We were expecting to get more details about Microsoft’s next game console at the E3 show this spring, but organizers canceled the show as coronavirus continues to spread. Microsoft has decided to make its big announcement without a trade show backdrop. We now have the full, official specs for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Yes, it’s a beast, designed to target 4K resolution at 60fps, but it will be ready for a future of 8K and 120fps gameplay.
At the core of this new gaming machine is a custom AMD Zen2 CPU with eight cores, each clocked at 3.8GHz. The CPU uses a 7nm manufacturing process, and has a total of 16 logical threads. The 3.8GHz max speed is only available with SMT (hyperthreading in Intel lingo) disabled. Developers can choose to run with SMT at 3.6GHz on all cores. These clocks are locked and won’t vary based on thermal conditions. No surprise, there’s also an AMD GPU in the mix. The RDNA 2 GPU has 52 compute units, each clocked at 1.825GHz. That works out to 12 teraflops of graphical prowess. That’s just a bit more than the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti, a powerful last-gen desktop graphics card that still holds its own. The RDNA 2 GPU also supports ray tracing for more realistic lighting. A 130mm fan at the top of the tower-like console keeps everything cool.
Microsoft promises a 4-fold improvement in both single-threaded and multi-core performance on this console. In fact, the Series X could theoretically run four Xbox One S game sessions side-by-side.
The system will include 16GB of GDDR6 RAM, but it’s not a free-for-all. Microsoft will reserve 10GB for GPU access, and the OS will have 2.5GB. The remaining 3.5GB is available for other uses. As for storage, the Series X will have a 1TB custom NVMe SSD, and you’ll be able to expand that with a USB 3.2 external HDD. The mysterious slot seen on previous leaks of the console is apparently the storage expansion port for adding more SSD space to the console.
All that power will allow developers to create more visually impressive games, but the combination of fast storage and processing hardware also means you won’t spend as long staring at loading screens. The demo above shows how the Xbox Series X clobbers the Xbox One S loading State of Decay 2.
We expect to hear more about the launch lineup for the Series X in June. Microsoft will have the console out for the 2020 holiday season, but pricing is still unknown.
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