Project Scorpio

As the release date of the new console Xbox One X gets closer and closer, there are also more and more questions about its performance, in particular about its “true 4K” claim.

At the recent E3, some native titles were revealed, but there is now the chance to have a look at some benchmarks. Recently, EuroGamer has published an article where they illustrate some benchmark results they got from participating in some events in Redmond, UK, and the US.

Tho showcase the actual Xbox One X performance, the Microsoft-developed performance analysis tool PIX was used.

Xbox One at native resolution compared to performance at 2160p from a barebones Xbox One X port. Higher is better.

Nine titles saw the data published, with them being a mix of games released or still in development stage. The titles are unknown and indicated as Title A, Title B, and so on. It is however reasonable to speculate that Title B and C are Forza Motorsport 7 and Gears of War 4, respectively, and Title H’s attributes should be tied only with Star Wars. ReCore may represent Title A, while Halo Wars 2 may be Title G, but it really is just speculation at this point.

The benchmarks are entirely based on the CPU, so memory contention issues between CPU and GPU won’t be taken into consideration. However, this applies to both base Xbox One and X performance.

Frame-rates, converted from frame-times (seen in the next slide). Higher is better.

PIX results represent something like a ‘snapshot’ of GPU activity and bear in mind that the GPU load varies throughout a single title and from game to another. That said, Microsoft most likely choose these games to give a good representation of how games scale from the base Xbox One to Xbox One X. Data is based on GPU time alone and stands apart from any frame-rate cap that may be implemented. For example, frame-time on Title B (as said, almost certainly Forza Motorsport 7) is 13ms on Xbox One and 11ms @4K on Xbox One X. An 11ms frame-time would be equivalent to 90fps but the final game locks to 60fps.

The presentation states that the goal of Xbox One X was to run native 1080p titles with a 4x resolution boost, while during EuroGamer’s visit, Microsoft had actually raised the bar, saying that it wanted both 900p and 1080p game engines to run at 2160p. The data for most of the nine titles demonstrates that the 4x resolution goal is clearly met even without access to new GPU features of the Xbox One X.

Original Microsoft data based on frame-time measured in milliseconds from PIX GPU captures. Lower is better.

The 10’s engine is thus indeed capable of hitting 60 fps with milliseconds to spare and with a frame render time of 11ms. Thus we get the 65% GPU load from a title aiming for 60fps – exactly what was observed on the ForzaTech demo based on an older version of the engine’s title.

Moreover, two of the three 900p titles tested could conceivably attain native 4K resolution upgrades – Title A is just 1ms away from parity with base Xbox One, while Title E is just 2ms off-pace. In spite of all this power, not every game will scale along those lines. Title D – an open world adventure – clearly isn’t going to get up to it. Perhaps coincidentally, open world adventure Assassin’s Creed Origins made it to the E3 running on Xbox One X hardware and producing a good 2160p output, but requiring checkerboard and dynamic scaling to get there. The results still look impressive in motion though.

Power alone isn’t enough to rate a console, but those results are impressive. What do you expect from Microsoft’s new console? Let us know in the comments.

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Alessandro Seren Rosso
An avid player of sports management games, Alessandro writes about hockey for several online outlets in all over the world. His work appeared, among the others, on The Hockey News, Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers and many other. His interest in sports gaming dates back to 1998 with Championship Manager. Today, most of his gaming engagement, much limited by his 3-years-old lovely time-killer, is dedicated to Eastside Hockey Manager.