Xbox Series X Review
If you are a gamer – especially a console gamer and even more so if you are a Xbox fan then there is no doubt that the new Xbox Series X has been on your radar – for months if not years. This is not one of those releases that came out under the radar or was not highly publicized prior to the launch.
On the contrary – the features, perks and benefits of the new gaming console is well documented and spoken about. More storage, faster speeds, more games and graphics to write home about – except for a $500 price tag what else could you want? Maybe more than you think.
We wont bore you with ‘too many’ details – but the short answer is for $500 for the box and normal cost of games – more than one member of our team has said they are buying one for themselves.
The question becomes – are you getting the Xbox Series X or the Xbox Series S?
Simple – If you have less than a 4k resolution TV and do not plan on getting one in the near future, get the S. If you have a 4k res or better TV – you are wasting your time by not getting the Xbox Series X.
Lets go back to when it all began – November 15th, 2001. For this ‘old dude’ – I was a Sophomore in High School and the thought of Microsoft’s first real jump into the video game world caused me to be one of those who stood outside the store, for hours, just to possibly get a chance to buy one for $300. Don’t even get me started on Halo.
Xbox was released as a way to compete between Sony’s PlayStation 2, Sega’s Dreamcast and Nintendo’s GameCube – at the time the ‘big three’ were in more homes than ever before and the thought of an ‘American Made’ gaming console had vanished from many a consumers mind since Atari’s Jaguar disappeared in 1996.
Fun Fact: The Name Xbox came from an earlier naming idea – ‘DirectX Box’ which was referring to the Mirosoft Graphics API – DirectXMicrosoft
It has been a while since a new Xbox generation has been released – 7 years if you are being technical. With the growing popularity of online gaming and of course – the Playstation 5 being released around the same time – Microsoft’ s latest addition has been expected by many.
What Are The Xbox Series X Stats?
First – there are two versions of the latest Xbox – the Series S and the Series X. The later is the higher end version designed to pull as much as possible out of the equipment. The Series S is a more budget friendly version that can still provide a normal/casual gamer experience.
For a rough estimate – the Xbox Series X is expected to be Four Times ( 4x ) more powerful than the Xbox Series S. Four times.
This increased performance will provide the Xbox Series X with support for 8K resolution, 120 frames per second refresh rate with a target goal of 4k res at 60 frames per second.
The Xbox Series S will have a digital only display capability with a 1440p resolution at 60 frames per second. A less powerful graphic processor cuts the cost while allowing those of us without a 4K screen an experience not too different from what we’d see anyway.
Both devices will support real-time ray-tracing and the new Xbox velocity Architecture which will be used in combination with a performance SSD to get as much data flowing to the graphics processor as possible.
Both systems will have access to the same games and will be backwards compatible with Xbox One games and ‘most’ hardware. Additionally those old Xbox 360 and Original Xbox games that worked on the Xbox One – they will work on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S as well.
Lastly – the Xbox Series X comes with a 1TB drive while the Series S sports half the size at 500GB.
|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|
|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|
What Do We Think Of The Xbox Series X?
Never in my life did I think I would be looking at a video game console and think to myself – that is a simple yet elegant design, but it is and I did.
It looks strangely similar to a sub woofer or a secret black box from something like Lord Of The Rings. A small form factor type desktop PC or an ‘unknown’ and inconspicuous addition to your entertainment center setup. What once was a large and ‘look at me’ box with a Green X has now become something ‘refined’ – minimalist I am told is the word I am looking for.
The controller is a little smaller than the previous generation but is pretty much the same thing we have all been used to since the Xbox 360. The textured buttons are a nice change for those who are comparing the old and the new but may be missed by someone new to the system.
Probably one of the biggest improvements we are happy about is the user interface – as if Microsoft has been listening to all the complaints surrounding the difficulties, just about everyone, experienced when trying to get to anything. There are still a bunch of ads – but – if you have used anything Microsoft in the past few years it will not be out of the norm.
In respect to the game options – granted this is shortly after the initial release – but they are not as exciting as years prior.
Sure – there are releases like Halo infinite but it wont be hitting retail shelves until somewhere in 2021. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is really good but I think I may have spoiled myself testing it first on our latest PC Build.
A big perk to this though – the Xbox Game Pass. With this pass, at the tune of about $15 a month, you get access to hundreds of games in the Xbox lineup as well as future ‘yet to be released’ perks.
Microsoft also has a known issue website which is updated fairly often, discussing known and corrected issues with the system.
So – Whats the Verdict On The Xbox Series X?
I cannot stress this enough – if you do not have a really nice TV that can do 4K or 8K at 120 frames per second – you will NOT be able to get everything out of the Xbox Series X that you can and will be wasting money. If you DO have a great TV – your only option in the Xbox Series X – hand down.
The only variable I can imagine is if you are wanting to ‘future proof’ your console in the respect of ‘in the next X years I will be getting a TV that is able to work with the Xbox’.
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