All other major streaming apps and services are expected to be on board too.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Price and release date

Here’s the million dollar question – almost literally: how much more does Xbox One X cost?

We’re still waiting for official UK pricing, but it will cost $499 in the States. We suspect that will translate directly as £499.

In contrast, the current Xbox One S can be bought for around £200 with a game (the 500GB version anyway). A version with a 1TB hard drive can be snagged for around £250.

Obviously, the Xbox One S is already readily available. But the One X isn’t too long from launch.

Xbox One X vs Xbox One S: Conclusion

There is little doubt that Xbox One X is a more powerful, more graphically competent games console than the Xbox One S. But you will have to pay a premium price for such a premium machine.

If you are content with Full HD gaming and want something to play games on right now, the Xbox One S is an excellent games machine and 4K Blu-ray player for just £200. Hardcore gamers might want to hold on though, as long as they have deep pockets.

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