At The Game Awards, Microsoft officially unveiled the Xbox Series X, the artist formerly known as Xbox Project Scarlett, aka the next-generation Xbox. And, well… it pretty much looks like a PC.The most direct comparison is the Corsair One, a similarly-shaped obelisk PC that uses a liquid-cooled design, kept frosty by a single maglev fan. With that in mind, let’s take what we know about the Series X’s innards – and speculate on what we don’t know – to compare the new system to a traditional gaming PC.
Today’s gaming consoles have mostly been held back from competing with high-end PCs due to their processors. The Xbox One X’s eight-core Jaguar CPU was roughly on par with an Intel Core-i3 CPU, which sells for around $100. AMD’s Zen 2 architecture, on the other hand, is much more impressive. Even the bottom-end Ryzen 5 3600 ($199) doesn’t bottleneck a top-end GPU like the RTX 2080 Ti. Microsoft is working with AMD to develop a custom Zen 2 chip for the Xbox Series X, which like other console CPUs will be tuned to suit the hardware’s specific needs. In any case, the CPU itself hopefully won’t be a limiting factor when it comes to hitting the Series X’s stated goal of steady 60fps gameplay at 4K resolution.
Very few specifics are known right now about the Series X’s graphical prowess. Microsoft has said the system will be “twice as powerful” graphically as the Xbox One X, which we can estimate to be about 12 teraflops of graphical processing power. In any case, Microsoft’s target for the Series X is 60 fps at 4K resolution. To achieve that on a gaming PC, only the top-end RTX 2080 Ti can reliably hit that mark in most games at 4K Ultra – but the Ultra presets on many PC games are especially demanding, whereas console versions are tuned specifically to cut out those settings that cause a big performance hit for only a minimal graphical improvement.