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What’s the Most Powerful Next Gen Console? – Xbox Series X vs. PlayStation 5

playstation 5

We are still months away from the expected launch, but the specs for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been revealed. The big question is “how do both systems compare as we move into the next generation of console gaming?”

PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X

Xbox Series X

Microsoft revealed their specs in early March, just three months after its initial unveiling. Since then, rumors were consistent, but the official reveal has solidified what potential buyers can expect. However, if you missed the hardware specs reveal, the breakdown is below.

CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Die Size 360.45 mm2
Process 7nm Enhanced
Memory 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
Expandable Storage 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External Storage USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS


With so much under the hood of the latest Xbox, Microsoft created an additional glossary to elaborate on the tech they are using to minimize input latency, support 120fps, load 100GB of assets almost instantly and more.

PlayStation 5

Via a surprise stream March 18, 2020, Sony revealed the specs for the next PlayStation. Unfortunately, we still do not know the look of the console, but you can check out the hardware breakdown:

CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
GPU 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
GPU Architecture Custom RDNA 2
Memory Interface 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s
Internal Storage Custom 825GB SSD
IO Throughput 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot
External Storage USB HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive


With official hardware specs, it’s clear the PlayStation 5 is not far behind the Xbox Series X, even out pacing it in certain categories. Sony’s Tempest Engine also rolls out with the PS5. The Tempest Engine will enable the PS5 to deliver 3D audio.

3D audio makes sounds appear to be coming from all around you, relative to where you are in the scene. For example, when in a room with a telephone in the far left-hand corner, and it starts ringing, 3D audio means the ring will sound like it’s coming from the far left-hand corner from the player’s perspective.

Current games use tricks to replicate this, but 3D Audio goes further to produce what will feel like 3D spaces with added depth to sound.

XSX vs PS5

Despite the ongoing pandemic, both console remain set for a launch this holiday season. Neither console has come with a price tag as of yet. Given the specs and custom parts used in both consoles, $599 to $699 is a likely range to expect come the 2020 holiday season.

There is a difference in the amount of comparable information available for both systems, but you can check out our side by side comparison from what is there.

Xbox Series X PlayStation 5
CPU 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz 8x Zen 2 Cores @ 3.5GHz
GPU 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz
GPU Process Custom RDNA 2 GPU Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Memory Interface 16 GB GDDR6 16 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 448GB/s
Internal Storage 1 TB Custom NVME SSD Custom 825GB SSD
IO Throughput 2.4GB/s (Raw) 5.5GB/s (Raw)
Expandable Storage 1TB Expansion Card NVMe SSD Slot
External Storage USB HDD Support USB HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive


In a broad sense, both designs have aimed at creating a console gaming experience embedded in immersion, realism, and seamless gameplay. However, their approaches do differ. At a glance, the Xbox Series X focuses on consistency in power while the PS5 is favoring raw performance. Regardless of difference, the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5 are leaps above their predecessors including the Xbox One X. To put into perspective, 2GB of data can be loaded in about one quarter of a second on the PS5. Theoretically, this means the entirety of PS5’s 16GB can be filled in just two seconds.


Approaching the issue of expandable memory, we’ve seen the Microsoft proprietary memory sticks that will match the internal storage. Sony will be relying on third party or off-the-shelf solutions. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Microsoft is obviously limitation of choice, but the PS5 may run in the third-party solutions not being consistent with what the PlayStation possess internally 5 by default with the next gen tech being beyond the current on-the-market PC tech.

Eurogamer does an amazing job of breaking down the specifics, but in a nutshell “today’s fastest NVMe drives don’t have the bandwidth required to work for PlayStation 5. However, future tech, possibly drives like the Samsung 980 Pro, could conceivably work.”

Sony and Microsoft will be making the systems backwards compatible. The PS5 aims to allow users to play PS4 games while the XSX will include Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One titles with older games being able to benefit from the hardware leaps in the new console. Sony has been behind in the past regarding backwards compatibility, but the hope is to bring the best of the PS4 to the PS5 with a boost to experience as well.

PS5 Compatibility PlayStation 5

There is a lot to be excited for in the next gen consoles including virtually no load screens, ray tracing, high fidelity audio, incredibly multitasking/transitioning being apps and many of the console nuances being mitigated almost entirely. One thing yet to be confirmed (along with pricing) is if we can expected either mid-generation refreshes or multiple tiers (with cheaper options) at launch from both companies and what the specs on those are or will be.

And then some…

For more on Sony’s PlayStation 5, check out the PlayStation Blog; for more on the Xbox Series X, be sure to read up on the Xbox Wire.

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